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

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 May 2022 09:45

Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 09:43
engaging with you further is a waste of my time.
Dream on, kid!
It seems so. Maybe another time and best of luck in your beautiful city.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Destroyer500 » 20 May 2022 14:50


In that case, what point of departure (POD) gets Hitler and his Generals to perceive the need for a larger invasion force? What chain of events would lead to them taking the Soviets more seriously? You once said that if the Soviets had defeated Finland in the winter war, then it would have increased their prestige and led to a more realistic appraisal of their abilitys by the Germans (with potentially disastrous consequences for the Soviets). Have you developed some more thoughts on that scenario?
Just my 2c.Hitler was told multiple times that the risk for Barbarossa was too great to be taken.Others told him that he could win because they had a small numerical advantage.Those others based their claims on false espionage intel.Secrete services in Germany fucked up real hard many times and were not really allowed to talk that much when the "big generals meetings happened".These services were also not that big compared to other countries.There was aslo that traitor Wilhelm Canaris among them that was responsible for the not getting Spain in the axis actively earlier in the war and for giving freely a ton of info on the British and due to the latter he even doomed any chance the Germans had at Kursk.Had Spain entered the axis Goering had a big plan for the taking of the whole North Africa and possibly even the middle east but Gibraltar was required for that.The Germans realized that the Soviets had huge numbers of everything when they reached near Moscow.At that point one general ( he may have been a lower rank but you get the point) even exclaimed that they had destroyed 200 something Soviet divisions which was more than on the initial planning so the SU must be dead but reports from espionage on Soviet telephone lines and radios showed that that was not the case.The High command snubbed these reports badly (just like they in general snubbed secret services) up until the Stalingrad point.I would also like to point out that Adolf was persuaded (and i think it was due to Goering) that an early bigger African campaign before Barbarossa was a good idea but the refusal of Spain (and i think it was 3 times that they refused) to help them due to Canaris quickly changed to him wanting to invade the SU.There were also many espionage plans involving the US but failed miserably due to Canaris fucking up hard (he used American "friends" that turned in all the German spies to the FBI).Had the US espionage program worked as intended then even the infastracture of the Manhatan project could be compromised but im diverting from the topic.
The only way the Germans would even think of preparing for a 2 year campaign would be if the Secret Services (had no traitors) had done a much better job at finding out the numbers of Soviet divisions and in general strength and of course with a High command not snubbing the secret services department.They should have played the British card when it comes to espionage.Had though Canaris not existed or been dead or something then the SU would be invaded after an African campaign and with much bigger leverage and maybe even from multiple fronts because some of that oil could be sold to the Japanese and that may have detered them from a Pearl Harbor and in the best case scenario persuade them to open a front to the SU.

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

Post by Huszar666 » 20 May 2022 17:33

The only way the Germans would even think of preparing for a 2 year campaign would be if the Secret Services (had no traitors) had done a much better job at finding out the numbers of Soviet divisions and in general strength and of course with a High command not snubbing the secret services department.
I would rather say, the only way the Germans would have planned a more-than-a-year campaign was, if the only enemy they had at the time was the SU.
As long as the UK sits on their other doorstep, going for longer than 1 year means that Seelöwe will not be done in 1942, but rather 1943 (i.e. never). Defeating the UK before an Eastern Campaign would mean... say, Axis troops in Persia, ready for a quick grab of Baku. For example. Defeating the UK on their home turf would mean Spain - and maybe even Turkey in the war against the SU. Not needing to let a huge pile of divisionions wait for maybe-coming invasion in the West, but further 20-30 Divisions in the East. And pratically the whole LW.
My whole problem is with this scenario is, that if the SU was considered a larger threat as in the OTL, why attack in June 1941, without finishing the UK? Since WW1 the Germans got panic attacks if someone even mentioned a two-front-war, so why going into one against a more serious threat?
If Seelöwe was not possible in 1940, than it should be priority No 1 to do it in 1941, as early as possible. From the 30-odd fast divisions send 9 to North Africa to push the UK back to India and Kenia (or further south), reserve 9 for doing the UK, place the rest in a few central places in the East as quick-response force. From the around 175 Infantry Divisions in the broader sence reserve, say, 50 for garrison duty in the West and Seelöwe, and let the others dig trenches and errect fieldworks on the soviet border.
Finish the UK, occupy everything West of India and North of the ex-German-East-Africa, build stuff and attack the SU in 1942 (as early as possible) with six further PzDiv, four further motDiv, 30 further InfDiv, plus whatever the Spaniards, Turks, Italians and whatnot can provide.

For the feasibilty of the whole "attack from Rumania due North with a full 5th PzArmy" I will make a separate post.

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

Post by Destroyer500 » 20 May 2022 18:20

Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 17:33
The only way the Germans would even think of preparing for a 2 year campaign would be if the Secret Services (had no traitors) had done a much better job at finding out the numbers of Soviet divisions and in general strength and of course with a High command not snubbing the secret services department.
I would rather say, the only way the Germans would have planned a more-than-a-year campaign was, if the only enemy they had at the time was the SU.
As long as the UK sits on their other doorstep, going for longer than 1 year means that Seelöwe will not be done in 1942, but rather 1943 (i.e. never). Defeating the UK before an Eastern Campaign would mean... say, Axis troops in Persia, ready for a quick grab of Baku. For example. Defeating the UK on their home turf would mean Spain - and maybe even Turkey in the war against the SU. Not needing to let a huge pile of divisionions wait for maybe-coming invasion in the West, but further 20-30 Divisions in the East. And pratically the whole LW.
My whole problem is with this scenario is, that if the SU was considered a larger threat as in the OTL, why attack in June 1941, without finishing the UK? Since WW1 the Germans got panic attacks if someone even mentioned a two-front-war, so why going into one against a more serious threat?
If Seelöwe was not possible in 1940, than it should be priority No 1 to do it in 1941, as early as possible. From the 30-odd fast divisions send 9 to North Africa to push the UK back to India and Kenia (or further south), reserve 9 for doing the UK, place the rest in a few central places in the East as quick-response force. From the around 175 Infantry Divisions in the broader sence reserve, say, 50 for garrison duty in the West and Seelöwe, and let the others dig trenches and errect fieldworks on the soviet border.
Finish the UK, occupy everything West of India and North of the ex-German-East-Africa, build stuff and attack the SU in 1942 (as early as possible) with six further PzDiv, four further motDiv, 30 further InfDiv, plus whatever the Spaniards, Turks, Italians and whatnot can provide.

For the feasibilty of the whole "attack from Rumania due North with a full 5th PzArmy" I will make a separate post.
I had never thought of the ways a big African and Middle Eastern campaign would play out since i dont have knowledge about the German army on the operational and tactical level but what i can easily say and strongly agree is that if Britain doesnt get out of the war any attack on the SU is doomed to fail unless they do absolutely 0 mistackes which is impossible.Also if they have a big part of Africa and the M.E. then oil and almost any other resource need they would have would be met so even if the SU gets Romania it doesnt matter that much.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 May 2022 05:49

Avalancheon wrote:
20 May 2022 08:41
What do you see as being the minimal conditions required for a larger invasion force during the Russian campaign?
Your question had me pondering other minimal scenarios for Soviet defeat... Without choosing a definite minimum, I've been thinking about the precarity of Soviet food supply and how small degradations of that supply could have pushed the SU into collapse. I posted another thread just now analyzing to what extent Soviet starvation traces to territorial loss and to Total War mobilization.

TL;DR: Territorial loss and Total War mobilization account for roughly equal portions of Soviet food supply degradation.

What implications for minimal Soviet defeat scenarios?

First, this insight is another nail in the coffin of the suggestion that SU could have mobilized more real combat power in 1941. Theoretically one might say the SU could have moved workers from agriculture into industry or armies - an argument that didn't come up earlier but isn't theoretically impossible. As a practical matter, however, the food supply impact of further decreasing labor or other inputs into food production would have been catastrophic.

Second, this little analytical project has me thinking about territorial degradation of Soviet food supply more generally. Any ATL that enables Ostheer to take significant croplands from SU during 1941 has the potential to push SU from the chronic starvation it experienced historically into acute or otherwise catastrophic starvation. Are there such ATL's that include ZERO initial force amplification?

One candidate is a "logistics only" ATL. It's fairly easy to argue that AGS's logistical situation in Fall '41 prevented it from reaching the Don and holding Rostov. As I've discussed elsewhere, AGS's advances during October-November '41 were taking enormous numbers of PoW's . Behind the front, however, AGS's logistics situation was atrocious - easily the worst of any army group. It didn't have a rail line over the Dniepr and the Rasputitsa mud of Ukraine's black soil appears to have particularly harmed it (some cites from that period here).

It seems a reasonable inference that AGS was the most constrained by logistics, and that it would have taken significantly more territory had Barbarossa's logistical planning been based on a two-summer campaign. If AGS reaches the Don between Voronezh and Rostov, and holds it, the food and other production implications for the 1942 SU might be fatal.

Obviously I haven't done enough work to substantiate that viewpoint but it's of the general shape of another fairly minimal condition for Soviet defeat.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 21 May 2022 07:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Peter89 » 21 May 2022 07:28

Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 17:33
The only way the Germans would even think of preparing for a 2 year campaign would be if the Secret Services (had no traitors) had done a much better job at finding out the numbers of Soviet divisions and in general strength and of course with a High command not snubbing the secret services department.
I would rather say, the only way the Germans would have planned a more-than-a-year campaign was, if the only enemy they had at the time was the SU.
As long as the UK sits on their other doorstep, going for longer than 1 year means that Seelöwe will not be done in 1942, but rather 1943 (i.e. never). Defeating the UK before an Eastern Campaign would mean... say, Axis troops in Persia, ready for a quick grab of Baku. For example. Defeating the UK on their home turf would mean Spain - and maybe even Turkey in the war against the SU. Not needing to let a huge pile of divisionions wait for maybe-coming invasion in the West, but further 20-30 Divisions in the East. And pratically the whole LW.
My whole problem is with this scenario is, that if the SU was considered a larger threat as in the OTL, why attack in June 1941, without finishing the UK? Since WW1 the Germans got panic attacks if someone even mentioned a two-front-war, so why going into one against a more serious threat?
If Seelöwe was not possible in 1940, than it should be priority No 1 to do it in 1941, as early as possible. From the 30-odd fast divisions send 9 to North Africa to push the UK back to India and Kenia (or further south), reserve 9 for doing the UK, place the rest in a few central places in the East as quick-response force. From the around 175 Infantry Divisions in the broader sence reserve, say, 50 for garrison duty in the West and Seelöwe, and let the others dig trenches and errect fieldworks on the soviet border.
Finish the UK, occupy everything West of India and North of the ex-German-East-Africa, build stuff and attack the SU in 1942 (as early as possible) with six further PzDiv, four further motDiv, 30 further InfDiv, plus whatever the Spaniards, Turks, Italians and whatnot can provide.

For the feasibilty of the whole "attack from Rumania due North with a full 5th PzArmy" I will make a separate post.
Before you make that post, I suggest you to be a bit more sourced and detailed about it, because you are trying to challenge a guy who put years of effort into his idea, and (whatever I think of it personally) his work is so many levels above the content of your comments that it almost makes you look arguing for argument's sake.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 21 May 2022 08:32

Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 17:33

As long as the UK sits on their other doorstep, going for longer than 1 year means that Seelöwe will not be done in 1942, but rather 1943 (i.e. never). Defeating the UK before an Eastern Campaign would mean... say, Axis troops in Persia, ready for a quick grab of Baku. For example. Defeating the UK on their home turf would mean Spain - and maybe even Turkey in the war against the SU. Not needing to let a huge pile of divisionions wait for maybe-coming invasion in the West, but further 20-30 Divisions in the East. And pratically the whole LW.
My whole problem is with this scenario is, that if the SU was considered a larger threat as in the OTL, why attack in June 1941, without finishing the UK? Since WW1 the Germans got panic attacks if someone even mentioned a two-front-war, so why going into one against a more serious threat?
If Seelöwe was not possible in 1940, than it should be priority No 1 to do it in 1941, as early as possible. From the 30-odd fast divisions send 9 to North Africa to push the UK back to India and Kenia (or further south), reserve 9 for doing the UK, place the rest in a few central places in the East as quick-response force. From the around 175 Infantry Divisions in the broader sence reserve, say, 50 for garrison duty in the West and Seelöwe, and let the others dig trenches and errect fieldworks on the soviet border.
Finish the UK, occupy everything West of India and North of the ex-German-East-Africa, build stuff and attack the SU in 1942 (as early as possible) with six further PzDiv, four further motDiv, 30 further InfDiv, plus whatever the Spaniards, Turks, Italians and whatnot can provide.

For the feasibilty of the whole "attack from Rumania due North with a full 5th PzArmy" I will make a separate post.
You are dreaming .
1 A successful Sea Lion was out of the question in 1940 and/ or later .
2 Axis troops in Persia : out of the question
3 A quick grab for Baku : idem
4 The Soviets could survive ,and did, without Baku
5 9 divisions in Libya : even von Thoma said that it was impossible
6 Kenya ?? You forget that there is a country between Egypt and Kenya = Sudan and no intelligent man would send his army through Sudan .
7 To conquer the ME : HOW? WHY ?
8 Spain and Turkey : the armed forces of these countries could not operate outside their borders . Only a fool would want them as allies .
9 The occupation of UK would make Barbarossa and the ME impossible .
10 The occupation of the ME would make Barbarossa and the occupation of Britain impossible .
11 Barbarossa would make the occupation of Britain and the ME impossible .
12 A lasting occupation of the USSR west of the Volga was impossible .
13 The same for a lasting occupation of the ME.
14 The same for a lasting occupation of Britain .

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

Post by Huszar666 » 21 May 2022 12:02

Before you make that post, I suggest you to be a bit more sourced and detailed about it, because you are trying to challenge a guy who put years of effort into his idea, and (whatever I think of it personally) his work is so many levels above the content of your comments that it almost makes you look arguing for argument's sake.
Do you know me? I doubt it. IF you knew me, you would know that I did What Ifs for the last around 20 years in different forums, and not as a kid but as an adult. When I say this and that, it is based on those around 20 years of experience in doing what ifs. You probably couldn't name one scenario I didn't play through.
His content is not above my contribution to this thread, since I was able to spot questionable issues with the first glance. If you want to see content that is above this, I could provide you with the link for a 200+ page treaties I wrote a few years back, because I was bored in the office. THAT is above his content I have read so far. (it's in German, though)
You are dreaming .
1 A successful Sea Lion was out of the question in 1940 and/ or later .
2 Axis troops in Persia : out of the question
3 A quick grab for Baku : idem
4 The Soviets could survive ,and did, without Baku
5 9 divisions in Libya : even von Thoma said that it was impossible
6 Kenya ?? You forget that there is a country between Egypt and Kenya = Sudan and no intelligent man would send his army through Sudan .
7 To conquer the ME : HOW? WHY ?
8 Spain and Turkey : the armed forces of these countries could not operate outside their borders . Only a fool would want them as allies .
9 The occupation of UK would make Barbarossa and the ME impossible .
10 The occupation of the ME would make Barbarossa and the occupation of Britain impossible .
11 Barbarossa would make the occupation of Britain and the ME impossible .
12 A lasting occupation of the USSR west of the Volga was impossible .
13 The same for a lasting occupation of the ME.
14 The same for a lasting occupation of Britain .
Sorry, it has more rationality than invading the SU, while the UK sits in the backyard and you invade the SU well knowing that it would take at least two years. Without any planning on what comes next and how to defeat the UK (as you said, Seelöwe was out of question at any given time. I have a differing opinion, but ok)
With one or two PzDs in North Africa it would be possible to reach Persia and Kenia within half a year at every time pre-July 1942. Discussed it a couple of times in different forums. It would work.
Baku was never lost to the soviets in WW2, you probably mix it up with Maikop. Since Baku was responsible for the majority of soviet oil production, surely, it would prove no problem to survive without it. In the extreme, there are soldiers who could push the tanks into battle.
Point after 8 i don't really understand...

I have completed my analysis about the push of 5th PzA, but since it is probably soooo below of the content posted, I don't see, why I have made the effort.
Best regards. So long

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

Post by ljadw » 21 May 2022 13:12

About Baku (YOU mentioned Baku : a quick grab for Baku ) :that Baku was responsible for the majority of the Soviet oil production, is
wrong
meaningless and irrelevant .
And : you are confounding production and consumption .
Baku was BEFORE the war responsible for the majority of the Soviet oil production , but during the war the Soviets produced and consumed LESS oil than before the war and still conquered Berlin .
You are also neglecting the Soviet oil reserves .

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

Post by ljadw » 21 May 2022 13:26

About the points 9 to 14 : reality is that Germany was weaker in WW 2 than in WW and it was already very weak in 1914 .
It could not occupy France and Britain, defeat the USSR, occupy the western part of the USSR and occupy the ME ( there was also no need to occupy the ME ) .
The occupation of Britain and Ireland would demand an additional 30 divisions , a whole air fleet and strong KM forces .
The occupation of the ME would demand 30 more divisions and an air fleet .
Germany attacked the USSR with 150 divisions of which more than 10 who were not suitable for the fighting .50 other divisions were tied elsewhere .
Where would Germany get 2 more air fleets and 60 divisions ?
And even without Barbarossa and the occupation of the ME , Germany could not afford this burden : 80 occupation divisions 40 on the border with the Soviets ,30 as general reserve, home forces, LW and KM = 4 million men ,and this for generations . For the US this would be 16 million men in peacetime .
With the burden of a successful Barbarossa, the Third Reich would explode before 1953, without Barbarossa before 1960 .

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

Post by lamuerte » 21 May 2022 13:34

I could provide you with the link for a 200+ page treaties I wrote a few years back, because I was bored in the office. THAT is above his content I have read so far.
If we don't know your unprecedented analytical skills, then share with us your 'what if' content. Link aformentioned treaties or reveal your name under which you post on other forums. Because arguments you make here are basically at the level of highschooler.

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

Post by Peter89 » 21 May 2022 13:55

Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 12:02
Before you make that post, I suggest you to be a bit more sourced and detailed about it, because you are trying to challenge a guy who put years of effort into his idea, and (whatever I think of it personally) his work is so many levels above the content of your comments that it almost makes you look arguing for argument's sake.
Do you know me? I doubt it. IF you knew me, you would know that I did What Ifs for the last around 20 years in different forums, and not as a kid but as an adult. When I say this and that, it is based on those around 20 years of experience in doing what ifs. You probably couldn't name one scenario I didn't play through.
His content is not above my contribution to this thread, since I was able to spot questionable issues with the first glance. If you want to see content that is above this, I could provide you with the link for a 200+ page treaties I wrote a few years back, because I was bored in the office. THAT is above his content I have read so far. (it's in German, though)
Sure, please do provide that link, German is no problem for me. And feel free to share links in my native Hungarian, too.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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

Post by Huszar666 » 21 May 2022 20:49

About Baku (YOU mentioned Baku : a quick grab for Baku ) :that Baku was responsible for the majority of the Soviet oil production, is
wrong
This is not wrong. The whole Causacus region, including Maikop, Groznij and Baku provided around 80% of production according to all sources I could access, with Baku being responsible for most of it. If you could could provide data that contradicts this for 1942 and earlier, I would be very interested. As said, as far as I could dig up data, the above figure is correct.
Baku was BEFORE the war responsible for the majority of the Soviet oil production , but during the war the Soviets produced and consumed LESS oil than before the war and still conquered Berlin .
You are also neglecting the Soviet oil reserves .
since there were no comparable production sites available, pre-war and during-war should be mostly identical. The SU DID increase the production in other places (that is not-Baku and not-Caucasus) during the war - that is in 1942, when the Caucasian fields were lost or threatened - that could not come close to the capacity of the Caucasus.
You also forgot, that the Western Aliies did supply the SU with a lot of oil and derivates (that is especially true for 1942, when the main field fell or were threatened).
The SU produced more oil in peacetime than it consumed, and even if it was true for 1941, how long do you think oil reserves would last, if around 80% of the production (that is, the Caucasus) is terminated. Not even asking, WHERE those oil reserves were kept.
About the points 9 to 14 : reality is that Germany was weaker in WW 2 than in WW and it was already very weak in 1914 .
It could not occupy France and Britain, defeat the USSR, occupy the western part of the USSR and occupy the ME ( there was also no need to occupy the ME ) .
The occupation of Britain and Ireland would demand an additional 30 divisions , a whole air fleet and strong KM forces .
The occupation of the ME would demand 30 more divisions and an air fleet .
Germany attacked the USSR with 150 divisions of which more than 10 who were not suitable for the fighting .50 other divisions were tied elsewhere .
Where would Germany get 2 more air fleets and 60 divisions ?
And even without Barbarossa and the occupation of the ME , Germany could not afford this burden : 80 occupation divisions 40 on the border with the Soviets ,30 as general reserve, home forces, LW and KM = 4 million men ,and this for generations . For the US this would be 16 million men in peacetime .
With the burden of a successful Barbarossa, the Third Reich would explode before 1953, without Barbarossa before 1960 .
I would say: ???
Occupying France and the BENELUX with the threat of the British needed less than 40 divisions. Occupying France AND the UK whithout any other threat would need less in total. With ZERO Luftwaffe participation.
Occupying the ME would cost Germany exactly ZERO troops, this is why you have the Italians. Even then, you would not need 30 divisions, but around 10 divisions of third line troops, most of the Arabians were pro-axis. You would need exactly ZERO airforce participation.
If you have a problem with Germany havin less troops to afford to garrison the occupied territories, why don't you have a problem with Germany having 10 extra fast divisions at its disposal? Just asking.
Points 9-14: this was never the question about Germany being able to sustain its gains, but about gaining all those territories. The later was possible. If the former was possible, that is a whole another question. However, the Western Allies and soviets were quite successfull in administrating their gains after the war.
If we don't know your unprecedented analytical skills, then share with us your 'what if' content. Link aformentioned treaties or reveal your name under which you post on other forums. Because arguments you make here are basically at the level of highschooler.
Hmmm... Highschooler... Ask your primary schooler of planner what he planned to do with the 49th and 55th Rifle Corps and the 16th, 18th and 24th Mechanised Corps. But ok. primary scholl hysterical kiddy beats highschooler 11 times out of 5.
Names in other forums:
forum of lexikon der wehrmacht I do not even remember, that was two or three incarntations of the forum ago, maybe Panzermann? Don't know
panzerarchiv was *ALEX* (rest in peace, my old forum)
marinearchiv is Huszar (although I'm not really active there for the last years)
The link is:
https://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/i ... 194.0.html
The last version is of 28.11.2015. you have to register to download the files. Please note, that I do have a different opinion of some things since then, and I will post and update (on another forum because of... reasons) sometimes later.
Sure, please do provide that link, German is no problem for me. And feel free to share links in my native Hungarian, too.
Szasz! Magyar fórumokon nem vagyok jelen, valahogy nem érzem a késztetést, hogy a németen - és utóbbi időkben an angolon - kívül még egy harmadik nyelven is posztolgassak. Túl kevés időm van ahhoz, és rabszolgahajcsáraim szerint dolgozonom kéne munkaidőben :D Ha gondolod, dobj egy üzit.

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

Post by Huszar666 » 21 May 2022 21:26

As for my analysis of the prosed operation.

(as an aside: I found out during the years, if you want to do a what if, assume the worst case scanario for the reactions of the opposite side. After you though HARD about what the opposite side would do in the worst case scenario, ADD some more unforseen circumstances, ADD a few days/tonnage/requirements for your scenario, and be pessimistic even then. As far as I know, no one posting on forums is a professional military officer who has all the relevant information at his disposal. Being overly pessimistic in a what if scenario is probably closer to real capabilities than being "objective" or even optimistic. Better safe than sorry.)

Please note, that I have read the last say half a dozen pages and the first four or five of this thread, and from (around) 12 of 40-something I have gleaned an opinion, what was going on. Between the first half-a-dozen and the last half-a-dozen I have not seen any (meaningfull) deviation from the OP.
At it is I do have problems with Germany having 10 extra fast divisions at its disposal, but I'm still willing to honor the notion for the sake of discussion. I still not understand why and how Hitler would divine in 1938 (or early summer 1940) that he would go against the SU in 1941 despite not wanting a war till 1942 at the eraliest, anticipating the borders of 1941 before Münich, Poland and the taking of the Baltic States, that he would have Rumania as an ally and a few other ancillary trivialities, but why not. Focusing only on the operational thingies.

The short take is, and it took me only half a day, if you give me more time, I could refine it further

The scenario we are discussing here hangs on the following
1, the Germans realise early on, that the SU would be a harder nut to crack they (and most everyone at that time) thought it would be.
2, that realisation occurs (according to the OP) sometimes 1938, or (as it transpired later on) shortly after May 1940
3, despite this realisation already in sometimes 1938 or as late as May 1940, and the fact that Rumania was till August-September 1940 NOT a German ally, the Baltic states falling to the SU happened only in late summer 1940, and the planning in the OTL against the SU gained speed only after November 1940, it is seen as a given that the OTL Rumanian entry happens, Germany is able to invade the SU from the territory of Rumania, and it is realised that a 5th PzArmy is needed for this drive.
4, It is realised early enough that a 5th PzArmy is needed, to build enough stuff to outfit 5 PzD and 5 motD including corps and army troops plus logistics to provide the same quantity of supply for it as the other Ostheer armies had.
5, for some reason the UK is not invaded and defeated pre-Barbarossa, despite the SU being a larger threat, and no German ally opts out of Barbarossa for this larger threat.
6, The new 5th PzArmy is able to trap more SU troops earlier than in the OTL and manages to destroy even more soviet troops till autumn even faster. In such quantity, that it would allegedly even influence Hgr North.
7, I probably missed the point, but obviously no further Luftwaffe reinfrorcement was earmarked for Rumania, leaving the only 160 level bombers, 160 fighters and what the Rumanians had to provide support for the whole grouping.

So, for the sake of argument I will let point 1-5 slide, and do assume, a 5th PzArmy is indeed ready to jump from Rumania.

First, we have to visualise the OTL Order of Battle south of the Carpathians.
1, the Hungarian Fast Corps plus odds and ends. Hungary was NOT included in the planning for different reasons, so building a plan on the participation of Hungary – and what little we did in Galizia – is highly suspect from the beginning. If there was not bombing of Kassa, which prompted our entry into the war, the whole 12th SU Army would be unengaged and free to do what it wants. Just for clarification, the whole Hungarian Carpathian Group consisted ot two mot Bdes, one Cavalry Bde, and call it two mountain Bdes, with a total of 16 „fast” Btls, 3 armoured Btls, and 9 InfBtl. The soviet 12th Army having three full InfDiv after giving up 17th Rifle Corps to the 18th Army (27 Btls without odds and ends), However, the 58th Mountain Rifle Division was in reserve near Kolomia
2, East of Hungary there was the 3rd Rumanian Army, with the Mountain Corps (20 Btl of assorted Inf) on the left, the Cavalry Coprs in the center (equivalent of 6 Btls of fast troops) and the IVst Corps on the right (two Divisions with some odds and ends). Total armoured capacity around 6 light tanks, all in the Cavalry Corps. Facing this (and the 5th PzArmy in this scenario) was the 18th Army, that was splitted off the 12th Army on the 25th of June, directing the 17th Rifle Corps and – this is important! - the 16th Mech Corps. Sitting behind the 18th Army, right at turn of the border was the 55th RC with three RDs. Further to the Northeast was the 49th RC (right in the middle of the propesed attack line!) with another three RDs.
3, East of the 3rd Rumanian Army was the 11th Army, with six German and four Rumanian InfDiv, one Rumanian CavDiv and the Rumanian PzDiv, from the bend of the border due South. Against this Army stood the right flank of the soviet 9th Army with 48th and 55th RC (in reserve) plus the 2nd Mech Corps with five RDs and some odds and ends
4, South of the 11th Army's front was the rest of the soviet 9th Army with another RC, the 2nd Cavalry Corps and the 18th Mech Corps. According to the OOB, Southern Front had two further RCs and an Airborne Corps as reserve. From those 7 SDs, the 106th, 156th were on the Crimea, the 116th at Nikopol, the 196th was still raised at Dniepropetrovsk, and the 206th was at Shepetivka since 5th July. We can safely disregard these troops.

It is important to note however, that from the three fast corps of Southern Front only two took part in the counterattack North of Kishinew, the 18th Mech Corps sat out the battle further South (and was transfered to the North till 10th July OTL).

For the whole operation it is extremly important to be aware that the German-Rumanian offensive didn”t start only on 2nd July without a reason. As late as 30th June most of the 11th Army was still marching up to the front, as were multiple Rumanian divisions. The preliminary attacks across the Prut by the Rumanians were beaten back and the bridgeheads eliminated till the 25th June. (read Border Battles in Moldavia on the Russian wiki for further info. I do not understand Russian either, but Exploder conviently translates stuff).

Another important piece of information is, that the STAVKA ordered the withdrawal of the troops in the Lemberg salient of the 30th June to the borders of 1939. That is mostly Dniester-Zbruch.

Even if we assume, the 5th PzArmy could be concentrated before the 2nd July in the North, the drive of the 11th Army to the East would not start earlier then in the OTL (maybe even later, since the roads would have been occupied by the 5th Pz...), meaning:
1, the 11th Army would not be counted on providing flank cover (it couldn”t do that to begin with, since it was attacking due East, and thus opening the flank even more), but only on some parts of the 3rd Rumanian Army that were already there (three Mountain Bdes, 2 CavBdes and one ID, however, one CavBde and one ID, together with the second ID attacked due East to provide flank cover for 11th Army in the OTL, not North). Or the organic parts of 5th PzArmy.
2, the three fast Corps of Southern Front could be sent North to deal with 5th PzArmy and not sitting idly as in the OTL and waiting for the attack of the 11th Army (and, in case of 18th MechCorps, the 4th Rumanian Army, that didn”t even materialise).
3, For the two-times of 250km of frontline till the proposed closing point of the Kessel you would need at least around 10 Divisions, even with an unpratical and undefensible 50km per Division. You have the equivalent of around FIVE Rumanian Divisions, at best, since in the OTL about half attacked due East to cover 11th Army, plus the 5 German mot Div – however, with 6 Btls per Division those have only the equivalent of three full divisions. In the OP there was a mention of „further two IDs from the West”, with those extra two the bare minimum could maybe provided, but that is a stretch.
4, since the Battle of Brody was waged between 23rd and 30th of June, and the attack of 5th PzArmy could not commence much earlier than 2nd July, it is impossible for it to influence the battle in the North.

As for the course of the operation, I will assume it starts on the 2nd July, as the main offensive South of the Carpathians did in the OTL. As I stated earlier, 11th Army (and a lot of 3rd Rumanian) was not ready earlier. With the need to push a whole PzArmy through the abysmal road network in Rumania at the same time, it is possible that even 2nd July could not be kept!
I even assume, that the real soviet OOB is in effect, meaning the soviets did not realise the build-up of a complete PzArmy in the North and thus do not send the three fast corps to the North before the operation commences.
With the 6th, 12th and 26th Armies already abandoning the salient since the 30th June (two to three days prior to the 5th PzArmys attack!), this would be a race for closing the Kessel or escaping it.
(The map in the OP indicates an attack from Bessarabia, NOT out of Northern Rumania, I do not know if this a mistake in map-making or it is the real intention, I assume the former)

I do not see any problems with the attack between the border and the Prut, the massed charge of a complete PzArmy would surely smash the one or two RD and border guards there in short order. More problematic would be getting across the Prut in a timely manner. Even today there exists eight bridges across it between Chenovic and the turn of the border, and five of them look like fairly recent affairs (as in post-80s). All the while 39th Tank Division (with 209 tanks) is running against the bridgeheads from the North (it was stationed North-East of Chernovic), and the 58th Mountain RD coming from the West against the left flank. Even if we assume, the 35km from the Rumanian border to Chernovic could be done in one day – that is highly implausible against an alert enemy defending, and the Prut is overcome on the strech were it is a border river also on the first day, there are still 35kms to the Dniester after it.
I highly doubt that either Chernovic could be reached in one day or the Prut (as border river) could be overcome in one day, at least two or even three would be more realistic in my opinion. Chernovic would be in particular an interesting point, 39th Tank Division sitting there to begin with, 58th MRD pressing against the flank of the Army, and 15th Tank Division (with 347 tanks) coming down from Zalishchyky, around 40 km away.
So, assuming only two days for reaching (NOT taking!) Chernovci, and the Prut (as border river) overcomming, incl having freedome of operation North of it, the situation would like this on the morning of 4th July:
1, In the West 1st Rum M.Bde is still holding to border against the 96th MRD, the 4th Rum M.Bde holding the front between the border and Chernovic against the 58th MRD, the 2nd rum. M.Bde moving up. Around Chernovic the DI PzCorps (three fast divisions) is trying to take the city against the 15th and 39th TDs, the rest of the 60th MRD and assorted clutter.
2, In the center DII PzCorps (three fast divisions) overcame the Prut between Chernovic and the border, and has freedom of operation between Prut and Dniester. The two extra German IDs are following
3, in the East DIII PzCorps (three fast divisions) overcame the Prut as a border river and has freedom of operation between Prut and Dniester. 8th rum CavBde and the spare German fast division are following, the right flank is protected by the (marching up) 6th and 7th rum IDs.
4, further South the 11th Army is driving due East as in the OTL.
Probably at this time the 18th Mech Corps (282 tanks) would receive orders to move North against 5th PzArmy. In the OTL they were already in the North around the 10th July, so they were started the move around this time in the OTL too. I leave the other two attacking as in the OTL.

Reaching the Dniester late on the 4th or early on the 5th would not pose much of a challange for the center and the right flank, however, there is where to problems start. 49th RC sits with three RDs and the 240th MechDiv (with 112 tanks). The 24th MC (222 tanks) was sitting not far away at Proskurovka and thereabouts. I have both corps Southwest of Berdishew at around the 9th July, while the 16th MC was at the city, it is possible that with a breakthrough in the South 24th MC would stay too, but who knows.
If the 5th PzArmy sets out earlier, the two corps in question would be more and more probably waiting at the Dniester.
Capturing bridges over the Dniester should prove difficult, between Zalishchyky and the Bessarabian „border” there are exactly two even today (and the one at Zalishchyky was waay to the North-West). DII and DIII PzCorps would so need to establish bridgeheads (against one RC while one MC counterattacks) and build their own ones. Let«s optimistic and assume only two days are needed for that and getting freedome of operation North of the Dniester.
The situation on the morning of the 7th July would be like this:
1, on the left flank Chernovic would be taken, but the DI PzK is still held up by the two soviet Tank Divisions and assorted clutter South of the Dniester. The rum Mountain Corps between Prut and Dniester
2, in the center DII PzK has finally overcome the last natural barrier, probably East of the Zbruch River and is advancing North
3, on the right flank DIII PzK has finally overcome the last natural barrier and is advancing on both sides of Kamanec-Podolski, with the city in front of it.
4, At the 11th Army the big counter-attack of two fast corps haven«t even begun.

The most important point is that the withdrawing 12th Army already reached the Dniester West of Zalishchyky with the 26th further North, and by the 9th July occupied the Zbruch River.

Starting on the 2nd July (like in the OTL, because all the troops weren«t ready yet!) it is simply not possible to overcome two rivers and drive 250km up to Sepetovka in five days or so and trap all the soviets West of the Dniester.
For the pincers closing „Early July” - I understand it as not much later than the 2nd July – and needing around five days to get real freedome of operation North of the Dniester while still having to drive around 200km to Sepetovka (let«s call it 30km a day) the 5th PzA would need to start no later than the 20th June, two days before Barbarossa commencing .

Please note that Southwestern Front would need exactly ZERO forces to divert to the South at the time the Battle of Brody was raging, or any time later. There were enough forces in the South to deal with everything East of the Carpathians, they were even able provide further troops for the Battle of Berdischew. THIS is the only help the 5th PzA is able to provide for the North.
However, not sending the three mentioned corps to the North would mean that neither would be caught up in the Uman Kessel, so drive North by the 5th PzA would net even less captured soviets than in the OTL…
With a starting point of 22nd June the 5th PzA would face even more problems as above described: it is probaly that all three of Southern Front«s fast corps would arrive in the right flank AND the 55th RC – which was occupied by 11th Army would be there too.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 May 2022 22:07

That was a detailed, civil, and coherently-reasoned response to the OP, so deserves a reply from me. I will try my best to be civil and substantive from here on out.

There are two main areas with which I disagree. The first regards the rationale for building 10 more fast divisions. As Huszar has addressed the operational-level ATL on the assumption that this happens, however, I will follow his lead in making only brief remarks on this point in another post. I am happy to "agree to disagree" at the strategic level for now and focus on operations.

On operations, Huszar departs from my ATL in arguing that an attack from Romania on June 22nd was impossible:
Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 21:26
Starting on the 2nd July (like in the OTL, because all the troops weren«t ready yet!)
I disagree. The Romanian armies were not ready to attack on June 22nd because Hitler only told Antonescu of his plans on June 12, while Antonescu only told his generals on June 20. From GSWW v.4:
In his new capacity of ‘commander-in-chief of the army front Romania’,
Antonescu on 20 June 1941 at last issued the order which briefed the
Romanian general staff beyond the defensive task on the concept of ‘follow-up’ and
Operation Munich, i.e. on the attack across the Pruth.'
In almost identical appeals to the unprepared Romanian nation and
the troops, on 22 June 1941 Antonescu proclaimed the ‘holy war’ for the
reconquest of the rights inherited from their fathers, and also against the
greatest ‘enemy of the world, Bolshevism’ . Two days later came the official
declaration of war against the Soviet Union.94 Combat operations were at first
confined to raiding-patrol forays, artillery duels, and air raids. On 25 June 1941
the Eleventh Army issued the ‘ Order for the execution of Operation Munich’ .95
12 days to prepare an offensive is a vanishingly small window. 11th Army wasn't going to cross the Prut without the Romanians on its flanks, so 11th Army had also to delay its attack.

The ATL solution: Tell Antonescu 10 days earlier. That enables Romania to start roughly on June 22 as it did on July 2.

Alternate solution: Use the German reinforcements to displace Romanian forces in northern Romania, attack from northern Romania with German forces only. These reinforcements include not only 5th Panzer Army, but several (five?) divisions held in reserve on OTL June 22 but committed immediately ATL (we can discuss, I will pick a number and stick with it. I have made this point somewhere in the thread but it's long, I know). With that force, the German strike from Romania (~20 divs) does not need immediate allied flank protection - unlike 11th Army's relatively weak OTL thrust.

Is there a security risk attendant to 10 days advance notice to Antonescu? I suppose so but it seems marginal compared to Ostheer's behavior in OTL June '41 (obviously massing at the border, conducting rampant overflights of Soviet territory, etc.).

On a related point, German relative massing in Romania would be less threatening to Stalin, IMO, than relative massing in Poland as in OTL. Why? Because Stalin accepted other explanations for massing in Romania - reasons inapplicable to the massing in Poland. He suspected a German move towards Turkey and the Mideast, for example, to which the Romanian buildup was (partially) prefatory. I can find cites for these assertions if needed (and with sufficient time allowed).

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

Due to a busyish day, I will not get to all of Huszar's post right now. I'll address points later today/tomorrow as time arises.

Thank you for a well-thought-out reply and for the opportunity for discussion in that mode.
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