More Panzer Divisions allocated to Army Group South

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: More Panzer Divisions allocated to Army Group South

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 07:40

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
12 Dec 2019 06:57
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 04:03
I'm skeptical that the Soviet Union could have pulled off a naval evacuation of the Northwestern Front from Lithuania.
Ok maybe not from Lithuania to Leningrad but that would imply that Northwest Front holds out in Lithuania while Bock moves hundreds of miles to its rear. Just doesn't seem likely, especially given the enthusiasm with which Northwest Front abandoned Lithuania OTL.
Northwestern Front was held back from the border in the OTL. IIRC it was mostly behind the Dvina river and counterattacked Panzer Group 4's bridgeheads.

The idea in this ATL is that Stalin would order the Northwestern Front to counterattack the northern flank of AGC, so it would come down from the north and attack all along the German norther flank. Once the pocket around Bialostok is secure, Hoth's panzer group could then swing north in a rapid advance for Riga. Given how slow the Soviets were to respond to every other encirclement in the OTL, I can't see Northwestern Front making a rapid evacuation before the trap is closed. Stalin's MO was to order counterattacks in every situation until it was too late, so whatever forces were available would have tried (and failed) to attack Hoth, while Soviet units in the pocket would have held their ground or continued attacking until the pocket was closed and only then would they belatedly receive permission to try to break out.
I guess I can see that operational response (attack on AGC flank) as plausible but relying on an encirclement with its apex at Riga leaves an easy escape route across the Gulf of Riga. It's guarded against KM interference by the big Baltic islands, which Germany didn't take until October OTL, and it's narrow enough to allow for night movements largely safe from LW interference. It'd be a pretty safe escape IMO.

I meant to mention my perceived flaw in your Southern Front encirclement as well: OTL the Soviet navy evacuated Odessa without issue there, saving not just the soldiers but also a full floating drydock loaded with rolling stock. https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/ ... r-19411945

None of this is to dispute that your scheme is better than the OKH scheme for Barbarossa; I just doubt whether it's good enough to fundamentally change the course of the war.

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