Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

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DavidFrankenberg
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 03 Nov 2018 12:31

Hi Art,

your data suggest that the weather deteriorated since the 10th september, not the 20th, in the Briansk-Orel-Tula Area.
Could you tell me if from 10 to 20 september did the german army advance in this area, please ?

Thank you very much for your great work

Art
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 03 Nov 2018 15:09

Guderian's 2 Panzer Group made an advance on the juncture between the South-West and Bryansk Front closing the pocket around Kiev, albeit slow and painful in difficult weather conditions.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 19 Nov 2019 06:36

About the delay :
1 May 15 was never chosen as the first day of the offensive
2 The works on the railroads had to be stopped in January 1941,and there was already a delay of one month
3 A report of the weather service of Army Group South from June 15 mentioned that the water level of the Bug was still 1,5 meter higher than in June 1940.
4 A report from June 17 said that the water levels had still not changed : the level of the San was still below normal, the level of the Bug still higher than normal .

There is not much imagination needed to envision the situation on May 15
Source : Geschichtsforum de .
Thread :Mai-Juni 1941 : geplantes Startdatum Unternehmen Barbarossa .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 25 Dec 2019 20:50

Polynikes wrote:
13 Oct 2015 17:51
Apologies if this has been resolved already - I didn't see anything specific in a search

OK, many have speculated what would have happened had Barbarossa been launched in May rather than late June 1941

The most commonly agreed answer is that the late Spring rains caused the operation to be delayed and the German operations in the Balkans/Greece to assist Italy are a red herring

However there are sources that state the Balkans campaign DID delay Barbarossa, one says by up to 5 weeks (von Paulus)

Is anyone aware of any prime sources that state the weather in the Western USSR was the prime concern in delaying the operation ?
You have another option :
- Hitler planned Barbarossa for june
- Hitler planned to conquer southeastern Europe before Barbarossa

So indeed there is no delay at all.

Hitler attacked just at the perfect moment for an attack over Russia : june. Napoléon did so too. And if you want to conquer Russia one day, you would attack in june too.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 25 Dec 2019 22:01

Hitler planned to attack the SU when the weather would allow it,which probably was between May 15 and June 15 .
The attack on Greece had no influence on the Barbarossa start date as Marita was decided in December . Neither did the attack on Yugoslavia : without this attack, it would still be June 22 .
The attack on Yugoslavia would only delay Barbarossa if Barbarossa was possible before June 22 ,without the attack on Yugoslavia ,for which there is no proof,and while the available informations indicate that an attack before June 22 was not possible, Yugoslavia or not .

TheSearcher1941
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by TheSearcher1941 » 13 Jan 2021 19:11

I may be posting in the wrong area. I am trying to find info about personnel and units, during Op. Barbarossa, July/Aug 1941, area of borowiki, belarus. Is there a source or a place to look?

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Jan 2021 21:44

Didn't read through the whole thread, which seems to be far off topic.

Based on a search of the thread it seems nobody has cited Hitler's Balkan Campaign and the Invasion of the U.S.S.R. by Andrew L. Zapantis. It's not a common book but was cited in GSWW vol.4; I found a copy in my university's library.

Zapantis traces the origin of the "swollen Eastern rivers in May and June 1941" narrative to postwar accounts by a few German generals, later picked up by Halder et. al. and disseminated through Halder's work as the U.S. Army's favorite Nazi/Historian. He documents that Halder never mentions this factor in his war diary, which does note overflying the rivers and fails to note any flooding in May/June. Likewise, other generals such as Guderian who cited eastern floods after the war make no mention of such conditions in contemporaneous documents.

Zapantis then obtained weather data for the areas and shows that conditions were actually slightly below normal for precipitation and flooding. I.e. the rivers were not swollen.

The book doesn't discuss the argument that Germany needed the extra 6 weeks or so of production to mount Barbarossa, however.
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Max Payload
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 23 Jan 2021 00:57

There are indeed no references to weather or ground conditions in Halder’s diary.
However on 27 March Halder wrote -
“1200 hrs: Called to the Reich Chancellory on account of Yugoslav coup d'etat.
1300 -1430: Fuehrer demands earliest possible march into Yugoslavia ...”

And the next day he wrote -
“1230 Reich Chancellery; (Myself, Paulus, Heusinger) :
....
Buhle: ...
f) Make preparations for reconditioning of tanks etc after Greek and Yugoslav campaigns.
g) Make best use of postponement of Barbarossa which gives us at least 4 weeks.”

It might be expected that if, just seven weeks before the due date for Barbarossa, a postponement to around mid-June had been forced on OKW/OKH as a direct result of unforeseen circumstances (the invasion of Yugoslavia), then it would have merited more than an oblique reference by Halder. One explanation may be that during the early spring German commanders were already finding reasons for a postponement to June and the unanticipated requirement at the end of March for an invasion of Yugoslavia proved to be a useful clinching argument.

Halder makes no further reference in his diary to the Barbarossa timetable until more than a month later -
“30 April 1941
...
1500. Report to Fuehrer:
1.) Timetable for Barbarossa:
Transport Echelon III. peacetime railroad schedule, 8 April -20 May: 17 Divs., GHq. troops from ZI and West.
Transport Echelon IV A, maximum railroad schedule, 23 May - 2 June: 9 Divs. and GHq. troops from West.
Transport Echelon IV B, maximum railroad schedule, 3 June -23 June: 12 Armd. Divs. and 12 mot Divs from ZI, West and Southeast.
Greater speed impossible because of transportation difficulties and time needed for refitting of units. No possibility to shift in time: Two Armd. Divs. (Second and Fifth), one mot.Div (60th).”

Abandonment of the mid-May target date, even if it came after 27 March, must have been decided long before commanders and meteorologists could make a meaningful judgement on likely ground conditions in the second half of May. If anticipated ground conditions were a factor at all, any assessment must have been on the basis of data from previous years when June would have almost invariably have been a better bet than May. And as Halder’s diary entry for 30 April makes clear, the 22 June date was entirely unrelated to consideration of the weather.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Jan 2021 05:38

Max Payload wrote:It might be expected that if, just seven weeks before the due date for Barbarossa, a postponement to around mid-June had been forced on OKW/OKH as a direct result of unforeseen circumstances (the invasion of Yugoslavia), then it would have merited more than an oblique reference by Halder.
Not sure that's entirely conclusive. Halder didn't always voice displeasure in his diary when we know he experienced it...

It's also quite likely that Halder felt no urgency about Barbarossa's start date. It was to be a quick campaign after all; 6 weeks from June 22 is still high summer. Good time for a stroll through a conquered Moscow.

In this relaxed atmosphere around the start date, a delay could have been noted as having benefits and drawbacks. 5 more weeks of production surely benefitted the army, something of which Halder would have been conscious.

I suspect the "swollen rivers" narrative was a convenient alibi for Halder et. al. in their postwar writings - something to foreclose inquiries about why they didn't show more urgency ahead of Barbarossa. Halder couldn't, after all, tell the truth and say he was a deeply racist German who imbibed Hitler's Nazi dogma about the primacy of will - that he therefore knew the Soviet Slavs would be pushovers. That would have made him less welcome in his postwar career as figurehead of the clean, pure Wehrmacht.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Max Payload
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 23 Jan 2021 09:40

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Jan 2021 05:38
Halder couldn't, after all, tell the truth and say he was a deeply racist German who imbibed Hitler's Nazi dogma about the primacy of will - that he therefore knew the Soviet Slavs would be pushovers. That would have made him less welcome in his postwar career as figurehead of the clean, pure Wehrmacht.
He was not averse to expressing his own opinions, and his diary speaks for itself -
“15 April 1941
...
Col. Toussaint (lately Mil.Attache in Belgrade) gives a dramatic account of his experiences previous to entry of German troops in Belgrade. There have been heavy civilian casualties and much material damage in the city; water and electric supply is disrupted. He shares my views concerning our further military action, which is no longer of the nature of a campaign, but rather a sort of liquidation in which there must be no let-up for even a moment, until the entire country, has been combed through. Anyone refusing to surrender should be left to starve.”

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Jan 2021 16:37

Max Payload wrote:He was not averse to expressing his own opinions, and his diary speaks for itself
I was addressing his postwar mythmaking in that comment, not his diary. There's enough in the diary to have justified letting Stalin or Tito execute him.

But postwar his mythmaking was more influential than the diary. That Nazi PoS actually got a medal from my country - only man to be decorated by Hitler and (via proxy) a U.S. president.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by historygeek2021 » 24 Mar 2021 21:25

Perhaps the main reason for the delay was the desire to secure more deliveries of raw materials from the Soviet Union. 6 weeks is a lot of deliveries.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 24 Mar 2021 21:56

historygeek2021 wrote:
24 Mar 2021 21:25
Perhaps the main reason for the delay was the desire to secure more deliveries of raw materials from the Soviet Union. 6 weeks is a lot of deliveries.
The deliveries of raw materials from the USSR had nothing to do with the failure of Barbarossa,or would have nothing to do with a success of Barbarossa : there is even no proof that the raw materials that were delivered during the delay,were used during and for Barbarossa .
From January 1 til June 22 1941 the SU delivered 250000 tons of fuel , = 40000 a month, while Germany produced/imported in 1941 8,3 million ton of fuel = 700000 a month .
A lot is very relative.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Aida1 » 25 Mar 2021 20:35

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Jan 2021 05:38

In this relaxed atmosphere around the start date, a delay could have been noted as having benefits and drawbacks. 5 more weeks of production surely benefitted the army, something of which Halder would have been conscious.

I suspect the "swollen rivers" narrative was a convenient alibi for Halder et. al. in their postwar writings - something to foreclose inquiries about why they didn't show more urgency ahead of Barbarossa. Halder couldn't, after all, tell the truth and say he was a deeply racist German who imbibed Hitler's Nazi dogma about the primacy of will - that he therefore knew the Soviet Slavs would be pushovers. That would have made him less welcome in his postwar career as figurehead of the clean, pure Wehrmacht.
Ilustrates a massive bias against Halder. :roll:

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Aida1 » 25 Mar 2021 20:43

historygeek2021 wrote:
24 Mar 2021 21:25
Perhaps the main reason for the delay was the desire to secure more deliveries of raw materials from the Soviet Union. 6 weeks is a lot of deliveries.
No. Halder simply made a calculation what time it would take to execute the balkan campaign and the time needed to refresh the units involved and this shifted the beginning of Barbarossa to june 22. This had some advantages(more time for equipment and training)and some drawbacks (Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion Boog/Foerster/Hoffmann/Klink/Ueberschar DVA 1983 p 319).

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