Stahel in his book meticulously estimated losses of Germans in the summer of 1941. At the same time, he completely ignored problems of the Red Army. The author writes books, but unfortunately, intelligence is not enough. Stahel moron. He does not consider fighting. Theses Stahel fully coincide with ljadw. Stahel=ljadw. I blame the author for the initial low intellectual level and inability to analyze history.
https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Barbar ... geNumber=4
R. A Forczyk
A Well-Argued but Absurd Hypothesis
In his calculus, which he argues relentlessly from beginning to the end of the book, Barbarossa was "doomed to fail." Readers looking for a straight-up military history or an insightful piece of military analysis will not find it in these pages, although the author does present a great deal of information. I give him credit for laying out his case and for readers not familiar with the Eastern Front, it might even be convincing. However, rather than asking `could Germany have defeated the Soviet Union?' the author employs a Reductio ad absurdum approach that leads to no useful conclusions. In his calculus, the Third Reich lost because it had to lose.
Complex historical events, like a war between two great powers, are not usually determined by single causes, nor is it so easy to announce "this was the moment!" that a conflict became irretrievably lost. However, the author makes reference to Clausewitz's theory of the culminating point in an offensive - the point at which the attacker's capabilities no longer exceeds the defender's - to claim that the Battle of Smolensk in July 1941 was that point in the Second World War. To be fair to the author, David Glantz's has been making some similar claims for the importance of Smolensk in frustrating German plans, but without the same level of totality expressed here. Unfortunately, the author does not understand Clausewitz's theory of culmination very well; once an attacker has culminated, his forces are no longer strong enough to achieve any significant victories. However, the Wehrmacht won huge victories at Kiev, Vyazma-Bryansk and then advanced to within 10 miles of Moscow months after the Battle of Smolensk - clearly demonstrating that the Wehrmacht's combat power still exceeded that of the Red Army's until late November 1941. Yet the author minimizes these German victories, claiming that they had no real bearing on the outcome of the war.
The author also spends a great deal of time on Franz Halder and the German failure to take Moscow in 1941. It has been a truism in warfare for centuries that no plan survives contact with the enemy, but the author holds Barbarossa's intended goal of the rapid destruction of the Red Army as the only possible favorable outcome for Germany, while neglecting to mention that the Red Army never even came close to meeting its MP-41 plan's goal of fighting on foreign soil. In other words, the Wehrmacht failed to accomplish all of Barbarossa's goals and the Red Army failed to accomplish any of MP-41's goals, so Germany lost the war. How is that logical?
A large part of the author's hypothesis rests on his contention that the offensive capability of German panzer divisions declined rapidly soon after the beginning of Barbarossa and became critical after the Battle of Smolensk. He presents selected statistics to buttress his arguments but misses several key facts. First, it is true that most German panzer units were down to about 50 percent strength in tanks after Smolensk, but all of the pre-war Soviet mechanized corps were gone after mid-July 1941 and the Red Army had even less tanks on the battlefield after Smolensk. Second, the author completely misses the arrival of the 2nd and 5th Panzer Divisions from Germany in September 1941 - both at 100 percent strength - which gave the Germans a numerical edge for Operation Typhoon. The new Soviet rifle divisions raised after Smolensk had so little artillery and anti-tank guns that even depleted panzer divisions had little difficulty punching through them. The author tends to exaggerate all German losses, eventually claiming that Army Group Center was "crippled" at Smolensk, while disregarding Soviet losses and problems, stating that Soviet production could make good any losses. In fact, in 1941-42 the Germans were destroying Soviet tanks as fast as they were being produced and the Red Army did not gain a real edge in armor until 1943.
Conventional wisdom suggests the Barbarossa was a darn close thing and that the War in the East was not irrevocably lost until Stalingrad. Although well-argued with the facts and narrow perspective he chooses to use, the author's hypothesis remains unconvincing. Throughout the book, the author single-mindedly pushes his hypothesis like a political candidate trying to stay on message, rather than as a historian who objectively analyzes all relevant data, from multiple angles. The entire idea that only German actions and decisions really mattered and that Soviet victory was a given due to a superior production base is more representative of the author's a priori agenda, than objective historical method. In order to win, the Red Army had to do more than just absorb punishment - it had to demonstrate the ability to conduct successful large-scale offensive operations, which did not occur until November 1942.