What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

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paulrward
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by paulrward » 11 Jul 2019 20:19

Hello All :

To Mr. TheMarcksPlan :

I was about to say that, " I have a plan...", but instead here are some maps....

Here is, using the map posted above as a base, what was essentially explained to me some 40 years ago by a very knowledgeable and experienced US Army officer.
Soviet Rail Map 1.jpg
The first map shows the Soviet Rail System, with the Double and Multiple Track Lines highted in RED. Note how there are two rail nexii to the West of Moscow, Kiev and Minsk , but that Moscow is in fact the main rail nexus. This was true in Czarist times, and remained true in the Soviet Era. In fact, it was one of the ways that the Communists retained power in Russia. In spring and autumn, nothing moves on the roads during the Raszputitsa. In Winter, nothing moves on the roads. And in Summer, when road travel is possible, the rail system is much more efficient for moving large quantities of men and material from factories, farms, and oil fields. This was the situation in June, 1941.

Soviet Rail Map 2.jpg
This second map is the situation at the end of December, 1941. Russian held rails are still in RED, German occupied rails are in BLACK, and Soviet held rails that have been effectively cut off and rendered useless are in YELLOW. The Soviets are still clinging to Moscow, and that rail nexus. Supplies can still move around the rear of the ring of rails surrounding the city, allowing the Soviets to move Oil from the Caucasus, Men from Siberia, and new T34s from the Urals. Rolling stock can be coordinated from Moscow, trains assembled, and the vast requirements of modern warfare can be met, even if barely. The Germans have captured a great deal of the USSR, but NOT Moscow, and thus, they have NOT knocked out the Soviet Rail System on which the Russian war effort will depend on so greatly.

Soviet Rail Map 3.jpg
And here we have the third map. This is the hypothetical situation if the Germans had captured Moscow, and the surrounding rail lines, and held them past the end of 1941. Again, Russian held rails are still in RED, German occupied rails are in BLACK, and Soviet held rails that have been effectively cut off and rendered useless are in YELLOW. Note how the Soviets have lost almost all of their ability to move material on double line trackage, and are now force to rely on secondary single track lines, which are MUCH slower, and have far less capacity. Note especially how everything north of Moscow is cut off from southern oil and Siberian troops, and the entire Soviet Union is cut off from the supplies from Murmansk and Archangelski. And, with Moscow cut off, the supplies from Vladivostock are also hindered in their distribution. In effect, Lend Lease now goes through Persia, which was limited logistically.

All of this would be VERY BAD NEWS for the USSR. Remember, they barely survived the winter of 1941-1942. With the Germans holding Moscow, and able to resupply it, even if only on a bare minimum basis, in the Spring, the Soviet Army will be hungry, cold, exhausted, with little or no ammunition or spare parts for their new T34s, the VVS will be desperate for av-gas, and Leningrad, totally cut off, will be ripe for the plucking. In fact, the Germans, with the first lessening of the cold in late winter,( before the Raszputitsa ), could embark on a series of offensives along the rail lines leading east, tasking the Luftwaffe's Ju87s to dive bomb rail junctions and stations to the east of Moscow, while He111s carry out low level attacks in which they simply fly along the rail lines, dropping their bombs on the right-of-ways, and breaking up hundreds of miles of vital trackage.

So you see, Mr. TheMarcksPlan, you are absolutely correct. With a few more forces, or a little luck with what they had, or perhaps simply if the Germans had posessed a leader who, as we say in American Baseball, " Kept his Eye on the Ball ", ( the ball being Moscow ! ) , Barbarossa might very well have been a success. After all, Hitler did say that the Soviet Union was so ramshackle that, " You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down !"

I invite your comments and criticism.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Paul Lakowski
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Paul Lakowski » 11 Jul 2019 22:25

Why don't we have a "like' button, along with the "ignore" button?

MOST of us are done with the "talking heads" on this and other threads. They long ago either- gave up the idea of "discussing" topics - or decided no one else was entitled to an opinion other than their own.

Paul Excellent post , thanks for the maps, they look great.

Keep up the good work "TheMarcksPlan"

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by thaddeus_c » 11 Jul 2019 23:59

paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19


This is the hypothetical situation if the Germans had captured Moscow, and the surrounding rail lines, and held them past the end of 1941. Again, Russian held rails are still in RED, German occupied rails are in BLACK, and Soviet held rails that have been effectively cut off and rendered useless are in YELLOW. Note how the Soviets have lost almost all of their ability to move material on double line trackage, and are now force to rely on secondary single track lines, which are MUCH slower, and have far less capacity. Note especially how everything north of Moscow is cut off from southern oil and Siberian troops, and the entire Soviet Union is cut off from the supplies from Murmansk and Archangelski. And, with Moscow cut off, the supplies from Vladivostock are also hindered in their distribution. In effect, Lend Lease now goes through Persia, which was limited logistically.

All of this would be VERY BAD NEWS for the USSR. Remember, they barely survived the winter of 1941-1942.
thanks for posting the maps!

What If the Moscow rail junction was turned yellow? rendered useless due to the Germans bombing the cascade of dams north and east of the area?

my understanding the Operation Eisenhammer plan focused on bombing the hydroelectric plants/damns to reduce Soviet power output but the originator of the idea thought it worthwhile just on the basis of spoiling their transportation system.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by MarkN » 12 Jul 2019 08:16

paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
I invite your comments and criticism.
OK.

Your key conclusion is a complete contradiction of the sentence immediately preceeding it. See here.
paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
.... everything north of Moscow is cut off from southern oil and Siberian troops, and the entire Soviet Union is cut off from the supplies from Murmansk and Archangelski. And, with Moscow cut off, the supplies from Vladivostock are also hindered in their distribution. In effect, Lend Lease now goes through Persia, which was limited logistically.
Notice your use of the absolute "cut off" which then feeds into your summary of just how bad a position the Russians are left it.

This absolute is a direct contradiction of the immediatly preceeding sentence.
paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
Note how the Soviets have lost almost all of their ability to move material on double line trackage, and are now force to rely on secondary single track lines,
As one can see from the map, single line tracks remain in Soviet hands to move supplies to/from Murmanak and Archangel. They were not "cut off".

Your yellow lines are thus, to a large extent, quite disingenuous.
paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
...which are MUCH slower, and have far less capacity.
It would be helpful if you quantified just how much capacity was restricted rather than just hand waving and then falsly claiming an absolute.
paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
After all, Hitler did say that the Soviet Union was so ramshackle that, " You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down !"
I accept this is a very well known quote attributed to Hitler, but do you have any idea ir confirmation when he said it?

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Lars
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Lars » 12 Jul 2019 10:41

Paul Ward, thanks. So with Moscow in German hands Leningrad is for all intents and purposes out of supply. Supplies to the city was a near run thing in the winter 1941/42. Without Moscow the tap is almost completely shut off.

Come spring the Germans goosestep down Nevski Prospekt.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2019 11:06

paulrward wrote:And here we have the third map.
There's a glaring problem with your ATL map: Finnish forces captured Petrazovodsk on Lake Onega in '41, thereby capturing/cutting the northwards yellow line towards Murmanks in your map. The Soviets must have used the single-track line to move Lend-Lease material from Murmansk to the front.

Besides the inaccuracy issue, this illustrates a hidden premise of your ATL: that SU wouldn't/couldn't build spur lines around captured junctions. IIRC the SU built a new line to Astrakhan when Germans cut the main line from Baku through the Kuban region. Why not do this elsewhere? Soviet rail lines worked on the cheap. They didn't use hard substrates like crushed rock and got a big portion of their rails through Lend-Lease. All they need is labor and wood for ties, two commodities in great supply in SU. So I just don't see Moscow's capture as paralyzing Soviet transport.

As I've said above, I also don't think north-south force movements were critical to Soviet efforts. Their armies usually didn't live long enough to shuttle between fronts; the operative mode of reinforcement was adjusting the rate of flow from reserves to the various portions of the front.

None of this is to say that the capture of Moscow wouldn't have large strategic implications, including the transport implications you rightly highlight. For Barbarossa to have gone differently, however, IMO we need to see dramatic shifts to the force ratios at the front. There are very few ways to make that happen. One is for Ostheer to encircle so many Red soldiers that they don't need to trade Red/German lives at the historical attrition rate of bloody casualties. Another is for Germany to capture land so quickly that Red Army can't recruit soldiers. The former requires stronger German forces at outset of Barbarossa IMO. The latter is impossible given the feasible limits of German logistic capabilities: there was simply no way to supply an Ostheer all the way to the Volga in '41; that fact was obvious to anybody (e.g. Wagner) who seriously studied it and should have informed Barbarossa planning. Had Halder been a competent and charismatic/persuasive Chief of Staff, perhaps Hitler would have seen reason.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 12 Jul 2019 11:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by MarkN » 12 Jul 2019 11:13

Lars wrote:
12 Jul 2019 10:41
Paul Ward, thanks. So with Moscow in German hands Leningrad is for all intents and purposes out of supply. Supplies to the city was a near run thing in the winter 1941/42. Without Moscow the tap is almost completely shut off.

Come spring the Germans goosestep down Nevski Prospekt.
????

Notwithstanding my previous post, according to paulrward and his maps, taking Moscow doesn't change the supply situation to Leningrad.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2019 11:16

MarkN wrote:I accept this is a very well known quote attributed to Hitler, but do you have any idea ir confirmation when he said it?
What is the provenance of this quote? I've seen it in so many sources that I can't trace whence it came.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by MarkN » 12 Jul 2019 11:19

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Jul 2019 11:06
For Barbarossa to have gone differently, however, IMO we need to see dramatic shifts to the force ratios at the front.
"Dramatic shifts" is more accurate than "slightly stronger". But was an additional 2p mech divs sufficiantly dramatic? Methinks not.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2019 11:21

MarkN wrote:Methinks not.
Again you're making a claim instead of an argument.
I'd be interested to see you make an effort.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by MarkN » 12 Jul 2019 11:23

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Jul 2019 11:16
MarkN wrote:I accept this is a very well known quote attributed to Hitler, but do you have any idea ir confirmation when he said it?
What is the provenance of this quote? I've seen it in so many sources that I can't trace whence it came.
That's my question to paulrward.

I recognise it is used by everyone and his dog. But is it even valid?

I have found references in the Nuremburg transcripts claiming that Hitler said something along those lines in early 1941. But that is well after the Heer had created an invasion plan predicated on it being true. In otherwords, it was a planning presumption of the Heer before Hitler caught on.

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Hanny » 12 Jul 2019 11:30

paulrward wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:19
Hello All :

To Mr. TheMarcksPlan :

I was about to say that, " I have a plan...", but instead here are some maps....


Paul R. Ward
I would prefer some maths, over a map. A double track rail line has the same logistical forward lift as 1600 MTV at 200 miles use.

Your last map shows that Germany has pushed well past Moscow around a hundred miles or so?, and is posited on bare minimum of supplies reaching the front, your second map shows situation in Dec of 41, but it shows control not conversion of rail, and more importantly the capacity and in use by German forces of those of rail lines.

Since the Germans were unable to supply existing force levels, to a point well short of Moscow, ( operations carried out at the expense of not bringing forward any winter provisions) why/how do you think they can supply existing ( who now have to add another 100 miles to march on foot) another 20 MOT formations to a point well beyond Moscow in the same timespan?.

Points that require your attention include but are of course not limited too:

When does the extra MTV, AFV, manpower, training schools for them come from, Fuel to move with, munitions to fight with come from and get to them, ( existing refineries took 6 months to provide the stocks, and will be depleted by Nov at historic force levels, etc for these extra formations take place/come from, how does industry expand the existing increase in actual history timeline ( doubled between France and Barbarossa) and also find the numbers for these extra formations, how will logistical requirements ( transport from rail to head to end user) of them be met by the grosstruppen, will that also expand in proportion, as the amount of logistics required increases at the front by the extra formations using more POL munitions, how much more road space is now required when existing road space was insufficient in the first place, ( from grosstruppen depots to Divisons using div assets) how much more rail capacity is required for these extra formations, and how will it be meet, ( A MOT Div requires around 90klicks of road space to contain its formations, the extra 20 sent means 1800 miles of road space are now not available when the formations are moving on them) when roughly half was ever meet in 41, how will the bulk of the Heer on foot now reach 00s of miles west of Moscow in the same amount of time when they could not reach Moscow. How much faster does the rail conversion now have to be to reach well past moscow in the same time.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by MarkN » 12 Jul 2019 11:34

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Jul 2019 11:21
MarkN wrote:Methinks not.
Again you're making a claim instead of an argument.
I am not making any arguments against your fantasy. How does one prove the claim that a unicorn exists is wrong? Now, l appreciate others may choose to try, but all that results is a stag fight between posters claiming that their opinion on the fantasy narrative is more valid than the other. Some posters gain great joy in doing so. I don't.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Jul 2019 11:21
I'd be interested to see you make an effort.
Of course you're intetested in me wasting my time offering up my research and analysis. It means you don't have to do it. Is that the real reason for your engagement here?

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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2019 11:37

MarkN wrote:I am not making any arguments
I suspected as much.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Hanny » 12 Jul 2019 11:44

You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down !

Not usually given with an exclamation, its AH to Rundstedt on the eve of Barbarossa.

Compare with:

Now we have shown what we are capable of, believe me Keitel, compared to France Russia will like a child's sandbox in comparison. Overheard by speer in late June 1940
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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