Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

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James A Pratt III
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 02 Jul 2021 18:44

Fall Offensives round 1

Warsaw: soviet offensive north and South of Warsaw get bridgeheads over the Vistula river. German and Polish counterattacks can't eliminate.

Konigsberg Pocket: Soviet offensive against slight gains heavy losses. German offensive to relive the pocket slight gains heavy losses.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 07 Jul 2021 19:42

Fall offensives round 2

Rumania; The Soviet launch an offensive towards Polesti they make some gains but, the Panzer Group counterattacks cut off and destroy the Soviet attacking force.

Warsaw: Soviet offensive from the bridgeheads North and South of Warsaw both make gains that German and Polish counter attacks just can not stop.

Konigsberg pocket: The Soviet launch another offensive make some gains and are in artillery range of the whole city. The commander of the pocket reports the situation is desperate. His forces can not hold out and wants to evacuate them while he still can. After a while Hitler finally agrees.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 09 Jul 2021 20:41

Fall Offensives round 3:
Warsaw: Soviet offensives from the bridgeheads North and South of Warsaw make gains German and Polish counter attacks fail to drive back. After a major arguement where it was decided the Warsaw salient was impossible to defend the Polish garrison evacuates the city. The new line is at the base of the former bulge.

Konigsberg pocket: The evacuation of all remaining German civilians and military personel begins. Stormy weather slows it down. The Soviets launch an all out offensive to capture as many of the retreating troops as possible. fall rains slow down both sides. In December the last evacuation ships leave but, over 10,000 men of the rearguards were captured.

The year ends with Hitler and Goring being killed in a plane crash A conservative government of civilians and generals succeeds them. This government starts de-nazifying Germany. This helps make Germany somewhat more popular with some circles and they are able to get more loans ect.

Home fronts:
USSR: The victories are celebrated ect. Food is very short it is estimated that over 2 million people die of starvation in the USSR this year. RKKA units in the rear are ordered to start growing their own food. Some outlying areas of the USSR are evacuated because they are too difficult to supply. People in the USSR are calling this "Stalin's War" and there is no real support for it among many people.

Axis People are unhappy about the heavy casualties the loss of Warsaw rationing ect. Tales of Soviet atrocities have shocked people. The Germans are also upset about the loss of konigsberg. Some were upset about the deaths of Hitler and Goring but, many blame them for getting Germany into this

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 09 Jul 2021 20:44

Fall Offensives round 3:
Warsaw: Soviet offensives from the bridgeheads North and South of Warsaw make gains German and Polish counter attacks fail to drive back. After a major arguement where it was decided the Warsaw salient was impossible to defend the Polish garrison evacuates the city. The new line is at the base of the former bulge.

Konigsberg pocket: The evacuation of all remaining German civilians and military personel begins. Stormy weather slows it down. The Soviets launch an all out offensive to capture as many of the retreating troops as possible. fall rains slow down both sides. In December the last evacuation ships leave but, over 10,000 men of the rearguards were captured. The fighting on the entire front ends with all armies being exhausted.

The year ends with Hitler and Goring being killed in a plane crash A conservative government of civilians and generals succeeds them. This government starts de-nazifying Germany. This helps make Germany somewhat more popular with some circles and they are able to get more loans ect.

Home fronts:
USSR: The victories are celebrated ect. Food is very short it is estimated that over 2 million people die of starvation in the USSR this year. RKKA units in the rear are ordered to start growing their own food. Some outlying areas of the USSR are evacuated because they are too difficult to supply. People in the USSR are calling this "Stalin's War" and there is no real support for it among many people.

Axis People are unhappy about the heavy casualties the loss of Warsaw rationing ect. Tales of Soviet atrocities have shocked people. The Germans are also upset about the loss of Konigsberg. Some were upset about the deaths of Hitler and Goring but, many blame them for getting Germany into this war that is going badly and hope Germany's new government will turn things

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 28 Jul 2021 19:38

Naval war in the Baltic:
The Soviet Navy lost 12 submarines and had 2 more badly damaged. In return they sank 2 German, 1 Swedish and 1 Finnish merchant ships. Their mines sank 1 German and 1 Polish merchant ships damaged an 1 German and 1 Italian Merchant ships and sank 1 German and damaged 1 Polish minesweepers. The German Navy was busy with its armored ships, (pocket battleships) old battleships, cruisers and destroyers providing naval gun fire support for the German army after the Soviets reached the sea. Add to this the supplying and evacuation of the Konigsberg pocket. In early 1938 the Italians sent a large fleet of 2 battleships several cruisers and many destroyers torpedo boats, minesweepers and submarines to the Baltic. They planned to sit in port and wait for the Soviet navy to out. Hitler had to ask L'Duce to send some of these ships to help the German navy out in the Baltic. Which L'Duce agreed. The Italians usually sent out a cruiser escorted by a least 4 destroyers to perform naval gunfire support. All this naval gunfire was really unpopular with the RKKA who complained loudly for the Navy and VVS to do something about it. The VVS did fly a some operations against these ships and all the bombs they dropped missed. A Soviet submarine did attack and miss the cruiser Leipzig. This same submarine was on the surface a few nights later charging its batteries when the armored ship Graf Spee picked it up on it's newly installed radar set. The Spee and its escorting destroyer turned towards it. It was some what foggy out. After awhile with out seeing anything the Captain of the Spee started to give his radar crew a chewing out when the submarine was spotted dead ahead. The Captain gave the order to open fire and ram the sub which the ship did cutting the sub in two and sinking it. The Spee sped off at full speed while the destroyer picked up the few survivors from the sub. This was the first radar assisted sub kill in history. the Captain got the German cross in Gold and the radar crewmen all got iron crosses.

The supply and evacuation of Konigsberg was carried out without too many losses by VVS aircraft. One merchant ship and one UJ were sunk by bombs. Three merchant ships were damaged. Also the liner General Von Steuban was hit by bombs at Konigsberg while loading wounded and refugees several hundred were killed and wounded but, fast action by the crew and local firefighters saved the ship. It was able to be patched up enough to limp to safety. Part of the reasons losses were so low is orders were issued all shipping must be escorted, in daylight all ships were to have air cover.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 11 Aug 2021 19:02

More naval war in the Baltic:

The Neutral nations of Europe and the US in early 1938 agreed to a neutrality patrol plan. in this neutral merchant shipping would travel in escorted convoys in European waters to prevent attacks by "Pirate" submarines. This caused much debate at home. There first clash happened in the spring in the Baltic. A Soviet submarine attacked a convoy off the Swedish coast and sank the Swedish merchant ship mentioned above. The escort depth charged the Soviet submarine which lamped home damaged. This incident caused a major diplomatic row between the USSR and Sweden.

The Polish submarine Wilk went on a minelaying operation a laid a field off Kronstadt which included some German magnetic mines. it was soon detected and swept at the cost of 2 Soviet minesweepers sunk and 2 damaged. The Poles made 3 more minelaying operations this year but only damaged 2 minesweepers at the cost of the Wilk on the last operations after which these operations were halted.

The Germans, Poles, and Italians laid a number of mine fields in the southern Baltic. It is believed they sank at least 3 Soviet submarines and also sank a Italian submarine and a Polish merchant and damaged a Latvian merchant ship.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 20 Aug 2021 19:20

Artic
Early in the year large Italian submarines started operating in the Artic. For the first several months nearly all of them had to come home damaged by the sea. In return they sank nothing except one trawler by gunfire. To make things worse they sent up 2 minelaying submarines to lay mines and one was lost cause unknown and the other limped home damaged do to a premature mine explosion. The Italians managed to redeam themselves somewhat in late summer 3 of their boats operating in the Kara sea sank 2 Soviet merchant ships and 4 small craft. Another submarine sank a Soviet destroyer. The Germans after getting some better torpedoes managed to sink 2 merchant ships 2 Soviet submarines, and 6 small craft. At the end of the year the U-boat force had it greatest success. One sighted a Soviet merchant ship escorted by a destroyer and a patrol boat and managed to sink all three. It seems the merchant ship was trying to run the blockade to the US and was to escorted part of the way by the other ships. A week later an Italian submarine found a lifeboat form the merchant ship with every one dead in it. Searching it they found a NKVD courier with a briefcase full of documents chained to his wrist containing all sorts of info on NKVD operations in the US and elsewhere. This enabled the Italians and Germans to really hurt the Soviet operations there.

Also early this year the Soviets started at Archangel a wooden ship construction program to build ships to be used as minesweepers, patrol craft, trawlers, and small cargo ships.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 01 Sep 2021 19:13

North Sea The Soviets lost 4 submarines and sank 1 German merchant ship and by accident sank 1 British, 1 Dutch and 1 Danish merchants ships which had all of these countries governments " upset". Soviet mines damaged an Italian tanker and a German minesweeper. This lack of success by the Soviets was do to all Axis merchant ships traveling in convoys with sea and air escorts. Also the German naval commander of the North Sea an old U-boat ace of the great war also talked the local Luftwaffe commander to have training units make flights around the convoys. Result 2 of the 4 Soviet submarines sunk were spotted by aircraft first. Surviving Soviet sub commanders complained of the skies being full of German aircraft.

Pacific the cruiser Raimondo managed to sink only 1 straggling merchant ship and capture 2 fishing boats. because the Soviets sailed most of their merchants ships to Kolyma in escorted convoys with at least one submarine included. The cruiser did sight 2 convoys but retreated when it spotted the submarine or submarines. The ship returned home in the fall do to engine trouble. Meanwhile the German raider Pingun arrived it captured 2 Soviet merchant ships on the Vladivostok- San Francisco run and raided the Soviet fishing fleet in the Artic where it sank 3 and captured 2 fishing boats

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 01 Sep 2021 19:26

Black sea The Soviets lost 5 submarines and sank 1 axis merchant ship. Mines laid by both Soviet ships and submarines sank another merchant ship and a patrol boat and damaged a second merchant ship. Also Soviet submarines sank a Bulgarian merchant ship and a Turkish fishing boat. Both countries governments "upset"

The Soviet Black sea fleet conducted 2 naval gunfire support operations. The second one ended badly when a Ju-87 gruppe attacked and damaged their only Battleship and sank a destroyer. The gruppe later on in the year sank a patrol craft and damaged a cruiser and a destroyer. In the fall a Soviet naval force of 2 crusiers and 2 destroyers was sent out to attack a Rumanian escorted convoy off the Bulgarian coast. They failed to find the convoy. They were spotted by a recon plane and attacked by a newly arrived He-115 Squadron at dusk which managed to get a torpedo hit on one of the cruisers which limped home.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 03 Sep 2021 19:05

Air War: Great Air Battles like in 1918 were common. The German Bf 109 fighter was better than anything the Soviets had. The Axis either had supremacy or at least parity in the air. The Ju 87 proved its self time after time as a fine dive bomber and Close air support aircraft. During this year the Polish, Hungarian and Rumanian air forces started getting some German combat aircraft.
The VVS flew numerous missions against Polesti oil fields which did do some damage but took heavy losses in the process mainly do to newly built radar directed German, Italian and Rumanian fighters. Aces like Werner Molders and other racked up high scores. The VVS by fall of the year started flying mostly night raids by twin engine bombers do to heavy losses which didn't do that much damage. Also in the summer the first U-2 night bomber operations began which were a pain to the Axis.
The VVS tried to bomb Berlin a number of times at night which did very little damage in part because the VVS pilots had trouble finding the target. Other night raids on German cities also did not do much damage. The Germans in order to counter these raids set up NJG 1 in mid 1938. With the help of early radar sets they soon started racking up VVS bomber kills.
The Axis bombers operating in both day and night did sometimes do some heavy damage to the Soviets with out taking to heavy losses. Better radio navigational aids ment they could usually find and hit the target more often at night. The Red army complained bitterly to the VVS about this but their was little it could do.
A priority target for both sides was railroad yards, bridges, trains. The Axis air forces did much more damage to the Soviet rail system than the VVS did to the Axis. Also with air superiority Axis recon aircraft were often able to spot large scale Soviet troop movements while the VVS recon aircraft were seldom able to spot large scale Axis troop movements. Finally, the Axis air forces were able to spot for their artillery often and the VVS was seldom able to do so.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Linkagain » 02 Oct 2021 11:25

Good question the USSR forces were larger then Polands,,however Stalin Purges..on Red Army Leadership probably would have a detremential effect on Stragity and tacticas...
HUngary would probaly send to Poland what aid and Volunteers it could because of her ancient freindship with Poland
Although it could not get directly involved in a war with USSR...the Baltic States would also give what aid they could...Poland would lose part of her eastern Providences while the REd Army would suffer high losses {as happened in the Russia-Finland War}

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 14 Oct 2021 18:26

Last day of 1938 2 German Colonels
Colonel 1 This was one rough year. It reminds me of 1916 only worse!
Colonel 2 True but i think 1939 will be better for us
Colonel 1 You think so?
Colonel 2 Yes! Armaments production is way up our army and those of our Allies will be much better equiped by early next year. There is even talk we may be able to launch a major offensive. Our Panzer divisions will hopefully have 1/2 to 2/3 of their Panzers Panzer IVs. It is hoped they will be equiped with a new more powerfull 75mm starting early next year. Panzer III production is do to end and the hulls will be used for Stugs. Some PZ II are being modified into self-propeled PAKs mounting captured Russian 76mm. The number of Motorized Infantry Divisions is increasing do to increased truck production and importation.
Colonel 1 Yes, and we now have enough PZ IVs to give to our Allies and they are forming their first units. Hopefully they will be ready by the springtime and the Italians and Hungarians have started Panzer IV production as well
Colonel 2 Also the Rumanians and Poles are going to get more tanks, artillery equipment, loans ect from England and France
Colonel 1 Thanks in part to the late Queen Marie.
Colonel 2: We will miss her and we won't be missing Adolf and Fatty
Colonel 1: true! The SS has been disbanded, most of the concentration camps are closed, No more Heil Hitler ect.
Colonel 2: Hopefully we and our Allies can conduct the war in a more effective manner!

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Peter89 » 14 Oct 2021 21:07

Linkagain wrote:
02 Oct 2021 11:25
Good question the USSR forces were larger then Polands,,however Stalin Purges..on Red Army Leadership probably would have a detremential effect on Stragity and tacticas...
HUngary would probaly send to Poland what aid and Volunteers it could because of her ancient freindship with Poland
Although it could not get directly involved in a war with USSR...the Baltic States would also give what aid they could...Poland would lose part of her eastern Providences while the REd Army would suffer high losses {as happened in the Russia-Finland War}
Hungary would give exactly 0 aid because they were to the Moon and back for the Germans (see First Vienna Award & the occupation of Kárpátalja).

Also, the Polish-Hungarian friendship is a myth.
“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: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 15 Oct 2021 06:36

Linkagain wrote:
02 Oct 2021 11:25
Good question the USSR forces were larger then Polands,,however Stalin Purges..on Red Army Leadership probably would have a detremential effect on Stragity and tacticas...
HUngary would probaly send to Poland what aid and Volunteers it could because of her ancient freindship with Poland
Although it could not get directly involved in a war with USSR...the Baltic States would also give what aid they could...Poland would lose part of her eastern Providences while the REd Army would suffer high losses {as happened in the Russia-Finland War}
The influence of Stain's purges on the Red Army is very exaggerated and has become mythical .
Most fired officers were fired for incompetence .
The initial Soviet defeats in 1941 were caused by the massive expansion of the Red Army after September 1939,for which there not sufficient officers and NCO's.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Martin_from_Valhalla » 15 Oct 2021 07:26

ljadw wrote:
15 Oct 2021 06:36
Linkagain wrote:
02 Oct 2021 11:25
Good question the USSR forces were larger then Polands,,however Stalin Purges..on Red Army Leadership probably would have a detremential effect on Stragity and tacticas...
HUngary would probaly send to Poland what aid and Volunteers it could because of her ancient freindship with Poland
Although it could not get directly involved in a war with USSR...the Baltic States would also give what aid they could...Poland would lose part of her eastern Providences while the REd Army would suffer high losses {as happened in the Russia-Finland War}
The influence of Stain's purges on the Red Army is very exaggerated and has become mythical .
Most fired officers were fired for incompetence .
The initial Soviet defeats in 1941 were caused by the massive expansion of the Red Army after September 1939,for which there not sufficient officers and NCO's.
I would highly disagree that the effect of purges is exaggerated. Stalin purged tsarist officers who went through First World War and Red officers who went through Civil War. And tsarist officers stayed to serve Russia, not Stalin, they could have been of a bigger use than those who substituted them. Newly baked officers were highly indoctrinated with Marxism and studying Marxist ideology took a lot of time in learning process. And what's more newcomers were highly scared to do something wrong, to act independently according to the situation, they were completely deprived of any free will, free thinking, any innitiative. That's the reason of Red Army's slack acting in the first months of wad.

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