Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
MarkN
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by MarkN » 26 Oct 2015 15:47

steverodgers801 wrote:Mark, the fact that 12th army was not used in Russia, indicates it was not critical, ....
There are many who believe that it was not just critical, but also the reason why Germany lost the war. I am not one of those.

Nevertheless, the other poster, BDV has yet to clear up the confusion as to whether he is writing about just the 12th Army HQ with about 1,000 non-combat personnel or a 150,000+ strong combat formation.

steverodgers801
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by steverodgers801 » 26 Oct 2015 17:50

okay.

Alixanther
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 26 Oct 2015 22:32

About the lack of massive attack from Romania during early Barbarossa, it is because Hitler openly explained he saw the river Prut (not the Dniester which was the "old" border of Moldova / Moldavia / Moldau) as a massive obstacle in the way so he put all the offensive assets in Galicia before the actual offensive started.
Of course that doesn't mean there were not significant troops in Romania or no fightings at all - another fear of Hitler was that the Soviets might break through in Finland or Romania and cut them from the main effort to defeat the Soviets - that's why he advised Antonescu to keep his forces in defence to absorb high chance attacks. Actually, in the first weeks of combat, the massive concentration of "Soviet border troops" were able to cross the river Prut and create several bridgeheads in order to push forward only to be canceled due to general picture of other front failings. So much for "peace loving border troops who got surprised by the German attack"... They were SO surprised they somehow defended "their" land (the traits of land between Prut and Dniester were part of Moldova ergo Romania up to 1940 so it was not their land) by invading some more.
We (as in "we, the Romanians") should have 22 June as a celebration day, too. It delayed our country occupation of the Soviets by almost 4 years.

Our troops crossed the Soviet border long after Soviet troops crossed our border. And yet we were framed as "aggressors". Finland barely avoided the same ordeal by signing a separate peace treaty during the war.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ML59 » 29 Oct 2015 19:34

There is nothing Romanians should be proud of about what happened in 1941, a fascist-like dictatorial state that oppressed ethnic minorities and deliberately killed hundred of thousands of its citizens for racial reasons. Hope Romania now is a better place where to live.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 29 Oct 2015 21:51

Alixanther wrote:Actually, in the first weeks of combat, the massive concentration of "Soviet border troops" were able to cross the river Prut and create several bridgeheads in order to push forward only to be canceled due to general picture of other front failings. So much for "peace loving border troops who got surprised by the German attack"...
Actually it was the other way around. Romanian troops crossed the Prut River and captured bridgeheads on its western side. The only place where Soviet forces made a limited raid on Romanian territory was Lower Danube, it's a small but a well known episode.
Our troops crossed the Soviet border long after Soviet troops crossed our border.
That is not true. Romanian forces took part in hostilities from the early hours of 22.06.41:
Sunday, 22 June 1941. At 0300 hours, the first German and Romanian reconnaissance aircraft passed the Prut River and at 0315 hours the bombers were taking off from airfields in Moldavia, heading for Soviet airbases in Bessarabia, while the artillery had commenced pounding Red Army positions. The first line troops executed several incursions in the enemy lines.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 30 Oct 2015 00:18

Alixanther wrote: We (as in "we, the Romanians") should have 22 June as a celebration day, too. It delayed our country occupation of the Soviets by almost 4 years. ..... And yet we were framed as "aggressors".
Romania's war aims went way beyond the recovery of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina. Romania conspired with Germany to occupy and exploit vast swathes of Soviet territory.
An international commission report, accepted by the Romanian government in 2004, stated, "Of all the allies of Nazi Germany, Romania bears responsibility for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself. The murders committed in Iasi, Odessa, Bogdanovka, Domanovka, and Peciora, for example, were among the most hideous murders committed against Jews anywhere during the Holocaust."
"For what a man had rather be true he more readily believes."
Francis Bacon 1620

MarkN
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by MarkN » 30 Oct 2015 20:39

It's my belief that the 'Balkan operations' were used as a post-failure excuse (with others) by the OKW/OKH to explain away their inability to defeat the Russians before the winter set in.

The only way to argue that the 'Balkan operations' were a reason for the delayed start to Barbarossa is to demonstrate that divisions (or other units) due to be used in Barbarossa were otherwise engaged in the Balkans or recuperating from action there. Moreover, you would have to demonstrate that a/the delay was directly attributed to those divisions or other units identified being unready.

Has anybody ever seen an analysis along those lines? All I've ever read is a half-sentence by commentators pushing excuses in that direction without any evidence whatsoever to support their commentary.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 01 Nov 2015 14:27

Art wrote:
Alixanther wrote:Actually, in the first weeks of combat, the massive concentration of "Soviet border troops" were able to cross the river Prut and create several bridgeheads in order to push forward only to be canceled due to general picture of other front failings. So much for "peace loving border troops who got surprised by the German attack"...
Actually it was the other way around. Romanian troops crossed the Prut River and captured bridgeheads on its western side. The only place where Soviet forces made a limited raid on Romanian territory was Lower Danube, it's a small but a well known episode.
Our troops crossed the Soviet border long after Soviet troops crossed our border.
That is not true. Romanian forces took part in hostilities from the early hours of 22.06.41:
Sunday, 22 June 1941. At 0300 hours, the first German and Romanian reconnaissance aircraft passed the Prut River and at 0315 hours the bombers were taking off from airfields in Moldavia, heading for Soviet airbases in Bessarabia, while the artillery had commenced pounding Red Army positions. The first line troops executed several incursions in the enemy lines.
I'd say the other way around, too. Those bridgeheads were only allowed because of their small and probing status, not because of RKKA weakness. Your alleged "small episode" (what exactly is "small"? The size of the Soviet incursion? The strength of the Soviet incursion? The amount of time the Soviet incursion was dilly-dallying over the Prut?) put on alert not only the Romanian Army but the Heer too, who was pressed to send German reinforcements in Moldova, in case the front would break under Soviet pressure.

Also, I wasn't referring to air units which - obviously - could not operate at a national level on such a large front. They were integrated into operational German plans and used as such. Regarding "artillery pounding x and y" I'd say you're aware that this gentlemen exchange of shells was reciprocated almost at once, any Romanian calibre having a larger Soviet counterpart to respond to. Did you know that the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was actually initiating offensive operations from the Romanian territorial waters? Who was invading who?
Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote: We (as in "we, the Romanians") should have 22 June as a celebration day, too. It delayed our country occupation of the Soviets by almost 4 years. ..... And yet we were framed as "aggressors".
Romania's war aims went way beyond the recovery of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina. Romania conspired with Germany to occupy and exploit vast swathes of Soviet territory.
An international commission report, accepted by the Romanian government in 2004, stated, "Of all the allies of Nazi Germany, Romania bears responsibility for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself. The murders committed in Iasi, Odessa, Bogdanovka, Domanovka, and Peciora, for example, were among the most hideous murders committed against Jews anywhere during the Holocaust."
Oh, spare me the crap about "conspiring". Romania had little administration to spare for their rightful ownership of land. Antonescu grudgingly accepted to hold unto territories between Dniester and Dnieper, and only as a negotiation card for the Transylvanian loss during the unfair Vienna arbitrage. He publicly declared he had no intention of keeping those territories, which would only give trouble to his administration and little to no gain whatsoever.
Regarding your second quote, although it is off-topic, I'd say that the quote is correct but the manner of quoting is obscene. I see no reason that because of such murders we should not celebrate a bit of freedom we took ourselves from the Empire of Evil.
If you're ever curious about why some individuals took great length into getting long and personal with Soviet civilian population, you might want to dwelve into Soviet occupation of Bessarabia, which took part 1 year EARLIER (1940-1941). A lot of Romanian military personell had relatives in that area and witnessing the Soviet atrocities on our occupied territory, they probably felt the need to respond on the same note.
Take heed I'm not excusing anyone's actions (murders don't justify other murders) but if someone's relatives are found shot and / or tortured, you shouldn't be surprised by their reprehensible actions.
As regarding State - conducted operations, you also should be aware that Antonescu was de-facto dictator and he bore the responsibility for such actions. Any further questions?

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 02 Nov 2015 02:37

Alixanther wrote:. Antonescu grudgingly accepted to hold unto territories between Dniester and Dnieper, and only as a negotiation card for the Transylvanian loss during the unfair Vienna arbitrage.
When and to whom did he confide this cunning plan for a negotiating card? How was this card to be played - was Hungary supposed to exchange Transylvanian territory for Transnistria?
Alixanther wrote:He publicly declared he had no intention of keeping those territories, ....
When was this public declaration made - before or after November 1942?
Alixanther wrote: As regarding State - conducted operations, you also should be aware that Antonescu was de-facto dictator and he bore the responsibility for such actions.
Are you suggesting that Antonescu, having been in power for less than a year at the beginning of August 1941 (when Romanian forces crossed the Dniester) had such absolute dictatorial authority over the Romanian state that he could follow any course he chose without reference to anyone, and hence bore sole responsibility for the nation's policy decisions and actions? If so, how was he so easily dispensed with just three years later?
Alixanther wrote:Any further questions?
No.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 02 Nov 2015 08:44

Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote:. Antonescu grudgingly accepted to hold unto territories between Dniester and Dnieper, and only as a negotiation card for the Transylvanian loss during the unfair Vienna arbitrage.
When and to whom did he confide this cunning plan for a negotiating card? How was this card to be played - was Hungary supposed to exchange Transylvanian territory for Transnistria?
He confided this plan (which was tbh more naive than cunning) to politicians in the opposition (see his letters to Bratianu), to his personal adjutant (see his memoirs) and possibly even publicly. He told Hitler that Romania won't accept the loss of a portion of Transylvania at the end of the war. Hitler responded by saying "the issue remains open". There are countless sources where Antonescu scoffed at the acquisition of Soviet territory and only cared for territory inhabited by Romanian population ("Romania is not going to Russify itself in the East, nor Hungarize in the West" - aprox. quote from Antonescu)
Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote:He publicly declared he had no intention of keeping those territories, ....
When was this public declaration made - before or after November 1942?
You're naive if you consider that such declaration has anything to do with Stalingrad. You're also immensely naive if you consider that such a declaration would appease the Soviets. (the only variant you would possibly thought about) Otherwise, there's no reason for such a declaration, other than Romanian external policy, which cared only for national integrity, not economical expansion or other morganatic goals.
Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote: As regarding State - conducted operations, you also should be aware that Antonescu was de-facto dictator and he bore the responsibility for such actions.
Are you suggesting that Antonescu, having been in power for less than a year at the beginning of August 1941 (when Romanian forces crossed the Dniester) had such absolute dictatorial authority over the Romanian state that he could follow any course he chose without reference to anyone, and hence bore sole responsibility for the nation's policy decisions and actions? If so, how was he so easily dispensed with just three years later?
Antonescu's precarious position when he came to power (he got his mandate from the exiled king Carol the 2nd) was consolidated by his opportunistical decision to assume the leadership of a so-called "national legionnaire State". This was as delicate as coming into your bedroom and telling you I'd sleep on the street side. The Iron Guard saw the exit of the former king and the ensuing vacuum of power as their creation and expected no less than full participation to government after their "revolution". However, their "revolution" was hijacked by the military (isn't it always the case?) whom had Antonescu at the top.
Any concerns Antonescu might have had regarding his or his regime' popularity were dispelled after meeting with Hitler who assured him that most important was stability and - if this being the case - he would favour the regular military units in a clash with unregulated / mutinous / militia formations which reminded him somehow of the "S.A. putsch". Having got his carte blanche from Hitler, Antonescu then used any opportunity to smear his own "regime" with anything at all and putting the blame on the Iron Guard. When the confrontation finally came, the Iron Guard popularity was going down and his own popularity raised immensely because of the "patriotic war". If he ditched his self-assumed colleagues so light-heartedly, what makes you think there were others he might care about?

If you ask me why was he so easily dispensed with three years later, that's no simple answer, but it mainly boils down to external situation. Hitler was no longer a "regime daddy" for Antonescu and any opponents fearing a military counterstrike until then were free to put a plan to action. Not only that, but Antonescu himself authorised certain people to negotiate a war exit, which led political ambitions run wild.
There were 3 main factions involved into his demise: the king (and his entourage), the political opposition (which included some Army heads, mainly general Sanatescu) and the underground communist agents (who had no political power at the moment but with RKKA divisions knocking at the door they seemed a sensible faction to deal with).
If you want to develop this subject into a dedicated topic, we might do so.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 02 Nov 2015 08:57

Alixanther wrote: I'd say the other way around, too. Those bridgeheads were only allowed because of their small and probing status, not because of RKKA weakness.
That is not the thing discussed. The point was that Romanian armed forces attacked Soviet Union in cooperation with Germany virtually from the first minutes of the war. Hence the thesis about Romanian defensive war against foreign aggression cannot sustain the most elementary criticism. Then the statement "Our troops crossed the Soviet border long after Soviet troops crossed our border" is plainly wrong.
(what exactly is "small"? The size of the Soviet incursion? The strength of the Soviet incursion? The amount of time the Soviet incursion was dilly-dallying over the Prut?)
You claimed that the Soviet armed allegedly captured some bridgeheads over the Prut, so you tell me. It's the first time I hear about this. From what I know it was the other way around. The only incursion on Romanian territory I know was at the Danube delta:
In the Danube Delta, at 0300 hours, a powerful artillery preparation began in the positions of the Romanian marines in the Chilia Veche and Periprava sectors. Soviet units loaded on 8 armored patrol boats landed north of Chilia Veche, where the 15th Marine Battalion was located, while two armored patrol boats and two troops transports infiltrated on the Tataru arm and disembarked the troops behind the Chilia Veche positions. A part of the Romanian soldiers retreated to the Casla grind, but the majority were captured. The 15th Battalion lost 358 men (11 officers, 13 NCOs and 334 soldiers). The lack of AT guns that could have knocked out the armored patrol boats and the poor quality of the officers and men in the unit, led by lt. col. Ioan Albescu, led to this disaster.
Danube and Prut are different rivers.
The statement that about 30 Romanian and German divisions and brigades were hard pressed by an attack of several Soviet battalions is obviously absurd.
Did you know that the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was actually initiating offensive operations from the Romanian territorial waters?
From Romanian waters to what? Bulgaria? I don't see what it is supposed to prove anyway.

steverodgers801
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by steverodgers801 » 02 Nov 2015 19:57

considering that German planes were either operating from or over Rumania for the initial air attack including Sebastapol.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 03 Nov 2015 21:22

Art wrote:
Alixanther wrote: I'd say the other way around, too. Those bridgeheads were only allowed because of their small and probing status, not because of RKKA weakness.
That is not the thing discussed. The point was that Romanian armed forces attacked Soviet Union in cooperation with Germany virtually from the first minutes of the war. Hence the thesis about Romanian defensive war against foreign aggression cannot sustain the most elementary criticism. Then the statement "Our troops crossed the Soviet border long after Soviet troops crossed our border" is plainly wrong.
(what exactly is "small"? The size of the Soviet incursion? The strength of the Soviet incursion? The amount of time the Soviet incursion was dilly-dallying over the Prut?)
You claimed that the Soviet armed allegedly captured some bridgeheads over the Prut, so you tell me. It's the first time I hear about this. From what I know it was the other way around. The only incursion on Romanian territory I know was at the Danube delta:
In the Danube Delta, at 0300 hours, a powerful artillery preparation began in the positions of the Romanian marines in the Chilia Veche and Periprava sectors. Soviet units loaded on 8 armored patrol boats landed north of Chilia Veche, where the 15th Marine Battalion was located, while two armored patrol boats and two troops transports infiltrated on the Tataru arm and disembarked the troops behind the Chilia Veche positions. A part of the Romanian soldiers retreated to the Casla grind, but the majority were captured. The 15th Battalion lost 358 men (11 officers, 13 NCOs and 334 soldiers). The lack of AT guns that could have knocked out the armored patrol boats and the poor quality of the officers and men in the unit, led by lt. col. Ioan Albescu, led to this disaster.
Danube and Prut are different rivers.
The statement that about 30 Romanian and German divisions and brigades were hard pressed by an attack of several Soviet battalions is obviously absurd.
Did you know that the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was actually initiating offensive operations from the Romanian territorial waters?
From Romanian waters to what? Bulgaria? I don't see what it is supposed to prove anyway.
Soviet troops crossed our border in 1940, since the ultimatum. So that you may stop nedlessly contradict me.
It's been never in the tradition of RKKA to launch a lone operation on a small front, just for the kicks of it. So, believe me, even if we today don't exactly know the details, there were multiple instances of such operations. There were such discussions mentioned by Warlimont. Why do you think they discussed that? Because they never happened?
German artillery helped Romanian coastal batteries to repel the naval attack I mentioned earlier. If they were succesful, then Soviets transports would have poured in Dobrogea / Dobrudja. I know. Dobrogea is not Danube Delta, same as Danube is not Prut.
Soviet Black Sea Fleet offensive operations meant they were attacking the coast from deep inside our territorial waters, if you did not got it the first time you read.
I'm not saying we waited for their attack, I said that they initiated offensive operations against Romania the split second of it. That's reciprocated, simultaneous agression. They were not defending. They were attacking and they were in no way "surprised" as several Western historians claim.
The only surprise Soviets had was that they were beaten. They expected to repel the invasion right at the border.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 04 Nov 2015 08:58

Alixanther wrote: Soviet troops crossed our border in 1940, since the ultimatum.
I thought you are talking about 1941. If you want historical excursions then Romanian troops crossed the Russian border and occupied Bessarabia even earlier - in 1918. Both statements don't change the fact that in 1941 Romania opened hostilities and entered war by own initiative. The notion of their defensive war against aggression contradicts to the most elementary facts.
German artillery helped Romanian coastal batteries to repel the naval attack I mentioned earlier. If they were succesful, then Soviets transports would have poured in Dobrogea / Dobrudja
Their are nor reasons to believe it.
I'm not saying we waited for their attack, I said that they initiated offensive operations against Romania the split second of it. That's reciprocated, simultaneous agression. They were not defending.
They were in general defense. That after all was a task explicitly statedby Moscow. Nether any other known documents indicate any serious offensive intentions against Romania. So called offensive operations were in fact a local raid of several battalions in the Danube delta. Naval and air forces acted more actively but unrelated to ground operations. The notion that any offensive operations mean aggression is obviously wrong. Since Romania entered the war against the USSR her territory and troops became a perfectly legal target. It is worth to mention in this connection that soviet air forces bombed German territory from the early morning of 22.06.41. I'm leaving to readers to decide if it means that Germany was defending against Soviet aggression.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 09 Nov 2015 18:21

MarkN wrote:BDV has yet to clear up the confusion
It is your stated opinion that my opinion on some aspects of Maritsa/Unternehmen 25 and Barbarossa and lack of opinion on some others is
silly
.

So that's clear, as far as I'm concerned.


@ Art, Max

If what is good for the goose is good for the gander, Romania is just as justified in pursuing an intransigent policy against Soviet Union, as Great Britain and France against Germany in 1939. Actually more justified, given that Soviet aggression (in direct breach of Romanian-Soviet treaties signed in the 1930s) resulted in loss of Romanian territory to the Soviet Union. Such policy could conceivably include the execution of all Soviet State agents (e.g. Bolshevik Party members, Bolshevik sympathizers, and non-conscripted Soviet military personnel captured).

But as we know from Antiquity, the strong do as they want, the meek suffer what they must.


I am however miffed that the existence of the huge Soviet amphibious assault capacities does not illuminate to you the extent of Soviet ambitions and plans in that theater (we're talking landing infantry forces 100,000+ strong, after the materiel losses of 1941).
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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