Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 04:21

On ATL Wehrmacht manpower, I'd expect the post-SU Heer to be slightly smaller than 1.9.1939 figure of 3,708,000:
personnel strength Wehrmacht.png
Call it 3.5mil. That leaves 2.5mil for the LW and KM.

If we want to say 3mil for LW and KM, that's a rounding error in the overall economic picture, which has been framed conservatively to accommodate rounding errors.

Anyone who wants to bicker over irrelevant details and trade unsolicited insults - we've been down that road and it's best for everyone if we pretend the other doesn't exist.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 06 Aug 2021 05:58

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:03
Say for the sake of argument the USSR is somehow Vichyfied by 1 September 1943. At that point there were c. 4,250,000 in 296 divisions. A reduction to "~100 active divs to defend beaches" "saves" c. 2.8 million, not 7 million. Or, even better, lets take 1 September 1941 and assume the Soviet Union collapses from the sheer terror of TMP's "quantitative argument". So there were c. 3,800,000 in 212 divisions. Reducing that to "~100 active divs to defend beaches" then would "save" 2,007,547 or thereabouts.
Going with TMP's figure of a "slightly smaller" Heer than on 9/1/1939, I get far higher manpower savings: about 4 million men, both for 12/1/1943 and 7/1/1944 - and that's assuming identical permanent losses as occurred historically, which in TMP's scenario would be lower.

The following table gives the breakdown:

Image

Sources: 1939, 1943, 1944
Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:03
Worse, the requirement for additional Luftwaffe personnel, flying and ground, gets swept under the rug. Using the same quantitative "logic" employed by TMP, a quadrupling of Luftwaffe aircraft strength requires a quadrupling of Luftwaffe personnel strength. For example, take September 1944, when c. 888,000 Luftwaffe personnel operated a front line aircraft strength of 6,317 on hand, of which 4,572 were operational. An additional 2,664,000 Luftwaffe personnel are required, nicht wahr?
That figure seems far too high. On 6/15/41, the Luftwaffe had the following manpower breakdown:

1. Aircrew and flight op/airfield support, including schools: 262,000
2. Motor transport (supply): 267,000
3. Air defense, including radar and Flak: 716,000
4. Auxiliaries, including construction: 245,000
5. Army liaison and airborne troops: 55,000

Source: Operation Barbarossa, p. 91

Quadrupling air strength would require quadrupling (1), and increasing to some extent (2) - i.e., it would require ~1 million men.

This would still leave upward of 3 million demobilized German soldiers to allocate to industry in a late '43 - mid '44 scenario. For reference's sake, the entire German armaments workforce numbered 2,825,000 in the third quarter of 1943, of which 935,000 were employed in the aircraft sector:

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 07:56

KDF33 wrote:about 4 million men, both for 12/1/1943 and 7/1/1944 - and that's assuming identical permanent losses as occurred historically, which in TMP's scenario would be lower.
Feldheer KIA+MIA were alone 3.25mil by Nov. '44. To that would be added a large number of disabled men. The number of non-returning wounded roughly equaled KIA, don't know how many of those were disabled but must have been significant. If it's 30% of KIA that's >500k. Then you've got your constant inventory of hospitalized men neither working nor fighting - probably another 500k in mid-44. Add KM, LW, W-SS and we're easily at 4mil rendered economically useless.

Plus with CBO stopped by early '44 and blunted theretofore, we have maybe a hundred thousand fewer dead/disabled German civilian workers.

Feldheer+W-SS KIA+MIA June '41 - Sept. '42 were 700k. ATL they're no more than 500k: RKKA is 30-40% weaker than OTL on average over the whole period; MIA declines from ~76k to ~10k due to no serious retreats.

Sources are various but all are collected at Wikipedia. Overmans argues that German dead were much higher but the argument seems fishy until 1945. If he's right my argument's easier but I don't quite buy it.

Thus the net Zombie Workforce (those killed/captured/disabled OTL but not ATL) is on the order of 3.5mil.

Combined with your net 3mil, that's 6.5mil additional German workers.

Call it 6mil or even 5mil and, combined with 7.5mil additional foreign workers, we have at least 12.5mil workers. Add those to the ~15mil in industry/transport/mining and we still easily double armaments-producing labor.

Does anybody have data on how many German soldiers were disabled? Or the approximate rate of disabled vs. WIA/KIA in other armies?
KDF33 wrote:1. Aircrew and flight op/airfield support, including schools: 262,000
2. Motor transport (supply): 267,000
3. Air defense, including radar and Flak: 716,000
4. Auxiliaries, including construction: 245,000
5. Army liaison and airborne troops: 55,000
Of these, #2 can be reduced because we're servicing fewer field Flak and forward-airbase units. Reich-Defense Flak and airfields are served nearer to railheads.

I recall Askey saying Germany needed 19 men/plane deployed in France. Somewhere in Operation Barbarossa v.IIB but I only have the physical copy so can't do a "search" for it. Does that ring a bell?
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 09:00

TheMarcksPlan wrote:Combined with your net 3mil, that's 6.5mil additional German workers.
Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to work backwards from ATL casualties and OTL vs. ATL mobilization:
German personnel mobilized by year.png
By OTL Sept. 44 Germany had mobilized 13mil. Add ATL casualties to ATL Wehrmacht strength, subtract from 13mil and you have the ATL:OTL domestic workforce delta.

ATL permanent casualties by Sept. 44:

East: 500k
West: 100k (inc. France)
Total: 700k (inc. fudge factor)

ATL Wehrmacht German personnel Sept 44:

6mil

ATL Domestic Workforce Delta:

6.3mil [ 13 - 6 - .7]

...and a significant ATL:OTL delta regarding air-wounded/killed civilians.

TMP bookmark: ATL domestic workforce
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 09:35

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Aug 2021 23:34
glenn239 wrote:The only way I see the Axis getting anywhere near what you're suggesting is in alliance with the Soviet Union. Anything else seems fantastical.
Wondering whether I'm running into a point where you'll never consider contrary arguments quantitatively. It's fine if so, we all have those points. Maybe just let me know if so.

I'll give you an abbreviated version of the argument that German aircraft production could have been 4x its OTL peak and then will separately address ATL US production.

OTL conditions:
  • First data point is German industrial+transport labor force in OTL 1944. Including transportation and encompassing Greater Germany, there were no more than 15mil people producing all of Germany's armaments, basic military equipment, and general industrial goods.
  • Next data point is Germans drafted into military: 13mil by Sept. 44.
  • Next data point is foreign laborers: 7.5mil in Sept. 44.
ATL conditions:
  • Instead of 13mil Germans in the Wehrmacht (or KIA/MIA/disabled), ATL Germany needs only ~100 active divs to defend beaches. Germany would place soldiers on "temporary" armaments leave as it did in '40-'41 and call up a much larger army the Allies somehow secured a beachhead. Payout is only ~6mil Germans on active service and 7mil more German workers.
  • Having conquered the SU, Germany has millions more workers to "recruit." Outside the SU, its better war fortunes encourage greater compliance with German "recruitment," whereas in OTL that Germany was going to lose made it harder to ensure compliance by workers who'd rather hide out until Germany was defeated. Doubling foreign labor supply would not have been hard under ATL conditions, especially given ATL specification of earlier foreign labor drive and consequently ensuring most Soviet PoW's didn't die or become too sick/malnourished to work. Payout: +7.5mil foreign workers.
...that's easily enough to double the entire industrial labor force.

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

What implications from doubling industrial labor force?

First, far from all of German industrial production went to armaments. A great proportion went to basic equipment: ~1/4 of military labor force engaged producing it during '40-'41. Basic common sense tells us that this was overwhelmingly concentrated on the army, as it's field soldiers who need basic military equipment. With the the number of ATL field soldiers drastically slashed, the basic equipment requirements would drastically decline as well.

Second, not all German industrial production went to armaments and basic equipment. Among other things, Germany had to maintain basic civilian needs, poured millions of tons of concrete for fortifications and (in '44) underground factories.

The long and short is that doubling total industrial labor force would easily 2x total armaments labor inputs.

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

From total armaments inputs let's move to distribution of such inputs.

In mid-44, aircraft's share of armaments output was 46.3%. ATL it would be ~70% if nearly all ATL:OTL input deltas went to LW [ 1.463 / 2 = 73% ].

Payout: at least 3x the production input to aircraft manufacture.

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

Now let's move from aircraft inputs to aircraft outputs by including productivity of inputs.

As KDF33 has shown in his tables here, the ratio of German:US productivity in aircraft manufacture (by weight of airframes) declined by 45% percent between February '43 (when RAF's Battle of the Ruhr started seriously damaging the war economy) and July '44 (when bombing damage/dispersal had become immensely disruptive and drafts of skilled aviation workers had taken a deep toll).

Given these massively deleterious effects on German aviation industry, it would be conservative to project 33% higher German productivity in ATL conditions where skilled aviation workers aren't drafted and when daylight strikes on specific factories in 1944 are largely stopped (as I think glenn239 concede would have been possible).

Combining 3x the inputs with 33% greater productivity gives us 4x the aircraft production.

Payout: 4x OTL German aircraft production.

Hopefully it's clear that in each of the foregoing analytical steps I have adopted very conservative parameters. 4x OTL German aircraft production is a conservative estimate, IMJ.

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

I recognize this is a surprising result and understand perceptions that it's fantastic. But I'm following the numbers and would encourage that approach to the issue.

What one should realize is there's a historically unique - superficially fantastic and morally terrible - dynamic underlying all of this: Germany's ability to "recruit" millions of foreigners into armaments production. The only historical analogue is colonial powers' ability to create a world-changing sugar/tobacco/cotton industry by enslaving millions of Africans, but even that took centuries whereas Germany was able to do it in a couple years.

While most people correctly intuit that the American economy was much larger than the German, what they usually miss is:
  • The prewar continental European economy was significantly larger than America's and Germany possesses basically all of it in this ATL.
  • Germany put more men under arms than the U.S. in WW2; soldiers have a production opportunity cost.
------------------------------

On the issue of greater-than-OTL American aircraft production my answer will be summary for now but, IMO, is sufficient to limit its feasible scope. Main points:
  • US/UK almost certainly need larger land armies. US industrial labor force in 1944 was ~18mil. As US division slice was ~60k, raising another 50 US divisions would cost ~3mil men or >15% of US industrial labor force (agriculture can't be cut because soldiers need more food than workers). As a percentage of industrial production after civilian minimum, removing 3mil Americans from industry would cut armaments production significantly more than 15%.
  • Because US/UK need larger armies than OTL, the proportion of (smaller) arms production going to aircraft would have to decline.
Taking those two factors together, it is extremely unlikely that US/UK could have produced more aircraft (by value) than it produced OTL. Indeed it is likely they would have produced less value.

As referenced upthread, I concede it would have been possible for US/UK to match German fighter production and total frames by abandoning the CBO.

TMP bookmark: argument summary on ATL German aircraft production
A few things I didn't add to this summary:
  • 1. Absence of Eastern Front.
  • 2. Qualitative factors.
1. Absence of Eastern Front

LW lost 13% of 1-E fighters and 24% of all aircraft on the Eastern Front in the first 10 months of 1944. It's easily feasible that 25% of German aircraft production, by value, was still being lost on the Eastern Front in 1944. [Bombers > fighters but more cheap liaison/light planes were lost in the East, average probably ~equivalent to frame numbers - anybody have better data?]

Reapportioning that production westwards means another 33% ATL delta to West-facing German aircraft resources. Multiplying that delta times our 4x delta to aircraft production gives us >5x delta to German air forces facing US/UK.

...which translates roughly into LW knocking down >1,000 US bombers in Big Week. So again, sustained daylight bombing of Germany is impossible.

2. Qualitative factors.

...big post... to be continued. Short version is that (1) German training and fuel resources were deranged by the Eastern Front, (2) LW's morale and aggressiveness declined significantly with burnt-out crews suffering up to 90% attrition rates, it's better ATL.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Aug 2021 11:46

glenn239 wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:27
Even assuming a miracle in Russian resource extraction, it's still x2.5 the German base without counting the British.
Where are those large deposits of bauxite in the western Soviet Union, exactly?

There was nothing to be gained from the western SU that would solve the problems of the Luftwaffe facing the Western Allies - and nothing that would justify the losses against the Red Army, the noncombat losses, and the wear & tear.

Nothing.

Even if the LW would lose 0 aircraft in combat, it would cost them countless repairs, overhauls, maintenance work and thousands of NC losses. Losses that the spare part production and pilot production cannot cope with.

The whole Caucasus oil production - with intact infrastructure - roughly equalled that of Venezuela in 1940. And about 1/8 that of the United States. The chance for Axis-Allied resource parity in case of relevant resources for air war is precisely 0.
Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:03
Worse, the requirement for additional Luftwaffe personnel, flying and ground, gets swept under the rug. Using the same quantitative "logic" employed by TMP, a quadrupling of Luftwaffe aircraft strength requires a quadrupling of Luftwaffe personnel strength. For example, take September 1944, when c. 888,000 Luftwaffe personnel operated a front line aircraft strength of 6,317 on hand, of which 4,572 were operational. An additional 2,664,000 Luftwaffe personnel are required, nicht wahr?
Well.

Wahrheit requires respect of facts, something we lack here. And the fact is that the deployment was a decisive factor in ground personnel per plane ratio. Now if you give a hard fact to play with, it is subject to misinterpretation. To keep 1 Luftwaffe aircraft operational, you can have ground personnel numbers from 50 to 1000, and that is only for the Luftwaffe manpower, and not counting the transport and the transport security. The ratio (1:200) you gave is only valid for the defense of the Reich, in 1944, in relatively good weather conditions, close to the factories and on relatively good airfields, thus, just a number that doesn't tell the tale. Try to do it in Norway or Africa, and the numbers would go up many times (or the operational readiness rates would drop, as they did OTL). The actual number of ground personnel per plane - if the LW is to be employed in the ME, Urals, Africa and India, as we can read it upthread - is unknown. And there is no way to calculate it. For example, to achieve 100% operational readiness is not twice as hard as to achieve 50% operational readiness (mostly because of cannibalization).

If someone cannot understand that "1000 aircraft" is a fictional number, you'd face an uphill battle for sanity. We know instances where the operational readiness of whole bomber squadrons melted away in 2 missions and the ferry flight from Germany as early as 1941, and that was without facing trained, qualitatively good and numerically equal or superior enemy (ie. in the Balkanfeldzug). If someone thinks that 1000 bombers at hand can do X damage and thus 2000 bombers at hand could do 2X damage, then what are we talking about? To "quadruple the Luftwaffe strength" is a term that doesn't make sense on its own. Quadrupling what? Number of aircrafts? Pilots? Trained pilots? Where they will be deployed? In the Urals? In Africa? In Germany? In summer or in winter? Quadrupling air power? Where? In the defense of the Reich or in the Caucasus? Or in bombing campaigns against Britain and the Urals' industry? How about trainer production for quadrupling the pilots? How about flight school accidents (23% in 1943) with accelerated training programs? How about the fuel requirements for such a program? How about the training in front line aircrafts?

How about building up experience? Because experienced pilots shot down most of the planes in the west.
The average newly trained German pilot in 1944 had a service expectancy of ~15 sorties, out of which they didn't do anything in the first five and had trouble of landing their planes intact. Then they died. If that airforce is "quadrupled", what raise could be expected in their fighting strength?
How about time? The German flight training program, that kept up with the Allies lasted 1.5-2 years.

This is nothing but an otherwise good thread slubbered by 20 pages of irrelevant and offtopic diarrhea. I'd ask a moderator to remove this nonsense from here and start over, but I just simply feel sorry for the time I put into my comments.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 06 Aug 2021 13:46

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:58
As we're discussing 1944 and the ATL Wehrmacht has devoted all marginal gains to LW/KM since mid-41, timing isn't an issue.
Mid-1941? Was that a typo?

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 19:38

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
06 Aug 2021 13:46
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Aug 2021 20:58
As we're discussing 1944 and the ATL Wehrmacht has devoted all marginal gains to LW/KM since mid-41, timing isn't an issue.
Mid-1941? Was that a typo?
Nope. If Germany goes into Barbarossa producing slightly more land weaponry than OTL then she never needs to produce much more than that.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 06 Aug 2021 20:11

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Aug 2021 19:38
Nope. If Germany goes into Barbarossa producing slightly more land weaponry than OTL then she never needs to produce much more than that.
Hmmm, I thought the reason Germany was meant to be prioritising land weaponry in your ATL was because it had identified (in circa mid '40?) that the SU was going to be a tougher nut to crack - now you seem to be saying that after a couple of weeks of launching Barbarossa all that thinking is out of the window! Wouldn't a more cautious German leadership want to make sure it's investment in tanks and leather boots had truly paid off before diverting resources towards battleships and aircraft carriers. :D

This thread does seem to have veered well of course, shouldn't we actually be talking about Turkish railway capacity. :welcome: :lol:

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Aug 2021 22:53

Tom from Cornwall wrote: I thought the reason Germany was meant to be prioritising land weaponry in your ATL was because it had identified (in circa mid '40?) that the SU was going to be a tougher nut to crack - now you seem to be saying that after a couple of weeks of launching Barbarossa all that thinking is out of the window!
It would be helpful if you spent a little more time asking why I've specified something rather than trying to play gotcha with a superficial paradox.

The resolution of that superficial paradox is easy: Germany doesn't keep increasing its land weapons output when it's already sufficient to defeat the Soviet Union.

Unlike OTL, however, Germany maintains a slightly higher land weapons/ammo output throughout 1941 instead of beginning to cut in mid-41, and then involuntarily cutting in late-41 due to the Winter Crisis.

This returns us to the critical concept of the marginal. I said all marginal gains to weapons output go to KM/LW after mid-'41 (actually before then in my latest ATL), not all or nearly all total weapons output.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Aug 2021 01:01

KDF33 wrote:
06 Aug 2021 05:58
Going with TMP's figure of a "slightly smaller" Heer than on 9/1/1939, I get far higher manpower savings: about 4 million men, both for 12/1/1943 and 7/1/1944 - and that's assuming identical permanent losses as occurred historically, which in TMP's scenario would be lower.
Slightly smaller? I guess I'm confused as usual by the shifting goalposts. My understanding was that after the Soviet Union collapses for unexplained reasons, the Germans reduce the Heer to "~100 active divs to defend beaches" - I'm pretty sure I quoted that correctly. Since we are talking sometime in 1942-1944 I simply gave some illustrations of the problematic nature of the assumptions.
The following table gives the breakdown:
Uh-huh, but you're simply repeating the same error. A reduction of divisions in the Feldheer would be unlikely to result in a proportional reduction in the strength of the Wehrmacht - TMP's error - or of the Heer as a whole - the error you now appear to be making. The administrative infrastructure of the Heer embodied - mostly - in the Ersatzheer is unlikely to reduce significantly, especially given that it must be able to reconstitute those divisions in the eventuality the Allies land in Europe, which is a likely contingency given there is only "~100 active divs to defend beaches".
Sources: 1939, 1943, 1944
I don't know how to tell you this, but your 1939 "reference" is circular - it takes us back to your post here. :D
That figure seems far too high. On 6/15/41, the Luftwaffe had the following manpower breakdown:

1. Aircrew and flight op/airfield support, including schools: 262,000
2. Motor transport (supply): 267,000
3. Air defense, including radar and Flak: 716,000
4. Auxiliaries, including construction: 245,000
5. Army liaison and airborne troops: 55,000
Thank you for illustrating my point. I simply excised the Flaktruppen from the count, but there was more there. Same for reducing the size of the Wehrmacht/Heer by reducing the number of divisions - there was more there.
Quadrupling air strength would require quadrupling (1), and increasing to some extent (2) - i.e., it would require ~1 million men.
No, sorry, but "quadrupling air strength" would require an extensive expansion of the grossly inadequate Luftwaffe aircrew training system. Given that the idea seems to be to meet or exceed the American expansion, then it seems reasonable that the American infrastructure would be a good analog. Like gasoline...on the order of 6-billion gallons - just under 194-million metric tons - consumed in the Z/I, much of it for training, from January 1942-August 1945.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 Aug 2021 10:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Aug 2021 22:53
It would be helpful if you spent a little more time asking why I've specified something rather than trying to play gotcha with a superficial paradox.
It would also be helpful if you weren't so defensive as I wasn't playing "gotcha" just trying to clarify whether the Germans were still planning for a two year campaign against the SU. Unsurprisingly, I am struggling to keep up with your slightly different arguments across such a wide range of threads. :D
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Aug 2021 22:53
The resolution of that superficial paradox is easy: Germany doesn't keep increasing its land weapons output when it's already sufficient to defeat the Soviet Union.
Isn't that completely dependent on your omniscient hindsight? Did the Allies get that judgement exactly right in 1944/45 or were they still producing bombers, tanks, etc which were designed for European theatre of operations rather than the Far East?

BTW have you found any sources that describe the use the Germans made of Black Sea shipping in 1942 - 43? Did they exploit Odessa once it was captured? That would be available to support putative German movements down towards the British Northern Front in the ME in late 42/early 43 wouldn't it?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Aug 2021 22:53
(actually before then in my latest ATL)
My point exactly. :D When do the British stop trying to force convoys through to Murmansk in your latest ATL?

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Aug 2021 11:07

Tom from Cornwall wrote:It would also be helpful if you weren't so defensive as I wasn't playing "gotcha" just trying to clarify
The best way to clarify is simply to ask. I'm happy to answer your questions, Tom. :)
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Isn't that completely dependent on your omniscient hindsight?
...well I'm happy to answer questions absent an imbedded insult...
Tom from Cornwall wrote:BTW have you found any sources that describe the use the Germans made of Black Sea shipping in 1942 - 43? Did they exploit Odessa once it was captured?
There's no debate about whether the Germans used Black Sea shipping significantly; perhaps you're referring to my question regarding whether Black Sea shipping continued up the Dniepr? Sadly I haven't been able to track down info on shipping up the Dniepr from Okhachiv.

German Black Sea shipping was mainly from Romania/Bulgaria to points northeast. I don't know whether they shipped from Odessa. The main relevance of Odessa seems to have been as a block to Axis Black Sea shipping, which didn't start until Odessa fell (and then Axis had a brief window before winter to use the Black Sea in '41).

Some sources on Black Sea shipping: Stopped at Stalingrad by Hayward and War Diary, Admiral Black Sea (this link mainly discusses convoys to ports in the Caucasus).

An interesting ATL sidenote is the Romania vs. SU front. So far I've assumed it goes as in OTL. But if SWF is destroyed in June, and again in July, can Odessa hold out until October? Seems doubtful. Earlier fall of Odessa implies much, much lower Romanian casualties. Also implies earlier Axis use of Black Sea, which implies better logistics for AGS. These effects are difficult to quantify/analyze, however, so for now I've taken an old sage's advice and have been silent on that of which we cannot speak.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:When do the British stop trying to force convoys through to Murmansk in your latest ATL?
Not sure. Germans or Finns cut the Murmansk railway in late-Fall or winter '41. Do we think the British ship to an isolated Arctic garrison or do they cut their shipping losses and conclude - because consignments can't get to critical battles in Russia proper - that it's fruitless? I don't see either British decision changing the fundamental picture, so for now I'm comfortable with ambiguity.

This and many other questions are open for discussion.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Aug 2021 12:14

KDF33 wrote:Going with TMP's figure of a "slightly smaller" Heer than on 9/1/1939
To clarify...

OTL 1.9.1939:
Heer personnel: 3,706,000 (GSWW v.5/1 quoted above)
Divisions: 112 (33.1k div-slice)

ATL 1944:
Heer personnel: 3.5mil
Divs: 100 (35k div-slice)

Again I'm being conservative in projecting a larger div-slice. Probably with 100 divs as well: a European Axis that can at least dispute air superiority faces no credible threat of European invasion and can probably do with fewer than 100 active German divs. (to say nothing of Axis allies).

In discussions with intellectually honest interlocutors - as I assume all those quoted by me recently to be - being conservative is useful because it engenders a focus on the important strategic questions and discourages bickering over irrelevancies. In discussions with intellectually dishonest interlocutors who often specialize in irrelevancies...

Well, just don't get sucked into those discussions; they're always a waste of your time.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by glenn239 » 07 Aug 2021 14:24

Peter89 wrote:
06 Aug 2021 11:46
There was nothing to be gained from the western SU that would solve the problems of the Luftwaffe facing the Western Allies - and nothing that would justify the losses against the Red Army, the noncombat losses, and the wear & tear.

Nothing.
Agreed totally.

The premise that winning a war against the SU allows Germany to increase its Luftwaffe effort in the west to me is not correct. Tooze is explicit that in 1940 the Germans had a choice between no invasion and ramping up the Luftwaffe, or an invasion of the USSR and trying to 'stagger step' industry towards an aerial war during or after the completion of the war in the east. A 'stagger step' was a serious compromise on expanding the Luftwaffe no matter how one slices it, so invading the USSR was completely the wrong strategy if the point was to build up the air force. (For an air war against the US, Hitler needed a strong friendly USSR as a supply and manufacturing source. Barbarossa killed that too).

Hitler had several choices in 1940 and he picked the worst one, by far. Invading the USSR was an automatic loss of the war precisely because the Germans would require decades to reorganize resources in the East, whereas they would have only years.

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