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 Stiltzkin » 12 Aug 2019 06:03

You do not really need more Panzer Groups, you need more basic IDs. Lots of them. Looooots. :D Or robots.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Aug 2019 06:06

T.A. Gardiner wrote:The real, major, problem with German industry was it was just inefficient compared in particular to the Western Allies. There was little incentive until mid-war when it was too late to simplify production.
This is absolutely true with one obvious correction: there was little *perceived* incentive. My ATL changes that perception.
As with logistics, I don't need to go all the way to the American standard of things to get sufficient forces for German success.
Rationalization started at the Fuehrer level around May 1941 and earlier at lower levels; move that timeline ahead by one year - in combination with other strategic revisions that flow from realizing SU's strength - and having 5 additional panzer divisions while motorizing 5 other divisions is easy.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Aug 2019 06:08

Stiltzkin wrote:You do not really need more Panzer Groups, you need more basic IDs.
What's your argument for that?
And what's your argument against (1) that AGS would have encircled/destroyed Southwest Front given another mobile pincer from Romania and (2) that such encirclement combined with follow-on encirclements by AGS wouldn't have decisive strategic impact?
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 12 Aug 2019 06:26

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Aug 2019 06:06
T.A. Gardiner wrote:The real, major, problem with German industry was it was just inefficient compared in particular to the Western Allies. There was little incentive until mid-war when it was too late to simplify production.
and having 5 additional panzer divisions while motorizing 5 other divisions is easy.
It was not easy : if it was easy,it would have been done . It was not done, thus it was not easy .
And, it was not so that the German industry was inefficient compared to the Western Allies : one can not compare both, as both situations were totally different .

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

Post by ljadw » 12 Aug 2019 06:33

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Aug 2019 06:08
Stiltzkin wrote:You do not really need more Panzer Groups, you need more basic IDs.
What's your argument for that?
And what's your argument against (1) that AGS would have encircled/destroyed Southwest Front given another mobile pincer from Romania and (2) that such encirclement combined with follow-on encirclements by AGS wouldn't have decisive strategic impact?
You have no proofs for both assumptions . The facts are debunking them . The facts are that mobile divisions were unable to produce on their own decisive results ,because they lacked man-and firepower . They needed the support of the ID .
Boots on the ground were needed for encirclments with decisive strategic impact .Boots on trucks could not do this .

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Aug 2019 06:59

John T wrote:
11 Aug 2019 11:23
Do you know the work hours and shifts used in tank plants at that time?
The average work week in Germany in March 1939 was 47.6 hours. In September 1941 it was 49.5 hours, which was the wartime peak. In March 1944 it was 48.3 hours. However, that is for all wage earners in all types of employment. Between 1940 and 1944, steel and iron workers saw about a 15% increase in hours, while miners hours increased 5%. There were also variations dependent on sex and age.

That being said, workers at MAN and Vomag worked 60 to 72 hours per week, with 60 hours being the official limit by law set in 1942 and then reduced to 48 hours in February 1945. However, the reduction was due to the lack of raw materials, continuing the 60 hour week would have necessitated furloughing workers. The most detailed analysis was at Krupp-Gruson, where most of the adult male workforce worked a 60-hour week (74% of the total work force), 20% of the adult male workforce worked 72 hours, included with them was the night shift (6%) working as service and maintenance personnel preparing the plant for the next days work, 1% worked 56 hours and were young men 16-18 years old, 2% worked 54 hours and were young men up to 16 years old, 2% worked 48 hours and were women living some distance from the plant, and 1% worked 30 hours and were women with children at home...which totals to 103%, but then rounding. So most of the work force worked five or six 12 hour shifts during a week and a different times a Speer-initiated schwerpunkt action added another 12-hour shift, meaning about 94% of the workforce worked 72 to 84 hours.
Alan Hambys web page on Tiger I , says Tiger production was 2 shift a 12 hours, but that was later during the war.
http://www.alanhamby.com/factory1.shtml
I have a notion from somewhere that most of german arms production operated on one shift surprisingly long into the war.
The problem was how do you add a second shift and work 24-7 when your available workforce is already working insane hours? There simply wasn't sufficient manpower to do so. Even bringing in slave labor and trying to recruit more Gastarbeiter simply relieved some of the strain on the German workers.
The 12-hour shift was the norm
Yep. Five to six days a week...or more when a "push" was on.
When Sweden mobilized her industry during 1940 two measures where implemented,
1. Increase in work hours by 10 hours a week - simple to implement if you can motivate the workforce.
2. Two shift, this required obviously more manpower, transfers from other parts of the company and/or new hiring's.
but as every new worker have a more experienced colleague, on the job training where fairly efficient.
1. When 10 hours was added to the work week what was the total hours worked for the week?
2. Sweden mobilized, but wasn't at war. Nor did she have the demographic losses of the Great War to work around (one of the more interesting problems Germany had to deal with was the large cadre of post-Great War adolescents from the postwar baby boom. That was one reason so many women weren't free for more than the 30 hours exemplified by Krupp-Gruson...they were too busy taking care of large broods of children at home. The Nazi emphasis on big families and lots of children added to that problem too.

The U.S. was able to put huge numbers into industry to a large extent because of the FY 1937 recession...there was a huge segment of the population looking for work in 1940-1941 when mobilization began. The U.S. however then had to balance the requirements of industry with those for military manpower...and unlike Germany industry always won. That meant that in the U.S., instead of chronic manpower shortages in industry there were chronic shortages of manpower in the military...but Germany ended up with both and was only able to carry on by enslaving people into industry and dragooning "Germanic" types into the military.

Anyway, it is pleasant to discuss good and fair questions with you without rancor...so much easier to do when there is no axe to grind trying to keep a fantasy ATL afloat.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Aug 2019 07:40

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Aug 2019 03:18
T. A. Gardner wrote:
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.
sources?
Building the Navy's Bases in World War 2.

A single Navy CB battalion of just over 1000 officers and men assigned. Their equipment issue included: (somewhat abbreviated for time)

343 tents and 72 Quonset huts.
8 water purification units including storage and distribution for 10,000 gallons a day. (Prevents things like dysentery and Cholera)
8 15 KW generators
A 50 circuit switchboard along with FM radios when needed.
77 trucks of various size including 32 2 1/2 ton 6 x 6 dump trucks, a 4 ton wrecker, a 750 gallon tank truck.
20 trailers of various size
6 crawler cranes with buckets from 3/4 yard to 1 1/2 yard
1 3/4 yard back hoe excavator
20 crawler tractors that could be fitted with bulldozer or angle dozer blades
8 Earth scraper trailers (towed by the crawler tractors when used)
1 rotary trenching machine
3 road graders
2 road rollers ("steam" rollers)
2 5 ton cargo cranes
4 3000 gpm pumps
2 large concrete mixers (7 and 14 cubic foot)
In addition to all that they had air compressors, jack hammers, power saws, welding equipment, and all necessary tooling to keep everything repaired and working.

The US Army equipment issue was slightly different but a construction battalion that was supplemented by an equipment company got close to the same amount of heavy machinery. The US Army simply didn't issue all of that equipment on a permanent basis because their combat engineer battalions were not just doing construction unlike the Navy CB battalions were.

Image

That's D+3 on Omaha beach. The US Army set up a rock crushing plant to make gravel to stabilize the roads coming off the beachhead, and for other construction purposes.

Both the US Army and Navy also screened recruits to find those with the necessary trade skills from civilian life where they could and put them in engineering units. The CB's mostly took only skilled tradesmen, often older men than would have been drafted.

This stuff makes a huge difference, and the Wehrmacht doesn't come close to having anything like this on anything close to the scale the US did.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Aug 2019 07:49

RichardAnderson wrote:The average work week in Germany in March 1939 was 47.6 hours. In September 1941 it was 49.5 hours, which was the wartime peak. In March 1944 it was 48.3 hours. However, that is for all wage earners in all types of employment. Between 1940 and 1944, steel and iron workers saw about a 15% increase in hours, while miners hours increased 5%.
sources? Not that I have any specific disagreement with the quoted statement, but you really should be providing sources.
...just as you should provide sources - anything - for your assertion that the early-1939 cut in the panzer program from 1,200 to 600 medium tanks had no impact on procurement contracts or on the plans to issue such contracts.
RichardAnderson wrote:Anyway, it is pleasant to discuss good and fair questions with you without rancor...so much easier to do when there is no axe to grind trying to keep a fantasy ATL afloat.
Yes, nothing is more conducive to the absence of rancor than a passive-aggressive note to someone else at the end of your post (someone you claim to ignore). :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Aug 2019 10:50

More on the material/manpower background to this ATL:

Once more, the ATL centers on Germany/Hitler appreciating the SU's (potential) strength from 1938 at the latest. This post will describe how such appreciation likely would have motivated Germany to pursue greater mobilization and rationalization from an earlier point in the war. It starts with a narrative of the ATL, followed by sources - including pictures of tables - and analysis.

--------------------------------
First an aside: You might say that Hitler, knowing the strength of the SU, wouldn't have started the war. You might say he wouldn't have launched Barbarossa. I don't think either conforms to a realistic picture of Hitler; his raison d'etre was the great racial war that he launched and in which Drang nach Osten was central (I would guess his real reasons were an inner nihilism and rage due to lack of self-worth and compassion but that's clearly not visible to Hitler himself). I also (obviously) believe that Hitler could have won the war given how the potential coalition against him shook out. So that's all I'll say about "Hitler wouldn't have invaded Russia" under my heartland ATL parameters.
--------------------------------

As already described, from 1938 Hitler prioritized the army to greater degree than OTL. As of June 1940 and the Fall of France, Hitler had hundreds more medium tanks than OTL and is either building more trucks or had made investments to build more trucks.

Already by June 1940 he had seen initial plans for Barbarossa (ordered in this timeline during France or earlier), including preliminary analyses regarding logistics for the Ostheer, intelligence estimates of potential Soviet reserves, and economic statistics on Soviet arms production. From these it is clear that, unless the Soviet state collapses, Stalin will still have millions of men in the field even if the Ostheer advances 1,000km into the SU. Capturing the western 1,000km of the SU will seriously weaken the SU but it would still be formidable. To render the SU militarily impotent, the Ostheer must reach at least a line Archangel-Volga and may have to take the Urals. Given the logistical problems attendant to supporting a large army that far from the start line, Hitler realizes - with appropriate guidance from Halder and Quartermaster General Wagner - that preparations must be made for a two-year campaign.

This realization, combined with the threat of UK/US landings in Europe in 1942, conjured the two-front war that Hitler always dreaded and for which he criticized the Kaiser. Reflection and discussion with military intelligence allayed these concerns, however: given the most optimistic projections of Allied shipping and UK economic needs, deploying 30 divisions across the European theater would be a stretch during 1942. And Japan would hopefully divert some or most of that force. The German army could scale back its 1942 plans in the east to crush such an Allied invasion, which would likely end the war in the West. In any event, Hitler now felt he was facing a two-front war regardless of what he chose: were he to focus on building the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine, and on extending his forces throughout the Mediteranean as Admiral Raeder suggested, he would need 100 divisions at the very least to deter Stalin from stabbing him in the back. Given intelligence analysis and Stalin's eager displays of Soviet industrial capacity, 200 divisions might be needed by 1944 and no one could assure Hitler they would have subdued the UK by then if the US entered the war in her defense. So two-front war was it was either way and Hitler picked the version he thought he could win.

Nonetheless, the margin for error was slim: Absent Soviet collapse - hoped for but not planned upon - the SU must be defeated or rendered a secondary theater by spring 1943 at the latest, when the West could be able to deploy serious armies in Europe. Accordingly, Hitler and his ministers actively suppressed post-France euphoria within bureaucratic and industrial circles[see below], especially all expectations of a rapid return of workers and resumption of normal trade. Instead, Hitler, Todt, Goering, Thomas, and all other economic officials emphasized the need for further strenuous mobilization within Germany and the occupied territories. Political resistance to the importation of foreign workers was overridden as impeding the war effort, as was opposition to further cuts to domestic consumption and the use of young Germans - including females - as Flak and other auxiliaries. Regarding the occupied territories, Hitler took a ruthless course of economic exploitation for labor in the Reich. Domestic labor resources were nearing full deployment; Europe would have to pick up the slack for further expansions of production and armed forces. All POW's - even the consanguineous Dutch - were held after surrender as labor or as bargaining chips for labor. Food exports to the West would ensure only subsistence; economic exports would support only basic survival and production assistance for the Reich. Hitler appointed Fritz Sauckel as Minister for Labor shortly after the fall of France. Sauckel and Hitler offered to France, Belgium, and Poland the return of their POW's only on condition of sending two workers to Germany for each POW. Food and other economic constrictions in Western Europe were seen as a "stick" to motivate labor flow; retaining food in Germany was a "carrot" for foreign workers. Early results freed up another 100,000 men in time for induction in 1940 and participation in Barbarossa. By June 1941, nearly a million civilians from occupied Western Europe (France, Netherlands, Belgium) were working in Germany, freeing up hundreds of thousands of men for military service [note- only 85,000 additional troops participate in ATL Barbarossa, this is a setup for the 1942 campaign]. Under Sauckel's ministry, Germany also stepped up recruitment of in the General Government (mostly Poles) and in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

Despite ongoing and anticipated increases in labor supply, military demands were far outstripping projected capacity. By 1942, Hitler wanted an army capable of finishing Russia while defending the West, a Luftwaffe capable of defending against the US/UK, and a Kriegsmarine with vastly more U-boats. Thereafter the Wehrmacht should be able to take the offensive in the West against staggering Allied industrial capacity. Production forecasts could not meet all these demands. Increased pressure on industry to economize caused dissension and recrimination from industrialists, who claimed that OKW quality demands were too high. Todt and especially his young deputy, Albert Speer, appreciated industry's complaints but also complained of inefficient craft production modes prevalent in industry. When Todt's plane crashed in July 1940 and Speer was appointed Minister of Armaments, Speer embarked on a mission both to rationalize production and to temper the military's counterproductive focus on quality and variety. Speer also prevailed on Hitler to cease Autobahn construction, freeing thousands of workers to address the neglected railways.

Analysis and References

The following tables (and pages) are from Hitler's Foreign Workers by Ulrich Herbert:

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As Herbert states, recruitment of civilians in the West was "low-key" initially, with only 25,000 French workers in Germany by April 1941. p97. French civilian labor reached its peak towards the end of 1943 when 666,000 worked in Germany. Dutch labor barely exceeded the pre-war figure during 1941 - only 93,000 Dutch worked in Germany, while Hitler had released over 200,000 Dutch POW's in summer 1940. Belgian labor increased throughout the war. Laborers from the General Government (mostly Poles) increased by 600,000 in the two years after September 1941.

Note that foreign labor continued increasing even after Stalingrad and other defeats increased resistance among workers, including evasion of reporting and absconding from jobs - and despite a shrinking recruitment base due to German territorial losses. 1941 foreign labor recruitment was 800,000 below 1942 and 43 despite 1941's bounty of Russian POW's. The latter half of 1940 was surely worse still, though I don't have direct statistics.

This shows that Germany did not mobilize European labor effectively early in the war. With regard to Western Europe, it is clear that political resistance to mass importation of foreign labor and expectation of early victory after France impeded labor recruitment. With regard to foreign labor generally, it is clear that only the appointment of Sauckel and Hitler's backing for greater labor recruitment drove post-1942 increases in the foreign labor force despite significantly more adverse conditions. To say that Germany could have added a million more workers than OTL prior to Barbarossa is no stretch.

In addition, Overy demonstrates in The German War Economy 1939-1945 that the rationalization efforts that underlie* the "Production Miracle" of later war years occurred due to the buildup of pressure from the top to expand production and its collision with the frontiers of German industrial resources. Out of the resulting fights - between the armed services, between the services and industry, between industry and the state - emerged the need and political will to bend industrial and military procurement practices to the will of a state that wanted to wage war at global scale. ("Wartime economic pressure...compelled efforts to use industrial capacity more efficiently"). Overy states that Hitler didn't become aware of the crisis military supply vs. demand until around February 1941 and didn't issue a formal order for rationalization/simplification until December 1941. p.352-354. I postulate that earlier recognition of the German strategic crisis would have caused earlier rationalization measures: Hitler's production demands would have been higher and industry's inability to meet them more apparent. Given the susceptibility of totalitarian states to the foibles of a single leader, an earlier Todt death with earlier Speer replacement would have made Hitler move quicker as well: Hitler loved Todt but Speer was the man who best influenced him towards positive economic steps.

*As Tooze points out, Overy overstates the impact of rationalization to some extent by minimizing the significant increase in foreign/forced labor during the "Production Miracle." And yes, I agree with Tooze that Speer should have been hanged.

Here the ATL's strategic clarity would be particularly important: As is widely recognized, one of the basic problems with the German war economy was the absence of a strong central authority besides Hitler. In this environment, it was difficult for the respective armed services interest groups (not just LW/KM/Heer but group leaders of fighters, bombers, panzers, artillery, Flak, Uboots, etc) to perceive a firm "no" to their demands and therefore maximally to clamor for greater resources and/or coordinate with other interest groups. Thus after the Fall of France we see Raeder submitting a fleet plan for 28(!) battleships, 8 carriers, 50 cruisers, scores of destroyers, and 400 Uboots. All while priority was focused on preparing for Barbarossa. With strong strategic direction from Hitler, the services would have seen their ambitions thwarted/granted firmly and more rancor - ultimately productive - would have ensued.

So what's the takeaway of all this for my ATL?

Here's my estimate of incremental cost for equipping 5 more panzer divisions and motorizing 5 standard infantry divisions:

Image

[approximation - my thesis isn't sensitive to calculation error (in the spreadsheet only) of less than an order of magnitude]
250mil RM is less than 1% of the Wehrmacht's 1940 budget.
In the tables and analysis provided above, it's easy to see Germany having a million more workers than OTL prior to Barbarossa. That would be an 11% delta to Germany's OTL 1941 industrial labor force of 9.2mil. Taking average foreign worker productivity at .7 relative to German, that's ~8% increase in effective labor output.
All of that delta can't be applied to Barbarossa armaments of course. If we assume labor force amplification (ATL vs. OTL) scales linearly over the year prior to Barbarossa, then we'd have on average 4% more effective industrial labor input.

Germany could have produced a <1% delta to its armaments output with 4% greater industrial labor input during the year preceding Barbarossa

This is too obvious to sweat whether this or that factory would have produced more output (as some here are wont to request).
Regarding raw materials - Germany exported over 8mil tons of steel during 1940. Keep at least the little needed for the extra weapons instead (keep a lot more, in fact).

The real payoff of this mobilization is in the 1942 campaign (though I could say more about late-Barbarossa replenishment of men and equipment enabled by greater foreign labor mobilization). Combined with earlier rationalization measures - or not - the 1942 Ostheer is massively stronger than OTL.

I'll have more to say about that in the next long post, can't say when though.
To be honest I haven't conclusively decided the minimal force delta required for ATL 1942, though I have a general outline in my head: enough to conquer the Caucasus/Stalingrad while launching a simultaneous massive envelopment of Moscow, followed by advance to the Volga. 500k extra Germans (ATL vs. OTL) with TOE equipment strength and better armor seems sufficient but more seems feasible given 1944 levels of foreign labor in 1942. Thoughts?


Thanks for all those reading along and for those providing helpful comments.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 12 Aug 2019 11:31

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Aug 2019 06:03
You do not really need more Panzer Groups, you need more basic IDs. Lots of them. Looooots. :D Or robots.
Yes.More Id's to cordon off and clean the pockets which allows the mobile divisions to continue their advance

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

Post by Aida1 » 12 Aug 2019 11:35

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Aug 2019 06:08
Stiltzkin wrote:You do not really need more Panzer Groups, you need more basic IDs.
What's your argument for that?
And what's your argument against (1) that AGS would have encircled/destroyed Southwest Front given another mobile pincer from Romania and (2) that such encirclement combined with follow-on encirclements by AGS wouldn't have decisive strategic impact?
He made a good Point.AGC is where the decision is made.

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

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Aug 2019 13:09

T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Aug 2019 07:40

This stuff makes a huge difference, and the Wehrmacht doesn't come close to having anything like this on anything close to the scale the US did.
What does this have to do with "not needing" more combat troops? It doesn't. At least you're not illustrating why it does

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Aug 2019 14:08

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Aug 2019 13:09
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Aug 2019 07:40

This stuff makes a huge difference, and the Wehrmacht doesn't come close to having anything like this on anything close to the scale the US did.
What does this have to do with "not needing" more combat troops? It doesn't. At least you're not illustrating why it does
Because it acts as a force multiplier. If the troops are better supplied, they not only have more to fight with, but suffer fewer non-combat losses of both manpower and equipment. As I already pointed out, just having better roads for supply trucks to move on would not only allow them to move somewhat faster along them, but it would reduce the rate at which the vehicles wore out an needed replacement. As it was, the only thing that really allowed the Germans to supply the original advance into Russia was the capture of France and the mass of motor vehicles, along with additional production capacity, that brought. German industry alone was incapable of supplying the necessary vehicles.

The same goes for railways. For example, in North Africa after the Torch landings the US Army took over control and operation of the French railway system. Initially, the system had roughly a capacity to move 900 tons of supplies forward a day. After about 8 months of operation and improvement, the system was moving about 3,000 tons a day.
A good idea of how important having good railway engineering units is might be the US performance at Naples. An advance party of the 703rd Railway Grand Division entered the wrecked railyard in the city. The Germans had blown up as much as they could and the yard had been heavily bombed. That was Wednesday 6 October 1943. The first train out of the yard running down four miles of track occurred on Sunday the 10th.

http://www.wbachapter.org/files/Militar ... ervice.pdf

In Russia, the Germans really needed one rail line forward to within about 50 miles of the front as it advanced per army but the Eisenbahntruppen could only manage one line per army group and it was usually 100 + miles behind the front as it advanced.

This is all a major force multiplier. Reinforcements and replacement equipment would reach the front faster. Units would have more supplies. Bridging rivers could be done faster. The Germans could have brought in landing craft and riverine craft to operate on the larger rivers in Russia. I don't think the Germans made much, if any effort, to do something like that.

Historically, the Germans came close to winning at the end of 1941. But, they just didn't have quite enough ability to move more units forward and supply those that were at the pointy end of things. Had they been able to repair the rail lines faster, restore roads and bridges faster, and even make new ones where none existed, it likely would have made all the difference necessary for a win.

Van Creveld in Supplying War makes a good argument in chapter 5 "Russian Roulette" for the same thing.

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

Post by MarkN » 12 Aug 2019 14:46

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Aug 2019 13:09
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Aug 2019 07:40
This stuff makes a huge difference, and the Wehrmacht doesn't come close to having anything like this on anything close to the scale the US did.
What does this have to do with "not needing" more combat troops? It doesn't. At least you're not illustrating why it does
Doing an invasion of CCCP differently is just a wander down the path of fantasy. What outcomes would have resulted from those changes are nothing more than opinion and guesswork. Whilst some opinions have far greater credibility than others, some guesses more realistic than others, it is impossible to say BARBAROSSA could have succeeded with more or less troops or the same number but with different decisionmaking.

My personal opinion is that the Heer badly overestimated their own capabilities and underestimated those of the Red Army. As TheMarcksPlan threads have illustrated, to afford any reasonable chance for success, it needed a completely different Germany (political, economical and industrial) with a completely different set of leaders (political and military) making completely different decisions. And even then, there is no guarantee of success.

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Aug 2019 17:38

MarkN wrote:
12 Aug 2019 14:46
Cult Icon wrote:
12 Aug 2019 13:09
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Aug 2019 07:40
This stuff makes a huge difference, and the Wehrmacht doesn't come close to having anything like this on anything close to the scale the US did.
What does this have to do with "not needing" more combat troops? It doesn't. At least you're not illustrating why it does
Doing an invasion of CCCP differently is just a wander down the path of fantasy. What outcomes would have resulted from those changes are nothing more than opinion and guesswork. Whilst some opinions have far greater credibility than others, some guesses more realistic than others, it is impossible to say BARBAROSSA could have succeeded with more or less troops or the same number but with different decisionmaking.
This is a "What-if" section. That's the sort of thing done here.
My personal opinion is that the Heer badly overestimated their own capabilities and underestimated those of the Red Army. As TheMarcksPlan threads have illustrated, to afford any reasonable chance for success, it needed a completely different Germany (political, economical and industrial) with a completely different set of leaders (political and military) making completely different decisions. And even then, there is no guarantee of success.
My view is that logistics and engineering are a vital and integral part of industrialized warfare. They are also two areas the Germans really didn't make a lot of effort to study. The US, by comparison, made civil engineering a big part of the West Point curriculum, had an industrial warfare college (Army Industrial College formed in 1933), and took both areas very seriously.
So, the Germans studied tactics and got really good at tactical and operational warfare. That is, fighting on the battlefield. The Allies, to one degree or another, studied strategy, logistics, and engineering. Turns out these were / are what wins wars.

Now, what I've proposed is probably a complete non-starter for Germany because it means a near upheaval of their current civil engineering methods and the introduction of far better logistical planning. The US had to fight a global war usually far from home. That's something the Germans were ill-prepared for and it shows.

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