Hello All :
I will be making my comments based on the posting number and the author:
# 244 - Mr. MarkN
As one can see from the map, single line tracks remain in Soviet hands to move supplies to/from Murmanak and Archangel. They were not "cut off".
Your yellow lines are thus, to a large extent, quite disingenuous.
The raw fact is, a single track train line is MUCH less efficient than a two track line. You are constantly shunting onto spurs to allow trains to move in the opposite direction, and the material handling capabilities on these lines were limited at best. While the Soviets were not cut off from Murmansk, they had trouble moving material until they began to double sections of the line in summer of 1943.
It would be helpful if you quantified just how much capacity was restricted rather than just hand waving and then falsly claiming an absolute.
Actually, it is hard to say how much the Soviet Rail system was impacted historically, because not only did the Germans seize the rail lines during their advance, they also seized the rolling stock. How much ? I have not been able to find out. But, it is a historical fact that one of the things the Soviets pleaded for, and got, via the Vladivostock route in 1943 were large quantities of U.S. Steam locomotives. They apparently had somehow lost a lot of theirs..........
And, Mr. MarkN, had the Germans taken Moscow, they would probably taken large numbers of locomotives and rolling stock, as Moscow was not only the Rail Nexus, it was the Rail Maintenance Hub of the Soviet Union. Thus, lots of spare parts, equipment, and the mechanics needed to maintain the Soviet Rail System were right there in Moscow.
Here is a little quote from Wikipedia ;
After two years of war with Germany, much of the Soviet rail system was in ruins. At the time, much effort had been put into rebuilding the track; however, the hasty nature of the construction meant that it could not support locomotives with axle-loadings of more than 18 tonnes. Around 16,000 engines were destroyed by the various bombings, and the remaining intact engines were either too weak or too heavy. The factories did not have the equipment to produce locomotives, so it was decided to order more from America.
You can read all about it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_l ... e_class_Ye
# 246 - Mr TheMarcksPlan
Yes, supplies came into Leningrad over Lake Ladoga on the 'Road of Life'. Which didn't stop the inhabitants of Leningrad from resorting to cannibalism.
And, while North-South movements of forces
might not be important, the movement of the supplies
to keep these forces in operation WAS
important. Especially fuel. Finally, as to rebuilding wrecked or damaged rail facilities: The soviets did that mainly in summer, not in winter. The logistics of fixing a rail line in winter are just too difficult to overcome, in terms of feeding a workforce and getting the repair supplies to the job site.
# 247-248 The Provenance of my quote was the Internet. But, as Abraham Lincoln so aptly said, " You can't believe everything you read on the Internet ." ( I got that from the Internet, also )
# 252 - Mr. Hanny
I would prefer some maths, over a map. A double track rail line has the same logistical forward lift as 1600 MTV at 200 miles use.
How about at a THOUSAND MILES
use ? That is the advantage of rails - low coefficient of friction, high transport density, snd much higher speed due to day and night travel . I will leave it for you to do the maths.
Your last map shows that Germany has pushed well past Moscow around a hundred miles or so?
Actually, no..... The maps I posted have some scale distortion. If you would take the time to go to Google Earth, you will find that the Soviet Rail Ring around Moscow is between 3 and 6 miles from the center of the city. There is a second, much less dense ring some 50 miles from the city center, but it was single track in 1940, and wasn't doubled until post war. So, if you take Moscow in 1941, you have the Rail Ring.
# 257 Mr. MarkN
So why don't you make an argument, a credible arguement, why everbody should accept your claim that Barbarossa was decided by a very slim margin.
Well, the Germans advanced some 700 miles from Poland, and came within 20 miles of Moscow. That means they got within 3 % of their goal. That's a very slim margin, in my book. But, your mileage may differ......
Additional Note : Getting a 97 % on a Final Exam is normally considered fairly good. But getting the Silver Medal in Warfare is just sad.....
# 256 - Mr TheMarcksPlan
In 1941 the Germans caught the SU in the midst of transformation from a peasant backwater and second-rate power into one of the world's two greatest militaries. The Germans nearly succeeded at foreclosing this transformation by destroying Soviet strength amplifications piecemeal as they entered the battlefield. It was a fortuitous moment for Hitler and one in which the fate of much of humanity hung in the balance. Lucky for us and them, Hitler was too vain, lazy, stupid, and deluded to command what needed to be done - what could have been done - to consolidate his rule. Hitler's generals followed his lead and were lazy, vain, stupid in their planning for Barbarossa. But history could have been very different.
This is an excellent summary. But to it we must add, that for the first few days after Barbarossa began, Stalin was hiding in his Dacha, and when they came to him, desperate for orders, he at first thought they had been sent to kill him. He kept making mistakes all through the summer and fall of 1941, with abortive attacks and failed schemes, and almost succeeded in destroying his entire army, an army he had already intellectually decaptitated with the Tukhachevsky Purges and then had demoralized with the wreched performance of his troops in the Winter War with Finland.
As for the effect of the Germans taking Moscow in December, 1941 :
Imagine, if you can,
the Germans manage one, last heroic push, they breach the Soviet lines in front of Moscow, and, as Soviet troops, disorganized and panicking, begin to disintegrate, the Germans pour into the city. The citizenry of Moscow try to flee on foot, in cars, in buses, and the mobs jam the roads. The NKVD are frantically shooting everyone they can for cowardice, the regular soldiers begin shooting back, Stalin and his henchmen abandon the city on his special train, and, within a day or two, the Germans have seized a wrecked, ruined Moscow. The entire bureacracy of the Soviet Union is disrupted, the leadership is on the run, and the Army is without direction.
And that is as far as the exhausted Germans, out of supply and on the end of their logistical tether, can go. So, the Germans hunker down in the ruins of buildings, using pieces of carpets to cover window openings, burning furniture for warmth, and just try to hang on. Food is scarce, but there are a few russian prisoners....... Meanwhile, the Soviet army, pushed back, has stabilized a line about 20 miles east of Moscow, but now it is the Russian soldiers who are living in the snow, with little food or fuel, no air cover, no artillery shells for their guns, and an increasingly fatalistic hopelessness about the future. Meanwhile, Stalin is desperately trying to run a war while fending off both a rebellious Zhukhov and a conniving Beria, both of whom have decided they might be better off WITHOUT
Uncle Joe .......
" Wait when the wind sweeps the snowdrifts....."
Some final notes about Lend-Lease : About 50% of the Lend Lease to Russia went via the Pacific Route. But this was stricktly NON MILITARY supplies, due to the war between the US and Japan.
About 25% went through Persia. BUT, this route didn't open up until late summer of 1942.
And, it was long and circuitous, with few rail roads.
The remaining 25% went through Archangelsk, and when that was closed, through Murmansk. But, the total shipments in 1941 were less than 400,000 tons, with a lot of that being non military goods. This will impact the Russian War effort.
How important was the Lend Lease to Russia ? - Just ask Khruschev :
I would like to express my candid opinion about Stalin's views on whether the Red Army and the Soviet Union could have coped with Nazi Germany and survived the war without aid from the United States and Britain. First, I would like to tell about some remarks Stalin made and repeated several times when we were "discussing freely" among ourselves. He stated bluntly that if the United States had not helped us, we would not have won the war. If we had had to fight Nazi Germany one on one, we could not have stood up against Germany's pressure, and we would have lost the war. No one ever discussed this subject officially, and I don't think Stalin left any written evidence of his opinion, but I will state here that several times in conversations with me he noted that these were the actual circumstances. He never made a special point of holding a conversation on the subject, but when we were engaged in some kind of relaxed conversation, going over international questions of the past and present, and when we would return to the subject of the path we had traveled during the war, that is what he said. When I listened to his remarks, I was fully in agreement with him, and today I am even more so.
If you take away the Soviet Rail Nexus of Moscow, a lot of that Lend lease will end up sitting in depots, waiting for efficient distribution, instead of getting to the troops. And, that could make a big difference in 1942.
Paul R. Ward