Stalingrad

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Konig_pilsner
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Konig_pilsner » 07 Nov 2022 22:26

You are conveniently ignoring that nothing of that was done sufficiently because Hitler wanted to go south too quickly and his insistence on taking Stalingrad before anything else .
So which one is it? Hitler was so focused on Stalingrad that he split the Army and went away from Stalingrad? Your high level reasoning is confusing me :?

mezsat2
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by mezsat2 » 08 Nov 2022 00:27

Konig_pilsner wrote:
04 Nov 2022 21:23
Just for fun I figured I would post an excerpt from Furher Dierctive 41 issued on April 5th of 1942 preceding the commencement of Case Blue.
According to the progress made in these attacks, we must not only provide strong protection for the northeast flank of the operation; we must immediately set about establishing positions along the Don River. In this matter, antitank defences are especially important. These positions will from the first be prepared with a view to their eventual occupation in winter, for which they will be fully equipped.

In the first instance, units of our allies will be used to hold the Don River front, which will become longer and longer as the attack proceeds. German forces will provide a strong supporting force between Orel and the Don River, and in the Stalingrad strip. For the rest, individual German divisions will also remain available as reserves behind the Don River front.
Sounds like Hitler had an idea in April of what would be coming in winter :) . Yet despite his written order, large bridgeheads were left over the Don with only token attempts to eliminate them. Buy hey, it is all Adolf's fault right?
Pretty much. Although had 4th Panzerarmee remained with 6th Army, it may have been possible.
Again though, to what end? The mere idea that 1st PZ Armee would seize the Caucasian oilfields
and transport it back to Germany, on it's face, was a preposterous idea. Rail couldn't even supply
the troops already dedicated to seizing them, much less transport the the product back to the Reich
for refinement.

The middle east would have provided a much easier path to fuel, and, as we all know to this day,
Lybia's ground is literally bursting at the seams with oil. I've argued this point to no end, but the
fact remains- a little bit of oil exploration activity by Italy and Germany in the area rather than
a war of aggression would have yielded great rewards at a fraction of the price.

Nevertheless, 1st PZs adventure into the Caucasus could have been made useful- not to seize oil,
but to utterly destroy Baku and the surrounding facilities by the Luftwaffe. This would deny Stalin
of most of the petrol needed for his war machine. The Wehrmacht could then withdraw to the Don
(but probably more feasible, the Donets) and throw up very powerful defenses.

Konig_pilsner
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Konig_pilsner » 08 Nov 2022 16:19

Hey Mezsat2,

I am not going to get into grand strategy in the Mediterranean or Middle East but I will correct a couple things. Hoth's 4th Panzer did ultimately stay with the 6th Army and you may rethink your conclusions on Caucasian oil after reading this article. https://en.topwar.ru/174335-pravda-o-za ... nefti.html

For whatever reason it is being ignored that the Don Basin is too small an area for all of Army Group South to operate in. The railroad Sixth Army relied on was insufficient for its needs let alone additional units, and even when Hoth captured the southern line it was under supplied. You can hop up and down and blame Hitler, or you can draw arrows going where you like on a map, but it won't change the fact that if the 17th Army doesn't go south it doesn't do anything at all.

Lastly, not to go on about the bridgeheads again but it would not have taken an additional Panzer Army (4th Panzer) to wipe them out, it just would have taken the 6th Army more time. Oil and time are pretty much the two commodities Germany never had enough of.

KP

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 09 Nov 2022 09:04

Konig_pilsner wrote:
08 Nov 2022 16:19
Hey Mezsat2,

I am not going to get into grand strategy in the Mediterranean or Middle East but I will correct a couple things. Hoth's 4th Panzer did ultimately stay with the 6th Army and you may rethink your conclusions on Caucasian oil after reading this article. https://en.topwar.ru/174335-pravda-o-za ... nefti.html

For whatever reason it is being ignored that the Don Basin is too small an area for all of Army Group South to operate in. The railroad Sixth Army relied on was insufficient for its needs let alone additional units, and even when Hoth captured the southern line it was under supplied. You can hop up and down and blame Hitler, or you can draw arrows going where you like on a map, but it won't change the fact that if the 17th Army doesn't go south it doesn't do anything at all.

Lastly, not to go on about the bridgeheads again but it would not have taken an additional Panzer Army (4th Panzer) to wipe them out, it just would have taken the 6th Army more time. Oil and time are pretty much the two commodities Germany never had enough of.

KP
Going south before the left flank was secured , was a mistake. And the obsession with Stalingrad was too.Those are decisions Hitler made.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 09 Nov 2022 09:18

Konig_pilsner wrote:
07 Nov 2022 22:26
You are conveniently ignoring that nothing of that was done sufficiently because Hitler wanted to go south too quickly and his insistence on taking Stalingrad before anything else .
So which one is it? Hitler was so focused on Stalingrad that he split the Army and went away from Stalingrad? Your high level reasoning is confusing me :?
You are ignoring that there were not enough forces to do both at the same time. What was sent south was insufficient to reach that objective. And being obsessed with taking Stalingrad meant that the left flank of 6 army was not secure in view of an expected russian counter offensive.
It was always very ambitious to reach the Caucasus in 1942. Would have presupposed decisively beating the red army in the initial advance which did not happen as the red army units escaped encirclement.
Logistically speaking it was not possible to support two offensives. 1500 ton additional trucking capacity had to be allocated to Heersgruppe A. As a consequence 6 army suffered lack of fuel and came to a standstill for 8 days. (Das Deutsche Reich und der zweite Weltkridg Band 6 p 892).

mezsat2
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by mezsat2 » 11 Nov 2022 10:14

Konig_pilsner wrote:
08 Nov 2022 16:19
Hey Mezsat2,

I am not going to get into grand strategy in the Mediterranean or Middle East but I will correct a couple things. Hoth's 4th Panzer did ultimately stay with the 6th Army and you may rethink your conclusions on Caucasian oil after reading this article. https://en.topwar.ru/174335-pravda-o-za ... nefti.html

For whatever reason it is being ignored that the Don Basin is too small an area for all of Army Group South to operate in. The railroad Sixth Army relied on was insufficient for its needs let alone additional units, and even when Hoth captured the southern line it was under supplied. You can hop up and down and blame Hitler, or you can draw arrows going where you like on a map, but it won't change the fact that if the 17th Army doesn't go south it doesn't do anything at all.

Lastly, not to go on about the bridgeheads again but it would not have taken an additional Panzer Army (4th Panzer) to wipe them out, it just would have taken the 6th Army more time. Oil and time are pretty much the two commodities Germany never had enough of.

KP
Sorry, you're just wrong here, pal. Hitler ordered 4th PZ army in Aug. 42 to "help" Kleist take the Caucasus.
Everyone knows this, except you, apparently. Von Kleist reported that they just "got in his way" and drained
crucial supplies from him.

Ultimately, yes. 4th PZ army was diverted to Stalingrad in the fall/winter 1942- with great waste of fuel and equipment.

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but the best strategic option for Hitler at the time would not be to seize the oilfields
there, but to utterly destroy them with the Luftwaffe. Given the flammability of these installations, it would not have been
that difficult. It's inexcusable that he chose to level Stalingrad rather than Baku.

Please, nobody post the range of an HE-111 or JU-88. This is known. Germany could have seized numerous fields in range.
They did seize a number of good fields, actually. Read some of Richtofen's memoirs regarding this!

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 11 Nov 2022 15:29

mezsat2 wrote:
11 Nov 2022 10:14
Konig_pilsner wrote:
08 Nov 2022 16:19
Hey Mezsat2,

I am not going to get into grand strategy in the Mediterranean or Middle East but I will correct a couple things. Hoth's 4th Panzer did ultimately stay with the 6th Army and you may rethink your conclusions on Caucasian oil after reading this article. https://en.topwar.ru/174335-pravda-o-za ... nefti.html

For whatever reason it is being ignored that the Don Basin is too small an area for all of Army Group South to operate in. The railroad Sixth Army relied on was insufficient for its needs let alone additional units, and even when Hoth captured the southern line it was under supplied. You can hop up and down and blame Hitler, or you can draw arrows going where you like on a map, but it won't change the fact that if the 17th Army doesn't go south it doesn't do anything at all.

Lastly, not to go on about the bridgeheads again but it would not have taken an additional Panzer Army (4th Panzer) to wipe them out, it just would have taken the 6th Army more time. Oil and time are pretty much the two commodities Germany never had enough of.

KP
Sorry, you're just wrong here, pal. Hitler ordered 4th PZ army in Aug. 42 to "help" Kleist take the Caucasus.
Everyone knows this, except you, apparently. Von Kleist reported that they just "got in his way" and drained
crucial supplies from him.

Ultimately, yes. 4th PZ army was diverted to Stalingrad in the fall/winter 1942- with great waste of fuel and equipment.

It is you that is wrong. 4th panzer army command with most of its forces was diverted to Heeresgruppe B at the end of july(Das deutsche Reich und der zweite Weltkrieg Band 6 DVA 1990 pp 931-932).

Konig_pilsner
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Konig_pilsner » 11 Nov 2022 15:56

Hey Aida1,
Going south before the left flank was secured , was a mistake.
The left flank was secure until late November.
What was sent south was insufficient to reach that objective.
The 17th Army was not defeated in the south, and it was less then 50 miles from Grozny when it chose to withdraw.
And being obsessed with taking Stalingrad meant that the left flank of 6 army was not secure in view of an expected russian counter offensive.
I think more specifically the 6th Army's rush over the Don at Kalach is what postponed the reduction of the bridgeheads. It was not splitting the army or having insufficient recourses, and if you want to blame Hitler for that fine, but it was really Paulus's fault and you have not changed my mind so far.
Logistically speaking it was not possible to support two offensives. 1500 ton additional trucking capacity had to be allocated to Heersgruppe A. As a consequence 6 army suffered lack of fuel and came to a standstill for 8 days.
So you think the limiting factor was trucks, when I am arguing railroad capacity (especially over the Don). Who is right? Also allocated is the wrong word. The 17th Army required 1500 trucks to do anything, unless again you are proposing it just sits in Rostov because it cant go east to Stalingrad (no railroad capacity).

Konig_pilsner
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Konig_pilsner » 11 Nov 2022 16:05

Hey Mezsat2,

It was you that claimed the 4th remained with Kleist:
Although had 4th Panzerarmee remained with 6th Army, it may have been possible.
Now you are claiming correctly that it was a temporary, but the dates are all wrong.
Sorry, you're just wrong here, pal. Hitler ordered 4th PZ army in Aug. 42 to "help" Kleist take the Caucasus.
Everyone knows this, except you, apparently. Von Kleist reported that they just "got in his way" and drained
crucial supplies from him.

Ultimately, yes. 4th PZ army was diverted to Stalingrad in the fall/winter 1942- with great waste of fuel and equipment.
I think you need to revisit when and where Hoth went in the historical timeline and to what effect.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 11 Nov 2022 18:54

Konig_pilsner wrote:
11 Nov 2022 15:56
Hey Aida1,
Going south before the left flank was secured , was a mistake.
The left flank was secure until late November.
The left flank was not secure as the red army was not decisively beaten and the armies of the german allies were not really capable to handle a russian winter offensive.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 11 Nov 2022 18:56

Konig_pilsner wrote:
11 Nov 2022 15:56

What was sent south was insufficient to reach that objective.
The 17th Army was not defeated in the south, and it was less then 50 miles from Grozny when it chose to withdraw.

17 army and 1 pz army were not sufficiently strong to capture the oil fields so they stalled.
Last edited by Aida1 on 11 Nov 2022 19:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 11 Nov 2022 19:00

Konig_pilsner wrote:
11 Nov 2022 15:56
Hey Aida1,


And being obsessed with taking Stalingrad meant that the left flank of 6 army was not secure in view of an expected russian counter offensive.
I think more specifically the 6th Army's rush over the Don at Kalach is what postponed the reduction of the bridgeheads. It was not splitting the army or having insufficient recourses, and if you want to blame Hitler for that fine, but it was really Paulus's fault and you have not changed my mind so far.

Without Hitlers obsession to capture Stalingrad these bridgheads could have been reduced and besides that 6 army could anyway have been in a more secure winter position further back which would also be better from a logistical viewpoint. The heavy fighting in Stalingrad also consumed so many resources that it was not possible to build up stocks in preparation for winter.
Last edited by Aida1 on 11 Nov 2022 19:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 11 Nov 2022 19:04

Konig_pilsner wrote:
11 Nov 2022 15:56
Logistically speaking it was not possible to support two offensives. 1500 ton additional trucking capacity had to be allocated to Heersgruppe A. As a consequence 6 army suffered lack of fuel and came to a standstill for 8 days.
So you think the limiting factor was trucks, when I am arguing railroad capacity (especially over the Don). Who is right? Also allocated is the wrong word. The 17th Army required 1500 trucks to do anything, unless again you are proposing it just sits in Rostov because it cant go east to Stalingrad (no railroad capacity).
Trucks are needed to move supplies from railheads so trucks are a limiting factor. And having to allocate trucks to support Heeresgruppe A slowed down 6 army. The total amount of supplies available is also a limiting factor.

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MarkF617
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by MarkF617 » 13 Nov 2022 13:49

From what I have read Army Group B couldn't be fully supplied due to lack of an adequate railway and Army Group A couldn't be supplied heading into the Caucasus for the same reason. Doesn't this mean that the railways would be massively inadequate to supply a combined Army Group South heading in one direction?

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Aida1
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Aida1 » 14 Nov 2022 07:55

MarkF617 wrote:
13 Nov 2022 13:49
From what I have read Army Group B couldn't be fully supplied due to lack of an adequate railway and Army Group A couldn't be supplied heading into the Caucasus for the same reason. Doesn't this mean that the railways would be massively inadequate to supply a combined Army Group South heading in one direction?

Thanks

Mark.
That is oversimplifying matters. These railway problems start much further back in Russia. Attacks by partisans, russian air attacks, weather influence, lack of coal, lack of rail capacity and communication problems caused for example by beginning of october a backlog of hundreds of trains between the german border and the south of Russia which by 20 october was reduced to a backlog of 137 trains(Stalingrad Manfred Kehrig DVA 1974 p 74).This causes too few trains arriving on a daily basis further forward. And then there is the lack of trucks to bring supplies forward from the railheads and the lack of fuel. The whole offensive in the south was suffering from supply problems from the beginning and the advent of winter made things much worse ( explained in detail in Stalingrad Kehrig pp 69-86).

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