One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 09 Aug 2019 04:29

Russ3z wrote:I imagine in reality the presence of the extra mobile divisions would cause a shuffling of forces overall anyway.
Exactly. Were I commissioned to write this ATL as a book instead of doing my day job I'd have articulated the potential shuffling further, as you seem to understand.
Russ3z wrote:It could likely be argued that the German fleet choosing to bottle itself up in Norway would give the RN freedom to commit more forces to the Mediterranean theater, for instance, possibly hastening a further Italian defeat with various military/political implications for the Germans.
I can see that argument but it seems more likely that risk aversion by Hitler to preserve his Norwegian defenses results in Bismarck/Scharnhorst/Gniesenau being strategic threats during Barbarossa rather than being future dive-sites or laid up for repairs in France. Countering a Bismarck-Tirpitz-Scharnhorst-Gniesenau-Eugen-Hipper potential raiding force would tie up far more of the RN than the OTL necessity simply to counter Tirpitz and one other Scharnhorst-class (IIRC both Scharnhorsts were intermittently damaged during 1941 while docked in France).

In addition, it has the happy consequence of allowing Hitler to "PQ17" the arctic convoys during 1941, which would have a very significant effect on the Moscow battle and on 1942, as the Persian Corridor and Vladivostok didn't get moving until later.

In the optimal scenario, Hitler would also order Admiral Scheer and Lutzow to dock in France following their Atlantic adventures rather than docking in Norway. These two ships would tie down heavy convoy escorts as a strategy to prevent concentration against the Norway Super-Squad and the RegiaMarina.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Michael Kenny » 09 Aug 2019 05:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
09 Aug 2019 04:29


I can see that argument but it seems more likely that risk aversion by Hitler to preserve his Norwegian defenses results in Bismarck/Scharnhorst/Gniesenau being strategic threats during Barbarossa rather than being future dive-sites or laid up for repairs in France. Countering a Bismarck-Tirpitz-Scharnhorst-Gniesenau-Eugen-Hipper potential raiding force would tie up far more of the RN than the OTL necessity simply to counter Tirpitz and one other Scharnhorst-class (IIRC both Scharnhorsts were intermittently damaged during 1941 while docked in France).
To meet this new threat the British would substantially increase their funding/resources for the Bombes and carry out more raids to capture Enigma machines intact. This would enable them to decode messages within hours. With the refueling points for these warships known they could be sunk once they dared to sally forth. They could also put Stalin fully in the loop for the decoded intercepts and allow him to better deal with German offensives.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Aug 2019 16:08

Russ3Z wrote:
09 Aug 2019 04:19
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
09 Aug 2019 03:45
So my thinking is that all incremental production would go to Pz III/IV instead of 38(t). The specific pre-war change that I envision - not cutting the Pz III/IV program - would be focused on those tanks.
Fair enough. I left out the MkIV since both division types would use it so I figured it's a wash.
I see the fiction about "cutting the Pz III/IV program" remains. The programs were not "cut". The contracts remained the same. Production of the Panzer III grew from 40 in September 1939 to 87 in August 1940 and averaged 53.66 per month for that year. It grew from 91 in September 1940 to 179 in August 1941, averaging 114.08 per month for that year. Production of the Panzer IV grew from 0 in September 1939 to 28 in August 1940 and averaged 17 per month for that year. It grew from 17 in September 1940 to 44 in August 1941 and averaged 30 per month for that year.

How does "incremental production" go to the "Pz III/IV instead of 38(t)" when BMM was incapable of producing any Pz III/IV? It was lack of plant capacity and capability that was the driver for the early limitations of Panzer output, not some fictitious "cut". Production of the Panzer IV was limited to Krupp Grusonwerk and did not expand until Vomag was upgraded from a repair facility to an assembly plant in late 1940 and early 1941 and until Nibelungenwerk was completed and operational in late 1941.

Production of the Panzer III was restricted by the late acceptance of the production type, as well as limitations in the production plant. Expansion of the Henschel Mittelfeldwerk did not begin until late 1939. MIAG did not begin its production run until September 1939.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by paulrward » 09 Aug 2019 20:03

Hello All :

To Mr. TheMarcksPlan :

You asked ;
I'm afraid I don't understand the ATL. Are these German/Italian units? Do you mean to say they're made up of ww1 vets?

It is very simple, and can be summarized in two words: Spain and France.

With the fall of France in June, 1940, Hitler was on a roll, and one of the first people to acknowledge this fact was Francisco Franco, who, in late June of 1940, contacted the Germans and offered, FOR A PRICE ! , to enter the war as part of the Axis. Hitler, renowned for his innability to deal resonably with his allies, rejected Franco's offer, and so Spain essentially sat out the war, serving only as a transit point for Venezualan oil into Germany and providing some assistance with U-Boat operations.

Franco's price was quite reasonable, considering everything he had to offer. Spain wanted control over many of the French territories in Africa, and German / Italian assistance in taking Gibralter. Now, what did Franco have to offer? Consider the following: At the end of the Spanish Civil War ( SCW ) the Nationalist Army numbered some 1,000,000 men in 60 Divisions, along with a land based Air Force that was the fifth largest in the world, augmented by the fact that both the soldiers and the airmen were veterans of a victorious war against an army equipped to some extent with Soviet equipment and weapons, and following Soviet Tactics.

Franco began to de-mobilize his army, and by January, 1940, it was reduced to 250,000 men in the equivalent of 22 infantry divisions, a tank division, the equivalent of an artillery division, an anti-aircraft division, a Horse Cavalry Division, and a number of miscelaneous regiments.

In Autumn of 1942, after Operation Torch, fearing a U.S. invasion, Franco re-mobilized the Spanish Army, and by the end of 1943, had brought it back up to 750,000 men in appx 41 divisions plus mobile reserves and fortress units. From this it can be seen that in 1940, Spain had the ability to field a fairly significant force of very good soldiers, mostly veterans, and some very highly motivated to fight against Communism. Further, it shows that Franco was able to mobilize men at a rate of 40,000 per month for one year.



AT THIS SAME TIME ( summer of 1940 ) Germany had defeated France, and a part of the War Booty was the Following:

160 Char B1/B2 Heavy Tanks
39 Char D1 / D2 Medium Tanks
297 Somua S35 Medium Tanks + 10 ( unfinshed which could have been completed to a German order )
37 FCM 1936 Medium Tanks
843 Renault R35 Light Tanks
200 Hotchkiss H35 Light Tanks
350 Hotchkiss H39 Light Tanks
90 Renault AMR35 Cavalry Tanks
190 Panhard 178 Armored Cars

360 Lorraine 37L Tractor Units
Appx 3000 Renault UE and UK Chenillettes

Appx 1700 Renault FT-1917 Light Tanks, of which the Germans Refurbished 750

ALL OF THESE TANKS were operational when captured, or were returned to serviceability in the late summer/early autumn of 1940. This is a total of over 2000 relatively modern French Tanks, along with 750 WW1 vintage tanks.

Now, Historically, the Germans converted some of these to SP AT guns and SP artillery, to make up shortfalls in their army in 1942-1942. The rest of them spent the war driving around the flagpoles at Luftwaffe bases in France and the Low Countries, until D-Day, when they went into battle and got wiped out. This was NOT a very wise use of these assets.



In the summer of 1940, The Spanish Army consisted of twelve " Corps ' , nine in Spain, and one each in Algeria, the Canaries, and the Balearics. Two two island ' Corps ' had one infantry division each, the rest had two divisions each, for a total of 22 infantry divisions, plus a single armored Division of four regiments of 75 tanks each (two of T-26s, one of PzKw 1s/2s, and one of Italian CV 33/35s.

1. If Franco did a ' call up ' in the summer of 1940, and brought about 140,000 men back into the Army, and if he used the Armored Division as a nucleus to form more mechanized units, and Hitler turned over the Captured French Tanks, the following could have been organized and trained during the Autumn/Winter of 1940-1941:

Spanish Armored Div. 1 (Medium) - 150 Somua S35s, 150 Hotchkiss H39s, in four Regiments
Spanish Armored Div. 2 (Medium) - 150 Somua S35s, 150 Hotchkiss H39s, in four Regiments
Spanish Armored Div. 3 ( Heavy ) - 150 Char B1/2s , 150 Hotchkiss H35s, in four Regiments
Spanish Armored Div. 4 ( Reserve ) - 35 Char Ds, 35 FCM 1936s, and 225 Renault R35s. in four Regiments

Spanish Armored Cavalry Div 1 - 90 Renault AMR 35s, 190 Panhard 178s, in four Regiments

The personnel to make up these new Armored divisions would come from the existing Armored Division, with the rest being drawn from the Infantry Divisions, selecting men of small stature and mechanical skills, to man and repair the tanks. Further, the Spanish Cavalry Division could have been cherry picked for those officers and men who would be willing to give up their horses and become Armored Cavalry.


2. The Infantry Divsions could have been constituted by taking one division from each of the two-division Corps in Spain, for a total of Seven Infantry Divisions. These were 'square' divisions of two brigades, each with two regiments. To each of these seven infantry divisions could be attached a regiment of 75 Renault R35 light tanks.

Historically, when Franco formed the ' Blue Division ' , he called for some 15,000 volunteers, and got over 40,000 ! So, it can be seen that there is a certain element of the Spanish Population who were willing and eager to fight against Stalinism. This means that Franco could have called up some 100,000 of his veteran reserve, plus 40,000 volunteers, and would have been able to quickly reconsititute his peacetime army to it's level of 250,000 men, and, if he had seen the need, could have even done a 1943 style mobilization, giving him 750,000 men of which some 140,000 would be available to send to Russia, with the remainder left in Spain to serve as Garrison and Reserve Personnel for the Army in Russia.

Added to this force would be the four Spanish Artillery Regiments, as an Artillery Division . Now, this is a motley collection of French, Spanish, Russian, and Italian guns, many horse drawn, ( but some mechanized ) that ranged from old French 75s, to Geman 100 and 150mm
guns of SCW vintage.


3. IN SUMMARY , this would make a force of : 4 Armored Divisions , 1 Armored Cavalry Division, 1 Artillery Division, and 7 Infantry Divisions, each one with an attached armor regiment , for a total of 13 combat ready, Veteran Divisions, with the best armor France could provide.

4. Finally, on Jan 1, 1940, Spain had the following aircraft available:

60 + Me 109s, He112s, and Fiat 50s Monoplane Fighter
150 + Fiat Cr32s Biplane Fighters suitable for Ground Attack
80 + He 111s and SM 79s Medium Bombers
40 + Ju 52s and Sm 81s Transports

5. From these, the Spanish could have assembled and organized : 3 Fighter Squadrons , 6 Ground Attack Squadrons , 5 Medium Bomber Squadrons , and 3 Transport Squadrons, for a total of some 260 aircraft, all flown by veteran combat pilots.


NOTE: the assignment of the above aircraft to a Russian Expedition would leave some 200 front line fighters and an equal number of light, medium, and ground attack bombers in Spain, to serve to protect Spain.


6. Once Franco had Hitler on Board, he could have ' blooded ' his Army by carrying out an attack on Gibralter. After Gibralter had been taken, which, with air and naval bombardment, would have taken a few weeks at most, the Spanish can then move forces to take over the French African areas of Morroco, Mauretania, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Senegal, along with part of Algeria to make a nice, straight border that cartographers love so much. This gives Spain a new Empire in Africa, with all the future troubles that ensures......

This has two effects: 1) It seals off the Med to the British, making it Mare Nostrum for the Kriegsmarine and the Regia Marina, a huge tactical advantage for the Axis, and 2), it Puts Franco on FDR's shitlist.


7. But what has this cost Hitler ? He has given away equipment that he will not be immediately using, and territories that he doesn't own !!! Admittedly, the Vichy Goverment will be upset, but after May-June 1940, the Vichy Government has all of the power and credibility of a Las Vegas Gaming Commisioner !


8. Finally, what has Hitler GAINED ? Well, the equivalent of about three Corps of Spanish Troops, or about one Army Group. Now, obviously , the Spanish are NOT the 1927 Yankees..... but they can fight, and if deployed in the South with the Italians, Bulgarians, Rumanians, and Hungarians, they might allow German Units to be freed up for the more important work in taking Moscow and Leningrad.


9. Next, we have the 750 Renault FT-1917s . These could be given an engine and paint overhaul, and distributed as follows:

200 to France
100 to the Netherlands
100 to Belgium and Luxembourg
150 to Norway
50 to Denmark
150 to Poland

Their duties would be driving around the Flagpole, airfield protection, and police duties. Moving at five miles per hour.
And all the while freeing up better equipment to go to Russia. Where it really counts.



10. Lastly ( And I can hear the sigh of relief from Mr. Anderson at this word ! ) We have the roughly 300 tanks of the Spanish Armored Division. The 150 Soviet T-26s could be gifted to Finland, to augment their forces for the Continuation War, and the Pzkw 1s/2s and Italian Cv 33/35s could be re-patriated to their home countries, to be rebuilt and returned to service.


So, here we have it. If Hitler had met Franco's price, he would have another army, well equipped, an entire ocean ( the Med ) to base his U-boats out of range of the British, and possibly enough forces to allow him to dance a jig inside the Kremlin in December of 1941.


And, to Mr. Richard Anderson, Mr. MarkN, and Mr. Michael Kenney, this is what is called, " Thinking Outside The Box "


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Aug 2019 00:14

"Thinking Outside The Box " doesnt always mean such thoughts are viable. In this case, Franco was really not interested in entering the war, and his desires in Africa did clash with those of the Italians, the two were not likely to work together even if it would please Hitler. Wasnt it the meeting with franco that Hitler later said he would rather have his teeth pulled out without anaesthetic that have to repeat it? Spain is also not exactly in great shape after the Civil War, and is hardly an industrial powerhouse. Another point would be that it would allow Britain to impose a full blockade of the continent and cut of oil (or anything else) that passed through Spain to Germany.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by paulrward » 10 Aug 2019 01:46

Hello All

To Mr. Duncan : A few corrections to some of your points.
In this case, Franco was really not interested in entering the war
Actually, Franco was VERY INTERESTED in entering the war, IFF ( this is a mathematical expression, meaning " IF AND ONLY IF " ) such an action would benefit both Franco and Spain. Spain getting large tracts of Africa as well as Gibralter would benefit Spain and Franco. Gibralter has been a thorn in the side of Spain since the time of Napolean. Getting the British out would be a major coup for Franco.
his (Franco's ) desires in Africa did clash with those of the Italians, the two were not likely to work together even if it would please Hitler.
No, not necessarily. Italy would be content with Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and, of course, Egypt, Somalia, and Ethiopia. All in North-Central or in East Africa. Spain was interested in the Atlantic Coast of Africa, that is, Morroco, Mali, Mauretania, etc. I can provide a map if you are interested. Thus, since Italy wasn't invading Vichy territory, they would have no conflict with Spain, and Hitler could provide an attractive deal with Mussolini in the form of giving him Yugoslavia, Greece, and the Aegean Islands, including Cyprus, Crete, and others.

Wasnt it the meeting with Franco that Hitler later said he would rather have his teeth pulled out without anaesthetic that have to repeat it?
You got this one right. For one simple reason. For the first time in his life, Hitler ran into someone he couldn't browbeat into submission. Franco made his demands, and Hitler wouldn't even consider them. Hitler came into the meeting saying, " Hey, Benito and I put you on your little throne. Now it's time for some loyalty.... "

Franco came back with, " Dude, you want LOYALTY ? Tell Bormann to get you a DOG ! This is nut cutting time, and it's cash on the Barrelhead ! And if you don't like it, I can recomend a good dentist ..... "


After the Meeting, Hitler made things worse by trying to back-door Franco and started to make plans to take Gibralter for Germany. Franco found out, said, " No Dice ! " and that was pretty much the end of their bromance.

Spain is also not exactly in great shape after the Civil War, and is hardly an industrial powerhouse.
On this one, you are absolutely right. But, while Spain could hardly manufacture any war material outside of making copies of Italian Fiat CR-32s, they had Manpower, and a lot of it was unemployed. Now, historically, putting guys in matching olive green suits is a good way to get them off the streets and out of the Unemployment Office, and shipping them out of the country means they can't make trouble in Spain. And, if there are casualties, you can't make an omelet without upsetting the hens.....

And. remember, the tanks that Spain will use are ALL FRENCH ! And, already built. And, the French factories are still intact, for the most part, and the French workers will be more than happy to refurbish all the tanks at minimum wage, as long as the SS doesn't shoot their families.....

Another point would be that it would allow Britain to impose a full blockade of the continent and cut of oil (or anything else) that passed through Spain to Germany.


Britain blockading the Continent. OK, after the Fall of France, exactly who was trading with the Continent, and how were they shipping things there ? Britain ALREADY HAD A BLOCKADE on the Continent. This meant that, if you wanted to trade in the Atlantic, you traded with Britain ! There was a war on, and every ship Britain had was being used in the desperate effort to keep the English children fed and the lathes and drill presses of the War Machine running at full blast. So, since not much trade was going in to the Axis by sea after September, 1939, it would be a small loss for Germany.

As for the Oil, this trade started in late 1941. Apparently Franco, not getting what he wanted from Hitler, decided to play both ends toward the middle. As a result, Royal Dutch Shell Tankers began running the southern route in Convoys, and, upon arriving in Spain, discharged their cargoes into German controlled railway tank cars, which hauled the oil from Spain, through France, to refineries in Germany. Franco was allowed to purchase the oil essentially ' At Cost ', and then he sold it at a major mark-up to Hitler, thus allowing Spain to pay off some of the massive War Debt they had incurred to Germany in the SCW.


So, you can see, getting Spain into the war would be a Win-Win for the Axis. And, in fact, the U.S. Army gamed this in the 1950s at the War College, and it is a game changer for the Axis. If Hitler could have gotten Spain into the War, shut down the Med, and used Spanish assets and territory efficiently.

So, why didn't Hitler do the obvious thing, and give Franco what he wanted? For the same reason he never dealt with any of his other Axis partners on a fair and equitable basis : Quite simply, Hitler was a Dick.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by T. A. Gardner » 10 Aug 2019 04:39

All of this pre-supposes that having more combat troops the logistics system can adequately supply them. The problem for Germany in the East, and even elsewhere, wasn't sufficient combat troops. It was an adequate logistics system running on an adequate transportation system.

In the East, the Germans didn't need more combat troops. They needed more civil engineers, and in particular railway construction units with state-of-the-art equipment to quickly rebuild the rail system. In addition, they needed more civil engineers and equipment that would allow rapid road and shelter construction.

The Germans desperately needed more bulldozers, road graders, road rollers, rock crushing plants, and things like the British Nissan hut or US Quonset hut. Add that the rail operators needed to be able to quickly string and expand communications systems so the lines could be run to maximum efficiency and the ability to build and stock water and coaling stations.

Had they had this sort of thing in good supply, then the logistics bottlenecks would have been largely alleviated. Better quality roads would mean that trucks lasted longer so replacement of them would occur at a lower rate. Rail lines that could handle more traffic and get closer to the front would mean more supplies reaching the troops. Quickly erected buildings would mean that the weather would have less effect on men and supplies. Equipment losses due to the poor operating conditions could have been seriously reduced.

This would have equaled far more than a few more divisions of combat troops.

For comparison, a single US Navy Construction Battalion, or a US Army engineer battalion with attached equipment company, both running about 1000 men, had more capacity for civil engineering construction than an entire German corp's worth of engineers. That's the kind of engineer support Germany needed in Russia.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by MarkN » 10 Aug 2019 12:49

This fantasy scenario (of 5 additional pantser divisions and 5 reworked infantry to motorized divisions) and the previous one (of 10 additional pantser and 10 additional motorized divisions) by TheMarksPlan are predicated upon changes to history too numerous to mention. The two key changes, however, are that grand strategy decisions in 1938 are different and that military strategy is to go for a longer 2 year war against the CCCP rather than a 6 month dash.

TheMarksPlan seems to have grasped that making those grand strategy decision changes in 1938 doesn't give sufficient lead time to deliver the addition 20 mechanized divisions - hence the revised fantasy scenario here of just 5 additional pantser divisions. Nevertheless, the changes to the decisionmaking appear to be the same and the core military strategy is still based on the 2 year war scenario.

Both of these changes to history are troublesome if serious historical debate is to be had. This is evidenced by the responses seen on this forum. Any attempt to place this into a historical context are met with denials, shifting of the fantasy or insults by TheMarksPlan or deletion by forum staff. The only posters engaging with the fantasy scenario are those delving ever deeper into fantasy and historical falsehood.

What is the problem with the two key diversions from historical reality?

First, if grand strategy choices in Berlin are going to be different, why not in London, Moscow and Paris too? Why should we assume that Berlin's choices somehow alter in isolation to those neighbours affected by those changes? So, for example, what happens if Britain starts rearming earlier and faster? Or, taking the opposite approach, decides not to get involved at all, sits out of the Munich debacle, remains on the sidelines war profiteering alongside the USA. In the latter case, does the entire premise for Germany's invasion of Russia fall away? And so on...

Second, for the Heer generals to consider a two year war against Russia, they would need to have completely shifted their understanding of how to conduct war much earlier. Their over confidence in their likely success with BARBAROSSA was a direct result of their experience against France. The idea that their lessons learned could develop in the opposite direction is most absurd. A two year strategy against Russia would need to flow from a completely different mindset of long standing. Such a change in mindset is likely to produce military thinking along the same lines as the French. Highly likely armor would not be concentrated and thus spread thinly in support of the entire Heer. Which thus means their invasions of Poland through to the Balkans would have been completely different affairs. Which then impacts on whether fantasy BARBAROSSA would have looked anything like real BARBAROSSA.

Discuss.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Aug 2019 18:52

T.A. Gardner wrote:In the East, the Germans didn't need more combat troops. They needed more civil engineers, and in particular railway construction units with state-of-the-art equipment to quickly rebuild the rail system. In addition, they needed more civil engineers and equipment that would allow rapid road and shelter construction.
I've said quite a bit about logistics in my other thread. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=242003&p=2214954&h ... s#p2214954 (see that post and the foregoing/following)

To the extent you're proposing American-style logistics for the Ostheer, it's too far a POD for me. German/Prussian armies always had weak logistics. Despite that, they performed better per man than the U.S. army.
The one thing I do change is the "strategic logistics" of Barbarossa via better rail connections to the Ostheer. This would have flowed inevitably from recognition of the need for a two-year campaign. The Germans actually invested quite a bit in the strategic logistics they foresaw needing, such as putting 300,000t of steel into Poland's railways ahead of Barbarossa. Apart from better rail connections, however, my ATL would see the same shambolic logistics situation as OTL on the operational/tactical level.

I also believe that "perfect German logistics" is both unnecessary and not decisive.
It's not necessary because German units fought pretty well in Russia despite logistical problems, so all that's needed is for my additional forces to have the same crappy logistics as the OTL average.
It's not decisive because logistics can't overcome a brute force disparity. Look the Kursk battle: There the Germans built up massive stores for months, never got far from their fuel/ammo dumps, had no severe logistics issues AFAIK (no severe issues mentioned in Glantz, Zetterling for instance), yet they were unable to attain their objectives.
Why? Because the Red Army was stronger than the Germans at that point. Logistics didn't matter much.
Same with late-stage Barbarossa: Whereas the Germans had a numerical advantage in the early stages, they were far out-numbered and out-gunned by December. That's what made the difference, IMO, not logistics.

Any argument that logistics could have changed the outcome of Barbarossa requires showing a major battle that would have gone differently. I don't see such a battle, do you?
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Aug 2019 20:25

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Aug 2019 18:52
German/Prussian armies always had weak logistics. Despite that, they performed better per man than the U.S. army.
What do you mean by "performed better per man than the U.S. army"? What are your metrics for that comment?

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Aug 2019 21:10

Tom from Cornwall wrote:What do you mean by "performed better per man than the U.S. army"? What are your metrics for that comment?
Combat effectiveness value. I'd rather not adjudicate this controversy here; there are tons of threads in which we can do so.
viewtopic.php?t=162940


If you disagree, so noted. It's not really relevant to a thread about the Eastern Front.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Aug 2019 21:16

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Aug 2019 21:10


Combat effectiveness value. I'd rather not adjudicate this controversy here; there are tons of threads in which we can do so.
I must agree. Good performance by Germany in World Wars. Came second twice in 30 years.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 10 Aug 2019 22:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Aug 2019 22:02

Michael Kenny wrote:
10 Aug 2019 21:16
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Aug 2019 21:10


Combat effectiveness value. I'd rather not adjudicate this controversy here; there are tons of threads in which we can do so.
I must agrees. Good performance by Germany in World Wars. Came second twice in 30 years.
As one of the few who actually knows anything about the derivation of CEV and what it did and did not assess, it always amuses me when someone easily dismisses logistics in a discussion of combat effectiveness.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by EKB » 10 Aug 2019 22:25

It’s a widely accepted view that German military culture was more efficient in many, if not most respects. They had weaknesses like the supply system and battlefield reconnaissance, but the worst handicap was political interference on a scale that was unknown to the Allied armies. Hitler and his cronies micro-managed the war and intentionally made it impossible for German generals and admirals to have the autonomy of their Allied opponents.

The U.S. Army was loaded with clerks, assistants, technicians and non-combat personnel. As losses mounted Germany did have not enough manpower to consider those luxuries, whether deemed necessary or not. There were wholesale appointments of junior officers to command larger formations because there was no choice. Given the length of the war, they accomplished more than just muddling through it.

Michael Kenny
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Aug 2019 22:38

EKB wrote:
10 Aug 2019 22:25
It’s a widely accepted view that German military culture was more efficient in many, if not most respects.
I have no doubt you are a member of many Facebook Groups that really really really believe that but it is not 'widely accepted'.
EKB wrote:
10 Aug 2019 22:25

The U.S. Army was loaded with clerks, assistants, technicians and non-combat personnel. As losses mounted Germany did have not enough manpower to consider those luxuries, whether deemed necessary or not.
The German Army probably had more horse-holders that the British Army had Infantrymen.

EKB wrote:
10 Aug 2019 22:25
Given the length of the war, they accomplished more than just muddling through it.
That 'belief' is based on the false assumption the outcome of the war was only decided in May 1945. In 1943 Germany knew for certain she was beaten and the insane, illogical and pointless continuation of hostilities for 2 years after that date gained her absolutely nothing and lost her everything If she had sought terms in 1943 then Germany would have been in a much better position for recovery than she was in 1945. It is also a fact that over 100 combat ready German Divisions laid down their arms when the Insane Dear Leader shot himself. By no stretch did they fight to the last man, horse or bullet-they only fought to the last lunatic!
I do not think the relatives of the 2 million+ Germans killed in the last year of the war would share your view that this was a magnificent performance. What is it that drives people admire and defend this sort of senseless slaughter?

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