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 » 25 Jan 2019 07:06

SloveneLiberal wrote:
23 Jan 2019 15:51
I want to warn that Caucasus oil fields were producing 80% of Soviet oil. That is a very important factor. Also German army in 1942 was accompanied by workers and engineers with the task of reparing the heavily damaged oil fields in Caucasus.
The 80% is a clincher, because what matters is not how much oil the Soviets produced, but how much oil they needed ,and, they finished the war with some 60 % of the 1940 oil production .
A lot of people start from the wrong assumption that the SU needed more oil in war than in before the war .And they give oil an importance it never had in WWII .
Take the SU : in 1940 its energy mix was : oil 18,7 %, wood 20%,coal 61 %,in 1945 it was : oil 15, wood 50 and coal 35 .
And the importance of the Caucasian oil for Germany was also very exaggerated : in the summer of 1942 Hitler said : I need the oil of the Caucasus or I must stop the war . He did not have the oil of the Caucasus ,but continued the war .
Last point ; even without the oil of the Caucasus, Germany succeeded into increase its oil profuction: from 8,6 million in 1942 to 10,3 in 1943 . And ... its military situation became worse .

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

Post by SloveneLiberal » 25 Jan 2019 11:10

But with just 20% of its oil Soviet Union really could not fight the war and recover from the effects of Barbarosa. Also German OKW concentrated armor and planes at the army group center which was contrary to the strategy of Hitler which wanted they would be concentrated mostly in the south for Ukraine, Donets Basin and Caucasus. He believed correctly that only economical blows can destroy Soviet Union.

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

Post by SloveneLiberal » 25 Jan 2019 11:22

But on the other hand you can see from Halders own diary that he was quite ignorant about economic aspects of war. In his note for the time 10. October-3. November 1941 he is clerly not seeing how important it was that the Soviets with great efforts but anyway were able to remove their war industry from Donets Basin to the land beyond Ural.

He was seeing at that time Soviet situation as very bad yet very soon german progress before Moscow was stopped and Red army even made then successeful counteroffensive.

Ther enemy, as was to be expected after the Kiev battle, was not
able- to defend the Ukraine with a continuous front. To gain
time, he is conducting a retrograde defensive. For my part
I believe that he is not in a position to hold more than
the Moscow region (Vologda, Moscow, Tambov) and the Caucasus;
he will have to abandon the intervening country which, on
the ' east, is bordered only by the steppee east of the Volga*
Of course, he will not do this simply by marching off, the
more so since' he is "Hist as much restricted in his movements
as we are However that may be, extensive evacuation movements from the Caucasus have been observed. Its hard to
say as yet how he will react in the Leningrad area*
I believe that he evacuating also that sector and withdrawing toward Ribinsk, in order to concentrate his entire
strength in the Moscow birdgehead, which is the terminal
point cf all railroad lines from Asia* He wil ltry to
conserve these forces and so preserve the possibility to
take the offensive again in1942, or even later, with his
strength regenerated through the resources of the Ural*
Meanwhile the Caucasus could be left to its natural defenses
and the help of the British and Americans*

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Jan 2019 11:57

Hi ljadw,

You post, "1 If Germany needed a lot of oil (which is not proved ),it would take years before this oil could be transported from the Caucasus to Germany."

Two things. Firstly, in six months of occupation, the Germans extracted no oil from the fields the Red Army sabotaged during its retreat, so, yes, we probably are talking significantly more than that to get significant amounts of oil to the Reich.

Secondly, Germany could always do with more oil. I had always believed that Germany ran its war with only about six months of oil reserves. If figures above on this thread are accurate, the real reserve was only 2-3 months. Either way, it is a very narrow margin to run a mechanized war on.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by ljadw » 25 Jan 2019 12:31

SloveneLiberal wrote:
25 Jan 2019 11:10
But with just 20% of its oil Soviet Union really could not fight the war and recover from the effects of Barbarosa. Also German OKW concentrated armor and planes at the army group center which was contrary to the strategy of Hitler which wanted they would be concentrated mostly in the south for Ukraine, Donets Basin and Caucasus. He believed correctly that only economical blows can destroy Soviet Union.
It is not proven that the loss of the Caucasus oil would mean the loss of 80 % of the Soviet oil,as the Soviets always could exploit new oilfields. Which they did . And they had big oil stocks .We also don not know if the SU needed more or less oil during the war,it is probably that it was less ,but,how much less ?
There is also the following : if the loss of the Caucasus would result in the collaps of the SU, when should this collaps happen to benefit to the Germans ? Immediately ? But if the Soviets continued the war for another year and gave up in the autumn of 1943 , what would be the benefit for Germany ?

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

Post by SloveneLiberal » 25 Jan 2019 12:45

Well indeed the Soviets after supposed lost of Caucasus would be able to get some oil from Iran because of joint British Soviet occupation of that country in the summer 1941 with the purpose to insure enough oil. Yet economical blow would be great anyway. If you combine this with the effects of losing war industry in Donetst Basin and Ukraine it is really doubtful if Soviet union was able to recover.

We can see Hitler quite ignorant or even stupid if we do not take in to the account his strategy to criple Soviet economy. He had racist plans for the occupied territories with the plan of expulsion, sterelization, germanization and killing of Slavs. It is clear that people would resist such plan. The benefit of liberating them from totalitarian communist regime of Stalin is clearly lost on that way. Also Japan was not ready to listen him and attack Soviet union in the far east. Yet Hitler was having indeed a strategic plan how to put Soviet union on its knees.

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

Post by ljadw » 25 Jan 2019 12:57

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Jan 2019 11:57
Hi ljadw,

You post, "1 If Germany needed a lot of oil (which is not proved ),it would take years before this oil could be transported from the Caucasus to Germany."

Two things. Firstly, in six months of occupation, the Germans extracted no oil from the fields the Red Army sabotaged during its retreat, so, yes, we probably are talking significantly more than that to get significant amounts of oil to the Reich.

Secondly, Germany could always do with more oil. I had always believed that Germany ran its war with only about six months of oil reserves. If figures above on this thread are accurate, the real reserve was only 2-3 months. Either way, it is a very narrow margin to run a mechanized war on.

Cheers,

Sid.
I have to disagree as one never could predict how long the oil stocks would last, because one could not predict what the oil consumption would be in the future, even near future . All these predictions were only wild guesses : 2/3 months is meaningless : if there was bitter fighting, it would be less than 2/3 months, if there was only little fighting, it would be more than 2/3 months .
Take aviation fuel : at the end of 1939 the stocks were 511000 tons,which was sufficient for 7 months of consumption in 1940,at the end of 1940,the stocks were sufficient for 6 months consumption in 1941,at the end of 1941 there were sufficient for 2 months in 1942, but if the war in the east was over in 1941, the consumption in 1942 would be much lower and the stocks would last longer,at the end of 1942, the stocks were sufficient for 2 months in 1943,at the end of 1943 for 4 months in 1944 .
We should not forget that what for us is the past,was the future for the Germans .

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

Post by Max Payload » 26 Jan 2019 01:42

On the afternoon of 30 June 1941 Hitler met with Halder who recorded in his diary that Hitler had emphasised that;
“He [Hitler] attaches great importance to reaching Leningrad as soon as possible with the infantry divisions of AGN but armour need not wait for their advance. He does not see clearly yet whether Leeb’s strength, especially his armour, is sufficient, for the purpose. He expects that after reaching Smolensk in the 'middle of July, we would not
be able to take Moscow by infantry assault before August; armour alone cannot do it. The time it takes for the
infantry to get to Moscow, he believes, could be utilized by our armour to make a clean slate in the north. Then we
could mass armour east of Moscow.” (My emphasis)
SloveneLiberal wrote:
24 Jan 2019 11:03
Well you can see from Hitler's orders that he wanted the seizure of Caucasus in 1941, that for him the priority was not Moscow but rather south with Donets Basin, Ukraine and Caucasus that he was thinking generals responsible for Barbarosa are not paying enough attetion to economic aspects of war.
SloveneLiberal wrote:
25 Jan 2019 11:10
He believed correctly that only economical blows can destroy Soviet Union.
It would be wrong to suggest that Hitler was wisely fixated on economic targets throughout and that had his generals shared his vision Germany would have seen a better outcome. Certainly Hitler wanted to seize the economic resources of European Russia and the Ukraine - coal, timber, minerals, agriculturally productive land and, yes, oil reserves - but the primary objective of Hitler’s Barbarossa planning was the annihilation of the Red Army in the first month or two of the operation, from which all else would follow. At the end of June 1941, according to Halder (above), Hitler clearly considered Moscow a priority objective. By August and the ‘turn to the south’ he was more concerned with economic objectives (though not specifically the seizure of oil fields). By September an offensive towards Moscow had become his priority. So it is perhaps not surprising that by November, when Moscow was proving to be a particularly tough nut to crack and the whole enterprise was starting to take a sinister turn, the idea of crippling the Soviet Union economically should be revived.
SloveneLiberal wrote:
24 Jan 2019 11:03
So let us leave to the judgement of individuals what went wrong. :)
Indeed :wink:

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

Post by SloveneLiberal » 26 Jan 2019 11:57

Ok but in the same note Halder is first mentioning that Hitler stressed the importance of Ukraine food and industry. Also it should be taken in to the account that at that time they were all thinking they will be able to reach their objectives very quickly. I see this more in the way that Hitler was thinking Moscow will be reached only after Ukraine and its soviet war industry.

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

Post by offizier1916 » 27 Jan 2019 12:44

A litte bit off Topic, but it might be interesting for some of you.
Ive just watched a very interesting german documentary about Stalingrad from 1983. Guests were Soldiers and Officer (for example Major i.G. Graf Kielmansegg; then Gruppenleiter in the OKH; Oberst Johannes Crome, then Chef des Stabes IV Armeekorps in Stalingrad; General Theodor Busse, then Oberst and Ia of Heeresgruppe Don under von Manstein).
Kielmansegg emphasized that Hitler made two big mistakes. The first mistake was clearly to split the Heeresgruppe Süd into two pieces in the Summer of 42. The forces were not strong enough to reach either objective. The supply lines were way overstretched, the forces to weak. The Russians learned from their errors in 1941 and just retreated in the vast steppes and prevented encirclement, while the Wehrmacht desperately tried to take them into a decisive battle. The second big error was obviously to misinterprete the signs of the possibility of a russian counterattack in mid November against against the Rumanians and Italians. Kielmanssegg said, that it was not the fault of the rumanian or italian soldiers, but you simply cant deny that these countries and armies were very very bad equipped, they were fighting rather a war of the first than of the second world war with their antiquated equippement. Furthermore they frontline was, as already stated, way overstretched.

As the encirclement was finished, officers of the OKH and of the Heeresgruppen A/B/Don new that the 6th Army had to break out immediatly. Staff Officers and Front Officers of the Luftwaffe knew that they could not provide such a big Army with enough supplies. But Hitler and Göring didnt believe them. Hitler emphasized the Demjansk-Kessel at the beginning of 1942, where the Luftwaffe managed to supply the encircled troops. But first of all, in Stalingrad were 3x more soliders to supply and second of all, the geographical location was different. While during the Demjansk-Kessel soviet troups could not build up an effective anti-Aircraft Barrage due to big and vast forests, the situtation in Stalingrad was different. The vaste steppe and Tundra of the Kaukasus was perfect for building up anti-Aircraft barrages. But Hitler believed in Görings stupidity. Another factor was, that Hitler, during his yearly speech on 8/11/1942, informed the world and especially the german people that Stalingrad was basically already in german hands. In his eyes he could not break this promise. The 6th army was doomed.


Theodor Busse had a different approach. In his opinion, as the encirclement was already finished and set, the 6th Army had an important role for the whole southern Ostfront. He emphasized that the 6th army hold for 2 month against an opponant that was 3-4x stronger. This time period was desperately needed to retreat the Heeresgruppe A from the Kaukasus and to build up a front line at the Donbass area. So for Busse, the self-sacrifice of the 6th army was a key factor to stabilize the southern Ostfront.

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

Post by ljadw » 27 Jan 2019 17:07

This is the conventional story that one is repeating us sinds 70 years, but this story is very questionable .

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Jan 2019 11:13

Hi ljadw,

You post, "one never could predict how long the oil stocks would last", but one can say with almost absolute certainty that, under almost any circumstances, the more the merrier if one wanted complete freedom of action. Germany never had this.

You post, ".....one could not predict what the oil consumption would be in the future, even near future". This is not absolutely true. All planning has partly to be made on such predictions. If you haven't enough fuel, you have to forego certain strategic options. Germany had the strategic initiative until late 1942, and so was deciding which strategic options to take rather than having them forced on it. In 1941 it had enough resources to advance across the whole Eastern Front. In 1942 it could only advance in the southern third. It was no coincidence that this 1942 offensive was aimed at the Caucasus oil fields and that oil experts followed that advance.

The 2/3 months is not a prediction. It is presented above in the statistics given earlier of the actual situation, not a predicted one.

You know all this to be true because you yourself write. ".....if there was bitter fighting, it would be less than 2/3 months, if there was only little fighting, it would be more than 2/3 months." 2/3 months is precious little reserve.

The problem (and sometimes advantage) for Germany was that Hitler was a high risk player who pushed his resources to the limit reperatedly. This had the advantage of surprise in 1939-41, but the disadvantage of over reach from 1942.

You post, "We should not forget that what for us is the past, was the future for the Germans." I think we all know that truism.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Hanny » 28 Jan 2019 11:17

ljadw wrote:
25 Jan 2019 12:57
I have to disagree as one never could predict how long the oil stocks would last, because one could not predict what the oil consumption would be in the future, even near future .
Planners predicted consumption on several possible expenditure rates in wartime compared to peacetime. But for operational planning they used last years consumption, not the unknown of future years.

OKW Command study in May of 1941 noted that with monthly military requirements for 7.25 million barrels and imports and home production of only 5.35 million barrels, German stocks would be exhausted by August 1941.

ljadw wrote:
25 Jan 2019 12:57
Take aviation fuel : at the end of 1939 the stocks were 511000 tons,which was sufficient for 7 months of consumption in 1940,at the end of 1940,the stocks were sufficient for 6 months consumption in 1941,at the end of 1941 there were sufficient for 2 months in 1942, but if the war in the east was over in 1941, the consumption in 1942 would be much lower and the stocks would last longer,at the end of 1942, the stocks were sufficient for 2 months in 1943,at the end of 1943 for 4 months in 1944 .
So, your saying stocks were insufficient for combat operations from the begging and got worse. So your arguing against yourself. Also your maths is out, doing it the way you describes yields 7 6 1 not 7 6 2 for 40-42.


1939 511000 stocks
1940 production exceeds consumption by 133000, stocks rise to 644000 ( includes captured stocks, without it it looks lame)
1941 consumption exceeds production by 364000, stocks drop to 280000
1942 production exceeds production by 46000, stocks rise to 326000
1943 production exceeds production by 92000, stocks rise to 418000
1944 consumption exceeds production by 298000, stocks drop to 120000


monthly consumption of av gas
1940 72000
1941 106000
1942 119000
1943 152000
1944 117000

Monthly production of av gas
1940 83000
1941 76000
1942 123000
1943 160000
1944 92000

39-44 consumption was 391000 higher than production.

https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/l ... 42&slide=0
1940 3714
1941 5409
1942 4680
1943 5725
1944 7211

Monthly Fuel consumption/ LW strength/ (to allow sorties as a ratio of fuel limitations )to LW strength, 40 and 44 were roughly the same fuel rates, 41 to 43 50% higher rate.

1940 13
1941 23
1942 21
1943 23
1944 16
Last edited by Hanny on 28 Jan 2019 11:39, edited 2 times in total.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Jan 2019 11:19

Hi ljadw,

You post, "This is the conventional story that one is repeating us sinds 70 years, but this story is very questionable."

Something becomes convention through absorbing additional information that supports or detracts from it and through repeated testing and modification.

There is therefore much to be said for convention most of the time and no inherent merit in challenging it without an equally well tested alternative.

And, on the comparatively rare occasions that a convention is successfully challenged, that becomes the new convention.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Hanny » 28 Jan 2019 11:34

ljadw wrote:
25 Jan 2019 07:06

And the importance of the Caucasian oil for Germany was also very exaggerated : in the summer of 1942 Hitler said : I need the oil of the Caucasus or I must stop the war . He did not have the oil of the Caucasus ,but continued the war .
Not exaggerated by the leaders and planners of the Reich. They all knew without it, a military victory was very unlikely.


Halder emphatically stated to the OKH Naval Liaison Officer, that the conquest of the Caucasus was 'absolutely vital' for Germany's continued war effort.If the oilfield were notcaptured, 'the Reich will not survive long'

AH "If i do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozney , i must end this war." 2nd Feb 1942.

General der InfanterieGeorg Thomas, head of the War Economy and Armaments Office, had warned both Goring and Keitel in a detailed report that stocks would be exhausted by late October.
" If this is not successful, we must expect the most serious repercussions, with unpredictable consequences for military operations after 1.9.41 and for the survival of the economy".

He was very close, Opel stopped building trucks in Nov, as the economy fuel allocation went down to 20% of 39 levels.

Ribbentrop "The only way out of the suituation, would be to seize more terrortories rich in oil"

Raeder "The oil situation is very critical, the naval requirements have been cut by 50% thus has imposed an intolerable restriction on our vessels"
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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