If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

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EKB
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by EKB » 26 Jun 2021 03:51

Steve wrote:
23 Jun 2021 15:59
Hitler’s ideological views certainly played a part in Barbarossa but its military planning was not based on ideology.

You are mistaken. The Einsatzgruppen and other SS death squads were staffed with military personnel. They worked behind the front with the protection, assistance, and full co-operation of other combat units. The SS extermination groups were augmented with Security Divisions and Order Police battalions. The Commissar Order was issued to senior army officers before the invasion of the Soviet Union.

Steve wrote:
23 Jun 2021 15:59
Albert Speer did a good job in arms production.

Producing large amounts of scrap is not efficient.

Speer falsified statistics and included faulty war material in the production numbers. The dispersal of manufacturing and escalation of unskilled slave labor was an act of desperation that caused the rate of factory defects to skyrocket.

Steve wrote:
23 Jun 2021 15:59
America was clearly hostile to the Third Reich and was supporting the UK this was no figment of Hitler’s imagination as EKB seems to think. From the start of the war large amounts of war material were reaching the UK from America and in September 1940 fifty old destroyers were handed over.

You overlook that isolationism in American politics limited assistance to material over direct action. All that changed when a failed artist from Austria declared war on the United States, unleashing a massive U.S. military response.

At this link is a propaganda poster from Germany, again showing that ideology was at the core of military action:

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn3767

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 26 Jun 2021 04:16

EKB wrote:
26 Jun 2021 03:51
You overlook that isolationism in American politics limited assistance to material over direct action. All that changed when a failed artist from Austria declared war on the United States, unleashing a massive U.S. military response.
Well, that's one way to interpret events.

Another is that on 17 November 1941, the U.S. repealed multiple sections of the Neutrality Acts, thus allowing:

1. U.S.-flagged merchant vessels to directly resupply opponents of Germany
2. U.S.-flagged merchant vessels, as well as warships and aircraft, to enter war zones
3. U.S.-flagged merchant vessels to be armed

This, coupled with the U.S. escorting Allied convoys as well as Roosevelt's 'shoot-on-sight' declaration of 11 September 1941, confronted Germany with the choice of either unilaterally abandoning the war at sea, or getting into repeated combat with U.S. vessels, therefore giving Roosevelt his pretext to enter the war.

By the beginning of December 1941, whether Germany declared war on the U.S., or the other way around, was essentially an academic question.

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 05:57

historygeek2021 wrote:Which is what I've said from the start of this discussion - politics and culture need to be at the forefront of any discussion of German military decisions in WW2.
I don't think Glantz realizes this, however. He's a military man - competent in his domain but weak on the broader issues. He clearly implies that German underestimation was an intelligence craft issue, as if Germany would have acted differently had a few better memos been written.

Glantz's analytical weakness appears in the following, which contains a blatant contradiction:
This was perhaps understandable in light of German estimates that the Barbarossa operation would be over in about four months, before the Soviets could generate significant new combat-ready forces. The German High Command reasoned that any new Soviet units could be dealt with in successive stages of the operation.
There's no "successive stage" to deal with long-term force generation in a 4-month operation. I don't know from where Glantz read the "reasoning" he imputes to the "German High Command," it's likely a throwaway to avoid grappling with a problem (German political miscalculation) he perhaps dimly realized but couldn't squarely confront.
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2021 06:02

Where did I rehabilitate Ribbentrop ? Saying with contempt that Ribbentrop was selling champagne is not a serious argument .
ALL Foreign Secretaries are amateurs,appointed for political reasons : Hull was a Southern Democrat senator and that was the reason why he got the job .
Eden, Halifax, Austen Chamberlain had no foreign experience .
About Krosigk : it was claimed that he had no financial experience when he was appointed . That he could not prevent ''out-of-control '' military spending does not mean that he was a bad minister of finance .
A peace treaty is not a compromise : Versailles was not a compromise : it was : accept it or suffer the consequences .
About Goering : if one wants to blame him for the defeats of the LW after 1942 (which is wrong,because the LW would also defeated after 1942 without Goering ),one must also credit him with the victories of the LW before 1943 .
About Hitler's military decisions : it is the same .
After the war,the generals ( with the help of Liddell Hart ) claimed that Hitler was responsible for the defeats and they for the victories .See the myths of Dunkirk, Stalingrad, German jets, etc ...
Reality is that there was no military decision of Hitler that prevented Germany from winning,and no military decision from Hitler that caused the defeat of Germany .
The responsibles for the defeat of Germany were the allies .

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by Avalancheon » 26 Jun 2021 11:05

History Learner wrote:
18 Jun 2021 23:21
Outside of that, there's a lot to benefit the Germans here. Martin Van Creveld's book Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941: the Balkan Clue argues that the Balkans engendered Hitler's decision in March to cancel the planned two-pronged attack by AGS into Ukraine then under planning. As a result, 12th Army was diverted to the Balkans for an expanded operation against Greece and, as fate would have it, Yugoslavia. This left the less capable and prepared 11th Army to take their place, with no pincer taking place. Instead, a broad front advance was undertaken which ultimately failed to achieve the encirclements seen elsewhere in Operation Barbarossa and gave AGS a staggered start.
This is an underappreciated point. Army Group South was originally supposed to execute a double envelopment in the Ukraine. 12th Army, along with two Romanian Armys, would attack into Moldavia and outflank the Red Army in Ukraine. This might have led to their encirclement somewhere in Zhitomir and Vinnitsia. But once 12th Army left for the Balkans and was replaced by 11th Army, this plan was no longer viable and the Germans were forced to adopt a less ambitious strategy.

Lets compare the composition of 11th and 12th Army, and see how they strong they were.

12th Army, April 1941
XXX corps: 50th Infantry division, 164th Infantry division.
XVIII corps: 2nd Panzer division, 5th Mountain division, 6th Mountain division, 72nd Infantry division.
XXXX corps (motorized): 73rd Infantry division, Leibstandarte division, 9th Panzer division.
XI corps: 76th Infantry division, 198th Infantry division.
L corps: 46th Infantry division, 294th Infantry division.
Reserve: 16th Panzer division.

11th Army, June 1941
XI corps: 22nd Infantry division, 46th Infantry division, 76th Infantry division, 239th Infantry division.
XXX corps: 198th Infantry division.
LIV corps: 50th Infantry division, 170th Infantry division.

12th Army had 14 divisions, including 3 panzer divisions.
11th Army had only 7 divisions, with no panzer divisions. It had to be bulked up with Romanian divisions.

So it is clear that 11th Army was significantly weaker than 12th Army which it replaced. [] It was not able to conduct fast and mobile operations of the kind that would have enabled Army Group South to envelop the Red Army. In this sense, diverting 12th Army to the Balkans may have put a real damper on the Ostheers operations in the Ukraine. They may have missed the chance to pocket the Soviets earlier on (and further west) than they did.


[] Some of the divisions in 12th Army were later able to participate on the Eastern front, but they were parceled out to different Armys and even Army Groups.

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 11:33

Avalancheon wrote:Who knows what they could have achieved with 12th Army and its crucial panzer divisions?
Of 12th's four fully mechanized divisions - 2nd, 9th, 16th Panzer plus Liebstandarte - only 2nd Panzer didn't operate with PzGr1 on June 22.

As it turned out, Kleist struggled for weeks against the very strong SW Front to gain operational freedom. Had 3 of his 9 mechanized divisions been sent to Romania, can he break through at all?

I'm obviously not averse to arguing that the Germans should have exploited the Galician salient by adding a Romanian pincer. It's just hard to see it working absent stronger forces.

HistoryGeek proposed a while back that PzGr4 should have been moved to Romania. That probably gets you a Galician Kessel; AGC can help AGN clear Lithuania/Latvia after Minsk if necessary.
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by Avalancheon » 26 Jun 2021 11:34

Futurist wrote:
02 Feb 2019 02:17
If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941 and thus no Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

I've read on another thread here that the delay in Operation Barbarossa in 1941 was due to both the events in Yugoslavia and the bad weather. However, I wonder if the bad weather in itself would have been enough to delay Operation Barbarossa in this scenario.

Any thoughts on this?
''Actually, only part of the delay was caused by the campaigns in the Balkans. Operation Barbarossa could not possibly have started on 15 May because spring came late in 1941. As late as the beginning of June the Polish-Russian river valleys were still flooded and partly impassable as a result of exceptionally heavy rains...German military authors state that...the invasion of Russia might have started three weeks earlier if there had been no Balkan campaigns.''
-World War II German Military Studies: Part VI. The Mediterranean theater

Going by this paragraph, the weather was the main factor determining how early the Germans could launch their invasion. The assault on Yugoslavia resulted in disruptions to AufBau Ost, as many divisions were redeployed to the Balkans instead of the East. Once they had completed their missions, these formations then needed about 3 weeks of refitting before they could be deployed to the East.

So without the disruptions caused by the invasion of Yugoslavia, the Ostheer could launch Operation Barbarossa about 2 weeks earlier. D-Day would be on June 8th (roughly) instead of June 22nd. And they would be invading with less disorganised forces. 12th Army in Army Group South being the most prominent example of this.

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 11:45

Avalancheon wrote:
26 Jun 2021 11:34

''Actually, only part of the delay was caused by the campaigns in the Balkans. Operation Barbarossa could not possibly have started on 15 May because spring came late in 1941. As late as the beginning of June the Polish-Russian river valleys were still flooded and partly impassable as a result of exceptionally heavy rains...German military authors state that...the invasion of Russia might have started three weeks earlier if there had been no Balkan campaigns.''
-World War II German Military Studies: Part VI. The Mediterranean theater
The German Military Studies series is full of Halder and gang's post-hoc rationalizations and other errors; this appears to be one of them. We discussed Andrew Zapantis' study of the weather data for spring '41 here; it seems that year was average or below for rain and floods. War diaries contain no mention of rains/floods, that comes only in postwar accounts. I'd guess some CYA by Halder et. al. to mitigate their incompetence re Barbarossa.

IMO the optimal Hitler move would have been not to vacillate for so long over Marita, planning it for a February or earlier. In OTL he was making peace offers to the Greeks until February. He did so, IMO, because he perceived no urgency about Barbarossa's timetable: a quick campaign to crush SU can start in May or June with little consequence.

If he instead has a sense of urgency and pushes the Greek operation up to February or so, then he also pushes up the implicit ultimatums re joining the Tripartite Pact. That in turn pushes up the Yugoslav coup and everything goes down two months earlier.

That it would have been more difficult in winter shouldn't really matter. Even a doubling of Wehrmacht casualties wouldn't change the strategic picture while 2 months more time does. [not implying an April 22 Barbarossa, rather a cushion for longer Marita and recovering all units by D-Day in mid-May].
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by Avalancheon » 26 Jun 2021 12:00

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 11:33
Avalancheon wrote:Who knows what they could have achieved with 12th Army and its crucial panzer divisions?
Of 12th's four fully mechanized divisions - 2nd, 9th, 16th Panzer plus Liebstandarte - only 2nd Panzer didn't operate with PzGr1 on June 22.

As it turned out, Kleist struggled for weeks against the very strong SW Front to gain operational freedom. Had 3 of his 9 mechanized divisions been sent to Romania, can he break through at all?
Thats true; Panzer Group 1 got all of 12th Armys panzer divisions. They put them to very good use against the tough opposition they ran into.

Although with that said, the reason why Panzer Group 1 struggled so much was because of the narrow breakthrough they initially made. Army Group South was supposed to take Rava Russkaya on the 1st day, and Kovel on the 2nd day. Instead, they didn't take these objectives until the 5th and 7th day, respectively. This forced Panzer Group 1 to deploy over a narrow frontage, which led to them being surrounded at Brody. That battle should never have happened the way it did.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 11:33
I'm obviously not averse to arguing that the Germans should have exploited the Galician salient by adding a Romanian pincer. It's just hard to see it working absent stronger forces.
Thats a valid point. 12th Army would still have needed to go through Moldavia before it could break into the Ukraine. That operation would probably have gone faster than OTL, since 12th Army is stronger. But in all reality, they would have relied upon their panzer corps alone to try and envelop the Soviets in the Ukraine. The infantry corps would have been stuck mopping up in Moldavia. So while its an improvement, its perhaps not a game changer.

And likewise, thats assuming that Panzer Group 1 wins the battle of Brody while deprived of those extra panzer divisions.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 11:33
HistoryGeek proposed a while back that PzGr4 should have been moved to Romania. That probably gets you a Galician Kessel; AGC can help AGN clear Lithuania/Latvia after Minsk if necessary.
Do you have a link to that thread?

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 12:08

Avalancheon wrote:Although with that said, the reason why Panzer Group 1 struggled so much was because of the narrow breakthrough they initially made.
Could also argue that Kleist keeping half his forces in reserve didn't help. Some of his divisions didn't cross the border until the 25th/26th, IIRC.

Putting them into the narrow breakthrough area just further mucks things up but deploying a panzer corps, say, southeastward from Suwalki on June 22 probably draws away at least some of the mechanized corps that counterattacked at Brody and frees them up earlier.

...so I can't reject the argument out of hand but also find it hard to call it a clear missed opportunity.
Avalancheon wrote:Do you have a link to that thread?
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 12:11

I'd also note that I suggested this in my very first AHF post. viewtopic.php?f=76&t=239656&p=2181888#p2181888

Since then I've only developed the "stronger Barbarossa idea" (and still working on that); maybe I'll develop the other idea in the 2030's.
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by historygeek2021 » 26 Jun 2021 17:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 11:45

The German Military Studies series is full of Halder and gang's post-hoc rationalizations and other errors; this appears to be one of them. We discussed Andrew Zapantis' study of the weather data for spring '41 here; it seems that year was average or below for rain and floods. War diaries contain no mention of rains/floods, that comes only in postwar accounts. I'd guess some CYA by Halder et. al. to mitigate their incompetence re Barbarossa.
You deserve a medal for bringing this to everyone's attention. In all the popular literature about WW2, and all the pages and pages debating the reasons for the delay, this is never mentioned. It isn't even mentioned in DRZW!

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 18:42

historygeek2021 wrote:You deserve a medal
i-dont-deserve-this-crown-angel-is-the-real-beauty-queen.jpg
The safe bet is always if German general only said it after the war, he's lying.
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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by historygeek2021 » 26 Jun 2021 18:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 18:42

The safe bet is always if German general only said it after the war, he's lying.
Ditto for Churchill :lol:

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Re: If there's no Yugoslav coup in early 1941, does Operation Barbarossa succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2021 19:33

historygeek2021 wrote:
26 Jun 2021 18:57
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Jun 2021 18:42

The safe bet is always if German general only said it after the war, he's lying.
Ditto for Churchill :lol:
Memoir is the most hazardous field for facts. If the author is still sharp enough to know the truth, he's sharp enough to distort it - and is usually still active in a world where his distortions matter. If he's not sharp enough to distort it he's not reliable.

The sweet spot is someone sharp enough to distort the truth but having little interest in doing so. That class of men includes precisely zero Nazis (and the military servants of Nazism).
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