von Bock and Voronej

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
DavidFrankenberg
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 27 Mar 2019 11:12

jesk wrote:
26 Mar 2019 21:43
Another source noted that Hitler had to hide von Bock’s resignation for several months. The “failure at Voronezh” is so obscure phenomenon that von Bock’s resignation would raise a question for Hitler himself. For what?
Hitler, of course, could not recognize publicly that he was disobeyed.
https://b-ok.cc/book/3386571/6f8818

After Hitler's departure, Bock momentarily hesitated about Voronezh. But the daring of his panzers soon decided the issue for him. On July 4, forward elements of the Fourth Panzer Army's 24th Panzer Division reached the Don, found a bridge that was still intact, and, daringly mixing in with retreating Russian units, roared on toward Voronezh. When Bock learned that his tanks were a few miles from Voronezh, he gave the order for them to finish the deed.

Bock was right: The operation netted only around 50,000 prisoners. But in Hitler's eyes. Bock had protested too much and delayed too long. On July 13, the Fiihrer changed plans again. Convinced that large numbers of Russians were concentrated along the lower reaches of the Don, he abandoned the scheduled drive by all forces eastward toward Stalingrad and prepared a major encirclement by List's Army Group A around Rostov, 125 miles south of Millerovo. To spring the trap, he stripped Bock's Army Group B of the Fourth Panzer Army and gave it to List, leaving the Sixth Army as the only German force available on the northern flank. Then, virtually in the same breath, having developed "a distinct antipathy for Bock, " as an aide later put it, he stripped Bock of his command. Bock was ordered to turn over Army Group B to his commander on the northern wing, Maximilian von Weichs—again, a change ostensibly "for reasons of health. " Such was the field marshal's prestige, however, that the Fiihrer ordered the shift in command to take place in the strictest secrecy. For months, stories and photographs of Bock appeared in the government controlled press as if he were still in command of the southern front in Russia. But the seasoned veteran, with forty-five years of military service behind him, would never command troops again.
This interesting book cites no source and has no author...

jesk
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by jesk » 27 Mar 2019 11:57

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
27 Mar 2019 11:12
jesk wrote:
26 Mar 2019 21:43
Another source noted that Hitler had to hide von Bock’s resignation for several months. The “failure at Voronezh” is so obscure phenomenon that von Bock’s resignation would raise a question for Hitler himself. For what?
Hitler, of course, could not recognize publicly that he was disobeyed.
In the case of publicity, von Bock could initiate a discussion in society. He did not agree with charges. Thereby questioning the authority of the Fuhrer.
https://b-ok.cc/book/3386571/6f8818

After Hitler's departure, Bock momentarily hesitated about Voronezh. But the daring of his panzers soon decided the issue for him. On July 4, forward elements of the Fourth Panzer Army's 24th Panzer Division reached the Don, found a bridge that was still intact, and, daringly mixing in with retreating Russian units, roared on toward Voronezh. When Bock learned that his tanks were a few miles from Voronezh, he gave the order for them to finish the deed.

Bock was right: The operation netted only around 50,000 prisoners. But in Hitler's eyes. Bock had protested too much and delayed too long. On July 13, the Fiihrer changed plans again. Convinced that large numbers of Russians were concentrated along the lower reaches of the Don, he abandoned the scheduled drive by all forces eastward toward Stalingrad and prepared a major encirclement by List's Army Group A around Rostov, 125 miles south of Millerovo. To spring the trap, he stripped Bock's Army Group B of the Fourth Panzer Army and gave it to List, leaving the Sixth Army as the only German force available on the northern flank. Then, virtually in the same breath, having developed "a distinct antipathy for Bock, " as an aide later put it, he stripped Bock of his command. Bock was ordered to turn over Army Group B to his commander on the northern wing, Maximilian von Weichs—again, a change ostensibly "for reasons of health. " Such was the field marshal's prestige, however, that the Fiihrer ordered the shift in command to take place in the strictest secrecy. For months, stories and photographs of Bock appeared in the government controlled press as if he were still in command of the southern front in Russia. But the seasoned veteran, with forty-five years of military service behind him, would never command troops again.
This interesting book cites no source and has no author...
There is a team of authors. The source also denied "disobedience."

Image

Image

DavidFrankenberg
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Posts: 698
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 27 Mar 2019 12:44

jesk wrote:
27 Mar 2019 11:57
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
27 Mar 2019 11:12
jesk wrote:
26 Mar 2019 21:43
Another source noted that Hitler had to hide von Bock’s resignation for several months. The “failure at Voronezh” is so obscure phenomenon that von Bock’s resignation would raise a question for Hitler himself. For what?
Hitler, of course, could not recognize publicly that he was disobeyed.
In the case of publicity, von Bock could initiate a discussion in society. He did not agree with charges. Thereby questioning the authority of the Fuhrer.
Bock was dismissed officially for heatlh reason, like in december.
There was nothing to question.
https://b-ok.cc/book/3386571/6f8818

After Hitler's departure, Bock momentarily hesitated about Voronezh. But the daring of his panzers soon decided the issue for him. On July 4, forward elements of the Fourth Panzer Army's 24th Panzer Division reached the Don, found a bridge that was still intact, and, daringly mixing in with retreating Russian units, roared on toward Voronezh. When Bock learned that his tanks were a few miles from Voronezh, he gave the order for them to finish the deed.

Bock was right: The operation netted only around 50,000 prisoners. But in Hitler's eyes. Bock had protested too much and delayed too long. On July 13, the Fiihrer changed plans again. Convinced that large numbers of Russians were concentrated along the lower reaches of the Don, he abandoned the scheduled drive by all forces eastward toward Stalingrad and prepared a major encirclement by List's Army Group A around Rostov, 125 miles south of Millerovo. To spring the trap, he stripped Bock's Army Group B of the Fourth Panzer Army and gave it to List, leaving the Sixth Army as the only German force available on the northern flank. Then, virtually in the same breath, having developed "a distinct antipathy for Bock, " as an aide later put it, he stripped Bock of his command. Bock was ordered to turn over Army Group B to his commander on the northern wing, Maximilian von Weichs—again, a change ostensibly "for reasons of health. " Such was the field marshal's prestige, however, that the Fiihrer ordered the shift in command to take place in the strictest secrecy. For months, stories and photographs of Bock appeared in the government controlled press as if he were still in command of the southern front in Russia. But the seasoned veteran, with forty-five years of military service behind him, would never command troops again.
This interesting book cites no source and has no author...
There is a team of authors. The source also denied "disobedience."

Image

Image

Who is the author ? Nobody knows. I guess a post war german commentator who has been part of the events.

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 Apr 2019 21:57

About the reason of the dismissal :

In Gerbert-Johnston, VB diary p.527, i read :
On 14/7 bock spoke by teephone with Schmundt, Hitler's chief army adjudant. In the course of the conversation "the latter confirmed the alleged dealy in the departure of the 24th Pz div and the GD div from Voronej to the south as the reason behind the decision made about me. I do not believe that, because it cannot stand up to even the most casual scrutiny. Schmundt suggested that i ask to meet with the Führer. I thought it better if he inform me when the F is in Berlin and wants to see me. Schmundt promised to do so".
But i wonder what is the source for this quote...
Why is it written in italics ?
20/7
Before i left Poltava (HQ) i asked Sodenstern to have a summary prepared from the war diary of everything involving the relief and departure of the 2 divisions from Voronej. Thsi summary must show if there was any oversight on the part of the army group. The need to sped up the departure to the south was always clear to me; everything possible was done toward that end. But i need evidence to be able to prove the unfounded nature of the accusation.
Sodenstern wrote today that the summary is complete, but that in agreement with List and Weichs he strongly advises that i not take any steps. Sice the reasons named by Keitel "could not be sufficient or even substantial", they would just look for others which would be harder to refute. Schmundt also advised "especially forcefully" that i leave things alone for the time being and said "that the F fully intends to speak with you as soon as the running of the current operation no longer takes up as much of his time".

22/7
I replied to Sodenstrern that i would need his advice, and in this letter i once again turned against the unfounded nature of Keitel's reasons as well as an "expanded" reason that has meanwhile seeped through, which seeks to trace the ill-feeling backt to the history behind the Kharkov battle.

31/7
Sodenstern wrte that new, strict regulations prevent him from sending the war diary extracts without the permission of the OKH, but he has no doubt that authoriation will be forthcoming. Then he went into the matter of the turn to the south and wrote :
"The conversation with Halder took place on 5th july at 14.40 and ha d the foloonwing content :
Halder described the F train of thought, which he had expressed in the course of that day's noon briefing. He was following the developpment of the operation with great impatience. In particular he complained that the 40th Pz Korps had not yet been turned southeast in the general direction of Starobelsk and that the HQ commanding the northern flank was apparently unclear about the basic concept of the operation, to release the strongest possible forces to the southeast. Our forces in the area south of Livny were still much too strong.
I subsequently advised Halder that the basic trend of the operation was absolutely clear to both the HQ of the army group and that of the Army Group Weichs and that everything was being done to carry it out. However, there was some concern about the southern flank of 4th Pz Arm whose rapid advance toward Voronej appeared threatened sohould ennmy forces show up there, which is certinly to be expected. This consideration caused the Commander In Chief of the army group to stick to his decsions to move at least some elements of 40th Pz Korps (23rd PD) into the area around Krasno Lipje.... As far as turning the 40th PK south, i can say that : on 5th july at 11.30 orders were issued that the 40th PK without the 23rd PD was to break through toward Ostrogorsk and Korotoyak before the day was over.
That evening 20.20 VB advised the F by telex that the 6th army had captured the bridgeheads at Liman, Dujonny, Nikolaievka and Ostrogorsk and that orders had been issued for the follow-up to the south, at first to the line Topooli station-Veidelevea-Varvarovka-Kamenka-Nikolskoye (south of Svoboda). On 6th july the 6th Army plan to advance the 40th PK as far as the Kalitva was approved..."
The reason of VB dismissal is clear : the delay to send south the motor. div. 23rd Pz and GD div. Because this delay caused the failure of Fall Blau.
Last edited by DavidFrankenberg on 17 Apr 2019 22:54, edited 2 times in total.

jesk
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by jesk » 17 Apr 2019 22:13

Hitler himself talked about 48 hours. Then another bad weather... Bad material for logical constructions. Von Bock's diary of July 3 disproves Halder's subsequent logic. If von Bock had not written in diary, in that case one could continue to assert any orders on July 3 in the context of Halder’s logic. Von Bock denied everything. The logic of disobedience is completely unprovable.
This entry interferes.

3/7/42

The Fuhrer arrived at 07.00; despite the fact that he had to leave his headquarters around 04.00, he was very lively and well-disposed. He confirmed what Halder told me yesterday, and gave me the freedom to refuse to capture Voronezh if our troops meet especially fierce resistance at the approaches to the city. He wants one thing: the large aircraft factories in the city, as well as the huge depot and other railway structures, are put out of operation. He will not mind if the 4th Army, for example, goes to Don south of the city.

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 Apr 2019 22:55

Please, dont post if you have nothing new to say.
Last edited by DavidFrankenberg on 17 Apr 2019 23:36, edited 1 time in total.

jesk
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by jesk » 17 Apr 2019 23:16

You quoted Glantz. In the topic of logistics opponent too. About logistics Glantz writes nonsense. His conclusions are not just wrong, there is galimatias.
This source is now in my always in doubt...
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
16 Mar 2019 10:56
It is clear that Hitler wanted arm. forces to go south in order to encircle the enemy.
It is clear that Hitler allowed VB to strike Voronej only wth inf. and only if Voronej was not defended.
The action should happen the 4th july. If VB didnt succeed during the 4th, he should absolutely abandon Voronej with all forces and just send south the arm. div.
Glantz argues that VB "misunderstands" Hitler's orders. But what if a soldier misundertsands an order and retreat instead of attacking ? It is not a misunderstanding but a disobedience.

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 Apr 2019 23:17

VB diary (Johnston trs):
22/3
Keitel said "long afterward during the subsequent course of the operations the F often referred to the "48 hours lost at Voronej" as a serious loss of time"
(...)
Finally Keitel remarked that the F had also expressed doubts back then as to wether my health was adequate to see me through the operations currently in progress"

22/10
Some time ago my nephew Lehndorff had the opportunity to speak with Schmundt on a train about my situation. When asked about the real reason for my removal Schmundt said that "after Voronej i had stared like a rabbit at a snake instead of acting as the F wished!"
Last edited by DavidFrankenberg on 17 Apr 2019 23:38, edited 1 time in total.

jesk
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Re: von Bock and Voronej

Post by jesk » 17 Apr 2019 23:23

This phrase is even mysterious.
Regarding the real reason for my resignation, Schmundt said that "after Voronezh, he looked at the Fuhrer like a rabbit at a boa constrictor, instead of acting in accordance with his wishes"! It is quite obvious - and Keitel also thinks so - that I have never been aware of the Führer’s true desires, and yet this could be corrected by asking me a single question.
I would have demanded more comments from von Bock. But he did not leave them.

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