Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

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Polynikes
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Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Polynikes » 13 Oct 2015 17:51

Apologies if this has been resolved already - I didn't see anything specific in a search

OK, many have speculated what would have happened had Barbarossa been launched in May rather than late June 1941

The most commonly agreed answer is that the late Spring rains caused the operation to be delayed and the German operations in the Balkans/Greece to assist Italy are a red herring

However there are sources that state the Balkans campaign DID delay Barbarossa, one says by up to 5 weeks (von Paulus)

Is anyone aware of any prime sources that state the weather in the Western USSR was the prime concern in delaying the operation ?

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by steverodgers801 » 13 Oct 2015 18:42

The Pz group that invaded Yugoslavia was back in Poland by May since the campaign only lasted a week. Only one PZ div was involved with Greece. The infantry units were part of 2nd army and not scheduled for the initial attack.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 13 Oct 2015 22:06

Polynikes wrote: Is anyone aware of any prime sources that state the weather in the Western USSR was the prime concern in delaying the operation ?
I've got a source that says that the Balkan campaign was a prime concern -):
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1113415
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by stg 44 » 14 Oct 2015 17:57

Based on a US monograph of the Balkans campaign it was both. The wear and tear from the Balkans prevented things from getting started as early as the weather allowed (IIRC June 10th) and even on June 22nd there was still major wear and tear problems from the Balkans that was never fixed, resulting in a very low serviceability rate for a lot of aircraft, plus the damage inflicted on the LW at Crete.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 16 Oct 2015 16:18

To the original question: both, plus wishful planning due to "Victory Disease".

There was, AFAIK, a 5th panzer grouping planned to strike from Romanian Moldova - Jassy (Iasi) area. This was replaced with the 17th Army under Stulpnagel, following the diversion of forces for Maritsa.

While it had attached the Slovak armored force and the Hungarian Gyorshadtest, the 17th did not have the deep striking force of a proper Panzer Group, IMO, while simultaneously robbing AGC of needed mass behind its own large Panzer Groups. In turn this came to matter when the 9th Army got stumped at Polotsk, leaving Hoth's 3rd Panzer group without proper infantry backing/support.

What germans shoulda/coulda have done under the circumstances is a WhatIf matter, but it appears that OKW tried to execute the Barbarossa plan as initially outlined, despite starting later than planned and down ~15% of their deep strike ability.
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stg 44
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by stg 44 » 16 Oct 2015 16:56

The double envelopment out of Romania was canned just before the Maritsa was planned. They didn't think they could pull off the necessary river crossing, so the Balkans had nothing to do with that.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by MarkN » 16 Oct 2015 17:49

Polynikes wrote: OK, many have speculated what would have happened had Barbarossa been launched in May rather than late June 1941

The most commonly agreed answer is that the late Spring rains caused the operation to be delayed and the German operations in the Balkans/Greece to assist Italy are a red herring

However there are sources that state the Balkans campaign DID delay Barbarossa, one says by up to 5 weeks (von Paulus)

Is anyone aware of any prime sources that state the weather in the Western USSR was the prime concern in delaying the operation ?
I highly recommend you read Weissung Nr.21 and Nr.32.

From them you should see that strategically Operation Barbarossa was doomed to fail from the the outset - irrespective of how briliant military commanders effected tactics. Whether it commenced on May 15 as specified in Weisung Nr.21 or June, is probably quite immaterial.

Late spring rains serves as a genuine (part) explanation as to why the start date was postponed. The Balkan adventures are more a post-failure excuse for that failure - to deflect blame away from the military itself and onto Hitler by the military themselves. In effect, one answers to a delay, the other to a consequence.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 17 Oct 2015 10:23

stg 44 wrote:The double envelopment out of Romania was canned just before the Maritsa was planned. They didn't think they could pull off the necessary river crossing, so the Balkans had nothing to do with that.
Any details on that change?

PS
I made a mistake; the army near Iasi was the 11th under Schobert, not the 17th.
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stg 44
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by stg 44 » 17 Oct 2015 15:15

The US army study on German military planning from 1940-42 was the source. I had a discussion with someone on that this year, but I don't think I have the book.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 17 Oct 2015 23:13

The German Campaign in Russia
Planning and Operations (1940-1942)


pdf format on history.army.mil

will check out
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stg 44
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by stg 44 » 18 Oct 2015 17:16

Excellent thank

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by MarkN » 18 Oct 2015 17:26

The "Ostfeldzug 1941-42" also claims a delay due to the bad whether combined with the balkan adventure.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 18 Oct 2015 18:13

Answer : both,but,principally the weather:even without the Balkans, there would be a delay .The delay could have been worse : july or august if the bad weather continued .Barbarossa started on 22 june,and this,although not all Barbarossa forces had returned from the Balkans .

Besides : Marita also was depending on the weather .
The Germans were lucky that both operations (Marita and Yugoslavia) occurred at the same time .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 18 Oct 2015 21:50

tl;dr of the data available, Dniester become an impassable obstacle simultaneously and at the same time as units of the Twelfth Army were repurposed for Maritsa.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by steverodgers801 » 19 Oct 2015 00:15

the double envelopment was cancelled by Hitler worried about Rumania. Though regardless of the Balkans, AGN and AGC were still ready and able to attack.

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