ChrisDR68 wrote:It's interesting to compare the correlation of forces in the east in June 1942.
According to Hyper War it's as follows:
Germany: 2.9 million men, 3300 panzers and 2750 aircraft (the Germans were also around 100,000 horses and 40,000 trucks down compared to a year earlier making the Ostheer less mobile than at the start of Barborossa). In addition you can add hundreds of thousands of Romanians, Italians, Hungarians and Finns to this list although most were of questionable value partly due to their lack of tanks and anti-tank guns.
Soviet Union: 5.6 million men, 6000 tanks and 2600 aircraft.
So on these figures the Germans were outnumbered 2:1 in troops and tanks although they had a slight advantage in aircraft.
Had the Germans concentrated two thirds of their mobile forces either side of Moscow could they have taken the city in a pincer attack during the campaigning season of 1942?
The data are incorrect. Axis forces on the eastern front were not less than 4.900.000:
AOK Norwegen 250.000
Luftwaffe 400.000 (estimated)
WH Auxiliary 150.000 (estimated)
So, total strength actually increased
compared to Barabarossa but German bayonet strength decreased by at least 15% and mobility was greatly reduced by losses in motor vehicles and reduced supply of fuel.
Not all the Axis were worthless; in the sub-arctic conditions in which they operated the Finns were perfectly capable troops, for example. However, in the open steppe along the Don and the Volga, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians were too lightly equipped with automatic weapons, medium artillery and anti-tank weapons to resist full scale offensive operation of the renewed RKKA. And this proved fatal.