The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

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Peter89
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Peter89 » 31 Dec 2019 11:50

ljadw wrote:
30 Dec 2019 22:07
The Cold War has everything to do : there are people who are disappointed that the Cold War did not become a Warm War and decide that if they could not deffeat the Soviets, the best they could do is to make the Germans defeat the Soviets .
And, FYI, I know that I was on the list of the Cheka .
To the best of my knowledge, the SU was defeated in the Cold War. Or do you have a theory where they won?

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by ljadw » 31 Dec 2019 12:48

Peter89 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 11:50
ljadw wrote:
30 Dec 2019 22:07
The Cold War has everything to do : there are people who are disappointed that the Cold War did not become a Warm War and decide that if they could not deffeat the Soviets, the best they could do is to make the Germans defeat the Soviets .
And, FYI, I know that I was on the list of the Cheka .
To the best of my knowledge, the SU was defeated in the Cold War. Or do you have a theory where they won?
????

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Aida1 » 31 Dec 2019 14:28

Peter89 wrote:
31 Dec 2019 11:50
ljadw wrote:
30 Dec 2019 22:07
The Cold War has everything to do : there are people who are disappointed that the Cold War did not become a Warm War and decide that if they could not deffeat the Soviets, the best they could do is to make the Germans defeat the Soviets .
And, FYI, I know that I was on the list of the Cheka .
To the best of my knowledge, the SU was defeated in the Cold War. Or do you have a theory where they won?
He forgot the minor detail that the USSR desintegrated without war. :lol:

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Appleknocker27
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Appleknocker27 » 31 Dec 2019 19:29

Yuri wrote:
31 Dec 2019 03:27
Appleknocker27 wrote:
30 Dec 2019 23:03
Yuri wrote:
30 Dec 2019 21:49
Can a 21st-century specialist understand and solve the problems of the Wehrmacht better than the specialists who provided the logistics of Barbarossa in 1940-41?
That wasn't the problem set, so what exactly are you after? You are also leaving out the fact that I already have the answers to the test of what was going to happen, the Wehrmacht planners didn't.
That's the whole point. This is your mistake.
So you presume to know what I know, how "modern" military logistics functions, historical Wehrmacht logistics functioned and you definitvely understand what is specifically different and similiar without ever studying any of that?

That's awesome.

You don't have an answer to the test for a stronger Wehrmacht.


With approximately 50+ books on my shelves that cover Barbarossa from top to bottom, a Masters in WW2 history and a 25 years Military education in Logistics, its literally academic. I have all the information where as Wehrmacht planners would have needed a time machine. Obviously we know what went wrong, when and why, at least some do.
You propose to improve the logistics of the Wehrmacht and its allies, do not forget that, in addition to the 4,500,000 th Wehrmacht against the red Army acted more than 1,000,000 of its European allies.
Point?
Thus, Your Wehrmacht in Your opinion will be stronger.


Not "my Wehrmacht" and I did not state anything to that effect. Strawman argument.
However, if the Wehrmacht and its allies had performed better in June and July 1941, the Red Army would have acted in a different scenario.
Most of the Red Army's June and July actions were scripted pre-war and they did not have the command and control functions for any type of improvisation which is painfully clear to anyone read in to the Soviet reaction. Obviously you are out of your depth here and emotionally charged by my comments.
"At the same time, it was assumed that the first strategic echelon would be quickly lost. However, at the beginning of July 1941, it became clear to Stavka and GKO that the opponents did not have the strength to inflict a decisive defeat even to the first strategic echelon of the Red Army."
I'd say that statement requires a source...sounds, not so accurate. :roll:

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Dec 2019 20:03

Appleknocker27 wrote:
30 Dec 2019 21:47
Good advice...I could copy paste Ljadw from 12-15 years ago and its the exact same lines as he posts now (and he was obtuse then as well).
:lol: At least he is reasonably consistent and honest in his obtuseness.
Neptune? We beat just about every aspect of Normandy to death in just about every log school I've ever attended. To me it's still amazing improvisation and creativity though. The whole Mulberry and PLUTO concept just still seems audacious. I recall in the SPO course (support ops) we had a graded practical exercise as part of a staff to research and brief Neptune to a COL. Spent a week researching PLUTO from concept to execution to extension across France.
I agree regarding the improvisation and creativity part, although MULBERRY and PLUTO had their own issues and didn't perform quite as expected. I was more speaking to the lack of foresight and agility in adapting to other issues, both before and after the landing. ASF second-guessing the ETOUSA on transportation requirements is one of them, but it is the overarching failure to plan for more than a deliberately staged advance, which is interesting to me. The planners did an outstanding job on getting the troops ashore and sustaining them in the beachhead...but no so well after the assault phase and were forced to rely on inadequate improvisations that drastically reduced the capability of the troops at the pointy end from roughly late August to mid-December 1944.

OTOH, it wasn't just an American thing. The British too were forced to ground vital combat forces in order to provide the supply to barely support the offensive operations at the front. Overall, the Allied logistics planning for NEPTUNE went south around 15 August. What is your take on that? Or do we need to start a new thread?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Appleknocker27
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Appleknocker27 » 02 Jan 2020 01:53

Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Dec 2019 20:03
OTOH, it wasn't just an American thing. The British too were forced to ground vital combat forces in order to provide the supply to barely support the offensive operations at the front. Overall, the Allied logistics planning for NEPTUNE went south around 15 August. What is your take on that? Or do we need to start a new thread?
I think start a new thread, but here's a linked piece that might help:
"Progress had not been as rapid as hoped, and on 1 July the front lines were approximately sixteen days behind the phase lines drawn into the OVERLORD plan. The retarded advance had inevitable repercussions on logistic plans. Because Cherbourg had not been captured and put into operation as scheduled, port plans had to be reconsidered. Because lines of communications were short and the fighting in Normandy had become a struggle
for hedgerows, requirements for both supplies and troops differed from those originally anticipated. Because the lodgment area throughout June and July remained small and congested, neither the continental administrative organization nor depot structure could be developed as planned.
In short, the lag in tactical progress directly influenced the whole development of the Normandy supply base in the first weeks and determined not only its physical appearance but the nature of its operations and its organizational structure.
https://history.army.mil/html/books/007 ... _7-2-1.pdf

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jan 2020 02:18

Appleknocker27 wrote:
02 Jan 2020 01:53
I think start a new thread, but here's a linked piece that might help:
"Progress had not been as rapid as hoped, and on 1 July the front lines were approximately sixteen days behind the phase lines drawn into the OVERLORD plan. The retarded advance had inevitable repercussions on logistic plans. Because Cherbourg had not been captured and put into operation as scheduled, port plans had to be reconsidered. Because lines of communications were short and the fighting in Normandy had become a struggle
for hedgerows, requirements for both supplies and troops differed from those originally anticipated. Because the lodgment area throughout June and July remained small and congested, neither the continental administrative organization nor depot structure could be developed as planned.
In short, the lag in tactical progress directly influenced the whole development of the Normandy supply base in the first weeks and determined not only its physical appearance but the nature of its operations and its organizational structure.
https://history.army.mil/html/books/007 ... _7-2-1.pdf
Yep, classic. I enjoy digging to find the various AAR and OCMH studies that were the research basis of works such as Logistical Support of the Armies.

One of the interesting aspects of NEPTUNE was the unintended consequences of assumptions made prior to the assault. Planners assumed that once the beachhead was established the Germans would withdraw to the line of the Seine...so fuel was prioritized in the assault buildup over ammunition. The result when the Germans refused to retreat was ammunition shortage, so fuel shipment was cut back just in time for the breakout. :D
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Jan 2020 03:17

Appleknocker27 wrote: Soviet production in 1941 of just about anything after June 22 was not good. They were just as bound to the rail system, if not more, than the Germans were. They had fewer trucks overall and per capita it wasn't even close. The life blood of tactical mobility is the military truck and the Soviets had too few, were small, of obsolete design and worn out in one way or another (not to mention tankers and other specialized vehicles).
These are good and true points that so many miss. Whatever one thinks of German logistics during Barbarossa, theirs were certainly better overall than their opponents.
The stockpiles, etc. were estimated and built accordingly to move all three Army Groups to a certain point and only a small force beyond, so obviously everything after Smolensk is pure improvisation.
Exactly. Barbarossa's logistical planning supported the strategic concept more than adequately. The problem was the strategic concept of a weeks-long war against the largest country and army in the world - both obvious facts that were known to the Germans at the time.

IMO the blame for the debacle has to lie with Halder and other high generals/marshals. Sure, Hitler came up with the quick war strategy but at several other points - invasion of France in winter 39-40 being the most prominent - the generals were able to talk sense into the Fuehrer. Here, however, Halder especially imbibed and even amplified the ridiculously irresponsible "plan" for quick victory, even burying adverse analysis coming from Marcks, Paulus, Wagner, Lossberg. Haven't read the archives but it seems certain Hitler never even heard of those studies. Pure incompetence by Halder.

In your professional opinion, what discrete steps to improve Barbarossa logistics would have been most important? Aside from the impact on the Moscow drive, have you analyzed logistical impact on the '41 trans-Dniepr campaign where Army Group South didn't even have a rail line east of the river until mid-winter? IMO the basic logistical impediment was one of rails rather than of trucks/horses. I've written a bit about rectifying that, would welcome your thoughts. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&start=390#p2239628
The point that I was trying to make in the spirit of the original topic of logistics, was that those forces around Vyazma-Bryansk were forming in that area as the Smolensk battle played out. Point being, better Intel, better support plan, longer operational reach, effect those mobilization centers early enough to completely disrupt Soviet force generation on the central axis.
Trying to understand your argument here. At first blush it seems easier to order mobilizing men to report to different locations than it is to carry out the evacuation of ~16mil people and thousands of factories. Knowing that the SU accomplished the latter, I have trouble believing they'd blindly order mobilizing men forward into a trap rather than altering the mobilization points. Of course that would place some additional strain on the transportation network, which was already maxed-out with evacuation, mobilization, army support, and economic needs. So I could see an earlier Taifun meaning less-successful evacuation elsewhere, but I have trouble believing that the SU was as administratively inflexible as you seem to imply.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Aida1 » 22 Jan 2020 11:43

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Jan 2020 03:17
IMO the blame for the debacle has to lie with Halder and other high generals/marshals. Sure, Hitler came up with the quick war strategy but at several other points - invasion of France in winter 39-40 being the most prominent - the generals were able to talk sense into the Fuehrer. Here, however, Halder especially imbibed and even amplified the ridiculously irresponsible "plan" for quick victory, even burying adverse analysis coming from Marcks, Paulus, Wagner, Lossberg. Haven't read the archives but it seems certain Hitler never even heard of those studies. Pure incompetence by Halder.
You are far out on a limb when you pretend that Halder buried the work done by Marcks, Lossberg and Paulus . It was all part of the integrated planning preparations for Barbarossa and was all interrelated . Marcks and Lossberg certainly did not think the USSR could not be defeated in 1941. There were only minor differences between Marcks and Lossberg. What Halder explained to Hitler on 5 december 1940 was the result of all the preparatory planning in accordance with Hitlers initial instructions and certainly nothing was buried ( for the whole process see Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion Klink,etc.. Fischer 1991 pp 259-301). There was certainly a general conviction that the campaign could be won in 1941 because of the underestimation of the USSR which befell not only Hitler but the whole military leadership as a result of the scanty intelligence on the USSR. The major divergence of opinions between Hitler and Halder from the beginning was on Moscow which was the main objective for Halder always but for Hitler that was much less clear. And that led to all the discussions later .One can certainly not come to the conclusion of incompetence by Halder. There is no basis in fact for this.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Appleknocker27 » 24 Jan 2020 20:56

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Jan 2020 03:17
The point that I was trying to make in the spirit of the original topic of logistics, was that those forces around Vyazma-Bryansk were forming in that area as the Smolensk battle played out. Point being, better Intel, better support plan, longer operational reach, effect those mobilization centers early enough to completely disrupt Soviet force generation on the central axis.
Trying to understand your argument here. At first blush it seems easier to order mobilizing men to report to different locations than it is to carry out the evacuation of ~16mil people and thousands of factories. Knowing that the SU accomplished the latter, I have trouble believing they'd blindly order mobilizing men forward into a trap rather than altering the mobilization points. Of course that would place some additional strain on the transportation network, which was already maxed-out with evacuation, mobilization, army support, and economic needs. So I could see an earlier Taifun meaning less-successful evacuation elsewhere, but I have trouble believing that the SU was as administratively inflexible as you seem to imply.
The Soviets trained the mobilization plan under the assumptions of no strategic surprise and they would begin prior to any German invasion. The mobilization plan called for and was trained as; Soldiers would report to their designated centers, be in-processed, receive their equipment from their unit's stocks, etc. What do you think happens when you deviate from a plan without training a deviation to the plan? There was no internet, cell phone, etc. Any disruption to the plan will have a massive impact on the timeline of mobilization and the combat capability of the units effected. If a unit isn't mobilized and their mob center is threatened, who moves the equipment and with what? Who has the transport capacity, man power and expertise to uproot a mobilization center with that particular unit's MTOE of equipment to another location and set it back up in such a way that the unit's personnel can show up and orderly mobilize?

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Jan 2020 21:12

Appleknocker27 wrote:The Soviets trained the mobilization plan under the assumptions of no strategic surprise and they would begin prior to any German invasion. The mobilization plan called for and was trained as; Soldiers would report to their designated centers, be in-processed, receive their equipment from their unit's stocks, etc. What do you think happens when you deviate from a plan without training a deviation to the plan? There was no internet, cell phone, etc. Any disruption to the plan will have a massive impact on the timeline of mobilization and the combat capability of the units effected. If a unit isn't mobilized and their mob center is threatened, who moves the equipment and with what? Who has the transport capacity, man power and expertise to uproot a mobilization center with that particular unit's MTOE of equipment to another location and set it back up in such a way that the unit's personnel can show up and orderly mobilize?
I get the importance and inertia of plans but there was literally zero planning for the evacuation of 16 million people and thousands of factories either. Yet the SU pulled that off quite quickly: by June 26th there was an evacuation committee with authority to marshal transport capacity etc.

So I can't specifically answer who would redirect the mobilizing soldiers but I do know the Soviets were able rapidly to surge transport capacity when faced with the loss of valuable assets. An entire army is certainly a valuable asset; I just can't see the Soviets blindly losing an army even if it meant redirecting transport lift from evacuation efforts. Throughout 1941, in fact, the Soviets abandoned evacuees and material when more pressing demands for transport lift intervened (i.e. the evacuation wasn't universal and much had to be destroyed).

To be clear, I think you're right that this would have caused confusion and almost certainly delayed assembly of the armies according to their MTOE's. The evacuation efforts resulted in a lot of people/things being administratively lost for a time.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 24 Jan 2020 21:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Appleknocker27 » 24 Jan 2020 21:14


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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Appleknocker27 » 24 Jan 2020 21:23

Factories being relocated is one thing, relocating mob centers that produce formations that will be placed into direct combat is another. Seems there is evidence of planning to move the factories though: https://books.google.com/books?id=dcAgT ... es&f=false

Disruption of mobilizations means less resistance during the critical time period of good weather. It also forces the Soviets to choose between mobilization priorities and industrial evacuation with their limited rail capacity.

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 24 Jan 2020 23:42

Appleknocker27 wrote:
24 Jan 2020 20:56
The Soviets trained the mobilization plan under the assumptions of no strategic surprise and they would begin prior to any German invasion. The mobilization plan called for and was trained as; Soldiers would report to their designated centers, be in-processed, receive their equipment from their unit's stocks, etc. What do you think happens when you deviate from a plan without training a deviation to the plan? There was no internet, cell phone, etc. Any disruption to the plan will have a massive impact on the timeline of mobilization and the combat capability of the units effected. If a unit isn't mobilized and their mob center is threatened, who moves the equipment and with what? Who has the transport capacity, man power and expertise to uproot a mobilization center with that particular unit's MTOE of equipment to another location and set it back up in such a way that the unit's personnel can show up and orderly mobilize?
Yes, it is true that after the Red Army had transitioned from a "territorial" to fully "cadre" based organizational structure, the mobilization plans were very precise in matching individual troops to specific posts with the issuing of exact equipment in a set location. There were several hundred reporting centers, equipment stores and warehouses located throughout the country. An individual was required to report to a specific center (his local one) where he would be assigned his post in a specific unit according to the plan. Transport would then take him to that unit which, unless he was a specialist, almost certainly be local. He would be equipped there and join up with all his likewise assigned collegues. All according to carefully worked out plans. The unit/formation would then be transported enmasse to its deployment location.

You may find the essay The red army's troop mobilization inthe Kiev special military district during September 1939 by Rukkas in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol.16 No.1, pp.105-136 interesting. It gives an insight as to how things went, with no enemy disruption, for the partial mobilization before the invasion of Poland in 1939.

However, is this line of thought linked to your earlier posts opining that had the Germans overrun the Vyazma and Bryansk centers earlier, a decisive difference would occur to the outcome of Barbarossa? If so, how do you reconcile that?

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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jan 2020 00:19

Appleknocker27 wrote:Disruption of mobilizations means less resistance during the critical time period of good weather.


True. But unless the personnel of the mobilizing formations blindly walk into a trap and encircled (something about whose likelihood we disagree), then the Ostheer fights those soldiers later and farther east. I.e. it doesn't fundamentally change the force balance. If the Germans take Moscow in late fall, then face the same fighting odds as OTL except farther east, they probably can't hold Moscow anyway. Worse, Hitler probably doesn't allow a retreat from Moscow, meaning a bigger and worse Stalingrad debacle over the winter.

Just to clarify - is your argument that the mobilizing forces would be encircled with the earlier loss of Vyazma/Bryansk? Or is that the forces wouldn't have mobilized at all? Some combination thereof?
It also forces the Soviets to choose between mobilization priorities and industrial evacuation with their limited rail capacity.
True and say that upthread. OTOH if you're driving on Moscow in August then the Soviet evacuation burden from Ukraine is much reduced.

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