Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Jan 2021 00:21

Richard Anderson wrote:That is unfair. Halder's first estimate was based upon his assumption that the Soviets had 50-75 good divisions in the west.
Nah it's fair because I know that Halder's 80-division plan - like all his plans - assumed that you beat the standing field armies and then "Poof!" no more SU so need to analyze how you beat any reserves mobilized after the invasion.

Regardless of how well those 80 divisions do initially, it's fatuous to assume that's the end of the story. Believe it if you want but plan for your belief not to be realized.
Richard Anderson wrote:Indeed, since Halder's concept was more or less a holding action along the southern front with the main axis Leningrad and Moscow via beefed up HG-N and HG-M, which would then reorient south once their mission was accomplished. In essence a strategic single envelopment, which probably would have been more workable than the final plan.
Might be another TMP ATL coming on this topic... I've often wondered but wanted to wait until finishing my "slightly stronger" ATL. Concentration of panzer groups north of Pripyat should mean Ostheer gets two double-envelopment battles per strategic bound. The Polish/Romanian frontiers can be held with 30 or so ID's where RKKA would destroy itself attacking against defenders with strong logistics.

The problem with Halder's north-then-south plan is the same with all his planning: again the SU is collapsed by the time of the southwards pivot so there's no need to ensure deep logistics behind that pivot or any other aspects of a competent plan.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Jan 2021 00:57

stg44 wrote:Halder was also infected with victory disease from the quick defeat of France and the performance of the USSR in the Winter War and East Poland, which confirmed a number of thoughts about the impact of the Great Purge. Let's not forget too that Germany was also pretty aware that the Soviets were expanding, modernizing, and reorganizing the Red Army at this time and knew they were not ready to fight.
This is another area where Halder's blithe confidence in a quick victory was contradicted by General Staff analysis that, of course, he ignored.

A 1939 evaluation of the Red Army, for example, finds that its equipment was modern, its soldiers tough, and that it would be capable of strong defense. https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/5

Summations of General Staff views from GSWW v.4:
Reports on the Red Army’s performance in Poland, Finland, and Bessarabia
suggested a gigantic war-machine which was about to remedy any shortcomings
revealed during those operations.25 Its greatest weakness was thought to
be the lack of a trained middle-ranking and senior leader class, which had been
lost as a result of the purges of 1937-8 and had not yet been replaced. Its
armament, on the other hand, was judged to be modem, even though outdated weapons had not yet been replaced in every unit.
The Red Army, it was pointed out, should
not be underestimated; emphasis on and exaggeration of its mistakes were
hostile propaganda by the Western powers. Neither should the lessons learnt
from its advances in Poland and Romania be overestimated; after all, the Red
Army had not been seriously challenged there. The Red Army’s poor outward
appearance was weighed up against its marching performance and the functioning of its deployment. Köstring emphasized that the ‘generally tough,
undemanding, willing, and brave soldier’ was no longer the ‘good moujik’
familiar from the First World War; there had been a cultural improvement and
a rise in intelligence.
The introduction of generals’ ranks was regarded as a sign of the tightening
of command and as an unambiguous shift of responsibility to the superior in
the chain of command. The exercises held under the supervision of People’s
Commissar Marshal Timoshenko in August 1940 on the basis of experience of
the Winter War and the regulations subsequently issued were given a good
deal o f attention, more especially the marshal’s call for greater discipline and
intensified manoeuvres under warlike conditions. The repeal, by a decree of 5
August 1940, of the decree of August 1937 on the reintroduction of military
commissars in the Red Army and Navy and the adoption of new disciplinary
penal regulations for the Red Army on 12 October 1940 were interpreted as
evidence of a profound reshaping of the forces. In the opinion of the German
officers, the Red Army seemed to be making a huge effort to transform itself
into a first-rate modem force, equipped with up-to-date military technology.
These assumptions and a brief account of Soviet combat instructions for
attack, defence, and ambush warfare were laid down in a ‘Leaflet on the
peculiarity of Russian warfare’, completed on 25 January 1941.31 This also
made the point that the Soviet soldier, in contrast to his operations in the
Finnish Winter War, when he had fought with a lack of enthusiasm, would be
inspired by the idea of defending his proletarian fatherland.
In conclusion it
stated: ‘All in all the Russian is better in defence than in attack. In defence he
is tough and gallant, and usually allows himself to be killed at the spot where
his leader has placed him.’
The experience o f the Finnish Winter War seemed to be of more topical
importance: there the Red Army—in contrast to its advance into eastern
Poland, the Romanian territories, and the Baltic countries—had demonstrated
its battle-worthiness.
Intelligence on this was being evaluated by the Department for Foreign Armies East of the Army General Staff.16 This then was the
overall impression:
• Lack o f initiative and stereotyped operation resulted in losses at the
beginning of the war.
• Accumulation o f large numbers of troops on the Karelian isthmus led to
supply difficulties.
• In an attempt to achieve success primarily by mass employment, the Red
Army failed to assess correctly the effect and applicability of the different
branches; in particular it attached excessive expectations to the performance of armour.
• There was a lack of co-operation between the various branches, especially
in artillery support for advancing infantry and in artillery barrages.
• Attacks in deep waves resulted in heavy losses which only failed to result
in reverses owing to the numerical inferiority of the Finns and the ample
supply of new attacking divisions.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Compare those high-quality, objective analyses with what Halder was saying:
In early May 1941, according to Colonel (General Staff) Krebs, Köstring’s
deputy in Moscow, Halder still considered the external appearance of the
Soviet officer corps to be 'decidedly bad’, and as making a ‘depressing impression’—a second-hand assessment of little evidential value with regard to
combat-worthiness
GSWW v.4 p. 322

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

Hopefully the foregoing makes clear that intelligent Germans did not view the RKKA with the simple disdain expressed by Hitler/Halder and that they viewed the Winter War as showing signs of RKKA strength.

The problem was that the intelligent men of the General Staff all reported to the worst general of WW2 and perhaps of German military history.
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: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jan 2021 03:34

You seem to have developed an extraordinary dislike of Halder based on a short acquaintance. Could it possibly be though that he was being fed contradictory information? In the run-up through from late July 1940 to April 1941, he was in fact being told the Soviet tanks were inferior to German ones, the Red Air Force's aircraft were mostly obsolescent and obsolete and serviceability was terrible. He was also apparently told the number of good Soviet divisions was small, until the April 1941 revisions.

While I certainly don't consider Halder a genius, he was reasonably capable, but was torn between reality and imagination. I suspect the assessment of the Soviet officer corps helped justify the unsupported belief that the sudden shift in Soviet strength assessment made no difference to the German planning. "Sunk cost" decision-making is not just a problem in business and is all too common in military and political decision-making.
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Jan 2021 05:57

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Jan 2021 03:34
You seem to have developed an extraordinary dislike of Halder based on a short acquaintance.
I've been consistently critical of Halder since I started posting here, though that isn't so long ago:
Halder's strategic incompetence: Of all the malfeasance discussed here, Franz Halder's was the worst. A primary historical role of the Heer Chief of Staff was to act with initiative and strategic foresight to provide leadership the information and analysis to make sound decisions. Instead of seeking, testing, and analyzing information regarding Barbarossa, Halder formed his own faulty strategic conception and hid from Hitler what contradicted it
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=242003&start=15#p2203237

Further reading about General Staff traditions has bolstered my impression that Franz was particularly bad at his job planning Barbarossa. Oddly he was - as you say - competent until then. I'm just echoing Dupuy and Frieser but the way he went from opposing Sichelschnitt to being its biggest advocate after Mannstein's reassignment shows innate capacity for General Staff-style analytical remorelessness.

In the background of my distaste for Halder is that he was an enthusiastic supporter of an evil regime, was at least complicit in many of its crimes, yet re-fashioned himself as the U.S. Army's favorite historian of WW2. Halder exemplifies the U.S. national security state's disgusting tradition of welcoming/supporting evil so long as it's anti-communist evil. At an emotional level I wish the Russians had been allowed to hang/shoot/disappear him and at an intellectual level his postwar mythmaking has obscured good analysis.
Could it possibly be though that he was being fed contradictory information? In the run-up through from late July 1940 to April 1941, he was in fact being told the Soviet tanks were inferior to German ones, the Red Air Force's aircraft were mostly obsolescent and obsolete and serviceability was terrible. He was also apparently told the number of good Soviet divisions was small, until the April 1941 revisions.
All of these things are true but are minor details compared to Halder's failure to consider that the SU might not collapse, that the Ostheer might have to contend with reserves. Halder suppressed/ignored consideration of that possibility because he was - at heart if not on paper - a freaking Nazi. Which again he was able to whitewash in his post-war sinecure as Sober Professional.
While I certainly don't consider Halder a genius, he was reasonably capable, but was torn between reality and imagination. I suspect the assessment of the Soviet officer corps helped justify the unsupported belief that the sudden shift in Soviet strength assessment made no difference to the German planning. "Sunk cost" decision-making is not just a problem in business and is all too common in military and political decision-making.
You're describing normal analytical pitfalls for any decisionmaker but the tradition of which Halder was the embodiment was as successfully aimed against those pitfalls as was any large-scale state organization up to then. The GS sought to ameliorate the effects of having poor political leadership; it was helpless against poor leadership coming from inside the house.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jan 2021 07:25

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 05:57
I've been consistently critical of Halder since I started posting here, though that isn't so long ago:
That was a joke son...
Halder's strategic incompetence: Of all the malfeasance discussed here, Franz Halder's was the worst. A primary historical role of the Heer Chief of Staff was to act with initiative and strategic foresight to provide leadership the information and analysis to make sound decisions. Instead of seeking, testing, and analyzing information regarding Barbarossa, Halder formed his own faulty strategic conception and hid from Hitler what contradicted it
Yes, that ideal of the Chef des Stabes der Heeres only appears to have failed twice in history. Odd that.
Further reading about General Staff traditions has bolstered my impression that Franz was particularly bad at his job planning Barbarossa. Oddly he was - as you say - competent until then. I'm just echoing Dupuy and Frieser but the way he went from opposing Sichelschnitt to being its biggest advocate after Mannstein's reassignment shows innate capacity for General Staff-style analytical remorelessness.

In the background of my distaste for Halder is that he was an enthusiastic supporter of an evil regime, was at least complicit in many of its crimes, yet re-fashioned himself as the U.S. Army's favorite historian of WW2. Halder exemplifies the U.S. national security state's disgusting tradition of welcoming/supporting evil so long as it's anti-communist evil. At an emotional level I wish the Russians had been allowed to hang/shoot/disappear him and at an intellectual level his postwar mythmaking has obscured good analysis.
Yes indeed, unlike Manstein, Guderian, and, dare I say, likely if he had survived, Marcks? Right?

BTW, EUCOM's and later USAEUR's historical studies had pretty much zero to do with the "U.S. national security state's" tradition of anything. The initial effort was entirely directed at developing background for the official histories and was in part a reaction to the failure of the Army to do the same after the Great War, which led to what was felt to be over-reliance on the histories written by the German General Staff. That remained true until 1947, when the growing tensions with the USSR led to the sensible conclusion that there was a wealth of operational data there waiting for exploitation. The notion held by some that Halder succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of his American handlers with regards to his apologia is nonsense, the military equivalent of the similar notions regarding Speer and the USSBS. Yes, it was realpolitik (or perhaps "realintelligence gathering" would be closer), but had little to do with the wishes of a "security state" or in "welcoming/supporting evil". You may be confusing the machinations by Donovan's CIA in pushing Halder's agenda for what they perceived was America's security needs with the Army's exploitation of Halder et all for its operational intelligence needs.
All of these things are true but are minor details compared to Halder's failure to consider that the SU might not collapse, that the Ostheer might have to contend with reserves. Halder suppressed/ignored consideration of that possibility because he was - at heart if not on paper - a freaking Nazi. Which again he was able to whitewash in his post-war sinecure as Sober Professional.
Possibly, but another alternative possibility is that by the time push came to shove in April and the realization that the Soviets might not be push-overs, his hands as well as those of all the senior military leaders, whether or not they were Nazis, were tied by Hitler's determination to decide the "Russian problem" once and for all. Yes, if he wasn't such a thoroughly scurrilous character he likely would have stood up to Hitler and resigned, like Manstein, Guderian, Marcks, oh, wait...
You're describing normal analytical pitfalls for any decisionmaker but the tradition of which Halder was the embodiment was as successfully aimed against those pitfalls as was any large-scale state organization up to then. The GS sought to ameliorate the effects of having poor political leadership; it was helpless against poor leadership coming from inside the house.
Indeed, but that the General Staff tradition ideally sought to ameliorate the effects of primarily poor military leadership, as well as poor political decisions (more accurate), does not mean it always succeeded in doing so.
"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: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Jan 2021 07:43

Richard Anderson wrote:Yes indeed, unlike Manstein, Guderian, and, dare I say, likely if he had survived, Marcks? Right?
I'm not sufficiently interested to read up on the personal guilt of all the German generals but my sense is that justice would have been served if we'd allowed some Russian/Jewish peasants to beat them all to death. Certainly Manstein, probably Guderian from what I recall. They are all disgusting people even if brilliant militarily (and even that's arguable).
Richard Anderson wrote:Possibly, but another alternative possibility is that by the time push came to shove in April and the realization that the Soviets might not be push-overs, his hands as well as those of all the senior military leaders, whether or not they were Nazis, were tied by Hitler's determination to decide the "Russian problem" once and for all.
Again your focus is on April and reports about the RKKA's extant field strength. That's the wrong focus. It's about whether the SU collapses and, if not, whether some of its millions might be formed into new reserves.

...reserves armed by prodigious Soviet industrial might, all of which was well known to Germany.
Richard Anderson wrote:Yes, if he wasn't such a thoroughly scurrilous character he likely would have stood up to Hitler and resigned, like Manstein, Guderian, Marcks, oh, wait...
Again you seem to imagine I have some respect for the moral character of non-Halder German generals.
Richard Anderson wrote:does not mean it always succeeded in doing so
Duh.

That the CDC is aimed at preventing pandemic deaths doesn't mean it sometimes fails to recommend wearing masks.

But when these errors happen it's appropriate to say that institutional leadership failed in a way more culpable because the responsible individuals led the responsible institutions.
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: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jan 2021 09:11

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 07:43
I'm not sufficiently interested to read up on the personal guilt of all the German generals but my sense is that justice would have been served if we'd allowed some Russian/Jewish peasants to beat them all to death. Certainly Manstein, probably Guderian from what I recall. They are all disgusting people even if brilliant militarily (and even that's arguable).
Agreed. Please don't get the idea I think Halder was a genius or a paragon of any kind of virtue.
Again your focus is on April and reports about the RKKA's extant field strength. That's the wrong focus. It's about whether the SU collapses and, if not, whether some of its millions might be formed into new reserves.

...reserves armed by prodigious Soviet industrial might, all of which was well known to Germany.
Yeah, except for the preceding eight months everyone was telling anyone who listed that the Soviet equipment was obsolete, their tanks were crap, sighting equipment useless, guns left German tanks immune at 800 meters, and so on and on...so the claim was the industrial might could only turn out crap. Of course, buried into the various discussions is one nugget where they basically say we rally don't know what the Soviet equipment is really like...
Again you seem to imagine I have some respect for the moral character of non-Halder German generals.
I have to ask then, why did you use one of them as your nom de plume?
Duh.

That the CDC is aimed at preventing pandemic deaths doesn't mean it sometimes fails to recommend wearing masks.

But when these errors happen it's appropriate to say that institutional leadership failed in a way more culpable because the responsible individuals led the responsible institutions.
Fair enough.
"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: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Jan 2021 09:42

Richard Anderson wrote:Yeah, except for the preceding eight months everyone was telling anyone who listed that the Soviet equipment was obsolete, their tanks were crap, sighting equipment useless, guns left German tanks immune at 800 meters, and so on and on...so the claim was the industrial might could only turn out crap. Of course, buried into the various discussions is one nugget where they basically say we rally don't know what the Soviet equipment is really like...
I don't think that's right, at least it's not that simple. Again and again - see my cites upthread - staffwork references the modernity of Soviet equipment. And Hitler expresses misgiving about Soviet armor. It's not just one nugget, it's a cavalcade of warnings.
Richard Anderson wrote:I have to ask then, why did you use one of them as your nom de plume?
Because the Marcks plan is synecdoche for the contingency inherent in Barbarossa - a moment when the fate of the world hung on military decisions. Decisions whose virtue - in analytical terms - we can evaluate independently of moral valence. Despite a leftish disposition, I am fascinated by moments of military contingency.

I particularly object to the mixing of moral and analytical modes in WW2 historiography because I see WW2 being used in the Anglosphere as a background justification for ~80 years of American imperialism. We Beat Hitler, so trust us when we say that our latest bloody adventures abroad are for The Right Reasons and not just because we're no better or worse than the average hegemon. Our proxy forces massacre nuns and leftist clergy in Latin America? All part of a Just plan.

But it's BS all the way down: We wouldn't have beat Hitler absent the hated Communists; we got into WW2 for reasons of national interest not fundamentally different from Realpolitik.
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: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Jan 2021 13:03

TMP,
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 09:42
synecdoche
Nice wordage. :D
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 09:42
a moment when the fate of the world hung on military decisions.
Maybe? Or just one of many moments which we could all postulate with equal validity?

Regards

Tom

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jan 2021 17:12

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 09:42
I don't think that's right, at least it's not that simple. Again and again - see my cites upthread - staffwork references the modernity of Soviet equipment. And Hitler expresses misgiving about Soviet armor. It's not just one nugget, it's a cavalcade of warnings.
Go through the war journals for what and who was telling him things in the run-up. The unedited translations of the originals are probably best. If it was a cavalcade of warnings it was a very confused and mixed one.
Because the Marcks plan is synecdoche for the contingency inherent in Barbarossa - a moment when the fate of the world hung on military decisions. Decisions whose virtue - in analytical terms - we can evaluate independently of moral valence. Despite a leftish disposition, I am fascinated by moments of military contingency.
What an interesting combination of Carlyle and Hitler, all in one sentence. :lol: For myself, since getting into the weeds over the last 33 years it has become more and more obvious that the movers and shakers often don't move and shake as much as they would like to believe they do.
I particularly object to the mixing of moral and analytical modes in WW2 historiography because I see WW2 being used in the Anglosphere as a background justification for ~80 years of American imperialism. We Beat Hitler, so trust us when we say that our latest bloody adventures abroad are for The Right Reasons and not just because we're no better or worse than the average hegemon. Our proxy forces massacre nuns and leftist clergy in Latin America? All part of a Just plan.
Lordy lord, but you do sound much like so many I knew and myself sitting around tables in the student union quaffing brewskies as the Vietnam War was winding down to its conclusion. If America was ever really imperialist rather than just stumbling blindly through events and decisions, it was and still is one of the most guilt-ridden imperial states of all time.
But it's BS all the way down: We wouldn't have beat Hitler absent the hated Communists; we got into WW2 for reasons of national interest not fundamentally different from Realpolitik.
Well, of course, the expenditure of time and resources in Germany's attempt to defeat the USSR was key to the outcome, but I am unclear what support of China did to facilitate American realpolitik?
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Max Payload » 03 Jan 2021 04:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Jan 2021 23:50
Crucial for the German conduct of the war, in Marcks’s
opinion, was the conquest of the Ukraine and control over communications in
the Baltic. After that, there was no need to fear a blockade; the principal
prerequisite of victory for the ‘Red coalition’ would have disappeared.
Here Marcks is already foreseeing a course in which the SU seeks merely to survive and await salvation by its coalition members. He was, in other words, entirely aware that the quick victory assumed by his plan should not have been assumed. Marcks was not as dumb as his plan makes him look - it was the stupidity of Halder's concept that forced his hand in the eponymous plan.

We shouldn't be surprised by this: German General Staff officers like Marcks were seriously intelligent men trained to scrutinize their own reasoning with remorseless rigor.
Yet the Ukraine was conquered, largely in 1941 and completely in 1942; and control over communications in the Baltic was also largely achieved by 1941. Hence ‘the principal prerequisite of victory for the ‘Red coalition’ would have disappeared’, but it nonetheless proved to be insufficient to prevent that victory. So perhaps Marcks wasn’t that much of a remorseless scrutiniser of his own reasoning.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 00:21
Richard Anderson wrote:Indeed, since Halder's concept was more or less a holding action along the southern front with the main axis Leningrad and Moscow via beefed up HG-N and HG-M, which would then reorient south once their mission was accomplished. In essence a strategic single envelopment, which probably would have been more workable than the final plan.
The problem with Halder's north-then-south plan is the same with all his planning: again the SU is collapsed by the time of the southwards pivot so there's no need to ensure deep logistics behind that pivot or any other aspects of a competent plan.
Whatever Halder’s level of enthusiasm for an invasion of the SU, the limits of his influence are evidenced by the absence of Moscow as a primary target in Directive 21. Since the north-then-south strategy was never adopted we can never know what logistical assumptions or arrangements may have been made.

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Jan 2021 17:12
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jan 2021 09:42
I don't think that's right, at least it's not that simple. Again and again - see my cites upthread - staffwork references the modernity of Soviet equipment. And Hitler expresses misgiving about Soviet armor. It's not just one nugget, it's a cavalcade of warnings.
Go through the war journals for what and who was telling him things in the run-up. The unedited translations of the originals are probably best. If it was a cavalcade of warnings it was a very confused and mixed one.
Indeed, contradictory information, some cautionary, some encouraging.
Hitler had set OKH an impossible task on a difficult timescale. He had made it clear at the Berghof that the attack, “achieves its purpose only if the Russian State can be shattered to its roots with one blow.” That was the strategic goal which informed the subsequent planning, with May 1941 having been set as the target date for the invasion. With those objectives, and the material constraints of Germany’s economy and armed forces, what made Halder’s contribution to Barbarossa so particularly incompetent?

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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 00:32

Max Payload wrote:Yet the Ukraine was conquered, largely in 1941 and completely in 1942; and control over communications in the Baltic was also largely achieved by 1941. Hence ‘the principal prerequisite of victory for the ‘Red coalition’ would have disappeared’, but it nonetheless proved to be insufficient to prevent that victory. So perhaps Marcks wasn’t that much of a remorseless scrutiniser of his own reasoning
Very superficial reading of both Marcks' broader scenario and my comparison of it to the August Marcks Plan.

Marcks saw Ukraine as necessary to German endurance against a coalition that included a rump SU supported by American production via Japan. He therefore was - as I said - envisioning a scenario in which the SU was weaker but hadn't collapsed. That's the critical analytical point: even the author of the original Barbarossa study didn't sincerely hold that study's assumption that the SU would collapse politically.

This is also superficial and wrong on whether Ukraine was conquered. Ukraine's resource center pf gravity was in the East, large portions of which Germany took only in '42 and only for a few months. The parts of Eastern Ukraine taken during Barbarossa were too close to the front to recieve restorative investment and therefore provided practically none of the benefit envisioned by Marcks (the Iwan investment plan focused on the safer Central Ukraine industries of the Dniepr bend).
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 00:38

Max Payload wrote:Whatever Halder’s level of enthusiasm for an invasion of the SU, the limits of his influence are evidenced by the absence of Moscow as a primary target in Directive 21. Since the north-then-south strategy was never adopted we can never know what logistical assumptions or arrangements may have been made
Another painfully superficial reading. That Halder was unable to get his way on the particular version of the bad "short war" strategy obviously doesn't resolve whether he could have convinced - or merely should have tried to convince- Hitler that more attention to prudent military practice was necessary.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 00:44

Max Payload wrote:Hitler had set OKH an impossible task on a difficult timescale. He had made it clear at the Berghof that the attack, “achieves its purpose only if the Russian State can be shattered to its roots with one blow.”
Again this is painfully superficial- it ignores Halder's demonstrated ability to influence Hitler's strategy via sound military analysis and evidence. It's a History Channel narrative of "what dictator says goes." Halder had Hitler's ear and could have said something - anything - in opposition to short war strategy. He didn't because he believed in the strategy at least as much as Hitler. Because re Barbarossa he violated every principle of the General Staff.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 01:09

Richard Anderson wrote:Go through the war journals for what and who was telling him things in the run-up. The unedited translations of the originals are probably best. If it was a cavalcade of warnings it was a very confused and mixed one.
I've read Halders journals, thank you. Three main points:
  • 1. "Mixed" signals from subordinates is no excuse. The leader of a planning/analysis staff - especially one with GS's traditions and commitments - should be the guy who can infer signal from noise.
  • 2. Recieved noise contained much echo of Halder's leadership - as shown above for example, Marcks' plan was framed by Halder.
  • 3. More important than what's in the journals is what is not: any serious consideration of "what if SU doesn't collapse?"
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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