The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

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stg 44
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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 03 Apr 2021 22:20

https://ww2clash.com/factories.php
Since industrialization follows urbanization, and urbanization means larger population densities, most of the Soviet industrial expansion occurred in the heavily populated western provinces !.

In 1941 the main industrial sites (see next map) were, not surprisingly, around the two largest cities: Moscow and Leningrad. Moscow assembled 50% of all the vehicles and machine tools in the country and 40% of all electrical equipment. It also had several aircraft factories. There were 475 major plants in the capital city !. Leningrad had 520 factories and 780.000 workers and produced 20% of the machine tools, 91% of the hydro turbines, 82% of the turbine generators, and had among other firms, the Kirov works, the largest manufacturing plant in the country that produced the heavy KV-1 tanks. Leningrad by itself contributed 10% of the total Soviet industrial production !. Together, both cities were responsible for more than one-fifth of the industrial production of the Soviet Union.
Citations are in the link if you want to click on them in the text. They show up above as ! marks.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 03 Apr 2021 22:23

Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:48
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
What page is that from?
Page 193 in my book, which is a digital copy. Also, because I forgot to answer your earlier post about factories moving, Nigel Askey addresses that in his work and says evacuations from Moscow were not underway in August; they came later, thanks to the delay.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Apr 2021 22:25

History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
It says "Industrial output of cities seized" and then "13 cities (through Moscow)" and then it says "25.05." The 25.05 is referring to the 13 cities seized up to Moscow. I am asking for a cite specifically about Moscow.

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stg 44
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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 03 Apr 2021 22:28

As to the morale/psychological/political importance of Moscow:
https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics ... tprint.pdf
The principle of Soviet patriotism was also embodied in the defense complex.
Soviet patriotism meant unified control from Moscow over all the resources of the
all-Union state
, regardless of particular ethnic, national and republican boundaries
and interests. Soviet patriotism was explicitly multinational, but within the Soviet
brotherhood of nations the Russians were accorded a special place – elder brother
(starshii brat’) to the rest. This special place reflected the Russians’ historic
colonizing role within the limits of the old Empire, which gave Moscow its political
centrality, and the Russians their social, numerical, and linguistic predominance
within Soviet frontiers; in wartime it was also based on revived Russian national
military pride and great-power traditions, the special role played by Russians in
rebuffing the German invader after loss of the Baltic, Belorussia, and the Ukraine,
and the terrible costs which were suffered by the Russian people, not just as victims
faced with slavery and extermination, but as soldiers and war workers – as active,
eventually victorious participants.


The principle of Soviet patriotism gave Soviet leaders the unchallenged right to
mobilise resources towards the shared military-economic goals of the party and
state, which in turn guaranteed the privileged position of the defense complex. But
despite the multinational ethic of Soviet patriotism, the leadership of the defense
complex remained dominated ethnically by Russians.40

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 03 Apr 2021 22:29

historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 22:25
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
It says "Industrial output of cities seized" and then "13 cities (through Moscow)" and then it says "25.05." The 25.05 is referring to the 13 cities seized up to Moscow. I am asking for a cite specifically about Moscow.
Included in the citations for the chart; Moscow is listed at about 10% in 1955. See also Stg 44's post at the top of this page, with Leningrad and Moscow being listed as 20% of industrial output and I've already cited that the former was 10% in 1940 values, again supporting the 10% value for Moscow in 1940 terms.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by Futurist » 03 Apr 2021 23:31

History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 22:23
Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:48
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
What page is that from?
Page 193 in my book, which is a digital copy. Also, because I forgot to answer your earlier post about factories moving, Nigel Askey addresses that in his work and says evacuations from Moscow were not underway in August; they came later, thanks to the delay.
What caused this delay?

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 03 Apr 2021 23:41

Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 23:31
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 22:23
Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:48
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
What page is that from?
Page 193 in my book, which is a digital copy. Also, because I forgot to answer your earlier post about factories moving, Nigel Askey addresses that in his work and says evacuations from Moscow were not underway in August; they came later, thanks to the delay.
What caused this delay?
Diverted trains to mobilize new armies, evacuate industry from other areas of the country that were threatened more directly, and the need to boost production NOW to equip the new armies, which Moscow played a vital role in making.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 04 Apr 2021 00:41

Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 23:31
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 22:23
Futurist wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:48
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 21:37
Can you give a specific cite for the claim that Moscow accounted for 10-20% of the Soviet Union's industrial output in 1940-1941?
I already have? See the first line of the screenshot.
What page is that from?
Page 193 in my book, which is a digital copy. Also, because I forgot to answer your earlier post about factories moving, Nigel Askey addresses that in his work and says evacuations from Moscow were not underway in August; they came later, thanks to the delay.
What caused this delay?
To quote from Askey:

Image

historygeek2021
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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 04 Apr 2021 01:13

History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 19:17

Except that's false:
Some researchers of the Siege of Leningrad consider that in the besieged city new military equipment wasn’t issued, and only its repair was carried out. Official reports don’t confirm this point of view. During the second half of the year 1941, (November – December of this year were one of the most difficult months), Leningrad gave to the front 713 tanks, near 3000 cannons, more than 10300 mortars, 480 armoured cars, 58 armoured trains. In July – December, 1941 Red Army received more than 3 million shells and mines, 40000 rockets, big quantity of other military equipment. It is a lot of or a little? The following comparative data are in this regard indicative: in the second half of the year 1941 in Leningrad was released 10,1 % from all cannons made in the country, 23,5 % of mortars and 14,8% of tanks. About 52% of mines and 68 % of the shells spent by the front during this period was made in Leningrad.​

Produced cannons, mortars and ammunition went not only to the Leningrad front, but also under Moscow. In the hardest period of the Moscow battle over 400 cannons, about 1 thousand mortars of various calibers and nearly 40 thousand armor-piercing shells were sent from the besieged Leningrad . On November 28, 1941 the commander of the Western front G. K. Zhukov sent the telegram to Leningrad: “Thanks to Leningrad people for the help to Moscow in fight against blood-thirsty Hitlerites”​
You left out the part about 1942 (the only full year in which all land routes to Leningrad were cut off):

In 1942 Leningrad industry gave to the Red Army 60 tanks, 692 cannons, more than 1500 mortars, 2692 machine guns, 34936 PPD submachine guns, 620 PPS submachine guns.
https://sovietarmorer.wordpress.com/201 ... 1941-1945/

It seems like the siege effectively reduced Leningrad's industrial output to a minimal amount.

KDF33
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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 04 Apr 2021 03:44

History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Okay, so long as we are agreed on the logistical viability.
At some point in August, yes.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies were still in position at this point, with Guderian heavily lobbying in favor of a Moscow strike.
Tell me where the mobile formations of Heeresgruppe Mitte were on August 19th then on October 2nd, and you'll realize how wrong that statement is.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Okay, for one, he does include citations I just didn't attach them like I did for the logistics portion since there was no objection then to Stolfi as a source. If you would like the citations for Chapter 10, from which the tank strength is drawn, here you go:

[...]
I don't want the citations for chapter 10. I want the specific sources from which he derives his operational ratios.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Beyond that though, using figures from September-while 3rd and 2nd Panzer were getting use by AGN and AGS-for a mid/late August estimate is a pretty bad standard. Looking at your data, you're pulling it from Panzertruppen by Jentz, which makes it all the more odd because August returns are presented for several of the divisions, but also I am not sure why you are citing them the way you are?
The late August / early September series is the only data I have that shows operational readiness among all the Panzer formations.

Jentz only provides the full series on operational numbers (not %) for two of HGM's nine Panzer divisions, the 10. and the 12. For the relevant dates, data shows:

10. Panzer: 176 on 21.6, 88 on 1.8, 125 on 11.8, 150 on 21.8, 152 on 1.10
12. Panzer: 234 on 21.6, 95 on 1.8, 98 on 11.8, 94 on 21.8, 74 on 1.10 (the last date with HGN)

Note that 10. Panzer had 175 tanks in total (operational + repair) on September 4, whereas 12. Panzer had 131 on August 26.

The point is that Panzer formations were at 90% to almost 100% readiness on June 22. The mobile units that destroyed 5 Soviet armies at Vyazma were at a similar rate of readiness. None of the Panzer formations of Heeresgruppe Mitte were close to that level in mid-August, and would have required some R&R time to get there.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Case in point is 3rd Panzer, which started Barbarossa with 229 tanks and by September 4th total losses were only 70, meaning that even in September, they had a roughly 70% rate of tanks either in operation or repairable.
The important figure is the readiness rate, not total numbers.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
If we take your suggestion of a few days halt, most-if not all-of those under repair would be put back in position.
That's your assumption. In the OTL, the Panzer formations involved in the Vyazma encirclement were either fresh formations (2., 5.) or had 15-20 days of R&R (1., 6., 7., 10., 11., 20.). The one formation with less than 2 weeks of R&R (19.) was kept in reserve at the beginning of Taifun.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Again, not true that it's pulled out of thin air
Where does Stofli's figures come from?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
but even still that results in a markedly higher position than most estimates for Typhoon.
Those figures are for the whole front, not just for Heeresgruppe Mitte.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
So estimates, since they were in the process of adding things and thus did not have a finalized count.
Incorrect. I'll explain it step-by-step:

1. STAVKA asks Fronts and independent Armies for personnel strength reports.
2. Fronts and independent Armies proceed with a head count.
3. STAVKA receives the individual reports.
4. STAVKA combines them to arrive at an overall figure for the operational army.
5. On that basis, STAVKA sets rations for the next month.

There are no estimates here.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Even dropping this point, I don't find it very convincing since you've already conceded Central Front/Briansk Front will not be in a position to be of use previously.
I did no such thing.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Quite frankly you didn't read it then because that entire discussion is about the numbers drawn from the GKO and their validity.
Are you talking about this post?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
If you can't figure out what your actual casualties are then you don't know what your actual strength is; these are very obviously connected, no?
They're not. Personnel strength reports are not derived by subtracting casualties and adding reinforcements; they're just a head count.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Because of poor tactical decisions on their part, in particular Guderian moving to seize Yelna in his haste to advance upon Moscow.
That's one way to frame it. Another would be that unsupported mobile formations racing ahead of their infantry tend to make shoddy pockets.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
If you are going to argue the tactical rather than the force numbers, then this debate transitions back into what I said earlier about Central Front; you're counting them in your force totals to argue against such a drive on Moscow while ignoring their specific dispositions and how that would impact the course of the hypothetical battle.
How am I counting Central Front? None of the data I've presented includes Central Front, which was dissolved on August 26.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Presumably sometime in August, I'd imagine they would-as noted-counter the Starya Russai offensive and secure Velikiye Luki.
It's your scenario. When do you pull it out?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
What is your position on the tank count for AGC in the historical Operation Typhoon? There are different ranges, so let's see first what number you pick.
HGM reserve: ~100 tanks
Panzergruppe 3: ~500 tanks
Panzergruppe 4: ~800 tanks
Panzergruppe 2: ~700 tanks

For a total of ~2,100 tanks, which is virtually identical to what Heeresgruppe Mitte had on June 22. Note that this stands for total figures, not operational numbers.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Presumably the Germans will detect the Soviet withdraw in a few days, giving AGC the ammo it needs to elect to continue the drive on Moscow. If we elect to take your halt period-say five or six days like after Smolensk-to regroup and repair tanks, we could have the operation start before the end of August.
Where do you assemble the mobile units? What are your groupings?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
I'm not really seeing them as all that dispersed then or not in a position to jump off
Then you should look up where those places are on Google Map. And also contrast that distribution with that of Taifun.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
particularly Guderian with his 2nd Panzer Army; Glantz in Barbarossa Derailed covers this well with Chapter 8 from Volume I. To quote from Page 393:

[...]
Panzergruppe 2 is not even facing Western and Reserve Fronts at the time.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
And yet they managed to help AGN break the Luga Line and encircle Southwestern Front, even taking the charges made at face value. Seems odd they suddenly are too weak to do this when they did major things on two different fronts, after traveling hundreds of kilometers no less. As it were, STAVKA was very concerned about their flanks being caved in, as Glantz notes.
XXXIX. Armeekorps (mot.) had time to recuperate. Guderian was pushing against Bryansk Front, which had less than a third of the strength of the forces arrayed on the Moscow axis, for a similar frontage.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Nope, they are directly drawn from David Glantz, having been directly cited from his book on Leningrad. Glantz emphatically states the loss of railway connections with Moscow would be fatal to the defense of Leningrad; to that, you have only offered speculation in retort.
You are reading far too much into a throwaway line by Glantz.

I conclude that you have no evidence to provide.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Uh, what? How exactly is Southwestern Front able to inflict damage while it is retreating in the face of AGS? That makes no sense at all.
Southwestern Front wouldn't be retreating for months. Besides, in 1941 the Germans had such limited replacements that they grew ever-weaker simply by virtue of being in combat, whether on the offensive or the defensive. Without the destruction of Southwestern Front in September, Heeresgruppe Süd will continue to weaken without destroying as many Soviet formations nor capturing as much territory as in the OTL.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Because that is how the Soviet railway network is structured? Once Moscow is lost most of the major Soviet cities that can be used to replace it are hundreds of kilometers back and have their own railway ties to Moscow, meaning there is no one central mobilization point to use.
What are you talking about? What is a "central mobilization point"? Look at this map. Why would the Soviets be unable to form a solid front on the Moscow axis?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Even David Stahel, who is less than bullish (to say the least) on the German chances for taking Moscow, concedes that the loss of said city would be extremely damaging to the Soviet logistics given this fact.
Quote?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Except they've already inflicted massive casualties in August-September instead of October, as in OTL?
Nope. At best you've swapped Moscow for Kiev in September. Then October sees the Soviets saving 100,000s of MIAs over the OTL because you have no follow-up.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Given the OTL situation, sure, but such has been decisive changed here. Somehow Soviet forces near Leningrad and in Ukraine-despite being deprived of reinforcements for at least the entire month of September
1) The Fronts facing HGN/HGS would suffer lower casualties than historically.
2) Why would they be deprived of reinforcements?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
are somehow strong enough to attempt flank attacks despite AGN and AGS sitting to their immediate front and able to attack them should they attempt action against AGC.
Attack with what? You've transferred Panzergruppe 4 to HGM, and HGS's mobile formations will be completely burned out in the fall. Do you propose hammering away with your infantry, à la Great War?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
There is nothing baked in that said German forces can't take advantage of the situation, particularly when AGN and AGS have take substantially less losses from August onwards while the Soviet forces facing them are much, much weaker than historically.
1) In what world does HGN/HGS take lower losses?
2) Why are Soviet forces facing them weaker?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Than by all means, give us some data, particularly what military supplies this entails and what the difference is compared to what happened historically.
The onus of proving your case is on you. You're arguing for the ATL, after all.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Except you did when I asked you about the September divisions you cited, to which you replied the Soviets would send them to where the strategic situation called for it; i.e. the defense of Moscow. Soviet forces can't be in two places in once.
Those 20 divisions do not represent the totality of Soviet reinforcements - just the fresh divisions.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
Because of the above and that the front would be static is your claim, to which you have yet to provide a meaningful explanation.
Seriously? How are you going to push the Soviets back without mobile formations?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
You have already, as noted, suggested the September reinforcements to Northwestern Front do not occur
A grand total of 2 divisions: 26th rifle and 46th cavalry.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
you have likewise also conceded that the capacity limits of the railways are lower even if we don't fact in a time delay, which means fewer supplies.
You're again presenting no data. How much supplies did the northern theater consume? What was the capacity of the residual railways? What would be the impact of Leningrad being able to maintain significant production? How much would a static front reduce supply requirements?

Also, what is your timeline for the fall of Moscow?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
There is also quite literally nothing stopping the transfer of 4th Panzer Army back to AGN in September, after Moscow is taken. So we have a decisive armor and manpower advantage by AGN over their Soviet opponents, who have not received reinforcements in September and also have a reduced supply flow. Yet, somehow this remains a static front?
This is confused. HGN wouldn't have a manpower advantage over its Soviet counterparts. There's also no reason why they wouldn't receive reinforcements in September. Finally, they would also take lower losses.

Now you may transfer Panzergruppe 4 back to HGN after Moscow, but again what would be your timeline?

How long do you expect it to take to capture Moscow, anyway?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
An odd claim, not supported by the actual data given Tikhvin was a serious offensive that lasted some six weeks from late October to early December. It also saw its namesake city fall and the Soviets desperately trying to reinforce their collapsing armies in the first phase, reinforcements not possible here.
You do realize all but two of the divisions used to counter the Tikhvin drive came from the northern theater, right? The Germans simply attacked where the Soviets were weak, the latter shuffled in-theater forces to face them, and then the Germans were driven back to their starting lines by superior Soviet forces.
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
I'm not misconstructing them, given I directly cited it with picture evidence so there could be no claim of me misquoting him. He directly notes the loss of the railway links with Moscow-he directly specifies Moscow, not the USSR as a whole-would be fatal. You don't have to quote the railway links if you have taken Moscow directly, but even then, given the above link, it seems exceedingly likely the Germans will take Tikhvin too.
You take this snippet: "[Leeb] was to attack through Tikhvin to Lake Ladoga to sever Leningrad's last rail links to Moscow and completely encircle the city."

And from it build a scenario where the Soviets can't stand north of Moscow if the capital falls.

This is reading far too much into a throwaway line that isn't even about the overall northern theater.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by per70 » 04 Apr 2021 10:43

KDF33 wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:44

Are you talking about this post?
This post

The strength reports from the Armies (5th, 21st, 26th, 37th, 38th, 40th and Front HQ) for 1.September sums up to 450 640 men, while the ration strength for the Front gives a number of 850 000. So what were the other 400 000 doing.

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Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by Avalancheon » 05 Apr 2021 00:03

History Learner wrote:
29 Mar 2021 22:36
Avalancheon wrote:
29 Mar 2021 18:18
But as for your scenario. The idea is that a Red Army evacuation of Kiev in late August would enable the Wehrmacht to mount an early attack on Moscow. ​This might seem to be true superficially, but the reality is more complex. In early September 1941, Army Group Center was still in the process of building up a supply stockpile that would enable them to execute Operation Typhoon. The state of their railways was still in an shaky position, and only a few trains per day were reaching Smolensk. This delayed the start of the offensive on Moscow until late September.
This simply isn't true:
By the second week of August 1941, Army Group Center regained operational freedom of movement. If the army group had been directed by Hitler and OKH at the end of July 1941 to continue operations toward Moscow as soon as possible, it would have eliminated remnants of Soviet forces in the great pocket just north of Smolensk and cleared the communications zone of Panzer Group Guderian to the south. Unhampered by Hitler's stubborn attempt to diffuse the combat strength of Army Group Center about the Russian countryside, and the battle between the Fuhrer and OKH over one decisive objective rather than many indecisive ones. Army Group Center would have entered a period of rest, rehabilitation, and stockpiling on approximately 5 August 1941. Regarding the logistical possibilities for an advance a little over a week later, on 13 August 1941, Army Group Center would receive almost double the number of trains daily it had received a month earher{18} — approximately twenty-four trains rather than fourteen. With time to establish larger stockpiles, and with rail heads advanced to Orsha and Smolensk, Army Group Center obviously had the logistical system to support its advance on Moscow with its entire strength{19}.
The bolded segment suggests that Army Group Center would receive 24 trains per day - but we know this figure was never reached in August. Gercke may have promised to deliver that amount to von Bock, but he wasn't able to do this within the relevant timeframe. Army Group Center was only receiving 18 trains a day in August, which was not enough for them to actually build a supply stockpile. They did not begin this until early September, and even then, operations were brought to a halt by a flood.

''To meet current consumption and build up stocks for the attack on Moscow, Bock estimated that he needed 30 trains daily. Gercke only promised 24, however, and the average number for the first half of August did not in fact exceed 18. After the conversion to German gauge of the Orsha-Smolensk railroad on 16 August the situation showed some improvement, but the target number of 30 trains per day was never reached.''

''After being interrupted for eight days because of floods, stockbuilding for Army Group Centre was resumed on 21 September, and by the end of the month was more or less complete. However,this could only be achieved by cutting back on subsistence, so that the troops were forced to live off the country... Fuel was so short that the shortage threatened to bring the operation to a halt in November. This was due partly to its non-availability at home, and partly to the impossibility of supplying six armies (including three armoured ones — Hoepner’s Panzergruppe 4 had now joined the Army Group Centre) with some seventy divisions between them, at a distance of 400 miles from their bases."

-Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, by Martin van Creveld.
History Learner wrote:
29 Mar 2021 22:36
As I already noted elsewhere, 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies-the armies of AGC to do such an encirclement-were used through August and September to conduct operations on the flanks. Meanwhile, the infantry components of AGC were forced to fend off repeated Soviet counter-attacks along their front, in particular there was bitter fighting at Yel'nya which cost the Germans around 50,000 casualties and used up considerable supplies. If they needed a large stockpile of supplies, it doesn't show up in their historic operations.
In August and September, Army Group Center was fighting on a logistical shoestring. The troops and horses were forced to live off the land, because the trains stopped bringing rations or fodder. They barely had enough supplys to hold their ground in defensive fighting. It would not have been possible for them to actually go on the offensive. Army Group Center needed to get its problems with the railways sorted out before it could mount an attack on Moscow. Otherwise, they won't even be able to carry out the encirclements at Vyazma-Bryansk.

History Learner
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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by History Learner » 05 Apr 2021 00:39

Avalancheon wrote:
05 Apr 2021 00:03

The bolded segment suggests that Army Group Center would receive 24 trains per day - but we know this figure was never reached in August. Gercke may have promised to deliver that amount to von Bock, but he wasn't able to do this within the relevant timeframe. Army Group Center was only receiving 18 trains a day in August, which was not enough for them to actually build a supply stockpile. They did not begin this until early September, and even then, operations were brought to a halt by a flood.

''To meet current consumption and build up stocks for the attack on Moscow, Bock estimated that he needed 30 trains daily. Gercke only promised 24, however, and the average number for the first half of August did not in fact exceed 18. After the conversion to German gauge of the Orsha-Smolensk railroad on 16 August the situation showed some improvement, but the target number of 30 trains per day was never reached.''

''After being interrupted for eight days because of floods, stockbuilding for Army Group Centre was resumed on 21 September, and by the end of the month was more or less complete. However,this could only be achieved by cutting back on subsistence, so that the troops were forced to live off the country... Fuel was so short that the shortage threatened to bring the operation to a halt in November. This was due partly to its non-availability at home, and partly to the impossibility of supplying six armies (including three armoured ones — Hoepner’s Panzergruppe 4 had now joined the Army Group Centre) with some seventy divisions between them, at a distance of 400 miles from their bases."

-Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, by Martin van Creveld.
The attack would not be started in the early half of August, but in the second half when 24 trains per day was achieved. As it were, no logistical stockpile was needed as demonstrated by the fact 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies were diverted for a month of continuous combat under these conditions. Indeed, Guderian advanced about as far-over rougher terrain, mind you-for Kiev as he would to do Vyazma Bryansk.
In August and September, Army Group Center was fighting on a logistical shoestring. The troops and horses were forced to live off the land, because the trains stopped bringing rations or fodder. They barely had enough supplys to hold their ground in defensive fighting. It would not have been possible for them to actually go on the offensive. Army Group Center needed to get its problems with the railways sorted out before it could mount an attack on Moscow. Otherwise, they won't even be able to carry out the encirclements at Vyazma-Bryansk.
They not only had enough supplies to maintain a defensive, they had supplies sufficient to stay on the offensive too with 2nd and 3rd Panzer Army; see Gomel and other such encirclements they achieved. We don't have to speculate whether they could go on the offensive because they were, only the infantry armies were on the defensive at this time.

KDF33
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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by KDF33 » 05 Apr 2021 02:33

History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 00:39
As it were, no logistical stockpile was needed as demonstrated by the fact 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies were diverted for a month of continuous combat under these conditions. Indeed, Guderian advanced about as far-over rougher terrain, mind you-for Kiev as he would to do Vyazma Bryansk.
That's a poor argument, on multiple counts.

1. Panzergruppe 2 and 2. Armee were in operation with ~15 divisions against comparatively weak Soviet forces. The terrain was also not "rougher" on the southern than on the central axis.
2. Panzergruppe 3 was hardly undertaking large-scale offensive operations. The Velikiye Luki operation lasted barely more than a week and involved 2 corps with half-a-dozen divisions advancing less than 100 km. For all practical purposes, ~35 of HGM's 50-some divisions stayed on the defensive in August - September.
3. There's a difference between fighting static defensive battles with "hand-to-mouth" logistics and advancing hundreds of kilometers as part of a general offensive. If your supply depots are still in Byelorussia rather than Smolensk, your truck columns will have far greater distances to cover to keep your spearheads supplied.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 00:39
They not only had enough supplies to maintain a defensive, they had supplies sufficient to stay on the offensive too with 2nd and 3rd Panzer Army; see Gomel and other such encirclements they achieved. We don't have to speculate whether they could go on the offensive because they were, only the infantry armies were on the defensive at this time.
You need to drop the argument about Panzergruppe 3 being on the offensive, because at the army-level it most definitely wasn't.

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stg 44
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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by stg 44 » 05 Apr 2021 03:02

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 02:33
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 00:39
As it were, no logistical stockpile was needed as demonstrated by the fact 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies were diverted for a month of continuous combat under these conditions. Indeed, Guderian advanced about as far-over rougher terrain, mind you-for Kiev as he would to do Vyazma Bryansk.
That's a poor argument, on multiple counts.

1. Panzergruppe 2 and 2. Armee were in operation with ~15 divisions against comparatively weak Soviet forces. The terrain was also not "rougher" on the southern than on the central axis.
2. Panzergruppe 3 was hardly undertaking large-scale offensive operations. The Velikiye Luki operation lasted barely more than a week and involved 2 corps with half-a-dozen divisions advancing less than 100 km. For all practical purposes, ~35 of HGM's 50-some divisions stayed on the defensive in August - September.
3. There's a difference between fighting static defensive battles with "hand-to-mouth" logistics and advancing hundreds of kilometers as part of a general offensive. If your supply depots are still in Byelorussia rather than Smolensk, your truck columns will have far greater distances to cover to keep your spearheads supplied.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 00:39
They not only had enough supplies to maintain a defensive, they had supplies sufficient to stay on the offensive too with 2nd and 3rd Panzer Army; see Gomel and other such encirclements they achieved. We don't have to speculate whether they could go on the offensive because they were, only the infantry armies were on the defensive at this time.
You need to drop the argument about Panzergruppe 3 being on the offensive, because at the army-level it most definitely wasn't.
You're forgetting the XXXIX motorized corps from 3rd PzG that went to AG-North and fought basically from the Luga Line to cutting off Leningrad and then drove back to AG-Center late in September. So I think that means all of its corps and it's air support, VIII Fliegerkorps, was committed to battle on the northern flank, though half of that went to AG-North from August-September.

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