The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

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

Post by ljadw » 05 Nov 2019 08:17

I see it differently : the question is : was it possible , if needed,to go to the Volga with an army of 3 million men in a time span of a few months ?
We know it was not possible .
Why ?
Some people are saying that it was caused by bad operational decisions,but this is not correct, as operational decisions do not cause logistic problems .
Other people are saying that the reason was that the Germans had not enough supplies,this is also not correct, because more supplies only increase logistical problems .
The argument that there were not enough divisions is also wrong,because more divisions also increase logistical problems .
The main reasons for the logistical problems were two factors on which the Germans had no influence :
1`the distance : in the length 1000 km + ,in the breadth more than 2500 km ,and the latter increased as the Germans advanced .
2 the lack of railways/the bad railway and road infrastructure : an advance of 3 million men to the Volga was essentially depending on the railways and the reality is that these railways could not support such an advance .
Even without an attack against Leningrad, this would not change, no attack against Leningrad would only increase the problems ,it would only result in a situation where more men and supplies would have to be transported by fewer roads and railways in a smaller sector .
The railway/road situation in France and Belgium prevented a decisive allied advance over the Rhine in September 1944 (that was the reason for MG ) and the logistical situation of the Allies was much, much better than that of the Germans,and the Westheer was on the run in that period while in Agust 1944 there were incessant Soviet attacks with 200000 German losses .
Why would the Germans be able to do what the Allies could not do ?
The Germans were working on the road/railway problem, but it was impossible to solve this problem in 1941, besides, the distance problem would still remain,and this problem was insolvable .
The only possibility was a pursuit of the running enemy by a few divisions,without big fighting . But this assumed that the enemy was crushed west of the DD line .
As Halder said in November 1940 : big envelopping offensive operations with decisive results were impossible east of the DD line .
Or in other words : a Blitzkrieg east of the DD line was a wast of means .

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

Post by Aida1 » 05 Nov 2019 11:35

MarkN wrote:
04 Nov 2019 21:42



I used 50% to illustrate a concept: the Heer writing down troops that were not even there played a large part in their later problems.
No. If you deduct estimated losses from an overestimated strength, you end up overestimating what is left. You are in denial of the fact that the capability to refit existing units and setting up new ones was underestimated.

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 14:24

Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 11:35
If you deduct estimated losses from an overestimated strength, you end up overestimating what is left.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

If you deduct whole formations from the orbat that were, in reality, significantly understrength, you are overstating your combat success and deluding yourself of the scale of the task ahead.

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

Post by Aida1 » 05 Nov 2019 16:13

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 14:24
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 11:35
If you deduct estimated losses from an overestimated strength, you end up overestimating what is left.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

If you deduct whole formations from the orbat that were, in reality, significantly understrength, you are overstating your combat success and deluding yourself of the scale of the task ahead.
You clearly understand nothing. Even if a unit is really destroyed totally which is mostly not the case in the litteral sense of the word then you can still refit it if you have the manpower and materiel to do so. That capability was underestimated. Losses inflicted were not overestimated. And if you deduct them from an overestimated strength then you end up overestimating what is left too.

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

Post by BDV » 05 Nov 2019 16:38

ljadw wrote: I see it differently : the question is : was it possible , if needed,to go to the Volga with an army of 3 million men in a time span of a few months ?
We know it was not possible.
On the other hand, the Axis units did reach the Leningrad-Kalinin(Tver)-Moscow-Tula-Rostov line. While this is not the Wolga line, is still quite ways East of the D-D line.


The main reasons for the logistical problems were two factors on which the Germans had no influence :
1`the distance : in the length 1000 km + ,in the breadth more than 2500 km ,and the latter increased as the Germans advanced.
The elongating flank problem. The left flank proved to be an Achilles heel in '41 just like the right flank in 1914. Solving it by advancing in strength in face of resistance proved a time burner and resource burner that Axis did not have. Germans ended up slugging it out with RKKA in the swamps, anyway. Wehrmacht did not have to advance 1000 km to do that; 300 km advance was enough. So radical as it sounds, Riga-Dvinsk (Daugavpils) line could served as Axis left flank just as well as the Schliessburg - Novgorod line, without the costs.

2 the lack of railways/the bad railway and road infrastructure : an advance of 3 million men to the Volga was essentially depending on the railways and the reality is that these railways could not support such an advance .
This is not about the railways. There was plenty of railways in Russia. The limiting factor was the lack of railway Repair assets. Which existed, but were limited, and were used to fix the railways northeast of Dvina. This was so successful that these railways efficiently moved 3rd Panzer Group north, then 3rd Panzer and 41st Panzer group South in 1941, supplied effectively the AGN during the winter counterattack, and moved the 11th Army to North in 1942.

Meanwhile the main transport hub in the South (Kiev) was left without a railway bridge until mid-1942

Even without an attack against Leningrad, this would not change, no attack against Leningrad would only increase the problems ,it would only result in a situation where more men and supplies would have to be transported by fewer roads and railways in a smaller sector.
Why fewer? The limitation was not available railways, but available railway repair assets.

The railway/road situation in France and Belgium prevented a decisive allied advance over the Rhine in September 1944 (that was the reason for MG ) and the logistical situation of the Allies was much, much better than that of the Germans,and the Westheer was on the run in that period while in August 1944 there were incessant Soviet attacks with 200000 German losses .
Why would the Germans be able to do what the Allies could not do ?
Exactly, but not for lack of trying. Unlike the WAllies that took the MG lesson to heart, Germans doubled up on more and more fantastic improvisations, until the whole balloon popped so spectacularly in front of Moscow.

The Germans were working on the road/railway problem, but it was impossible to solve this problem in 1941, besides, the distance problem would still remain,and this problem was insolvable .
The only possibility was a pursuit of the running enemy by a few divisions,without big fighting . But this assumed that the enemy was crushed west of the DD line.
And once the latter was not happening, GROFAZ et Co should have changed the plans to account for the former.

As Halder said in November 1940 : big envelopping offensive operations with decisive results were impossible east of the DD line .
Or in other words : a Blitzkrieg east of the DD line was a wast of means .
Not his first, or his last imbecilic utterance. East of DD line, Axis administered (Vyazma-Briansk, Izyum) and received (Moscow Defensive Operation, Uran, Little Saturn) big enveloping operations; both sides also failed such big, enveloping operations (Mars, Kursk'43). Unless border battles lead to Sovjet collapse, big enveloping battles would have been the better bet (given Wehrmacht's strengths and weaknesses) compared to muddy slugfests.
Hindsight is the EXACT opposite of Halder: if collapse west of DD line does not happen, big enveloping offensive operations EAST of DD line are the only battle alternative that favors Axis in any way.

..................................................................................................

I am sticking to my point that GROFAZ et Co, by using plan that was predicated on a certain point (Sovjet Collaps) after it became clear that Sovjet Collaps was not happening, did CAUSE Axis' later predicaments. Had GROFAZ et Co done differently, Axis may have ended up in a better, worse, or similar situation. That is a WHIF scenario, not historical situation analysis, so I'm going to stay away from it.
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by AbollonPolweder » 05 Nov 2019 19:07

MarkN wrote:
04 Nov 2019 21:42
...
Hmmmm!

This is a proposal for a new (1941) mobilization plan. I read these particular part to be as follows:-

The 1938-39 mobilization plan defines two possible ways to mobilize via "big war games" call ups:
Option A: a full, mobilization to take formations up to a full war establishment
Option B: a partial, mobilization to take formations up to betwen 75-80% and full wartime establishment.
Since Option B was designed principally to augment border formations only, and the proposed 1941 Plan defines separately for border units to be brought up in strength, there is no need for an Option B in the new plan.

In otherwords, l do not believe this in any way represents a statement that border units are already at 75-80%. If so, it means they have been like that since 1938 - which is nonsense. But, since Russian is not my first language......
AbollonPolweder wrote:
04 Nov 2019 20:14
"From the document №306. ВЫПИСКА ИЗ ПРОТОКОЛА РЕШЕНИЯ ПОЛИТБЮРО ЦК ВКП(б) №28 8 марта 1941 г. you posted above, 975,870 total to be called up during the year at different stages. Therefore, according to this document not all would be active at the same time. "
Right! But here Vasilevsky and Zakharov will help to figure it out. If at the end of May - beginning of June, that is, about 800 thousand were called up in 2-3 weeks .. and the Politburo approved the number 975870, then 175870 remained to be called up. And until June 22 there were a couple more weeks during which it could be transferred to the West a minimum of 500 thousand, given the speed of the previous 800 thousand. Right?
Right? I don't think so. In your last post, you encouraged me to see Zhukov et al writings as false stories. Now you want to use the very words you considered "false" to evidence large numbers already at the front. That makes no sense to me at all.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
04 Nov 2019 20:14
"On that date, two of the divisions had already been overrun by elements of 3.Pz.Grp. So, what happened to those 12,000 reservists? Did they never get sent for collection, get overrun waiting for divisional transport that never came or get scooped up by some other formation?"
Good question! That is why I asked you to call on a specific division when you put forward your version of 50% of the forces of divisions on the western border of the USSR.
I used 50% to illustrate a concept: the Heer writing down troops that were not even there played a large part in their later problems.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
04 Nov 2019 20:14
Now when we know that the border divisions, as Zhukov claims (doc. No. 272), were reinforced already in the winter of 1941 to 75-80% of the war-time TOE, and even reserve divisions (doc. No. 825 cc) were being strengthened, your version is , at least, doubtful. Isn't it?
No, l don't think it is/does. Option B was from the 1938-39 mobilization plan that Zhukov is proposing be dropped from the 1941 plan.

Russian is not my language, but your belief that border formations were at 75-85% of wartime establishment before February 1941 makes no sense to me defies the current histograph in a big way.
In otherwords, l do not believe this in any way represents a statement that border units are already at 75-80%. If so, it means they have been like that since 1938 - which is nonsense. But, since Russian is not my first language......

I apologize! That's my fault! This phrase "... peacetime border units are currently being reinforced," should actually be translated : "... peacetime border units are reinforced ...". Simply put, there is no continuous tense in Zhukov's words. He writes about reinforcement as a fait accompli.
"Right? I don't think so. In your last post, you encouraged me to see Zhukov et al writings as false stories. Now you want to use the very words you considered "false" to evidence large numbers already at the front. That makes no sense to me at all."
Here I put myself in your place. You then did not doubt Zhukov’s data. Did you?
Russian is not my language, but your belief that border formations were at 75-85% of wartime establishment before February 1941 makes no sense to me defies the current histograph in a big way.

No sir! It's not my belief. This is the statement of Zhukov about an already accomplished event. Once again, I apologize for the incorrect translation.
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by ljadw » 05 Nov 2019 21:25

In August 1941 the Germans had the choice to go to Moscow,which would result in not going to the Volga, or to do what Hitler ordered .
Going to Moscow in August would be a failure and a catastrophe .
In October 1941 they had the choice to go to Moscow and thus give up the Volga, or to remain where they were .
Going to Moscow would be a failure, but it does not hurt to try . The alternative : remaining where they were would mean to try to defend a frontline that was not defended and not defendable ,and to be faced by the forces that were eliminated by going to Kiew and by the battles of Briansk-Viazma : Kiew and B/V costed the Soviets 1,5 million men .I like to see how the Ostheer would have survived such a Soviet attack .
Thus Kiew in August and Briansk/Viazma in October were the logical solutions .
Wagner (QMG ) said in September that the fuel demands for tanks and vehicles might prove ''insufficient to bring the eastern campaign to a conclusion in the Autumn .''
Everyone knew at the end of July that Barbarossa had failed .

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 22:25

По мобилизационному плану 1938–1939 гг. проведение «Больших учебных сборов» (скрытой мобилизации) предусматривалось также по двум вариантам, т.е. по литеру «А» и «Б».

По литеру «А» поднимались части по штатам военного времени, имеющие срок готовности только до М-10.

По литеру «Б» поднимаемые части только усиливались на 75–80 % до штата военного времени.

Ввиду того, что вариант по литеру «Б» предусматривался в основном только для частей и соединений, прикрывающих границу, и поскольку по мобилизационному плану 1941 года пограничные части по мирному времени в настоящее время содержатся в усиленном составе, считаю разрабатывать вариант литер «Б» нецелесообразным.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
05 Nov 2019 19:07
I apologize! That's my fault! This phrase "... peacetime border units are currently being reinforced," should actually be translated : "... peacetime border units are reinforced ...". Simply put, there is no continuous tense in Zhukov's words. He writes about reinforcement as a fait accompli.
Dokument 272 is a proposal. The passage we are discussing is Zhukov referring to the 1938-39 mobilization plan. Options A and B are the two options available in the 1938-39 plan.

1) lf 75-80% is already achieved - past tense / fait accompli - then that was achieved BEFORE 1938. But it wasn't....

2) Although Russian is not my first language, if the plan was to go from 75-80% up to full establishment, l would expect усиливались от 75–80 % до штата военного времени. The text says усиливались на 75–80 % до штата военного времени.

I do not believe this passage confirms 75-80% is already achieved before the 1941 big training camps.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
05 Nov 2019 19:07
Here I put myself in your place. You then did not doubt Zhukov’s data. Did you?
The evidence is contradictory. All of it is plans and expectations. Nothing indicating what was actually completed. Zakharov's annexes have some data on what was completed. It contradicts the plans. And you claim it's a false story!

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 22:30

Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
You clearly understand nothing.
Understanding anything that you post is certainly difficult.
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
Even if a unit is really destroyed totally which is mostly not the case in the litteral sense of the word then you can still refit it if you have the manpower and materiel to do so.
The Heer cannot destroy what is not there.
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
That capability was underestimated. Losses inflicted were not overestimated. And if you deduct them from an overestimated strength then you end up overestimating what is left too.
If you write down whole formations from the orbat that were, in reality, significantly understrength, you are overstating your combat success and deluding yourself of the scale of the task ahead.

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 22:32

ljadw wrote:
05 Nov 2019 08:17
I see it differently

Yadda, yadda yadda
You always do. Have you considered spectacles?

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

Post by Art » 06 Nov 2019 08:46

MarkN wrote:
03 Nov 2019 23:43
The final documents you link to are six orders sent out to divisions to collect their allocation of 6,000 reservists on 24 June 1941. On that date, two of the divisions had already been overrun by elements of 3.Pz.Grp. So, what happened to those 12,000 reservists?
They were not actually dispatched from the Moscow Military District but were used for newly formed rifle divisions instead.
Russian is not my language, but your belief that border formations were at 75-85% of wartime establishment before February 1941 makes no sense to me defies the current histograph in a big way.
Why so? The peace-time TO&E of the reinforced rifle division in 1940 was 12 000 men or about 70% of the wartime strength. In 1941 both the wartime and peace-time establishment were curtailed (14500 and 10300 respectively) but the same proportion remained.

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

Post by Art » 06 Nov 2019 08:59

AbollonPolweder wrote:
03 Nov 2019 17:35
How interesting! Zhukov and Vasilevsky name the same number of called-up reservists. But! Vasilevsky, like Zakharov, speaks of "the end of May and beginning of June," and Zhukov speaks of "the eve of war."
Zhukov wrote in his memoirs (2002 version) "Call-up was planned to be held in May-October 1941". In full accord with the initial Politburo decision.
ВЫПИСКА ИЗ ПРОТОКОЛА РЕШЕНИЯ ПОЛИТБЮРО ЦК ВКП(б)
N: 28
8 марта 1941 г.
That was the initial decision, the final schedule adopted in May-June was much different. Hell only knows what they meant by "reserve divisions", but neither these divisions not 3000 divisions remained in existence by June 1941.
Now when we know that the border divisions, as Zhukov claims (doc. No. 272), were reinforced already in the winter of 1941 to 75-80% of the war-time TOE
Again, Zhukov didn't cite any specific numbers.

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

Post by AbollonPolweder » 06 Nov 2019 12:51

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:25
По мобилизационному плану 1938–1939 гг. проведение «Больших учебных сборов» (скрытой мобилизации) предусматривалось также по двум вариантам, т.е. по литеру «А» и «Б».

По литеру «А» поднимались части по штатам военного времени, имеющие срок готовности только до М-10.

По литеру «Б» поднимаемые части только усиливались на 75–80 % до штата военного времени.

Ввиду того, что вариант по литеру «Б» предусматривался в основном только для частей и соединений, прикрывающих границу, и поскольку по мобилизационному плану 1941 года пограничные части по мирному времени в настоящее время содержатся в усиленном составе, считаю разрабатывать вариант литер «Б» нецелесообразным.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
05 Nov 2019 19:07
I apologize! That's my fault! This phrase "... peacetime border units are currently being reinforced," should actually be translated : "... peacetime border units are reinforced ...". Simply put, there is no continuous tense in Zhukov's words. He writes about reinforcement as a fait accompli.
Dokument 272 is a proposal. The passage we are discussing is Zhukov referring to the 1938-39 mobilization plan. Options A and B are the two options available in the 1938-39 plan.

1) lf 75-80% is already achieved - past tense / fait accompli - then that was achieved BEFORE 1938. But it wasn't....

2) Although Russian is not my first language, if the plan was to go from 75-80% up to full establishment, l would expect усиливались от 75–80 % до штата военного времени. The text says усиливались на 75–80 % до штата военного времени.

I do not believe this passage confirms 75-80% is already achieved before the 1941 big training camps.
AbollonPolweder wrote:
05 Nov 2019 19:07
Here I put myself in your place. You then did not doubt Zhukov’s data. Did you?
The evidence is contradictory. All of it is plans and expectations. Nothing indicating what was actually completed. Zakharov's annexes have some data on what was completed. It contradicts the plans. And you claim it's a false story!
Dokument 272 is a proposal. The passage we are discussing is Zhukov referring to the 1938-39 mobilization plan. Options A and B are the two options available in the 1938-39 plan.

Yes, sir! Absolutely right! Zhukov recalls that in 38-39, hidden mobilization took place in two ways:
1- divisions were rising, as Zhukov writes, according to war-time TOEs by the 10th day of mobilization.
2 - divisions mobilized faster than 10 days, because their TOEs were 75-80% of war-time. The variant according to the letter “B” was provided mainly for parts and formations covering the border.
But in the winter of 1941 the 2nd option fell away. Why? Because the border divisions were already strengthened. If in 38-39 border divisions were strengthened to 75-80% of war-time TOEs, then how much were they strengthened in 1941? Generals are conservative people. Why should they come up with new TOEs, for the numbers 75-80% were not taken by chance but were reasonable?
Sir, do you really have no opportunity to consult about a translation from Russian?
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Re: The Logistics of Barbarossa (or lack of it)

Post by Art » 06 Nov 2019 13:38

AbollonPolweder wrote:
06 Nov 2019 12:51
2 - divisions mobilized faster than 10 days, because their TOEs were 75-80% of war-time.
This parts says that by the variant B border divisions would achieve 75-80% of the wartime strength after a partial mobilization, not that they had already had those 75-80% in a peacetime. In reality in 1938-39 only divisions in the Far East had this level of peacetime strength.

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

Post by Aida1 » 06 Nov 2019 15:08

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 22:30
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
You clearly understand nothing.
Understanding anything that you post is certainly difficult.
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
Even if a unit is really destroyed totally which is mostly not the case in the litteral sense of the word then you can still refit it if you have the manpower and materiel to do so.
The Heer cannot destroy what is not there.
Aida1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:13
That capability was underestimated. Losses inflicted were not overestimated. And if you deduct them from an overestimated strength then you end up overestimating what is left too.
If you write down whole formations from the orbat that were, in reality, significantly understrength, you are overstating your combat success and deluding yourself of the scale of the task ahead.
It seems to me it is you that tried to write to write down 80% of the mobilisable strength of the red army based on an estimated reduction of divisional combat strength in order to make look Halder foolish and instead looking foolish yourself.
You are still in denial of the fact that the German army did not overestimate losses in dead,wounded and prisoners inflicted on the red army but instead underestimated the ability to replace losses in men and equipment.

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