How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1939?

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How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1939?

Post by Futurist » 13 Sep 2020 02:39

How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1939? Specifically, I am thinking of--in addition to what the Soviet Union conquered from Poland in real life--also having the Soviet Union conquer 95% of the General Government--as in, literally all of it other than Warsaw, which Nazi Germany will still conquer (since Stalin might require a German conquest of Warsaw in order for the Soviet Union to actually get involved in Poland; if Warsaw remains unoccupied, then one could say that Poland hasn't actually fallen yet, in which case the Soviet Union wouldn't be able to claim that it is merely protecting Ukrainians and Belarusians from being conquered by Nazi Germany):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... d_1939.png

Image

The logic on Hitler's part behind giving Stalin even more Polish territory would be trying to shift more of the burden for the destruction of the Polish state onto the Soviet Union. Plus, Hitler is going to attack Stalin anyway once he's done in the West and thinks that the Soviet Union will be a house of cards just waiting to come down, so it's not like Hitler would necessarily feel that he's sacrificing too much by temporarily giving Stalin a larger slice of Poland. Plus, Hitler might be pleased in more Poles getting the Gulag treatment from Stalin.

So, yeah, once Operation Barbarossa still comes in mid-1941, just how does it unfold with the initial front lines being a couple hundred kilometres/miles further west than they were in real life? Any thoughts on this?

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Sep 2020 03:28

In no particular order:

1. Stalin still refuses to place the forward armies and air groups on war alert, resulting in chaos & instant tactical defeat on the frontier.

2. The armies on the frontier, and those assembling in the interior still have inadequate cadres, and undertrained conscripts. thus ensuring tactical defeat and poor operational performance.

3. Stalin still dithers for several days aggravating the tactical and operational defeats on the frontier. This also has strategic implications.

4. Berias security people still go spastic arresting & shooting officers at every turn, adding to the chaos and friction in command at all levels. More operational and tactical defeat.

5. Overall the initial strategic situation is little different. Other than the initial battle is some hundred kilometers further west. That means more distance & time + casualties to advance deep into the USSR. To Leningrad, Moscow, & Rostov, ect... So theres a long term effect.

6. German logistics base is further west hindering the advance deep into the USSR.

7. There is a question of how far advanced west the Red air forces are in June. I don't know how much they displaced west in 1940-41. within reach of the June 22 air strikes of the German AF. If they are not displaced further than their positions OTL then its more difficult to strike them on the airfields at the start.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 13 Sep 2020 04:17

Interesting points, Carl! BTW, just how far deep into the Soviet Union do you think that the Axis advance would have reached in this scenario? Also, just how many additional Jews do you think manage to be successfully evacuated from the Soviet Union's western territories prior to the Axis conquest of these territories in this scenario?

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by wm » 13 Sep 2020 19:31

It's a myth that the Soviets evacuated Jews from western territories.
The Soviets generally evacuated Soviets, i.e., members of the party and Soviet apparatchiks.
Many Jews were deported to Siberia or Kazakhstan, even more, were ordered to leave the territory and relocate themselves deep into the USSR.
The Holocaust wasn't a thing yet, and nobody could have even imagined it was possible, so there was no need to evacuate anybody.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 13 Sep 2020 23:10

Yes, AFAIK, the Soviets didn't specifically evacuate Jews but rather Soviet citizens in general. However, because there were apparently still a lot of Jews among the Soviet elite (members of the party and Soviet apparatchiks), Jews were disproportionate beneficiaries from Soviet evacuation measures in 1941-1942:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2497301

Above is an article about this topic.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 14 Sep 2020 00:10

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Sep 2020 03:28
In no particular order:

1. Stalin still refuses to place the forward armies and air groups on war alert, resulting in chaos & instant tactical defeat on the frontier.

2. The armies on the frontier, and those assembling in the interior still have inadequate cadres, and undertrained conscripts. thus ensuring tactical defeat and poor operational performance.

3. Stalin still dithers for several days aggravating the tactical and operational defeats on the frontier. This also has strategic implications.

4. Berias security people still go spastic arresting & shooting officers at every turn, adding to the chaos and friction in command at all levels. More operational and tactical defeat.

5. Overall the initial strategic situation is little different. Other than the initial battle is some hundred kilometers further west. That means more distance & time + casualties to advance deep into the USSR. To Leningrad, Moscow, & Rostov, ect... So theres a long term effect.

6. German logistics base is further west hindering the advance deep into the USSR.

7. There is a question of how far advanced west the Red air forces are in June. I don't know how much they displaced west in 1940-41. within reach of the June 22 air strikes of the German AF. If they are not displaced further than their positions OTL then its more difficult to strike them on the airfields at the start.
8. A couple of hundred more kilometers of mud to traverse for the Wehrmacht.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 00:13

Yep, absolutely!

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 16 Sep 2020 02:41

I've got a question--if Germany hypothetically decides not to conquer all of the General Government--including Warsaw--is Stalin still going to make a move on eastern Poland (the Kresy)? Or would Stalin insist on a German conquest of Warsaw as being a necessary precondition for any Soviet move on eastern Poland?

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Lars » 16 Sep 2020 12:36

Germany gave up Lithuania to the Soviet sphere of influence to get a bigger slice of the pie in Poland. If the Soviets insisted on the original Molotov-Ribbentrop line at the Vistula instead of at the Bug then Germany would not give up Lithuania. A German build-up prior to Barbarossa in Lithuania almost guarantees the fall of Leningrad. The Germans will also be closer to Moscow.

The downside will be a slower progress in eastern Poland and Belorussia.

If I had to pick for the German side, having Lithuania is better than having the Polish area between Vistula and Bug.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 16 Sep 2020 18:13

Was Lithuania going to be outright annexed to Germany or merely puppetized?

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Lars » 17 Sep 2020 13:24

I don't think Germany took any part of Lithuania in 1941 or later. Memel was taken before the war. So no annexation in 1939 either.

https://i.redd.it/nf03m6rlulb51.png

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 18 Sep 2020 00:50

So, a Lithuanian puppet state, then?

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Lars » 18 Sep 2020 19:02

Yes.

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by maltesefalcon » 18 Sep 2020 19:40

Lars wrote:
17 Sep 2020 13:24
I don't think Germany took any part of Lithuania in 1941 or later. Memel was taken before the war. So no annexation in 1939 either.

https://i.redd.it/nf03m6rlulb51.png
Maybe I am misunderstanding the context of the statement above. But here is a short clip ex Wkipedia article re: Barbarossa 1941.

"On June 22, 1941, the territory of the Lithuanian SSR was invaded by two advancing German army groups: Army Group North, which took over western and northern Lithuania, and Army Group Centre, which took over most of the Vilnius Region."

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Re: How would Operation Barbarossa (in 1941) have looked like had the Soviet Union advanced much deeper into Poland in 1

Post by Futurist » 18 Sep 2020 22:58

maltesefalcon wrote:
18 Sep 2020 19:40
Lars wrote:
17 Sep 2020 13:24
I don't think Germany took any part of Lithuania in 1941 or later. Memel was taken before the war. So no annexation in 1939 either.

https://i.redd.it/nf03m6rlulb51.png
Maybe I am misunderstanding the context of the statement above. But here is a short clip ex Wkipedia article re: Barbarossa 1941.

"On June 22, 1941, the territory of the Lithuanian SSR was invaded by two advancing German army groups: Army Group North, which took over western and northern Lithuania, and Army Group Centre, which took over most of the Vilnius Region."
I think that he means in terms of formal annexation of Lithuanian territory to Germany.

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