How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

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How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Futurist » 21 Sep 2020 02:39

How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact division been kept? Specifically, I am talking about the map to the left here, where Lithuania ends up in the German sphere of influence under a German puppet government while the Soviet Union ends up getting an even larger slice of Poland:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... nd.svg.png

Image

On the one hand, this would put German forces closer to Leningrad at the start of Barbarossa, but at the same time, Germany is also going to have a huge salient in East Prussia and Lithuania which it will need to close. It would also have to advance through more of Poland before it would actually be able to reach Ukraine and Belarus--let alone Russia. So, how do you think that Operation Barbarossa plays out in this scenario? Also, as a side note, just how many additional Soviet Jews do you think manage to successfully evacuate to the interior of the Soviet Union in 1941-1942 in this scenario due to the front lines being slightly further to the west at the start of Operation Barbarossa?

Also, what would the long(er)-term effects of this be assuming that the Soviet Union is indeed likewise able to survive the Nazi onslaught in this scenario? For instance, does Lithuania still end up getting the Memelland after the end of WWII (along with getting annexed into the Soviet Union) in this scenario even though it would have been a pro-Axis and anti-Soviet aggressor in this scenario? Do the additional parts of Poland that the Soviet Union conquered in 1939 in this scenario permanently become part of Ukraine and Belarus after the end of WWII, or do they get returned by Stalin to a Polish Communist puppet state in an act of "extreme generosity" on his own part?

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by maltesefalcon » 21 Sep 2020 14:21

This the same basic topic you started a thread (with discussion on) here:

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


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=251876

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Lars » 21 Sep 2020 15:22

It would place the Germans 200 kilometers closer to Leningrad and 300 kilmeters closer to Moscow. On the other hand, it would place the Germans 2-300 kilometers further away from Brest, Lwow and Kiev.

I think it is fairly easy to come up with a scenario in this case. So here I go.

* In the real war the Germans were 50 kilometers or so from Leningrad on 1 September. So with a Barbarossa starting point at the Lithuanian border the Germans should be able to link up with the Finns in August and encircle Leningrad instead of blokading it. Leningrad is cut off from Lake Ladoga. All supplies are cut off.

* How long Leningrad holds out I don't know. The main point is that the Germans and the Finns are now linked up. The northern front is basically "resolved" as far as the Germans are concerned even if Leningrad is only under siege for the time being and hasn't fallen yet.

* The siege of Leningrad is a game changer on the northern front especially for the Finns. The Soviets are weaker. The Finnish morale is sky high and Finnish divisions are freed from the Karelian front.

* My gut feeling is that the Finns will be more aggressive. The Greater Finland faction is even stronger. This should at the very least result in the cutting of the Murmansk railroad.

* So where to go next for the Germans? The obvious place would be Moscow. However, the Kiev temptation for Hitler will be even larger as the Germans are even further behind in Ukraine than in the real war.

* So Hitler will once more insist on a Kiev encirclement. This is done by late September.

* And so it is time for Typhoon. The question is how much the changed northern front will matter in Typhoon. There will be very little Lend-Lease supplies throgh Murmansk in the winter as the Murmansk railroad is cut.

That is all I have. A scenario until late September
Last edited by Lars on 21 Sep 2020 15:28, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Lars » 21 Sep 2020 15:25

maltesefalcon wrote:
21 Sep 2020 14:21
This the same basic topic you started a thread (with discussion on) here:

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


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=251876
Not quite. Lithuania is the difference. See my answer above.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by maltesefalcon » 21 Sep 2020 16:23

Lars wrote:
21 Sep 2020 15:25
maltesefalcon wrote:
21 Sep 2020 14:21
This the same basic topic you started a thread (with discussion on) here:

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


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=251876
Not quite. Lithuania is the difference. See my answer above.
There are several replies on Lithuania situation in the thread I noted above.
Here is the context of your own reply that started that phase of the discussion:

"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."


Sorry if I am splitting hairs here, but I am making a point. Futurist is starting threads where further discussion on existing threads is perfectly fine. I'm trying not to make this too personal, but this is rapidly becoming the Futurist sub-forum, not What If?...

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Futurist » 21 Sep 2020 20:20

maltesefalcon wrote:
21 Sep 2020 14:21
This the same basic topic you started a thread (with discussion on) here:

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


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=251876
That thread involved the Soviets acquiring even more of Poland and the Germans not acquiring Lithuania, though.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Futurist » 21 Sep 2020 20:23

Lars wrote:
21 Sep 2020 15:22
It would place the Germans 200 kilometers closer to Leningrad and 300 kilmeters closer to Moscow. On the other hand, it would place the Germans 2-300 kilometers further away from Brest, Lwow and Kiev.

I think it is fairly easy to come up with a scenario in this case. So here I go.

* In the real war the Germans were 50 kilometers or so from Leningrad on 1 September. So with a Barbarossa starting point at the Lithuanian border the Germans should be able to link up with the Finns in August and encircle Leningrad instead of blokading it. Leningrad is cut off from Lake Ladoga. All supplies are cut off.

* How long Leningrad holds out I don't know. The main point is that the Germans and the Finns are now linked up. The northern front is basically "resolved" as far as the Germans are concerned even if Leningrad is only under siege for the time being and hasn't fallen yet.

* The siege of Leningrad is a game changer on the northern front especially for the Finns. The Soviets are weaker. The Finnish morale is sky high and Finnish divisions are freed from the Karelian front.

* My gut feeling is that the Finns will be more aggressive. The Greater Finland faction is even stronger. This should at the very least result in the cutting of the Murmansk railroad.

* So where to go next for the Germans? The obvious place would be Moscow. However, the Kiev temptation for Hitler will be even larger as the Germans are even further behind in Ukraine than in the real war.

* So Hitler will once more insist on a Kiev encirclement. This is done by late September.

* And so it is time for Typhoon. The question is how much the changed northern front will matter in Typhoon. There will be very little Lend-Lease supplies throgh Murmansk in the winter as the Murmansk railroad is cut.

That is all I have. A scenario until late September
Do the Germans and Finns completely conquer the territory on the other side of Lake Ladoga?

Also, how much Lend-Lease aid came from places other than Murmansk in 1941--such as Persia, the Black Sea, and the Far East? Could Lend-Lease aid from those places significantly increase to compensate for the loss of Murmansk?

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Alex Tijerina » 22 Sep 2020 00:41

I read that the Finns did not have the logistics to make it to Leningrad much less surround the city.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Futurist » 22 Sep 2020 04:03

Where did you read that?

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Sep 2020 12:54

maltesefalcon wrote: I am making a point. Futurist is starting threads where further discussion on existing threads is perfectly fine. I'm trying not to make this too personal, but this is rapidly becoming the Futurist sub-forum, not What If?...
Point seconded. I count 13 Futurist threads on the first page of this forum. Each thread starts with an under-specified premise, leading to commenters filling in the gaps and much talking past each other as to which ATL we are actually in.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Lars » 22 Sep 2020 16:37

I see it now. Futurist: More disciplin about starting new threads and - first and foremost - fewer new threads would be appreciated, thanks.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Futurist » 22 Sep 2020 18:15

Lars wrote:
22 Sep 2020 16:37
I see it now. Futurist: More disciplin about starting new threads and - first and foremost - fewer new threads would be appreciated, thanks.
OK; fair enough. I will try to follow your advice from now on. :)

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Lars » 23 Sep 2020 18:51

Futurist wrote:
21 Sep 2020 20:23
Lars wrote:
21 Sep 2020 15:22
It would place the Germans 200 kilometers closer to Leningrad and 300 kilmeters closer to Moscow. On the other hand, it would place the Germans 2-300 kilometers further away from Brest, Lwow and Kiev.

I think it is fairly easy to come up with a scenario in this case. So here I go.

* In the real war the Germans were 50 kilometers or so from Leningrad on 1 September. So with a Barbarossa starting point at the Lithuanian border the Germans should be able to link up with the Finns in August and encircle Leningrad instead of blokading it. Leningrad is cut off from Lake Ladoga. All supplies are cut off.

* How long Leningrad holds out I don't know. The main point is that the Germans and the Finns are now linked up. The northern front is basically "resolved" as far as the Germans are concerned even if Leningrad is only under siege for the time being and hasn't fallen yet.

* The siege of Leningrad is a game changer on the northern front especially for the Finns. The Soviets are weaker. The Finnish morale is sky high and Finnish divisions are freed from the Karelian front.

* My gut feeling is that the Finns will be more aggressive. The Greater Finland faction is even stronger. This should at the very least result in the cutting of the Murmansk railroad.

* So where to go next for the Germans? The obvious place would be Moscow. However, the Kiev temptation for Hitler will be even larger as the Germans are even further behind in Ukraine than in the real war.

* So Hitler will once more insist on a Kiev encirclement. This is done by late September.

* And so it is time for Typhoon. The question is how much the changed northern front will matter in Typhoon. There will be very little Lend-Lease supplies throgh Murmansk in the winter as the Murmansk railroad is cut.

That is all I have. A scenario until late September
Do the Germans and Finns completely conquer the territory on the other side of Lake Ladoga?

Also, how much Lend-Lease aid came from places other than Murmansk in 1941--such as Persia, the Black Sea, and the Far East? Could Lend-Lease aid from those places significantly increase to compensate for the loss of Murmansk?
Maybe. The key is though that Leningrad will be encircled just beyond the city limits a so-called "inner encirclement" between Lake Ladoga and Leningrad.

Murmansk was very important for Lend-Lease in 1941. The Black Sea is closed, but yes, the Persian route and Vladivostok could probably be used more but it will result in delays of Lend-Lease deliveries. Murmansk is the fastest option from the British point of view.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by Lars » 23 Sep 2020 18:53

Alex Tijerina wrote:
22 Sep 2020 00:41
I read that the Finns did not have the logistics to make it to Leningrad much less surround the city.
The Germans will do the heavy lifting in this scenario as they show up in force at Leningrad in August. All the Finns will have to is follow the Red Army as it withdraws to Leningrad proper.

Off the cuff, the Germans will provide perhaps 2/3 of the forces surrounding Leningrad. Since Leningrad is cut off from supplies the logistical strain on the Finn will be bearable.

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Re: How differently would Operation Barbarossa have unfolded had the original M-R Pact division been kept?

Post by antwony » 24 Sep 2020 09:35

Lars wrote:
22 Sep 2020 16:37
I see it now. Futurist: More disciplin about starting new threads and - first and foremost - fewer new threads would be appreciated, thanks.
Most of the threads in this part of the forum are nonsense. Futurist's aren't particualrly bad and he is very polite and respectful.

I actually like the open ended nature of his questions, as most responses in the What- If section are extempore opinions based on dubious, pointless statistics or feelings and his questions aren't spoiled by that brand of stupid.

For example, multiple repliers here haven't seemed to have correctly read his initial question, in that Finland would become part of the Soviet Union under the terms of the M-R pact.

But, to go along with the misinterpretations others have made i.e. Finland being still independent in Summer 1941.
Alex Tijerina wrote:
22 Sep 2020 00:41
I read that the Finns did not have the logistics to make it to Leningrad much less surround the city.
That obviously wrong.

Leningrad's not that far from the where the Finnish border was in summer 1941. The army had no trouble getting right up next to Leningrad by September 1941 and they continued advancing in other sectors, a very long way from the border, through very difficult terrain, for several months after that with out insurmountable logistical problems.

I presuming you've read some Russian "history" or Glantz who is just as bad in regards to Finland. Nikolai Baryšnikov, maybe?

Or you've maybe read Colonel Visuri and had a different interpretation to me. For me, what Visuri was saying was that to attack Leningrad, Finland would need to halt the offense into Eatern Karelia. But I can't remember him talking about logistics, more about transferring combat troops.
Lars wrote:
23 Sep 2020 18:53
The Germans will do the heavy lifting in this scenario as they show up in force at Leningrad in August. All the Finns will have to is follow the Red Army as it withdraws to Leningrad proper.

Off the cuff, the Germans will provide perhaps 2/3 of the forces surrounding Leningrad. Since Leningrad is cut off from supplies the logistical strain on the Finn will be bearable.
Presume you're talking about the Germans advancing to the shores of Laatokka somewhere to the east of Leningrad. Finalnd held the eastern side of Laatokka by September, but that's still quite a way away from Leningrad. Don't understand, from where, to where the Russians are retreating.

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