What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

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TheMarcksPlan
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What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2019 05:10

Introductory Post

EDIT: Explanation of how Germany fields the additional Barbarossa forces, and why it's a feasible ATL, previewed downpost.

EDIT2: As with most Eastern Front topics here, user Jesk seems resolved to post multiple times with untranslated Russian and mangled English. I advise setting his posts to hidden using the "ignore" function.

The lynchpin of this ATL is a slightly more powerful Operation Barbarossa that actually achieves its central strategic goal: destruction of the bulk of the Red Army west of the Dvina-Dniepr line. Contrary to common perception, the Ostheer largely failed at this task: the largest Red Army grouping (Southwest Front) retreated intact – though damaged – from the border battles, as did Southern Front and Northwest Front. Only Army Group Center succeeded.

Operational failure by AGS and AGN enabled Stavka to concentrate its entire first echelon of reserves (16th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd armies plus several mechanized corps) and most of the first wave of newly-mobilized forces against Army Group Center (24th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 43rd armies at least). These forces reconstituted Western Front repeatedly and forced AGC into a costly and prolonged Smolensk battle that disrupted German planning and shook confidence in early victory. Relatively speaking, the Red Army contained AG’s South and North with little reinforcement. See maps from Glantz’s Stumbling Colossus below:



The Ostheer possesses 20 additional divisions (10 panzer and 10 motorized infantry) on June 22, 1941 in this ATL. Using the extra forces, Army Groups North and South encircle and destroy five armies during the Border Battles (up to July 10th) - forces that, in the OTL, impeded their advances for months. During July and August, the stronger AGS destroys the reconstituted Southwest and Southern Fronts without help from AGC; its prisoner haul includes reserves that fought AGC during the OTL Battle of Smolensk. AGN simultaneously advances against weaker opposition to reach Lake Ladoga at Schlusselberg by early August. AGC executes the Smolensk battle with little trouble, sealing the central pocket by July 20th and going over to a relatively peaceful operational pause until early August. During this pause, AGC is reinforced by one of AGN’s PanzerGruppe (6 mobile divisions) and by one of AGS’s mobile corps (2 Pz + 1 Mot.Inf divisions).

On August 6th, AGC launches Operation Typhoon spearheaded by its three PanzerGruppe, encircling nearly half of the Red Army’s standing field forces around Vyazma and Bryansk. After another brief operational pause and further reinforcement by AGS mobile forces, AGC is poised to launch the final assault on Moscow by September 6th with overwhelming force. Stalin is forced to concentrate the bulk of his undertrained new forces to defend the capital. Meanwhile, the month of August sees AGN seal Leningrad's fate by linking up with the Finns on the Svir River via a drive through Tikhvin. AGS completes its destruction of the (slightly-smaller-than OTL) Kiev Kessel during early August, breaks out from its Dnepropretrovsk bridgehead to seize the Donbass in early September, and has cleared the Crimea but for the Sevastopol fortress.

With only ~2 million men at the front in early September – many of them woefully undertrained - the Red Army can perhaps defend the capital if it abandons the fights around Leningrad and the far-eastern Ukraine. But of course Stalin can't accept that option. Leningrad falls with a massive prisoner haul in October, Moscow follows with a bigger haul in November. AGS pushes its weakened foes to the Don and takes Kharkov, Kursk, Voronezh, and Rostov by the onset of the worst weather in early December. Rundstedt is poised for Hitler’s next primary strategic goal of taking the Caucasus.

Rundstedt begins the Caucasus campaign during January, planning to reach Baku by October 1942 unless Soviet collapse enables a quicker advance. AGC and AGN resume their advance in the spring, occupying the Volga basin and cutting off or capturing Murmansk and Archangel in conjunction with the Finns. By early 1943 at the latest, Stalin – should he retain power – will be left with a population of only ~50 million aside from the dubiously loyal Central Asian republics. Perhaps as important, he will have virtually no oil production and only the Vladivostok lifeline to his Western Allies. Japan plans to sever that lifeline as the desperate Red Army rushes forces westward. The USSR will have lost all major agricultural regions, preventing any hope of evacuating most residents of the occupied territories with the retreating armies.

By the spring of 1943, Hitler can dictate harsh terms to the USSR and pivot all of his forces west, or can advance into the Urals and Central Asia with a significantly smaller Ostheer. The repeated Kesselschlacht of ’41 and ’42 have meant the Ostheer faced a much less numerous and competent Red Army after the Border Battles and has suffered far fewer casualties. The Wehrmacht has ~1 million more men at its disposal in May 1943 than in OTL and can spare at least a million more from Ostheer. Peace in the East or not, Hitler has sufficient forces to annihilate any incursion into Europe, a fact the West knows and accepts.

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I will articulate this ATL further in following posts but I’m going to do it with unconventional chronology: First, I’ll describe the ATL early battles because this truly is the heart of the project. In subsequent posts I will trace the concept backward and forward in time to explain the following:

• Why Germany could have – and reasonably should have – launched Barbarossa with the additional forces described. This will involve tweaks to pre- and early-war German strategic coherence, economic planning, and intelligence. In my opinion, none of these tweaks are so outlandish as to beggar imagination and move us into the territory of “The Nazis could have won if they weren’t Nazis.” In fact, the OTL state of German strategy, intelligence, and economy suffered from random foibles of a few key officials (Halder, Goering, Canaris) rather than structural forces that make my ATL unimaginable.

• I will detail additional ancillary ATL aspects including:
o Hitler decides to eliminate the Greek question months earlier than OTL, further bolstering Barbarossa’s strength
o Hitler follows through on, and the Wehrmacht abides, Hitler’s 1940 demand for longer barrels on the Mark IV.
o Early- and pre-war boosts to Uboat production at the expense of surface fleet
These ancillary aspects are not essential to the ATL’s thesis but they bolster its feasibility.

All of the topics in the introductory post – and probably others – will get fuller treatment in time, though not in time-order.

Finally, I will discuss what is meant by "Hitler wins." I don't mean the Reich contains Chicago - this isn't "Man in the High Castle" schlock - just that his domination of Europe and environs is permanent.

The inspiration for this series, by the way, is a memo by George F. Kennan circa mid 1941 envisioning and accepting a post-war order dominated by the Reich and the U.S. In a time of resurgent ethno-nationalisms that occasionally erupt into outright genocides (e.g. Burma) with tacit worldwide acquiescence, it is much easier for me to imagine a world order half-dominated by Hitler and his heirs.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 04 May 2019 15:31, edited 7 times in total.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2019 05:29

Ok I meant to post photos of maps from Glantz's book, Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War

The maps provide a visual guide to how the bulk of Soviet reinforcements deployed against Army Group Center, and will be essential to following the rest of my planned narrative.

But the files were too large. Any suggestions on how to post images?

jesk
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 08:47

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2019 05:10
Operational failure by AGS and AGN enabled Stavka to concentrate its entire first echelon of reserves (16th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd armies plus several mechanized corps) and most of the first wave of newly-mobilized forces against Army Group Center (24th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 43rd armies at least). These forces reconstituted Western Front repeatedly and forced AGC into a costly and prolonged Smolensk battle that disrupted German planning and shook confidence in early victory.
The battle of Smolensk never violated German planning. The loss of the "Center" group for August is 75,000. How many Russians have lost, one can only guess. I do not think that the proportion is less than 1: 5. In addition, von Bock pointed to positions uncomfortable for defense; occupied for the attack on Moscow.
You need to understand, you have little knowledge for the right conclusions. Instead of a true story, in your posts are fairy tales.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 08:49

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2019 05:29
But the files were too large. Any suggestions on how to post images?
Post links to pictures, no one is too lazy to look.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2019 14:12

Other readers should know that I have used forum settings to hide Jesk's posts and will not be reading or responding to them. I reccomend you do the same.

It's obvious to me that Jesk is an emotionally unwell obsessive. His repetitive posts uncritically parrot the viewpoints of German generals while dismissing the work of serious historians like David Glantz. His belligerence and obtuseness, combined with his poor English language facility, make engaging him fruitless IMO. In any thread related to the Eastern Front his posts will make up nearly half the total. Not worth my time and almost certainly not yours.

If other readers want addressed some substantive point from Jesk, they can feel free to raise it.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 14:35

TheMarcksPlan; There problems and in your coverage of the topic they are not visible. On August 22, von Bock made it clear about the erroneous movement of troops along the front. Instead of moving in depth. And you only have the Battle of Smolensk and allegedly frustrated plans.

http://militera.lib.ru/db/bock_f/08.html

22/8/41

The northern wing of the 9th Army launched an offensive; attack develops well.
We were already preparing to send directives on the preparation of an offensive army group eastward when the High Command of the ground forces informed me that, in accordance with the order of the Führer, all the most combat-ready units of the 2nd Army and the Guderian group should be redeployed to the south . Their mission includes intercepting and destroying enemy troops, retreating east in front of the inner wings of Army Groups South and Center, as well as providing forcing the Dnieper by forces of Army Group South.
I called Brauchitsch and made him understand that the value of such an operation seems doubtful to me.
In the afternoon it became clear that Brauchitsch misunderstood me. When people approached him and tried to dissuade him from carrying out this operation, he said:
“But Bok demonstrates much more optimism towards this operation.”
I called Halder, clarified my position and said that I consider this operation ill-considered, since it primarily prevents the offensive from going eastwards. All directives say that the capture of Moscow is not of great importance! I want to destroy the enemy army, and the main forces of this army [138] are concentrated on my front! For this reason, the rotation of a part of the army of the Army Group Center will threaten the implementation of the main task of the Army Group, namely the destruction of the most combat-ready units of the Red Army before the onset of winter.
All in vain! In the evening, an order came from the Supreme Command of the ground forces to transfer "troops from the Gomel area" and, if possible, three more mobile units heading south.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 14:51

As for the casualties, 2,500 killed and wounded a day in the battles of Army Group Center in August against the Russian armada are many or few. I think nothing special. War without loss does not happen. January 15, 2000 in Chechnya, the Russians lost 120 killed in the battle for a height of 950,8.

https://voenhronika.ru/publ/vtoraja_che ... 3-1-0-6065

Losses do not always demonstrate the effectiveness of the army and the ability to continue the operation further. But it is precisely under this that your logic tries to fail Wehrmacht. Losses are big, so the problems.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 14:58

Height 950.8; 01.15.2000; 160 tank regiment- 18 killed, 503 regiment - 70 killed, 708 separate battalion - 30 killed. A total of about 120. According to official Russian data for the entire 2000, the loss of 1,300 killed. The real numbers are 40-50 times more. So underestimate the loss, as the Russians, no one can.

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Richard Anderson
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 May 2019 17:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2019 05:10
The Ostheer possesses 20 additional divisions (10 panzer and 10 motorized infantry) on June 22, 1941 in this ATL.
I guess my only real question is where from? Personnel-wise that could be accomplished by converting 20 other regular infantry divisions, but then what replaces those? Where do the roughly 44,000 additional motor vehicles required come from? Where do the 1,910-odd additional Panzer required come from?
"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: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by maltesefalcon » 04 May 2019 17:53

Perhaps they would not need 20 additional divisions at all to accomplish much the same thing. Suppose they were able to motorize 20 already existing infantry divisions? That would give them more potential to do hit and run as well allow more supplies to accompany.

Of course this will invite the usual where does the fuel, steel etc come from? It's already a nebulous What If? and I'm just offering a simpler alternative deviation from that.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 May 2019 18:37

maltesefalcon wrote:
04 May 2019 17:53
Perhaps they would not need 20 additional divisions at all to accomplish much the same thing. Suppose they were able to motorize 20 already existing infantry divisions? That would give them more potential to do hit and run as well allow more supplies to accompany.
Sure, that saves the 1,910-odd Panzer, but does not explain where the 44,000-odd motor vehicles and personnel for 20 divisions comes from.
Of course this will invite the usual where does the fuel, steel etc come from? It's already a nebulous What If? and I'm just offering a simpler alternative deviation from that.
Well, yeah, that too.
"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

jesk
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 18:53

And where to get warm clothes for an additional 20 divisions? :lol:

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Hanny
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Hanny » 04 May 2019 19:10

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2019 14:12
Other readers should know that I have used forum settings to hide Jesk's posts and will not be reading or responding to them. I reccomend you do the same.

It's obvious to me that Jesk is an emotionally unwell obsessive. His repetitive posts uncritically parrot the viewpoints of German generals while dismissing the work of serious historians like David Glantz. His belligerence and obtuseness, combined with his poor English language facility, make engaging him fruitless IMO. In any thread related to the Eastern Front his posts will make up nearly half the total. Not worth my time and almost certainly not yours.

If other readers want addressed some substantive point from Jesk, they can feel free to raise it.
Correct, in fact your too kind to the soup sandwich. :D
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

jesk
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 04 May 2019 19:23

after your post becomes clear, jesk says nonsense. are you truth. i do not think so :)

Reagan seems to have become the most famous author of the ironic smile. He smiles and it becomes clear to all insolvency of the opponent. And do not need to prove. Smile. 8-)
Last edited by jesk on 04 May 2019 19:41, edited 1 time in total.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2019 23:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 May 2019 18:37
maltesefalcon wrote:
04 May 2019 17:53
Perhaps they would not need 20 additional divisions at all to accomplish much the same thing. Suppose they were able to motorize 20 already existing infantry divisions? That would give them more potential to do hit and run as well allow more supplies to accompany.
Sure, that saves the 1,910-odd Panzer, but does not explain where the 44,000-odd motor vehicles and personnel for 20 divisions comes from.
Of course this will invite the usual where does the fuel, steel etc come from? It's already a nebulous What If? and I'm just offering a simpler alternative deviation from that.
Well, yeah, that too.
I will do a larger post on the economic/personnel background to this ATL. For now I'll just say that I believe there were many possible and historically feasible routes to the additional AFV's and other vehicles. Pre- and early-war German spending on all motorized vehicles amounted to less than 6% of the military budget IIRC according to Tooze. Spending on surface vessels and fortifications each exceeded this amount. Few Plan Z hulls were laid down but investments for production and production of components needlessly wasted millions of RM. A German grand strategy of even minimal competence would have realized the surface fleet to be useless by 1939, and should have realized that a better equipped army was a better defense than buttressing the Siegfried Line as well as eastern fortifications.

Re the personnel issue for 20 additional divisions - I can definitely see the argument that motorization of existing forces would have sufficed. But I want to leave room for error in the operational part of my ATL and not adding raw numbers makes it a harder case. The additional personnel came later in the war anyway to replace losses via ending deferments; Germany increased armaments production via foreign labor despite this. My ATL again relies on a minimally competent German strategic conception that recognizes the economic imbalance and takes vigorous efforts to address it starting in September 1939. Germany did not, for example, create a plenipotentiary for labor recruitment until 1942. Programs like Vichy's exchange of 3 laborers for a POW came even later.

In short, Germany wasn't trying all that hard early in the war despite Tooze's overstatement of the case against the Speer myth. With a little strategic concentration they could have drafted ~300k more men while increasing production.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 04 May 2019 23:37, edited 1 time in total.

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