At what point did Germany lose WW2?

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PunctuationHorror
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by PunctuationHorror » 03 Sep 2023 10:35

KDF33 wrote:
02 Sep 2023 14:07
The Germans didn't need to be "ambitious" in 1942. They needed to be systematic, and focus on maximizing Soviet force attrition.
I agree.

Some time ago, I have outlined what such a systematic approach could possibly have looked like: viewtopic.php?p=2349525#p2349525
And here in a general context regarding the bigger picture of the "whole war thingy" for the Reich viewtopic.php?p=2374825#p2374825
and there: viewtopic.php?p=2374580#p2374580

Since I do not expect anybody here to click and read those links (they are still worth reading, even only for TMP's ideas), I give some excerpts:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Jun 2021 21:02

[...]

Solution:
Why not stop after stage III, dig in, rest, repair, refit, and build logistics for the rest of '41?.

Stage IV will be the offensive of 1942, starting in May. New offensive, new encirclements. New Cannae-style battles. Panzers and Mot do what they are made for. Take Moscow (~200km from starting point) and then advance further. In summer, 500 kilometers distance from Moscow to Nischni Novgorod and from Charkiv to Stalingrad should be manageable. Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov. Establish Volga as new frontline. Here again: dig in, rest, repair, refit and build logistics to support the new frontline.

Campaign of 1943 will solidify Volga frontline and then head for Georgia, Baku (oil oil oil :lol: ), Astrachan and Archangelsk.

1944 try to reach Ural Mountains (Perm, Ufa, Orenburg, Orsk, Caspian Sea). By then, Red Army should be broken beyond repair. Redeployment of troops to the Western theater (if there is any).

Campaign of 1945 will go beyond the Ural Mountains (ugly terrain for warfare) and head for Omsk.

By 1946 the way to Novosibirsk, Tashkent and Alma-Ata should be open. That should finish them off.

Key to success is to keep the army (and Panzers especially) in supply. Advance and encircle. Not more than 300km advancement per campaign. Not more than 600km advancement in a year. Avoid overstretching at all costs. Better to go back to starting points after a encirclement than risk overstretching.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
13 Nov 2021 15:34

[...]

Germany should avoid war with SU. If they did it anyways, they should have moved to a river defense line (there is nothing else in Western Russia) like the Panther-Wotan/Daugava-Dnieper Line as early as October 1941. Germany has to avoid losses both in materiel an manpower. This line is an option to avoid them: Instead of a wasteful advance to Moskow in '41, dig in, rest, repair, refit, and build logistics for the rest of '41. No overstretching, no heavy losses in forced retreats in Winter '41/42. Without these massive losses of seasoned men and material, Germany is better off in the next campaign. New production leads to an augmentation of forces and is not just consumed as replacements.

Germany did the same stupid mistake thrice in 1941, in 1942 and in 1943: Reckless advance in summer. Defeat, retreat and losses in winter. They would have done it a forth time if they had the means to do so, but they were throughly spent by 1944, so they couldn't.

Back to ATL:
May/June 1942: New offensive. Panzers and Mot do what they are made for. New encirclements, new pockets. Inflict losses like in Barbarossa. By autumn retreat again back to the Daugava-Dnieper Line. It's about reduction of Soviet manpower and materiel whilst conserving the German mp and material. If every year the 100km - 300km eastwards of this line are turned into a battleground, the area is of little economic use for SU.
1943: Do it again. By then, Soviet losses should become noticeable. Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov and establish Volga as new frontline. Then rinse and repeat. Advance, inflict losses and retreat to do it once again.

Fewer German losses in SU mean more resources are left to counter the WAllies. Maybe Soviet Union gets worn down enough by 1944 and Germany can redeploy an considerable amount of its troops to Italy and France.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
14 Nov 2021 14:33
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 01:36
PunctuationHorror wrote:Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov and establish Volga as new frontline. Then rinse and repeat. Advance, inflict losses and retreat to do it once again.
What? You'd honestly retreat back to the D-D line from the Volga voluntarily?
Nah. I forgot to say 'retreat to this new line'. As I wrote in #59: Wear SU down between D-D line and a territory approx 300km east of this line and then, as soon as Soviet strength is down, advance to Volga. Historically a 6:1 exchange ratio wasn't enough. How to make in 8:1 or 10:1? Advance retreat could be a viable opportunity to increase the exchange ratio.

[...]

Germany can't afford loosing these 1,000,000 soldiers. They need manpower to occupy and secure the vast terrain of western SU after victory, to use the industry (own and conquered), to bring up mining and resource extraction in occupied territories. And of course, they need soldiers for fending off the WAllies in Europe and secure the Med. Then they need manpower to align (diplomatically or in force, the latter via bases and a standing army) Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Suez on the eastern part and Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar on the western part. And there would be big losses in defeating the SU because war with the SU will still be costly - even with D-D line advance-retreat operations. Maybe it is possible to reduce german losses to 30,000 per month (down from 50k -100,000). SU has more manpower and can faster regain and recover than Germany (this translates directly to Germany cant afford to loose manpower). So Germany will have to continuously inflict high losses until SU can't recover anymore. Historically SU had manpower problems in 1945 and was short famine in the years after the war. This logically leads to a German strategy which is a perverse sort of a whack a mole game.

Even with holding the Volga line you still have not won the war. But holding Volga line would help to do so.

[...]

The purpose of these advances is to encircle and inflict losses combined with a swift retreat. This should be within ~300km max. For comparison: Smolensk-Viasma battle '41 were 200km. Don't know how much railway building is needed for operations of this type.

[...]

KDF33 wrote:
02 Sep 2023 14:07
The Germans didn't need to be "ambitious" in 1942. They needed to be systematic, and focus on maximizing Soviet force attrition.
However, as far as "ambitions" are concerned: I am still not sure that denying the Soviets the Caucasus, even if only for a year, would not have been a good "investment".

ljadw
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 03 Sep 2023 12:12

In 1945 Berlin would be nuked, Hitler would be dead ,Germany would have surrendered and the Soviets would parade in Berlin .
Germany could not afford a war of attrition.
Germany could wage such a war only if the Soviets consented .
The only way to defeat the Soviets was a short,fast and cheap campaign,as Barbarossa .
Barbarossa failed because the Soviets did nor collaps .
Last point : Germany started the war with Barbarossa to force Britain to give up before the US would intervene .As the US intervened officially on 11 December 1941 (unofficially months before ) ,victory in 1942 would not help Germany,but even hinder the Reich .

KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 14:05

Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 08:11
You want to inflict a so devastating defeat on the red army that it actually loses the war :lol:
No. I'm suggesting that the Ostheer would have been capable of eventually destroying the Red Army by dealing it a series of devastating defeats.
with a very limited un ambitious operation
1) That's just the July/August portion of my suggested series of offensives.
2) In this context, "ambitious" is just another word for "overextension"
that will do far less than in 1941 because of the german army being far reduced in mobility
Although you exaggerate the extent to which the Ostheer lacked mobility, the plan is indeed designed around the Ostheer's relative lack of mobility compared to 1941: the mobile forces are the "hammer", whereas the static forces are the "anvil".
and the red army not letting itself be encircled anymore
That's not up to the Red Army.
and there will be red army offensives elsewhere
Which will fail.
this un ambitious plan which essentially tries to shorten the lines in an offensive way.
Yes, you're beginning to understand: the strategy indeed aims to shorten the line via a series of offensives, all the while destroying large numbers of Soviet formations.

The goal is to create a positive feedback loop where the shortening of said lines allows for (1) increasingly strong German offensive concentrations as well as (2) increasingly dense German defensive lines, whereas (3) it denies the same to the Soviets via large-scale battles of annihilation.
You are a very bad armchair general.
As said previously, I am an excellent armchair general.
You will fail in your lofty objective and and history will not change..
History certainly won't change, but then this isn't my purpose. Rather, I seek to counter the prevailing narrative that erroneously claims that the German position against the USSR was hopeless in 1942.

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Aida1
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Aida1 » 03 Sep 2023 14:07

PunctuationHorror wrote:
03 Sep 2023 10:35
KDF33 wrote:
02 Sep 2023 14:07
The Germans didn't need to be "ambitious" in 1942. They needed to be systematic, and focus on maximizing Soviet force attrition.
I agree.

Some time ago, I have outlined what such a systematic approach could possibly have looked like: viewtopic.php?p=2349525#p2349525
And here in a general context regarding the bigger picture of the "whole war thingy" for the Reich viewtopic.php?p=2374825#p2374825
and there: viewtopic.php?p=2374580#p2374580

Since I do not expect anybody here to click and read those links (they are still worth reading, even only for TMP's ideas), I give some excerpts:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Jun 2021 21:02

[...]

Solution:
Why not stop after stage III, dig in, rest, repair, refit, and build logistics for the rest of '41?.

Stage IV will be the offensive of 1942, starting in May. New offensive, new encirclements. New Cannae-style battles. Panzers and Mot do what they are made for. Take Moscow (~200km from starting point) and then advance further. In summer, 500 kilometers distance from Moscow to Nischni Novgorod and from Charkiv to Stalingrad should be manageable. Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov. Establish Volga as new frontline. Here again: dig in, rest, repair, refit and build logistics to support the new frontline.

Campaign of 1943 will solidify Volga frontline and then head for Georgia, Baku (oil oil oil :lol: ), Astrachan and Archangelsk.

1944 try to reach Ural Mountains (Perm, Ufa, Orenburg, Orsk, Caspian Sea). By then, Red Army should be broken beyond repair. Redeployment of troops to the Western theater (if there is any).

Campaign of 1945 will go beyond the Ural Mountains (ugly terrain for warfare) and head for Omsk.

By 1946 the way to Novosibirsk, Tashkent and Alma-Ata should be open. That should finish them off.

Key to success is to keep the army (and Panzers especially) in supply. Advance and encircle. Not more than 300km advancement per campaign. Not more than 600km advancement in a year. Avoid overstretching at all costs. Better to go back to starting points after a encirclement than risk overstretching.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
13 Nov 2021 15:34

[...]

Germany should avoid war with SU. If they did it anyways, they should have moved to a river defense line (there is nothing else in Western Russia) like the Panther-Wotan/Daugava-Dnieper Line as early as October 1941. Germany has to avoid losses both in materiel an manpower. This line is an option to avoid them: Instead of a wasteful advance to Moskow in '41, dig in, rest, repair, refit, and build logistics for the rest of '41. No overstretching, no heavy losses in forced retreats in Winter '41/42. Without these massive losses of seasoned men and material, Germany is better off in the next campaign. New production leads to an augmentation of forces and is not just consumed as replacements.

Germany did the same stupid mistake thrice in 1941, in 1942 and in 1943: Reckless advance in summer. Defeat, retreat and losses in winter. They would have done it a forth time if they had the means to do so, but they were throughly spent by 1944, so they couldn't.

Back to ATL:
May/June 1942: New offensive. Panzers and Mot do what they are made for. New encirclements, new pockets. Inflict losses like in Barbarossa. By autumn retreat again back to the Daugava-Dnieper Line. It's about reduction of Soviet manpower and materiel whilst conserving the German mp and material. If every year the 100km - 300km eastwards of this line are turned into a battleground, the area is of little economic use for SU.
1943: Do it again. By then, Soviet losses should become noticeable. Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov and establish Volga as new frontline. Then rinse and repeat. Advance, inflict losses and retreat to do it once again.

Fewer German losses in SU mean more resources are left to counter the WAllies. Maybe Soviet Union gets worn down enough by 1944 and Germany can redeploy an considerable amount of its troops to Italy and France.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
14 Nov 2021 14:33
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 01:36
PunctuationHorror wrote:Try to reach Jaroslavl, Nischni-Novgorod, Kasan, Saratov and establish Volga as new frontline. Then rinse and repeat. Advance, inflict losses and retreat to do it once again.
What? You'd honestly retreat back to the D-D line from the Volga voluntarily?
Nah. I forgot to say 'retreat to this new line'. As I wrote in #59: Wear SU down between D-D line and a territory approx 300km east of this line and then, as soon as Soviet strength is down, advance to Volga. Historically a 6:1 exchange ratio wasn't enough. How to make in 8:1 or 10:1? Advance retreat could be a viable opportunity to increase the exchange ratio.

[...]

Germany can't afford loosing these 1,000,000 soldiers. They need manpower to occupy and secure the vast terrain of western SU after victory, to use the industry (own and conquered), to bring up mining and resource extraction in occupied territories. And of course, they need soldiers for fending off the WAllies in Europe and secure the Med. Then they need manpower to align (diplomatically or in force, the latter via bases and a standing army) Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Suez on the eastern part and Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar on the western part. And there would be big losses in defeating the SU because war with the SU will still be costly - even with D-D line advance-retreat operations. Maybe it is possible to reduce german losses to 30,000 per month (down from 50k -100,000). SU has more manpower and can faster regain and recover than Germany (this translates directly to Germany cant afford to loose manpower). So Germany will have to continuously inflict high losses until SU can't recover anymore. Historically SU had manpower problems in 1945 and was short famine in the years after the war. This logically leads to a German strategy which is a perverse sort of a whack a mole game.

Even with holding the Volga line you still have not won the war. But holding Volga line would help to do so.

[...]

The purpose of these advances is to encircle and inflict losses combined with a swift retreat. This should be within ~300km max. For comparison: Smolensk-Viasma battle '41 were 200km. Don't know how much railway building is needed for operations of this type.

[...]

KDF33 wrote:
02 Sep 2023 14:07
The Germans didn't need to be "ambitious" in 1942. They needed to be systematic, and focus on maximizing Soviet force attrition.
However, as far as "ambitions" are concerned: I am still not sure that denying the Soviets the Caucasus, even if only for a year, would not have been a good "investment".
There is a lot of hindsight in this. Stopping after Typhoon would certainly have been better in hindsight but that that does not guarantee the german Army can do the same thing again next year. Besides the fact that the german army will not be the army it was in 1941 because you cannot erase from history all the losses it sustained even with an earlier stop, the red army will have learned and will not be so easy to encircle anymore.

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Aida1
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Aida1 » 03 Sep 2023 14:24

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 14:05
Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 08:11
You want to inflict a so devastating defeat on the red army that it actually loses the war :lol:
No. I'm suggesting that the Ostheer would have been capable of eventually destroying the Red Army by dealing it a series of devastating defeats.
with a very limited un ambitious operation
1) That's just the July/August portion of my suggested series of offensives.
2) In this context, "ambitious" is just another word for "overextension"
that will do far less than in 1941 because of the german army being far reduced in mobility
Although you exaggerate the extent to which the Ostheer lacked mobility, the plan is indeed designed around the Ostheer's relative lack of mobility compared to 1941: the mobile forces are the "hammer", whereas the static forces are the "anvil".
and the red army not letting itself be encircled anymore
That's not up to the Red Army.
and there will be red army offensives elsewhere
Which will fail.
this un ambitious plan which essentially tries to shorten the lines in an offensive way.
Yes, you're beginning to understand: the strategy indeed aims to shorten the line via a series of offensives, all the while destroying large numbers of Soviet formations.

The goal is to create a positive feedback loop where the shortening of said lines allows for (1) increasingly strong German offensive concentrations as well as (2) increasingly dense German defensive lines, whereas (3) it denies the same to the Soviets via large-scale battles of annihilation.
You are a very bad armchair general.
As said previously, I am an excellent armchair general.
You will fail in your lofty objective and and history will not change..
History certainly won't change, but then this isn't my purpose. Rather, I seek to counter the prevailing narrative that erroneously claims that the German position against the USSR was hopeless in 1942.
It is not being an excellent armchairgeneral imagining a series of limited offensives that will never cause the casualties the red army sustained in 1941. Not even very original as the short pincers were what Hitler (wrongfully)preferred . Actually , it would have been cheaper to shorten the line by falling back and let the red army bleed itself while releasing forces that would be usefull elsewhere. Funny that you pretend the red army could not decide to conduct a fighting retreat Obviously it can. And short pincers never work against an army that retreats.
Anyway, with your limited approach you will only obtain limited results and you will not prevent what will happen in 1943.
The whole idea of Fall Blau was not bad in itself. It was diffficult to realise because of the reduced mobility of the german army and its logistical issues. And the red army was slowly learning.

KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 14:34

Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 14:24
It is not being an excellent armchairgeneral imagining a series of limited offensives that will never cause the casualties the red army sustained in 1941.
Actually, it would inflict casualties in the same ballpark.
Actually , it would have been cheaper to shorten the line by falling back and let the red army bleed itself while releasing forces that would be usefull elsewhere.
No. The Germans always had better loss ratios with successful breakthroughs than with successful defenses.
Funny that you pretend the red army could not decide to conduct a fighting retreat Obviously it can.
It never demonstrated that it could. Besides, I question whether unmotorized infantry formations ever can against a motorized breakthrough.
Anyway, with your limited approach you will only obtain limited results and you will not prevent what will happen in 1943.
Actually, my approach would likely result in effective Soviet collapse in 1943.
The whole idea of Fall Blau was not bad in itself.
It was absolutely terrible.
It was diffficult to realise because of the reduced mobility of the german army and its logistical issues.
No. It was impossible to realize because it led (1) to divert a lot of offensive power to hold the extended flanks and (2) the Soviet force groupings in the Caucasus made it impossible to seize the region in a coup de main.
And the red army was slowly learning.
There is little evidence for this.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 03 Sep 2023 16:12

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 14:05
History certainly won't change, but then this isn't my purpose. Rather, I seek to counter the prevailing narrative that erroneously claims that the German position against the USSR was hopeless in 1942.
Hi KDF33,

Sorry to interrupt but you seem to have studied this period in considerable detail. Could you recommend a good book about the history of the early "Blau" campaign? I'm looking at British intelligence assessments about what the Germans were planning and what the Soviets could do in response - how quickly the critical stage would be reached and whether either side would collapse. Spoiler alert - like most intelligence assessments they hedged their bets!

I wondered if you had a recommended source for what was actually planned by both sides and how it panned out up to about mid-September 1942. I confess I gave up with Glantz as I found his works so impenetrable.

Regards

Tom

KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 16:23

PunctuationHorror wrote:
03 Sep 2023 10:35
However, as far as "ambitions" are concerned: I am still not sure that denying the Soviets the Caucasus, even if only for a year, would not have been a good "investment".
In theory, yes, but in practice there were far too many Soviet forces in the Caucasus for the campaign to be successful. Thus, per the Soviet allocation of military rations on July 5, 1942, there were in the Caucasus:

-North Caucasian Front: 190,000 men
-North Caucasian Military District: 147,000 men
-Transcaucasian Front: 400,000 men

Total: 737,000 men

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Aida1
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Aida1 » 03 Sep 2023 16:25

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 14:34
Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 14:24
It is not being an excellent armchairgeneral imagining a series of limited offensives that will never cause the casualties the red army sustained in 1941.
Actually, it would inflict casualties in the same ballpark.
Actually , it would have been cheaper to shorten the line by falling back and let the red army bleed itself while releasing forces that would be usefull elsewhere.
No. The Germans always had better loss ratios with successful breakthroughs than with successful defenses.
Funny that you pretend the red army could not decide to conduct a fighting retreat Obviously it can.
It never demonstrated that it could. Besides, I question whether unmotorized infantry formations ever can against a motorized breakthrough.
Anyway, with your limited approach you will only obtain limited results and you will not prevent what will happen in 1943.
Actually, my approach would likely result in effective Soviet collapse in 1943.
The whole idea of Fall Blau was not bad in itself.
It was absolutely terrible.
It was diffficult to realise because of the reduced mobility of the german army and its logistical issues.
No. It was impossible to realize because it led (1) to divert a lot of offensive power to hold the extended flanks and (2) the Soviet force groupings in the Caucasus made it impossible to seize the region in a coup de main.
And the red army was slowly learning.
There is little evidence for this.
You are clearly living in a bubble where everything looks extremly rosy for the german side and the other side getting slowly qualitively better is simply ignored . You also ignore all the serious problems the german Army was confronted with in 1942.
You are not even willing to see that doing short pincers wil not work when the enemy retreats, fighting a delaying action. And your very limited offensive will not cause red army collapse in 1943. Actually, it is going to keep getting stronger as it did historically. In what happened historically the red army suffered heavy losses too and you are not really going to do better. Your offensives are far too limited in scope to do more just than straighten the line if they succeed.
Last edited by Aida1 on 03 Sep 2023 16:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 16:28

Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:25
You are not even willing to see that doing short pincers wil not work when the enemy retreats, fighting a delaying action.
Can you point to an example of the Soviets successfully doing so?
And your very limited offensive will not cause red army collapse in 1943. Actually, it is going to keep getting stronger as it did historically. In what happened historically the red army suffered heavy losses too and you are not really going to do better. Your offensives are far too limited in scope.
The problem here is that you are far too ignorant to even understand the parameters of the situation.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Aida1 » 03 Sep 2023 16:34

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:28


The problem here is that you are far too ignorant to even understand the parameters of the situation.
Another example of your massive ignorance. You cannot even predict what will happen during your very limited offensives including what casualties would be suffered on both sides. :lol:

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 17:53

Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:34
During Fall Blau, the red army retreated, evading the german short pincers.
I expected you to say this. As we discussed previously, your understanding of Blau is incorrect: the Soviet forces facing the German offensive were annihilated. Only the Armies on the wings of the offensive survived as viable fighting forces.
The encirclement of the red army around Rostov for example, ordered by Hitler ?failed because of this.
There was no battle of annihilation at Rostov because that objective was on the wing of the offensive. In terms of force dispositions, the situation looked like this (north to south):

Image

The forces in the middle section - from 40th to 24th Armies - effectively ceased to exist. Among their formations, even the divisions that "survived" were down to regiment, even sometimes battalion, strengths. For instance:

-38th Rifle Division (28th Army) went from having 9,004 men on 1/7 to just 1,998 on 30/7
-318th Rifle Division (9th Army) went from having 10,538 men on 29/6 to just 1,028 on 28/7
-275th Rifle Division (37th Army) went from having 10,168 men on 30/6 to just 713 on 28/7

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by PunctuationHorror » 03 Sep 2023 18:28

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:23
PunctuationHorror wrote:
03 Sep 2023 10:35
However, as far as "ambitions" are concerned: I am still not sure that denying the Soviets the Caucasus, even if only for a year, would not have been a good "investment".
In theory, yes, but in practice there were far too many Soviet forces in the Caucasus for the campaign to be successful. Thus, per the Soviet allocation of military rations on July 5, 1942, there were in the Caucasus:

-North Caucasian Front: 190,000 men
-North Caucasian Military District: 147,000 men
-Transcaucasian Front: 400,000 men

Total: 737,000 men
Yes, you mentioned this before, somewhere else :) Thank you for the detailed data.

I don't want to redo the old discussion, I want to point to something else: A campaign that denies the Caucasus would likely need a Germ strengh of about 300.000 men and probably most of the tank and mot divisions of AGS. Those forces must be available. They become available as soon as the Soviets loose enough forces on the frontline between Leningrad and Rostov.
This means that a prerequisite for a "deny the Caucasus" campaign would be your alternative Summer of 42 scenario.
That is: Do Barbarossa as OTL, do winter 1941/42 as OTL, but do the campaign in Summer 1942 ATL as you have pictured it on your map.
After this campaign in the Summer, the question is: What do next? Continue to focus on the center (1), or go to the periphery (2). Each option has its characteristics of advantages and disadvantages.

In OTL, (edit: as you have nicely shown in the meantime) Blau destroyed enough Soviet forces that it opened up the South (as it seemed), which enabled Army Group B to drive itself to hell. Part of this was caused by the Soviets who needed time to make up their losses, redeploy, refill, reorganize their troops in and to the South. After a few months of doing this, they had allocated enough forces to not only contain the Germans but to launch their own campaign to hit the Germans hard. Another part of this was that the Germans lacked the troops to strenghten the conquered area. If they had "attritted" more Soviet forces, roughly the Soviet equivalent of 300.000 German forces, whatever number of Soviets that might have been, the SU could not have launched their offensives (Uranus, little Saturn, ... ) with success. So one might say that the German offensive in 1942 failed because they did not destroy enough Soviet forces. Or to put it another way: we are back to force ratios and exchange ratios.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2023 19:12

PunctuationHorror wrote:
03 Sep 2023 18:28
A campaign that denies the Caucasus would likely need a Germ strengh of about 300.000 men and probably most of the tank and mot divisions of AGS.
Do you mean in addition to the 1. Panzerarmee and 17. Armee? Because in the OTL, these two armies had:

08/42: 357,888 Heer personnel
09/42: 348,115 Heer personnel
10/42: 346,178 Heer personnel
11/42: 335,245 Heer personnel

On top of these forces, Heeresgruppe A also had the SS Wiking division, 2x security divisions in the rear areas, and 6-7x minor Axis divisions. All told, somewhere in the range of 450,000 ~ 500,000 men.
After this campaign in the Summer, the question is: What do next?
I'd argue for:

1. July: Destroying Bryansk Front (shown on the map)
2. August: Destroying a large share of Western Front (final arrows on the map)
3. September: Destroying Soviet forces in the Toropets bulge, i.e. most of Kalinin and some of North-Western Fronts
4. October: Destroying Leningrad Front
Continue to focus on the center (1), or go to the periphery (2). Each option has its characteristics of advantages and disadvantages.
The essential matters are to (1) destroy large Soviet groupings at highly-favorable casualty-exchange ratios and (2) reduce the length of the frontline.
In OTL, (edit: as you have nicely shown in the meantime) Blau destroyed enough Soviet forces that it opened up the South (as it seemed)
Yes, but there were too many Soviet forces already in the Caucasus to allow its prompt capture.
So one might say that the German offensive in 1942 failed because they did not destroy enough Soviet forces. Or to put it another way: we are back to force ratios and exchange ratios.
Precisely. This is why I'm unenthusiastic about any Caucasus operation, in general: the focus must remain squarely on attriting the Red Army, not on capturing resource areas. At least, not to the detriment of the primary attritional objective.

ljadw
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Posts: 15433
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 03 Sep 2023 19:26

KDF33 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:28
Aida1 wrote:
03 Sep 2023 16:25
You are not even willing to see that doing short pincers wil not work when the enemy retreats, fighting a delaying action.
Can you point to an example of the Soviets successfully doing so?
And your very limited offensive will not cause red army collapse in 1943. Actually, it is going to keep getting stronger as it did historically. In what happened historically the red army suffered heavy losses too and you are not really going to do better. Your offensives are far too limited in scope.
The problem here is that you are far too ignorant to even understand the parameters of the situation.
An example of the Soviets successfully doing so : they retreated in the Caucasus but blocked a German advance to Baku .

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