An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

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Avalancheon
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An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 27 Mar 2023 00:12

This post will attempt to explore an alternative timeline for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. This timeline is the result of a (somewhat) more realistic planning process by the OKH, and a rationalisation of the (very dysfunctional) war economy under the Todt Ministry. This in turn results in a larger Ostheer being ready to launch the invasion on June of 1941, with devastating consequences.

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In May of 1940, Germany sweeps through France and the Low Countrys in a lightning attack. British forces are surrounded at Dunkirk and evacuated, while Belgium and Holland capitulate. France fights on alone, but they are helpless against the German onslaught. In June of 1940, they formally surrender. The campaign ends just 6 weeks after it began, in one of the most stunning victorys in history. Nazi Germany stands as the dominant power in Europe. However, Great Britain refuses to come to terms with them; fighting continues on at sea and in the air. The Soviet Union remains impassive, waiting on the sideline to see which side will triumph. A quick resolution to the war remains elusive.

On July 21, Adolf Hitler meets with Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch, seeking his advice on whether a fall campaign against Russia would be possible. The commander in chief of the OKH tells the Fuhrer that the concentration of forces required for this would take many weeks, and the window of opportunity for an attack would be very small considering the effects of weather. Brauchitsch says that the Red Army would have at least 75 'good' divisions in Western Russia, and that 100 German divisions would be needed for the operation.

The next day, Brauchitsch meets with General Franz Halder and informs him of the discussion that had taken place. He asks his chief of staff to begin studying for a Russian campaign. Halder convenes with the OKH staff, requesting Colonel Eberhardt Kinzel of the FHO to brief him on Soviet troop dispositions, and asking Colonel Hans von Grieffenburg to find him an assistant for the planning of a Russian campaign.

On July 26, Kinzel provides an intelligence estimate on the strength of the Red Army. He determines that they have 202 divisions in total, with 133 divisions deployed in Western Russia. However, Kinzel warns that this is not the limit of what they can deploy. The Soviet Union is only partially mobilised at this point in time, and they have the ability to arm and equip significantly more formations in wartime. They may already be in the process of doing so, but it was impossible to tell.

On 28 July, Hitler met with General Fritz Fromm to be briefed on the personnel and material requirements for an invasion of the Soviet Union. At this meeting it was determined that 130-140 German divisions would be needed for such an operation, and the timetable for the production of the required material was discussed.

On July 29, General Franz Halder met with General Erich Marcks at the OKH headquarters of Fountainblau. Halder assigned the younger officer the task of planning a campaign against the Soviet Union, instructing him on where the main weight of the attack was to be, and the possible course of operations. Marcks goes to work on his draft immediately.

On July 31, Adolf Hitler held a conference with his Generals at the Berghof. Present at the meeting are Walter von Brauchitsch and Franz Halder of the OKH, and Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl of the OKW. Hitler announces his intention to confront the Soviet Union in the spring of 1941. His reasoning was that they were the only remaining state that could threaten Germanys existence, and that their Communist ideology put them at odds with the National Socialists. Hitler stated that a war with Russia would only make sense if they could be shattered with one blow; the conquest of territory would not be sufficient, and remaining stationary in the winter was dangerous. It was determined that Germany would need 60 divisions to occupy Western Europe and 130-140 divisions to conquer the Soviet Union. Brauchitsch and Keitel rounded this number up to 200 divisions. Hitler also insisted on the formation of 24 panzer and 12 motorised divisions, even though the OKH had already decided on the smaller figure of 20 panzer and 10 motorised divisions. Planning for war was already underway.

Hitler-Brauchitch.jpg

In his plan of operations, General Erich Marcks paid close attention to the geography of the Soviet Union. One of the dominant terrain features was the vast Pripyat marshs which separated Belorussia and the Ukraine. Taking this into account, General Marcks divided the German forces into two Army Groups; one to the north of the Pripyat Marshes and one to the south. Army Group North would strike through Belorussia towards Moscow, while Army Group South would strike through Ukraine towards Kiev. Marcks believed that the bulk of the Red Army would be deployed on the border facing Germany, and that they would accept battle on the frontier. However, there was a possibility that they would retreat to the Dniepr river and draw their main line of resistance there.
The next task was to determine the size of the Red Army, and the size of the German Heer needed to defeat them. Accepting the estimates of the FHO, Marcks lists their strength at 201 divisions in total. However, the General realises that since the Soviet Union is only partially mobilised, they would not remain at this level for long. Apprehensive of German military strength, the Red Army would be expanding at breakneck speed. Marcks estimated that the Soviets would be able to deploy an additional 20 divisions by the spring of 1941, giving them a total of 221 divisions. Of those, he believed 153 would be deployed to Western Russia.
After determining what the future strength of the Red Army might be, Marcks estimated that an invasion force of 169 divisions was needed to overcome it. This included 24 panzer divisions, and 12 motorised divisions. This would give the Germans a slight numerical superiority, and enable them to destroy the Soviets in a pitched battle near the borders. They would use fast panzer divisions to envelop the Russians and prevent them from retreating to the Dniepr river. On August 5, General Marcks presented his plan to General Halder.

On August 17, General Wilhelm Keitel ordered the armaments program for the Heer to be revised to 200 divisions. Another 20 divisions were planned for the Heer and the ErsatzHeer. Rustungsprogram B was devised to supply the bare minimum of weapons and equipment needed for these 220 divisions; equipping them fully was a goal that could not be attained in the short time available. When Armaments Minister Fritz Todt was briefed by General Georg Thomas on the OKWs plans on 22 August, Todt was concerned about the provisioning of an army of this scale. He believed that the plan could only be fulfilled by restruturing the economy for maximum efficiency: Without this, Rustungsprogram B would fall short of its goals. Thomas agreed with this assessment. Unfortunately, he was only willing to co-operate on the condition that Todts armaments committees be subordinated to the OKWs armaments inspectors, as the first step needed to restructuring the war economy.
Todt attempts to resolve this impasse by appealing to Hitler. He reports that the OKW had devised an armaments plan of enormous scope that could not be brought to fruition without a serious economic shift. Thomas was trying to achieve this by pressuring Todt into subordinating the Armaments Ministry to the OKW, making them the chief authoritys. By refusing to co-operate, Thomas was laying the foundations of a crisis. Hitler was now confronted with the fact that the wartime economy was being undermined by conflicting authoritys with different prioritys, and that it could not be fully mobilised without decisive action. On that day, the Fuhrer took two crucial steps. First, he ordered the OKW not to issue directives on weapons and ammunition production without first consulting Todt and the Armaments Ministry. Second (and more importantly), he passed a Fuhrer Order which authorized Todt to rationalise the wartime economy in a manner that would increase the production of weapons and equipment.
On August 26, Rustungsprogram B was presented to Hitler, who approved it. General Georg Thomas' bid to gain control over the arms industry had failed. The OKW was forced to co-operate with the Armaments Ministry in order to fulfill the huge demands of the program.

On September 15, Colonel Bernhard von Lossberg completed a study for the invasion of the Soviet Union. This was the OKWs answer to the OKHs plan. Lossbergs study divided the German forces into three Army Groups, not two. Army Group Center was to be the most powerful, and would advance through Belorussia. Army Group North was to advance into the Baltics, while Army Group South would advance into the Ukraine. The operational plan emphasized the deployment of strong forces to Romania so as to facilitate a converging attack on the Ukraine. Lossberg believed that the Red Army would not attempt to withdraw, and that it would instead fight near the border. The plan envisioned an attack on Moscow only after the flanks had been secured by the capture of Leningrad and Kiev.
The Marcks and Lossberg plans formed the basis for the final draft of planning which was prepared under the supervision of General Friedrich Paulus. The two studies set out some of the basic underpinnings of the German plan. Paulus now took over the detailed elaboration of the operational procedure. He foresaw the need for a rapid advance aimed at capturing Moscow. In order for the campaign to be settled quickly, Soviet formations must be enveloped near the border and prevented from withdrawing into the interior. Otherwise, the Wehrmacht would face a prolonged battle that would give the Red Army time to mobilise new forces and stabilise their front lines. On October 29, General Paulus presented his memorandum to General Halder.

In anticipation of a Russian campaign the following year, the Germans began the arduous task of mobilising the manpower needed for an army of 220 divisions. In the fall of 1940, they conscripted hundreds of thousands of men into the Heer. They raised a total of 30 new infantry divisions in the 11th, 12th, and 13th waves. The 11th and 12th waves were composed of veterans, but the 13th wave was composed of new recruits. In addition, the army raised 14 new panzer divisions, and 12 new motorised divisions. This was done by disbanding previously existing divisions and using them to form the nucleus of new formations. The process of raising new panzer divisions was especially complex.
When mobilisation began in the fall of 1940, the Heer had 10 panzer divisions. 6 of these had two panzer regiments, while the other 4 had only one panzer regiment. 6 of the divisions were stripped of their second panzer regiment, thus forming the nucleas of a new panzer division. This expedient provided the Heer with 16 panzer divisions. But the mobilisation plan called for 24 panzer divisions in total. The remaining 8 panzer divisions had to be raised from scratch. New recruits were trained by ersatz panzer units and drafted into new formations. Training was made difficult by the inadequate numbers of tanks available, which was only slowly alleviated as new tanks were churned out by the factorys each month.
In the winter of 1940, the Heer raised 30 infantry divisions in the 14th and 15th waves for occupation dutys in Western Europe. These were composed of older troops in their thirtys, drawn from the Landwehr and ErsatzHeer. 15 of these were static divisions with just enough transport to maintain themselves in a fixed position.

On November 12, the Germans held diplomatic talks with the Soviets. The war with Britain was dragging on with no end in sight, and Italy was now bogged down in Greece. Adolf Hitler sought a rapprochement with Joseph Stalin, to bring Russia into the war on the side of Germany. Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop met with Vyacheslav Molotov at the Reichchancellery, to discuss plans for the Soviet Union to join the Axis. Hitler was present for this meeting. During the negotiations, plans were exchanged to divide the world into spheres of influence between the four Axis powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Hitler attempted to draw the Soviets to the Near East and India, claiming that they would be ripe for the taking after the collapse of the British Empire.
Molotov showed no interest in these tangents, and instead focused on the question of the Balkans. The Soviets were interested in securing access to the Bosphorous straits, and issuing a guarantee to Bulgaria. In addition, they wanted Germany to revoke its own guarantee to Romania. Hitler was agitated by these requests, because of Germanys vital security interests in Romania: They were dependent on that nations oil fields. Hitler confronted Molotov with the Soviet occupation of Romanian borderlands several months earlier, which was in violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Foreign Minister obfuscated on the subject, and in the end, the discussions ended in a deadlock. The Fuhrer walked away from the meeting convinced that war was inevitable, telling his subordinates that Joseph Stalin was ''a cold-blooded blackmailer.''

Molotov-Ribbentrop.jpg

On December 5, Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch and General Franz Halder present their war plans to Adolf Hitler. In his report, Halder explains the geographical features of the Russian theater, and how the Pripyat marshs divide it into a northern and southern theater. He states that the Red Army is concentrating in the north, where the road and rail network is more developed. Halder also gives an overview of the Soviet industry, stating that the most important centers are in Leningrad, Moscow, and the Ukraine. The German forces were to be divided among three Army Groups, with Army Group Center leading the attack on Moscow. The campaign could begin on May 15, and would last from 9 to 17 weeks. If the Red Army could be comprehensively defeated in this time frame, the OstHeer was expected to occupy a position from Arkhangelsk to Astrakhan, rendering the Soviet Union impotent. Hitler agreed with Halders presentation and said that it would be crucially important to prevent the withdrawal of Russian forces. However, he did not believe that the capture of Moscow was important, and did not want the campaign to be dictated by the need to seize it.

On December 18, General Alfred Jodl presented Directive No. 21 to Adolf Hitler. The war plan for the Soviet Union was given the codename Operation Barbarossa. The main paragraph stated how the campaign was to be waged: "The bulk of the Russian Army stationed in Western Russia will be destroyed by daring operations led by deeply penetrating armoured spearheads. Russian forces still capable of giving battle will be prevented from withdrawing into the depths of Russia. The enemy will then be energetically pursued and a line will be reached from which the Russian Air Force can no longer attack German territory. The final objective of the operation is to erect a barrier against Asiatic Russia on the general line Volga-Arkhangelsk." Hitler signed the Directive, formally committing Germany to the invasion.

On January 31, 1941, Halder and Brauchitsch presented the Deployment Directive Barbarossa to a group of Generals, which outlined the areas of deployment and operational directives for all the Army Groups, Panzer Groups, and Armys on the Eastern front. The Generals were told that the Russians would give battle west of the Dnieper-Dvina line. Intelligence from the FHO indicated that the Red Army was concentrating south of the Pripyat marshes (in the Ukraine), contradicting the picture they had just 1 month earlier.

By February, the concentration of forces in the East was underway. The first echelon was deployed in early February. The second echelon was planned to be moved in mid March; the third echelon in mid April; the fourth echelon from 25 April to 15 May. During this time, the Germans were also busy forming Headquarters for the Panzer Groups that would play such a key role in the Russian campaign. Panzer Group 1, 2, and 3 were formed in November 1940. Panzer Group 4 and 5 were formed in February 1941. The Headquarters for Army Groups North, Center, and South conducted war games to determine how to best employ their forces.

By March, there was turbulence in the Balkans. The Italians had been bogged down in Greece for months, opening up a weakness in the southern flank of the Axis coalition. The Germans were forced to make contingency plans to rectify this crisis. Operation Marita had been planned as a move to secure the Balkans, thus freeing Germany to launch Operation Barbarossa. But when British forces landed in Greece to aid them, Hitler had to relocate forces needed for the Russian campaign. On March 18, the 12th Army was redeployed from Romania to Bulgaria, forcing the OKH to replace it with the new 11th Army.

On March 27, the Yugoslavian government was overthrown by the Military in a coup. They formally rejected any plans for joining the Axis, and proclaimed their support for Greece. Hitler was once again forced to increase the scope of the operations, demanding an invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece at the same time. The OKH estimated that this would delay the launch date of Operation Barbarossa by nearly 6 weeks. Instead of May 15, they were now considering a start date of June 22.

In April, the Germans launched a decisive attack against both Yugoslavia and Greece. The fighting was over in a matter of weeks, bringing relief to the beleaguered Italians. The turn of events in the Balkans was viewed with dismay by the Soviets, who had hoped to increase their influence in the region. On the other hand, the German military operations reduced Joseph Stalins fear of a German invasion, as he believed they would be tied down in the Mediterranean.

In May, the Heer had completed the formation of all the divisions required for Operation Barbarossa, although some were still in the process of training. Fritz Todt had succeeded in his mission of rationalising the war economy and increasing the production of weapons, earning the praise of Hitler. He had formed commissions to manage the various types of weapons production, and to organise them appropriately. Todts policy was to mandate 'industrial self responsibility', with central direction from his ministry. Rustungsprogram B largely succeeded in its goal of equipping the 220 divisions planned for the previous year. Most of the production targets were met, although there was still a backlog in the delivery of some types of equipment. General Halder wondered whether the last panzer divisions to form would receive their full complement of tanks in time for the invasion.

On June 14, a final military conference was held between Adolf Hitler and his Generals. Present at the meeting were the staffs of the OKW and OKH, as well as the commanders of the Army Groups and the Luftflottes. Colonel Kinzel of the FHO gave a final estimate of the Red Armys strength, determining that they have 227 divisions in total, with 158 divisions deployed in Western Russia. Kinzel re-iterates that his earlier assessment (made in July of 1940) about the Red Army only being partially mobilised has been vindicated by the course of events. Moreover, he warns that the Soviets may still be in the process of mobilising even more troops, although he could not offer any specific numbers or details.
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Peter89
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 27 Mar 2023 09:43

Avalancheon wrote:
27 Mar 2023 00:12
These were composed of older troops in their thirtys,
Eiiiyyy, it really hurt :cry:


As for the post: this WI - as many others - misses the point. Again. "1 Division" is not a solid term. "1 Geschwader" is not a solid term either. It's not like ahh, I have a Division thus I will have enough strength in it, like forever. You need production, hospitals/repair shops, replacements, reserves, etc. to keep the formation up to strength. And this is where the Germans failed miserably. Why? Because their force generation and maintenance capacities were way lower than their losses at the front. This is why the Ostheer had 8 offensive-ready "Divisions" out of 162 in March 1942.

If you argue for a more extensive border battle with more "Divisions" and Geschwaders, you basically argue to push men and matériel forward. Thus, while the frontline strength is larger, the replacement structure is proportionately weaker. The Germans already committed 3,350 tanks in June 1941, but lost 3,486 and replaced 873 losses. The Luftwaffe also went through an entire air force during this time. The Luftwaffe's actual strength fell by 700 aircraft despite the replacements, thus it lost about 20% of its numerical strength by March 1942. The Heer lost about 1.1 million men out of 3.2 million, which it could not replace.

The only rationale in what you suggest is that if the Germans could deliver a knock-out blow near the borders, then it would make sense to push the "front-loadedness" nature of Barbarossa to the extreme. While it makes sense that maintaining a larger force in border battles is magnitudes easier than maintaining it hundreds of kilometers inside hostile territories, the areas west of the Dniepr-Daugava line were not decisive for the Soviet power generation. In fact, key population centrums, industrial production areas and critical raw material production were almost all east of this line. Although painful to lose, these areas never really represented a critical factor in the Soviet war machine.

Thus it meant that if the Soviets wanted to resist, they could, east of the D-D line. For a war like that, Germany's capacity to replace losses, build up infrastructure, maintain operational ready rates, carry supplies forward, etc. was completely lacking - especially with commitments in the West and in the Mediterranean.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Avalancheon
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Posts: 366
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Location: Canada

Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 28 Mar 2023 02:48

Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
Avalancheon wrote:
27 Mar 2023 00:12
These were composed of older troops in their thirtys,
Eiiiyyy, it really hurt :cry:
Its a hard fact :) Men in their thirtys are not as good soldier-material as men in their twentys. Those ten years make a difference. I can attest to this as a man who is in his early thirtys.
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
As for the post: this WI - as many others - misses the point. Again. "1 Division" is not a solid term. "1 Geschwader" is not a solid term either. It's not like ahh, I have a Division thus I will have enough strength in it, like forever. You need production, hospitals/repair shops, replacements, reserves, etc. to keep the formation up to strength. And this is where the Germans failed miserably. Why? Because their force generation and maintenance capacities were way lower than their losses at the front. This is why the Ostheer had 8 offensive-ready "Divisions" out of 162 in March 1942.

If you argue for a more extensive border battle with more "Divisions" and Geschwaders, you basically argue to push men and matériel forward. Thus, while the frontline strength is larger, the replacement structure is proportionately weaker. The Germans already committed 3,350 tanks in June 1941, but lost 3,486 and replaced 873 losses. The Luftwaffe also went through an entire air force during this time. The Luftwaffe's actual strength fell by 700 aircraft despite the replacements, thus it lost about 20% of its numerical strength by March 1942. The Heer lost about 1.1 million men out of 3.2 million, which it could not replace.
The Germans based their estimates of personnel replacements on two factors: The size of the forces they employed, and the intensity and duration of the fighting they expected. If they employed more divisions during Operation Barbarossa, then they would of course need to set aside more replacement troops to last to the end of the expected conflict. The Germans were obviously overconfident in that they expected to achieve victory over the Soviet Union in a short summer campaign. But they weren't negligent within the framework of their assumptions about the campaign.

''Plans for the replacement of personnel, just like strategic, operational, and economic plans, were based on the assumption of a short campaign. The units of the field army, including replacement battalions, were established by the middle of June; anything still becoming available in the reserve army was earmarked for supplies and replacement. On 20 May 1941 Colonel-General Fromm reported to Haider on the consequences of these plans. The field replacement battalions contained 90,000 men, already being transferred. The reserve army comprised 475,000 men, of whom the Luftwaffe claimed 90,000. Thus a total of 385,000 men were left as replacements for the army. Estimated losses during the first two months in the ‘frontier battles’ were approximately 275,000 men, with another 200,000 in September. This meant that the army’s trained reserves would be exhausted in October.'' -Germany and the Second World War, Volume IV: The Attack on the Soviet Union.
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
If you argue for a more extensive border battle with more "Divisions" and Geschwaders
Just an FYI, but my timeline does not see any significant increase in the strength of the Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine. Only in the Heer is there any major change: With 231 divisions available by June 1941 (instead of 209 divisions historically).

But then again, given the fact that Fritz Todt was given a mandate to rationalise the economy 16 months earlier than OTL (August 1940 instead of December 1941), there could be beneficial knock-on effects for the production of aircraft and possibly U-boats. I haven't explored this topic in any sort of detail.
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
The only rationale in what you suggest is that if the Germans could deliver a knock-out blow near the borders, then it would make sense to push the "front-loadedness" nature of Barbarossa to the extreme. While it makes sense that maintaining a larger force in border battles is magnitudes easier than maintaining it hundreds of kilometers inside hostile territories, the areas west of the Dniepr-Daugava line were not decisive for the Soviet power generation. In fact, key population centrums, industrial production areas and critical raw material production were almost all east of this line. Although painful to lose, these areas never really represented a critical factor in the Soviet war machine.
With respect, you really aren't giving credit to the type of lopsided casualty ratios that could occur during a kesselschlacht. It was anything but an equal exchange of blood. At the battle of Bialystok-Minsk, the Soviets suffered 340,000 irrecoverable losses, while the Germans suffered only 12,000 irrecoverable losses. In terms of casualties, this was one of the most lopsided battles in military history.

This timeline does not see the extra German divisions distributed evenly along the front. Instead, it sees them concentrated in Army Group South at the Schwerpunkt. This will enable them to execute a kesselschlacht in the Ukraine, which they were unable to pull off historically. This will be detailed in the rest of the timeline.

Certainly, the Germans will take slightly heavier losses during the border battles. But that will be more than offset by the much heavier losses taken by the Soviets. Fighting against a weaker enemy will mean that the Germans will take fewer casualtys in July and August.
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
Thus it meant that if the Soviets wanted to resist, they could, east of the D-D line. For a war like that, Germany's capacity to replace losses, build up infrastructure, maintain operational ready rates, carry supplies forward, etc. was completely lacking - especially with commitments in the West and in the Mediterranean.
Thats not the point. The point is to destroy as large a portion of the Red Army as possible west of the Dnieper-Dvina river. The weaker they are when they cross east of the Dvina-Dnieper river, the better the campaign goes for the Heer. It leaves the Soviets less able to resist the German thrusts, less able to defend their agricultural land, industrial areas, and population centers.

Peter89
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Posts: 2369
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Location: Europe

Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 28 Mar 2023 08:46

Avalancheon wrote:
28 Mar 2023 02:48
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
Avalancheon wrote:
27 Mar 2023 00:12
These were composed of older troops in their thirtys,
Eiiiyyy, it really hurt :cry:
Its a hard fact :) Men in their thirtys are not as good soldier-material as men in their twentys. Those ten years make a difference. I can attest to this as a man who is in his early thirtys.
Yeah, I know what you mean, but it is a sad reality :)
Avalancheon wrote:
28 Mar 2023 02:48
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
As for the post: this WI - as many others - misses the point. Again. "1 Division" is not a solid term. "1 Geschwader" is not a solid term either. It's not like ahh, I have a Division thus I will have enough strength in it, like forever. You need production, hospitals/repair shops, replacements, reserves, etc. to keep the formation up to strength. And this is where the Germans failed miserably. Why? Because their force generation and maintenance capacities were way lower than their losses at the front. This is why the Ostheer had 8 offensive-ready "Divisions" out of 162 in March 1942.

If you argue for a more extensive border battle with more "Divisions" and Geschwaders, you basically argue to push men and matériel forward. Thus, while the frontline strength is larger, the replacement structure is proportionately weaker. The Germans already committed 3,350 tanks in June 1941, but lost 3,486 and replaced 873 losses. The Luftwaffe also went through an entire air force during this time. The Luftwaffe's actual strength fell by 700 aircraft despite the replacements, thus it lost about 20% of its numerical strength by March 1942. The Heer lost about 1.1 million men out of 3.2 million, which it could not replace.
The Germans based their estimates of personnel replacements on two factors: The size of the forces they employed, and the intensity and duration of the fighting they expected. If they employed more divisions during Operation Barbarossa, then they would of course need to set aside more replacement troops to last to the end of the expected conflict. The Germans were obviously overconfident in that they expected to achieve victory over the Soviet Union in a short summer campaign. But they weren't negligent within the framework of their assumptions about the campaign.

''Plans for the replacement of personnel, just like strategic, operational, and economic plans, were based on the assumption of a short campaign. The units of the field army, including replacement battalions, were established by the middle of June; anything still becoming available in the reserve army was earmarked for supplies and replacement. On 20 May 1941 Colonel-General Fromm reported to Haider on the consequences of these plans. The field replacement battalions contained 90,000 men, already being transferred. The reserve army comprised 475,000 men, of whom the Luftwaffe claimed 90,000. Thus a total of 385,000 men were left as replacements for the army. Estimated losses during the first two months in the ‘frontier battles’ were approximately 275,000 men, with another 200,000 in September. This meant that the army’s trained reserves would be exhausted in October.'' -Germany and the Second World War, Volume IV: The Attack on the Soviet Union.
The reason why Germany planned a short campaign is relatively simple and can not be overlooked easily. Only a short campaign could yield the desired economic advantages. Only a short campaign, fought near the German supply system, would be able to circumvent Germany's deficiencies of warmaking.
Avalancheon wrote:
28 Mar 2023 02:48
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
If you argue for a more extensive border battle with more "Divisions" and Geschwaders
Just an FYI, but my timeline does not see any significant increase in the strength of the Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine. Only in the Heer is there any major change: With 231 divisions available by June 1941 (instead of 209 divisions historically).

But then again, given the fact that Fritz Todt was given a mandate to rationalise the economy 16 months earlier than OTL (August 1940 instead of December 1941), there could be beneficial knock-on effects for the production of aircraft and possibly U-boats. I haven't explored this topic in any sort of detail.
Obviously, it would be very different if the Germans reached the 1943-1944 efficiency in armament production in 1940. But what is the point to contemplate on it?
Avalancheon wrote:
28 Mar 2023 02:48
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
The only rationale in what you suggest is that if the Germans could deliver a knock-out blow near the borders, then it would make sense to push the "front-loadedness" nature of Barbarossa to the extreme. While it makes sense that maintaining a larger force in border battles is magnitudes easier than maintaining it hundreds of kilometers inside hostile territories, the areas west of the Dniepr-Daugava line were not decisive for the Soviet power generation. In fact, key population centrums, industrial production areas and critical raw material production were almost all east of this line. Although painful to lose, these areas never really represented a critical factor in the Soviet war machine.
With respect, you really aren't giving credit to the type of lopsided casualty ratios that could occur during a kesselschlacht. It was anything but an equal exchange of blood. At the battle of Bialystok-Minsk, the Soviets suffered 340,000 irrecoverable losses, while the Germans suffered only 12,000 irrecoverable losses. In terms of casualties, this was one of the most lopsided battles in military history.

This timeline does not see the extra German divisions distributed evenly along the front. Instead, it sees them concentrated in Army Group South at the Schwerpunkt. This will enable them to execute a kesselschlacht in the Ukraine, which they were unable to pull off historically. This will be detailed in the rest of the timeline.

Certainly, the Germans will take slightly heavier losses during the border battles. But that will be more than offset by the much heavier losses taken by the Soviets. Fighting against a weaker enemy will mean that the Germans will take fewer casualtys in July and August.
And you seem to overfetishizing Kesselschlachts on the Eastern Front. Neither the Soviets, nor the Germans put down their guns immediately as they were encircled. There were breakouts as well. Also, I seriously doubt that Germans would take fewer losses, were they more successful at the initial phase of the campaign. Most likely they would overcommit their forces in another, and another and another thrust forward into a country that - unlike German supplies - was virtually endless.

Let me present you another approach to the strategic problem. Let's assume that things go according to German plans and the border battles prove to be decisive, and thus the Red Army can not make a stubborn resistance before the A-A line. If the Germans want to march there - even without major maneuvers - their infantry has to walk some 2000 km on shorter, uninterrupted marches, but in the far ends like the Caucasus, this plain number goes as high as 3000 km. Not to mention that there was the Red Army to defeat. It would have been a map exercise on an impossible scale even without the Soviets. At the end of this journey, tanks would cut through many engine lives; the tires, boots, etc. would be all worn-out, not to mention the fuel (reserves) that the Wehrmacht would burn. German tanks would be non-operational without the Soviets. German aircrafts would be non-operational without the Soviets. Motorized infantry would become sitting ducks. The gargantuan effort that was required to move such a force (150 "Divisions") beyond the first 1000 km, was beyond Germany's abilities in 1941. In other words, even the optimistic plan to invade the Soviet Union made no sense unless the Soviets didn't resist too much and the Wehrmacht found something - something big and lot, that could compensate the loss of matériel on such a huge scale.
Avalancheon wrote:
28 Mar 2023 02:48
Peter89 wrote:
27 Mar 2023 09:43
Thus it meant that if the Soviets wanted to resist, they could, east of the D-D line. For a war like that, Germany's capacity to replace losses, build up infrastructure, maintain operational ready rates, carry supplies forward, etc. was completely lacking - especially with commitments in the West and in the Mediterranean.
Thats not the point. The point is to destroy as large a portion of the Red Army as possible west of the Dnieper-Dvina river. The weaker they are when they cross east of the Dvina-Dnieper river, the better the campaign goes for the Heer. It leaves the Soviets less able to resist the German thrusts, less able to defend their agricultural land, industrial areas, and population centers.
This is what I seriously doubt. You would be right in a small war where if A destroys 50% of B's forces instead of 25%, then A will do better. I think I had this argument with TMP many times. Non-combat losses are not linear in an operation like this. You can not say that NCL is a constant that is the same west of the D-D line in the summer of 1941 and during the winter of 1941 in the Caucasus. It is simply not true. Bad weather alone was able to inflict surprisingly high losses, not to mention frostbite, cold and other sicknesses. Worn-out machines break down much more easily. Equipment becomes unusable. Horses get exhausted. Also, geography plays a role here. The shape of the theater is funnel-like, thus there will be fewer and fewer troops for 1 km of front even without losses.

Long story short, a more extensive Soviet defeat in the border battles is worthy of studying, but it could not carry the day for the Germans.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 29 Mar 2023 02:23

europe-1940-map.png

Order of Battle

As a result of the larger mobilisation plan (approved by Hitler on August 26, 1940), the Germans have raised a somewhat larger Army by June 22, 1941. Instead of the 209 divisions they disposed of in OTL, they have 231 divisions in this ATL. These extra forces consist of the following:
-3 Panzer Divisions.
-2 Motorised Divisions.
-15 Infantry Divisions.
-2 Security Divisions (in reality, 2 Security Brigades that were upgraded into Divisions).

Of this pool of 22 additional divisions, they are deployed as follows:
-Army Group Center receives 2 Security Divisions.
-Army Group South receives 3 Panzer, 2 Motorised, and 9 Infantry Divisions.
-Army Reserve receives 6 Infantry Divisions.

As a result of these changes, the OstHeer disposes of 173 divisions in total (instead of 151 divisions).
-Army Group North has 30 divisions.
-Army Group Center has 52 divisions.
-Army Group South has 57 divisions.
-Finnish Front has 4 divisions.
-Army Reserve has 30 divisions.

The greatest beneficiary in this ATL is obviously Army Group South. 11th Army is significantly stronger, having 12 German divisions at its disposal (instead of 6 German and 5 Romanian divisions). 11th Army also has the 5th Panzer Group under its command. This enables them to launch a much more powerful attack from out of Romania. Army Group Souths order of battle is as follows:
-6th Army has 14 divisions (2 extra).
--1st Panzer Group has 9 divisions (same).
-17th Army has 12 divisions (same).
-11th Army has 12 divisions (6 extra).
--5th Panzer Group has 7 divisions (7 extra).
-Reserve of 3 divisions(same).

In this ATL, the Romanian Army also has more forces at its disposal. Because the 11th Army is composed entirely of German divisions, this frees up 5 Romanian divisions (and 1 brigade) for redeployment. The Romanian 4th Army has 3 divisions and 6 brigades, while Romanian 3rd Army has 9 divisions and 2 brigades.

Operation Barbarossa4.jpg

Course of Operations

The Germans have assembled 3.9 million men in 173 divisions for the main attack. Of those, 3.4 million men in 143 divisions are in the first echelon, and 500 thousand in 30 divisions are in the second echelon. In contrast, the Soviets have 3.3 million men in 220 divisions to defend against the main attack. Of those, 2.3 million men in 163 divisions are in the first echelon, and 600 thousand in 57 divisions are in the second echelon.
Along a 1200 kilometer long front, the greatest confrontation in history commences. The pre-dawn skys erupt in fire as 7000 artillery pieces begin pounding the Red Army. The attack has taken them completely by surprise, and the chain of command is in chaos. The Germans have numerical superiority at all the decisive points. Soviet divisions on the border are hit from the front and the flanks, and quickly rolled up. Divisions further in the rear are hardly able to stem the tide, and they too crumble under the relentless attack.
All bridges over the Memel, Niemen, Bug, and Pruth rivers are taken intact, allowing the Panzer Groups to roll forward and penetrate into the strategic depths. The Luftwaffe adds to the chaos by bombing command posts, troop concentrations, tank parks, air bases, and ammunition dumps. Thousands of Soviet aircraft were caught on the ground and destroyed: Hundreds more were shot down in the air. The Luftwaffe quickly gains aerial supremacy, enabling them to support the fast moving Panzer Groups.


Army Group North
18th and 16th Army launch their attack into Lithuania. They are able to capture the citys of Taurage and Kaunas by the first day. The Soviets are driven back by the sudden, violent offensive. 4th Panzer Group exploits the fluid situation, deploying two of its Corps on separate axis' of advance. Their objective is to secure bridgeheads over the Dvina river and prevent the Red Army from forming a defensive position behind it. NorthWestern Front responds with dispersed counterattacks, deploying two Mechanised Corps. Neither of them are able to concentrate in mass, winding up caught in localised fighting. On June 24, there is a tank battle at Raseiniai which ends in German victory. The Soviets are quickly pushed out of Lithuania and into Latvia. 18th Army pursues them north to Riga, while 16th Army follows them northeast to Vilnius. Despite the energetic pursuit, the Germans fail to achieve any encirclements. On the other hand, 4th Panzer Group manages to reach the Dvina river in record time. They capture Daugavpils on June 26, and Jakobpils on June 28. This completely undermines NorthWestern Fronts plans to stabilise their front behind the river. The Soviets now begin a withdrawl from Latvia itself. 18th Army closes in on Riga, attempting to prevent their escape, but are unsucessful. The Russians try to dislodge 4th Panzer Group from its two bridgeheads, but they are repulsed without much effort.


Army Group Center
4th and 9th Armys launch their attack into Belorussia from a very favourable position. The Red Army is deployed into a salient that leaves them partially surrounded from the wars outset. The Germans are able to jump off from the ledges of the salient and envelop the Soviets at Bialystok. Simultaneusly, 2nd and 3rd Panzer Group launch their own attack. They capture Brest and Alytus, then push on to their next objectives. They advance swiftly to the East, avoiding any pitched battles. Vilnius and Slonim are captured on June 24. Western Front attempts to launch a counter-attack against 3rd Panzer Group, but the Mechanised Corps lose time on a long road march. Their attack lands on 9th Army instead, bringing them to a halt. The Soviets try to secure their flanks and retreat from Bialystok, but find that their path is blocked by German troops at Slonim. 4th and 9th Armys move in and form a cauldron around them. There is desperate fighting as the Russians attempt to break out; some manage to escape across a lightly defended river. 2nd and 3rd Panzer Group move rapidly through Belorussia, closing in on the capital of Minsk. They link up at the city and capture it on June 28. Western Front is now trapped in two separate pockets, one in Bialystok, one in Minsk. The armored spearheads struggle to contain the Soviet forces without infantry support. However, the Bialystok pocket is liquidated on June 30, enabling 4th and 9th Armys to resume their march East. They arrive at Minsk several days later and help reduce that cauldron as well. The battle of Bialystok-Minsk ends on July 3 with the surrender of roughly 290,000 Soviet troops. Western Front is decimated, losing a total of 27 divisions. A huge gap has been torn in their front lines, which can only partially be filled by the reserve Armys.


Army Group South
6th and 17th Army launch their attack into Western Ukraine from an unfavorable position. They are bottled up by the Pripyat marshs to their north and the Carpathian mountains to their south. They are able to capture the citys of Kovel, Vladimir Volynsky, and Rava Russkaya by the second or third day. In the south, they also captured the old fortress city of Przemysl, but were stopped by a counter-attack. This breakthrough on a wide front allows 1st Panzer Group to deploy its full strength into the gap, and penetrate into the operational depths. SouthWestern Front responds with a massive counter-attack, throwing four Mechanised Corps against 1st Panzer Group. One of the Corps has to march several hundred kilometers, losing many tanks to breakdowns along the way. On June 26, there is a huge tank battle at the city of Brody. The superior training and leadership of the Germans, along with their control of the air, enables them to inflict a decisive defeat. The Soviets suffer huge losses in the battle, and their Mechanised Corps are destroyed. On June 30, Southwestern Front begins to withdraw to the Stalin Line, in order to defend the approaches to Kiev. Meanwhile, 6th Army manages to slog through the Soviet forces and capture Lvov on June 29.

11th Army launchs an attack into Southern Ukraine. They are able to establish bridgeheads along the lightly defended Pruth river, and cross over by the second day. They make a strong advance in the north, driving the Soviets back and capturing Kaminets Podolsky. SouthWestern Front dispatchs two Mechanised Corps to counter-attack them, bringing 11th Army to a halt. Simultaneously, 5th Panzer Group launchs an attack northeast through Moldavia. They make rapid progress and encounter no serious resistance until June 27, when they run into the Stalin Line at Mogilev Podolsky. During this time, the Romanians launch their own offensive alongside the Germans. They need four days to establish bridgeheads over the Pruth river, but their presence adds weight to the offensive in the Ukraine and Moldavia. Romanian 3rd Army attacks on the left flank of 11th Army, taking some of the pressure off them. Romanian 4th Army attacks on the right flank of 5th Panzer Group, pushing into Moldavia. The Germans capture Mogilev Podolsky on July 1, crossing the Dniester river soon after.

1st Panzer Group is swiftly advancing through Western Ukraine. The Soviets have been in retreat along most parts of the front, only offering serious resistance when circumstances permitted. Their attempt to conduct an orderly withdrawl to the Stalin Line is thrawted by the capture of Shepetkiva on July 4. 1st Panzer Group races onward, taking Berdychev off the march. 6th and 17th Army make progress further in the south, hammering back the Soviet troops. A cauldron is beginning to form around SouthWestern Front. 5th Panzer Group closes in from the south, capturing Vinnitsia on July 7. The Red Army fights a desperate rearguard action, trying to secure their flanks and effect a retreat. But on July 9, the armored spearheads link up at Vinnitsia, sealing the Soviets in a pocket. There is vicious fighting as the Russians attempt to break out of the pocket; some manage to escape at several points, but these corridors are quickly sealed off by the arrival of 6th and 11th Army. The battle of Vinnitsia ends on July 16 with the surrender of roughly 400,000 Soviet troops. SouthWestern Front is devastated, losing a total of 40 divisions. A huge gap has been torn in their front lines, which can only partially be filled by the reserve Armys.
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by KDF33 » 30 Mar 2023 05:03

Peter89 wrote:
28 Mar 2023 08:46
Long story short, a more extensive Soviet defeat in the border battles is worthy of studying, but it could not carry the day for the Germans.
I'm not sure that I agree with this. Had Heeresgruppe Süd pulled off a border annihilation battle against the Soviet Southwestern Front comparable to what Heeresgruppe Mitte achieved against the Western Front, I'm not sure the Soviets could have reconstituted a functional defensive line thereafter.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 30 Mar 2023 05:37

KDF33 wrote:
30 Mar 2023 05:03
Peter89 wrote:
28 Mar 2023 08:46
Long story short, a more extensive Soviet defeat in the border battles is worthy of studying, but it could not carry the day for the Germans.
I'm not sure that I agree with this. Had Heeresgruppe Süd pulled off a border annihilation battle against the Soviet Southwestern Front comparable to what Heeresgruppe Mitte achieved against the Western Front, I'm not sure the Soviets could have reconstituted a functional defensive line thereafter.
Well they did exactly that after the Battle of Kiev which practically achieved the same.

I think if the Germans defeat the Southwestern Front in the border battles instead of the Battle of Kiev, the result of that would be a German advance to the Don, which line they might actually hold during the winter. In my estimation, the German offensive power in 1941 would be close to nothing beyond that line.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by KDF33 » 30 Mar 2023 06:09

Peter89 wrote:
30 Mar 2023 05:37
Well they did exactly that after the Battle of Kiev which practically achieved the same.
The Battle of Kiev occurred in September, whereas what I have in mind here would happen in June and the first week of July.

By the time the Germans destroyed the Soviet forces around Kiev, the RKKA had had time to mobilize reserves.
I think if the Germans defeat the Southwestern Front in the border battles instead of the Battle of Kiev, the result of that would be a German advance to the Don, which line they might actually hold during the winter. In my estimation, the German offensive power in 1941 would be close to nothing beyond that line.
I'd say it would have a compounding effect. Less Soviet forces would have faced the Germans, allowing for faster victories costing less casualties for the Germans, while costing more casualties to the Soviets due to operational effects (i.e., encirclements).

The German offensive would have run out of steam at some point, but it would have faced a weaker Red Army over the winter and, consequently, a weaker Red Army in spring 1942.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 30 Mar 2023 09:57

KDF33 wrote:
30 Mar 2023 06:09
Peter89 wrote:
30 Mar 2023 05:37
Well they did exactly that after the Battle of Kiev which practically achieved the same.
The Battle of Kiev occurred in September, whereas what I have in mind here would happen in June and the first week of July.

By the time the Germans destroyed the Soviet forces around Kiev, the RKKA had had time to mobilize reserves.
I think if the Germans defeat the Southwestern Front in the border battles instead of the Battle of Kiev, the result of that would be a German advance to the Don, which line they might actually hold during the winter. In my estimation, the German offensive power in 1941 would be close to nothing beyond that line.
I'd say it would have a compounding effect. Less Soviet forces would have faced the Germans, allowing for faster victories costing less casualties for the Germans, while costing more casualties to the Soviets due to operational effects (i.e., encirclements).

The German offensive would have run out of steam at some point, but it would have faced a weaker Red Army over the winter and, consequently, a weaker Red Army in spring 1942.
A weaker Red Army might not try their Kharkov offensive alright. But that is not a panacea to the smorgasbord of problems, most notably, that the Soviet superiority could not be measured in comparing Soviet and German forces only. There were also the Romanian, Hungairan and Italian troops, which by the fall of 1942, covered hundreds of kilometers of the front, although their equipment was not suitable for the task. Even without the Caucasus adventure, if the Germans were to stop Uranus, they'd have to use substantial number of "divisions" to cover the line properly. I'd even wager that without meaningful straightening of the line, the abandonment of the whole Stalingrad and Caucasus offensive, the freed up German troops would only suffice to hold the line and prevent a major Soviet breakthrough.

Actually, German forces were desperately needed elsewhere on the front. The encirclement of Velikie Luki and the land corridor opened to Leningrad in Operation Iskra were all important defeats suffered by the Germans. In my estimation, the Germans had some breathing room between April and July 1942, and they should have used it to conduct operations that aimed to achieve the highest density of German troops facing the Soviets, using the best possible natural obstacles and utilizing the best possible logistical lines. Thus the Demyansk salient and the Rhzev salient had to be abandoned. Sevastopol should have been taken and the focus should have gone to Leningrad. If Leningrad was taken, which - by my estimation - could have been done, then the Germans could stabilize their front on a relatively straight line for 1943. If Africa was evacuated, it might even be possible to take the defense line to the Don in the south. If such a strategy was pursued, it would mean that the Soviets might not be able to break the Wehrmacht in 1943 and the Allies might not be able to land in Italy in 1943, thus the war would drag on for another year or so (until the Allies established air superiority over the continent, naval supremacy in the Pacific and the Soviets accumulated enough strength to destroy the Wehrmacht whereever they pleased).
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Mar 2023 17:01

Is this a shill for a banned member? It seems to be a remarkably similar argument.

No one has ever been able to explain to me how a buzzword like "rationalize" builds more tanks, airplanes, or ships?

Neither Fritz Todt nor Albert Speer expanded production of anything by rationalization. It was done by investing in expanding the plant capacity of various industries, which took time, labor, and money, usually given Germany's lack of resources, taken away from another part of the economy.
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by KDF33 » 31 Mar 2023 01:31

Richard Anderson wrote:
30 Mar 2023 17:01
It was done by investing in expanding the plant capacity of various industries, which took time, labor, and money, usually given Germany's lack of resources, taken away from another part of the economy.
The most determinative factor, AFAICT, was labor. It came mainly in the form of foreign workers, with Germany engaging in systematic deportations / importations of workers beginning in spring 1942.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 31 Mar 2023 02:12

Hello, Richard. I was wondering when you would show up. I'm sure we will have a productive discussion on this subject :)
Richard Anderson wrote:
30 Mar 2023 17:01
Is this a shill for a banned member? It seems to be a remarkably similar argument.
There are some similaritys between TMPs timelines and my own (economic re-organisation, and a larger OstHeer). But there are differences too. The point of departure (POD) for my timeline is in 1940, not in 1938. My timeline focuses on increased numbers of infantry divisions, moreso than panzer or motorised divisions. Moreover, the Germans still focus on waging a short summer campaign, rather than a two year war.

In my humble opinion, I believe my timeline is more realistic in the sense that it could have actually happened if someone in the OKH had been paying attention during the brainstorming sessions for an Eastern campaign. TMPs timelines rely on a certain degree of hindsight in order to work. They are very interesting in their own right, but they are more abstract in nature.
Richard Anderson wrote:
30 Mar 2023 17:01
No one has ever been able to explain to me how a buzzword like "rationalize" builds more tanks, airplanes, or ships?

Neither Fritz Todt nor Albert Speer expanded production of anything by rationalization. It was done by investing in expanding the plant capacity of various industries, which took time, labor, and money, usually given Germany's lack of resources, taken away from another part of the economy.
Because, wartime economys need to be organised and managed efficiently in order to maximise production. Germanys wartime economy was a mass of conflicting authoritys with overlapping responsibilitys which could overrule each other and throw armaments plans into chaos. There was no single authority to co-ordinate the different sectors of the economy and make all decisions pertaining to it. (Before Speer, the closest person who came to that was Goering, and he was a flop)

The entire system was a bureaucratic nightmare. How can could the Germans have a smooth running war economy with a system like that? They simply couldn't. Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union did not suffer from such a mismanaged economy. But you don't need to take my word for how rationalisation works. Here are a few quotes to clarify the matter (including one from Speer himself).


''On 3 December 1941, Hitler issued the Fuhrer order on the Simplification and Increased Efficiency in Armaments Productions which ordered Todt to rationalise the armaments industry. Thereafter there was a significant change in priorities. Industry accepted responsibility for raising levels of production with central direction coming from Todts ministry... In particular, Speer developed Todts plans for rationalisation of industry and the more efficient control of raw material distribution.'' -Germany 1919-45, by Martin Collier.

''Speer extended Todts system into a network of 'industrial self responsibility.' He formed thirteen vertical committees for managing the various kinds of weapons production, like the armor committee headed by Professor Ferdinand Porsche, and the army weapons committee headed by the Krupp managed, Erich Muller. The allocation of raw materials and intermediate goods were organized through a similiar number of horizontal committees, supported through the formation of a special section in the Speer ministry.'' -Punched-Card Systems and the Early Information Explosion, 1880–1945, by Lars Heide.

''But Dr. Todt himself had borrowed this idea. The real creator of the concept of industrial self-responsibility was Walther Rathenau, the great Jewish organizer of the German economy during the First World War. He realized that considerable increases in production could be achieved by exchange of technical experiences, by division of labor from plant to plant, and by standardization. As early as 1917 he declared that such methods could guarantee a doubling of production with no increase in equipment and no increase in labor costs.'' -Inside The Third Reich, by Albert Speer.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Mar 2023 05:11

KDF33 wrote:
31 Mar 2023 01:31
The most determinative factor, AFAICT, was labor. It came mainly in the form of foreign workers, with Germany engaging in systematic deportations / importations of workers beginning in spring 1942.
Sure but expanding the size and number of tank assembly plants helped and the same for the aircraft consortia. For example, Alkett's output went up as the size of its Borsigwald assembly halls went up, then went down when the principle one got bombed to smithereens. So they moved the mountain to Mohamed - by horse of all things - because they didn't have to repair the damage but rather moved final assembly to Falkensee where it also was conveniently next to a forced labor camp.
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Mar 2023 05:18

Avalancheon wrote:
31 Mar 2023 02:12
Hello, Richard. I was wondering when you would show up. I'm sure we will have a productive discussion on this subject :)
I don't honestly care that you are a shill; I was just commenting on the probability that you were. At least you could be honest enough to admit it. Oh, and stop with the walls of text that consist of nothing more than additional buzzwords that don't answer the question.

"organised and managed" isn't that from Speer?

"mass of conflicting authoritys [sic] isn't that from the USSBS?

Oh, here's the Speer quote..."''On 3 December 1941, Hitler issued the Fuhrer order on the Simplification and Increased Efficiency in Armaments Productions which ordered Todt to rationalise the armaments industry."

Buzzwords like "Fuehrer orders". "Simplification", "increased Efficiency", "rationalise", "maximise", and ad nauseum do not build tanks and et cetera. Factories, machine tools, workers, and a support system do.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

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Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 31 Mar 2023 07:10

Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Mar 2023 05:18
Avalancheon wrote:
31 Mar 2023 02:12
Hello, Richard. I was wondering when you would show up. I'm sure we will have a productive discussion on this subject :)
I don't honestly care that you are a shill; I was just commenting on the probability that you were. At least you could be honest enough to admit it.
How about no? I am my own person with my own agenda. I've been playing my hand at counterfactual history since about 2017. I used to post alot at AlternateHistory, and Historum. I came up with this ATL on my own as a challenge to see if a successful Barbarossa was possible.

Just because you have a grudge against a former user of this site doesn't mean you should try and shoehorn me into it.
Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Mar 2023 05:18
At least you could be honest enough to admit it.
Honest enough to accept your false dichotomy? In what world does that happen?

How about I make a false accusation about you and demand that you be honest enough to admit to it?
Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Mar 2023 05:18
Oh, and stop with the walls of text that consist of nothing more than additional buzzwords that don't answer the question.
My my, aren't we surly today. You demanded an answer for how rationalisation could lead to increased production, and I answered you with a short explanation backed up with books cites. You claim I've answered nothing, but you do not demonstrate why I'm wrong.
Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Mar 2023 05:18
"organised and managed" isn't that from Speer?

"mass of conflicting authoritys [sic] isn't that from the USSBS?

Oh, here's the Speer quote..."''On 3 December 1941, Hitler issued the Fuhrer order on the Simplification and Increased Efficiency in Armaments Productions which ordered Todt to rationalise the armaments industry."

Buzzwords like "Fuehrer orders". "Simplification", "increased Efficiency", "rationalise", "maximise", and ad nauseum do not build tanks and et cetera. Factories, machine tools, workers, and a support system do.
A production economy can be thought of as a triangle. On one side, you have industrial capacity and a labour force. On another side, you have supplys of raw materials. And on another side, you have the organisation of the economy itself.

Your focus is limited solely to industrial capacity and the labour force, and is therefore one dimensional. If you need real world examples of how rationalisation can lead to increased production, I will provide you with one. The Panzer III originally needed 4000 man hours of labour to produce, but after the introduction of flow production techniques, the labour needed was cut in half to 2000 man hours. That is the kindof results brought about by industrial self-responsibility, by the sharing of knowledge between firms, etc.

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