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

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2019 23:35

Maltesefalcon wrote:It's already a nebulous What If
I appreciate this and other feedback. If you have the patience, please allow me to fill in the blanks as I proceed.

It doesn't seem nebulous to me but of course I have the whole thing in my head and you have only an introductory post.

Let me try to restate the "30,000ft" view: the main point is that Germany can win* the war if Barbarossa (1) captures Moscow, Leningrad, and sets up Army Group South at the gates of, or somewhat into, the Caucasus and (2) permanently removes another ~2 million Red soldiers from the map. IMO there is no purely operational path to such an outcome (e.g. the Moscow/Kiev debate doesn't change the fundamentals), but there is operational+economic/mobilization path that is feasible and in line with the views of many contemporaries.

*Again, victory means Hitler's regime dominates Europe at the end of the war.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 05 May 2019 06:51

People for the new divisions were. 1076000 soldiers of the occupying soldiers outside of Germany are called "Replacement Army". There was no political desire to send more soldiers to the eastern front.
doogal wrote:
28 Apr 2019 15:38
rom Nigel Askey Operation Barbarossa Volume II B P 82
Norway : 123000
AG D West
7th A : 141000
1st A : 106000
15th A : 205000
Reserves : 55000

12th A (Balkans ) : 169000

DAK : 82000

Replacement Army : 1076000

Total : 1960000,of whom less than 900000 for occupation duties . The 2 million figure for occupation forces is wrong .
The figure of 1960000 includes army, WSS, LW ground and Naval Coastal artillery units .
I think it is clear that even a significant reduction of occupation forces and there use in the east would not in any real sense have had a positive effect. In reality it may have hastened Nazi Germanys defeat.

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

Post by jesk » 05 May 2019 07:01

I am mainly interested in military sabotage. But there was also economic and technical. Why, with minor losses, Germany suffered a shortage of manpower throughout the war. Hitler did not want to push the replenishment to the front and in every possible way prevented this.

http://www.vestnik.com/issues/98/1222/win/felshtin.htm

In his victory, Hitler was confident in the same way as Stalin in his defeat. In the fall of 1941, the German government decided to curtail its military industry. On October 3, 1941, Hitler said: "We have ensured everything in advance, that I am in the midst of the battle I can stop further production of weapons in major industries, because I know that now there is no enemy that we could not crush with the existing stock of weapons ".

The human reserves of Germany by September 1941 were not yet substantially affected by serious mobilization, although by June 1941 the number of German soldiers reached 7,254,000 people. On the first day of the war, the Soviet government issued an order to mobilize persons liable for military service who were born in 1905-18, after the attack on the USSR, the German army did not produce any additional mobilizations.

Nothing has changed after the defeat at Moscow, except for the January order of Hitler in 1942 on the redistribution of budget allocations within the military department. The cost of the most expensive type of armaments — warships — was reduced and the costs of arming ground forces increased.

Only after the defeat at Stalingrad did Hitler begin to approach the war with the USSR more seriously. On January 13, 1943, the so-called total mobilization was announced in Germany. But it was not in the mobilization, as such, but in the registration for military purposes of men aged 16 to 65 years and women aged 17 to 45 years. Nevertheless, despite the serious situation on the fronts of Germany, female labor in German industry was practically not used until 1944, as well as children’s work, since it was thought to disintegrate the family and badly affect the morale of men in the army. Female and child labor in Germany was partially compensated by the labor of foreign workers and prisoners of war, which by the spring of 1943 numbered 6,259,900 people in German industry. Thus, if the Soviet industry from the first to the last day of the war worked for wear and all healthy men were mobilized into the army, and unhealthy, teenagers and old men into the militia, Germany only in 1943-44, under the influence of the defeat at Stalingrad and the Allied bombings German cities began to take war seriously.

The German military industry reached its highest performance in the days when the Allied bombing took the greatest scope - in July 1944. Then, in the second half of 1944, the number of the German army, despite numerous losses on the fronts, was, in general, easily brought to 9,400,000 people.

After the summer of 1944, due to the bombing and loss of territories, there was a decline in the German military industry. And yet, in March 1945, Germany produced more weapons than in June 1941, when Hitler launched a war against the USSR.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 May 2019 05:44

Here are the two images from Stumbling Colossus I meant to include with OP:

FIrst, the June 22 disposition of Red armies:
Image








Second, the RKKA field armies' dispositions in late July and armies forming to the rear:

Image





As can be seen more clearly from these two maps, Stavka concentrated all of the reserve armies against AGC during July. This included shifting 16th and 19th armies from behind Southwest Front in the Kiev region to Western Front in eastern Belarus. ATL Southwest Front will require 19th Army to (momentarily) stabilize its front in Ukraine. This alone will reduce Western Front's strength by ~30% during July. More details shortly.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 06 May 2019 06:14

Map visual confirmation to the words of Bock! Generals know and understand military affairs better than any historian. This is an axiom. To criticize the generals, how to say, God is mistaken.

22/8/41

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 TheMarcksPlan » 06 May 2019 06:22

ATL Operation Barbarossa Order of Battle: Changes from OTL

To repeat, my ATL Barbarossa adds 10 panzer and 10 motorized infantry divisions to the Wehrmacht, all of which deployed with Ostheer on June 22. In addition, as I'll explain later, I'm going to add the two "late" panzer divisions due to Hitler invading Greece a month or so earlier (in line with better strategic outlook). The additional forces are distributed and deployed as follows:

Army Group North:
Gains 3 panzer and 3 Mot.Inf divisions that form 5th PanzerGruppe (Rheinhardt).
Transfers 3 infantry divisions to AGS.
Deploys 4th PanzerGruppe (Hoeppner)) on the left flank of AGC's 3rd PanzerGruppe (Hoth)
Deploys 5th PanzerGruppe entirely in the Memel region, where half of 4th PzGr deployed in OTL.

Army Group Center:
3rd PzGr (Hoth) gains one panzer division.
2nd PzGr (Guderian) gains one Mot.Inf division.

Army Group South:
Gains a total of 8 panzer and 6 Mot.Inf divisions, plus 3 infantry divisions transferred from AGN.
1st PzGr (Kleist) gains 2 panzer, 2 Mot.Inf divisions, deploys in roughly same location as OTL except an additional corps on its left flank.
6th PzGr (Mannstein) has 5 panzer and 5 Mot.Inf Divisions. It deploys in northeast Romania, forming the southern arm of Rundstedt's pincer movement in Ukraine.
11th Army (Schobert) gains 3 infrantry divisions from AGN and 5 divisions from 6th and 17th armies in AGS's northern wing. Schobert moves the 6 OTL infantry divisions to northeast Romania as well.

Mannstein and Schobert have 24 German divisions (10 mechanized) in the southern pincer, Rundstedt has 27 German divisions (13 mechanized) in the northern arm.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by jesk » 06 May 2019 06:36

Your alternative does not change anything. Germany completely coped with the tasks; in cash on June 22 by forces. Without Hitler.

The concept of World War II is wrong. Need an encyclopedia of sabotage Adolf Hitler. Only by studying sabotage can one proceed along the path of truth.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 May 2019 04:03

Before getting to the ATL battles themselves, I'm going to step back and address the economic issues that some have raised so far. I.e. "How does Germany equip an extra 20 mechanized divisions and where do the men come from?"

The shift and increase in German production required implies a shift in German strategy, so I'll address strategy before economics.

Central Strategic Revision in ATL: Via a strategic review process that includes Hitler receiving competent information about his enemies and the capabilities of his own forces, the Fuehrer dictates that all pre- and early-war German planning go to ensuring victory on the continent of Europe prior to attempting to challenge Anglo-American control of the seas and/or attempting to subdue the British Empire via air and naval forces. Only after its continental European enemies had been defeated would Germany turn its resources to building a naval surface fleet and offensive strategic airpower. To that end, the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine were assigned a strategically defensive role in pre-war planning from 1938 at the latest. The LW emphasized fighters for defense of the Reich and Heer and tactical bombers for support of the Heer. The KM emphasized submarine warfare from 1938, forgoing the Z plan for a large surface fleet. The Heer's priorities shifted even further towards the offensive, with Hitler realizing that quick strikes against his multiple enemies offered the only path to victory before facing an insuperable coalition. Accordingly, from 1938 the mechanization and firepower of the army received a top priority.

But strategy is made my decision-makers, OTL German strategy was what it was (such as it was at all), so changing German strategy could be said to require changing German decision-makers.

To that end, I'm going to change the behavior of four men primarily: Hermann Goering, Franz Halder, Erich Raeder, and Wilhelm Canaris. Each of these men performed their duties with an astonishing level of strategic incompetence before and during the war. I find it a suitably contingent fact of history that these four critical officials were so terrifically incompetent. Hitler made mistakes of course - I have to change his pre-war strategy somewhat - but the heads of each of his military arms and his international "eyes and ears" failed to present him information and analysis that would have positioned Germany to win on the continent before facing the Anglo-Americans. Hitler articulated many and conflicting "grand strategies," but his "Europe first" vision - in which later generations fought the Americans and British Empire - was a strategy with which he was comfortable and to which he likely would have adopted his plans given suitable input and assistance.

Goering's strategic incompetence: At the highest level, Goering's biggest error was to leverage his influence and feed his pride by ensuring the Luftwaffe a share of Wehrmacht resources out of all proportion to its impact: 40% of German resources went to the Luftwaffe during the war [Tooze p.339]. Goering's advocacy for the LW might seem inevitable at first blush: the Nazi state was dominated by infighting among personal fiefdoms and Goering could not have acted other than in a way that favored his fiefdom, the Luftwaffe. But by 1937 at the latest, Goering was far more than head of the Luftwaffe. As head of the Four Year Plan and the Reichswerke Steel conglomerate, Goering was in charge of implementing German economic strategy more than anyone south of Hitler. Even taking his Luftwaffe favoritism as a given, Goering compounded his strategic incompetence by prioritizing twin-engine strategic bombers (mostly the Ju-88) above all else in pre-war planning.

Raeder's strategic incompetence As with Goering, much of Raeder's harm to Germany's war effort came from self-interest: he wanted as much for the KM as he could get. Seen in this light, his advocating Plan Z or some similarly quixotic plan for a powerful surface fleet is perhaps inevitable. Less excusable is the plan's lopsided emphasis on surface raiders to the exclusion of air power: although no pre-war navy accepted the aircraft carrier's superiority as assured, the UK, US, and Japan all balanced spending on AC's vs. BB's. This isn't to say that Germany should have built more AC's - they should have built precisely 0 instead of 1. It just reinforces Raeder's lack of vision. Of course his biggest strategic failure was under-emphasis of the Uboat fleet. In addition, he commissioned no serious efforts to improve Uboat design and operations. Type XXI wasn't a leap in technology, just a (seemingly obvious) change in design. [/b]

Canaris' strategic incompetence:The biggest error here is obvious: Canaris couldn't and/or didn't tell Hitler anything about the Soviet Union's true military capability and internal characteristics. I concede that (1) many countries underestimated the SU circa 1941 and (2) that intelligence-gathering in the SU was a problem for nearly all contemporaries. Nonetheless, the fact of SU's 1938 law requiring military training for all relevant males, combined with its population, should have alerted Hitler to expect to face at least 10 million trained reservists during an Eastern campaign. Further, by 1939 the SU had occupied territory rife with unhappy newly-communist subjects. As it demonstrated later in the war, Germany had little trouble gaining accurate demographic, economic, and operational intelligence from Soviet subjects.

Halder's strategic incompetence: Of all the malfeasance discussed here, Franz Halder's was the worst. A primary historical role of the Heer Chief of Staff was to act with initiative and strategic foresight to provide leadership the information and analysis to make sound decisions. Instead of seeking, testing, and analyzing information regarding Barbarossa, Halder formed his own faulty strategic conception and hid from Hitler what contradicted it. When OKH quartermaster Wagner's logistics study reported that the Heer couldn't advance past Smolensk until railroads cost up, Hitler never heard a word of it and Halder convinced himself that the "spiritual" would have to overcome the material. When Paulus' Barbarossa wargame returned discouraging results, Hitler and OKW heard none of it. Whereas a competent operational planner would have had contingency for a longer-than-expected campaign, Halder stepped outside the bounds of military analysis and let his political opinion that the SU would collapse quickly drive his professional duties. Even after the Red Army's dismal performance against Finnland, the barest curiosity and competence would have drawn from that war a frightening conclusion: At the 5-1 rate of casualties inflicted by the Finns, Germany would have to spend millions of lives conquering the USSR even if it lasted only into 1942. Finally, Halder shares in Canaris' guilt for German ignorance of Red Army strength: Fremde Heer Ost was one of his direct responsibilities; a fact he belatedly recognized after Barbarossa's failure when he reshuffled its leadership by appointing a general who actually did his job. He should have interrogated FHO's inability, pre-war, to tell him anything about the number or training of Soviet reserves, but Halder wasn't suitably worried about what the millions of military-age Soviet men would do after invasion.




OK so this ATL really starts around 1938 with changes to German grand strategy (outlined above) based on better information about its adversaries (primarily about the USSR) provided by competent subordinates. Economic planning proceeds in line with this grand strategy from 1938 and enables the larger ATL Heer by June 22, 1941, as the next post will describe.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by thaddeus_c » 23 May 2019 04:18

still believe the area with the most upside for the Axis would be the naval operations. had they made a maximum effort against Soviet fleet in the Baltic and Black Seas, there would have been no rebuilding and replacement of ships.

German forces could advance to Leningrad and Rostov and be supplied by sea but even prior to that the Soviet evacuations from Tallinn and Odessa could have been stopped? likely speeding their advance?

my view the oilfields of the Caucasus are always going to be a mirage for Germany, even as a target for destruction there is likely so much oil already in Soviet hands they could operate their military for months or years if production stopped?

but control of Ukraine coal and food production for two years or more might bring Soviets to terms?

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

Post by Paul Lakowski » 23 May 2019 05:42

Tooze narrative in Wages of Destruction is perfect up until THE WAR BREAKS OUT but falls away sharply after that. Why is this? Because he follows the path plough by the likes of Deist / Volkmann/Wette & Messerschmidt - all Germans and all experts in this period of German history. His war narrative however has to follow mostly German/American/British/Russian histories. Since most of these historical narratives are not even finished writing, any course chosen HAS to be diluted by these POV.

Filling out the needed Forces is easier to fill - than the decision to do it. As is any negative impact on fuel and lack of AFVs excreta.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 May 2019 00:18

thaddeus_c wrote:still believe the area with the most upside for the Axis would be the naval operations. had they made a maximum effort against Soviet fleet in the Baltic and Black Seas, there would have been no rebuilding and replacement of ships.
Well that's an original take. If you mean that Germany should have spent more on naval to deny the Baltic/Black seas to Russia then that seems entirely wrong. It'd be far cheaper to just close off the Baltic via a successful Leningrad operation. In the Black Sea, you can't move any naval forces there unless you convince Turkey to allow it. If you've already convinced Turkey, then you don't need to build any more naval forces: a fraction of the Italian fleet would overwhelm the Red Baltic Fleet.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 May 2019 00:21

Paul Lakowski wrote:
23 May 2019 05:42
Tooze narrative in Wages of Destruction is perfect up until THE WAR BREAKS OUT but falls away sharply after that. Why is this? Because he follows the path plough by the likes of Deist / Volkmann/Wette & Messerschmidt - all Germans and all experts in this period of German history. His war narrative however has to follow mostly German/American/British/Russian histories. Since most of these historical narratives are not even finished writing, any course chosen HAS to be diluted by these POV.

Filling out the needed Forces is easier to fill - than the decision to do it. As is any negative impact on fuel and lack of AFVs excreta.
I agree that Tooze is problematic after the war begins. He hand-waives at things like labor mobilization (Sauckel et. al.), calling them "ruthless mobilization of the factors of production." Well that's kind of the point, isn't it? The argument against which he tilts is that Germany could have been trying harder earlier; ruthless mobilization is precisely that kind of trying that should have been done earlier.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Paul Lakowski » 30 May 2019 04:15

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 May 2019 00:21


I agree that Tooze is problematic after the war begins. He hand-waives at things like labor mobilization (Sauckel et. al.), calling them "ruthless mobilization of the factors of production." Well that's kind of the point, isn't it? The argument against which he tilts is that Germany could have been trying harder earlier; ruthless mobilization is precisely that kind of trying that should have been done earlier.
Its also important to remember that all side did exactly that when war began. They dropped everything they were doing and introduced draconian measures to jack up their own armaments production.

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

Post by ljadw » 30 May 2019 08:37

About Canaris : Canaris was not responsible for informations about the SU : this was the task of FHO .
And the''failure'' of FHO had no influence about the failure of Barbarossa .

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

Post by thaddeus_c » 30 May 2019 11:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 May 2019 00:18
thaddeus_c wrote:still believe the area with the most upside for the Axis would be the naval operations. had they made a maximum effort against Soviet fleet in the Baltic and Black Seas, there would have been no rebuilding and replacement of ships.
Well that's an original take. If you mean that Germany should have spent more on naval to deny the Baltic/Black seas to Russia then that seems entirely wrong. It'd be far cheaper to just close off the Baltic via a successful Leningrad operation. In the Black Sea, you can't move any naval forces there unless you convince Turkey to allow it. If you've already convinced Turkey, then you don't need to build any more naval forces: a fraction of the Italian fleet would overwhelm the Red Baltic Fleet.
historically the Soviet fleets were (eventually) suppressed but not eliminated using air power and smaller naval vessels. my speculation is that the KM could have applied more effort in the initial stage of the invasion and been able to stop the evacuations from Tallinn, Hanko, and Odessa.

recall that the naval personnel evacuated to Leningrad (and naval guns) played a big part in the city's defense. in the Black Sea the Soviet forces evacuated to Sevastopol contributed to the extended siege.

had they cleared the Soviet naval forces it would free up LW from at least THAT chore, and open the Seas as a transport option. for a fleet they could use exactly what was employed historically, S-boats and U-boats and MFPs/AFPs, as well as any captured ships or scuttled ships that could be refloated.

they had worked on more easily transported U-boats prior to the war and planned for the Type XXIII to be easily moved via rail. here they would have to employ more "Hannibal type" methods, which they DID to move a handful of U-boats to the Black Sea (but a year too late for the results in my speculation)

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