The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

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

Post by Appleknocker27 » 25 Jan 2020 01:44

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jan 2020 00:19
Appleknocker27 wrote: Disruption of mobilizations means less resistance during the critical time period of good weather.


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?
The point of displacement supports the idea of a more rapid advance to reach Moscow which would create strategic disruption to the whole military and industrial mobilization.
The Soviet units mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk were mostly mobilized but not fully and many men were taken before they were even close to combat ready.
I really don't now where people are getting the idea that if a unit's mobilization center is over run that those men can simply go somewhere else to mobilize. This is the USSR we're discussing, not the US and there is no lavish industrial support. If a unit's mob center is taken, so is it's equipment (all of it). So where do they go? Another unit's mob site and take another unit's equipment, supplies, etc? The Soviets didn't have enough equipment for the unit's they had at the start of the war and newly raised units were below their wartime MTOE in everything. If the Germans were able to over run pre-war mobilization sites, the displacement would be massive. Take or encircle Moscow and the hub of the whole process is out of play for the Soviets. The Red Army is railbound and their tactical mobility hamstrung by a severe lack of trucks. If Moscow is removed from the Soviet transport grid, just how does the winter counter-offensive build the requisite mass to threaten the Wehrmacht?

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jan 2020 02:19

Appleknocker27 wrote:I really don't now where people are getting the idea that if a unit's mobilization center is over run that those men can simply go somewhere else to mobilize. This is the USSR we're discussing, not the US and there is no lavish industrial support.
Just to clear, I'm not conclusively rejecting your thesis. I'm just not convinced it'd be impossible for the SU to relocate mobilization points and equipment. We're reaching the point of mere repetition of conflicting views where I see the massive Soviet evacuation as evidence of ability to relocate massive resources, while you see shifting mob centers as fundamentally different from, e.g., relocating the entire plant, personnel, and organizational structure of a giant industrial concern.
newly raised units were below their wartime MTOE in everything.
...which suggests to me that the units were capable of adapting to shortfalls and fighting nonetheless.
If Moscow is removed from the Soviet transport grid, just how does the winter counter-offensive build the requisite mass to threaten the Wehrmacht?
Image

All the lines moving men and materials from eastern Ukraine, the Urals, and Volga basin would remain operational if Moscow fell.
Loss of Moscow would make it harder to move, for instance, men/material from Ukraine to Leningrad, but a Russian offensive to retake Moscow would be fine. Indeed, given that the SU holds more of Ukraine in this counterfactual, more will be coming up from the south than OTL.
Take or encircle Moscow and the hub of the whole process is out of play for the Soviets.
Weren't most units local though? I mean loss of the Moscow hub would make it hard to combine men from Vologda and Rostov into a unit but my impression is that rarely happened. Units forming in the north could ride south to outside Moscow, from south to north, from east to west. The Red Army rarely shifted forces along the front; they instead varied the flow of reinforcements/replacements from the rear to different areas of the front. They're still able to do that absent Moscow.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jan 2020 02:22

Appleknocker27 wrote:The Soviet units mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk were mostly mobilized but not fully and many men were taken before they were even close to combat ready.
I assume you mean in October '41?
Are you saying that the armies encircled in Taifun were incompletely formed? Or were they merely incompletely trained?
My impression from, e.g., Zetterling is that the armies were fully formed but poorly trained. It'd be very interesting to see documentation that those armies were incompletely formed.

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

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 25 Jan 2020 17:00

Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 01:44
The point of displacement supports the idea of a more rapid advance to reach Moscow which would create strategic disruption to the whole military and industrial mobilization.
The Soviet units mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk were mostly mobilized but not fully and many men were taken before they were even close to combat ready.
I really don't now where people are getting the idea that if a unit's mobilization center is over run that those men can simply go somewhere else to mobilize. This is the USSR we're discussing, not the US and there is no lavish industrial support. If a unit's mob center is taken, so is it's equipment (all of it). So where do they go? Another unit's mob site and take another unit's equipment, supplies, etc? The Soviets didn't have enough equipment for the unit's they had at the start of the war and newly raised units were below their wartime MTOE in everything. If the Germans were able to over run pre-war mobilization sites, the displacement would be massive. Take or encircle Moscow and the hub of the whole process is out of play for the Soviets. The Red Army is railbound and their tactical mobility hamstrung by a severe lack of trucks. If Moscow is removed from the Soviet transport grid, just how does the winter counter-offensive build the requisite mass to threaten the Wehrmacht?
Nobody can question the logic that actions have consequences. Nor that overrunning Vyazma and Bryansk at an earlier date will have a different consequence to historically true.

However, the credibility of your hypothesis does not stand on the simple logic that actions have consequences nor that the consequences would be different if the actions occured on a different date, the credibility stands upon a detailed presentation of what those different consequences would be.

Who were the units mobilizing in Vyazma and Bryansk that would have been adversely affected by an earlier advance? How would they be affected? What were the equipment levels held in storage that would have been captured, the number of reporting reservists prevented from mobilizing, the nature of the plans being disrupted?

The direct and indirect effects of Vyazma and Bryansk being overrun at an earlier date are not to be found in the logic that actions have consequences but in the detail of what those consequences would be.

What are the details that convince you a decisive moment was missed?

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

Post by Appleknocker27 » 25 Jan 2020 21:20

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
25 Jan 2020 17:00

Nobody can question the logic that actions have consequences. Nor that overrunning Vyazma and Bryansk at an earlier date will have a different consequence to historically true.

However, the credibility of your hypothesis does not stand on the simple logic that actions have consequences nor that the consequences would be different if the actions occured on a different date, the credibility stands upon a detailed presentation of what those different consequences would be.

Who were the units mobilizing in Vyazma and Bryansk that would have been adversely affected by an earlier advance? How would they be affected? What were the equipment levels held in storage that would have been captured, the number of reporting reservists prevented from mobilizing, the nature of the plans being disrupted?

The direct and indirect effects of Vyazma and Bryansk being overrun at an earlier date are not to be found in the logic that actions have consequences but in the detail of what those consequences would be.

What are the details that convince you a decisive moment was missed?
Yes, actions have consequences... One consideration in that line of thought that is a proven fact is that the speed of decision making from top to bottom was faster for the Germans at that time due to differences in leadership doctrine, more competent leadership, tactical mobility and far better communications. Soviet mobilization was cumbersome and tied to fixed points. Any German decision or action will take a fraction of the time to actually execute than will the Soviet response. For the Red Army a decision to move or displace from one site to another is no easy task and involves doubling up at other sites that are likely already at maximum capacity. This isn't a simple chess match where the opportunity costs of one mob site to another are equal and there is some kind of freedom of choice. So, whatever the consequences are for the Soviets to move their mobilization site(s) it is assured it would be negative to no small degree in several aspects. Men mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk are from that geographic area, not from Siberia or somewhere else. Their unit's equipment are at those mobilization centers. Moving all of that within the context of the industrial relocation, supplying the armies at the front, etc. is not an easy task. and more or less takes them out of the order of battle for at least a few weeks.
Curious though, this is one small secondary effect or part of what I had stated regarding Wehrmacht logistics enabling greater operational reach. Why such interest in a tangent that seems rather obvious?

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

Post by Appleknocker27 » 25 Jan 2020 21:28

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jan 2020 02:22
Appleknocker27 wrote:The Soviet units mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk were mostly mobilized but not fully and many men were taken before they were even close to combat ready.
I assume you mean in October '41?
Are you saying that the armies encircled in Taifun were incompletely formed? Or were they merely incompletely trained?
My impression from, e.g., Zetterling is that the armies were fully formed but poorly trained. It'd be very interesting to see documentation that those armies were incompletely formed.
Incompletely formed, trained and no where near full MTOE or fully combat capable. Their ability to slow the Germans has more to do with degraded Wehrmacht combat power and weather as much as their presence. That is why I hypothesized an improvement in Wehrmacht logistics means better operational reach and better sustained combat power and a faster decision. The ultimate aim is an encirclement or outright seizure of the Moscow communications and transport hub, which cripples the Soviet ability to launch a counter-attack that winter. That allows the Wehrmacht to reset the mobile divisions and spares it the massive frostbite, exposure and combat casualties in the OTL. 1942 then becomes the year of decision in the East, not 1941.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jan 2020 22:14

Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:28
That allows the Wehrmacht to reset the mobile divisions and spares it the massive frostbite, exposure and combat casualties in the OTL. 1942 then becomes the year of decision in the East, not 1941.
The problem might be by then it was too late? The Ostheer suffered 760,132 battle casualties to 3 December 1941, but just 70,771 to the end of the year. It was gutted long before it got there, running out of the bulk of its available replacements in the first two months of combat.

Unless there is some mechanism for the Ostheer dramatically reducing its own casualties while simultaneously increasing Soviet casualties 22 June-3 December 1941, then I don't quite see how capturing Moscow solves anything?

It also does not solve the Ostheer and Wehrmacht's other major problem, which was its crap medical services, especially with regards to non-battle casualties. Frostbite in winter was not the only problem, fleckfieber (AKA typhus) was the other. About 228,000 frostbite cases were recorded in the winter of 1941-1942, but by then 661,575 men of the Wehrmacht were in hospital. It was so bad that on 11 December the OKH G.Qu. ordered special measure to be undertaken in the Ostheer to improve medical services. Every company and battalion was to improve its facilities for the housing and transport of casualties, while each division was to form three new Ortslazaretten from its Feldlazerette - if it had one. Divisions that did not have a Feldlazerette were to be assigned one (a bit like closing the barn door after the horse...). The Armeeärzte were also to centralize specialized care facilities for diseases requiring isolation, such as typhus in each AOK. Again, it might be asked why it took six months to do so.
"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 Ружичасти Слон » 25 Jan 2020 22:48

Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Yes, actions have consequences... One consideration in that line of thought that is a proven fact is that the speed of decision making from top to bottom was faster for the Germans at that time due to differences in leadership doctrine, more competent leadership, tactical mobility and far better communications. Soviet mobilization was cumbersome and tied to fixed points. Any German decision or action will take a fraction of the time to actually execute than will the Soviet response. For the Red Army a decision to move or displace from one site to another is no easy task and involves doubling up at other sites that are likely already at maximum capacity. This isn't a simple chess match where the opportunity costs of one mob site to another are equal and there is some kind of freedom of choice. So, whatever the consequences are for the Soviets to move their mobilization site(s) it is assured it would be negative to no small degree in several aspects. Men mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk are from that geographic area, not from Siberia or somewhere else. Their unit's equipment are at those mobilization centers. Moving all of that within the context of the industrial relocation, supplying the armies at the front, etc. is not an easy task. and more or less takes them out of the order of battle for at least a few weeks.
Curious though, this is one small secondary effect or part of what I had stated regarding Wehrmacht logistics enabling greater operational reach. Why such interest in a tangent that seems rather obvious?
None of this addresses the detail. All you offer is sweeping statements that the consequences would be so profound as to materially effect the outcome of Barbarossa.
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Men mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk are from that geographic area, not from Siberia or somewhere else.
Correct.
How many men were mobilizing in Vyasma and Bryansk, for which units/formations and when?
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Their unit's equipment are at those mobilization centers.
Correct.
Was the scale of equipment held in these two mobilization centers less than, equal to or more than the scale required to equip those local troops reporting according to the extant mobilization plan - commonly, but erroneously, referred to in western literature as MP-41?

I do not know the answers to the above questions as l have never studied the issue to that level of detail. It is the answers to those questions that will give an initial insight into the credibility of your hypothesis.

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

Post by Appleknocker27 » 26 Jan 2020 02:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Jan 2020 22:14
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:28
That allows the Wehrmacht to reset the mobile divisions and spares it the massive frostbite, exposure and combat casualties in the OTL. 1942 then becomes the year of decision in the East, not 1941.
The problem might be by then it was too late? The Ostheer suffered 760,132 battle casualties to 3 December 1941, but just 70,771 to the end of the year. It was gutted long before it got there, running out of the bulk of its available replacements in the first two months of combat.

Unless there is some mechanism for the Ostheer dramatically reducing its own casualties while simultaneously increasing Soviet casualties 22 June-3 December 1941, then I don't quite see how capturing Moscow solves anything?

It also does not solve the Ostheer and Wehrmacht's other major problem, which was its crap medical services, especially with regards to non-battle casualties. Frostbite in winter was not the only problem, fleckfieber (AKA typhus) was the other. About 228,000 frostbite cases were recorded in the winter of 1941-1942, but by then 661,575 men of the Wehrmacht were in hospital. It was so bad that on 11 December the OKH G.Qu. ordered special measure to be undertaken in the Ostheer to improve medical services. Every company and battalion was to improve its facilities for the housing and transport of casualties, while each division was to form three new Ortslazaretten from its Feldlazerette - if it had one. Divisions that did not have a Feldlazerette were to be assigned one (a bit like closing the barn door after the horse...). The Armeeärzte were also to centralize specialized care facilities for diseases requiring isolation, such as typhus in each AOK. Again, it might be asked why it took six months to do so.
I acknowledge the casualties of the OTL and postulate that the main issue facing the Wehrmacht is force protection and maintaining its own fragile balance with personnel replacements and losses in order to have the requisite combat power to execute their own tactical doctrine effectively. Many of the losses to the all important Infantry battalions came about during the month long pause brought about by the Kiev operation. Leaving AGC in a fixed position for the Soviets to batter was an invitation for a bloodbath. It should also be noted that the majority of the 228k reported frostbite cases happened after Taifun had long culminated and also after the Soviets launched the counter offensive. By neutralizing Moscow as a transportation, logistics, mobilization and communications hub, the chances of the Soviets being able to mount a surprise offensive are remote, thus potentially saving the Wehrmacht a huge number of casualties (OTL 262k from 26 Nov to 28 Feb). The point being that the Soviet offensive forced the Germans to conduct active operations out in the cold as opposed to focusing on winter survival and reset.
Medical care is part of logistics and in the spirit of "improved logistics" for Barbarossa the medical services would also have to react to more accurate intel (that is the assumption). I believe pages back several posters agreed that more accurate intel would produce a better operational design and greater depth to the logistical concept of support as a result. Wehrmacht medical support in the OTL was based on a plan that more or less ended at the Dnieper. Anything after that point was pure improvisation on the fly with limited resources.
The original Barbarossa plan as it was could not carry the day no matter how anyone 2nd guesses or changes the decisions made, it needed to be re-worked from the start. My point all along was that the issue started with the failure of the Intel branch, which led to an unrealistic operational plan and inadequate concept of support. For that, you cannot blame Barbarossa's failure on Wehrmacht logistics.

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

Post by Appleknocker27 » 26 Jan 2020 02:23

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
25 Jan 2020 22:48

None of this addresses the detail. All you offer is sweeping statements that the consequences would be so profound as to materially effect the outcome of Barbarossa.
No it doesn't address the nat's ass detail...nope. That kind of detail requires a very substantial amount of personal time to prove a point that is obvious in the mechanics of military force generation in the context of the campaign timeline.
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Men mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk are from that geographic area, not from Siberia or somewhere else.
Correct.
How many men were mobilizing in Vyasma and Bryansk, for which units/formations and when?
[/quote]
[/quote]
The specific unit info is in "Stumbling Colossus" -Glantz. pgs 16 and 20. The number of men can be broken out from the individual unit records.
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Their unit's equipment are at those mobilization centers.
Correct.
Was the scale of equipment held in these two mobilization centers less than, equal to or more than the scale required to equip those local troops reporting according to the extant mobilization plan - commonly, but erroneously, referred to in western literature as MP-41?
I do not know the answers to the above questions as l have never studied the issue to that level of detail. It is the answers to those questions that will give an initial insight into the credibility of your hypothesis.[/quote]

The equipment at Soviet mob centers throughout the year 1941 was inadequate, severely lacking in motorized transport, communications equipment, optical equipment and medical supplies -to hit the high points of the shortfalls.

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

Post by ljadw » 26 Jan 2020 07:39

Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 01:44
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jan 2020 00:19
Appleknocker27 wrote: If Moscow is removed from the Soviet transport grid, just how does the winter counter-offensive build the requisite mass to threaten the Wehrmacht?
Feeble argument as
1 the Soviet winter offensive was a failure
2 if Moscow is removed from the Soviet transport grid, it is also removed from the German transport grid

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

Post by Yuri » 26 Jan 2020 11:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Jan 2020 22:14
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:28
That allows the Wehrmacht to reset the mobile divisions and spares it the massive frostbite, exposure and combat casualties in the OTL. 1942 then becomes the year of decision in the East, not 1941.
The problem might be by then it was too late? The Ostheer suffered 760,132 battle casualties to 3 December 1941, but just 70,771 to the end of the year. It was gutted long before it got there, running out of the bulk of its available replacements in the first two months of combat.

Unless there is some mechanism for the Ostheer dramatically reducing its own casualties while simultaneously increasing Soviet casualties 22 June-3 December 1941, then I don't quite see how capturing Moscow solves anything?

It also does not solve the Ostheer and Wehrmacht's other major problem, which was its crap medical services, especially with regards to non-battle casualties. Frostbite in winter was not the only problem, fleckfieber (AKA typhus) was the other. About 228,000 frostbite cases were recorded in the winter of 1941-1942, but by then 661,575 men of the Wehrmacht were in hospital. It was so bad that on 11 December the OKH G.Qu. ordered special measure to be undertaken in the Ostheer to improve medical services. Every company and battalion was to improve its facilities for the housing and transport of casualties, while each division was to form three new Ortslazaretten from its Feldlazerette - if it had one. Divisions that did not have a Feldlazerette were to be assigned one (a bit like closing the barn door after the horse...). The Armeeärzte were also to centralize specialized care facilities for diseases requiring isolation, such as typhus in each AOK. Again, it might be asked why it took six months to do so.
Translated into Russian trophy document-order of the commander of the 24th Tank corps from 21.8.1941
24PzK 41-08-21 Commander Order.jpg
Below is my bad English translation.
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Yuri » 26 Jan 2020 11:46

Command post of the corps.
21.08.1941
Day's order for the corps.

1. Over the past 14 days, the number of gastrointestinal patients has exceeded the number of wounded. This was the cause of a strong decline in the combat capability of the unit.
I ask the commanders of the units to make sure that the soldiers do not eat unripe vegetables more strictly than before.
Now increased the supply of drinks due to the fact that the soldiers fill their canteens from various reservoirs.
2. Currently, the air defenses on the front of the 24th corps are weakened /reduced the number of fighters/. Due to the numerous Russian attacks on low-level flight, this has partially led to the fact that some of the troops shoot at each low-flying aircraft. Yesterday, two of their own planes were shot down over Unecha. Personally experienced impression is that with the appearance of the aircraft after the first shot starts shooting randomly.
I ask the commanders of the units for support and compliance with the fire.

The signature is illegible.

Right: major / Selivanov/

"__"September 1941.

-------------

In early September, Colonel-General Guderian issued an order for Guderian's Army Group, in which he would explain to German infantry why German aircraft and anti-aircraft artillery could not protect them from continuous attacks by Russian aircraft.
In the Fund 500 of TsAMO there is an original signed by Guderian, I read this order of Guderian in my time, if I see a TsAMO's Seite, I will indicate it.

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

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 26 Jan 2020 15:00

Appleknocker27 wrote:
26 Jan 2020 02:23

No it doesn't address the nat's ass detail...nope. That kind of detail requires a very substantial amount of personal time to prove a point that is obvious in the mechanics of military force generation in the context of the campaign timeline.
My mistake. I thought your hypothesis was the product of academic research and thorough analysis of the evidence. It now seems you have your hypothesis as the start point and use sweeping statements to justify its validity.

Earlier, you posted:
Appleknocker27 wrote:
25 Jan 2020 21:20
Men mobilizing at Vyazma and Briansk are from that geographic area, not from Siberia or somewhere else.
Correct.

Even a very superficial look at the demographics of the geographic area around Vyasma and Bryansk will highlight that the population numbers there is only likely to generate a couple of division scale equivalent formations.

I don't see how the mechanics of military force generation support your hypothesis.
Appleknocker27 wrote:
26 Jan 2020 02:23
The specific unit info is in "Stumbling Colossus" -Glantz. pgs 16 and 20. The number of men can be broken out from the individual unit records.
I do not have an English language copy of this book to hand. I do have access to an electronic version of the Russian language edition. Perhaps the page numbering does not align. However, between pages 15 and 21, there is no mention of Vyasma or Bryansk.

Unless the English language edition is radically different to the Russian language version, I do not see how this text supports your hypothesis in any way. Rather it does the complete opposite. The text identifies a significant number of formations being mobilized, but those formations were not mobilized in Vyasma or Bryansk. It was places like Siberia.

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

Post by Yuri » 26 Jan 2020 19:26

The most interesting thing is that "Siberian divisions" arrived in the Smolensk region.

List of military districts from which the Red Army divisions arrived in July 1941 on the line of the Dnieper river: Siberian, Ural, Volga, North Caucasus, Arkhangelsk. Relocation orders were issued before the start of the war, as well as immediately after it began on June 23-24.

Apparently, the nature of the error is the same as in the works of Professor Stolfi.
The distinguished Professor has read many books and documents, but his description of "The Battle for state Farm No. 79" (the fighting on the Chir front in November-December 1942) is very far from what it was in reality.
Professor Stolfi's mistake was that he ignored Soviet (Russian) books and documents.
The mention of Professor Stolfi's error is appropriate for the following reason.
The 47th Guards rifle division (until October 1942, the 154th rifle division) participated in "The Battle for state farm No. 79". The division commander, Major General Fokanov.
The 154th rifle division began operations on July 15, 1941, with the same commander (Major General Focanov) on the Dnieper river, Zhlobin city, against the 10th motorized division.
The 154th rifle division was formed in May 1940 (this is not a mistake of 1940) in the city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). The division was moved from Gorky to participate in large maneuvers in June 1940 (this is not a mistake in 1940) to the Bryansk region and remained there until July 1941.
Before I understand what happened at operational and strategic "heights", I first study what happened on the sinful" earth", that is, in companies, battalions, regiments and divisions (both in the Red Army and its European opponents).
The assumption that the Red Army divisions in the Vyazma area were formed from local resources/contingents is not true.

This is a document of the 1st Tank Army headquarters / v.Kleist/ - translated into Russian.
42-01-26 PzAOK1 Inv PoW Praydak.jpg
Next, my bad (alas, as always) translation into English
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