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 Richard Anderson » 30 Aug 2019 06:08

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
28 Aug 2019 21:01
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
28 Aug 2019 19:42
Finally, a broad point: US strategy during 1942 was to pivot to Asia if Russia collapsed, adopting a defensive posture against Germany. https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... 9Z9RoyvH5k

(snip)
Even if everything you write happens in the ATL, it's still just a matter of time.
HistoryGeek, the first thing you need to realize is just how unlikely themarcksplans scenarios are, because so much of them are based on misreading what actually happened.

So now the claim is the "US strategy during 1942 was to pivot to Asia if Russia collapsed"? A notion apparently derived from Eisenhower's 17 July 1942 memo objecting to SLEDGEHAMMER? Mind you, the contretemps following Marshall's and King's memo of 10 July 1942 would be a better reference...if you never mind that Roosevelt finally quashed the notion on 14 July 1942 and the issues with the British were finally resolved in London on 22 July 1942. So the "strategy" claimed by TMP had an actual lifespan of less than two weeks. See Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, Vol. I, pp. 267-278.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 30 Aug 2019 08:25

The claim in post 305 that with the oil from the Caucasus Germany would have more pilots is a meaningless common knowledge :it would take the Germans months to produce and transport the oil from the Caucasus, more oil does not mean more aircraft and more oil does not mean more pilots : to have at the end of the training period ( one year,or more ) more pilots, you have to start the training with more candidates ,and this had nothing to do with the available amount of oil or the available amount of aircraft .In the OTL the training was shortened because the front units needed more replacements,due to the huge losses .This would not change in the ATL.
The LW needed more oil, more aircraft and more pilots .
More oil does not result in more crew or more aircraft.
More pilots does not result in more oil or more aircraft .
More aircraft does not result in more pilots and more oil.
More oil would need more transport to the airfields and more depots would be needed who would claim more protection .
More aircraft would also need more transport to be moved from the factories to the airfields.
To have more trained pilots more instructors and supporting staff were needed.

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

Post by Terry Duncan » 30 Aug 2019 10:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
28 Aug 2019 18:45
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2019 15:05
If average German divisional performance is the metric, then we can count on ten extra divisions inflicting about 180,000 additional casualties. Maybe. If there is a way to gin up five operational divisions from the dregs in the west and five operational Panzer divisions from whole cloth.
Why would average divisional performance be the metric?
Just apply that logic to a "weaker Barbarossa" ATL: How many casualties would the Germans have inflicted absent the 7 divisions of Hoth's Panzergruppe?
There's no Minsk and Smolensk, no Vyazma kessel. There's probably no Kiev kessel and therefore no operational freedom in AGS for the Melitopol kessel.
So removing 5% of Barbarossa's divisions would likely cause millions fewer Red casualties and thousands more German (gotta trade fire with Reds encircled OTL).

No, a linear analysis of the casualty delta from additional forces won't do. Especially regarding mobile forces. The ability to change operational outcomes - i.e. the ability to create additional kessels - means one has to consider those operational outcomes rather than only the average tactical arithmetic.
Maybe because you stated as follows;
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jul 2019 11:40
All I need is for the extra divisions to perform as average German mobile divisions performed in Barbarossa.
.

So it would appear the member in question responded by giving you the difference the extra divisions would make performing as you requested.

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

Post by ljadw » 30 Aug 2019 11:09

[quote=HistoryGeek2019 post_id=2219891 time=1567032413







The Uboat campaign was a disaster for Germany,



This is a big exaggeration.If one looks to the original aim of the Uboat campaign, it was a failure, but a failure is not a disaster .

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

Post by MarkN » 30 Aug 2019 15:37

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
28 Aug 2019 18:45
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2019 15:05
If average German divisional performance is the metric, then we can count on ten extra divisions inflicting about 180,000 additional casualties. Maybe. If there is a way to gin up five operational divisions from the dregs in the west and five operational Panzer divisions from whole cloth.
Why would average divisional performance be the metric?
Why should your non-linear hand-waving be the metric?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
28 Aug 2019 18:45
Just apply that logic to a "weaker Barbarossa" ATL: How many casualties would the Germans have inflicted absent the 7 divisions of Hoth's Panzergruppe?
There's no Minsk and Smolensk, no Vyazma kessel. There's probably no Kiev kessel and therefore no operational freedom in AGS for the Melitopol kessel.
So removing 5% of Barbarossa's divisions would likely cause millions fewer Red casualties and thousands more German (gotta trade fire with Reds encircled OTL).

No, a linear analysis of the casualty delta from additional forces won't do. Especially regarding mobile forces. The ability to change operational outcomes - i.e. the ability to create additional kessels - means one has to consider those operational outcomes rather than only the average tactical arithmetic.
This flows from your original post starting this thread....
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Aug 2019 10:15
Additional forces because The opening weeks of Barbarossa were a failure and a strategic disaster for Germany. This opinion contravenes Hitler and Halder as well as most historians but it's obvious based on Hitler's strategic goals (Fuehrer Directive #21: "The bulk of the Russian Army stationed in Western Russia will be destroyed by daring operations led by deeply penetrating armoured spearheads. Russian forces still capable of giving battle will be prevented from withdrawing into the depths of Russia."). Regardless of Army Group Center's success, 90% of the SU's pre-war army was intact after the border battles. Per Army Group North's own estimates, Leeb had inflicted only 36,000 killed/captured by August 6, 1941, despite conquering most of the Baltics. Army Group South failed to execute any large-scale encirclements until Uman in August - and even then bagged only ~100,000 Red soldiers (~3% of RKKA frontline strength). The surviving pre-war formations exacted a heavy toll on the Ostheer throughout the summer/fall and most of its leadership cadre was in Germany in 1945.

What could have changed this picture of failure? It's instructive to look at the one successful portion of Barbarossa's first stages and consider a modification inverse to that proposed by my ATL: AGC's operations minus Hoth's 7 divisions. Remove from AGC only the 7 mobile divisions of Hoth's Panzergruppe and the Kesselschlachten of Minsk/Bialystok and Smolensk are impossible. In that ATL, AGC faces ~700k more Red soldiers outside Smolensk (if it gets that far). Whereas OTL AGC barely held its front against August counterattacks, an AGC facing 700k more men is in serious trouble. There's no Kiev encirclement, no Vyazma-Bryansk, and Barbarossa barely reaches Russia proper.

I hope it's obvious that removing one panzer group from Army Group Center massively degrades Barbarossa. Same but opposite with adding one panzer group to Army Group South: So equipped, AGS could have executed a double envelopment of Southwest Front (from Romania and Poland) during the border battles, removing 3 armies and ~600k soldiers from the map. AGS would be able thereafter to execute additional large-scale encirclements without assistance from Army Group Center.
Surely the number of Red Army troops lost in your fantasy scenario will be based entirely upon how many were there less the number that escaped. Not so?

Hand waving a non-linear 600,000 figure has no credibility when it seems to be derived soley by picking a random number similar to the handwave that 700,000 would not have been lost in HGM.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Aug 2019 09:49

RichardAnderson wrote:So now the claim is the "US strategy during 1942 was to pivot to Asia if Russia collapsed"? A notion apparently derived from Eisenhower's 17 July 1942 memo objecting to SLEDGEHAMMER? Mind you, the contretemps following Marshall's and King's memo of 10 July 1942 would be a better reference...if you never mind that Roosevelt finally quashed the notion on 14 July 1942 and the issues with the British were finally resolved in London on 22 July 1942. So the "strategy" claimed by TMP had an actual lifespan of less than two weeks. See Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, Vol. I, pp. 267-278.
The full text of Roosevelt's July 22, 1942 directive to Marshall regarding strategic planning meeting with UK does not say "No pivot to Asia in the event of Russian collapse." Rather, it states:
4. You will, with the British authorities, investigate the courses of action open to us in the event of a Russian collapse.
In this investigation, and in the recommendations you make as to
the course to be pursued, you will be guided by the following
principles:
a. Our aim must continue to be the complete defeat of
the Axis powers. There can be no compromise on this point.
b. We should concentrate our efforts and avoid dispersion.
c. Effective coordinated use of British and American
forces should be sought.
d. Available U.S. and British forces should be brought
into action as quickly as they can be profitably used. It
is very important that U.S. ground troops are brought into
action against the enemy in 1942.
e. Any course of action adopted should include support
of an air offensive from the British Isles by strong U.S. air
forces and the assurance of the security of that base for
operations against Germany by U.S. ground reinforcements.
5. The subjects listed below are considered as appropriate
for discussion with the British in arriving at our course of action
in case of Russian collapse. Your discussion will not necessarily
be restricted to these subjects. The United States will not be
committed to a course of action to be followed in the event of
Russian collapse without my specific approval.
a. A continental invasion in 1943. This course of
action may be impracticable unless strong German forces
are contained on the Russian front. However, it should be
investigated.
b. All-out effort in the Pacific against Japan with
the view to her defeat as quickly as possible.
c. Operations in the Middle East with U.S. air forces
now planned, with such ground forces as can be reasonably
sustained, while at the same time using the bulk of our
strength against Japan. The purposes of the Middle East
operation would be to secure the area; to protect vital oil
resources and to cover the Russian flank (if any remains).
6. You will take note that the state of Russia in the spring
of 1943 may be such as to make ROUNDUP impracticable, by reason of
the resistance that Germany can then bring to bear in France. It
is this possibility that emphasizes the urgent necessity to do
SLEDGEHAMMER this year when it is certain that Germany's effort
against Russia will afford the best opportunity that can be expected
to do any part of BOLERO.
Full text of Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, Vol. I is available here: https://history.army.mil/html/books/001 ... ub_1-3.pdf

Roosevelt's omission of Eisenhower/JCS's "Asia pivot" in the event of Russian collapse was a bar on stating this course of action to the British during meetings with them - a wise political choice but only a political choice. The military professionals had no delusions about the ability to fight on the continent in the event of Russian collapse or military impotence. Roosevelt's memo is replete with references to the need for Russia to occupy German forces as a precondition of any continental incursion. In case of Russian collapse, section 5 of the memo mentions only "investigating" a return to Europe absent a strong Eastern Front, while giving Asian and Middle Eastern options. Section 6 prohibits the generals from committing the US to a course of action in case of Russian collapse.

It takes a marked credulity, unbecoming of a historian/analyst, to credit as authoritative strategic judgment the instructions of one politician on what his generals should say to another politician. In the event of Russian collapse, Roosevelt would have had to acknowledge the reality that all U.S. military professionals recognized: there was no near-term prospect of returning to Europe.

Two pages after your cite (pp.280), the text quotes a July 28, 1942 memo from Marshall and crew to Roosevelt (i.e. 14 days after Roosevelt's supposed "quashing" of a defensive stance against Germany):
A Russian
collapse this Fall or a termination of the
present campaign leaving Russia relatively
impotent and incapable of offensive action
would, however, make the objective of a continental operation in 1943 impossible of attainment. In this event the United Nations
are forced to a defensive, encircling line of
action against Germany for the coming year
unless a crackup in German morale, of which
there is no present indication, should occur
unexpectedly. Combined operations against
the West and Northwest Coasts of Africa for
the purpose indicated above is the logical line
of action in this alternative
Regardless of what Roosevelt allowed his generals to tell the British, when speaking among themselves the Americans knew the score. Richard would like us to believe that "Don't tell the British we're pivoting to Asia if Russia goes under" is the same as "We're not pivoting to Asia if Russia goes under." I'd like to think most folks on this forum are better at reading history than that.

@HistoryGeek2019 I should repeat what I said earlier: that I believe the Anglosphere could have beaten Germany even after defeat of the SU, assuming sufficient political will. I simply doubt the requisite political will could have been summoned. I'm open to being convinced otherwise, as this is at the far end of my ATL and an element to which I've devoted less attention so far than preceding elements.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Aug 2019 10:02

Terry Duncan wrote:TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑25 Jul 2019, 05:40
All I need is for the extra divisions to perform as average German mobile divisions performed in Barbarossa.
.

So it would appear the member in question responded by giving you the difference the extra divisions would make performing as you requested.
Question:
What's the sound of one hand clapping?
Bad answer:
The average (mean) per hand of the sound of two hands clapping.

Richard's application of "average performance" is analogous to answering the old Buddhist saw in that manner.
The average hand claps when it joins another hand.
The average German panzer army creates an encirclement when it joins another German panzer army.

Question:
How many POW's does the clapping of two panzer armies around a pocket cause?
Bad answer:
The average of total POW's taken, including cases in which only only one panzer army tries to clap.

To put it another way: Average performance implies more than simple arithmetic mean of casualty infliction as Richard well knows. Operational outcomes (e.g. encirclements) matter at least as much; "average" German panzer armies changed operational outcomes. Richard's average (mean) elides the fact that the ATL adds 4% to the divisional total but doubles encirclements. He's free to argue against the doubling of encirclements but he has to make that argument rather than smuggling and hiding it via equivocation between different meanings of "average."
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 31 Aug 2019 10:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Aug 2019 10:13

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... Assessment

Given that the Uboats suffered an 80% casualty rate during WW2, it's clear that the entire Uboat effort was a catastrophic failure for Germany, doing far more damage to Germany than it did to the Allies.
I'm not for a hard rule against Wikipedia cites but in this case even the assertions themselves are flagged as needing verification by Wikipedia.
Whoever wrote this is putting forth an absurd standard for Uboat success: they have to "blockade" the UK and cut its supplies, essentially winning the war by themselves, or else they failed.

That's not the right standard IMO. Here's a better source from the U.S. Navy itself: https://web.archive.org/web/20080409052 ... aigns.html
"At most conferences of the heads of governments, the shipping experts of both countries met to consider the shipping aspects of any plan under consideration. Account was taken in such discussions both of ships already existing and the timetables for the completion of new ships. Such conferences dealt with a series of facts, or probabilities, some of which it was not too difficult to estimate- such as existing tonnage, rate of production, rate of sinkings. Thus at the Casablanca Conference, in January 1943, shipping- including landing craft and escort vessels- played a major role in the choice between offensives in France, Sicily, Burma and the Pacific."(29)

Heavy shipping losses and the resulting lack of logistical capacity played a prominent role in ruling out a 1943 invasion of France. Experts calculated only 8 U.S. divisions could be transported to Europe (11 without convoy restrictions) by the spring of 1943. Even if the invasion was delayed till September, U.S. forces would number only 12 divisions- which combined with 13 British divisions would be badly outnumbered by the 44 German divisions stationed in the West
Conclusion: The Allies total investment was $26.4 billion compared to the German investment of $2.76 billion. The Allies spent at least 9.6 times the German investment.
Reduced Strategic Mobility and the British Import Crisis

Logistical constraints, attributable to the Battle of the Atlantic, resulted in two interesting "what-ifs" affecting the allied effort in Northern France. First, divisions sent into the Mediterranean Theater were "irrevocably bound there for lack of shipping to deploy them elsewhere."(38) While these Allied divisions tied down German troops in Italy, they were unavailable to exploit or reinforce Allied efforts in Northern France, a theater, by the way, which was much more suitable for offensive operations and logistical support. Secondly, had U-boat successes continued for several months longer in 1943 the Allies might have been incapable of a cross channel invasion in 1944
I haven't argued that the Uboats could have won the war alone; I've argued (1) that the Uboats imposed costs on the Allies out of all proportion to costs on Germany, thereby reducing the Allies' economic advantage and (2) that the Uboats prevented the Allies from being greater power to bear earlier in the war. It doesn't matter whether Germany lost 100% or 1% of its Uboats; they still come out ahead of the burden (losses and prevention measures) imposed on the Allies by an order of magnitude. And they still bought Germany time to beat Russia.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Takao » 31 Aug 2019 18:06

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Aug 2019 10:02
Terry Duncan wrote:TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑25 Jul 2019, 05:40
All I need is for the extra divisions to perform as average German mobile divisions performed in Barbarossa.
.

So it would appear the member in question responded by giving you the difference the extra divisions would make performing as you requested.
Question:
What's the sound of one hand clapping?
Bad answer:
The average (mean) per hand of the sound of two hands clapping.

Richard's application of "average performance" is analogous to answering the old Buddhist saw in that manner.
The average hand claps when it joins another hand.
The average German panzer army creates an encirclement when it joins another German panzer army.
The answer is not "bad", the question is.

One hand can "clap", it just needs to strike another surface, say a knee, or table, to generate a "clap".

Further, the "clap" is not dependent on the number of hands clapping, but the energy involved. Also, it takes 10 times the amount of energy to generate twice as much sound.

Thus, using your analogy, Germany needs 10 times the number of Panzer Troops to generate twice the number of KIA/POW.

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

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 31 Aug 2019 18:16

For purposes of your ATL, we're positing an Allied invasion of France no earlier than the OTL, and I'll even concede that it likely would have been later than OTL if Russia had collapsed in 1942 per your ATL. So the delays in the Allies getting their trans-Atlantic logistics up and running in 1943 (for which the Uboats would have been a convenient excuse) have no bearing on this ATL. The Uboats never sunk a single Allied troop transport. They had no effect whatsoever on Operation Overlord in 1944. And the Axis were consistently losing the majority of their Uboats and crews at unsustainable rates, whereas the Allies' investment in their navies was building up a valuable asset that could be used throughout the war and was in no danger of being sunk by Germany.

Uboats aren't going to save Germany in your ATL. They won't decrease the political will of the Allies to fight. They will increase the political will of the Allies to fight because one thing the Allies absolutely cannot accept is the threat of Uboats sinking commercial traffic in the Atlantic.

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

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 31 Aug 2019 18:24

Takao wrote:
31 Aug 2019 18:06

The answer is not "bad", the question is.

One hand can "clap", it just needs to strike another surface, say a knee, or table, to generate a "clap".

Further, the "clap" is not dependent on the number of hands clapping, but the energy involved. Also, it takes 10 times the amount of energy to generate twice as much sound.

Thus, using your analogy, Germany needs 10 times the number of Panzer Troops to generate twice the number of KIA/POW.
TheMarcksPlan is absolutely correct on this point, and the criticisms against him are just silly. If the new mobile divisions in this ATL perform the same as mobile divisions on average preformed in Operation Barbarossa, then his new Panzer Group would encircle significant Soviet forces in the Soviet Southwest Front, because that's what German mobile divisions did on average when employed in double envelopment formations in 1941 (3 out of 3 times).

Maybe over the course of the entire war the new divisions would inflict causalties at the long-term average rate for German mobile divisions, but the question here is what the new divisions would do in the summer of 1941.

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

Post by ljadw » 31 Aug 2019 19:24

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
31 Aug 2019 18:24


If the new mobile divisions in this ATL perform the same as mobile divisions on average preformed in Operation Barbarossa, then his new Panzer Group would encircle significant Soviet forces in the Soviet Southwest Front, because that's what German mobile divisions did on average when employed in double envelopment formations in 1941 (3 out of 3 times).

Wrong : the new Pz Gr would encircle significant Soviet forces of the SW Front IF there were significant Soviet forces willing to accept the battle against the new Pz Gr.
As usual you and The Marcks Plan are arguing as if there was no Red Army .
And given the fact that you and the Marcks Plan are unable to prove that it was possible to create a second Pz Gr and that it was possible for a second Pz Gr to operate in the South of Ukraine, your arguments are good for under the bus .

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Aug 2019 21:59

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
31 Aug 2019 18:24
TheMarcksPlan is absolutely correct on this point, and the criticisms against him are just silly.
Um, there was no criticism of his point, I simply answered the question he asked. The analogy he responded with is the only silliness I see.
If the new mobile divisions in this ATL perform the same as mobile divisions on average preformed in Operation Barbarossa, then his new Panzer Group would encircle significant Soviet forces in the Soviet Southwest Front, because that's what German mobile divisions did on average when employed in double envelopment formations in 1941 (3 out of 3 times).
Perhaps, but it is rather difficult to quantify, given the composition of the forces prosecuting the double-envelopment were not solely "mobile divisions"; the regular infantry divisions were critical and did much of the actual fighting. Then there is the not so minor matter of the break-in battles...the first nine days of Barbarossa were probably the most intense experienced by the Germans until August 1943.
Maybe over the course of the entire war the new divisions would inflict causalties at the long-term average rate for German mobile divisions, but the question here is what the new divisions would do in the summer of 1941.
Actually, the question remains where these additional mobile divisions and their equipment comes from. From the sketchy responses to date, apparently the notion is French PW stop working in agriculture and instead get thrust into industry? Except then who supplies the missing million working agriculture? Poles? They've already milked that source for any extras and the rest are producing food for primarily German consumption. Then we have manpower coming from Ob.West, which doesn't actually have the manpower required, until the Ersatzheer starts training up JG22 and later. Of course, then they have to withdraw the RAD personnel of JG22 wholesale, which affects the Barbarossa logistical preparations - road and rail construction and the like. In effect, it becomes a giant personnel Ponzi scheme.
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RE: The Russo-Finnish War Revisited.

Post by Robert Rojas » 31 Aug 2019 23:16

Greetings to both HISTORY GEEK 2019 and the community as a whole. Howdy H.G.2019! Well sir OR madam, in reference to your posting of Saturday - August 31, 2019 = 9:24am, I rarely find myself in agreement with citizen ljadw on most issues, but in this case, I will have to concur with his assessment on this matter as articulated within his posting of Saturday - August 31, 2019 - 10:24am. So, just to sate my curiosity, when you speak of a "MOBILE DIVISION", are you making reference to an over glorified TRUCK BORNE straight leg infantry division OR are you making reference to the classic "PANZER GRENADIER" division replete with half tracks, armored fighting vehicles (tanks and assault guns), self propelled artillery and combat engineers? Now, if it is the former, I cannot share in your enthusiasm for the tactical success (or lack thereof) of such an ad hoc formation against the well acclimatized Red Army Units now arriving in strength from the Siberian Far East. I suspect (rightly OR wrongly) that these road bound Germans will be slaughtered in detail when the Siberians descend upon them like wolves. This is also a lesson that the United States Army would have to relearn during the course of the Korean War some nine years in the future. Silly criticisms indeed. Well, that's my latest two cents, pfennigs or kopecks worth on this continuing saga into only where God knows where. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day from sea to shining sea.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 Sep 2019 00:57

RichardAnderson wrote:Actually, the question remains where these additional mobile divisions and their equipment comes from.
Actually Richard simply continues to ignore the arguments already presented, falling back on superficial objections instead of actually addressing my responses. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&p=2216965&h ... s#p2216965
For instance:
RichardAnderson wrote: French PW stop working in agriculture and instead get thrust into industry? Except then who supplies the missing million working agriculture? Poles? They've already milked that source for any extras and the rest are producing food for primarily German consumption.
Trade French PW's 3:1 for laborers (as was done later), keep the 200k Dutch POW as laborers, tie exports to allies to labor provision. Contrary to Richard's unsupported assertion that Polish labor had been "milked", the number of Polish laborers increased by 60% after September 1941, during a time of increased Polish resistance and failing German fortunes:
Image

I hope folks will read Richard's assertions with the appropriate amount of skepticism absent a citation from him.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:new Panzer Group would encircle significant Soviet forces in the Soviet Southwest Front, because that's what German mobile divisions did on average when employed in double envelopment formations in 1941 (3 out of 3 times).
4 of 4 but same difference: Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev, Vyazma.
RichardAnderson wrote:Then there is the not so minor matter of the break-in battles...the first nine days of Barbarossa were probably the most intense experienced by the Germans until August 1943.
Any evidence for the first 9 days being the most intense? Glantz's Barbarossa Derailed on the Smolensk battles would certainly disagree. AGC took 22k casualties up to July 9th per your numbers (IIRC); it took another 52k between July 9th and August 2nd. If anything, the July fighting was tougher than late June.

Of course nobody disagrees that the break-in/break-out battles were incredibly intense and taxing. But here's where military judgment comes in: Were those taxing fights worth it to destroy entire Soviet armies in a single operation? OF COURSE they were. There's not a serious argument that AGC made a mistake by encircling its opponents instead of methodically pushing them back. If you want to make such an argument feel free to do so; otherwise it's disingenuous to hammer on the cost of such battles without acknowledging their enormously positive outcomes.
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"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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