where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6480
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Mar 2019 07:26

Hi Paul,

Aren't these just examples of sensibly also planning for a "worst case scenario"?

Surely, that is part of the job of a general staff? It would have been dereliction of duty not to have had such plans.

There were certainly other contingency plans, including for offensives into German-held or -allied territory as well, so it is not as if these were the only scenarios considered.

If the Germans displayed "sheer incompetence" in their initial invasion of the USSR, I can only wish that our army might rise to similar levels of sheer incompetence!

Cheers,

Sid.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2151
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by MarkN » 18 Mar 2019 08:36

Sid Guttridge wrote:
18 Mar 2019 07:21
You say there is "no evidence". Of what?

That Hitler was head of state?

That Hitler, in that capacity, set overall objectives?

That Barbarossa was ordered by him?

That its objective was to conquer Russia?

That the aim was to do this within 5 months?

That the mechanics of Barbarossa were down to the generals?

That the generals' job was to pursue Hitler's objectives whether they were realistic or not?
Since you ask, all of the above. But the only one I'm interested in is not on your list.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2151
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by MarkN » 18 Mar 2019 08:45

Max Payload wrote:
18 Mar 2019 00:22
MarkN wrote:
17 Mar 2019 23:20
There does not appear to be any evidence that he set the set the specific objectives for BARBAROSSA.
Decision; Russia’s destruction must be made a part of this struggle. Spring 41.

The sooner Russia is crushed the better. Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian State can be shattered to its roots with one blow. Holding part of the country alone will not do. Standing still for the following winter would be perilous. So it is better to wait a little longer but with the resolute determination to eliminate Russia. This is necessary also because of contiguity on the Baltic. It would be awkward to have another major power there. If we start in May 41 we would have five months in which to finish the job. Tackling it this year would still have been the best, but unified action would be impossible at this time.

Objective is destruction of Russian manpower.

Preliminary they may have been, but there were unquestionably specific objectives set by Hitler at this conference for what would become the Barbarossa planning.
But the 'objectives' stated above were NOT the ones defined in Marcks' Plan, Losberg's Plan or even BARBAROSSA itself.

A successful endstate for BARBAROSSA left a functionning Soviet Union east of the Urals that continued to pose a threat. A very long border with a neighbor that Germany is still at war with. Russia would not be "crushed" or "eliminated".

BARBAROSSA did not provide the objectives Hitler desired, it was a limited land grab based on what the Heer considered doable.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6480
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Mar 2019 11:40

Hi MarkN,

You say that there is no evidence that Hitler was Germany's head of state?

I would suggest that that has been one of the fundamental working assumptions of AHF since it was founded twenty years ago, and of historians generally.

If you can't even agree to that, I would suggest that it undermines the credibility of anything else you contribute here.

Cheers,

Sid.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2151
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by MarkN » 18 Mar 2019 12:15

Sid Guttridge wrote:
18 Mar 2019 11:40
You say that there is no evidence that Hitler was Germany's head of state?
No you silly billy! The world is not void of evidence, your post was void of evidence. It was just a series of statements of what you believe. Some of which were inaccurate and, in the round, completely missing the point.
Sid Guttridge wrote:
18 Mar 2019 11:40
If you can't even agree to that, I would suggest that it undermines the credibility of anything else you contribute here.
If you can't see that, I would suggest that it undermines the credibility of anything else you contribute here.

The key to this is primary evidence that Hitler set the specific objectives to which Unternehmen BARBAROSSA was aiming for.

Max Payload has posted up Hitler's objectives as stated on 31 July 1940. They were NOT the objectives of BARBAROSSA, nor Marcks' study nor Losberg's study.

User avatar
doogal
Member
Posts: 651
Joined: 06 Aug 2007 11:37
Location: scotland

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by doogal » 18 Mar 2019 19:20

(Hitlers war directives. .... Directive 21.... p. 94 )
General intention: The final objective of the operation is to erect a barrier against Asiatic Russia.

Without doubt this differs from the 31 July 1940 declaration " objective destruction of Russian manpower"

Although dir 21... "The bulk of the Russian army stationed in western Russia will be destroyed by"

What we have are Hitlers original thoughts tempered later by a certain amount of reality of what was achievable. Even though in fact even less was.

The statement that Barbarossa was a military plan is true but its strategic narrative was not. So it was the chosen solution to fit Hitlers strategic rationale based as it was on some ridiculous ideas

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6480
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Mar 2019 19:52

Hi MarkN,

So, are you suggesting that Hitler (assuming you now agree that he was head of state and had the power to do so) simply launched his armies into the Eastern void without any instructions, aims or objectives?

I am unclear as to the point you are trying to make here, unless you are trying to differentiate between Hitler's political direction to go to war with the USSR and the actual Barbarossa plan prepared by his generals to carry this through militarily?

Please clarify.

Cheers,

Sid.

User avatar
doogal
Member
Posts: 651
Joined: 06 Aug 2007 11:37
Location: scotland

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by doogal » 18 Mar 2019 21:20

The key to this is primary evidence that Hitler set the specific objectives to which Unternehmen BARBAROSSA was aiming for.
Max Payload has posted up Hitler's objectives as stated on 31 July 1940.
There does not appear to be any evidence that he set the set the specific objectives for BARBAROSSA.
Decision; Russia’s destruction must be made a part of this struggle. Spring 41.

The sooner Russia is crushed the better. Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian State can be shattered to its roots with one blow. Holding part of the country alone will not do. Standing still for the following winter would be perilous. So it is better to wait a little longer but with the resolute determination to eliminate Russia. This is necessary also because of contiguity on the Baltic. It would be awkward to have another major power there. If we start in May 41 we would have five months in which to finish the job. Tackling it this year would still have been the best, but unified action would be impossible at this time.

Objective is destruction of Russian manpower.

Preliminary they may have been, but there were unquestionably specific objectives set by Hitler at this conference for what would become the Barbarossa planning.


Did then Barbarossa aim to achieve the objectives as laid out in Max Payloads post.( which came from )

1. Shattered to its roots with one blow.

As far as I am aware this was the whole concept behind a quick victory in one campaign. "if you kick in the door the whole rotten structure will fall in"
Halder planned Barbarossa with this premise paramount in all aspects, in every text history and paper we will find it.

2. Holding part of the country alone will not do:

If Hitler dilineated between European and Asiatic Russia then the depth of the Barbarossa operation would achieve this.

3.Destruction of Russian Manpower.

Destroying Russian armies in western Russia then pursuing till destroyed while occupying the country could achieve this.

It was the job of the General Staff to turn the general ideas Hitler had into a workable military operation. That the final emphasis on the importance of military or economic objectives changed is hardly suprising.

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Max Payload » 19 Mar 2019 01:25

MarkN wrote:
17 Mar 2019 16:53
... if you can point me to primary evidence that shows Marcks' plan was written to conform to specific objectives set by Hitler.

If Hitler could know precisely which objectives were achievable by the Wehrmacht and the means by which they could be achieved he wouldn’t have needed a planning staff. At the end of July he specifically identified Kiev; he specifically identified the Baltic States; and he specifically identified Moscow. That is, offensives N and S of the Pripet with a subsequent “Link-up of northern and southern prongs.” - see post #57
What does Marcks suggest in August - division of the operation into two parts either side of the Pripet Marshes since a decisive victory over the Red Army in one single operation would be difficult to achieve. Later the operation could be unified. The major concentration of forces would be in the north where the objective would be to crush all opposition and capture Moscow. Forces assembled south of the Pripet were to attack in the direction of Kiev and the Dnepr (from Romania with secondary thrusts from northeastern Hungary and southeastern Poland). They would form the southern arm of a pincers that would link up east of the upper Dnepr. To the north of the main effort, a secondary attack force would cross the Baltic States toward Leningrad and seize the Russian naval bases.

Inevitably this initial plan, clearly based on Hitler’s stated objectives, was developed over subsequent months but the OKW study in September was not made in ignorance of the ongoing OKH/Paulus developments of the Marcks plan. The planning staff conclusions (Otto - essentially the Barbarossa plan with the ultimate objectives of the Volga and Arkhangel) were put to Hitler on 5 December, who by this time had become ambivalent about Moscow being a primary objective.

jesk
Member
Posts: 1893
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by jesk » 19 Mar 2019 06:07

Max Payload wrote:
19 Mar 2019 01:25
Forces assembled south of the Pripet were to attack in the direction of Kiev and the Dnepr (from Romania with secondary thrusts from northeastern Hungary and southeastern Poland).
Wrong. Marcks did not want to attack in the north of Ukraine in order to reduce the number of kilometers for Wehrmacht. Hitler imposed an attack on the south of the Pripyat marshes. In March 1941, the 11th Army weakened, having doubted the ability to force the Dniester. From Marx's plan of action in Ukraine to the beginning of Barbarossa, almost nothing was left.

Image

Image
Image

https://b-ok.cc/book/2059431/6b3bd5

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Max Payload » 19 Mar 2019 09:46

jesk wrote:
19 Mar 2019 06:07
Marcks did not want to attack in the north of Ukraine in order to reduce the number of kilometers for Wehrmacht.
Right, but his final conclusion was that the main effort in the south would have to be on the left with Kiev as the principal objective, and the strike from Romania would involve a secondary force.
jesk wrote:
19 Mar 2019 06:07
Hitler imposed an attack on the south of the Pripyat marshes.
Which suggests you are also of the view that the ‘Marcks' plan was written to conform to specific objectives set by Hitler’.

jesk
Member
Posts: 1893
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by jesk » 19 Mar 2019 10:11

Max Payload wrote:
19 Mar 2019 09:46
Right, but his final conclusion was that the main effort in the south would have to be on the left with Kiev as the principal objective, and the strike from Romania would involve a secondary force.
According to this scheme, can’t say that the blow from Romania is secondary. Marcks did not plan an offensive in the north of Ukraine at all.

Image

Image

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2151
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Why do so many continue the unevidenced narrative today?

Post by MarkN » 19 Mar 2019 10:49

The subject of this thread is "where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?" and it is interesting to see how many posters, and to what extent they go to to manipulate the historical evidence to fit this narrative.

Because the evidence is incomplete it is not possible to state conclusively who set the specific objectives of Untermehmen BARBAROSSA and why l am open to new evidence being presented. But what evidence that does exist, and common sense, points to the Heer setting the objectives.
Max Payload wrote:
19 Mar 2019 01:25
MarkN wrote:
17 Mar 2019 16:53
... if you can point me to primary evidence that shows Marcks' plan was written to conform to specific objectives set by Hitler.
If Hitler could know precisely which objectives were achievable by the Wehrmacht and the means by which they could be achieved he wouldn’t have needed a planning staff.
Indeed. Common sense. How could Hitler know? The objectives of BARBAROSSA were determined by what the Heer generals believed was doable. Hitler wanted to erase the Soviet Union and communism from the map. The Heer told him they could, at most, only erase them west of the Urals. Hitler accepted that assessment. The objectives of BARBAROSSA were the objectives that the Heer told Hitler were possible.
Max Payload wrote:
19 Mar 2019 01:25
Inevitably this initial plan, clearly based on Hitler’s stated objectives,...
Clearly, it wasn't as you yourself have identified. Moreover, the fundamentals of the plan which became known as BARBAROSSA were written before Hitler made the policy decision in July to attack Russia.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6480
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: where the "Hitler should have listen to his general " come from?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Mar 2019 12:42

Hi MarkN,

So, are you suggesting that Hitler (assuming you now agree that he was head of state and had the power to do so) simply launched his armies into the Eastern void without any instructions, aims or objectives?

I am unclear as to the point you are trying to make here, unless you are trying to differentiate between Hitler's political direction to go to war with the USSR and the actual Barbarossa plan prepared by his generals to carry this through militarily?

Please clarify.

Cheers,

Sid.

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: Why do so many continue the unevidenced narrative today?

Post by Max Payload » 19 Mar 2019 15:41

MarkN wrote:
19 Mar 2019 10:49
... the fundamentals of the plan which became known as BARBAROSSA were written before Hitler made the policy decision in July to attack Russia.
Were they?
The first intimation of which I am aware of Hitler expressing an imminent interest in attacking the SU (that is within weeks or months) was on 21 July when he asked Brauchitsch to prepare plans for a campaign against the SU. Are you suggesting that specific planning (not mere blue-sky contingency planning) for what evolved into Barbarossa began before that date?
MarkN wrote:
19 Mar 2019 10:49
Max Payload wrote:
19 Mar 2019 01:25
Inevitably this initial plan, clearly based on Hitler’s stated objectives,...
Clearly, it wasn't as you yourself have identified.
Have I?
I have questioned your suggestion that the Marcks plan (5 August) was not “written to conform to specific objectives set by Hitler” by pointing out the remarkable correspondence between the specific objectives identified by Hitler at the Berghof at the end of July and those identified by Marcks five days later. Perhaps the similarities were just coincidence; and perhaps there is no significance to the fact that Marcks was assigned to the task by Halder, who happened to be one of just a handful of people who heard from Hitler’s own mouth what he expected from a Russian campaign.

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”