German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

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doogal
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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by doogal » 28 Nov 2015 13:42

So then tactical battlefield victories gave the impression for a short while of impending victory on a strategic scale, this led to a host of decisions which contributed to defeat in the East.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ML59 » 28 Nov 2015 16:19

That sounds like a reasonable explanation for a successive string of wrong strategic decisions.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ljadw » 28 Nov 2015 18:56

I disagree with the claim that the strategic decisions were wrong,becausethe claim implies that there were good strategic decisions possible who could result in an other outcome .

There were also NO decisions which contributed to defeat in the East :the Germans did not lose,the Soviets won .

The Germans started the war in the East because they knew that only victory in the East could result in total victory .

They knew also that,because of a lot of reasons, victory in the East did not depend on what Germany could/would/should do,but on what the SU could,would,should do ,and on this, Germany had no influence .

Germany had no influence on the development of the war in the East . Everything depended on the SU .

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doogal
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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by doogal » 28 Nov 2015 19:34

Germany had no influence on the development of the war in the East . Everything depended on the SU
Action / Reaction .. The action of initiation is an influence on its development.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by AJFFM » 28 Nov 2015 20:49

ljadw wrote: I disagree with the claim that the strategic decisions were wrong,because the claim implies that there were good strategic decisions possible who could result in an other outcome .
Yes there were, not launching a race war would be one, promising independence and land to conquered peoples, who were never Russophiles or communists in the first place, would be another.

From a military perspective, every single Strategic Soviet victory prior to June 44 was a direct result of at least one German strategic mistake because as many Historians chief among them Glantz, who is no German fanboy, pointed out, for every successful Soviet offensive during that time period it was preceded by an equally large failed one.
ljadw wrote: There were also NO decisions which contributed to defeat in the East :the Germans did not lose,the Soviets won .
That contradicts basic logic because if this statement was true Berlin would be conquered in 42 not 45. A whole lot of decisions were taken between those two dates.
ljadw wrote: The Germans started the war in the East because they knew that only victory in the East could result in total victory .
The Germans started a pre-emptive war that everyone knew was coming and everyone was preparing for. Their problem is that their (to borrow a German author's description of him) warlord, and Hitler was in effect a warlord not different than any warlord in a civil war, had no vision of what victorywould look like. Hitler had 4 versions of victory in the first 2 months of Barbarossa.

ljadw wrote: They knew also that,because of a lot of reasons, victory in the East did not depend on what Germany could/would/should do,but on what the SU could,would,should do ,and on this, Germany had no influence .

Germany had no influence on the development of the war in the East . Everything depended on the SU .
Aren't all wars like that, dependent on the other side's willingness to continue the fight which depends on what was on the table? Hitler never even tried to put something on the Soviet table nor did the allies did for Germany.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ljadw » 28 Nov 2015 21:55

doogal wrote:
Germany had no influence on the development of the war in the East . Everything depended on the SU
Action / Reaction .. The action of initiation is an influence on its development.
After a few weeks the chance to defeat the SU was over,and all Germany could do was react : already in the summer of 1941,the SU had the initiative .

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ljadw » 28 Nov 2015 22:07

There were no German strategic mistakes in the East:the German strategic decisions were dictated by the SU .Saying that there were mistakes is saying that there were alternatives who could prevent the Soviet conquest of Berlin . And there were none .

Blau was dictated by the fact that the Ostheer was that weakened that Blau was the only thing that was available . It was not the oil of the Caucasus : first Blau was decided and than,the Germans were searching for reasons that could justify Blau,but there were none .The economic experts said that there was no indication at all that the loss of the Caucasian oil would force the SU to give up .THus there was no reason for Blau unless the knowledge it was the only thing the Ostheer could undertake .

The Soviet willingness to continue the fight had nothing to do with what was on table:no one started negotiations: ot Hitler, not Stalin .Hitler could not,because almost immediately he was losing, and Stalin would not because almost immediately he was winning .

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by doogal » 28 Nov 2015 22:50

ljadw wrote-the German strategic decisions were dictated by the SU .Saying that there were mistakes is saying that there were alternatives who could prevent the Soviet conquest of Berlin . And there were none .
The four truly Strategic decisions taken by Hitler in the East were.(39/45)
(1). The attempt to defeat the Soviet Union by the launching of Barbarossa.
(2).The attack on Poland which enabled a wider European conflict.
(3)The soviet/German pact of 1939
(4) The invasion of the Balkans.

Germany suffered military failures at critical points including the failure of Barbarossa but Germany had an alternative it was unacceptable to Hitler Strategic withdrawal. (This would have been a sensible Strategic level decision)
ljadw wrote-After a few weeks the chance to defeat the SU was over,and all Germany could do was react : already in the summer of 1941,the SU had the initiative .
If in a few weeks you mean that they were unable to defeat the USSR in the terms of the Barbarossa operation, then I agree.

No they didn't have the initiative in the summer of 1941, it definitely see-sawed at the end of Sep through Oct -Nov and began to change in Dec and through Jan/March they did i agree hold the initiative, but the Soviet Union made massive mistakes through early 1942.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by AJFFM » 29 Nov 2015 19:20

ljadw wrote:There were no German strategic mistakes in the East:the German strategic decisions were dictated by the SU .Saying that there were mistakes is saying that there were alternatives who could prevent the Soviet conquest of Berlin . And there were none .
So is every war ever fought. One could easily flip this logic over its head and say the Soviet Strategic decisions were dictated by the Germans :D .


ljadw wrote: The Soviet willingness to continue the fight had nothing to do with what was on table:no one started negotiations: ot Hitler, not Stalin .Hitler could not,because almost immediately he was losing, and Stalin would not because almost immediately he was winning .
If the Soviets did not want to fight the war would have ended. It happened in 1918, in 1920 (in Both cases the regime did not fall) and 1988. All wars depend on whether you have the will to fight or not. Once that was established one can look into the details.



Either you have a concept of strategy completely different than every author I know or you know something about the war that no author from either side (even those who were in the thick of it and wrote with hindsight) know about.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by BDV » 11 Dec 2015 01:52

I disagree that "BLAU" was the only option.

another option was to fight "Bustard Hunt"x4-5, namely attacking every exposed Soviet position from North to South; which was to some extent planned and tried;

given allocation of resources towards Blau and increasing battle prowess of RKKA the mediocre results obtained on the Volkhov and at Sukhinichi are not shocking as such; but the key point being that it was not only planned - but actually tried!

tl;dr germans have the option of trying to bleed off RKKA in 1942 while preparing themselves and the Auxilliaries for a decisive confrontation in 1943.
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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by stg 44 » 11 Dec 2015 03:22

BDV wrote:I disagree that "BLAU" was the only option.

another option was to fight "Bustard Hunt"x4-5, namely attacking every exposed Soviet position from North to South; which was to some extent planned and tried;

given allocation of resources towards Blau and increasing battle prowess of RKKA the mediocre results obtained on the Volkhov and at Sukhinichi are not shocking as such; but the key point being that it was not only planned - but actually tried!

tl;dr germans have the option of trying to bleed off RKKA in 1942 while preparing themselves and the Auxilliaries for a decisive confrontation in 1943.
Leaving aside the oil issue, the problem of staying on the defensive put for some heavy attacks on the flanks of bulges is expensive for too limited of returns. Blau, had it stuck to the original plan, did strategy level damage to the Soviet economy by overrunning even more farmland, destroying even more Soviet troops and overrunning more population, it also knocked out Stalingrad as a manufacturing center, shut down Volga traffic, shut down oil production in Maykop and Grozny, etc. The impact of Blau was huge on the Soviets, the problem is that they needed to withdraw during October to avoid the winter riposte, but Hitler wouldn't allow that. The only real problem with the operation was not pulling back when prudent; had they done that by 1943 the German army in the East would have saved hundreds of aircraft not lost supplying Stalingrad, plus some 400-500k Germans and Axis allied troops that were destroyed from November 1942-March 1943 and all their heaps of equipment. In the Spring/Summer 1943 campaign coupled with withdrawals from Demyansk and Rzhev the German army would be capable of a truly strategic level offensive capable of inflicting real damage and changing the dynamic going forward. Ukraine probably wouldn't be liberated and food situation would have been even worse for the Soviets as a result, not to mention the impact of holding the Donbas.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by Appleknocker27 » 11 Dec 2015 14:34

I agree with STG on this, the original plan was much better than what it turned into (siege due to prestige/ego). Blau certainly hurt the Soviets, but it overextended the Axis forces and invited disaster. Sticking to the attrition concept; perhaps finishing off Leningrad with a maximum effort, taking Rostov, fortifying the central position in front of Moscow in depth and building up the mobile forces would have been the best way to prepare for a showdown in 1943.
I would have done that and placed the Romanians and Italians at Rostov/southern front while staging maximum armored forces at Kharkov behind a strong defense in order to spring Blau in 1943 as a counter offensive. Invite the Soviets to hit the soft spot, let them penetrate, then cut them off at Rostov pinned against the Black Sea. Bag them and move for the oil, feint against Moscow to kick it all off in order to hold any Soviet reserves. Just a thought...

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ljadw » 11 Dec 2015 21:39

Blau hurt the Germans.

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by ljadw » 11 Dec 2015 21:41

BDV wrote:I disagree that "BLAU" was the only option.

another option was to fight "Bustard Hunt"x4-5, namely attacking every exposed Soviet position from North to South; which was to some extent planned and tried;

given allocation of resources towards Blau and increasing battle prowess of RKKA the mediocre results obtained on the Volkhov and at Sukhinichi are not shocking as such; but the key point being that it was not only planned - but actually tried!

tl;dr germans have the option of trying to bleed off RKKA in 1942 while preparing themselves and the Auxilliaries for a decisive confrontation in 1943.
The Germans were bleeding in 1942.They lost 1.1 million men .

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Re: German defeat in the East consequence of victories 1941-42?

Post by Cult Icon » 11 Dec 2015 21:43

^
Blau I/II were fine, it was what happened afterward that defeated AGS.

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