WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

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Juan G. C.
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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 25 Sep 2020 16:35

maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2020 21:14
I don't want to suck all the oxygen out of this thread, but am still puzzled at the logic of the proposal as written.

By 1943, the Axis was heavily outnumbered already by the Soviets. So any potential source of manpower would have been greatly accepted. I totally get that it is better to have Vlasov's men than not. But this must be balanced with the reality that scouring occupied nations for troops, would correspondingly reduce the labour pool for crops and factories.

And said troops still needed to be equipped. Germany had to delay Zitadelle from May to July; to build up their own tank forces, after the debacle at Stalingrad. Where would this extra equipment and vehicles come from, to support x number of new divisions? And if there already was an extra supply on hand, why not offer it to extant forces of Hungary, Romania and Finland?

As for motivation, for the Vlasov force and the occupied nations, it's a no-brainer. They were fighting for their very survival. But I'm struggling a bit with the motivation on the German side. They could lose a million men in the next phase but would simply walk away and return home, if and when Soviet Russia surrendered. (Or stopped fighting at least.) And if Communism falls does that guarantee the next Russian regime will not simply carry on where they left off and forge a capitalist, but Russian dominated empire in Eastern Europe?
Were all Soviet POWs used as workers? If not, then they can recruit from them without reducing the labour pool. Also the creation of national governments in the Soviet territory occupied by the germans, or of the ROA could increase the desertion of Soviet soldiers in order to join the ROA or the armies of those states.

As for the equipment, I confess my ignorance on the subject, that is why I asked about it in the first post. I do not know if the germans had as severe a problem with the war production or war materiel as with manpower. But would it have been very difficult to produce, for example, more rifles instead of the V1 or V2?

Regarding the motivation on the german side I can say more. First of all, they have no other option, it is either that or unconditional surrender. Moreover, the new government do not want (as Hitler wanted) to annex and colonize all Soviet territory up to the Urals, only to keep the 1914 borders plus Austria with South Tyrol and the Sudetenland. So it would not be a sacrifice to create those states or promote the ROA. And also, many of the germans who favored and promoted Vlasov and the ROA were linked with the people which would have formed the new government, I am thinking about Stauffenberg, Tresckow or ambassador Schulemburg.

P. S. Sorry for my english, it is not my native language.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 25 Sep 2020 18:16

Takao wrote:
24 Sep 2020 23:19
The problem with Vlasov's army is not trust of the Germans. Simply because the Germans don't trust them. Which is why the army was not formed until the bitter end. The Conferderate States of America were the same way, not arming African-Americans until almost the end of the war.
The Germans were proved correct when Vlasov's army switched back to the Soviets in 1945. Further, given German experience with their Hiwis in late-42 & 43 as they again switched sides when the Soviets achieved local superiority, led the Germans to ship many of them back West, where they were no opportunity to mutiny or go over to the Allied side.

Changing history such as this simply cannot be done by eliminating Hitler & his gang from power. The whole course of the Eastern Front needs to be changed from the beginning, and the new German government cannot undo what has already been done.
Hitler didn't trust them, but there were many in Germany that favored the formation of the ROA. And the ROA didn't switch back to the Soviets in 1945, they supported the Prague uprising and then surrendered to the Western Allies.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Takao » 25 Sep 2020 18:46

Juan G. C. wrote:
25 Sep 2020 18:16

Hitler didn't trust them, but there were many in Germany that favored the formation of the ROA. And the ROA didn't switch back to the Soviets in 1945, they supported the Prague uprising and then surrendered to the Western Allies.
Hitler may not have trusted them, but that did not prevent upwards of a million Hiwis being put to use by the German Army. The German Army didn't trust them after 42-43, because they were mutinying and going back to the Soviet side, when the Soviets got close. A German rigeme change will not stop this.

In 1943, there were few Germans that supported the idea. By the beginning of 1944, the Germans had already lost the war - 50,000 ROA, some months earlier, will not, under any circumstances, change the out come of the war.

Who liberated Prague...The Soviets.

Who were Vlasov & his army fighting...The Germans.

Why was Vlasov & his army fighting the Germans...They switched sides.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by maltesefalcon » 25 Sep 2020 19:36

For your reading pleasure, an account of an actual Russian SS unit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29th_Waff ... t_Russian)

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Takao » 25 Sep 2020 19:41

Juan G. C. wrote:
25 Sep 2020 16:35
Were all Soviet POWs used as workers? If not, then they can recruit from them without reducing the labour pool. Also the creation of national governments in the Soviet territory occupied by the germans, or of the ROA could increase the desertion of Soviet soldiers in order to join the ROA or the armies of those states.
About 800,000-1,000,000 put into armed service use(Hiwis) or otherwise released, many were put to use as slave labor, 2+ million died of starvation, overwork, or were otherwise killed.

Creating national governments in early 1944 is too little, too late. This should have been done in 1941 as the Germans gobbled up Soviet territory. Of course, that adds a new twist - Will the ex-Soviet citizens fight the Soviets to the bitter end, or will they only fight so long as their new territory is threatened.


Juan G. C. wrote:
25 Sep 2020 16:35
As for the equipment, I confess my ignorance on the subject, that is why I asked about it in the first post. I do not know if the germans had as severe a problem with the war production or war materiel as with manpower. But would it have been very difficult to produce, for example, more rifles instead of the V1 or V2?
There is no direct correlation between not producing V-1/V-2 and increasing production of rifles, machineguns, tanks, planes, etc. As the rockets would be made with different raw materials and use different fuels. You can compare costs & manhours, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Juan G. C. wrote:
25 Sep 2020 16:35
Regarding the motivation on the german side I can say more. First of all, they have no other option, it is either that or unconditional surrender. Moreover, the new government do not want (as Hitler wanted) to annex and colonize all Soviet territory up to the Urals, only to keep the 1914 borders plus Austria with South Tyrol and the Sudetenland. So it would not be a sacrifice to create those states or promote the ROA. And also, many of the germans who favored and promoted Vlasov and the ROA were linked with the people which would have formed the new government, I am thinking about Stauffenberg, Tresckow or ambassador Schulemburg.
Fear & desperation are powerful motivators, but the only come when one is trapped in a downward spiral, and grasping at straws is the only chance one has.

True, the new government might not want "all" of the SU to the Urals...But, they did want to keep a portion of it for themselves - Schulemburg, who you mention, wanted Lithuania, Belarus, and some of the Ukraine for Germany. Hardly pre-1914 Germany.

Stauffenberg & Tresckow were more concerned with military matters, rather than those of political post-assassination consequences. However, by July 20, 1944, it is again too little too late to be of any help or use. Again, much of this needs to have been done in 1941-42, not mid-44.

Juan G. C. wrote:
25 Sep 2020 16:35
P. S. Sorry for my english, it is not my native language.
You English is fine, better than some native speakers.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 26 Sep 2020 16:41

Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 19:41
Creating national governments in early 1944 is too little, too late. This should have been done in 1941 as the Germans gobbled up Soviet territory. Of course, that adds a new twist - Will the ex-Soviet citizens fight the Soviets to the bitter end, or will they only fight so long as their new territory is threatened.
I think I would have never been todo late for those who opposed both German and Soviet occupation and Who wanted independencia. I am thinking in the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania, the Latvian Central Council and the forces which formed the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia. They intended to declare independencia when the Germán forces withdrew, and fight the Soviets. They would have welcomed the opportunity offered by the New german government.
Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 19:41
There is no direct correlation between not producing V-1/V-2 and increasing production of rifles, machineguns, tanks, planes, etc. As the rockets would be made with different raw materials and use different fuels. You can compare costs & manhours, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Then would have the germans been completely unable to equip the ROA and other units?
Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 19:41
True, the new government might not want "all" of the SU to the Urals...But, they did want to keep a portion of it for themselves - Schulemburg, who you mention, wanted Lithuania, Belarus, and some of the Ukraine for Germany. Hardly pre-1914 Germany.
If that was Schulenburg's position it is the most expansionist of the Widerstand, and certainly not representative of it. The aims I mentioned were those of Goerdeler and Ulrich con Hassell, expressed in many memorandums.
Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 19:41
Stauffenberg & Tresckow were more concerned with military matters, rather than those of political post-assassination consequences. However, by July 20, 1944, it is again too little too late to be of any help or use. Again, much of this needs to have been done in 1941-42, not mid-44.
When Stauffenberg was working in the OKH was one of those who defended the formation of units from the Soviet people, and Tresckow was one of the promoters of the Russian National People's Army in 1942. Both would have been participants in the coup I spoke of in the first post.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 26 Sep 2020 17:24

Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 18:46
Hitler may not have trusted them, but that did not prevent upwards of a million Hiwis being put to use by the German Army. The German Army didn't trust them after 42-43, because they were mutinying and going back to the Soviet side, when the Soviets got close. A German rigeme change will not stop this.

In 1943, there were few Germans that supported the idea. By the beginning of 1944, the Germans had already lost the war - 50,000 ROA, some months earlier, will not, under any circumstances, change the out come of the war.
The German Army was not monolithic, there were many Who still supported the formation of the ROA in 1943-1944. Neither were all the hiwis and Osttruppen deserting, some did and some did not. And one have to keep in mind that the germans didn't give them anything to fight for, as the New german government would have done.
Takao wrote:
25 Sep 2020 18:46
Who liberated Prague...The Soviets.

Who were Vlasov & his army fighting...The Germans.

Why was Vlasov & his army fighting the Germans...They switched sides.
The Prague uprising took place before the Soviets entered Prague.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Takao » 27 Sep 2020 12:25

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 16:41
I think I would have never been todo late for those who opposed both German and Soviet occupation and Who wanted independencia. I am thinking in the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania, the Latvian Central Council and the forces which formed the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia. They intended to declare independencia when the Germán forces withdrew, and fight the Soviets. They would have welcomed the opportunity offered by the New german government.
If the Germans withdraw it would be for one of two reasons.
1) The Soviets have been defeated - Hence there will be no Soviets to fight.

Or

2) The Soviets are victorious - If the Soviets defeat the Germans, the paltry military forces of these newly created countries will be little effectiveness against the Soviet juggernaught.

By mid-1944, it is too late for the Germans & their new "independent" states, as the Allies have become too powerful for them to overcome - hence the Allies turning down of the plotters efforts of negotiatiating an end to the war. The Allies knew they could beat the Germans and end the war on Allied terms, not German ones.

Then would have
Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 16:41
Then would the germans been completely unable to equip the ROA and other units?
The Germans could not fully equip their own armies & allies in 1944. What makes you think that they can fully equip the armed forces of several more "new" nations.

Not to mention taking the time to train the newly recruited armed forces of these new nations.

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 16:41
If that was Schulenburg's position it is the most expansionist of the Widerstand, and certainly not representative of it.
That was Schulenburg's position. See the book "Alternatives to Hitler" on pages 160-161.(the author's name escapes me, will update later).

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 16:41
The aims I mentioned were those of Goerdeler and Ulrich con Hassell, expressed in many memorandums.
Wonderful! But that is not what you stated.

You said
Moreover, the new government do not want (as Hitler wanted) to annex and colonize all Soviet territory up to the Urals, only to keep the 1914 borders plus Austria with South Tyrol and the Sudetenland. So it would not be a sacrifice to create those states or promote the ROA. And also, many of the germans who favored and promoted Vlasov and the ROA were linked with the people which would have formed the new government, I am thinking about Stauffenberg, Tresckow or ambassador Schulemburg.
No mention of Goerdeler or Hassell.

The territorial aims varied greatly, and there seems to be no consensus amongst the groups of plotters. 1914 borders, 1918 borders, Alsace-Lorraine, part of Poland, parts of Russia, Austria(althought the Austrians made it clear to the Germans, after 1943, that the would not be a part of Germany), Sudetenland, etc.
Stauffenberg is on record with Germany's 1937 borders.

Bottom line is it irrelevant what the Germans hoped for, thought, wanted, or would settle for. The post-overthrow German borders will be what the Allies let the Germans keep.

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 16:41
When Stauffenberg was working in the OKH was one of those who defended the formation of units from the Soviet people, and Tresckow was one of the promoters of the Russian National People's Army in 1942. Both would have been participants in the coup I spoke of in the first post.
Which is all well and good, but they have little to no power in the German Army. The coup needs the backing of the German Army to succeed. Thus, they will mostly do what the German Army wants. And, most of the German high command did not want an "independent" unreliable ROA. This did not change until the Soviets were knocking on the German door.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Takao » 27 Sep 2020 12:33

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 17:24
The German Army was not monolithic, there were many Who still supported the formation of the ROA in 1943-1944. Neither were all the hiwis and Osttruppen deserting, some did and some did not. And one have to keep in mind that the germans didn't give them anything to fight for, as the New german government would have done.
Not that many, as it took two years of convincing, and the essential collapse of the German Army in the East. Further, it's formation was not done out of benevolent good will. The Germans were looking to save their own army and their own skins.

Juan G. C. wrote:
26 Sep 2020 17:24
The Prague uprising took place before the Soviets entered Prague.
During the Prague uprising...Did the ROA fight for the Germans or against them?

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 27 Sep 2020 18:09

If the Germans withdraw it would be for one of two reasons.
1) The Soviets have been defeated - Hence there will be no Soviets to fight.

Or

2) The Soviets are victorious - If the Soviets defeat the Germans, the paltry military forces of these newly created countries will be little effectiveness against the Soviet juggernaught.
They intended to declare independence after the german withdrawal because IOTL the germans would have not allowed them to declare independence before that, but ITTL the new german government would have gladly allowed them to set governments before they withdraw. That is what I meant.
Wonderful! But that is not what you stated.

You said
Moreover, the new government do not want (as Hitler wanted) to annex and colonize all Soviet territory up to the Urals, only to keep the 1914 borders plus Austria with South Tyrol and the Sudetenland. So it would not be a sacrifice to create those states or promote the ROA. And also, many of the germans who favored and promoted Vlasov and the ROA were linked with the people which would have formed the new government, I am thinking about Stauffenberg, Tresckow or ambassador Schulemburg.
No mention of Goerdeler or Hassell.
I assumed that would have been the position of the new government viven that Goerdeler would have been the chancellor and Hassell the foreign minister.
The territorial aims varied greatly, and there seems to be no consensus amongst the groups of plotters. 1914 borders, 1918 borders, Alsace-Lorraine, part of Poland, parts of Russia, Austria(althought the Austrians made it clear to the Germans, after 1943, that the would not be a part of Germany), Sudetenland, etc.
Stauffenberg is on record with Germany's 1937 borders.
That is a fair point.
Which is all well and good, but they have little to no power in the German Army. The coup needs the backing of the German Army to succeed. Thus, they will mostly do what the German Army wants. And, most of the German high command did not want an "independent" unreliable ROA. This did not change until the Soviets were knocking on the German door.
Not that many, as it took two years of convincing, and the essential collapse of the German Army in the East. Further, it's formation was not done out of benevolent good will. The Germans were looking to save their own army and their own skins.
If the ROA was not formed until the end of the war was not because the german Army opposed it, but because Hitler and many (not all) Nazis were completely against the idea. As far as I know, most of the Army was either in favor of it, for diverse reasons, or neutral. And the reason the Osttruppen were unreliable and tended to defect was because the germans failed to give them a reason to fight.
During the Prague uprising...Did the ROA fight for the Germans or against them?
They fought against the Germans, but not for the Soviets.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Takao » 27 Sep 2020 21:03

Juan G. C. wrote:
27 Sep 2020 18:09
They intended to declare independence after the german withdrawal because IOTL the germans would have not allowed them to declare independence before that, but ITTL the new german government would have gladly allowed them to set governments before they withdraw. That is what I meant.
Declaring independence is meaningless without the military might to back it up. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, and the Ukraine can all declare their independence, but how are they going to defend themselves when Stalin's Russian Armies come to "liberate" them?


Juan G. C. wrote:
27 Sep 2020 18:09
I assumed that would have been the position of the new government viven that Goerdeler would have been the chancellor and Hassell the foreign minister.
Goerdeler was not locked in as Chancellor. Stauffenberg wanted Julius Leber as Chancellor. Even after Leber turned him down, Stauffenberg still wanted to replace Goerdeler either immediately or after a tranitionary period. Goerdeler. The Kreisau faction also did not favor Goerdeler as Chancellor. Leuscher's name was also mentioned as a possibility for Chancellor, but, like Leber, he also turned it down.

Goerdeler, seems to have been the first or second choice of few, but the only one who would take the position. And more than a few of the plotters wanted him quickly replaced.

Further, much of the power would rest with Beck, the Reichverwesr, he would be the "real" head-of-state. For, that is where all the power flowed from in the plotters post-Hitler Germany. The Fuhrer is dead, long live the Fuhrer.

Finally, the political system agreed upon by the plotters, was essentially a "sweeter" Nazi Party. A totalitarian single party system - which the Allies most likely would not have agreed to remain in place.

Juan G. C. wrote:
27 Sep 2020 18:09
If the ROA was not formed until the end of the war was not because the german Army opposed it, but because Hitler and many (not all) Nazis were completely against the idea. As far as I know, most of the Army was either in favor of it, for diverse reasons, or neutral. And the reason the Osttruppen were unreliable and tended to defect was because the germans failed to give them a reason to fight.
If the German Army had wanted the ROA formed earlier, they would have formed the ROA. It might not have been called the ROA, but it would have been formed. However, this was not done on any large scale. The German Army was perfectly happy letting the lesser trained, lesser experienced, lesser reliable Hiwis perform menial tasks that freed up better trained, more reliable German troops to go into the front lines.

The Germans gave them the only reason that mattered...The Germans were winning. Once the Germans started losing badly is when the defections and mutinies began to occur in frequency. Then, suddenly, the Germans were no longer the Alpha males anymore.



Juan G. C. wrote:
27 Sep 2020 18:09
They fought against the Germans, but not for the Soviets.
And so...As I have said, the ROA switched sides.
They were fighting for the Germans, and then they were fighting the Germans...Hence, they are no longer on the Germans side. Their motives for switching sides is immaterial (whether to get back into the good graces of Stalin, or to ingratiate themselves to the West) to the point that they were no longer on the Germans' side. They were traitors to Russia, and they were traitors to Germany...The Germans knew this would happen, but the bottom of their tub had fallen out, and they had no other choice but to accept the forming of the ROA to help save Germany.

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Re: WI Earlier formation of Vlasov's ROA

Post by Juan G. C. » 28 Sep 2020 10:24

Declaring independence is meaningless without the military might to back it up. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, and the Ukraine can all declare their independence, but how are they going to defend themselves when Stalin's Russian Armies come to "liberate" them?
The necessary military might would have provided by Germany which would not have withdrawn, as I said.
Goerdeler was not locked in as Chancellor. Stauffenberg wanted Julius Leber as Chancellor. Even after Leber turned him down, Stauffenberg still wanted to replace Goerdeler either immediately or after a tranitionary period. Goerdeler. The Kreisau faction also did not favor Goerdeler as Chancellor. Leuscher's name was also mentioned as a possibility for Chancellor, but, like Leber, he also turned it down.

Goerdeler, seems to have been the first or second choice of few, but the only one who would take the position. And more than a few of the plotters wanted him quickly replaced.

Further, much of the power would rest with Beck, the Reichverwesr, he would be the "real" head-of-state. For, that is where all the power flowed from in the plotters post-Hitler Germany. The Fuhrer is dead, long live the Fuhrer.
What you say about Stauffenberg and many plotters is true but, as you also say, much of the power would resto with Beck, including the choice of chancellor, and Beck was completely for Goerdeler as chancellor. Neither the Kreisau circle nor Stauffenberg would have had much power in this.
Finally, the political system agreed upon by the plotters, was essentially a "sweeter" Nazi Party. A totalitarian single party system - which the Allies most likely would not have agreed to remain in place.
I'm afraid I strongly disagree. Certainly It was autoritarian, but in no way totalitarian or single party. It differed greatly from the Nazi regime. And it was intended as a provisional regime until the end of the war.
If the German Army had wanted the ROA formed earlier, they would have formed the ROA. It might not have been called the ROA, but it would have been formed. However, this was not done on any large scale. The German Army was perfectly happy letting the lesser trained, lesser experienced, lesser reliable Hiwis perform menial tasks that freed up better trained, more reliable German troops to go into the front lines.

The Germans gave them the only reason that mattered...The Germans were winning. Once the Germans started losing badly is when the defections and mutinies began to occur in frequency. Then, suddenly, the Germans were no longer the Alpha males anymore.
In 1941 field marshal Bock proposed the formation of a Liberation Army of around 200,000 Russian volunteers. His proposal was returned with the note from field marshal Keitel that "such thoughts cannot be discussed with the führer" and that "polítics are not the prerogatives of Army Group Commanders". In a conferencia in June 1943 Hitler complained: "Even from Kluge I have heard several times: 'We can do it immensely more easily if se build up a Russian army'. I can only say this: We will never build up a Russian army, that's a phantom of the first order".

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