Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

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ljadw
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by ljadw » 22 Feb 2019 12:37

Capturing the Suez Canal would not cut the British Empire in two;the importance of the Canal was in fact insignifiant .That Hitler dreamed of attacking the British positions in the ME from the Caucasus,proves only how hopeless German situation was before June 22 1941 .

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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Feb 2019 21:43

I agree with ljdaw on the Suez Canal issue. Most of the shipping was not carried out through it anyway, at least not until 1943. Don't forget that Crete was also in German hands.

The Axis-backed rebellions in the Middle East were swiftly suppressed in 1941, and from that point on, the Axis could have no hope left for disintegrating the British Empire in that theatre.

The main supply route there was the Persian Corridor anyway.

I also seriously doubt that Hitler really wanted to defeat the British Empire. I think he'd rather have peace with them, it was Churchill who wanted to fight. Hitler never really fueled the Axis against the British. He never really committed all of his forces against Britain. Even the Battle of Britain was a joke compared to any major operation in the SU. The ideology towards the British was broken somehow. They commanded the greatest empire after all. How could such a nation be inferior? And if they are not inferior but equals or supreme rather, why do they have to fight them?

Max Payload
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Max Payload » 24 Feb 2019 00:30

Peter89 wrote:
23 Feb 2019 21:43
Even the Battle of Britain was a joke compared to any major operation in the SU.
German aircraft lost/destroyed in BoB (Jul-Oct 1940) 2,069

German aircraft lost/destroyed in Barbarossa (Jun-Dec 1941) 2,093.

Nautilus
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Nautilus » 24 Feb 2019 00:32

Hitler obviously did not want to destroy the British Empire, even in the unlikely case this became somehow possible. He wanted to push them out of the war, to get rid of the Atlantic Front and the Strategic Bombing front.

But this relied on either cutting their supply line in the Atlantic (which didn't happen) or hitting an important strategic objective so hard the Government in London decided it was no longer worth it.

Incidentally, the second way he didn't even consider against the Soviet Union. For the Eastern Front, it was victory or death. Professional Generals actually expected it to happen (as von Manstein admitted - to hit so hard that it would end in a negotiated draw). The Führer didn't.

To close the pincers in the Middle East was a foolish fantasy.

First, to get the Suez Canal meant to bull through Egypt altogether. But there was no logical way to keep a lifeline back to Libya and not have the Anglo-American troops cut it as soon as possible. They still held the ports to the Mediterranean and the RN squadrons there. There were barely enough supplies to keep the Afrika Korps fighting even as they did in Real Life.

Second, to bull through Caucasus meant to move enough troops and supplies to fight through two mountain ranges. On a single rail line, in poor shape, under fierce attacks from the Soviets. They knew too well 3/4 of their entire oil supply came from Azerbaidjan. The perspective of being cut from it meant they were going to use each and any force useful, tooth and nail. There are about 1400km by rail from Kiev to Grozny and about 1300km from Kiev to Vienna, the closest industrial center in the Reich proper. The 6th Army in Stalingrad needed "modest" rations of 300 tonnes per day and subsisted on "starvation" deliveries of 70 tonnes per day. An Army Group on the move, replenishments of troops and heavy equipment considered, needed thousands of tonnes per day... 2700km away under constant raids and air attacks!? No way, man.

So Hitler's plan (exposed by telephone to von Manstein on 30 Nov 1942) could have never materialized.

Why did von Manstein even talk about it? Most likely to prove Hitler had already gone off his rocker by that moment.

A very able General (which they had) might have got into Cairo with a proper supply line (which they hadn't).

A realistic political chieftain (which they hadn't) could have avoided Stalingrad altogether. There were just a few factories inside, which turned quickly into rubble, no strategic ports, fortresses or even a point to control the riverine traffic on the Volga.

With better field armies (which they had) and competent generalship (which they had) could hold back Soviet forces which outnumbered them 6:1 as in the middle of Uranus. The one objective which got a net profit for Germany was the oil supply in Maikop and Grozny, if they could resume production soon. Keeping valuable troops 6 months in cruel, treacherous urban combat brought no profit at all. Just wasted time - time the leadership in Moscow needed to build up their own strength.

Peter89
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Peter89 » 24 Feb 2019 07:43

Max Payload wrote:
24 Feb 2019 00:30
Peter89 wrote:
23 Feb 2019 21:43
Even the Battle of Britain was a joke compared to any major operation in the SU.
German aircraft lost/destroyed in BoB (Jul-Oct 1940) 2,069

German aircraft lost/destroyed in Barbarossa (Jun-Dec 1941) 2,093.
Yeah I know.

How many AFVs were lost in BoB?
How many men?
How many artillery pieces?
How much ammunition?
Rolling stock, small arms, uniforms, horses?

When I wrote joke I didn't want to be disrespectful towards those who participated in it. I just wanted to point out that in terms of casualties the BoB did not put a heavy strain (comprable to Barbarossa, Blau, Sevastopol, Leningrad or Rhzev) on the Reich's war machine.

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Attrition
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Attrition » 24 Feb 2019 09:21

The German army and navy were irrelevant in the BoB, a 100% loss as far as grand strategy is concerned.

ljadw
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2019 09:22

The big importance of the Suez Canal existed only in the imagfination of the public and the politicians who were taking their informations from the tabloids .
Take oil ( the importance of which was much smaller than today ): in the thirties Britain imported on the average every year some 10/11 million ton, of which in 1937 only 23 % from Iraq/Persia , and I doubt that most tankers used the Canal .
Source : British oil policy 1919/1939 .
The Mediterranean itself also was not very important for Britain and it was discontinued as a passage to India and the Far East in June 1940 ,BEFORE the arrival of the Germans in Italy and NA .The reason was the Italian Decclaration of War .And when the Mediterranean was no longer used, the Canal also was no longer used .The supplies to the forces in NA were not going to Alexandria through the Canal,but were transported by railway through the desert .

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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Nautilus » 24 Feb 2019 11:40

Oil was of less importance for the British, since they could rely on then-inexhaustible supply from the USA and the Middle East.

Transport of oil and refined fuels by sea was not as easy as in the 2000s. Tankers were small, refineries were small and far apart, just as there were the storage facilities. This meaning the lifeline of oil could be cut much easier with a much stronger U-Boat fleet. (Which was to come far too late to do it.)

The Reich had a different problem, since they relied on two oil suppliers, Romania and Western Hungary, both not on par with the Allies' sources, and on oil transport by rail. Many times in the summer of 1942 the advancing armies on the Eastern Front had to call off major assaults and wait for fuel and other supplies. Which sapped the very idea of the Bewegungskrieg, to overwhelm a major enemy with a smaller force before he could react.

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Attrition
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Attrition » 24 Feb 2019 19:23

[quote=ljadw post_id=2190752 time=1550996576 user_id=37428]
The big importance of the Suez Canal existed only in the imagfination of the public and the politicians who were taking their informations from the tabloids .
Take oil ( the importance of which was much smaller than today ): in the thirties Britain imported on the average every year some 10/11 million ton, of which in 1937 only 23 % from Iraq/Persia , and I doubt that most tankers used the Canal .
Source : British oil policy 1919/1939 .
The Mediterranean itself also was not very important for Britain and it was discontinued as a passage to India and the Far East in June 1940 ,BEFORE the arrival of the Germans in Italy and NA .The reason was the Italian Decclaration of War .And when the Mediterranean was no longer used, the Canal also was no longer used .The supplies to the forces in NA were not going to Alexandria through the Canal,but were transported by railway through the desert .
[/quote]

I think that you'll find that the Suez Canal was quite busy from the other direction.

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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Hanny » 24 Feb 2019 19:30

https://www.bgs.ac.uk/downloads/start.cfm?id=2006

UK importy/exports etc in the 30s
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ljadw
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2019 20:01

In 1938 some 6000 ships passed through the Canal,from both sides,with some 17 million tons of freight .
50 % of these MV and freight were British ,which means that every day 8 British ships were leaving the Mediterranean through the Canal and 8 British ships were entering the Mediterranean through the Canal = 120 per week
In 1941 the transits ( from both sides ) were down to 1800 ships with 8,2 million tons of freight .Which means every week 18 ships entering and 18 ships leaving the Mediterranean through the Canal .
In 1941 the transits were only 30 % of 1938 ,the tonnage less than 50 %.

ljadw
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2019 20:16

Nautilus wrote:
24 Feb 2019 11:40
Oil was of less importance for the British, since they could rely on then-inexhaustible supply from the USA and the Middle East.

Transport of oil and refined fuels by sea was not as easy as in the 2000s. Tankers were small, refineries were small and far apart, just as there were the storage facilities. This meaning the lifeline of oil could be cut much easier with a much stronger U-Boat fleet. (Which was to come far too late to do it.)

The Reich had a different problem, since they relied on two oil suppliers, Romania and Western Hungary, both not on par with the Allies' sources, and on oil transport by rail. Many times in the summer of 1942 the advancing armies on the Eastern Front had to call off major assaults and wait for fuel and other supplies. Which sapped the very idea of the Bewegungskrieg, to overwhelm a major enemy with a smaller force before he could react.
The importance of the ME oil during and before the war was very ,very low : before the war Britain imported some 2,5 million ton of ME oil from Iraq and Iran ,who expoprted 13,5 million ton ,MOSTLY NOT TO BRITAIN .
During the war , Britain imported NO OIL from the Mediterranean .
I like to see proofs for the claim that in the summer of 1942 Blau was stopped temporarily because of oil shortage .
BTW : Germany's most important oil supplier was Germany itself ,Romania was secundary .
In 1933 Romania was good for 7 % of Germany's oil imports and for 6 % of its total oil
In 1934 : 8 and 7 %
In 1935 : 16 and 13 %
In 1936 : 21 and 18 %
In 1937 : 12 and 10 %
In 1938 : 8 and 7 %
In 1939 : 30 and 20 %
In 1940 : 65 and 20 %
In 1941 : 75 and 25%

Nautilus
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Nautilus » 24 Feb 2019 23:05

During Fall Blau, the supply of fuel to advancing units grew so dire even during the first phase of the operation that units of 6th Army had to literally stop in place, sitting ducks, on 11th-20th July 1942. Then the heavy vehicles of Army Group A stalled in the first days of August 1942 and only light units advanced. Then, Generaloberst von Kleist complained the 4th Panzer Army didn't move at all, but only "clogged the roads".

Now, if the most important combat arm on an open plain, the tanks, are stuck to clog the roads and don't manoeuver, as it's expected, what is their use at all!?

Soviets lacked the air supremacy the Western Allies had in 1944 over France. Otherwise, the stuck Panzer forces might have been slaughtered on the ground.

ljadw
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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by ljadw » 25 Feb 2019 08:08

Nautilus wrote:
24 Feb 2019 23:05
During Fall Blau, the supply of fuel to advancing units grew so dire even during the first phase of the operation that units of 6th Army had to literally stop in place, sitting ducks, on 11th-20th July 1942. Then the heavy vehicles of Army Group A stalled in the first days of August 1942 and only light units advanced. Then, Generaloberst von Kleist complained the 4th Panzer Army didn't move at all, but only "clogged the roads".

Now, if the most important combat arm on an open plain, the tanks, are stuck to clog the roads and don't manoeuver, as it's expected, what is their use at all!?

Soviets lacked the air supremacy the Western Allies had in 1944 over France. Otherwise, the stuck Panzer forces might have been slaughtered on the ground.
This was not caused by shortage of oil, but because of transport problems .And, when these problems were solved, 6th Army advanced again to Stalingrad .
It is also questionable to say that the advance of AGA was blocked because of fuel problems, because if the Soviets were defeated,there would be no fuel problems .But of course, the German generals preferred to say that they were blocked because of fuel problems .

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Re: Was Germany’s situation THAT bad in the summer of 1942?

Post by Nautilus » 25 Feb 2019 15:40

The Soviet Generals might have said the same: if they had the air power the Western Allies were going to have two summers later (but they didn't), they might have won the war in one campaign. Blow the German troops and heavy armament to pieces, barely opposed.

As it happens in Real Life, their air power was differently built, with other aircraft types, led under a different doctrine... and they didn't achieve the easy victory they might have needed.

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