The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

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Yuri
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Yuri » 05 Feb 2020 22:06

https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/evaku ... yny/viewer

"Evacuation of farm animals to the Southern Urals in the conditions of the Great Patriotic war" By R. S. Bakhtiyarov and A.V. Fedorov
ISSN 0136-5835. Bulletin of TSTU. 2014. Volume 20. No. 3

In 1941-42 2,390,000 cattle (including 914,000 cows), 186,000 pigs, 5,082,000 sheep and goats, and 818,000 horses arrived at their destination. This was about 30% of cattle; 20% of sheep; and 29% of horses of the number that was sent for evacuation.
From 17% to 23% of the evacuated cattle were handed over to red Army units for meat.
According to Voznesensky's data, 744 thousand heads of cattle, 818 thousand sheep and goats, 55 thousand pigs, 65 thousand horses, and 417 thousand heads of poultry were returned to collective farms that were liberated in the territory of the RSFSR. (Unfortunately, there is no General data on the number of cattle sent to the liberated territories of Ukraine and Belarus - Yuri).
In addition, at the end of 1943, state purchases of livestock for the liberated territories were envisaged: 100 thousand horses; 697.6 thousand heads of cattle; 600 thousand goats and sheep; 230 thousand pigs.
-------------------------


Thus, in 1941-42, arrived at their destinations or the units of Red Army were handed over for meat: very approximately 50% of cattle; 40% of goats and sheep; and 50% of horses.
The fate of the others is unknown.
It is clear that some of the cattle were captured by the enemy, some fell on the road from impotence and disease, some were left on the way to the population. You can only guess about this distribution.
However, it is clear that in 1942 there was no famine in the Urals and Western Siberia, and for the reasons indicated here, there could not be. Another thing was in 1943, when there were problems with food.

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Yuri
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Yuri » 05 Feb 2020 23:21

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
05 Feb 2020 21:44
Terry Duncan wrote:
05 Feb 2020 16:49

Were the workers living on reduced rations, and were significant numbers of them incapacitated as the evidence provided by TheMarksPlan suggests?
Evidence about Nizhny Tagil ammunnition factory is probable extreme data for Ural factorys.

Numbers themarksplan advertise (40% ref) is extreme of extreme which is july and august 1944 data. In july 102.9 cases of temporary lost work days because of starvation and semistarvation from 3.100 for july and 65.3 cases of lost work days from august. So total in worst record period is 168.2 cases of temporary lost work days. Smaller that 3% of total work days.

Data does not say how many total days were lost. It is based on from 100. If you find number of workers total you can calculate total number of lost days for every month. But still less than 3% at most worst time.

Data does not say how many were incapacitated. It just says days are lost. Themarksplan gave other evidences of workers being sent to woods for food or to do subsitance farming on factory time. That is days lost from factory production to but workers are not incapasitaded. They are doing not production works.

Data does not say how many people have starvation or semistarvation problem. In july 1944 data 3 workers not working all month is 103 not working days. Or data maybe all 100 workers having 1 day off work in month and 3 workers having 2 days.

Data does not have any information of dead numbers and no data on how bad starvation or semistarvation is.

If most worst period in probably most worse factory in Ural region have loss of under 3% is this big problem or small problem? I do not know. But answer to question is understanding of how close economic production collapse at 1 specific factory.

It seems to me data does not make understand economic collapse.

Now we have new evidences from themarksplan that in december 1942 and january 1943 there was 16 workers drop dead at 1 different factory. 16 dead at factory to me us much biger problem than 168 temporary lost work days. But we still do not know any details about scale of problem. Is 16 dead workers in 2 month period understanding of economic collapse in factory of 50.000 workers? I do not know.

If problems not big enough for economic collapse of factory then how total collapse of total economy in period before data?

Evidences are most contradictory and not giving much helpful data to understand claim.
I am very skeptical about memoirs. But the memoirs of Claus Fritzsche are an exception.
Perhaps here you will find the answer: why people do not report their illness, try to hide their illness, continue to do work. Moreover, they tend to do hard work or work longer hours. They are not suicides, on the contrary, they believe that this way they can help themselves and survive.
If you haven't read it, I recommend reading the memoirs of Claus Fritzsche.
https://nice-books.ru/books/dokumentaln ... itnyi.html
===================

Publisher's abstract
The author of this book has lived two lives. In the first, he was a devout Nazi, a pupil of the Hitler Youth and the privileged National political Academy (Napola), which prepared the future elite of the Third Reich; he served in the Luftwaffe, fought in the Ne-111 bomber as an air gunner and a radio operator. Everything changed on June 22, 1943, when his Heinkel was shot down during a RAID on Astrakhan and fell into the Volga, and Fritzsche himself was captured by the Soviets. Here, in his own words, began another, " real life»…

This book is unique. During the post — war years, the memoirs of dozens of pilots of the Third Reich-fighters, bomber pilots, and air unit commanders-were published. But the memoirs of the Luftwaffe's" workhorses " — flight shooters, navigators, and radio operators-are literally all over the place. Perhaps it was because they died more often, or because Hitler's propaganda paid less attention to them. The book by Klaus Fritzsche is a rare opportunity to see the combat work of a German bomber through the eyes of one of the crew members, a detailed and honest story about combat flights and risky tasks, about bomb attacks on Soviet rear and communications, about raids on strategic objects and losses from anti-aircraft fire and fighter attacks, about life and death on the Eastern front and in Russian captivity.

For this publication, the author provided many photos from his personal archive and even wrote part of the text in Russian, which he learned during the years of captivity.

From the author's website:

"In January 2009, a book was published, an autobiographical story that covers my entire life from childhood to the present day" Air shooter. Through anti-aircraft fire." Unfortunately, the name of the book was chosen by the publishing house employees without the author's knowledge, most likely for economic reasons (bait for catching buyers).

The abstract on the back cover of the book is full of incorrect statements, and, what is most unacceptable, the last two chapters 3.13 "Perekhodkino, 2000" and 3.14 "Afterword"were negligently excluded from this edition.
===================

The Russian publishing house included what the German edition did not include without the prior permission of Claus Fritzsche.

http://www.clausfritzsche.de/

Claus Fritzsche ist leider am 14.07.2017 verstorben!

Deshalb wird diese Internetpräsenz abgeschaltet!

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Feb 2020 02:40

Max Payload wrote:If correct, then it follows that
a) The SU’s war effort was not close to collapse due to starvation in 1942, and
Not quite. Sustained malnutrition is slow only in the sense that, unlike acute starvation, one doesn't die on a timeline measured in days.
It is a matter of accumulated caloric deficit. That deficit would have accumulated faster had food supplies started diverging adversely from the OTL path during 1941.
As I laid out in my other response to you, there are geographically-based paths in which daily caloric deficit is easily multiples of the historic caloric deficit, meaning the OTL starvation process starts earlier and moves to a scale of months rather than years. That's still a slow process epidemiologically speaking, but a fast process in terms of Soviet collapse by the end of '42.

Further, the Soviet state well understood the dynamics of its food supply and their effects on the population. It chose - rationally and even morally I would argue - to accept a few million starvation deaths as a condition for being able to arm/feed an army strong enough to stop Hitler. As brutal as that choice was, I can't say it was wrong.

With food supplies lower by 10-25% per capita, the Soviet state would know in '42 that it faced a choice between (1) mass starvation that would end all military resistance and likely the state itself and (2) a peace agreement that would forestall mass starvation, preserve the regime, but end military resistance. Either way, resistance would be ending. The rational choice at that point would have been peace, even if SU is pushed out of Europe.
b) There is little to suggest that in an ATL in which the Ostheer achieved more in the south in 1941, the result would have been a collapse due to starvation in 1942.
What happens if:
  • Germans advance more quickly in Ukraine during '41, taking nearly all the harvest (OTL 2/3's of harvest was saved in Western Ukraine and basically all of it in the rest of Ukraine).
  • Germans advance to the Don in '41, rather than only to the Donets.
What might have happened in 1943, two years after a 1941 ATL, becomes highly speculative.
All alternate history is speculative, as is all "normal" history that says "X was inevitable" because it implies that - speculates that - if some Y had happened , X would still happen (here X is Soviet victory, Y is greater German territorial gains in '41/42).

The tenor of your statement is basically, "Loss of all of Ukraine's harvest in '41, and nearly all of the SU's breadbasket in '42, would have had no significant effect on Soviet food supplies." I find such a statement facially implausible. Have you considered the implications of such territorial losses for the SU?

Phrased another way, on what side of this inherently speculative question do you come down? I.e. if the SU lost territories as I describe, what would its food budget look like?
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Feb 2020 03:45

@Max Payload

Consider this contemporary picture of cropland in Russia and Ukraine:

Image
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... aaa4a4/pdf

The green is for currently-used cropland, the pink is abandoned land. Given that the land and climate have changed little since 1945, this is a fairly accurate representation of the distribution of the SU's cropland (unfortunately Kazakhstan isn't included).

As you can see, most of the cropland is in Ukraine, southwest Russia, and the Volga basin. Siberia has very little good cropland. As the Germans knew when they invaded, the rest of the SU relied on those areas for grain supplies.

What the picture doesn't show - where I'm still looking for data - is that the land in Ukraine and the Kuban are generally regarded as more productive than other good cropland such as the Volga basin. So the importance of the southwestern green areas in the map is actually much greater than even the map portrays.

Zooming in on the map, one can see that Siberia, the Urals, and northern European Russia contains a lot of now-abandoned farmland. This is land once cultivated under the SU, but since abandoned for insufficient productivity. These are the farmlands on which the SU would rely (plus Kazakhstan) had the Germans advanced farther as I describe, especially in the south.

Given the thin margins of survival in OTL SU, this is powerful initial evidence that Soviet food supply would have suffered ruinous per capita declines given farther German advances. This is especially true if evacuations from, e.g., the Volga basin, continued at historical levels of ~20% of the population.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Max Payload » 06 Feb 2020 12:27

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Feb 2020 02:40
Max Payload wrote:If correct, then it follows that
a) The SU’s war effort was not close to collapse due to starvation in 1942, and
Not quite. Sustained malnutrition is slow only in the sense that, unlike acute starvation, one doesn't die on a timeline measured in days.
It is a matter of accumulated caloric deficit. That deficit would have accumulated faster had food supplies started diverging adversely from the OTL path during 1941.
But the OTL is the OTL and "The SU’s war effort was not close to collapse due to starvation in 1942".

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Feb 2020 02:40
Further, the Soviet state well understood the dynamics of its food supply and their effects on the population. It chose - rationally and even morally I would argue - to accept a few million starvation deaths as a condition for being able to arm/feed an army strong enough to stop Hitler. As brutal as that choice was, I can't say it was wrong.
Those were the kind of hard-nosed decisions the Soviet leadership was not averse to making.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Feb 2020 02:40
With food supplies lower by 10-25% per capita, the Soviet state would know in '42 that it faced a choice between (1) mass starvation that would end all military resistance and likely the state itself and (2) a peace agreement that would forestall mass starvation, preserve the regime, but end military resistance. Either way, resistance would be ending. The rational choice at that point would have been peace, even if SU is pushed out of Europe.
The problem with ATLs is that they throw up all sorts of peripheral complications. A larger or more effective, faster-moving Ostheer in 1941 may have disrupted the Soviet relocation of industrial enterprises that in itself may have compromised the Soviet war effort. But assuming that the only effect of this ATL was to enable the Germans to secure more of the SUs agricultural land in the final months of 1941, then the GKO would have known before 1942 if an existential food supply crisis was coming down the tracks. If that was the conclusion they came to then assuming that, as in the OTL, they could postpone the worst effects of that until 1943, they would have a year to try to do something about it. So in addition to your 'choice (1)' or 'choice 2' there may have been other options. You suggested in an earlier post that this could require additional food supplies for twelve million people (10% of the population).
A rough calculation based on the Unicef food aid requirement (typical aggregate consumption requirement) of 555g/p/d (of flour/pulses/oil/sugar etc) equates to 16,650 tonnes per million people for a 30 day period. So to meet the basic food needs of 12 million people would require the importation of 200,000 tonnes of foodstuffs (the capacity of nineteen Liberty ships) per month. Given the importance of the Soviet war effort to the Allied cause, it seems improbable that the nascent United Nation would be unable to source, fund and deliver such quantities through the LL scheme in 1943. As for its distribution within the SU, again, with a year of advance planning, distribution should not have presented an insurmountable challenge to the Soviet authorities.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Feb 2020 18:08

Max Payload wrote:assuming that, as in the OTL, they could postpone the worst effects of that until 1943, they would have a year to try to do something about it.
Did you see my post rebutting this idea? You're clutching at the "slow" speed of non-acute starvation.
A "slow" progression doesn't mean "identical speed" progression. One can drive slowly at 1mph or slowly at 20mph.
Analogously, one can starve slowly over a few months or slowly over a few years.
Earlier onset of caloric deficit combined with greater daily deficit mean a "less slow" onset of mortality/morbidity.
Your analysis assumes that missing 100 calories a day or 300 would make no difference.
But assuming that the only effect of this ATL was to enable the Germans to secure more of the SUs agricultural land in the final months of 1941
I'm going to interpret "assuming..." as "setting aside the issue of evacuation." And yes, a faster/deeper advance would mean less saved by evacuation.
The problem with ATLs is that they throw up all sorts of peripheral complications.
I see it as a feature, not a bug.

In any event, to say that the German invasion of Russia had no chance of success is an important historical statement that served political ends. In many ways it has served to justify/conceal the malfeasance of the West during pre- and early-war years. So long as Germany had no chance of beating Russia, and no chance of crossing the Channel, Hitler was not a potentially existential threat to half of world civilization - he was boxed in on the continent. Our governments were not, therefore, so strategically and morally blinkered that our citizens should worry they might lead us into ruin.

Hidden in those narratives, of course, is the premise that Barbarossa was doomed no matter what Germany did. Please, let us not examine that premise. [not accusing you of those motives btw, just describing what I perceive as the reason for the dominant narrative's sanctity.]
A rough calculation based on the Unicef food aid requirement (typical aggregate consumption requirement) of 555g/p/d (of flour/pulses/oil/sugar etc)
Can you give a cite/context (preferably both) for this? What's the caloric value? Is it sufficient food merely to prevent death or would it also enable, say, working 12hrs/day, 6.5 days/week, in a Russian winter?

I'm not saying that Wallied famine relief is impossible, though I have doubts (could be confirmation bias, I'll admit). Just saying that its evaluation/plausibility requires looking at a few more things (especially Wallied willingness to part with 10-25% of its food supply).

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

As so often happens when discussion begins on X but diverts to an ATL, I haven't had - or didn't take - the opportunity to frame the full scope of options and factors that could lead to SU food collapse in various feasible ATL's. Indeed, I haven't specified a global ATL for this discussion. So let me just say that the following are feasible elements, IMO, of feasible ATL's (with various ATL's having all/some of them):
  • Capture of Caucasus inc. Baku. This should be a part of basically any German ATL. In 1940 Soviet agriculture consumed >5mil tons of petrol products - more than the entire Wehrmacht in '41. For the Wallies to replace all that oil is really stretching LL plausible expansion. For the Wallies to replace all the food lost instead would be even harder.
  • Japanese participation in Barbarossa. This was, IMO, the likely outcome had Germany taken Moscow - or had Moscow's fall seemed assured - in summer '41. The Pacific LL route is immediately closed, meaning Germany can end 90% of '41-'43 LL shipments by taking northern Russia (Persian Corridor was constrained by rail infrastructure until well into '43).
  • Hoarding of food and other passive resistance by peasants given worse Soviet fortunes: Sources mention peasant plans to divide land (de-collectivize) as German army approached, even in Great Russia. Peasants in Ukraine had hoarded enough grain to plant the '42 harvest without German supplies. Everybody has a breaking point, even conceding that Soviet society's endurance was unrivaled in modern warfare.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by ljadw » 06 Feb 2020 21:19

Therre was no malfeasance of the West ( UK and France ) before 1939 : UK and France tolerated the existence of the communist USSR ,thus why should they not tolerate the existence of the Third Reich .

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Max Payload » 07 Feb 2020 01:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Feb 2020 18:08
Max Payload wrote:assuming that, as in the OTL, they could postpone the worst effects of that until 1943, they would have a year to try to do something about it.
Did you see my post rebutting this idea? You're clutching at the "slow" speed of non-acute starvation.
A "slow" progression doesn't mean "identical speed" progression. One can drive slowly at 1mph or slowly at 20mph.
Analogously, one can starve slowly over a few months or slowly over a few years.
Earlier onset of caloric deficit combined with greater daily deficit mean a "less slow" onset of mortality/morbidity.
Your analysis assumes that missing 100 calories a day or 300 would make no difference.
But assuming that the only effect of this ATL was to enable the Germans to secure more of the SUs agricultural land in the final months of 1941
I'm going to interpret "assuming..." as "setting aside the issue of evacuation." And yes, a faster/deeper advance would mean less saved by evacuation.
If in the OTL two-thirds of the harvest of Western Ukraine was saved, then given the speed of AGS’s advance to the Dnepr, it seems unlikely that much more than that would have been lost in any ATL unless the entire Barbarossa plan had been modified to prioritise the Ukraine at the expense of AGC and AGN. (And the Soviet Western Ukraine of 1941 was smaller, and consequently less agriculturally significant than the Western Ukraine of the map you posted.)
An ATL that has Moscow captured before 7 December (so that the Japanese invade Siberia), while the Ukraine is overrun before the harvest can be shipped east and Baku is reached by the end of the year is not a realistic ATL.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Feb 2020 18:08
A rough calculation based on the Unicef food aid requirement (typical aggregate consumption requirement) of 555g/p/d (of flour/pulses/oil/sugar etc)
Can you give a cite/context (preferably both) for this? What's the caloric value? Is it sufficient food merely to prevent death or would it also enable, say, working 12hrs/day, 6.5 days/week, in a Russian winter?
WFP/UNHCR GUIDELINES FOR ESTIMATING FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL NEEDS IN EMERGENCIES
pfeda.univ-lille1.fr/Infos/1999/0327wfpE.htm

See table in section 33 (Type 1)
1,900-2,500 cal/d.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Yuri » 07 Feb 2020 07:07

In the faint hope of returning to the topic indicated in the title. I will try to smoothly turn the discussion from the direction "Hunger in the USSR in 1942" to the direction "OstHeer-may 1942".
Fortunately for us, in 1942 there was no UN and the need for food volumes was calculated not in kilocalories, but in more convenient and understandable units: heads of cattle, railway cars, etc.
Here is the calculation of food volumes for the Romanian part of the "Marshal Antonescu"'s Army Group (aka Army Group "Don").
42-09-24 AG Marschal Antonescu.jpg
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Feb 2020 09:03

Max Payload wrote:If in the OTL two-thirds of the harvest of Western Ukraine was saved, then given the speed of AGS’s advance to the Dnepr, it seems unlikely that much more than that would have been lost in any ATL unless the entire Barbarossa plan had been modified to prioritise the Ukraine at the expense of AGC and AGN. (And the Soviet Western Ukraine of 1941 was smaller, and consequently less agriculturally significant than the Western Ukraine of the map you posted.)
An ATL that has Moscow captured before 7 December (so that the Japanese invade Siberia), while the Ukraine is overrun before the harvest can be shipped east and Baku is reached by the end of the year is not a realistic ATL.
The centerpiece of any German ATL should be for AGS to destroy Southwest Front during the the Border Battles, either by postulating additional forces (~10 more divisions) or by shifting PzGr 4 from AGN.

In either case, it is shortsighted to assume that such a move southward implies no loss of Moscow: the destruction of Southwest Front in June/July means that Stavka can't build up Timoshenko's group for the July/August Smolensk battles, meaning those forces are more rapidly destroyed and at far lower cost to AGC. Absent a strong threat to its right flank, the now-stronger AGC is free to move on Moscow as soon as its logistics allow (latter August given OTL rail logistics, earlier given better rail logistics). Meanwhile, AGS possesses sufficient forces encircle/destroy reincarnations of Southwest/South Fronts after the border battles, and doesn't require AGC help to clear Ukraine and southwest Russia.

Capturing Baku in '41 isn't feasible but is not required in the food-based collapse analysis. It's just another factor compelling Soviet surrender in '42, once the oil is lost and it clear to Stalin that further resistance means collapse of the regime.
WFP/UNHCR GUIDELINES FOR ESTIMATING FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL NEEDS IN EMERGENCIES
pfeda.univ-lille1.fr/Infos/1999/0327wfpE.htm

See table in section 33 (Type 1)
1,900-2,500 cal/d.
Thanks.

The rations are calculated for 2,100cal/day per the schedule. This assumes moderate physical activity, not sustenance of a strenuous war effort.
During '42, best sources cited in Hunger and War say ~2,560cal/day. Of course that was still insufficient to prevent gradual starvation due to the strenuous workload.

U.S. consumed ~3,100cal/d during '42. So sending 10% of its food supply to Russia puts it down at ~2,800cal/d.
Per Hunger and War, Soviet cal/d was 2,810 in '44.
So assuming constant U.S. food supply that's the absolute limit of what the U.S. can send before pushing itself into Soviet-style caloric deficit (again, query the amount of political resistance to this aid well before reaching caloric deficit, especially in a context where the SU has lost Moscow).
The U.S. could have grown more food by reapportioning labor from factories/armies but to have such food available before Fall '42 would have required action before spring '41 when there was no Eastern Front.

...and if the Soviet shortfall is 20% of its food supply there's really no way for the U.S. to make that up.
...and if Japan is in the war from latter '41 there's no feasible lend-lease solution during '42: Germany was able to shut down the Murmansk route during summer '42 (reminder that Persian corridor is low-capacity until latter '43).
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Peter89 » 07 Feb 2020 09:34

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03

...and if Japan is in the war from latter '41 there's no feasible lend-lease solution during '42: Germany was able to shut down the Murmansk route during summer '42 (reminder that Persian corridor is low-capacity until latter '43).
AFAIK the Pacific Route for LL was open for non-war materiel, like food or oil. The Japanese didn't sink Soviet ships as per the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact (13 Apr 1941). Also, the Pacific route was the most important LL route anyway:

https://web.archive.org/web/20031212063 ... outes.html

It's percentages were the following, relative to the Murmansk / North Russia Route:

1941: 53.6 / 42.7
1942: 29.9 / 38.7
1943: 49.8 / 14.2
1944: 45.8 / 23.4
1945: 56.6 / 19.8
Total: 47.1 / 22.7

But the picture is a bit more unclear, because the majority of the LL (56.6%) was delivered during 1944 (35.5%) and 1945 (21%), when the war was arguably lost for Germany, and other ports came into play as well, naturally shrinking the importance of Murmansk.

The cumulative LL imports during 1941-1943 in North Russia / Murmansk amounted 1,784,731 tons, compared to the 3,315,896 tons delivred on the Pacific Route. The ratio is something like 35% vs 65%. Knocking out Murmansk from the Soviet supply system might have been a big achievement for the Germans, but not the knock-out blow they needed.

Taking Murmansk AND convince the Japanese to attack or blockade Vladivostok, well, that is a different story indeed.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Feb 2020 09:43

Peter89 wrote:Taking Murmansk AND convince the Japanese to attack or blockade Vladivostok, well, that is a different story indeed.
Right, that's my main point regarding making Soviet food-collapse all but certain regardless of Wallied famine relief (which I don't feasible anyway, as explained above).

Re Vladivostok, it appears that military supplies went through it but only from mid-'43. The U.S./SU was basically daring the Japanese to push the SU into the war. https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mari ... _31-58.pdf [study claims that revelation of military supplies is "new information," seems credible]

Still, prior to mid-'43 the only other route for military supplies is Persia, which is low-capacity and which requires far more shipping resources than Murmansk because until fall of Sicily ships have to go around Africa.

Does anyone know, btw, the percentage of Russian LL via the Persian Corridor that originated in Australia/NZ/India? Seems likely the Persian Corridor was the preferred route for those flows, though I don't know how big they were (Australia/NZ were zealous of retaining resources in the Pacific after Pearl).
other ports came into play as well, naturally shrinking the importance of Murmansk.
Right. The Turks eventually let the Allies ship through the Straits, I think during latter '44.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Aida1 » 07 Feb 2020 10:07

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03
Max Payload wrote:If in the OTL two-thirds of the harvest of Western Ukraine was saved, then given the speed of AGS’s advance to the Dnepr, it seems unlikely that much more than that would have been lost in any ATL unless the entire Barbarossa plan had been modified to prioritise the Ukraine at the expense of AGC and AGN. (And the Soviet Western Ukraine of 1941 was smaller, and consequently less agriculturally significant than the Western Ukraine of the map you posted.)
An ATL that has Moscow captured before 7 December (so that the Japanese invade Siberia), while the Ukraine is overrun before the harvest can be shipped east and Baku is reached by the end of the year is not a realistic ATL.
The centerpiece of any German ATL should be for AGS to destroy Southwest Front during the the Border Battles, either by postulating additional forces (~10 more divisions) or by shifting PzGr 4 from AGN.

In either case, it is shortsighted to assume that such a move southward implies no loss of Moscow: the destruction of Southwest Front in June/July means that Stavka can't build up Timoshenko's group for the July/August Smolensk battles, meaning those forces are more rapidly destroyed and at far lower cost to AGC. Absent a strong threat to its right flank, the now-stronger AGC is free to move on Moscow as soon as its logistics allow (latter August given OTL rail logistics, earlier given better rail logistics). Meanwhile, AGS possesses sufficient forces encircle/destroy reincarnations of Southwest/South Fronts after the border battles, and doesn't require AGC help to clear Ukraine and southwest Russia.

Capturing Baku in '41 isn't feasible but is not required in the food-based collapse analysis. It's just another factor compelling Soviet surrender in '42, once the oil is lost and it clear to Stalin that further resistance means collapse of the regime.
Flawed for 2 reasons. If the emphasis was not placed on AGS ,it is because it was not possible given that one could do no major advance from Hungary and Rumania and not enough roads in the south. Also , the best way to achieve the objective you want to take is by beating the enemy army and that could best be done by advancing towards Moscow which is also where the major roads are. If you beat the red army in the center and the north, you get the the Ukraine too. There were reasons why the plan was made as it was. The operational objective has to be destroying the enemy army . Any ATL has to do better at that and would therefore have to put more emphasis on the advance in the center which needs to be the focus.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Max Payload » 07 Feb 2020 12:18

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03
The centerpiece of any German ATL should be for AGS to destroy Southwest Front during the the Border Battles, either by postulating additional forces (~10 more divisions) or by shifting PzGr 4 from AGN.

In either case, it is shortsighted to assume that such a move southward implies no loss of Moscow:
Extra infantry divisions in AGS would not have made that much of a difference to the rate of advance. Shifting Fourth PGr away from AGN would have left the outcome of the fighting in the Baltic States highly uncertain with a potentially serious threat the AGC's left flank.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03
The rations are calculated for 2,100cal/day per the schedule. This assumes moderate physical activity, not sustenance of a strenuous war effort.
During '42, best sources cited in Hunger and War say ~2,560cal/day. Of course that was still insufficient to prevent gradual starvation due to the strenuous workload.
The broader point being made was that food aid on the scale required in your proposed ATL (12 million people) would not have been an impossible or even excessively Herculean task in 1943.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03
U.S. consumed ~3,100cal/d during '42. So sending 10% of its food supply to Russia puts it down at ~2,800cal/d.
Why is it assumed that increased food supply to Russia could only be achieved by taking food out of the mouths of the American consumer? There was a global market place, not just South America, but Africa, Central America, Australasia and parts of Asia. Suppliers generally respond quite effectively to changes in demand, not just in terms of production but in stock levels and preferential pricing.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Feb 2020 09:03
...and if the Soviet shortfall is 20% of its food supply there's really no way for the U.S. to make that up.
...and if Japan is in the war from latter '41 there's no feasible lend-lease solution during '42:
...and if Halifax had become Prime Minister in May 1940 ...
...and if Germany had invested more heavily in the Heer instead of the Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine ...
...and if Einstein had not written to Roosevelt...
...and etc. etc....
I recognise your point that to do no more than assert Germany was doomed from the off ignores other possible outcomes, but on the other hand it is reasonable to acknowledge that Hitler's geopolitical recklessness combined with Germany's relative economic weakness in relation to the nations he went to war with made any good outcome for Germany highly unlikely.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Feb 2020 13:50

Max Payload wrote: it is reasonable to acknowledge that Hitler's geopolitical recklessness combined with Germany's relative economic weakness in relation to the nations he went to war with made any good outcome for Germany highly unlikely.
Ex ante and at that level of abstraction, yes. But that ignores the critical part of the story: the collective action problem.

It is reasonable for me to say that I and four of my biggest friends could beat you up, even though you are a huge badass.

It is less reasonable to assume that if I and my four biggest friends fought you individually and sequentially that you wouldn't kick all our asses.

Well that's what should have happened in ww2, basically. Germany had an extended window to fight Poland, France, and the SU sequentially and individually (mostly). After beating those three, the economic balance of resources would have actually favored the Axis. Given the strength of defense vs. offense and the asymmetric appetite for bloodshed, the Wallies would have been screwed (but for the deus ex machina of the A-bomb perhaps).
As the Victory Plan of 1941 shows, the Wallies didn't have a serious plan to beat Germany, post-SU, except to (conventionally) bomb it. Somehow history has forgotten this fact...

Your "reasonable" statement elides the main moral/strategic lesson for history of WW2 (collective action).
It's also reasonable to say that humanity has the resources/innovation to solve climate change. Given historical instances in which global collective action has failed, however, we can't assume that we won't blunder into catastrophe.
Max Payload wrote:Extra infantry divisions in AGS would not have made that much of a difference to the rate of advance.
Extra mobile divisions to enable encirclement/destruction of Southwest Front, which OTL held up the German advance for months, eventually requiring AGC's diversion from Moscow. The initial encirclement enables both an earlier - and successful - attack on Moscow and advance to roughly the Don in the South. Game over at that point.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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