Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

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Keitel
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Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by Keitel » 24 Feb 2017 11:10

Okay, after compiling my data, from Operation Barbarossa, the Complete Organizational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation by Nigel Askey, which I was using in another thread to bash in the heads of some posters with incorrect views of what the Germans were actually capable of, I now have a concrete proposal for a What If detailing one of several options.

The reason for Op Barb failure has nothing to do with decisions made during the course of the fighting and everything to do with the planning of the campaign. OKH in short tried to fight the campaign on the cheap and screwed up in allocating resources. This is Scenario C as I call it.

Scenario C (Faster Reinforcements, Replacements):

Nothing is reshuffled and Op Barb starts historically. But as it becomes clear the Soviets have more forces than realized in July, 22nd and 23rd PD and 60th Motorized Division are promptly dispatched and arrive on August 1st to resume the March on Moscow instead of arriving in late September. Zhukov doesn't have his forces in place yet and would be forced to deploy piecemeal. In addition the 4 6th wave infantry Divisions are ordered to the Ost Front in July and arrive August to reinforce AGN to free up the Panzer Units deployed there. All lost Tanks are immediately replaced from reserve stocks and new companies formed up as fast as they can be trained and sent forth as reinforcements.

10 more of the 3rd Wave Infantry Divisions in France are transferred east in July to AGC to go for the Kiev Battle, freeing Guderian from having to complete the encirclement.

This will win the war in the East by October.

.........................................

There are no logistical hurdles for the Germans in either of these scenarios and their reserve stocks are sufficient to keep the army in the field even with the reinforcements. The roads to Moscow are relatively good and the rail connections are excellent which will enable them to quickly move forward. Once they breakthrough the initial line of contact, they'll be hitting Soviet Logistics Units who lack the communications to know the line has been punctured and thus they need to retreat. Thus the Germans will be capturing more fuel along the way.

Once Moscow falls, the German Problems are solved and the Operational Shock of losing its main rail hub and C&C center will cause the Soviet Resistance west of the Urals to rapidly collapse. The USSR will continue to survive east of the Urals and Hitler could care less about that, seeing it as his successor's problem.

The Soviets have no means of stopping a thrust at Moscow in the August to October Window. What they needed was time, which Kiev gave them.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Feb 2017 16:27

Keitel wrote:Okay, after compiling my data, from Operation Barbarossa, the Complete Organizational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation by Nigel Askey, which I was using in another thread to bash in the heads of some posters with incorrect views of what the Germans were actually capable of, I now have a concrete proposal for a What If detailing one of several options.
Um, you might do better if you didn't rely on single-source reporting.
Nothing is reshuffled and Op Barb starts historically. But as it becomes clear the Soviets have more forces than realized in July, 22nd and 23rd PD and 60th Motorized Division are promptly dispatched and arrive on August 1st to resume the March on Moscow instead of arriving in late September.
22. PD did not exist "in July". It was created 25 September 1941 by renaming the Stab of Panzerbrigade 101. as the Stab of 22. PD. However, it did not have a G2 or a map section until December, so was not a functioning division headquarters. The entire division was not organized or equipped until January at Couetquidan in Brittany and it was not until 1 March 1942 that it was ready for action. 23. PD was similar, with its Panzer complement drawn from Panzerbrigade 101. on 21 September, but the division was not complete and ready for action until 10 March 1942 when it was placed at the disposal of 6. Armee. 60. ID (mot) was at least available at the disposal of OKH, but was assigned to III. AK of HG-S in August.
In addition the 4 6th wave infantry Divisions are ordered to the Ost Front in July and arrive August to reinforce AGN to free up the Panzer Units deployed there.
The 6. Welle were 81., 82., 83., and 84. ID. They were all disbanded in 1940.
All lost Tanks are immediately replaced from reserve stocks and new companies formed up as fast as they can be trained and sent forth as reinforcements.
What reserve stocks?
10 more of the 3rd Wave Infantry Divisions in France are transferred east in July to AGC to go for the Kiev Battle, freeing Guderian from having to complete the encirclement.
Which ten were those? Who replaces them in the occupation forces?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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stg 44
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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by stg 44 » 24 Feb 2017 16:43

Keitel wrote:22nd and 23rd PD
Ahem:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23rd_Panz ... Wehrmacht)
The 23rd Panzer Division was established on the 14 March 1942 in France.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22nd_Panz ... Wehrmacht)
Officially formed on 25 September 1941 in France
It wasn't combat ready until 1942.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60th_Infa ... Wehrmacht)
This division participated in Operation Barbarossa, advancing through Uman and across the Dnieper River as part of the 1st Panzergruppe (commanded by General Von Kleist). It took part in the attack and occupation of Rostov until it was pulled back along with other German troops to the Mius River. In a series of defensive battles during the winter of 1941–42 it managed to hold its position and then in March 1942 took part in the battles of Kharkov.
Then there is the issue of logistics in August-September that prevented Operation Typhoon.

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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by Entschuldigung » 08 Nov 2019 12:08

Citing Wikipedia as a source is erroneous even for an amateur.

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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by Entschuldigung » 08 Nov 2019 12:20

I find Keitel's 'what if' scenario over-optimistic, oversimplified, but addresses the major strategic errors made by Hitler and OKH before Typhoon.

It is conceivable that reserves could have been raised ( AG Norway, sympathizers, collaborators, and further conscription), whereas armored reserves would have required more foresight, cooperation and the economy placed on a total war footing earlier.

Additionally, more streamlining of production, more plants erected in the Axis co-belligerent nations, and of course a way of accumulating greater fuel stocks. Keitel addresses this by assuming captured fuel stocks would suffice, overlooking the fact they were mostly diesel.

My opinion is that better intelligence, higher caliber tan guns, clear and distinct objectives as well as contingency would have improved the success of a political stalemate, which most Ost Front analysts know was the best the Axis could hope to achieve.

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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 08 Nov 2019 15:35

Keitel wrote:
24 Feb 2017 11:10

There are no logistical hurdles for the Germans in either of these scenarios and their reserve stocks are sufficient to keep the army in the field even with the reinforcements. The roads to Moscow are relatively good and the rail connections are excellent which will enable them to quickly move forward.
Why exactly are there no logistical hurdles in this ATL? The roads along the path of AGC (and the other army groups) were in fact horrible, and the Germans were never able to get enough trains to the front in the summer of 1941. How does this ATL solve logistics, while increasing the logistical burden of the OstHeer by sending more units to the front?

Once they breakthrough the initial line of contact, they'll be hitting Soviet Logistics Units who lack the communications to know the line has been punctured and thus they need to retreat.
The Germans broke through the initial line of contact in the OTL and hit one Soviet reserve army after another. There is nothing in this ATL that would change that.
Thus the Germans will be capturing more fuel along the way.
Soviet fuel was too low octane for the Germans to use.

Once Moscow falls, the German Problems are solved and the Operational Shock of losing its main rail hub and C&C center will cause the Soviet Resistance west of the Urals to rapidly collapse.
Ahistorical nonsense.

The Soviets have no means of stopping a thrust at Moscow in the August to October Window. What they needed was time, which Kiev gave them.
Actually the Soviet Western and Reserve Fronts, over a million men, were not only blocking AGC's path to Moscow in August and September 1941, they were pushing it back (see Yelnya). Kiev worked because the Germans hit the weakest point on the entire Eastern Front, the Soviet Central Front at Gomel, and Guderian's and Kleist's panzer corps happened to be ideally situated to effect this encirclement, and because Stalin explicitly ignored Zhukov's warnings that this is exactly what the Germans were going to do. See David Stahel's book on Kiev.

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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2019 16:48

I am curious if "Keitel" and "TheMarcksPlan" are one and the same?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Better OKH Reinforcements for Operation Barbarossa

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 09 Nov 2019 05:06

Keitel wrote:There are no logistical hurdles for the Germans in either of these scenarios
Rather than repeat HistoryGeek2019's points, I'll just second them and add a bit.

First, please cite/excerpt Askey's research for your contention that the additional forces - especially 22/23 PzDiv - were available in summer 1941.

Second, your contention that loss of Moscow would have disastrous effects on RKKA ability to reinforce across the front is a red herring: with few exceptions, RKKA didn't move forces along the north-south axis. Rather, they adjusted the flow of reinforcements to different portions of the line. Given the short life-span of actively-engaged RKKA formations and the steady flow of new formations, this was more than adequate to deal with strategic needs. Nothing about the loss of Moscow would prevent bringing up reinforcements from the internal military districts. IMO the "Moscow Hub" idea is a post-hoc, self-serving rationalization by German generals seeking to blame Hitler for their own strategic incompetence.
Keitel wrote:Nothing is reshuffled and Op Barb starts historically.
Given the vast non-committed forces you perceive as available to OKH, I don't see why you'd prefer to correct the foundational flaw - taking the SU too lightly - at an earlier point. As the diaries of Halder et. al. reveal, the evidence coming in from Barbarossa's early period was filtered through their insipid, deluded conception of the campaign and only reinforced their beliefs about imminent Soviet collapse. You need an explanation for they'd have acted differently and, IMO, such an explanation involves revision of their strategic picture pre-Barbarossa and therefore is better placed prior to June 22.

-----------------------

That said, Keitel, I commend you for introducing a novel idea based on your own interpretation of the research even if I disagree.
Do not let any of the typical internet trollish behavior dissuade you from further development of this idea.
Beware of posters like this:
RichardAnderson wrote:I am curious if "Keitel" and "TheMarcksPlan" are one and the same?
That Rick can't see the difference between my proposals and yours should tell you not to take him seriously. He lacks the intellectual bandwidth to do other than detect disagreement with himself.
Rick's is nothing more than the reflexive resentment of a mediocre mind to novel ideas.
He has spent his entire professional career, AFAICS, studying these issues and believes he's entitled to deference on that account. Rest assured that mediocrity and slipshod analytical ability are nearly as common among professionals as among random internet posters.

Keep reading and thinking Keitel; your posts are welcome here.

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