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

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JAG13
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by JAG13 » 02 Dec 2019 16:14

pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55
JAG13 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:38
pugsville wrote:
01 Dec 2019 08:00
JAG13 wrote:
30 Nov 2019 23:55

IIRC the Turks also received 25.000 Lebels out of 100.000 promised by the French, and they claimed could mobilize 40 divisions but of course lacked the full equipment for that, even so, they had mobilized 1'300.000 men by March 1940.

Plus 5.000 Hotchkiss LMGs and 1.250 Vickers HMGs, logistics must have been fun...
The Hotchkiss was certainly re chambered for the standard Turkish Mauser cartridge as was the Vickers, near certainly the Lebels were as well.

https://www.ima-usa.com/products/origin ... 4297077829
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss ... achine_gun
The British were sending 30'000.000 rounds of ammunition from the UK and India, unless they had a large stock of Mauser ammunition there (could be, weirder things) they would likely be sending 7,7mm, and the French were also offering Chatelleraults on 7,5mm, not in Mauser 8mm, plus the Lebel 8mm tubular magazine wouldnt interact well with Mauser ammo, packing tip to primer.

I know it could be made, I doubt it was made prior to shipping them...
I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...

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

Post by pugsville » 02 Dec 2019 22:05

JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55
JAG13 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:38
pugsville wrote:
01 Dec 2019 08:00
JAG13 wrote:
30 Nov 2019 23:55

IIRC the Turks also received 25.000 Lebels out of 100.000 promised by the French, and they claimed could mobilize 40 divisions but of course lacked the full equipment for that, even so, they had mobilized 1'300.000 men by March 1940.

Plus 5.000 Hotchkiss LMGs and 1.250 Vickers HMGs, logistics must have been fun...
The Hotchkiss was certainly re chambered for the standard Turkish Mauser cartridge as was the Vickers, near certainly the Lebels were as well.

https://www.ima-usa.com/products/origin ... 4297077829
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss ... achine_gun
The British were sending 30'000.000 rounds of ammunition from the UK and India, unless they had a large stock of Mauser ammunition there (could be, weirder things) they would likely be sending 7,7mm, and the French were also offering Chatelleraults on 7,5mm, not in Mauser 8mm, plus the Lebel 8mm tubular magazine wouldnt interact well with Mauser ammo, packing tip to primer.

I know it could be made, I doubt it was made prior to shipping them...
I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
You did not provide one.

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JAG13
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by JAG13 » 03 Dec 2019 18:48

pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 22:05
JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55
JAG13 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:38
pugsville wrote:
01 Dec 2019 08:00


The Hotchkiss was certainly re chambered for the standard Turkish Mauser cartridge as was the Vickers, near certainly the Lebels were as well.

https://www.ima-usa.com/products/origin ... 4297077829
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss ... achine_gun
The British were sending 30'000.000 rounds of ammunition from the UK and India, unless they had a large stock of Mauser ammunition there (could be, weirder things) they would likely be sending 7,7mm, and the French were also offering Chatelleraults on 7,5mm, not in Mauser 8mm, plus the Lebel 8mm tubular magazine wouldnt interact well with Mauser ammo, packing tip to primer.

I know it could be made, I doubt it was made prior to shipping them...
I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
You did not provide one.
I did, I gave you the link to a book from which you have quoted several times now, remember?

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

Post by pugsville » 03 Dec 2019 22:01

JAG13 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 18:48
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 22:05
JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55
JAG13 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:38


The British were sending 30'000.000 rounds of ammunition from the UK and India, unless they had a large stock of Mauser ammunition there (could be, weirder things) they would likely be sending 7,7mm, and the French were also offering Chatelleraults on 7,5mm, not in Mauser 8mm, plus the Lebel 8mm tubular magazine wouldnt interact well with Mauser ammo, packing tip to primer.

I know it could be made, I doubt it was made prior to shipping them...
I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
You did not provide one.
I did, I gave you the link to a book from which you have quoted several times now, remember?
\
do it properly..

quote source page number.

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

Post by pugsville » 03 Dec 2019 22:01

JAG13 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 18:48
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 22:05
JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55
JAG13 wrote:
01 Dec 2019 16:38


The British were sending 30'000.000 rounds of ammunition from the UK and India, unless they had a large stock of Mauser ammunition there (could be, weirder things) they would likely be sending 7,7mm, and the French were also offering Chatelleraults on 7,5mm, not in Mauser 8mm, plus the Lebel 8mm tubular magazine wouldnt interact well with Mauser ammo, packing tip to primer.

I know it could be made, I doubt it was made prior to shipping them...
I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
You did not provide one.
I did, I gave you the link to a book from which you have quoted several times now, remember?
\
do it properly..

quote source page number.

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JAG13
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by JAG13 » 03 Dec 2019 22:55

pugsville wrote:
03 Dec 2019 22:01
JAG13 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 18:48
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 22:05
JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
pugsville wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:55


I have provided a source of Turkish contract vickers converted to Mauser.
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
You did not provide one.
I did, I gave you the link to a book from which you have quoted several times now, remember?
\
do it properly..

quote source page number.
I gave you the whole book, you quoted from the tables, the number I mentioned is on the very same table you quoted, dont be disingenuous.

pugsville
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Joined: 17 Aug 2011 04:40

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

Post by pugsville » 04 Dec 2019 04:23

JAG13 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 22:55
I gave you the whole book, you quoted from the tables, the number I mentioned is on the very same table you quoted, dont be disingenuous.
I am NOT your bonded slave researcher. You make the claim it's up to support it. Saying it;s in a book somewhere is insulting rude behavior

I have repeated found with you when I look things up in book it does not say what you say it says,

You want to support the claim about the ammunition fine do so. You don't want to fine. But I do not take it seriously without evidence.


.

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

Post by Terry Duncan » 04 Dec 2019 10:01

JAG13 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 16:14
And you already had my source for the 30'000.000 rounds of ammo...
JAG13

Can you please post the book and page number as required by the forum rules as it seems at least obscure in this thread as to where it was given;

app.php/rules

2. Claims and Proof

The sixth rule of the forum is: "When quoting from a book or site, please provide info on the source (and a link if it is a website)."

If a poster raises a question about the events, other posters may answer the question with evidence. If a poster stops asking questions and begins to express a point of view, he then becomes an advocate for that viewpoint. When a person becomes an advocate, he has the burden of providing evidence for his point of view. If he has no evidence, or doesn't provide it when asked, it is reasonable for the reader to conclude that his opinion or viewpoint is uninformed and may fairly be discounted or rejected.

Undocumented claims undercut the research purposes of this section of the forum. Consequently, it is required that proof be posted along with a claim. The main reason is that proof, evidence, facts, etc. improve the quality of discussions and information. A second reason is that inflammatory, groundless posts and threads attack, and do not promote, the scholarly purpose of this section of the forum.

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Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion after warning.


Repeating 'I gave it to you' with no reference to where it was given or indeed what was given at that point totally undercuts the ability of people to use the forum for any form of research. Given you seem to have plenty of time to post refusals to repost the source, citing it would appear to be no great task for you to undertake.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 00:52

Avalancheon wrote:Army Group South probably wouldn't capture 600,000 soldiers, true. But the number would be significantly larger than the 100,000 prisoners bagged at Uman.
Per Krivosheev (as cited by Liedtke’s Enduring the Whirlwind fn 140), the June 22 strength of Southwest Front (i.e. Kiev Military District) was 864,600. A frequent mistake, however, is to ignore the 619,000-strong Stavka reserve which was administratively separate from the Military Districts/Fronts on June 22. This force included armies numbered 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 24; it also included independent rifle and mechanized corps. As this map from Glantz’s Stumbling Colossus shows, much of this reserve was deployed within the geographical area of Southwest Front-Kiev Military District, though not controlled by it or counted among it:
Image

Furthermore, as Nigel Askey details well (http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/wp-c ... tation.pdf), Front Strength and Stavka Reserve ignores NKVD and PVO (strategic air defense troops), whose combat-capable units had ~20% of the strength of the Western Military Districts on June 22.

So just adding NKVD and PVO troops – especially their border guard contingents – the actual OTL force opposing AGS in Galicia had over a million men on OTL June 22. In addition, there would be VVS ground support unit in Galicia and the timely evacuation of these personnel seems no more likely than others.

The next problem is to assume that only the forward-deployed units as of June 22 were liable to encirclement. For this misperception I have partly myself to blame, as I explicitly listed the encirclement only of three armies. Focusing solely on these units, however, ignores the large forces further East on June 22, all of which were committed against AGS’s drive within days. See for example, this map:

Image

As you can see, by June 28 nearly all of Kirponos’ previously-independent corps had moved west to stop Kleist’s drive. Some of these were committed on the north shoulder of Kleist’s advance and, had the ATL map looked the same in this area, would have evaded encirclement. But the ATL operation would not have been the same, of course. Instead of flanking defenders by stepping to his right flank as in OTL, the operational plan for a Galician Kessel would have had Kleist stepping to his left flank - nearer to the Pripyat marshes – thereby enclosing opposition in the Galicia battle. In OTL, Kleist aimed his drive somewhat Southeast-wards to link up with the desultory German/Romanian drive from Bessarabia (See e.g. Glantz’s book on the Border Battles for mention of this effort). ATL the operational plan has no need for anything but eastwards drive by Kleist, as 5th Panzer Group can drive north to meet him.

Now consider the impact of the southern (Romanian) pincer a bit more: This would consist of the OTL 11th Army (6 German ID’s) plus 6-7 Romanian ID’s, reinforced by the 5 new panzer divisions, 5 newly-motorized ID’s, and 5 standard ID’s moved from OKH reserve/France/Norway/Balkans (There were 19 good ID’s not committed by the Heer on June 22, I’m using 10 of them). This 28-division force, nearly 600k in total strength, changes the strategic picture dramatically. OTL the Germans made little effort in this sector; ATL Kirponos is facing a force that could probably defeat his front on its own over a month or so of battle.

In order to counter this threat, Stavka will have to move some of its reserve against the Romanian pincer rather than sending it to Western Front for the Battle of Smolensk as in ATL. If Stavka commits the nearby 16th and 19th Armies, that’s ~300k men by the end of June. That force is insufficient to stop the southern pincer but it would raise the overall Soviet manpower commitment in the Galicia border battle to ~1.4mil ground troops (Army, NKVD, PVO) plus VVS ground crews. Stavka Reserve, btw, is nowhere near sufficient to stop ~600k Germans even if the entire Reserve was sent. Using the entire reserve, however, would leave the Moscow axis virtually undefended after the destruction of Western Front by AGC.

Given Soviet performance at Minsk-Bialystok, I’d be surprised if only half of the committed troops were lost. Indeed, I could see a million troops being lost, of which 700-800k would be prisoners. For example, the Southern Pincer could focus its mobile forces on its right flank after commitment of Stavka reserves, orienting its drive to trap 16th/19th Armies in a wider encirclement that closes with Kleist farther east, nearer to Berdichev than Shepetivka, for example. A drive from Romania to Berdichev is about as far as from the Polish border to Minsk, so we know the panzer groups could support such a grand encirclement. If I were presenting the most aggressive version of my ATL I’d project 800k prisoners: 500-600k seems conservative but let’s stick with that for now. As discussed below, +/- 200k PoW in Galicia doesn’t particularly matter to the strategic narrative.

Alternatively, if Stavka for some reason didn’t reinforce Kirponos from its reserve, then Galicia could be a much-quicker, less-bloody German victory with a haul of “only” 400k of fewer prisoners. This would be a strategic catastrophe for the SU, however, as they’d lose all of Right Bank Ukraine – with its harvest, industrial plant, and most workers – within a matter of weeks and before significant evacuation/destruction. OTL the SU saved 2/3’s of the harvest along with most plant and workers from Western Ukraine by the end of August. Losing all of that would have been worse than losing half a million men.

Finally my argument doesn’t rely on fixing the exact number of prisoners in the Galician border battle so long as it’s a Kessel of great strategic significance (>300k prisoners). AGS can encircle any escapees in a second Kessel after Galicia somewhere between the Dniestr and Dnepr Rivers - think of that second battle as the Smolensk to AGS’s Minsk. This is THE critical point: With two panzer groups, AGS can destroy its opposition in Western Ukraine within a month or so, regardless of the distribution of destruction between June and July battles. Given two June/July Kessels, AGS should approach a million prisoners, fundamentally changing the picture across the front by preventing the OTL strong moves against AGC at Smolensk and the OTL reinforcement of Leningrad’s defenses during the summer. And that’s not the end of the story of course, as AGS will continue to employ two panzer groups to execute Kessels beyond the Dniepr as the campaign continues.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Dec 2019 06:48

Re logistics and the Ostheer, I posted a long discussion in another thread, re-posting it here.

TL;DR and main points:

1. The WW2 Heer was not systemically bad at logistics. It was far better than RKKA even if outclassed by USA.
2. The great logistical failing of Barbarossa happened with the Winter Crisis when rail communications collapsed for Ostheer and the German economy generally.
3. The Winter Crisis resulted directly from the failure of Barbarossa's plan for a weeks-long campaign, not from inherent German weakness in logistics and long-term planning.
4. German eastern railroads could have been built, with manageable investment, to avoid the Winter Crisis and to support the Ostheer on deeper drives into SU as envisioned in this and other ATL's.
5. Such railroads predictably would have been built given a strategic concept for Barbarossa stretching into 1942.

THEREFORE

6. Logistics was not the real reason for Barbarossa's failure; the strategic concept was.

and

7. Logistics is not a categorical plausibility constraint on Barbarossa ATL's involving deeper gains and/or a stronger Ostheer.*

*Within reason. Like logistics would be a problem for a drive on Vladivostok in 1941.


-----------------------------------------------------

The Ostheer's logistics were much better than RKKA's. Germany had more trucks and horses supporting fewer men and weapons. Germany's trucks were better than Russian trucks (i.e. had higher average lift capacity and were more reliable). Folks like to cite that AGC had to stockpile a million spare parts because of its diverse truck park. This criticism misses something obvious: AGC stockpiled a million spare parts, mostly for its supply columns. Would an army that ignored logistics, or was incompetent at it, possess the wherewithal to find, move, and use a million spare parts?

Critics of Barbarossa seemingly always compare German logistics to, say, American, which makes no sense. The Heer was qualitatively the world's best army in WW2 but its qualitative edge over the 2nd-place armies (Wallies qualitatively) doesn't mean the Wallies were operationally/tactically incompetent. Likewise, American field armies had the best logistical support; this doesn't imply the Germans sucked at logistics. Re Barbarossa, the comparison should be to Soviet logistics, not ideal or American. Volume IIB of Askey's Operation Barbarossa has great analysis showing how much better-supplied the Ostheer was than RKKA. The Border Battles revealed terrible Soviet logistics, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brody_(1941).

As an aside, excellent American logistical support wasn't flawless (See Patton's drive across France, which was shorter than AGC's advance in Barbarossa and outran its logistics). It was also extremely expensive: within the field armies alone, the American divisional slice was mid-30's thousands - nearly twice the German in Barbarossa. I would prefer 200 German divisions with German logistics to ~120 American divisions with American or even perfect logistics.


All that said, Barbarossa's logistics were indeed deeply flawed. But there's only one glaring flaw and it stemmed directly from strategy, not from the inherent logistical capabilities of the Heer:

HITLER PLANNED A SHORT CAMPAIGN; THE LOGISTICS WERE DESIGNED FOR A SHORT CAMPAIGN

That's all one needs to explain the one glaring logistical flaw of Barbarossa.

What was that flaw? Railroads.

Yes, the trucks had issues in Russia and yes, Germany would have benefited from more and better trucks a la the Americans. But a few points:
1. German truck lift was - to repeat - better in quantity and quality than its opponent's, who supported a larger army with fewer and worse trucks. See Askey Barbarossa v.IIB.
2. German long-distance trucking assumed tasks later in Barbarossa beyond the scope of strategic planning and its logistical implementation (i.e. trucks supported the full-fledged Heer at strategic depths intended for the operation of small, post-Soviet-collapse forces.) Truck/horse logistics did not fail the original mission; they arguably far exceeded it.
3. Trucks are expensive.
4. Until the general breakdown of railroad supply late in Barbarossa, German logistics supported a campaign that captured/killed more soldiers than any in history and that advanced farther in one campaign than did any other army in a major 20th Century War. If that's possible with bad logistics then logistics simply don't matter.
So about those railroads:

Nothing approaching adequate preparation for the OTL Barbarossa campaign occurred for the railroads because nothing approaching the OTL Barbarossa campaign was strategically planned.
Conventional, History Channel wisdom tells us that the Nazis were bad at strategic planning and folks (here and in published works) often attribute the railroad's failures to this supposed Nazi trait. Indisputable facts flatly refute this narrative.

For example, Germany began rail preparations for Barbarossa by October 1940, using 30,000 workers, 300,000 tons of steel, and spending 307mil RM on "Operation Otto":

Image
Image

From The Most Valuable Asset of the Reich: A History of the German National Railway Volume 2, 1933-1945 (hereinafter "MVAR v.2")

Otto was a massive, months-long program that enabled the Heer rapidly to concentrate on the border. Any contention that the Barbarossa build-up lacked long-term planning (within the terms of its strategic concept) dies on this fact alone. There's also the effort rapidly to accelerate army weapons production in the lead up to Barbarossa.

So far so good: Germany invested massively in infrastructure and weapons prior to Barbarossa: Germany was able rationally to mobilize the world's second-largest economy to support its strategic goals. Right?

For planning targets out to June 1941, yes. The critical turn, however, is the plan for a short war. I can't repeat enough how central this ridiculous assumption was to ensuing failures. Although Operation Otto successfully created rail lines capable of supporting a build up for history's largest-ever invasion, it stopped at the border and German preparations regarding the rail network east of the border were minimal - again based on assuming no need to support a large Ostheer deep into the SU (@HistoryGeek - I sound like Stahel repeating myself here; I need an editor).

The authorities responsible for rails within the occupied SU received nothing like the investment of Operation Otto during/before Barbarossa. Instead, Kreveld in Supplying War notes that the military railway engineers had sufficient signalling equipment (necessary to run high quantities of trains) for only the first 60 miles of the advance. There was apparently no plan (or no decently-backed plan) to build watering stations, train sheds, and sidings. No watering stations meant German locos, which were smaller than Russian, could run out of water and be stranded between longer-spaced Soviet stations. No sheds meant that, when winter came, locos would be damaged by freezing/bursting in their piping. Lack of adequate sidings meant that traffic was snarled while trains unloaded on tracks. https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/ ... r-19411945

Barbarossa's railroad problem was remediable
Remedying these problems cannot have been prohibitively expensive: Unlike Operation Otto, a "Second Otto" behind the Ostheer would add only signalling, sheds, watering stations, and sidings. There's plenty of track to support the Ostheer already (AGC had at least two double-track lines behind it, for example, which under Reichsbahn norms would enable 144 trains/day instead of the 24/day AGC was getting in July). At international market prices for steel in 1940 (500RM/ton), First Otto's 300k tons of steel constituted ~half of its 307mil RM price tag.

The labor force used over Otto's ~10 months numbered 30,000. If the man-hours for "Second Otto" were identical, then a 5-month program to make the rails adequate for Barbarossa would require ~60k workers. It would follow the Ostheer's advance and be finished in November on this schedule. Workers could come from Reichsbahn, Todt Organization, and foreign (e.g. SNCF) sources just as was done later in the war: Todt alone employed 65,000 workers on Soviet rails during 1942 (by then the work was aimed at facilitating economic traffic and so was of a different character but the point is that the workers could have been made available). MVAR v.2 at 133. Occupied railway companies sent thousands of workers east in later years. MVAR v.2 at 152. The Reichsbahn began moving people into SU once the rail crisis became apparent OTL.

A better-functioning railroad would have made better use of rolling stock: Traffic snarls reduce the productivity of stock; many cars sat around idly when the entirely-preventable loss of loco functionality in cold weather stranded them in the East. Nonetheless, more rolling stock would have helped and was readily available: in the year after Barbarossa, Germany demanded and received tens of thousands of additional rolling stock form Western Europe. Prior to Barbarossa they had already taken many cars but were concerned to maintain good relations with French/Belgian/Dutch rail authorities. When Germany's true military needs emerged however, the predictable reaction was to abandon those niceties. See MVAR v.2 at 136-152 for much more great info on the role of occupied railways. Given adequate (or merely terrible) Barbarossa strategic conception, Germany would have tapped these resources earlier. In addition to "borrowing" from occupied countries, Germany could simply have produced more locos and trains herself. Production escalated dramatically later; many other programs could have been traded to support a successful Barbarossa (steel hampered rolling stock production for example and Germany exported 8 million tons of it in 1940).

Germany's eastern rail performance improved dramatically over a short period OTL:
During the last month of 1941, 1,330 trains passed the Ostbahn’s eastern
borders into the occupied Soviet Union. During 1942, 38,556 trains moved eastward (3,214.3 per month).
MVAR v.2 at 131.

...this was despite the fact that systemic efforts to fix the system - as opposed to earlier frantic emergency measures during the 41-42 Winter Crisis - came only with the first Ostbau program starting in March 1942. MVAR v.2 at 133. Total spending on railways in the SU throughout the war - including Ostbau and other programs aimed at economic as opposed to military goals - amounted to 1.1bil RM. ibid. at 134. Most railway movement in the occupied SU, however, was within the SU, particularly from the food-surplus areas in the South to the food-deficit areas in the North (interesting fact, btw, which undercuts Tooze and other portrayals of the Hunger Plan as ruthlessly actualized rather than as an amorphous ideological goal held by the more fanatical Nazis). Much economically-induced railroad investment, therefore, was probably spent on north-south lines for which Ostheer had less use.

The rail problem was foreseeable as well as remediable:
The Reichsbahn warned Goering during summer 41 that due to the added demands of Barbarossa and the predictable problems caused by cold weather (1941 wasn't the Reichsbahn's first bad winter), an economic and military crisis in rail supply. MVAR v2 at 99. Of course the Reichsbahn wasn't consulted on Barbarossa planning, so this insight wasn't heard earlier.

---------------------------------------------------

The point of this post (part of a work in progress towards some other goals) is not to claim that Germany would have won simply had it invested a bit more on railways during Barbarossa. I lean towards "no" in answering that particular question. Note, however, that the 41-42 Winter Crisis - caused largely by poor Barbarossa planning - tanked the entire German economy during perhaps the decisive moment of the war. It meant fewer weapons in Blau and probably fewer soldiers as well, as industry needed to retain more labor for longer to make good shortfalls.

The point is rather to show that, given a manageable investment in better railroads, logistics would not have constrained the Ostheer from continuing to fight from ~November 1941 onwards as it had fought prior to the Winter Crisis and its attendant rail-supply disaster.

Given that Germany made adequate logistical plans towards its (non-Barbarossa) OTL strategic plans, I find it obvious that a strategic plan to support the full Ostheer into 1942 would have been supported by an adequate logistical plan for better railroads.

What prevented the building of adequate railroads in 1941 was the strategic plan for a short campaign. When the strategic plan changed, the railroads infrastructure followed adequately: as demonstrated by the ~200% increase in rail movements to the Ostheer during 1942 and investments made in advance of the 1943 Kursk offensive.

Barbarossa was the only true example of "Blitzkrieg" warfare. Every other German WW2 campaign up to then was based on decent strategic concepts for short- and long-term contingencies, matched by adequate logistical planning.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 16 Dec 2019 07:02, 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 » 16 Dec 2019 06:59

Richard Anderson wrote:
13 Nov 2019 18:55


How odd.

46. ID was not part of 12. Armee on 22 June 1941. In June it was "at the disposal of" (zur Verfügung von) 2. Armee and conducting security operations in Yugoslavia. It was placed at the disposal of OKH in July and moved to Rumania and assigned to 11. Armee on the Pruth later in the month.
Richard does a long and detailed post that's (surprise) mostly irrelevant or else confirms my claim.

Seven of the 12 divisions I list either were with 12th Army on June 22nd or were on their way to 12th Army, arriving before July 5th. For those in transit just move them sooner as part of my revised plan. My claim was that "most" of OKH reserve was assigned to 12th Army and that claim is correct.

Richard also lists a bunch of divisions (from 46th onwards) that weren't part of OKH reserve and that therefore were never claimed by me to belong to 12th Army.

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

Post by MarkN » 18 Dec 2019 13:28

This post was deleted as it violated the rules of AHF, please stay polite to each other.

Regards
Georg

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Dec 2019 02:25

In this thread and my +20div thread I made the manpower issue too complicated by requiring recruitment from the economy balanced by substitute labor forces. (Addressed that issue in a long post re-linked several times in this thread).

A much simpler solution is available: earlier call up of the class of 1922 (Jahrgange 1922 or JG22). A search indicates it was discussed in my +20div thread but the main interlocutor was on ignore so I missed the discussion.

JG22 wouldn't man the 20 new divisions themselves, rather the ~570k replacements available on June 22 would form the units while JG22, whose members would be gradually inducted over the 1941, would replace the replacement pool. Using 400k to man the new divisions (and associated non-div units) would still leave ~170k replacements available on June 22 - more than enough to bridge the gap to full JG22 deployment as the campaign proceeded.

To the extent that the youngsters of JG22 were working in 1941 it presumably was mostly as part of the Reich Labor Service (reicharbeitsdienst of RAD). This was a pre-war make-work program whose menial labor was lower-value and more easily replaceable by foreigners than were skilled workers in the factories - to the extent the RAD needed replacement at all (German fortifications were largely a waste, for example).

With the >1mil extra foreign laborers deployed in German factories under my plan, production of the extra army equipment needed is easy (army equipment was relatively cheap).

As I've discussed elsewhere, earlier strategic clarity by Hitler means an earlier Balkans campaign which, combined with higher army production, means Barbarossa can step off in May 41 and include those forces refitting post-balkans OTL (most importantly 2 panzer and one motorized infantry division).

That means 23 extra mechanized divisions on June 22, which means each Army Group has two panzer gruppe with which to encircle and destroy its opposition. Using more of the 19 good infantry divisions sitting in the West/Balkans is recommended as well and would be likely given a Hitler who takes the SU seriously.

So in total a 30-35 division delta to OTL Barbarossa, plus qualitatively better weapons (e.g. more Stugs and long-gunned tanks), is feasible given the sole alteration of taking the SU seriously. This would predictably result in taking at least Moscow, Leningrad, and Russia up to the Don during 1941, which would predictably result in a helpless SU by the end of 42. Strategic preparation for a 2-summer campaign likely enables Blau-ish progress into the Caucasus during 1941 as well, setting up greater oil production already during 1942.

Having started these ATL's as "Germany could have beat SU" I'm now firmly on "Germany should have beat SU."

This was the view of nearly all contemporary observers. They weren't wrong and they weren't necessarily underestimating the SU. They just assumed Germany was executing a non-imbecilic plan for invasion. Even Zhukov thought the Germans would come with 260+ divisions and over 10,000 tanks - I don't think it's hard to see Germany winning had his estimates been correct. Stalin was rightly terrified of German invasion.

The postwar facts obscure the basic truths about Germany's attack. We're used to viewing the SU as a superpower and Germany as a regional power. Nobody in the West had motive to highlight the SU's unanticipated heroism in beating Hitler with marginal - though probably decisive - Wallies help. Better to portray them as the colossal evil empire, especially for domestic cold war propaganda. The SU and its Russian successor, meanwhile, had/has no incentive to emphasize its weakness relative to Germany.

I anticipate that the grand narrative of the Eastern Front as predetermined in outcome by economics/demographics, and of Barbarossa as strategic folly, will be overthrown within my lifetime. Maybe I'll help with that.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Feb 2020 23:19

@Aida1

I am redirecting your point about the (historical) Marcks Plan here from another thread.

I'm not sure exactly what your point is (please elaborate), but you seem to be of the "Go for Moscow" school. You stated, for instance, that I shouldn't be focused on Southwest Front as proposed in my ATL.

This is a superficial analysis, IMO, that looks only at first-order effects.
What you fail to appreciate is that the survival of Southwest Front during the Border Battles allowed Stavka to concentrate nearly all second- and third- echelon forces against AGC during July/August.

The destruction of Southwest Front during the Border Battles would directly have helped the drive on Moscow by diverting Stavka reinforcements from Timoshenko to Kirponos. In the IMO most likely version of events, 16th and 20th armies stay in Ukraine rather than moving to Belorussia, thereby depriving Western Front of ~40% of its strength by mid-July.

The weaker Western Front is unable to check the convergence of Hoth's and Guderian's pincers east of Smolensk - OTL they were within ~15miles of closing by July 23rd but a gap remained opened into the early days of August. That doesn't happen here and most of the smaller Western Front is destroyed and captured during July, rather than surviving into August to batter Bock's forces.

Meanwhile, my reinforced AGS will be able to accomplish a second kessel in Ukraine during latter July, meaning that reinforcements that went to Western Front in OTL August will have, once more, to reconstitute Southwest Front (Stalin would not have abandoned the Southern Axis and, had he done so, wouldn't have survived it).

AGS's ability to win its own fight will allow AGC to proceed towards Moscow without concern for its right flank, meaning that the June/July battles in Western Ukraine will effectively win the Battle of Moscow.

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I did not choose my username out of respect for the Marcks Plan nor to argue that it would have worked. I chose it simply to emphasize the possibilities inherent in the first days of Barbarossa and the path-dependence of the war's course from the Border Battles.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Mar 2020 00:34

...as promised, I will be periodically updating this thread. I don't think I got much past the border battles earlier.

To skip ahead a bit, I posted some details for the close of the Eastern campaign in '42 in another thread here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=247189&start=15#p2250760

That scenario ends with Soviet-German armistice in September '42.
I also posted regarding a scenario in which Stalin needs a more more knocks to come to peace (e.g. capture of the Central Urals during late '42): viewtopic.php?f=11&t=247189&start=75#p2255840

IMO there is not a huge difference in German fortunes between the September and December '42 armistice scenarios. The later armistice give Germany more leverage over a defeated SU (occupation of Urals), making renewed German-Soviet economic cooperation more likely and more productive.

Another post discusses German moves into the Middle East and Iberia immediately after and/or shortly before Soviet surrender:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=247189&start=60#p2253678
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=247189&start=45#p2251362

In the thread in which these posts occur, I am currently discussing what the Grossraum economy would like in the years following Soviet defeat, and investigating what options are available to each side to end/continue the war.

My overall, topline thesis is that Germany and its allies will control more of the world's economic resources than the Allies, at least until the defeat of Japan.

I strongly suspect that it would have been feasible for the Germans to invade the UK in this scenario and/or at least to mount such a credible threat of invasion that Allied production would have to focus on defending against such a threat, probably pushing back or ruling out defeat of Japan on OTL timeline.

At some point (~2023?) I will pull together the threads of all my ATL threads into a single comprehensive German victory ATL. I know some of you can't wait for that!

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