US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

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Peter89
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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 20 Oct 2020 09:06

T. A. Gardner wrote:
19 Oct 2020 04:55
Let me illustrate what I mean about this and civil engineering.

According to The German Campaign in Russia-- Planning and Operations (1940 - 1942) US Army historical study 20-261a,

During the winter battles of 1941-42 the Germans lost approximately 75,000 trucks. Between Nov 1941 and March 1942 the Eastern Front received 7.500 replacement vehicles.
180,000 horses died, largely due to exposure, and 20,000 were received in replacement.
Trucks and motor vehicles were wearing out at roughly double the planned rate due to the poor conditions encountered.

Now, we take that and look at civil engineering. The Germans had they been more proficient and mechanized in their construction units building better roads and keeping them in reasonable condition are able to reduce those losses by just 25%, and they get a huge increase in efficiency. Being able to rapidly construct shelters and buildings like the British, and more so the US, could do would have made a huge difference.

https://www.amazon.com/Architecture-War ... 0394709977

Having an all wood prefabricated building in a number of sizes that could be quickly erected would have made a huge difference. Troops and animals are sheltered against the weather and it doesn't require any critical resources. The Germans didn't have anything like that.

If you have better roads that can work in all but the worst weather, and that reduces the wear and tear on motor vehicles even by just 10% you win. That's a massive increase in available vehicles, equal to the replacement rate if the US Army study is to be believed.

That requires a new, and much higher, level of civil engineering competence.

You might note, that the commander of the port of Cherbourg reported to the OKW that his demolition of the port was so thorough that it could never be opened by the Allies. The USN and US Army came in and cleared the port in less than 60 days and in 90 had it operating at a higher rate of tonnage than it did pre-war. It was a level of civil engineering the Germans couldn't even grasp existed.


A bit offtopic note: "the Germans" per se were not bad at civil engineering or engineering application of scientific results. Eg. most of the scientific Nobel Prize laureates came and / or studied in Germany prior WW2, a hallmark of the high quality of education and research there. What really brought down this capacity and its proper application in WW2 was the Nazi regime that conscripted technicians, and led the economy on dire straits, resulting suboptimal solutions, mostly because of the lack of resources and strategy.

It's not that the Allies were way superior in this regard, but they had way superior resources and a complex strategy to win. For example, Germans had a very brittle and weak logistical system in the east, so to employ masses mechanized trucks, buldozers, etc. would have been stupid: they couldn't have supported them with fuel, spare parts, repairmen, etc. But they had ample of slave labor and rear echelon soldiers who could work with local tools and food, presenting little to no logistical burden on their lines. The sad picture of mud-digging Ostheer soldiers is not a sign of civil engineering incompetence, but rather the sign of the sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.
“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: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Oct 2020 09:24

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 09:06
the Nazi regime that conscripted technicians, and led the economy on dire straits, resulting suboptimal solutions, mostly because of the lack of resources and strategy.

Or in simple terms 'eyes too big for its belly'. A fatal over-estimation of the capability of the Wehrmacht.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Oct 2020 10:48

Peter89 wrote:Germans had a very brittle and weak logistical system in the east, so to employ masses mechanized trucks, buldozers, etc. would have been stupid: they couldn't have supported them with fuel, spare parts, repairmen, etc. But they had ample of slave labor and rear echelon soldiers who could work with local tools and food, presenting little to no logistical burden on their lines.
I agree with most the foregoing. But this:
Peter89 wrote:sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.
...needs complication. Sorry compared to what? German logistics were better than Soviet, worse than American.

Each country made tradeoffs depending largely on their wealth level. These were rational tradeoffs.

Arguably the German tradeoff was better than the Americans, whose quartermaster fixation cost us a 60,000-man division slice. Even our own army remarked on the "vanishing" combat forces. We would have been better served asking our troops to stretch and improvise a bit more on supply, giving the improvisors 50% more supporting brothers-in-arms instead of lavish supplies.
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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 20 Oct 2020 11:30

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 09:06
T. A. Gardner wrote:
19 Oct 2020 04:55
Let me illustrate what I mean about this and civil engineering.

According to The German Campaign in Russia-- Planning and Operations (1940 - 1942) US Army historical study 20-261a,

During the winter battles of 1941-42 the Germans lost approximately 75,000 trucks. Between Nov 1941 and March 1942 the Eastern Front received 7.500 replacement vehicles.
180,000 horses died, largely due to exposure, and 20,000 were received in replacement.
Trucks and motor vehicles were wearing out at roughly double the planned rate due to the poor conditions encountered.

Now, we take that and look at civil engineering. The Germans had they been more proficient and mechanized in their construction units building better roads and keeping them in reasonable condition are able to reduce those losses by just 25%, and they get a huge increase in efficiency. Being able to rapidly construct shelters and buildings like the British, and more so the US, could do would have made a huge difference.

https://www.amazon.com/Architecture-War ... 0394709977

Having an all wood prefabricated building in a number of sizes that could be quickly erected would have made a huge difference. Troops and animals are sheltered against the weather and it doesn't require any critical resources. The Germans didn't have anything like that.

If you have better roads that can work in all but the worst weather, and that reduces the wear and tear on motor vehicles even by just 10% you win. That's a massive increase in available vehicles, equal to the replacement rate if the US Army study is to be believed.

That requires a new, and much higher, level of civil engineering competence.

You might note, that the commander of the port of Cherbourg reported to the OKW that his demolition of the port was so thorough that it could never be opened by the Allies. The USN and US Army came in and cleared the port in less than 60 days and in 90 had it operating at a higher rate of tonnage than it did pre-war. It was a level of civil engineering the Germans couldn't even grasp existed.


A bit offtopic note: "the Germans" per se were not bad at civil engineering or engineering application of scientific results. Eg. most of the scientific Nobel Prize laureates came and / or studied in Germany prior WW2, a hallmark of the high quality of education and research there. What really brought down this capacity and its proper application in WW2 was the Nazi regime that conscripted technicians, and led the economy on dire straits, resulting suboptimal solutions, mostly because of the lack of resources and strategy.

It's not that the Allies were way superior in this regard, but they had way superior resources and a complex strategy to win. For example, Germans had a very brittle and weak logistical system in the east, so to employ masses mechanized trucks, buldozers, etc. would have been stupid: they couldn't have supported them with fuel, spare parts, repairmen, etc. But they had ample of slave labor and rear echelon soldiers who could work with local tools and food, presenting little to no logistical burden on their lines. The sad picture of mud-digging Ostheer soldiers is not a sign of civil engineering incompetence, but rather the sign of the sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.


I think that you are falling in the trap of the apologists of the WM,who blamed bad logistics for their defeat. Blaming bad logistics is on the same level as blaming Hitler or the Russian winter .
The truth is that '' bad '' logistics were irrelevant ,because the success of Barbarossa depended on what the Soviets could,would, should do ,not on logistics .
If the Soviets were defeated during the Summer at the border,as was wishfully expected, logistics would be no problem : it would be sufficient and possible to go to the Volga with 30 ID before the Winter . Mobile divisions would not be necessary and could not go to the Volga after the Soviet defeat .
If the Soviets did not collapse during the Summer, better logistics would not help,as it was impossible to go to the Volga with 150 divisions before the Winter .
Besides,as it was not possible to defeat the USSR at the border,it would be even less impossible to defeat the USSR 1000 km farther at the Volga .
USA would not do better than the Ostheer .
Reality was that it was impossible to defeat the USSR in a few months and that the longer the war would last,the less chance an invader would have .
The Wallies,strongly motorized ans being able to use a good railway and harbor system,needed almost a year to go to Central Germany .
Why do people assume /expect that the Ostheer could have done in 5 months what the Wallies needed 11 months to do ?

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 20 Oct 2020 14:04

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 09:06
The sad picture of mud-digging Ostheer soldiers is not a sign of civil engineering incompetence, but rather the sign of the sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.
On 1941.year and 1942.year Germany army was have much problem on logistics.

Problem was not be on problem civil engineering skills was not be on problem manpower.

Problem was be on two big topics.
1. Peoples on Germany what was make decisions and plans for to invade Soviet union was think was can for to use Germany system on railway operations on Soviet railway infrastuctures. Big mistake which was never correct on all war!
2. Germany army commanders was not make field decisions on good understanding on logistics.

Both problems are on same source. Mentality on Germen mens minds.

It was can to make no difference when Germany army was plan on win war on 5 months or on 18 months. Was for to be same result on logistics problems.

For to make more success on logistics must for to change mentality on German mens minds.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 20 Oct 2020 15:40

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 09:06
A bit offtopic note: "the Germans" per se were not bad at civil engineering or engineering application of scientific results. Eg. most of the scientific Nobel Prize laureates came and / or studied in Germany prior WW2, a hallmark of the high quality of education and research there. What really brought down this capacity and its proper application in WW2 was the Nazi regime that conscripted technicians, and led the economy on dire straits, resulting suboptimal solutions, mostly because of the lack of resources and strategy.

It's not that the Allies were way superior in this regard, but they had way superior resources and a complex strategy to win. For example, Germans had a very brittle and weak logistical system in the east, so to employ masses mechanized trucks, buldozers, etc. would have been stupid: they couldn't have supported them with fuel, spare parts, repairmen, etc. But they had ample of slave labor and rear echelon soldiers who could work with local tools and food, presenting little to no logistical burden on their lines. The sad picture of mud-digging Ostheer soldiers is not a sign of civil engineering incompetence, but rather the sign of the sorry state of the logistical network that forced out such measures.
So, your view is in this respect, they were damned if they do, damned if they don't. I see it as a chicken and the egg problem. If the road and rail net were more robust due to better engineering, the logistic system works better. So, my fix would be a better construction battalion. You could get most of the technicians and skilled people you need with basic training and leaven these with a relative handful of really skilled men.

The problem in doing that is the Germans put their best men in the combat arms and their least desirable into things like construction battalions, largely the reverse of the US and to a somewhat lessor degree British choices on where to put men. That would be a roadblock to my plan.

I don't see the issuing of equipment as that problematic. If a construction battalion were organized for a purpose or several related purposes, you could fit each company to a need. On the whole I see it as a battalion would only need like 3 to 6 dump trucks-- or you could use 6 to 12 dump wagons drawn by horses instead--2 bulldozers and an excavator. For roads, a grader, powered or horse drawn would work. If a roller were needed bring in a steam powered one that has a PTO to provide power for other uses as well.

So, for say 50 construction battalions you are looking at 150 to 300 trucks, 100 bulldozers and, 50 excavators. A company like Lanz could have supplied most of these on their own in semi-diesel so they run on low grade fuels. If you substitute horse drawn dump wagons you don't even need the trucks. I hardly think that'd put a strain on the army. Each battalion would need one or two mechanics. Again not a big draw.

The problem in all this is that the Wehrmacht doesn't see a great need for rapid, quality construction.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 20 Oct 2020 16:59

ljadw wrote:
20 Oct 2020 11:30

I think that you are falling in the trap of the apologists of the WM,who blamed bad logistics for their defeat. Blaming bad logistics is on the same level as blaming Hitler or the Russian winter .
The truth is that '' bad '' logistics were irrelevant ,because the success of Barbarossa depended on what the Soviets could,would, should do ,not on logistics .
If the Soviets were defeated during the Summer at the border,as was wishfully expected, logistics would be no problem : it would be sufficient and possible to go to the Volga with 30 ID before the Winter . Mobile divisions would not be necessary and could not go to the Volga after the Soviet defeat .
If the Soviets did not collapse during the Summer, better logistics would not help,as it was impossible to go to the Volga with 150 divisions before the Winter .
Besides,as it was not possible to defeat the USSR at the border,it would be even less impossible to defeat the USSR 1000 km farther at the Volga .
USA would not do better than the Ostheer .
Reality was that it was impossible to defeat the USSR in a few months and that the longer the war would last,the less chance an invader would have .
The Wallies,strongly motorized ans being able to use a good railway and harbor system,needed almost a year to go to Central Germany .
Why do people assume /expect that the Ostheer could have done in 5 months what the Wallies needed 11 months to do ?
I only meant that German units had to operate under very harsh circumstances. Circumstances that seriously affected their capability to fight. The same is true for the Soviet units in the summer of 1941 when command and control temporarily fell apart.

This fact, of course does not mitigate the responsibility of the German high command and the political leadership that led the German units to this path.

If anything, the weather was favoring the Germans in 1941, and logistics was a problem only because the Soviets proved themselves way more effective than the Germans thought.

Otherwise, Barbarossa was an ultimately bad plan, a terrible strategy and a big gamble against almost all sense and warning signs. I am pretty sure you are familiar how the operational readiness changed for armored and aerial units simply with distance and the lack of maintenance; a drive to the Volga was only possible if the Red Army does not show resistance behind the operational striking distance of the German armored / aerial units.
“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: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 20 Oct 2020 17:15

T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Oct 2020 15:40

So, your view is in this respect, they were damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Exactly :)

T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Oct 2020 15:40
The problem in all this is that the Wehrmacht doesn't see a great need for rapid, quality construction.
They saw the need, they just didn't have the means to do it. They had the means for a sloppy work so they did that instead.

But I agree with you, they could have done it better with a little effort.
“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: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 20 Oct 2020 18:04

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 16:59
ljadw wrote:
20 Oct 2020 11:30

I think that you are falling in the trap of the apologists of the WM,who blamed bad logistics for their defeat. Blaming bad logistics is on the same level as blaming Hitler or the Russian winter .
The truth is that '' bad '' logistics were irrelevant ,because the success of Barbarossa depended on what the Soviets could,would, should do ,not on logistics .
If the Soviets were defeated during the Summer at the border,as was wishfully expected, logistics would be no problem : it would be sufficient and possible to go to the Volga with 30 ID before the Winter . Mobile divisions would not be necessary and could not go to the Volga after the Soviet defeat .
If the Soviets did not collapse during the Summer, better logistics would not help,as it was impossible to go to the Volga with 150 divisions before the Winter .
Besides,as it was not possible to defeat the USSR at the border,it would be even less impossible to defeat the USSR 1000 km farther at the Volga .
USA would not do better than the Ostheer .
Reality was that it was impossible to defeat the USSR in a few months and that the longer the war would last,the less chance an invader would have .
The Wallies,strongly motorized ans being able to use a good railway and harbor system,needed almost a year to go to Central Germany .
Why do people assume /expect that the Ostheer could have done in 5 months what the Wallies needed 11 months to do ?
I only meant that German units had to operate under very harsh circumstances. Circumstances that seriously affected their capability to fight. The same is true for the Soviet units in the summer of 1941 when command and control temporarily fell apart.

This fact, of course does not mitigate the responsibility of the German high command and the political leadership that led the German units to this path.

If anything, the weather was favoring the Germans in 1941, and logistics was a problem only because the Soviets proved themselves way more effective than the Germans thought.

Otherwise, Barbarossa was an ultimately bad plan, a terrible strategy and a big gamble against almost all sense and warning signs. I am pretty sure you are familiar how the operational readiness changed for armored and aerial units simply with distance and the lack of maintenance; a drive to the Volga was only possible if the Red Army does not show resistance behind the operational striking distance of the German armored / aerial units.
I disagree with the claim that Barbarossa was an ultimately bad plan,a terrible strategy,because there were no ''better '' plans .
That it was a bad/good plan is also irrelevant, because the possible success of alternative plans was depending on what the Soviets would/could do .Barbarossa was a big gamble, but the alternatives were also big gambles : the situation of Germany was that catastrophic in the Autumn of 1940 that only a big gamble,a Vabanque,could save her . Barbarossa could succeed,an alternative plan could also succeed on the condition that the Soviets collapsed .But they would only collapse after/because of a military defeat, and such defeat would only happen after/because of a political collapse .
A attacked B and failed . Saying that A would have won with another plan is simply denying the presence of B,and starting from the POV that A should have won because A belonged to a superior group : the Herrenvolk .
If the Soviets collapsed at the border during the Summer,there would be no logistic problems, if they continued the war ,the logistic problems were insolvable.

But even if they were not insolvable , Germany could not win .
Reality was that 80 years ago a country as the USSR could not be defeated in a conventional war by military means .
Alexander the Great solved the problem of the Gordian knot,Hitler could not do it .

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 20 Oct 2020 18:22

ljadw wrote:
20 Oct 2020 18:04
I disagree with the claim that Barbarossa was an ultimately bad plan,a terrible strategy,because there were no ''better '' plans .
I really don't want to offtopic the thread, but there were plenty of better plans for the Germans to defeat Britain (their principal enemy), than attacking the SU, which was their ally (or at least a friendly neutral).

The WAY the Germans conducted Barbarossa is also another question; however, like you said, the SU was not easily defeatable in 1941. So yes, attacking it was a terrible strategy.
“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: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 20 Oct 2020 19:03

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 17:15

They saw the need, they just didn't have the means to do it. They had the means for a sloppy work so they did that instead.

But I agree with you, they could have done it better with a little effort.
They had the means, they just didn't choose to do it. The military and economic planners had companies producing tractors stop all production by 1941, most by 1940. For example, Hanomag only continued the military SS-100 tractor

Image

after that. There was no reason companies like Hanomag and Lanz couldn't have continued to manufacture say 100 to 300 tractors for military construction use per year. Producing 10 to 20 a month is not asking a lot of these companies. Opel, for example, produced a dump truck version of their Blitz truck. They could have been ordered to produce sufficient of these to give to engineering units in general as their issue truck instead of the "normal" version.

These are small changes that have potentially large benefits.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Oct 2020 19:07

T.A. Gardner wrote:There was no reason companies like Hanomag and Lanz couldn't have continued to manufacture say 100 to 300 tractors for military construction use per year
No reason except the labor, capital, and steel allocations behind such production, which comes at a cost of something else.
These are small changes that have potentially large benefits
Still waiting for you to quantify those benefits to even an approximate degree.
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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Oct 2020 19:13

Peter89 wrote:So yes, attacking it was a terrible strategy
Curious about whether Allied leaders' belief that they could not defeat Germany absent the SU has any relevance to your evaluation of Germany v. Wallies. Relatedly, any relevance to the strategy of beating SU so that even the Wallies no longer believe they can win?
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 20 Oct 2020 19:53

T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Oct 2020 19:03
Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 17:15

They saw the need, they just didn't have the means to do it. They had the means for a sloppy work so they did that instead.

But I agree with you, they could have done it better with a little effort.
They had the means, they just didn't choose to do it. The military and economic planners had companies producing tractors stop all production by 1941, most by 1940. For example, Hanomag only continued the military SS-100 tractor

Image

after that. There was no reason companies like Hanomag and Lanz couldn't have continued to manufacture say 100 to 300 tractors for military construction use per year. Producing 10 to 20 a month is not asking a lot of these companies. Opel, for example, produced a dump truck version of their Blitz truck. They could have been ordered to produce sufficient of these to give to engineering units in general as their issue truck instead of the "normal" version.

These are small changes that have potentially large benefits.
The German war economy was ran inefficiently, that's for sure.

However, Germany never had the resources to build rapidly and properly. If they allocate more resources there, other key areas would suffer as a result.

In my understanding, it was something like the tank maintenance system: constant improvements and modifications, plus the high variety of ammunition and AFVs made logistics complicated, the lack of spare parts made repair difficult, and the absence of communication between field personnel and development teams ensured that a low operational readiness rate. At sometimes, the net result of an improvement has been reduced to zero on the field.

So you either improve your tanks constantly and utilize multiple factories to produce them or you produce the maximum number of new tanks. You either build with mechanized building batallions to improve logistics to the front (and thus diminish the supply to the front) or you push through more supply to the front (and thus diminish the logistics). Like the egg and the chicken. This problem simply cannot be solved, although better solutions did exist, as you mentioned.

But it wasn't even their goal. Their goal was to conquer rapidly and pillage the land - not just in the case of the SU, but in the case of the Western Europe as well. A quote from Göring:
Basically, I consider all of occupied France as a conquered country. It seems to me that in earlier times the thing was simpler. In earlier times, you pillaged. He who had conquered a country disposed of the riches of that country. At present, things are done in a more humane way. As for myself, I still think of pillage comprehensively.
“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: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 20 Oct 2020 20:06

Peter89 wrote:
20 Oct 2020 18:22
ljadw wrote:
20 Oct 2020 18:04
I disagree with the claim that Barbarossa was an ultimately bad plan,a terrible strategy,because there were no ''better '' plans .
I really don't want to offtopic the thread, but there were plenty of better plans for the Germans to defeat Britain (their principal enemy), than attacking the SU, which was their ally (or at least a friendly neutral).

The WAY the Germans conducted Barbarossa is also another question; however, like you said, the SU was not easily defeatable in 1941. So yes, attacking it was a terrible strategy.
Barbarossa was not a bad plan to defeat the Soviets, that it failed does not mean that the plan was bad . Alternative plans had no more chance to succeed .
You need two to win ,or to be defeated.

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