Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

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rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 17 May 2012 05:28

steverodgers801 wrote:At Stalingrad the German generals dismissed the ability of the Soviets to launch a coordinated counterattack. At Kursk, the German generals again underestimated Soviet capacity for an offense and it was Model who help convince Hitler the Soviets were going to attack in the south in 1944 and therefore received all but one of the available Pzr div.
You are extremely simplifying something very complex here.
It is the Abteilung Fremde Heere Ost under Reinhard Gehlen that made estimates of the strength and intentions of the red army. Unless you have a spy in the enemy HQ it is all guesswork made more difficult by the fact that an attacking army will always use deception measures to hide its intentions.The intelligence picture as it evolved during the period before the red army counterattack near Stalingrad is far more complex than what you state here. It is actually a subject in itself. As alway, indications of enemy attack become clearer over time as completely hiding attack preparations is impossible. The last days before the attack it was clear it was imminent and certain measures were taken.
During the Kursk offensive the losses of the red army had been so high that it was estimated that it would take some time before it could assume the attack again. This assumption is again based on what the intelligence services estimate the enemy strengths to be. Always guesswork as said before.
Before Bagraton the most dangerous thing the red army could have done was an attack against Heeresgruppe Northukraine and go for the Baltic . THis was also assumed to be the intention of the red army and this assumption was strengthened by the usual deception measures any attacking army takes. Given all this, shifting most of the reserves behind Heeresgruppe Northukraine was a correct decision. There was nothing that indicated that the main effort would come against AGC. The only mistake that was made is the refusal by Hitler to allow AGC to shorten its line in order to compensate for the forces taken away. Even only to deal with the secondary effort expected against it, AGC needed a shorter line.
People judging in hindsight know everything. Real commanders have to base their decisions on what the intelligence services tell them and this is guesswork unless you break the enmy code or have some spy at the enemy high command.
Decisons have to be judged on the information available at the time.

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 17 May 2012 11:06

rendulic wrote:
steverodgers801 wrote:At Stalingrad the German generals dismissed the ability of the Soviets to launch a coordinated counterattack. At Kursk, the German generals again underestimated Soviet capacity for an offense and it was Model who help convince Hitler the Soviets were going to attack in the south in 1944 and therefore received all but one of the available Pzr div.
You are extremely simplifying something very complex here.
It is the Abteilung Fremde Heere Ost under Reinhard Gehlen that made estimates of the strength and intentions of the red army. Unless you have a spy in the enemy HQ it is all guesswork made more difficult by the fact that an attacking army will always use deception measures to hide its intentions.The intelligence picture as it evolved during the period before the red army counterattack near Stalingrad is far more complex than what you state here. It is actually a subject in itself. As alway, indications of enemy attack become clearer over time as completely hiding attack preparations is impossible. The last days before the attack it was clear it was imminent and certain measures were taken.
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Actually Steve is 'clarifying' your rather contradictionary positions.
You appear to have a slim grasp of geography. The Heer’s best hope in 1942 was to cut the Caspian route from Baku,& Ideally, capture oil supplies .
Sixth army WAS the flank for Army group ‘B’. It had to remain mobile.
The Stravka’s best hope was to draw the Heer into an ‘immobilization battle for a large, strategically low importance city. & they succeeded in this deception.

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 17 May 2012 13:47

waldzee wrote: Actually Steve is 'clarifying' your rather contradictionary positions.
You appear to have a slim grasp of geography. The Heer’s best hope in 1942 was to cut the Caspian route from Baku,& Ideally, capture oil supplies .
Sixth army WAS the flank for Army group ‘B’. It had to remain mobile.
The Stravka’s best hope was to draw the Heer into an ‘immobilization battle for a large, strategically low importance city. & they succeeded in this deception.
Wrong and simplistic statements cannot clarify anything.
In addition you simply ignore all I said. The original intention was that phase 3 of the offensive(advance towards Stalingrad which needed not abslutely include effectively taking it) would take place before phase 4 (advance towards the Caucasus). That was changed by Hitler in the sense that phase 3 and 4 would happen at the same time. Somewhat later he also ordered that Stalingrad should effectively be taken and Panzergarmy 4 was taken away from Armygroup A. This all led to heated discussions with Halder. As a result two objectives were sought after with insufficient forces.
Rather strange that you would state that an infantry army needed to remain mobile.
The german army was not lured into anything. There was never any necessity felt of actually really taking Stalingrad. That became Hitler's obsession for reasons of prestige. The high command left to itself would have limited itself to an attempt to take it quickly and failing that would simply block the Volga. All forces would first have secured the area near Stalingrad and then only would phase 4 have started.
The intent to cut off 6th army was the consequence of the position it was in. Stalin would have simply continued to pour forces in the city to defend it. His commanders argued otherwise.
German intelligence certainly was aware of the potential of an attack against the weak flank with an intent to cut off all german forces by taking Rostov because It did not consider that the red army had been decisively beaten. The whole inteligence picture is a subject in itself as it involved over time and different players had different opinions.
The statement that THE german commanders considered that the red army could not counterattack is extremely flawed also because actually they took into into account the possibility of something much bolder than the short pincer to cutoff 6th army.

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 17 May 2012 14:29

waldzee wrote: Sixth army WAS the flank for Army group ‘B’. It had to remain mobile.
A rather ironic statement as 6th army had its fuel taken away because this was needed for the advance south.
The general area around Stalingrad was supposed to be secured before any advance south would start. There Hitler and the staff of the OKH had serious differences of opinion as the latter did not consider red army units decisively beaten which was the prerequisite for any advance south.

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 17 May 2012 14:52

rendulic wrote:
waldzee wrote: Sixth army WAS the flank for Army group ‘B’. It had to remain mobile.
A rather ironic statement as 6th army had its fuel taken away because this was needed for the advance south.
The general area around Stalingrad was supposed to be secured before any advance south would start. There Hitler and the staff of the OKH had serious differences of opinion as the latter did not consider red army units decisively beaten which was the prerequisite for any advance south.
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"Mobile Reserve ' is a military term.It does not mean 'tank of gas & drive around'


Anyway, welcome back Genreal G /Julian 23/ etc & etc & I hope your term here is better & longer lasting then , uhh , the before. We all deserve an umpteenth chance... : :)

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 17 May 2012 15:52

The idea of an infantry army as a 'mobile' reserve is funny but has no relationship to reality.

ljadw
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by ljadw » 17 May 2012 16:32

As usual,the General/Westerhagen,etc,is blaming Adolf to spare the reputation of the German generals .
The capture of the oil field was impossible without going to the Wolga .And,going to the Wolga was senseless,if one was not going to the Caucasus .
The following is from Magenheimer(Hitler's War) and Magenheimer is critical of Hitler.
"Success of failure of Blau depended on the possibility of destroying large parts of the Soviet forces in southern Russia IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE START OF THE OFFENSIVE and of preventing their withdrawal to the Wolga and the Caucasus."
This did not happen because
a) the Germans were to weak
b) the Soviets were to strong
The result was that when the Germans arrived at the Wolga/the Caucasus,there still was an organized Soviet resistance,which could not be eliminated .
The analogy with the summer of 1941 is very clear.
In the summer of 1942,the Ostheer was no more capable of long-range campaigns (dixit von Bock):it could not/no longer (IMHO ,it could neither in 1941) defeat the Soviets,advance 500 km,and defeat the Soviets again .
Of course,this will not prevent some people to search for a scape-goat for the failure of Blau .

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 17 May 2012 17:06

Adolf Hitler would be extremely disappointed by the likes of ljadw. He would defend his decisions instead of pretending non involvment.
Hitler was very actively involved in the planning and execution of Fall Blau. He even took personal command of Armygroup A at one point.
He decided that Stalingrad should be taken at all costs. He was obsessed by its name. He decided against the advice of his military advisors to go for the Caucasus when the red army had not yet been decidely beaten in the general area of Stalingrad. Ljadw may choose to consider it a good idea to go for two objectives at the same time with insufficient forces but comon sense says otherwise.
Actually, he simply parrots any decision Hitler made.
The list of commanders fired during Fall Blau(Liszt,von Bock,Halder)would seem to indicate that Hitler was not really seeing eye to eye with his leadership.

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waldzee
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Peace time...

Post by waldzee » 19 May 2012 02:42

rendulic wrote:The idea of an infantry army as a 'mobile' reserve is funny but has no relationship to reality.
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As stated elsewhere, 6th army was out of fuel because Koch really 'blew' the Synthetic fuel program in the Ukraine.
No syn fuel in Europes' richest coal fields. Mobile infantry reserves are trucks & ATFV's with gas.
Isreal developed the concept & used it to great effect in holding the Bar- Lev line.
Canal in front - deep strong points- mobile infantry & armour behind.

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Marcus
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Marcus » 19 May 2012 17:30

Several pointless and uncivil posts by waldzee and rendulic were removed. Be civil or be gone.

/Marcus

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