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

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historygeek2021
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 21 May 2022 23:14

Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 21:26
the three fast corps of Southern Front
Which corps are these?

Given the lack of preparedness of Red Army units when Barbarasso began, including lack of ammunition, fuel and motorized transport, what is your assessment of the combat effectiveness of the three fast corps and their ability to swiftly redeploy?

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

Post by ljadw » 22 May 2022 06:55

Huszar666 wrote:
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.

From Ellis :
Soviet oil production ( in millions of tons )
1940 :31,1
1941 :33
1942 : 22
1943 : 18
1944 :18,2
1945 : 19,4

In 1941 the Caucasus oil production ( and Caucasus is NOT Baku ) was 23,5 million .
In 1945 it was 11,2 million . And 11,2 million is NOT 80 % of 19,4 million !

From Orbat/sturmvogel
Soviet oil production
1940 : 31,121
1941 : 33,038
1942 :21,988
1943 :17,984
1944 : 18,261
1945 :19,436
The oil production in 1945 was 62,5 % of that of 1940.
The Soviet oil consumption was less during the war than before.
On June 22 1941 Soviet oil exports to Germany and other countries ceased,which increased their reserves .
The Western oil deliveries could never replace the gap in the Soviet oil production .
Russian energy mix was in
1940 : coal 70 % / gas and oil 24 %
1950 : coal 73 % and gas and oil 24 % .
During the war the Wehrmacht consumed each year less than half of the German oil production ( imports included ) .
It was the same in the USSR .
The importance of the Caucasian oil for the Soviet oil production before the war is a non sequitur in a discussion about the amount of the Soviet oil production during the war .
It is the same for the German oil imports before the war or the production of oil in Pennsylvania before the war,or the ME oil production before the war .

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

Post by Peter89 » 22 May 2022 08:42

Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 20:49
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.
For some reason, I can not download or access your "essay" about your what-if scenario, but according to your conversations, it seems you base your theories on a successful invasion of Britain, which contradicts reality in every sense. There were some prerequisites for successful, opposed landings in WW2 and the Germans could not meet any of those prerequisites - either in 1940 or in 1941. The closest they came to anything like it was at Malta in 1942, nowhere near the same as a Channel crossing would be.
Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 17:33
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.
Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 12:02
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.


I presume you are aware of the fact that the Germans actually did commit 1-2 PzDs to North Africa... with the known results. I don't know what kind of conversation can lead to this extravagance in disregard of reality, but certainly that wasn't this forum, where the slightest deviations from OTL are intensely debated for years, even in the what-if section.

As for this claim, the Benghazi-Teheran route is approximately 4000 km, the Benghazi-Nairobi route is over 6000 km on atrocious roads. In fact, even if that 1-2 PzD would encounter no enemy resistance, the number of arriving motor vehichles to the said destinations in six months would be exactly zero.
Huszar666 wrote:
20 May 2022 17:33
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.


No problem, posting in English is a rule of this forum anyway.
app.php/rules
  • Do not post in languages other than English (outside the translation request forum).
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Huszar666 » 22 May 2022 08:51

Which corps are these?

Given the lack of preparedness of Red Army units when Barbarasso began, including lack of ammunition, fuel and motorized transport, what is your assessment of the combat effectiveness of the three fast corps and their ability to swiftly redeploy?
2nd Cavaly Corps, 2nd Mech Corps, 18th Mech Corps.
As far as I can determine it on the fly, the 2nd MC was North of Kishinew, not far from Balti, around 170km from the turn of the border, 2nd CC south of Kishinew, let's call it 300km away, and the 18th MC a bit further South.
As for the assessment, I do not see much of a problem with the 2nd CC, being mostly horsed cavalry and only 90 or so tanks. I don' t think, they would need more than 5 days or so to show up in the North.
With the 18th MC we are in luck, since they were redeployed to the North in reality, on the 10th of July already being there. As far as I can determine, the redeployment did not start before the 1st July, but probably a bit after the 2nd July. For the 18th MC to redeploy, it needed 8 days at most. Probably not more than around 5 days.
That leaves the 2nd MC. If the 18th MC needed 8 days at most to redeploy (and it was to farther to the North-East, behind the Dniester), 2nd MC would need half that long at most, since it was half that far away, call it 4 days on the outside, maybe even as short as only two days.

To recap:
2nd MC: 4 days on the outside, probably as few as 2 days
2nd CC: around 6 days, probably less
18th MC: 8 days on the outside, probably as few as 5 days

As for how many tanks would reach the new zone, probably not fewer than 50% and not more than 66%, so:
2nd CC: 45-60
2nd MC: 260-340
18th MC: 140-185

for an answer to themarksplan I'll way for his complete one.
I presume you are aware of the fact that the Germans actually did commit 1-2 PzDs to North Africa... with the known results. I don't know what kind of conversation can lead to this extravagance in disregard of reality, but certainly that wasn't this forum, where the slightest deviations from OTL are intensely debated for years, even in the what-if section.

As for this claim, the Benghazi-Teheran route is approximately 4000 km, the Benghazi-Nairobi route is over 6000 km on atrocious roads. In fact, even if that 1-2 PzD would encounter no enemy resistance, the number of arriving motor vehichles to the said destinations in six months would be exactly zero.
Should read: "1-2 EXTRA PzD".
For reaching Iran(ian border) and Kenia, I did a loong planning session with a friend a lot of years back (very detailed, and assuming the worst case in a lot of ways), and that planning was for 1942, starting a Gazala. On first glance, it looks indeed like an impossible thing, but we did find it was possible. Not easy and a walk in the park, but possible.
For some reason, I can not download or access your "essay" about your what-if scenario, but according to your conversations, it seems you base your theories on a successful invasion of Britain, which contradicts reality in every sense. There were some prerequisites for successful, opposed landings in WW2 and the Germans could not meet any of those prerequisites - either in 1940 or in 1941. The closest they came to anything like it was at Malta in 1942, nowhere near the same as a Channel crossing would be.
You have to be registered on the forum to get access to the attachments.
Well, it's a what-if scenario, those contradict reality in most sense as a given :D

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 May 2022 09:30

Huszar666 wrote:
22 May 2022 08:51
for an answer to themarksplan I'll way for his complete one.
You may be waiting a while for a full response, my apologies. I went back to drawing up a scheme for the whole AGS sector and got sidetracked in details - surely you've experienced similar when working on an ATL.

For now let me just point out that I think you're actually under-representing the forces that could attack 5th PzGr and its reinforcements - but maybe only in my June 22 kickoff scenario.

If 5PG has crossed the Prut in strength on June 22, wouldn't you consider it likely that Stavka sends 5&19 MC's (around Kiev on June 22) to attack it, instead of sending them north to fight AGC in the Smolensk battle?

On the consequences of 5 (or more) MC's attacking 5thPG, let me also answer another's question:
historygeek2021 wrote:Given the lack of preparedness of Red Army units when Barbarasso began, including lack of ammunition, fuel and motorized transport, what is your assessment of the combat effectiveness of the three fast corps and their ability to swiftly redeploy?
I'd assume redeployment because the MC's would probably move faster than 1&5 PG's towards their intended linkup somewhere in Galicia. So I'm willing to assume they come into play - and not just the 3 that Huszar mentions.

But here's my take: they can't do much. Look at the giant tank battles at Rassenai and Dubno/Brody. In each case the attacks barely slowed the panzer divisions, who largely detached from the battles and left the infantry divisions to do most of the work while the PzDiv's rushed onwards. Here's the Dubno sector on June 28th, for instance:

Image

16th PzDiv is still in the fight but 11th and 13th are miles beyond, the ID's are doing most of the fighting. Isayev's book on Dubno/Brody says the same, IIRC.

The story seems much the same with Rassenai, where you have Manstein crossing the Dvina while a giant battle largely between Soviet tanks and German infantry continues ~200km behind him.

In my ATL, Germany adds more ID's in Romania as well - say 5. These are OTL OKH reserves and/or ID's that didn't attack on June 22 or aren't needed. With 11th Army's 6 ID's, that's 11 ID's in Romania. In addition, I'd use the three fast divs held in reserve on June 22. Ship the two reserve PzDiv's to Alexandropouli instead of to Trieste after the Greek campaign and then march them over Bulgaria if needed. The other reserve fast div - 60th mot. - was available and was actually committed to AGS in July.

That's 24 German divisions in Romania (13 mechanized) - plenty to counter a truly massive Soviet mechanized counterattack. As with Dubno/Brody, counterattacking MC's would delay 5PG for only a day or two. Whatever portion of 5PG not necessary to handle the immediate threat would bypass and press on. Once the ID's catch up (quite quickly if the MC's counterattack near the border), then very little of 5PG would be tied down by counterattacks. The counterattacking MC's would be destroyed, as happened every other time in June-July. At this point in the war, Soviet generalship and communications weren't capable of coordinating large mechanized formations in swirling battles with fast German units (the main reason the MC's were disbanded).

My apologies to Huszar if he feels ambushed by these additional details. I have changed my opinion significantly since the OP a few years ago. I will nail down specific details soon. Just wanted to throw these few points out for discussion.

[just to reserve a point for future discussion - I'd envision maybe shifting ID's from 17A to 11A, in addition to reinforcing 11A from OKH reserves. 17A doesn't need as strong a push towards Lvov in this ATL, so their absence isn't greatly felt. I'd probably resurrect 12th Army (planned for Barbarossa in early versions), so that 11A isn't responsible for too much. One more aside: 11A doesn't behave as in OTL, as Huszar's reply suggested. Rather, it supports 5PG's drive north/northeast]
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Peter89 » 22 May 2022 10:20

Huszar666 wrote:
22 May 2022 08:51
I presume you are aware of the fact that the Germans actually did commit 1-2 PzDs to North Africa... with the known results. I don't know what kind of conversation can lead to this extravagance in disregard of reality, but certainly that wasn't this forum, where the slightest deviations from OTL are intensely debated for years, even in the what-if section.

As for this claim, the Benghazi-Teheran route is approximately 4000 km, the Benghazi-Nairobi route is over 6000 km on atrocious roads. In fact, even if that 1-2 PzD would encounter no enemy resistance, the number of arriving motor vehichles to the said destinations in six months would be exactly zero.
Should read: "1-2 EXTRA PzD".
For reaching Iran(ian border) and Kenia, I did a loong planning session with a friend a lot of years back (very detailed, and assuming the worst case in a lot of ways), and that planning was for 1942, starting a Gazala. On first glance, it looks indeed like an impossible thing, but we did find it was possible. Not easy and a walk in the park, but possible.
I'd be thrilled to see the metrics of that.

In 1942, the Levant has fallen, Iraq has fallen, IEA has fallen, Iran has fallen, so we are talking about 4-6000 km of advance through hostile territories occupied by some 15-20 Allied divisions and with 3-5 times the supply the Axis forces received at Gazala.
Huszar666 wrote:
22 May 2022 08:51
For some reason, I can not download or access your "essay" about your what-if scenario, but according to your conversations, it seems you base your theories on a successful invasion of Britain, which contradicts reality in every sense. There were some prerequisites for successful, opposed landings in WW2 and the Germans could not meet any of those prerequisites - either in 1940 or in 1941. The closest they came to anything like it was at Malta in 1942, nowhere near the same as a Channel crossing would be.
You have to be registered on the forum to get access to the attachments.
Well, it's a what-if scenario, those contradict reality in most sense as a given :D
First of all, thanks, I registered and could download it.
Second, the sense of reality is important, because if we examine questions that could never present themselves in front of decision makers, then we are daydreaming or fantasizing only. For example, 1-2 extra Panzer Divisions and their marching performance would be entirely dependent on supply: spare parts, fuel, ammunition, maintenance personnel, etc. And
“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 » 22 May 2022 11:02

Wow, that would mean I have to re-assess a few points.
If 5PG has crossed the Prut in strength on June 22, wouldn't you consider it likely that Stavka sends 5&19 MC's (around Kiev on June 22) to attack it, instead of sending them north to fight AGC in the Smolensk battle?
I do like to deviate from original OOBs as little as possible, and if I do, I'm very carefull.
As for 5th and 19th MCs, I'm not really sure, they would be needed. If 11th Army attacks North with the 5th PzA, the three fast corps with Southern Front wouldn't be needed, the Prut could be held against the weak Rumanians without them. Than we have the 16th MC smack in the middle of the proposed line of attack and the 24th MC is not far behind the Dniester. That's 5 fast corps in direct vicinity of the propsed attack. If that is not enough, further two, arriving at a later date, wouldn't change anything either.
In my ATL, Germany adds more ID's in Romania as well - say 5. These are OTL OKH reserves and/or ID's that didn't attack on June 22 or aren't needed. With 11th Army's 6 ID's, that's 11 ID's in Romania. In addition, I'd use the three fast divs held in reserve on June 22. Ship the two reserve PzDiv's to Alexandropouli instead of to Trieste after the Greek campaign and then march them over Bulgaria if needed. The other reserve fast div - 60th mot. - was available and was actually committed to AGS in July.
I'm not really sure, you still have InfDiv to spare. You already converted five (if I recall correctly from the imediate reserves-pool), and you wanted to add another two from the West to 11th Army. With three further ones, you probably have depleted the whole pool already.
From the three fast divisions in reserve, 2nd and 5th PzDs ware in need of refurbishing, and that took most of the Summer, being ready only for the Moscow battle. I wouldn't count on them early on.
[just to reserve a point for future discussion - I'd envision maybe shifting ID's from 17A to 11A, in addition to reinforcing 11A from OKH reserves. 17A doesn't need as strong a push towards Lvov in this ATL, so their absence isn't greatly felt. I'd probably resurrect 12th Army (planned for Barbarossa in early versions), so that 11A isn't responsible for too much. One more aside: 11A doesn't behave as in OTL, as Huszar's reply suggested. Rather, it supports 5PG's drive north/northeast]
17th Army lagged behind as it were, I don't think it is a good idea to weaken it further, but ok.
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.
My problem with this is that in the OTL it still took time to push 11th Army through the abysmal Rumanian road network, and taht was only 6 or so German divisions plus a couple of Rumanians. Here you want to push 11th Army with double the divisions through PLUS the 5th PzA with another 10 divisions. Even if we discount the couple of Rumanian divisions (they would need to be put on the Prut to the East), that still means 22 Divisions instead of 9 or so in the OTL. More than double the troops in 10 days less time.
The Rumanians weren't told because it was feared that the information would get out. The Hungarians weren't told at all, and if I remember correctly, neither were the Italians. I doubt that telling the Rumanians ten days earlier would be a risk Germany would take. And telling Antonescu ten days earlier wouldn't neccessary mean, Antonescu would tell the Rumanian General Staff ten days earlier.

On an operational level, letting the 11th Army attack due North and not the East would not only release the three fast corps from southern front, but the 55th RC would also be free to link up with 49th RC North of the Prut and/or the Dniester. With the 49th RC and the 24th MC not that far away from the Dniester (most of the 16th was already there on the 22nd June), the two German armies would not only have to get over two rivers, but doing so while a full MC and most of another is actively attacking the bridgeheads of the leading units.
In the OTL the order to abandon the Lemberg salient went out on the 30th June, which co-incidents with the defeat at Brody (there was no serious attack from Rumania till two days later). Even if we assume, that 11th Army and 5th PzA somehow manage to kick off on the 22nd (or only a few days later), I would say it would be almost certain that the STAVKA would wait till the 30th. The faster the German group advances, the earlier would the order go out.
If we assume, it would take 5 days to get freedom of operation North of the Dniester (I think, 5 days are rather optimistic, it could be even more) and kicking off on the 22nd (which I doubt), that would leave the 5th PzA only five days to drive 170kms or so, that is 34km a day.
With abandoning the Lemberg salient starting on the 30th June most of the troops reached the Zbruch and the Dniester on the 7th July, that is in seven days. Without much of a rush, because there being no serious attacks from Rumania for two further days, and the one that was done being directed into another direction. With a serious German attack from Rumania on the very first day (or a few later at the latest) it could be argued that the Lemberg salient would be abandoned immediately and with a greater hurry.

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

Post by Huszar666 » 22 May 2022 11:24

I'd be thrilled to see the metrics of that. snip
It was about a decade ago, I will need to find the doc for exact numbers we came up with. As far as I remember, we agreed on sending the 22nd Pz and bring up Littorio to full strength. We found out, that both Tripoli and Benghasi were under-utilised, the whole transfer, ammo, POL, spare parts, food and whatnot for this one extra German division and the troops already there could be handled by those two harbours. Stuff for the rush up to the Suez Canal. With that extra PzD (and Littorio in a battle-ready state) all the UK reserves could be engaged in the very first hours, so the counter-attack wouldn't press Rommel into the Wurstkessel. Instead of slugging it out for a month there, Tobruk could fall in a few days, with the road to Egypt open. In the OTL El Al was reached in a few days after Tobruk fell, despite the UK managing to bring up reinforcements during that one month of slugging match. As far as I remember, the Suez Canal was reached in the middle of June or so. As soon as Alexandria is in German-Italian hands, there would be no shortage in harbour capacity, however, everything the UK manages to bring over the Suez Canal would be on short rations. The only harbour they could use would be Basra, and bringing stuff from there to the Suez Canal would be a "bit" hard.
The second phase would start in September (if I recall correctly), after re-supplying the troops and bringing in some Italian troops for garrison duty and for the attack against the Middle East. The under-supplied wreckage the British would have there, would pose much of a threat, and the Iraq could be reached within 2 month time (if I recall correctly) with only the Southern part in British hands.
The third phase would start in November or so, with another German-Italian army attacking the Sudan. In one phase of attack they could take today's Northern Sudan.
I just remembered: the North African campaign I included in the essay is based almost completly on that discussion :D

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

Post by Peter89 » 22 May 2022 12:27

Huszar666 wrote:
22 May 2022 11:24
I'd be thrilled to see the metrics of that. snip
It was about a decade ago, I will need to find the doc for exact numbers we came up with. As far as I remember, we agreed on sending the 22nd Pz and bring up Littorio to full strength. We found out, that both Tripoli and Benghasi were under-utilised, the whole transfer, ammo, POL, spare parts, food and whatnot for this one extra German division and the troops already there could be handled by those two harbours. Stuff for the rush up to the Suez Canal. With that extra PzD (and Littorio in a battle-ready state) all the UK reserves could be engaged in the very first hours, so the counter-attack wouldn't press Rommel into the Wurstkessel. Instead of slugging it out for a month there, Tobruk could fall in a few days, with the road to Egypt open. In the OTL El Al was reached in a few days after Tobruk fell, despite the UK managing to bring up reinforcements during that one month of slugging match. As far as I remember, the Suez Canal was reached in the middle of June or so. As soon as Alexandria is in German-Italian hands, there would be no shortage in harbour capacity, however, everything the UK manages to bring over the Suez Canal would be on short rations. The only harbour they could use would be Basra, and bringing stuff from there to the Suez Canal would be a "bit" hard.
The second phase would start in September (if I recall correctly), after re-supplying the troops and bringing in some Italian troops for garrison duty and for the attack against the Middle East. The under-supplied wreckage the British would have there, would pose much of a threat, and the Iraq could be reached within 2 month time (if I recall correctly) with only the Southern part in British hands.
The third phase would start in November or so, with another German-Italian army attacking the Sudan. In one phase of attack they could take today's Northern Sudan.
I just remembered: the North African campaign I included in the essay is based almost completly on that discussion :D
I've just read into it, and while no one can argue that you didn't put a lot of time into creative writing, but it's as far from plausibility as Nairobi from Gazala.
Last edited by Peter89 on 22 May 2022 13:58, 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 » 22 May 2022 12:31

Huszar666 wrote:I'm not really sure, you still have InfDiv to spare. You already converted five (if I recall correctly from the imediate reserves-pool)
Let me get back to you on that - part of the rabbit hole I got sucked into.
Huszar666 wrote: 2nd and 5th PzDs ware in need of refurbishing
Have you researched this any? Curious, it's on my agenda. Generals' pleas to Hitler for their earlier deployment suggest that they might have been ready earlier. It's hard to see why 3 weeks of Balkans campaigning takes months of refurbishing. I've read suggestions that Hitler wanted panzer divisions in Europe for political prestige reasons (he thought they'd make Vichy more subservient, IIRC).

In my ATL economic narrative - mostly in the other thread now - I've become convinced that vehicle production is a fairly easy part of this ATL. There's probably enough ATL tanks/trucks to ship the men to Romania, have new tanks/trucks meet them there, and refurbish the older vehicles for later use.
Huszar666 wrote:If 11th Army attacks North with the 5th PzA, the three fast corps with Southern Front wouldn't be needed
I'm very willing to bite that bullet. As said, I think 5PG+11A can handle multiple MC attacks without being delayed by more than a few days. The combat record of counterattacking MC's in June-July is just awful.
Huszar666 wrote:The faster the German group advances, the earlier would the order [to evacuate Galicia] go out.
Agreed - SWF starts pulling back earlier than June 30. But how much earlier? The first 5-6 days are periods of immense confusion, when Stalin is still ordering RKKA to advance into Poland. IIRC, SWF was to take Lublin during this time. I couldn't see him doing a 180 earlier than, say, the 27th.

I doubt that makes escape viable. Whether they escape depends on how quickly 1&5 PG's meet up, which is a bigger question. For now, quick points: they're engaged frontally by 17A* and (later) Hungary, also from behind between Prut and the Hungarian border (by Germans or Romanians? - not sure yet). Conducting retreat while being pursued is one of the most skill-demanding tasks a commander can have and the 1941 RKKA command/control/generalship was... not good.

*A reason not to weaken 17A too much in this ATL, as you point out.

In addition, I would design (and probably so would the Germans) a Galician Kessel to involve layers of obstruction - just as Ostheer did with Bialystok/Minsk. So I'd probably have the 5 fast divisions that sat in AGS's rear (SS-W, LSSAH, 16th & 25th mot., 9Pz) until June 25th OTL do the following: attack southeast with 6th Army:

Image

OKH map of June 25th - unused fast divs are circled in blue, as is their rough ATL axis of advance from June 22. This advance needn't actually meet up with 5PG/11A. Rather, by striking southeast at first and holding that line for a few (5?) days, they'll cut roads and rail lines needed for SWF to move the Lvov grouping out of danger. Those troops will either have to detour around the ATL incursion or attack it (very bad for them in those initial days). As the pocket moves eastwards, they relinquish the blocking position and join the outer encirclement ring.

Alternatively, I'd add those fast divisions to the eastwards attack on June 22nd so they can meet 5PG sooner. I don't understand why these divisions were sitting around anyway. Reichenau (6A ObdH) had operational control of 1PzGr until June 27 so this was probably his decision, not Kleist's. In no other Panzer Group did any of the divisions sit in Poland for 4 days. Reichenau seems to be one of Ostheer's worst commanders (see 6th Army's performance).
Huszar666 wrote:The Rumanians weren't told because it was feared that the information would get out. The Hungarians weren't told at all, and if I remember correctly, neither were the Italians.
Do you have a source on not telling Romania until June 12? Always curious about this.

Per GSWW v.4's discussion of Hungary (only good source I know - you have access to more in Magyar I'm sure), the Hungarians - at least the army - were eager to get in on Barbarossa. Halder was conducting a side-channel diplomacy trying to get Hitler to agree. Hitler - confident of winning anyway and not valuing the Hungarian Army much - told Halder he didn't want to have to make political concessions to Hungary for their involvement. Peter89 - might you add some Magyar sourcing on this too? It seems getting Hungary in would have been rather easy, but again I have just the one source. Something tells me this might be a touchy subject in Magyar-language sources, though.

You're right about Italy - Hitler told Mussolini in a letter the night before.

For the purposes of this discussion, I'm willing to assume the Romanians don't move forward on June 22 but that 5PG & 11A do.
Huszar666 wrote:If we assume, it would take 5 days to get freedom of operation North of the Dniester (I think, 5 days are rather optimistic, it could be even more) and kicking off on the 22nd (which I doubt), that would leave the 5th PzA only five days to drive 170kms or so, that is 34km a day.
That's about what I was assuming. OP drew an arrow to Shepetivka but meeting up towards Berdichev on July 8 also seems a possible target. That leaves more time for escape but such escapees have to travel farther through a very constricted window. LW would pound them.

34km/day was regularly achieved by other fast Ostheer units in Barbarossa. Manstein's dash to the Dvina was >60km/day, for example. 3 PzDiv reached Bobruisk (400km) by June 28 - also ~60km/day. 34km/day would have been the slowest spearhead advance north of the Pripyat by a large margine.
Huszar666 wrote:OTL it still took time to push 11th Army through the abysmal Rumanian road network, and taht was only 6 or so German divisions plus a couple of Rumanians. Here you want to push 11th Army with double the divisions through PLUS the 5th PzA with another 10 divisions.
Do you have evidence that 11A was held up by roads, or was it the army's weakness? I don't have a lot of expertise on 1940's Moldovan/Bessarabian roads but there's a big piece of evidence they were sufficient for large armies:

The Second Jassy-Kishinev offensive in this rough area involved, per Krivosheev, 1.3mil RKKA troops with 1,870 tanks. Per Glantz, between August 20 and 23rd, 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts advanced 100km through the German lines. Concededly, the Battles of Targu Frumas in this area were slower but they also occurred during Rasputitsa.

1944 isn't 1941 but it seems unlikely that wartime Romania was doing big civil infrastructure programs...
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Huszar666 » 22 May 2022 15:34

Have you researched this any? Curious, it's on my agenda. Generals' pleas to Hitler for their earlier deployment suggest that they might have been ready earlier. It's hard to see why 3 weeks of Balkans campaigning takes months of refurbishing. I've read suggestions that Hitler wanted panzer divisions in Europe for political prestige reasons (he thought they'd make Vichy more subservient, IIRC).
According to Stoves: Die gepanzerten und mot dt. Grossverbände
2nd Pz had "large losses" due to the sinking of three transports, had a short period of refit in May, was used as a reserve in June/July and was then transported to SW France. F-J Strauss: Die 2. PzD mentions only two ship losses, Marburg and Kybfels, transporting Artillery, tanks and "other parts". All material was lost, losses in personel were 2 officers, 5 subalterns and 33 men drowned, 3/33/108 missing. (losses in Greece were 6/21/51 KIA, 21/78/260 WIA). The non-tracked vehicles drove back to Split, and from there in rail transport back to Augsburg. The vehicles at this are said to have been in poor repair (no wonder, they drove 1200km back from Athens). June went away with refitting the vehicles. The divsion reached Lemberg on the 9th July (not completely, many vehicles were left back) and stayed there till 13th August. Than transport to SW France, and after 9th September back to the East.
5th Pz was returned to Belgrade early June (not-tracked vehicles drove, tracked were rail-transported). It looks like the division was only reunited around 27th June in Belgrade and was then transported to Berlin. Refitted after that. I would think, driving down to Greece and back had serious wear on the vehicle park. What they did till September is not detailed, and I don't have the book about the division.
It does look like both were inoperable till early July (2nd) and at least early August (5th). Why the 2nd was sent to SW France for a month, I don't understand. However, these two divisions consisted 100% of the fast reserves OKW had, sending them to the front on the 22nd June (assuming they could get fresh vehicles and replacement for the stuff lost on the ships) would be dangerous, in my opinion.
I'm very willing to bite that bullet. As said, I think 5PG+11A can handle multiple MC attacks without being delayed by more than a few days. The combat record of counterattacking MC's in June-July is just awful.
It was awful, but still managed to delay (and in a few cases, maul) the Germans. In the drive up from Rumania, every last day would count. Worst case scenario would be the five fast corps lodging themsleves between 11th and 5th Pz, opening up an escape route for Southwestern front in the back of 5th Pz.
Agreed - SWF starts pulling back earlier than June 30. But how much earlier? The first 5-6 days are periods of immense confusion, when Stalin is still ordering RKKA to advance into Poland. IIRC, SWF was to take Lublin during this time. I couldn't see him doing a 180 earlier than, say, the 27th.

I doubt that makes escape viable. Whether they escape depends on how quickly 1&5 PG's meet up, which is a bigger question. For now, quick points: they're engaged frontally by 17A* and (later) Hungary, also from behind between Prut and the Hungarian border (by Germans or Romanians? - not sure yet). Conducting retreat while being pursued is one of the most skill-demanding tasks a commander can have and the 1941 RKKA command/control/generalship was... not good.

*A reason not to weaken 17A too much in this ATL, as you point out.
It depends on how fast 11th and 5th Pz could advance. As I said earlier, I doubt 5th Pz could reach freedom of operation North of the Dniester in less than 5 days, that would be exactly the 27th June, as you put as the earliest date for the order to abandon Galizia. A PzArmy on the loose North of the Dniester would definately raise some flags.
Actually, Rundestedt even wanted a stronger right flank of 17th Army (17th March missive), not a weaker Army at it was. There was harsh critique on part of 17th Army too, arguing that without a strong attack of the 17th, it would be not possible to cut off the soviets West and around Lemberg. Exactly this happened in the OTL. Further weakening the 17th would only lead to an even slower advance.
I don't understand why these divisions were sitting around anyway. Reichenau (6A ObdH) had operational control of 1PzGr until June 27 so this was probably his decision, not Kleist's. In no other Panzer Group did any of the divisions sit in Poland for 4 days. Reichenau seems to be one of Ostheer's worst commanders (see 6th Army's performance).
Good question.
From this map:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... e22_41.jpg
I would say, there was an axuilliary thrust planned in the direction of Lemberg, which never materialised. Alternatively, those troops were waiting on the front opening up so they were not jamming up the roads.
Do you have a source on not telling Romania until June 12? Always curious about this.

Per GSWW v.4's discussion of Hungary (only good source I know - you have access to more in Magyar I'm sure), the Hungarians - at least the army - were eager to get in on Barbarossa. Halder was conducting a side-channel diplomacy trying to get Hitler to agree. Hitler - confident of winning anyway and not valuing the Hungarian Army much - told Halder he didn't want to have to make political concessions to Hungary for their involvement. Peter89 - might you add some Magyar sourcing on this too? It seems getting Hungary in would have been rather easy, but again I have just the one source. Something tells me this might be a touchy subject in Magyar-language sources, though.
don't really now about Rumania, but Hitler rated them even lower as us, the Italians, Croatians and basically everyone else save slaws. And was probably right in doing so. As he did not inform the Duce - one of his friends - Horthy (who he regarded as a pompous noble of a long gone time), telling Antonescu (who he regarded as slightly better than a cockroach) earlier than absolutely neccessary, I doubt very much. Please note that basically the complete Rumanian Generals Staff (as in all the Generals) were franco- and anglophiles, informing THEM earlier then absolutely needed would probably be equal as handing the operational plan directly to Churchill.
According to Számvéber: A keleti hadszintér és Magyarország, Hitler told Antonescu on the meeting of 12th June, that Germany would not ask for help, but expects that Rumania does everything in its power. I would say, no detailed plans were shared.
As for Hungary, only General Werth (chief of staff) and ambassador Sztójai were pushing for a Hungarian participation, everyone else (government and Horthy) were firmly against it. Werth and sztójai went so far as blatanly lying to everyone, Horthy, Hitler and Halder. Even after Barbarossa commenced and because of the slow progress of the 17th it became urgent for the Germans that Hungary would enter the war (funnyly, only a few weeks back we were even told not to send troops to the Carpathians since that would provoke the soviets) it was dismissed by the responsible people. Only after the bombing of Kassa (26th June) and a few other air attacks was the participation decided. Even so, the Carpathian Group entered Galizia only on the 1st July - one day after the soviet retreat started.
So no, getting Hungary into the war was everything but easy. Remember, we sat out Poland, and only attacked Jugoslawia after Croatia declared independence. We did not want to be dragged into another war, with re-armament starting barely 3 years prior and most of the Army and Airforce having obsolete and too few stuff.
It was some kind of wonder, that we DID enter the war. (funnyly, if we did not enter the war, Germany would have had better cards. No 2nd Army at the Don would mean, for example, that 6th Army would not have the forces to reach Stalingrad :D )
For the purposes of this discussion, I'm willing to assume the Romanians don't move forward on June 22 but that 5PG & 11A do.
You haven't convinced me yet, that the stronger 11th Army and the 5th Pz would be able to concentrate in the North before the 22nd :D
Do you have evidence that 11A was held up by roads, or was it the army's weakness? I don't have a lot of expertise on 1940's Moldovan/Bessarabian roads but there's a big piece of evidence they were sufficient for large armies:
A weak army marches about as fast as a strong one. There is a limited distance a soldier could march a day, it makes no difference if the Army as it is is weak or strong. Marching a strong Army (11 div vs 6 div) would take even more time, since more troops take up more room, and room (in contrast to space) is limited.
According this map:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... /SF_41.jpg
most troops walked up the Focsani-Bacau road (today's 11A state road/E85, heh, funny, 11th Army advancing up state road 11 with 11 divisions). Disregarding today's 26-24A road, since it is right at the border, they had not much choice in it. The only main road even today is the Liesti-Iasi road (road 24). Roads don't tend to shift themselves around, so I assume, there weren't many more roads back then. In the 40s only the main roads had a hard surface East of Vienna - between the Danube and Tisza there was only ONE hard-surfaced road in Hungary, a little fact the soviets forgot in 1944 when they tried to reach Budapest, and consequently they got mired in the dirt trails. Hungary was (and is still) considered as having a better infrastructure than Rumania (Moldova especially), so I would wager even the main road (11A/E85) wasn't hard-surfaced back in 1941 and wasn't much more than a dirt trail. You know pictures of the advance in the Ukraine? Assume slightly better roads for Moldova.
Driving up two armies (not counting Rumanians, they can follow up) would probably put a huge strain on that only one main road.
Railway transport probably also not much of a help, first, there being only two lines, running up to Iasi and Botosani, and those probably being needed to haul supply for 20-odd German and [enter a number here] Rumanian divisions. Secondly, the railhead at Botosani is (and probably was) nothing you write home about. You would need to drive (and march) up your troops from... probably Bucharest. Third, I had the chance to observe railway operation in Rumania back in 2004. I very much doubt the operation got worse since 1941, and if it got better to the level it was in 2004... well... good luck in transporting heavy equipment and counting on having a railway after the fact.
1.000 tracked vehicle on only one road would ruin even the best hard-surfaced road, on dirt trails... well, get a couple of dozen road-building btls ready, with heavy road-building equipment. As I said earlier, I doubt very much that it would be possible to squize 11th army + 5th PzA through in time to let them attack on the 22nd.
1944 isn't 1941 but it seems unlikely that wartime Romania was doing big civil infrastructure programs...
1944 the soviets didn't care and drove where they wanted, even cross-country. Moving fighting through an enemy country is different than pushing up troops on roads of an allied country. In the later, you don't want to cause much damage, in the first... you don't care.
Last edited by Huszar666 on 22 May 2022 17:40, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Huszar666 » 22 May 2022 17:25

Adendum

Google Street view have pictures of a lot of roads in Moldova, pictures taken mostly in 2021. That is after the EU pouring money into infrastructure for 20 years, and differents Rumanian governments pouring money into infrastructure for 60 years before that. Imagine, what it looked like 80 years ago.
(if you have time and wanna have fun, check out https://fortepan.hu there are a lot of interesting pictures from 1900 onwards, however, you would have to use the Hungarian words for what you wanna search for. A very good source to know what stuff looked like back in the day. There are shitload of military-themed pictures too, if know what you are looking for. I'm almost certain, there is an equivalent in Rumanian for it, but, well...)

As for marching up troops to the border.
If we assume a starting point in Bucharest, the disctance to the Northern border is around 500km. Infantry can march around 35km a day, so starting around Bucharest, it would take you 14 days of walking (rest days not included). If we assume, a marching column for one InfDiv is around 35km (a km for each Btls, Rgt, stuff, odd and ends, whatnot and clutter), an Inf Div marching on one road (there wasn't much else but the state 11A) would be spread out on two days. 11 Division would mean 22days. The last unit of the last division would thus arrive 22 days after the leading unit of the first division, and the first unit of the first division would arrive 14 days after the leading unit leaving Bucharest. That is 36 days total for the last unit of the last division arriving after the first unit of the first division leaving Bucharest.
Of course, you could expedite the thing by putting stuff on the railway. On the only one railway leading up to the "border region" that is Botosani and Suceava, still two days march away from the border on the same only one main road. However, one standard train of the era then could transport around one Btl, and - if I remember correctly, my railway-book was lent to a friend, who lost it - at that time the follow-up of trains were set at a minimum of half an hour. Not counting civilian traffic and supply trains that would mean a maximum of 48 trains a day. Neither railhead (or the railway network in Moldova) could sustain such a strain, I would be surprised if even a total of 12 could be serviced and unloaded each day. If we assume half of that being civilian and supply trains, a full 6 Btls could be transported each day to a railhead two days march away from the border on the same road the road-marching troops were using. With a division consisting of 9 Btls of inf, 4 Btls of Arty, equivalent of 3 Btls of PAK/IG, 1 Btl Engineers, etcetras in the total of, say, 30+ train-loads, that would mean around five to six days per division.
So, using road and rail transport together would net you around a month to push the 11 divisions of 11th Army up to the border.
And then comes the 10 fast divisions of 5th PzA. With wheeled transport at the time you could cover around 200km (or 250 on the outside) per day, that would still mean two and a half days of driving from Bucharest. If I assume one division per day, that would still mean the last unit of the last division arriving at the border region 12,5 days after the first unit of the first division setting out of Bucharest, and (rounded up) 43 days after the first unit of 11th Army. Even if we utilise rail transport for the 5th PzA, you wouldn't be able to push the required time much below 40 days total.
Assuming the movement starts at but not later than 12th June (OTL conference with Antonescu), the 20-something German divisions would be assabled in the border region around the... 20th JULY. For them to be up and ready on the 22th JUNE, the whole movement would have to start not later than 12th of MAY. Adding further divisions would push the assembled date even further up or the needed starting point more early. There are times when less is more.
That assumes, the Rumanian Army does not want to get into the marching order, and not even counting German Corps and Army troops.
Soooo...
IF we assume the 5th PzA exists, it is deployed to Rumania, and it is kicking of on the 22nd June, and Antonescu being informed on the 12th June, it COULD be assembled. HOWEVER, 11th Army (wheater it is 6 or 11 divisions) would not be present, the divisions would be still marching up - or not even leaving the Bucharest region.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 May 2022 23:05

Huszar666 wrote:Further weakening the 17th would only lead to an even slower advance.
That's exactly what you'd want in ATL context. The danger in weakening 17A is losing the ability to fix forces defending Lvov. So it's good that the attacker be slightly less strong, but not so weak that SWF can break away from the battle easily.
Huszar666 wrote:A weak army marches about as fast as a strong one. There is a limited distance a soldier could march a day, it makes no difference if the Army as it is is weak or strong.
The enemy has a say in how fast an army marches; a weak army has less ability to counter that say. What I meant is: what's the evidence that roads rather Russians slowed 11A's advance? OKH maps (July 10 below) show a lot of resistance to 11A's march to Dniestr:

Image

This wouldn't apply to the pre-attack border concentration, of course. On that topic:
Huszar666 wrote:Assuming the movement starts at but not later than 12th June (OTL conference with Antonescu), the 20-something German divisions would be assabled in the border region around the... 20th JULY.
That assumes Antonescu only allows German units in the deployment areas if he's told about Barbarossa. I see no reason that Ostheer units can't begin deploying in northern Romania during April - or earlier - regardless of when Antonescu's looped in. Indeed these should probably be the first Barbarossa deployments (rather than Poland), because Hitler has a cover story for them (move towards Mideast/Turkey discussed above). That leaves only the last few 5PG/11A units to move up from Bulgaria/Greece/Yugoslavia during June.

The Germany Army Mission to Romania is there to defend Romania and train Romanians. Why would Antonescu object to more defenders or to where training was taking place?

I appreciate the details on Romanian roads but that long discussion relies on an assumption that doesn't make sense to me. If the deployments begin in March/April, your road/rail details - while interesting - don't constrain Ostheer.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 May 2022 05:22

The promised full response to Huszar666. We've covered some of the ground already so I'll just link/copy/summarize those points as appropriate.

First detail: ATL force delta.

From my other thread (a summary/restatement/revision of this one), I'd argue Germany had a lot more room than adding 10 fast divs (5 new panzer, 5 Mot.Div's converted from ID's). But let's stick with the OP delta.

Aside from +10 fast divs (Fifth Panzer Group or "5PG"), I'd reinforce Romania from OKH reserves and occupied Europe. 7 divs join AGS in Romania as follows:

Let’s start from Askey’s list of OKH reserve divisions as of June 22. He lists 10 ID’s total: 15, 52, 79, 86, 95, 112, 113, 125, 132, and 197. However, 95th ID is a security division of the 5th wave so let’s disregard it for now. OKH reserves hold 9 divisions that can be converted into mot. divs or that can reinforce 11A.

Besides those reserves, the West/Norway/Balkans held 10 infantry divisions of the good (non-stationary, non-security) waves: 46 ID (1st wave, Ob West), 69 ID (2nd wave, Norway), 73 ID (2nd wave, Balkans), 260 ID (4th wave, Ob West), three more in the Balkans – 164, 183, (7th wave), and 294 (8th wave), three more in Norway: 181, 196, 199 (7th wave).

By Askey’s list that’s 19 ID’s considered at least partially suitable for offensive operations.

In addition, I’ve identified at least 2 more ID’s that were not engaged in the first few days and could have been sent to 11A in Romania:
  • 110 ID (12th wave) was assembling in AGC’s sector on June 22 and crossed the border only June 28th per OKH maps.
  • 293 ID (8th wave) entered AGC’s sector in the SU only on June 27th to mop up bypassed units.
Besides these actually existing ID’s, Germany could have chosen a different force composition from the recruits pressed into the 13th-15th wave divisions (32 total), all of which were created after France’s fall for occupation duties during Barbarossa. During the first Winter Crisis and later, these divisions were combed for prime-age manpower to deploy as replacements for Ostheer. Germany did not need so many divisions – 60 ID’s in all – guarding Europe against incursions by the small British Army. The serious invasion threat to France or the Balkans was basically zero (that to Norway non-zero but still small and manageable by deployed forces). From the 41 security/static divisions deployed in the West, at least 4 fully-capable ID’s could have been formed. But that’s leave that aside for now because using ALL potentially-available ID’s isn’t necessary to my ATL.

ATL conversions/redeployments:
  • Convert 5 ID’s from OKH reserve into Mot.Div’s
  • shift the remaining 4 good reserve divs to Romania
  • move three ID's from Ob West/Norway/Balkans* to Romania as well.
*This does not mean that ID's recently deployed in Balkans have to march to Romania. Rather, Ob West/Norway divs could redeploy and Balkans divs could later replace them (resting/refitting there).

That makes 13 ID’s supporting 5th Panzer Army’s drive from Romania so far (7 new plus 11A's OTL 6 divs).

I would also use the 3 reserve fast divs on June 22nd (2,5 Pz, 60th mot.). Huszar and I discussed this upthread. He thinks the divs needed extensive refitting after the Balkans campaigns, I argue that, because ATL production far exceeds the minimum for this ATL, the divisions can be given new production equipment while their old equipment is refitted elsewhere. Rubber implications are roughly neutral, as the old trucks can surrender tires to the new ones (either for direct transfer or via recycling into stocks).

Altogether, Ostheer has 26 divs (13 fast, 13 ID's) in Romania on June 22.

----------------------------------
Aside: Converting/shifting reserve divisions will weaken AG's North/Center but not until July or later. By July, the effects of AGS's greater success are already felt by the other army groups: RKKA must reincarnate SWF after its destruction in Galicia and is therefore weaker than OTL in all sectors. RKKA probably commits 5 & 19 MC's against the Romania pincer, making AGC's Smolensk battle significantly easier/quicker.
------------------------------------

Deployment and start date

June 22 for the German divisions, pushing out of Northern Romania, with the Romanian army staying static on the Prut until July 2 as in OTL. Huszar has argued that telling the Romanian generals earlier creates a security risk. I will take that point to avoid making my argument too "sunny" for my side. With 26 divs, AGS in Romania does not need allied flank protection.

Huszar also argues that poor Romanian roads would prevent German units from reaching start lines by June 22, starting from OTL's June 12 deployment date. This argument assumes, IMJ, that Ostheer can't begin moving into northern Romania until Antonescu agrees to join Barbarossa (June 12 OTL). I can't accept that assumption because Antonescu welcomed German army units as insurance against Russia and training; he'd unlikely object to German units moving nearer the borders (better defense of Romanian territory). He'd probably suspect this meant Barbarossa was coming and would not object. As it had no implications for imminent Romanian offensive action, there's also no reason for him then to risk informing his (often Anglophilic) generals about plans to attack.

Points raised by Huszar666 I haven't so far addressed:
Huszar666 wrote:
21 May 2022 21:26
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
We've discussed this some already. I don't particularly care whether the Hungarians join up on June 22. Let's assume they don't and it's like OTL for them.
Huszar66 wrote:2, that realisation occurs (according to the OP) sometimes 1938, or (as it transpired later on) shortly after May 1940
May 1940. 1938 PoD works too (works better) but it's not necessary.
Huszar66 wrote: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.
As promised, just a brief note on this strategic issue, as Huszar has agreed to talk operations.

The extra PzGr isn't based on predicted deployment, just as Sichelschnitt wasn't planned when Germany decided to have 10 PzDiv's by mid-'40. Rather, Hitler asks in mid-'40 "What is the strongest army Germany can create if we maximally mobilize?" Whereas in OTL he viewed 180-div army (20 PzDiv's) as clearly sufficient to defeat a weak SU, without asking whether a stronger force could have been created.

Very brief diversion: I don't need the Galician Kessel for "one more panzer group" to result in Ostsieg. For example: Germany adds 6 more fast divs in one panzer army to AGS in Poland ("5PG"), 4 more divs to Hoth's PG in AGC (99th Motorized Korps or "99MK"). 5PG enables AGS to destroy SWF in the Kiev battle by pushing over the Dniepr north of Kiev, along lines I discussed in another ATL. 99MK enables Hoth to encircle parts of Northwest Front during the Battle of Minsk and to seal the encirclement of Smolensk a week earlier. Given our better ATL logistics and that AGS can handle its mission alone, AGC can launch Taifun in August with the full OTL PG's 2&3. It can detach 99MK to AGN to clean up its right flank south of Lake Ilmen; 99MK stays there to ensure link up with the Finns and the encirclement of Leningrad. Ostheer takes Leningrad, Moscow-Gorkiy, and pushes to the Don. That ATL goes little different from this one except for some strategic issues (ATL food capture in Ukraine, total losses in the East) that bear on 1942 and the pivot to the West.

Because I don't think this ATL and its Galician Kessel are the only path to Ostsieg from having 10 more fast divisions, it should be clear that I don't think there's any connection between a decision to add those divisions and foreknowledge that they'll be employed from Romania.
Huszar66 wrote: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.
Sealion!!??? And I'm the crazy one? ;) I don't think it's feasible (in 1940) but I'm sure you have arguments I haven't considered. For another thread.
Huszar66 wrote: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.
The impact on HGN is indirect but straightforward: RKKA loses ~1mil more troops than OTL by July's end, which means it can't reinforce Leningrad's defense as in OTL. In addition, HGN has better logistics (as does entire Ostheer).

The logistical background is as I've summarized it here and here and referenced in my summary thread: Ostheer logistics sucked only because the plan was for a short campaign. Vastly improved logistics would have been relatively cheap and well within Germany's resources.
Huszar66 wrote: 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.
Let's assume no difference in LW total strength.
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Aside: A Hitler with my mindset (Russia is strong) probably stops the Battle of Britain earlier, saving some LW losses. He wasn't deeply committed to it working anyways (nor to Sealion), so his willingness to lose hundreds of planes/pilots in advance of Barbarossa reflects his lack of concern for Soviet strength.
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LW would probably redeploy assets towards Romania to correlate air/ground efforts a bit more. LW concentrated its efforts on VVS, not ground support, in the first week anyway, so the operational implications are slight. It means that the southern units of VVS lose more in the first days while the northern units lose less. Books like Bergstrom's Black Cross, Red Star show that VVS lost little in the South, relative to North. Total VVS/LW losses should be about the same as OTL.


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We've discussed the operational points you raised already in some detail. Summary (let me know if you disagree):
  • We agree that 5PG reaching operational freedom north of the Dniestr around Day 5 is plausible.
  • You argue that Soviet Motorized Corps counterattacks would prevent the trap closing in Galicia before SWF escapes, I argue that MC attacks barely slowed Ostheer's fast divisions. Schnelltruppen rapidly disengaged from such tank-tank battles (Dubno, Rassenai), leaving the infantry to fight them while the fast divs rushed on.
  • You question whether 5PG could have advanced 34km/day to reach Shepetivka and link up with PG1 (the required advance rate after crossing the Dniestr on D+5). I argue that 34km/day is an easily achievable rate for Ostheer spearheads in 1941, as the spearheads of AG's N/C advanced ~60km/day during June.
  • You argue that the ground for advance is not suitable for fast operations (did you argue this, or were you referring to deployment only?). I argue that the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive shows that massive mechanized forces traversed this ground rapidly during 1944. You respond - for reasons I don't quite understand but please explain - that Soviet movement is somehow different from German.
If I missed anything, please let me know.


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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 May 2022 05:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 May 2022 05:22
I don't think this ATL and its Galician Kessel are the only path to Ostsieg from having 10 more fast divisions
One might ask - why go to the trouble of defending the Romanian reinforcement if it's not necessary? The justification is one I haven't discussed much, because I don't have great research yet to nail it down...

I suspect that rapid German conquest of Western Ukraine would have netted Germany up to 5mil additional tons of grain, much livestock. OTL Hitler emphasized this factor to OKH but didn't press a Ukraine focus; ATL Hitler insists. Evacuations of food stores from this immensely fertile area were SU's very first priority. SWF's stout defense gave time largely to effect them. They did so against significant local resistance to grain collections and cattle drives - recall that these areas were new to the SU and/or historically hostile to Russian imperialism (in its Soviet guise). See contemporary events...

If Germany grabs an extra ~5mil tons of grain in 1941, several strategic consequences follow:
  • The critical stated condition for Spain's accession to the Axis can be met. Spain may still need to be threatened with invasion, but mountains of grain make her less stubborn.
  • Grain can be traded within Europe for important resources.
  • Calorie-intensive workers - German and foreign - can see ration improvements during 1941. OTL these workers' productivity began declining significantly around this time, hurting German coal and steel output (and everything downstream). See USSBS stats. German nutritionists were well aware of these effects but did not have the food resources to remedy the situation (things improved a bit in 1942 thanks to later Ostheer conquests/recquisitions).
  • Soviet PoW's: ATL Hitler, knowing he's in for a longer war, wants Soviet PoW's to live (so they can work - not for humanitarian reasons). He has nearby them the food resources to ensure they survive and can work. ATL Germany will have ~4mil extra workers from this factor alone, going into 1942.
The above dynamics make only marginal difference in the East, where Ostheer+logistics+10divs can win on many different ATL operational variants. For the war on the west, however, this ATL's better German food/economic/labor situation, and Spain's likely accession to Axis during 1942, are very ominous.

Torch is probably preempted by a Spanish-German move into Morocco; Allies must concentrate on a Canaries Islands Campaign (which will be onerous even if successful, with good implications for Japan). The Med's closure in the West, combined with LW moving south from latter 1941 (planned OTL but scuppered by the Moscow Counteroffensive), means Malta falls one way or another and 8th Army gets pushed at least to the Nile. Turkey's amenability to letting the Axis pass through to Palestine, Mosul, and Abadan increases - helped by greater German economic assistance (inc. grain from Ukraine). The Allied position in North Africa and MidEast is collapsing by the end of '42, with further losses looming and no hope of re-entering Europe. US midterm elections in '42 go very poorly for FDR and "Germany First." War may end during 1943 (in Europe).
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