The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
MarkN
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by MarkN » 18 Feb 2019 20:27

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:02
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 17:05
Which is why its in all the teaching texts on the subject.https://history.army.mil/html/books/104 ... 104-21.pdf
A somewhat minor point. That is not a "teaching text", nor is it "all" of them. :lol: The "teaching text" for World War II, at least for the U.S. Military Academy, is the The West Point History of World War II (two volumes), United States Military Academy, eds. Clifford J. Rogers, Ty Seidule, and Steve R. Waddell, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2015-2016. It is, like the others in the series of West Point textbooks, a modern rewriting and expansion of the old West Point "Atlas of" wars series first published under the auspices of Brigadier General Vincent Esposito in 1959. They, in turn, were based upon even earlier atlas-style texts produced at West Point at the turn of the century to accompany instruction on the Napoleonic and the American Civil War.

It does draw on The German Campaign in Russia, as well as many other sources, which is understandable given that Citino wrote chapter 2 “German Years of Victory" and Megargee chapter 4 “The Germans Turn East: Operation Barbarossa and the Beginnings of the Final Solution".
The pamphlet is also extremely light on the logistic planning aspect. Rather remiss for a publication that includes "all the teaching texts on the subject". :wink:

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

Post by Hanny » 18 Feb 2019 20:32

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:02
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 17:05
Which is why its in all the teaching texts on the subject.https://history.army.mil/html/books/104 ... 104-21.pdf
A somewhat minor point. That is not a "teaching text", nor is it "all" of them. :lol: The "teaching text" for World War II, at least for the U.S. Military Academy, is the The West Point History of World War II (two volumes), United States Military Academy, eds. Clifford J. Rogers, Ty Seidule, and Steve R. Waddell, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2015-2016. It is, like the others in the series of West Point textbooks, a modern rewriting and expansion of the old West Point "Atlas of" wars series first published under the auspices of Brigadier General Vincent Esposito in 1959. They, in turn, were based upon even earlier atlas-style texts produced at West Point at the turn of the century to accompany instruction on the Napoleonic and the American Civil War.

It does draw on The German Campaign in Russia, as well as many other sources, which is understandable given that Citino wrote chapter 2 “German Years of Victory" and Megargee chapter 4 “The Germans Turn East: Operation Barbarossa and the Beginnings of the Final Solution".
You pull me up on this kinda thing every so often, :lol: i guess im a slow learner, does a text used to educate work better for you? 8-)
How do describe the following in respect of the primary task of the three AGS?, is that something you expected to learn from the course by reading the material?

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1039919.pdf
II.3.3 Assessment of German Military Means
Based on the guidance of Directive 21, the Army’s Operation Order (February 3, 1941)
specified the missions and objectives for the respective subordinate German Armies and Panzer
Groups in detail.
The primary mission for all three AGs was to destroy the “bulk of the Russian Army
stationed in western Russia by a series of daring operations spearheaded by armored thrusts.”57
The purpose of the initial phase was to prevent an organized withdrawal of intact units into the
vastness of interior Russia.
AG
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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

Post by MarkN » 18 Feb 2019 20:56

Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:19
Get it yet?
Nope. That quote was most unenlightening.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Feb 2019 21:15

Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:32
You pull me up on this kinda thing every so often, :lol:
Hey, gotta keep you honest. :lol: Anyway, you do like to refer to things as the "way it is taught" at various times, but I keep wondering if it isn't actually the way you learned it. 8-)
i guess im a slow learner, does a text used to educate work better for you? 8-)
If you are referring to the next item, then no. It is not a "text used to educate". It is a SAMS monograph and the "opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College". It is actually a text used to demonstrate to faculty the understanding of the student rather than to impart knowledge from the faculty to the student. IOW, you have it backwards. :lol:
How do describe the following in respect of the primary task of the three AGS?, is that something you expected to learn from the course by reading the material?
No, I would expect him to learn it by referring to source material, in this case his references being DAPAM 20-261a and, understandably, the original Weisung in German as given by Hubatsch. Anyway, SAMS was designed to focus on operational art as a bridge between the CGSC and the War College, which teach tactics and strategy respectively. So LTC Ruppelt's concentration on the operational objectives of the Heeresgruppen is understandable. Unfortunately, it does not define the strategic objectives.
"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 MarkN » 18 Feb 2019 21:40

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Feb 2019 21:15
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 20:32
How do describe the following in respect of the primary task of the three AGS?, is that something you expected to learn from the course by reading the material?
No, I would expect him to learn it by referring to source material, in this case his references being DAPAM 20-261a and, understandably, the original Weisung in German as given by Hubatsch. Anyway, SAMS was designed to focus on operational art as a bridge between the CGSC and the War College, which teach tactics and strategy respectively. So LTC Ruppelt's concentration on the operational objectives of the Heeresgruppen is understandable. Unfortunately, it does not define the strategic objectives.
Indeed. The quote posted by Hanny is not just unenlightening, it is also very misleading.

LTC Ruppelt references, as you stated, DAPAM 20-261a and the original German text.

This is the original text:
I. Allgemeine Absicht:

Die im westlichen Rußland stehende Masse des russischen Heer es soll in kühnen Operationen unter weitem Vortreiben von Panzerkeilen vernichtet, der Abzug kampfkräftiger Teile in die Weite des russischen Raumes verhindert werden.

In rascher Verfolgung ist dann eine Linie zu erreichen, aus der die russische Luftwaffe reichsdeutsches Gebiet nicht mehr angreifen kann. Das Endziel der Operation ist die Abschirmung gegen das asiatische Rußland aus der allgemeinen Linie Wolga - Archangelsk. So kann erforderlichenfalls das letzte Rußland verbleibende Industriegebiet am Ural durch die Luftwaffe ausgeschaltet werden.

Im Zuge dieser Operationen wird die russische Ostseeflotte schnell ihre Stützpunkte verlieren und damit nicht mehr kampffähig sein.

Wirksames Eingreifen der russischen Luftwaffe ist schon bei Beginn der Operation durch kraftvolle Schläge zu verhindern.
This is how DAPAM 20-261a translates the document
I. Overall Plan

During the initial phase the bulk of the Russian Army stationed in western Russia is to be destroyed in a series of daring operations spearheaded by armored thrusts. The organized withdrawal of intact units into the vastness of interior Russia must be prevented.

During the next phase a fast pursuit will be launched up to a line from which the Russian air force will be incapable of attacking German territory. The ultimate objective of the operation is to screen European against Asiatic Russia along the course of the Volga and thence along a general line extending northward toward Archangel. Thus, if necessary, the German Air Force would be in a position to neutralize the last industrial region remaining in Russian hands, i.e. that situated in the Urals.

As a result of these ground operations the Russian Baltic Fleet will rapidly lose its bases and thus cease to be operational.

Any effective interference by the Russian Air Force will be eliminated by the delivery of decisive blows at the very beginning of the campaign.
The original German text makes NO reference in the first paragraph to the task being an objective (strategic or otherwise) NOR that it is the "initial phase" or "primary mission". The more storytellers manipulating the story you have in the chain, the further away you become from historical reality.

The strategic objective is defined in the second paragraph: Das Endziel der Operation ist die Abschirmung gegen das asiatische Rußland aus der allgemeinen Linie Wolga - Archangelsk. In DAPAM 20-261a, Endziel is translated as "ultimate objective".

Defeating the Red Army is an intermediate task on the way to the objective. It's not even the first task, that belongs to the Luftwaffe and is described in the fourth paragraph!

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

Post by MarkN » 18 Feb 2019 22:05

As one reads on with the Weissung, it becomes ever more evident that the actions upto the DD Line are seen as an intermediate task towards the Endziel.

The original (my underlining)...
Der südlichen dieser beiden Heeresgruppen — Mitte der Gesamtfront — fällt die Aufgabe zu, mit besonders starken Panzer- und mot. Verbänden aus dem Raum um und nördlich Warschau vorbrechend die feindlichen Kräfte in Weissrussland zu zersprengen. Dadurch muss die Voraussetzung geschaffen werden für das Eindrehen von starken Teilen der schnellen Truppen nach Norden, um im Zusammenwirken mit der aus Ostpreussen in allgemeiner Richtung Leningrad operierenden nördlichen Heeresgruppe die im Baltikum kämpfenden feindlichen Kräfte zu vernichten. Erst nach Sicherstellung [durchgestrichen: "Erledigung"] dieser vordringlichsten Aufgabe, welcher die Besetzung von Leningrad und Kronstadt folgen muss, sind die Angriffsoperationen zur Besitznahme des wichtigen Verkehrs- und Rüstungszentrums Moskau fortzuführen.

Nur ein überraschend schnell eintretender Zusammenbruch der russischen Widerstandskraft könnte es rechtfertigen, beide Ziele gleichzeitig anzustreben.
The DAPAM 20-261a translation (my underlining)...
Of these two army groups the one on the right will be provided with especially powerful motorized infantry and armored forces. Its mission will be to thrust from the area around, but especially north, of Warsaw and to shatter the enemy forces in White Russia. This preliminary operation will set the stage for a pivoting movement performed by strong motorized elements that will drive northward in order to annihilate the enemy forces in the Baltic area in conjunction with the northern army group which will be driving from East Prussia in the general direction of Leningrad. After this most urgent missionhas been successfully accomplished, the cities of Leningrad and Kronshtadtmust be captured. Only then will the offensive operations leading to the seizure of Moscow, the important communications and armament production center, be continued.

Simultaneous drives toward both objectives might be envisaged only in the event of an unexpectedly rapid collapse of the Russian resistance.
Notice how the DAPAM 20-261a translation inserts "this preliminary operation" refering to the operation up to the DD Line. In otherwords, the bible of "all the teaching texts on the subject" teaches the fight up to the DD Line as a "preliminary operation" NOT the objective.

Also notice that a rapid Russian collapse is NOT expected!!!!! 8-)

Also,

The original...
Sind die Schlachten südlich bezw. nördlich der Pripetsümpfe geschlagen, ist im Rahmen der Verfolgung anzustreben:

im Süden die frühzeitige Besitznahme des wehrwirtschaftlich wichtigen Donez-Beckens,

im Norden das schnelle Erreichen von Moskau. Die Einnahme dieser Stadt bedeutet politisch und wirtschaftlich einen entscheidenden Erfolg, darüber hinaus den Ausfall des wichtigsten Eisenbahnknotenpunktes.
The DAPAM 20-261a translation...
Once the battles south and north of the Pripyat Marshes have been brought to a successful conclusion, pursuits will be launched with the following objectives:

In the south the Donets Basin, highly important from a military-economic point of view, must be seized without delay.

In the north Moscow must be reached as soon as possible. The political and economic significance of capturing this city is tremendous. Moreover, German possession of Moscow will deprive the enemy of the most important railway hub.

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

Post by Volyn » 18 Feb 2019 22:07

These should not be emotionally sensitive questions to ask.

There is no set definition for "Logistics" being used in this thread, a quick Google search shows the following definition: the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.
MarkN wrote:
17 Feb 2019 15:54
Volyn wrote:
16 Feb 2019 23:17
Since the Germans were able to continue to fight deep in Soviet territory for 3+ years, how did they overcome the logistical setbacks of 1941 and keep their forces "well-enough" supplied all the to the Volga and South Caucasus?
BARBAROSSA didn't fail because of logistics.
In my questions about Barbarossa I do not say that logistics are the reason why the operation failed, only that they contributed to it. How can it play no part in the difficulties of re-supply that were experienced before they even get to Moscow?

I also asked about post-Barbarossa logistics (1942-1945) to briefly highlight that somehow the Germans were able to engage in a massive offensive in the South in 1942, and when that failed, they were still able to continue fighting along a broad and deep front (1943-1945). How did they fix the problems with the supply and transportation system? Were they able to shorten the turn-around time for supplies from the factory to reach the front that plagued them back in 1941?

As for the Einsatzgruppen:
Volyn wrote:
16 Feb 2019 18:20
6. Is it known what military resources were used to support German Einsatzgruppen and other occupation forces that should/could have been used elsewhere?
ljadw wrote:
17 Feb 2019 17:02
6 These resources were meaningless : the manpower of the Einsatzgruppen was 3000 men = 1/1000 of the Barbarossa manpower .
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 11:30
One Germany division was unable to be deployed as the munitions it had and required,were used to execute on an industrial scale, you can try Hitlers willing executioners.
Here we can see that it did play some role (albeit limited) to negatively effect the operations of at least 1 Division, again the prime obstacle being logistics - not enough supply (ammunition) to go around, so it had to be taken from someone else.

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

Post by Hanny » 18 Feb 2019 22:17

MarkN wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:05

Also notice that a rapid Russian collapse is NOT expected!!!!! 8-)
But it was expected by AH who based his overruling of logistical concerns based on his understanding that the SU State would collapse when the SU Army was destroyed on the border.

Barbarossa's most important assumption was that the Soviet Union would collapse if the Wehrmacht could destroy the bulk of the Red Army in the border region of the western Soviet Union, specifically, west of the Western Dvina and Dnepr rivers
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Hanny » 18 Feb 2019 22:23

Volyn wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:07


I also asked about post-Barbarossa logistics (1942-1945) to briefly highlight that somehow the Germans were able to engage in a massive offensive in the South in 1942, and when that failed, they were still able to continue fighting along a broad and deep front (1943-1945). How did they fix the problems with the supply and transportation system? Were they able to shorten the turn-around time for supplies from the factory to reach the front that plagued them back in 1941?
Try viewtopic.php?f=66&t=203286&hilit=railways+in+the+east once the RR provided around twice the volume of logistical support to where it was practical to distribute it to those who consumed it, things became quite nice for Germany, AGS soon run into the same problem in 42 campaign.
Volyn wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:07

There is no set definition for "Logistics" being used in this thread, a quick Google search shows the following definition: the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.
Depends on who is defining it and when, consider the ancient world where we get the name from, would Hannibal Barca officer Sosylios( not Hannibal monomachus who advised eating humans as the means of supply) have the same problems as in ww2?, ie im in Spain and i want to go to Italy, over the alps ,and defeat the centre of gravity of the Roman state, its army, he had no supply from base of supply to worry about in doing so. So, what does Hannys solution and the German problem of how to feed themselves in Russia have in common?, they both lived of the land. Jomni went with "The practical Art of moving armies, and keeping them supplied",https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5wN ... es&f=false which is still pretty good.

Volyn wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:07
6. Is it known what military resources were used to support German Einsatzgruppen and other occupation forces that should/could have been used elsewhere?
ljadw wrote:
17 Feb 2019 17:02
6 These resources were meaningless : the manpower of the Einsatzgruppen was 3000 men = 1/1000 of the Barbarossa manpower .
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 11:30
One Germany division was unable to be deployed as the munitions it had and required,were used to execute on an industrial scale, you can try Hitlers willing executioners.
Einsatzgruppen drew all their logistics from AG they were with, so from the munitions to execute,( 2,000,000 or so victims) to the fuel to cover the ground between killing grounds was not available for the AG.
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by ljadw » 19 Feb 2019 14:18

The ammunition consumption of the Ostheer in 1941 was some 850 million bullets of pistols and rifles . Thus what was consumed to kill the Jews in the SU was meaningless .Besides, there is no proof that the consumption of the Einsatzgruppen resulted in an shortage of ammunition for the military .

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

Post by ljadw » 19 Feb 2019 14:24

Volyn wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:07
These shou



As for the Einsatzgruppen:
Volyn wrote:
16 Feb 2019 18:20
6. Is it known what military resources were used to support German Einsatzgruppen and other occupation forces that should/could have been used elsewhere?
ljadw wrote:
17 Feb 2019 17:02
6 These resources were meaningless : the manpower of the Einsatzgruppen was 3000 men = 1/1000 of the Barbarossa manpower .
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 11:30
One Germany division was unable to be deployed as the munitions it had and required,were used to execute on an industrial scale, you can try Hitlers willing executioners.
Here we can see that it did play some role (albeit limited) to negatively effect the operations of at least 1 Division, again the prime obstacle being logistics - not enough supply (ammunition) to go around, so it had to be taken from someone else.
This is not proving an ammunition shortage , it is very possible that there was a transport problem and that even without the decision to give the Einsatgruppe the ammunitions for the division,the division would not have received the ammunition .

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

Post by Volyn » 19 Feb 2019 15:04

ljadw wrote:
19 Feb 2019 14:24
Volyn wrote:
18 Feb 2019 22:07
As for the Einsatzgruppen:
Volyn wrote:
16 Feb 2019 18:20
6. Is it known what military resources were used to support German Einsatzgruppen and other occupation forces that should/could have been used elsewhere?
ljadw wrote:
17 Feb 2019 17:02
6 These resources were meaningless : the manpower of the Einsatzgruppen was 3000 men = 1/1000 of the Barbarossa manpower .
Hanny wrote:
18 Feb 2019 11:30
One Germany division was unable to be deployed as the munitions it had and required,were used to execute on an industrial scale, you can try Hitlers willing executioners.
Here we can see that it did play some role (albeit limited) to negatively effect the operations of at least 1 Division, again the prime obstacle being logistics - not enough supply (ammunition) to go around, so it had to be taken from someone else.
This is not proving an ammunition shortage , it is very possible that there was a transport problem and that even without the decision to give the Einsatgruppe the ammunitions for the division,the division would not have received the ammunition .
Correct, we are only showing how much of an effect it did have, we can see that this only added to the complexity of the logistics tasks and that in the end it was completely unnecessary to siphon off these resources from the actual combat operations. The "shortage" is only relative to the front-line soldier who did not receive the ammunition because it was sent to someone else. We can assume this was also true for the Einzatgruppen operating in AGN, AGC and AGS - they needed ammo to shoot people too.

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

Post by Konig_pilsner » 19 Feb 2019 16:10

Correct, we are only showing how much of an effect it did have, we can see that this only added to the complexity of the logistics tasks and that in the end it was completely unnecessary to siphon off these resources from the actual combat operations. The "shortage" is only relative to the front-line soldier who did not receive the ammunition because it was sent to someone else. We can assume this was also true for the Einzatgruppen operating in AGN, AGC and AGS - they needed ammo to shoot people too.
This is complete nonsense. The Einzatsgruppen fulfilled a role that was needed, unless you think all they did was go around killing people. The support they required was so negligible that the only reason to use it in a discussion on logistics is to say, "look how stupid the Germans were to kill Jews." Forget the fact that it was artillery ammunition that was most valuable, not pistol/rifle ammo. So dumb.

MarkN is right anyway, whole thread is a red herring.

Not one major operation was delayed due to faults in the logistics. The biggest limiting factor was the speed at which the infantry could advance, which they would have to do on foot before any infrastructure could be built behind them.

Halder's diary July 8th
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Volyn » 19 Feb 2019 17:29

Konig_pilsner wrote:
19 Feb 2019 16:10
Correct, we are only showing how much of an effect it did have, we can see that this only added to the complexity of the logistics tasks and that in the end it was completely unnecessary to siphon off these resources from the actual combat operations. The "shortage" is only relative to the front-line soldier who did not receive the ammunition because it was sent to someone else. We can assume this was also true for the Einzatgruppen operating in AGN, AGC and AGS - they needed ammo to shoot people too.
This is complete nonsense. The Einzatsgruppen fulfilled a role that was needed, unless you think all they did was go around killing people. The support they required was so negligible that the only reason to use it in a discussion on logistics is to say, "look how stupid the Germans were to kill Jews." Forget the fact that it was artillery ammunition that was most valuable, not pistol/rifle ammo. So dumb.

MarkN is right anyway, whole thread is a red herring.

Not one major operation was delayed due to faults in the logistics. The biggest limiting factor was the speed at which the infantry could advance, which they would have to do on foot before any infrastructure could be built behind them.

Halder's diary July 8th
Konig_pilsner you need to pay attention to what was written, at no time is the field of Logistics blamed for the failure of Operation Barbarossa, this is why MarkN and you are both way off topic. The questions are asked only to reveal what German logistics did or did not do, and what were their limitations - that is all.

Ammunition taken away from front-line combatants can only be considered a "waste", nothing that the Einzatsgruppen did in 1941 warranted a single tactical or strategic advantage to Operation Barbarossa because their main purpose was to kill non-combatants. Yes we can say "look how stupid the Germans were to kill Jews," and Gypsies and anyone else who was not shooting at them in a combat environment.

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

Post by Konig_pilsner » 19 Feb 2019 18:13

Konig_pilsner you need to pay attention to what was written
Perhaps you should pay attention to what you wrote. The very title of the thread you created implies a "lack" of adequate logistics.
Ammunition taken away from front-line combatants can only be considered a "waste"
I have seen numerous reports in the later months of Barbarossa of AG's in want of artillery ammo, fuel, spares,... never once have I seen a lack of rifle ammunition being mentioned. Even if it did occur, an infantryman at Klin would not be without bullets because it was diverted to the Einsatzgruppen, it would be because he had advanced beyond the supply capabilities of the columns.
nothing that the Einzatsgruppen did in 1941 warranted a single tactical or strategic advantage to Operation Barbarossa
You failed to mention the NKVD, Commissars, or Communist functionaries. You might not like the Einsatzgruppen, and perhaps their actions didn't contribute to the success of Barbarossa, but they certainly didn't hinder it. The reason you would bring it up in a discussion on the logistics of Barbarossa is known only to you.

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