The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 10 Oct 2019 18:18

Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:57
No falsehood.
Falsehood. You claimed l wrote it. Twice. Falsehood followed by falsehood
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:57
Did not notice ....
That would appear to be a common trait of yours.
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:15
In the article 'Foreign armies east and German Military intelligence in Russia 1941-1945 'by David Thomas published in Journal of contemporary history vol 22, no 2, the following is stated on p 288 :" To conclude, the poor performance of FHO in evaluating the capabilities and the strength of the Red Army in connection with the planning of Barbarossa is beyond dispute."
On Page 279 it is written:" Between july and december 1941,FHO issued a number of inaccurate intelligence estimates , which nourished the overconfidence of OKH and the Fuhrer, and resulted in errors of German strategy and operational conduct at decisive moments in the campaign."
The article contains lots of details about the activities of FHO.The underestimation of red army strength in 1941 is in there too.
Excellent. Finally, perhaps, we can get a discussion going that actually helps understanding of historical reality.

But first, a couple of points from my side.

Your claim(s) in this thread regarding FHO's "far underestimation" have come across referring to the planning of BARBAROSSA before it started. Briefings by FHO after 22 June 1941 are a different story. Remember, you excused their alleged failings referencing Pahl and limited intelligence gathering before the invasion had started.

Second, my argument will be that the FHO certainly did underestimate Red Army fighting capabilities after BARBAROSSA had commenced, but that this was down to an institutional attitude throughout the Heer officer clique. In effect, it was not an FHO failure to interpret data and the situation correctly, it was a Heer-wide failure.

Now, to your post.

Thomas writes - regarding planning prior to BARBAROSSA start - "To conclude, the poor performance of FHO in evaluating the capabilities and the strength of the Red Army in connection with the planning of Barbarossa is beyond dispute." Unfortunately, his own text contradicts this. His analysis of a FHO document dated 15 January 1941 produces a Red Army on 22 June 1941 6.2 million strong (p.276). Subsequent FHO documents over the next 6 months period prior to BARBAROSSA start increase that number further. In reality, the Red Army had about 5.5 million in uniform on 22 June 1941. Underestimate?

Similarly, Thomas notes that the Red Army could mobilize a further 11-12 million. In reality, before the winter, the Red Army had not mobilized that many. Underestimate?

He also describes the FHO assessment of Soviet military strategy. On close examination, the FHO analysis was rather accurate. However, one the battle had started the Red Army was not able to effect it satisfactorily so it looked like they were dping something different.

The failings of FHO analysis prior to 22 June 1941 were common failings thrpughput the Heer. The underestimated Red Army motives, desires and fighting spirit. This was analysis not based upon data but upon Heer group think.

Thomas also writes, "Between july and december 1941,FHO issued a number of inaccurate intelligence estimates , which nourished the overconfidence of OKH and the Fuhrer, and resulted in errors of German strategy and operational conduct at decisive moments in the campaign." Indeed they did. But all of these were the same failures as before, commentary based on Heer group think not data.

The failure of intelligence was a failure of the Heer collectively to grasp that the Soviet troupie was not a barbarous sub-human, that he was not going to turn against the Communist leadership at the first opportunity and that he was prepared to fight and die for his motherland.

Thomas writes, and l agree with this (pp.274-275),
The planning and preparation of Barbarossa were influenced strongly by the traditional Russland-Bild of the Generalstab. Accord- ing to this picture, the Soviet Union, like Czarist Russia, was a 'colossus of clay', which would break asunder under a swift, strong blow from the outside. In the view of several leading German generals, the Red Army in 1940-41 was clumsy, incapable of operational initiative at all command levels, habituated to mechanical military planning and operational conduct, and in general unprepared to wage modern warfare. The poor performance of Soviet forces in Poland and Finland was adjudged prima facie evidence that the Red Army neither had recovered from the decimation of its officer corps in the purges, nor had assimilated the new military technologies that it was known, or suspected, to be developing. The swiftness and ease of the victory in 1940 over France (the strongest military power in Europe, according to the conventional wisdom) confirmed OKH in the belief that German military-technical superiority and leadership would ensure a swift, effective result against the Soviet Union. The planning documents for Barbarossa and the official statements and diary entries of ranking German generals regarding the feasibility of the undertaking combine to suggest that OKH, the WFST, and the Generalstab viewed the problem of an attack on the Soviet Union as essentially a matter of the correct operational preparation. In general, the evaluation of the Red Army by FHO before 22 June 1941 furnished no corrective to the erroneous Russland-Bild that informed German military thinking. On the contrary, the FHO assessment of Soviet military capabilities re-affirmed the traditional German picture and served up additional justification for the optimism prevailing in OKH.
For me, the failure to interpret and understand the information was not a failure of FHO intelligence analysis, it was a failure of Heer hubris, delusion, racist sense of superiority and group think.

Max Payload
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Max Payload » 10 Oct 2019 20:06

MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 12:14
As part of your narrative to excuse the Heer's military failure, you blame mud, cold weather, Hitler and faulty intelligence provided by FHO. Rejigging the thrust of the latter by saying the FHO's failings were understandable does not cut the mustard.
Putting the mustard to one side, there is no logical contradiction between those two sentences.
But the pre-invasion intelligence - the FHO estimate of April ‘41 - was not that wide of the mark, and even the somewhat downgraded estimate Halder quoted on the eve of Barbarossa (154 Infantry Divs, 25-26 Cavalry Divs and 37 Motorised/mechanised Brigades in ‘European Russia’) was, in terms of the frontier armies and the operational echelon, hardly an underestimation. It’s only if you include the 57 divisions of the High Command Reserve that Halder’s figures could be said to have been a significant underestimate.
The post-invasion FHO assessments were less accurate because of the unexpected rate at which the RA could generate and commit reserve divisions.

Aida1
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Aida1 » 10 Oct 2019 20:38

MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 18:18
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:57
No falsehood.
Falsehood. You claimed l wrote it. Twice. Falsehood followed by falsehood
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:57
Did not notice ....
That would appear to be a common trait of yours.
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 16:15
In the article 'Foreign armies east and German Military intelligence in Russia 1941-1945 'by David Thomas published in Journal of contemporary history vol 22, no 2, the following is stated on p 288 :" To conclude, the poor performance of FHO in evaluating the capabilities and the strength of the Red Army in connection with the planning of Barbarossa is beyond dispute."
On Page 279 it is written:" Between july and december 1941,FHO issued a number of inaccurate intelligence estimates , which nourished the overconfidence of OKH and the Fuhrer, and resulted in errors of German strategy and operational conduct at decisive moments in the campaign."
The article contains lots of details about the activities of FHO.The underestimation of red army strength in 1941 is in there too.
Excellent. Finally, perhaps, we can get a discussion going that actually helps understanding of historical reality.

But first, a couple of points from my side.

Your claim(s) in this thread regarding FHO's "far underestimation" have come across referring to the planning of BARBAROSSA before it started. Briefings by FHO after 22 June 1941 are a different story. Remember, you excused their alleged failings referencing Pahl and limited intelligence gathering before the invasion had started.

Second, my argument will be that the FHO certainly did underestimate Red Army fighting capabilities after BARBAROSSA had commenced, but that this was down to an institutional attitude throughout the Heer officer clique. In effect, it was not an FHO failure to interpret data and the situation correctly, it was a Heer-wide failure.

Now, to your post.

Thomas writes - regarding planning prior to BARBAROSSA start - "To conclude, the poor performance of FHO in evaluating the capabilities and the strength of the Red Army in connection with the planning of Barbarossa is beyond dispute." Unfortunately, his own text contradicts this. His analysis of a FHO document dated 15 January 1941 produces a Red Army on 22 June 1941 6.2 million strong (p.276). Subsequent FHO documents over the next 6 months period prior to BARBAROSSA start increase that number further. In reality, the Red Army had about 5.5 million in uniform on 22 June 1941. Underestimate?

Similarly, Thomas notes that the Red Army could mobilize a further 11-12 million. In reality, before the winter, the Red Army had not mobilized that many. Underestimate?

He also describes the FHO assessment of Soviet military strategy. On close examination, the FHO analysis was rather accurate. However, one the battle had started the Red Army was not able to effect it satisfactorily so it looked like they were dping something different.

The failings of FHO analysis prior to 22 June 1941 were common failings thrpughput the Heer. The underestimated Red Army motives, desires and fighting spirit. This was analysis not based upon data but upon Heer group think.

Thomas also writes, "Between july and december 1941,FHO issued a number of inaccurate intelligence estimates , which nourished the overconfidence of OKH and the Fuhrer, and resulted in errors of German strategy and operational conduct at decisive moments in the campaign." Indeed they did. But all of these were the same failures as before, commentary based on Heer group think not data.

The failure of intelligence was a failure of the Heer collectively to grasp that the Soviet troupie was not a barbarous sub-human, that he was not going to turn against the Communist leadership at the first opportunity and that he was prepared to fight and die for his motherland.

Thomas writes, and l agree with this (pp.274-275),
The planning and preparation of Barbarossa were influenced strongly by the traditional Russland-Bild of the Generalstab. Accord- ing to this picture, the Soviet Union, like Czarist Russia, was a 'colossus of clay', which would break asunder under a swift, strong blow from the outside. In the view of several leading German generals, the Red Army in 1940-41 was clumsy, incapable of operational initiative at all command levels, habituated to mechanical military planning and operational conduct, and in general unprepared to wage modern warfare. The poor performance of Soviet forces in Poland and Finland was adjudged prima facie evidence that the Red Army neither had recovered from the decimation of its officer corps in the purges, nor had assimilated the new military technologies that it was known, or suspected, to be developing. The swiftness and ease of the victory in 1940 over France (the strongest military power in Europe, according to the conventional wisdom) confirmed OKH in the belief that German military-technical superiority and leadership would ensure a swift, effective result against the Soviet Union. The planning documents for Barbarossa and the official statements and diary entries of ranking German generals regarding the feasibility of the undertaking combine to suggest that OKH, the WFST, and the Generalstab viewed the problem of an attack on the Soviet Union as essentially a matter of the correct operational preparation. In general, the evaluation of the Red Army by FHO before 22 June 1941 furnished no corrective to the erroneous Russland-Bild that informed German military thinking. On the contrary, the FHO assessment of Soviet military capabilities re-affirmed the traditional German picture and served up additional justification for the optimism prevailing in OKH.
For me, the failure to interpret and understand the information was not a failure of FHO intelligence analysis, it was a failure of Heer hubris, delusion, racist sense of superiority and group think.
The total number of divisions was far underestimated which is not surprising as the information was lacking about what was available deeper in the USSR. The regenerative power was massively underestimated. If it had been as low as estimated then the red army would have been destroyed after the massive losses in the beginning. Given how badly the red army was beaten in the beginning of Barbarossa, the qualitative judgment on the red army by FHO was closer to the truth than you would think.
Given the estimates as they were, it was not abnormal for the high command to think that the red army could be destroyed in one campaign.

MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 10 Oct 2019 21:57

Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
But the pre-invasion intelligence - the FHO estimate of April ‘41 - was not that wide of the mark,...
Quite so. The May and June briefings got even closer. Where one column was a bit short, it was made up in another. As Thomas shows, even as early as January 1941, the FHO estimates on total numbers actual and potential after mobilization exceed reality. They didn't underestimate at all the numbers.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
and even the somewhat downgraded estimate Halder quoted on the eve of Barbarossa (154 Infantry Divs, 25-26 Cavalry Divs and 37 Motorised/mechanised Brigades in ‘European Russia’) was, in terms of the frontier armies and the operational echelon, hardly an underestimation.
Precicisely.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
It’s only if you include the 57 divisions of the High Command Reserve that Halder’s figures could be said to have been a significant underestimate.
Correct. FHO had not picked up the move into STAVKA strategic reserve four Armies ordered westwards in late May and early June. Off the top of my head, 16., 19., 21. And 22.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
The post-invasion FHO assessments were less accurate because of the unexpected rate at which the RA could generate and commit reserve divisions.
This is where I start to disagree.

BARBAROSSA was planned as a quick campaign. One of the key drivers of this strategy was to get to the Volga before the Soviets could properly mobilize. Hopefully catch a good few formations whilst in the process of mobilization. But the key element of the plan was to destroy the bulk of the Red Army in the first bound. Now, I think it reasonable to assume they meant the Red Army formations in 'European CCCP' not the entire CCCP for practical reasons.

If you take the FHO formation estimates circa May/June 1941, you are looking at about 3.5 to 4 million troops in all in European CCCP. The BARBAROSSA plan was predicated on destroying the bulk of that in the first bound. The first bound should have been a fight against 3.5 to 4 million. In reality, they faced about a quarter of that - and failed even to destroy the bulk of that much smaller number. They, like so many people today, were seduced by the big numbers and failed to spot the wood for the trees. The first bound was a massive failure. The 3 million they captured in 1941 was, according to BARBAROSSA requirements, the sort of number they needed to capture in the first month alone.

They were surprised by the numbers faced in the second and third bounds and blamed it on faulty intelligence when the large numbers were a product of not having the fight that they should have had with 4 million in the first bound. For example, in May, STAVKA had quietly called up two tranches of reserve troops 500,000 and 300,000 to start filling out the peacetime troop levels of frontline units. FHO picked up the 500,000 and briefed it in May. But those troops had not been sent forward. So, instead of coming up against them in the first bound, they were filling out the reforming shattered divisions of the second bound.

By December, they were facing troops up and down the line that they should have overrun in the middle of forming 2-3 months earlier or troops that should be staring them down across the Volga.

MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 10 Oct 2019 22:00

Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
But the pre-invasion intelligence - the FHO estimate of April ‘41 - was not that wide of the mark,...
Quite so. The May and June briefings got even closer. Where one column was a bit short, it was made up in another. As Thomas shows, even as early as January 1941, the FHO estimates on total numbers actual and potential after mobilization exceed reality. They didn't underestimate at all the numbers.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
and even the somewhat downgraded estimate Halder quoted on the eve of Barbarossa (154 Infantry Divs, 25-26 Cavalry Divs and 37 Motorised/mechanised Brigades in ‘European Russia’) was, in terms of the frontier armies and the operational echelon, hardly an underestimation.
Precicisely.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
It’s only if you include the 57 divisions of the High Command Reserve that Halder’s figures could be said to have been a significant underestimate.
Correct. FHO had not picked up the move into STAVKA strategic reserve four Armies ordered westwards in late May and early June. Off the top of my head, 16., 19., 21. And 22.
Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:06
The post-invasion FHO assessments were less accurate because of the unexpected rate at which the RA could generate and commit reserve divisions.
This is where I start to disagree.

BARBAROSSA was planned as a quick campaign. One of the key drivers of this strategy was to get to the Volga before the Soviets could properly mobilize. Hopefully catch a good few formations whilst in the process of mobilization. But the key element of the plan was to destroy the bulk of the Red Army in the first bound. Now, I think it reasonable to assume they meant the Red Army formations in 'European CCCP' not the entire CCCP for practical reasons.

If you take the FHO formation estimates circa May/June 1941, you are looking at about 3.5 to 4 million troops in all in European CCCP. The BARBAROSSA plan was predicated on destroying the bulk of that in the first bound. The first bound should have been a fight against 3.5 to 4 million. In reality, they faced about a quarter of that - and failed even to destroy the bulk of that much smaller number. They, like so many people today, were seduced by the big numbers and failed to spot the wood for the trees. The first bound was a massive failure. The 3 million they captured in 1941 was, according to BARBAROSSA requirements, the sort of number they needed to capture in the first month alone.

They were surprised by the numbers faced in the second and third bounds and blamed it on faulty intelligence when the large numbers were a product of not having the fight that they should have had with 4 million in the first bound. For example, in May, STAVKA had quietly called up two tranches of reserve troops 500,000 and 300,000 to start filling out the peacetime troop levels of frontline units. FHO picked up the 500,000 and briefed it in May. But those troops had not been sent forward. So, instead of coming up against them in the first bound, they were filling out the reforming shattered divisions of the second bound.

By December, they were facing troops up and down the line that they should have overrun in the middle of forming 2-3 months earlier or troops that should be staring them down across the Volga.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Oct 2019 22:01

Max Payload wrote:But the pre-invasion intelligence - the FHO estimate of April ‘41 - was not that wide of the mark, and even the somewhat downgraded estimate Halder quoted on the eve of Barbarossa (154 Infantry Divs, 25-26 Cavalry Divs and 37 Motorised/mechanised Brigades in ‘European Russia’) was, in terms of the frontier armies and the operational echelon, hardly an underestimation. It’s only if you include the 57 divisions of the High Command Reserve that Halder’s figures could be said to have been a significant underestimate
The intelligence failure was more in the vein of being stupid and ideologically blinkered than in the craft of intelligence.

Hitler assumed that the SU would simply collapse; Halder held the same opinion with the added condition of "once Moscow falls."

Politicians gonna politic - it was stupid of Hitler to have this belief but unconscionably incompetent for Halder to have operationalized a revised version of it. The grand tradition of the German General Staff was to question assumptions and prepare for unexpected occurrences. In that vein Halder should have been asking how many reservists the SU might have and how many might be in the field after a few months. Instead he took a lack of insight into reserves as proof of no reserves. All while burying less sanguine analyses like Paulus' and Wagner's.

Had Halder and the entire staff apparatus acted competently they may have been able to convince Hitler to prepare adequately. At the highest levels of analysis this is a war Germany should have won given the benefit of strategic surprise.

MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 10 Oct 2019 22:05

Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:38
The total number of divisions was far underestimated ...
Please substantiate this claim with numbers.
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:38
The regenerative power was massively underestimated.
Please substantiate this claim with numbers.

It is not possible to have a serious discussion about history if all you do is handwave and pontificate from the handwave.

Max Payload
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Max Payload » 10 Oct 2019 23:13

MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 22:00
The 3 million they captured in 1941 was, according to BARBAROSSA requirements, the sort of number they needed to capture in the first month alone.
Is this an interpretation/extrapolation on your part, or does the three million figure feature in pre-invasion German documents. By the end of July there were concerns about the level of RA resistance still being encountered, but I don’t recall disappointment being expressed about the prisoner count.

MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 10 Oct 2019 23:48

Max Payload wrote:
10 Oct 2019 23:13
MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 22:00
The 3 million they captured in 1941 was, according to BARBAROSSA requirements, the sort of number they needed to capture in the first month alone.
Is this an interpretation/extrapolation on your part, or does the three million figure feature in pre-invasion German documents. By the end of July there were concerns about the level of RA resistance still being encountered, but I don’t recall disappointment being expressed about the prisoner count.
I thought my words were clear. Perhaps not. 3 million is a simple rounded number of those the Heer claimed to have captured for the whole on 1941 (22 June - 31 December). I simply carried that number over for illustrative purposes - the sort of number - of the scale of damage they needed to inflict in the first bound alone.
And those concerns were real but not understood. There was no disappointment. They had been seduced by the high numbers to the extent that they could not see the wood for the trees.

Do the math for yourself. Weisung 21 states:
Die im westlichen Russland stehende Masse des russischen Heeres soll in kühnen Operationen unter weitem Vortreiben von Panzerkeilen vernichtet, der Abzug kampfkräftiger Teile in die Weite des russischen Raumes verhindert werden.
The bulk of the Red Army in European CCCP had to be destroyed and not allowed to escape eastwards. Contrary to what ljadw states, Weisung21 does not specify this has to be done in the first bound. However, the Marcks plan implies most is expected to be done in the first bound and any residual serious opposition dealt with in the second. The later HG and lower formation Weisung and orders place a greater emphasis on almost all is to be destroyed in the first bound alone. The Brauchitsch-Bock February tete-a-tete illustrate competing assuptions and expectations. Halder's diary at the very beginning shows relief that the Red Army is coming to the border to fight as expected. He didn't truely understand what was happening, but never mind. He was however, according to his diary, quick to note that they had failed in their efforts of the first bound.

Do the math for yourself. What scale of casualties did the Wehrmacht planners assume to occur in the first bound? They never specified a number, but how much do the words infer?

Now, and this is where ljadw is so far off the mark, the Heer didn't have to do it all in the first bound. Why not in stages similar to how reality panned out? I suspect logistics calculations played a part in the 'do it all in the first bound' plan. For me it is a sign of severe hubris and delusion to think they could and would do it all in the first bound. Where was the alternative if the Red Army didn't rush to the border?

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by ljadw » 11 Oct 2019 06:07

Brauchitz : a few weeks of big fighting, followed by a mop up.
Halder ( after 13 days ) : the war has been won .
There would be only one bound, not 2 .
It was not a sign of hubris and delusion to think that they could and would do it all in the first bound : they knew there could be only one bound, thus that the decision had to happen in June /July, otherwise the Soviets would be in Berlin .
As it had to happen in June/July, it would happen in June/July .
They knew that if the big fighting continued east of the DD line,they could not win and would lose .
Something would happen in June/July ,suddenly, that would give them victory . When it did not happen, it would happen in August, or in September, or in October, etc.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Aida1 » 11 Oct 2019 08:37

MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 22:05
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:38
The total number of divisions was far underestimated ...
Please substantiate this claim with numbers.
Aida1 wrote:
10 Oct 2019 20:38
The regenerative power was massively underestimated.
Please substantiate this claim with numbers.

It is not possible to have a serious discussion about history if all you do is handwave and pontificate from the handwave.
You know these numbers as you claim to have read the article i mentioned and they are in there. You are blatantly disregarding the content of that article where the lack of data is concerned . FHO never had the data to correctly estimate red army military strength and that is explained in detail in there..It also did underestimate the arms production of the USSR which leads to underestimating the ability to set up new divisions.
Your pet theory is not about the FHO after all. It is about the alleged lack of success of Barbarossa where you are completely wrong.
FHO made an estimate based on far insufficient data so it could only be incorrect. And that did influence decision-making before and during Barbarossa.
On the qualitative side FHO was closer to the truth as the red army was qualitiatively far inferior in 1941. It got better over time but not in all aspects as it's losses we're still too high later in the war.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Aida1 » 11 Oct 2019 10:06

MarkN wrote:
10 Oct 2019 23:48

Now, and this is where ljadw is so far off the mark, the Heer didn't have to do it all in the first bound. Why not in stages similar to how reality panned out? I suspect logistics calculations played a part in the 'do it all in the first bound' plan. For me it is a sign of severe hubris and delusion to think they could and would do it all in the first bound. Where was the alternative if the Red Army didn't rush to the border?
They were convinced most of the red army was in the western districts and would fight there.Obviously there was theoretically the possibility of the red army doing a 1812 but that was not expected to happen and it did not happen. Political leaders never like to give up terrain, even temporarily.
With the information available, it was certainly not dumb or a sign of hybris that one was convinced the red army could be finished off quickly. What saved the USSR from the same fate as France and Poland was space and large reserves.Hindsight is always easy.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Max Payload » 11 Oct 2019 10:13

Aida1 wrote:
11 Oct 2019 08:37
FHO made an estimate based on far insufficient data so it could only be incorrect. And that did influence decision-making before and during Barbarossa.
I don’t know much about FHO methodology and have never seen the raw data on which its assessments were made. In terms of the pre-invasion assessments, FHO grossly miscalculated the Infantry/Cavalry divisional ratio and while designating Soviet tank divisions as mechanised brigades, underestimated unit numbers by around 20%. But the key point is that on 22 June the Wehrmacht expected to face around 200 Soviet divisions in ‘European Russia’ and on 22 June there were in fact around 200 Soviet divisions deployed west of the Leningrad-Rostov line. Consequently, whatever influence the FHO estimate had on decision-making before Barbarossa, it could not have been a particularly adverse one.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by ljadw » 11 Oct 2019 11:32

The FHO estimations had no serious influence on the planning and execution of Barbarossa .
What decided the outcome of the war was the ability of the Soviet regime to mobilise sufficient forces to delay the German advance, to stop this advance and to roll back the Germans to Berlin .Without this, the war was won in July 1941 by the Germans .
This ability was disregarded by FHO
because no one could assess it
because it was not needed :
if the Soviet regime had not this ability Germany had won and the Soviets could do nothing about it
if the Soviet regime had this ability Germany had lost and nothing could be done about it by the Germans
As no one wanted to hear that Germany would lose, the second possibility was buried .
Germany had to win, thus everything that could indicate that Germany would lose,was buried .
Japan did the same :Japan could win only if US would give up ,saying that they could not afford millions of casualties .Otherwise Japan would lose Thus as one could expect,no one would talk about the second possibility .
It was the same for Vietnam : the north could win only if at a certain moment US would leave the south .Thus ,logically,the north guessed,speculated that finally the US would leave the south .
There are other exemples .WWI,the Japanese-Chinese war,.....

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 11 Oct 2019 12:30

Silly me.

I thought you had decided to have a serious discussion about historical reality. But no. Back to the handwaving and grand statements to mislead others.

:roll:
Aida1 wrote:
11 Oct 2019 08:37
You know these numbers as you claim to have read the article i mentioned and they are in there. You are blatantly disregarding the content of that article where the lack of data is concerned . FHO never had the data to correctly estimate red army military strength and that is explained in detail in there..It also did underestimate the arms production of the USSR which leads to underestimating the ability to set up new divisions.
Your pet theory is not about the FHO after all. It is about the alleged lack of success of Barbarossa where you are completely wrong.
FHO made an estimate based on far insufficient data so it could only be incorrect. And that did influence decision-making before and during Barbarossa.
On the qualitative side FHO was closer to the truth as the red army was qualitiatively far inferior in 1941. It got better over time but not in all aspects as it's losses we're still too high later in the war.

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