Opening days of Barbarossa

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hms2011
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Opening days of Barbarossa

Post by hms2011 » 05 Feb 2015 23:52

[Split from "Stalingrad"]
ljadw wrote:The initial strength of the Red Army was irrelevant ,initial =on 22 june or on 10 july,...the ability of the Soviet regime to send on an average monthly 1 million men to the front in 1941
The Soviet ability to resist was actually a combination of frontline strength and replenishment level. Not one or the other.
ljadw wrote: 3)About your 2 questions :as there is no correlation between the strength of the invading force and the Soviet losses,it is irrelevant what the strength of the invading force was : the SU lost more than 5 million men men in 1941.If the Germans attacked with 182 divisions,it is impossible to say what the Soviet losses would be : 5 million ? more ? less ?If the Germans attacked with 122 divisions,the answer is the same .
Why do you believe there is no correlation between the strength of the invading force and Soviet losses at the opening of the campaign?

While you are certainly correct that there are some scenarios in which a higher invading force would yield fewer Soviet casualties, and some where a smaller invading force would yield higher Soviet casualties, I'm not sure why you would disagree that were you to run a simulation multiple times with a variable invading force size, the trend would be pretty clear that on average Soviet losses would increase as the invading force would grow from 1M -> 2M -> 3M -> 4M -> 5M -> ...
ljadw wrote: Red Army was going west (from the Russian hinterland to the border),if in the ATL,the Red Army was going east(=retreating to Moscow),it would have saved most of its manpower,and Barbarossa would have failed already in june,and this:whatever may be the strength of the Ostheer
A decision on high strategy as you suggest would not occur in isolation, but would be influenced by German actions.
ljadw wrote:
hms2011 wrote: Loss ratios depended on a lot of factors. One of which was the ability to gain operational freedom and entrap significant protions of the opposing armies. The loss ratio tended to move in favour of the attacker when this happend, compared to cases where the defense were able to retreat in decent order. As happend in Ukraine. But which might not have happened with some more axis troops.
this is not correct : more axis troops will not go faster than less axis trops,it is even possible that 182 divisins will advance slower than 152 divisions .
Here you seem to categorically state that their is no chance - not one in a billion? - that a strengthend AGS would be able to induce a more hasty retreat on the part of the Soviets. Care to elaborate why you believe that?

And while it is certainly true that more troops might induce more traffic congestion, it's not very likely if they use different road nets as an invasion from Romania would do.
ljadw wrote:The Germans failed in the summer ,not because there were not enough Germans,but because there were to much Soviets
And not enough Germans and axis allies.

hms2011
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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by hms2011 » 06 Feb 2015 00:08

Cult Icon wrote:The USSR was not under threat of dissolution, even with the loss of Moscow.
While I wouldn't be as categorically in stating that as you, I dont disagree strongly.
But the loss of Moscow and assorted other territories would hurt and impair the Soviet war effort.
Cult Icon wrote: A few more assault worthy units
That is a start. The Germans would need more than that of course. Which is why the decision to divert their efforts in multiple (and less important) directions was so hurtful. The Germans didnt have the luxury to fight wherever they wanted - they need all they could muster in the east.
Cult Icon wrote: The other is that the reserve situation of the USSR was far superior to that of the Axis, and most particularly the Germans.
But in the summer and autumn of '41, the Soviet didnt have too much slack in their mobilization effort.
Meaning say another half million casualties in the first six weeks of the campaign would hurt a lot. And solve a number of the stratetic dilemmas facing the Germans at the time.

Cult Icon wrote: The Vyazma-Bryansk pockets did not seriously alter the situation.
Image
But that table from Zetterling & Frankson's book doesnt tell the whole story. On the same page, they discuss the distribution of troops between frontline and internal military districts, and note that the latter was left pretty empty of troops come 1.dec.

Pointing to the lack of slack in the mobilization effort. And again indicating that the Soviet winter offensive might have been significantly reduced in both scope and size if casulaties in the summer and fall had been much higher.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 06 Feb 2015 07:27

I don't see the validity of this last point,because in the OTL,the Soviet winter offensive failed,thus,that it would probably also fail if fewer forces were available.........

I also do not see the possibility of more Soviet losses in june and july,because these losses were depending on the number of Soviet forces available in that period:on 22 june the Germans (allies not included) attacked with a numerical superiority(2.8 million Germans against 2 million Soviets) and destroyed the Soviet forces who were going west to stop the Germans .Meanwhile,during that period (june/july)both sides committed reserves and sent reinforcements (the Germans:the main part of the OKH reserves,the Soviets ..:I have seen no figures),both sides had big losses (the Germans : on 31 july : 210000,the Soviets ? no one knows :the Germans claimed on 31 july some 810000 POW,but their claims are not reliable,and,no one knows the number of Soviet KIA in that period)

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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by ljadw » 06 Feb 2015 07:31

hms2011 wrote: But the loss of Moscow and assorted other territories would hurt and impair the Soviet war effort.

.
Hurting and impairing the Soviet war effort was not what the Germans needed/wanted .

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doogal
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by doogal » 06 Feb 2015 09:02

It would be fair to say that it wasn't Soviet losses in manpower which would determine the possibility of a more favourable outcome for Germany, the reserves available to the Soviets precluded the total destruction of there armies, so it becomes a question as to whether German forces could impose themselves upon soviet mobilisation.??
Which they were unable to do:

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ML59 » 08 Feb 2015 16:41

ljadw wrote:I don't see the validity of this last point,because in the OTL,the Soviet winter offensive failed,thus,that it would probably also fail if fewer forces were available.........

on 22 june the Germans (allies not included) attacked with a numerical superiority(2.8 million Germans against 2 million Soviets) and destroyed the Soviet forces who were going west to stop the Germans .
On 22nd of June, 1941, the forces correlation in theatre was in effect much more favorable to the Axis:
Germany plus Axis allies (Finland-Romania-Slovakia-Hungary) = about 4.900.000 (including air force and support troops)
RKKA + VVS + Border Guards = about 2.700.000

Manpower superiority was overwhelming especially along penetration axis, reaching factors of 5/6/7 to 1 in several occasions.

Mobility was similarly overwhelmingly in favor of the attackers:
Germany (all services) = 575.000 motor vehicles + 595.000 horses in the area
RKKA (all services) = about 150,000 motor vehicles + ?? horses in the area (254.000 motor vehicles in total inventory )

ChrisDR68
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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by ChrisDR68 » 08 Feb 2015 18:30

ljadw wrote:
hms2011 wrote: But the loss of Moscow and assorted other territories would hurt and impair the Soviet war effort.

.
Hurting and impairing the Soviet war effort was not what the Germans needed/wanted .
The interesting thing when reading about all the German preparations and planning for Barbarossa was that at no point does anyone think that Germany would end up occupying the whole of the Soviet Union.

The furthest anyone ever considered for the initial invasion was the famous A-A line. Not only was that only a small percentage of the whole of the USSR it only got about two thirds of the way to the Ural Mountains (which was the obvious frontier/barrier for the new German Empire and the rest of the unoccupied USSR).

Invading in June 1941 was always a pretty silly idea imo as 88% of the German Army was not motorised and relied on horses and soldier's marching on foot to get them forward. Given the sheer size of the USSR it's incredible to think all the planners in the German High Command (except possibly Paulus with his war games in December 1940) didn't grasp that this was a fatal strategic and material flaw within their armed forces.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 08 Feb 2015 21:44

I don't think that one can use the degree of motorization of the Ostheer as a cause for the failure ofBarbarossa .

The German plan was very simple (the more intricate the plan,the bigger the risk to fail): they would invade the SU,the Soviet Army would go to the border,they would defeat the Red Army and the regime would collaps (the defeat would cause the collaps and the collaps would result in the falling apart of the army).Everything would be decided in a few weeks.After this,there would be a logistical pause,and than ,light armoured divisions would go to the east ,as far as possible .

But,all depended on the collaps of the regime:if the regime did not collaps,it would be able to start the general mobilization and a mass force regeneration against which Germany could do nothing,and Germany would lose .
If the degree of the Ostheer was higher,what happened in te OTL,still would happen in the ATL.

Victory/defeat did not depend on mobility

hms2011
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by hms2011 » 08 Feb 2015 23:53

ljadw wrote: I also do not see the possibility of more Soviet losses in june and july,because these losses were depending on the number of Soviet forces available in that period:on 22 june the Germans (allies not included) attacked with a numerical superiority(2.8 million Germans against 2 million Soviets) and destroyed the Soviet forces who were going west to stop the Germans
In my understanding of the war, a substantial number of Soviet forces managed to avoid destruction in the Ukraine in this period (especially in the first few weeks along the border).

Do you disagree with that (since you seem to be making the claim that the Axis destroyed all (pre-war) Soviet forces in the Ukraine in June/July)?

If not - that is, if you agree that a substantial number of Soviet forces managed to retreat succesfully - I fail to see why you believe it impossible for a larger Axis force to inflict more casualties on them.
ljadw wrote: I don't see the validity of this last point,because in the OTL,the Soviet winter offensive failed,thus,that it would probably also fail if fewer forces were available.........
I agree that it would likely fail in the OTL as well. With even less territory regained and fewer casualties inflicted on the Axis.

hms2011
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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by hms2011 » 08 Feb 2015 23:57

ljadw wrote: Hurting and impairing the Soviet war effort was not what the Germans needed/wanted .
That depends on the level of hurt and a host of other variables.
Given a significantly better outcome of Barbarossa, the outcome of the war in the east might have been in play in '42.

hms2011
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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by hms2011 » 08 Feb 2015 23:59

ChrisDR68 wrote: The furthest anyone ever considered for the initial invasion was the famous A-A line. Not only was that only a small percentage of the whole of the USSR
While it was a small percantage of the territory of the USSR, a pretty significant percentage of the population and economy were located west of that line.

ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really incompetent as the Supreme Commander

Post by ljadw » 09 Feb 2015 08:13

hms2011 wrote:
ljadw wrote: Hurting and impairing the Soviet war effort was not what the Germans needed/wanted .
That depends on the level of hurt and a host of other variables.
Given a significantly better outcome of Barbarossa, the outcome of the war in the east might have been in play in '42.
Here I am disagreeing for the following points

1) The Germans were (rightly IMO) going for a knockout in the first round because they were convinced that if there was no victory in the summer,there would be no victory later and because an elimination of the SU in 1942 would not change the outcome of the war.

2) Once the Soviet regime was able to start the mobilisation (1 million men to the front each month in 1941),Germany had no longer any chance .At the end of 1941,the Ostheer was numerically weaker and the Red Army stronger .And,this continued in 1942:in june 1941,the Germans attacked with 150 divisions, a year later with 60 divisions,and this was only possible by stripping AGN and AGC of almost all their offensive /counter-offensive power .
And,what was the aim of Blau ? It was to deprive the SU of the oil fields of the Caucasus,in the hope that this would result in the collaps of the SU,although the German experts had warned that there was no proof for this assumption (IMO,it was an illusion).This was the situation in 1942 : attacking with small forces,hoping that this would result in the collaps of the opponent . A lot of wishful-thinking IMO.

3)Not that the situation in 1941 was better : an attack with the hope that the enemy would accept the battle and come (if he didn't,it would be a disaster),convincing that he would be defeated and hoping that all the remaining enemy soldiers would go home and that suddenly the enemy would collaps (the proverbial giant on clay feets).A lot of wishful-thinking IMO.

4)The attenuating circumstance was that in the real world,they had no chance,and they knew it,that's why they searched for an ATL where they could win,and,after having built such a thing,they replaced reality by this Wolkenkukuksheim and convinced each other that it would succeed,because none of them dared to examine what would happen if they failed.

5) What would be a significantly better outcome in 1941? More Soviet losses ?Given the Soviet numerical superiority,this would be irrelevant.Besides,would more Soviet losses not result in more German losses ?
An earlier stop of Typhoon (as has neen suggested by some posters) ? Would this not result in a situation where there was no Soviet winter offensive (which would spare the Soviets a lot of losses)or would there not be a big Soviet offensive against AGS (Rosrov) or AGN (relief of Leningrad) ?

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doogal
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by doogal » 10 Feb 2015 09:52

LJADW Wrote : 1) The Germans were (rightly IMO) going for a knockout in the first round because they were convinced that if there was no victory in the summer,there would be no victory later and because an elimination of the SU in 1942 would not change the outcome of the war.

I think you need to be a bit more specific: Hitler certainly believed when he launched Barbarossa that there could be victory, and this only changed as the campaign progressed.
I think if you were referring to his military commanders you are close to the mark: Von Runstedt Summed up one AG Commander to another when he said to von Leeb " I will see you in Siberia" I don't think he was referring to an advance that far.
An complete elimination of the S/U was hardly possible simply due to the size of the eastern extents of the S/U.
But pushing the SU so that it retreated that far It would have altered the outcome of the War, I don't see how it could not have.

2/ Blau was simply the wrong military option, executed very poorly.... while I am in agreement that the SU was probably to strong at this point, Germany had the fight or retreat option at this point... there was only one meaningful target at this point for Germany and that was Moscow

3/ In 1941 Hitler undervalued the size and potential of the SU, (and IMO Wishful thinking caused a lot of military destruction on the eastern front)

4/
none of them dared to examine what would happen if they failed.
Did Goering not say if we lose this war then god help us: they knew exactly what would happen if they lost.

5/Not losses, prisoners. They never expected the amount of POW`s, which means that even with the SU potential there was a means to achieve a victorious outcome. This though could not be achieved with Nazi Germanys Weltanschauung.

I do though agree with a lot you have said here:

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 10 Feb 2015 20:56

ML59 wrote:
ljadw wrote:I don't see the validity of this last point,because in the OTL,the Soviet winter offensive failed,thus,that it would probably also fail if fewer forces were available.........

on 22 june the Germans (allies not included) attacked with a numerical superiority(2.8 million Germans against 2 million Soviets) and destroyed the Soviet forces who were going west to stop the Germans .
On 22nd of June, 1941, the forces correlation in theatre was in effect much more favorable to the Axis:
Germany plus Axis allies (Finland-Romania-Slovakia-Hungary) = about 4.900.000 (including air force and support troops)
RKKA + VVS + Border Guards = about 2.700.000
Not exactly, the Finns only Joined battle at the beginning of July (July 9th in fact after Soviet air attacks on June 25th and border skirmishes), the Romanians and the 11th army joined battle on July 2nd and limited their operations to Odessa. The Red army went into full mobilisation immediately after the war started created 8 armies from reserves in June and 5.4 million men under arms, though not all in the frontline.
ML59 wrote: Manpower superiority was overwhelming especially along penetration axis, reaching factors of 5/6/7 to 1 in several occasions.
Which was temporary. By July 3rd the Red army frontline strength across the front exceeded that of the Germans especially in the case of AGN.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 11 Feb 2015 20:44

AJFFM wrote:Which was temporary. By July 3rd the Red army frontline strength across the front exceeded that of the Germans especially in the case of AGN.
Which makes the actions of AGN leadership (vLeeb and the panzer leaders) during the July 10-July 17th timeframe that much more dumbfounding.
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