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

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
Cult Icon
Member
Posts: 4474
Joined: 08 Apr 2014 19:00

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

Post by Cult Icon » 21 Jul 2019 03:23

The space that opened up for "Case Blue" was a series of victories that wrote down Soviet forces in the spring of 1942-

eg.
-Victory in 2nd Kharkov, destruction of a Western Army sized force
-encirclement and destruction of a corps sized force (2nd Shock Army) in AGN
-The Crimea campaign- greatly successful but also requiring a lot of resources (including the movement of artillery and air power to the region) organized by Manstein and experience developed in months of static fighting in the Crimea/lack of progress. This culminated in inspired operational plans.Not a campaign that came without prerequisites.

+ What defines the limits of combat value? Say a German division takes 100% casualties in their combat elements- this was reached in various duration within Barbarossa. It is not likely that this division has the same offensive value even if refilled with personnel fresh from officer, NCO, and armor/infantry training schools- the highest quality relationships are broken (developed via large scale maneuvers and battle experience- units like the elite 3rd Panzer division had a lineage back into 1935 mobile warfare maneuvers and the Western Campaign can be considered part of their "training") and the key personnel are either dead or injured- all that's left is to "break in" the unit with a few small maneuvers/drills in the field and acclimate each other to work as a combined arms team.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Jul 2019 05:08

CultIcon wrote:AGN units had a harder time than in the center and the south as they ran into more attrition fighting due to the woods and swamps.
AGN reached the Dvina in four days. I'm sure you can find anecdotes about bad terrain for certain of the ~500k soldiers involved but on the whole it was a spectacularly fast advance (yet despite the speed of advance, a catastrophic failure of Plan Barbarossa). Corduroy roads were built all over the front, btw.
CultIcon wrote:They attacked on a broad front and without much concentration for breakthrough.
I'm not sure of your point here. Less force for Timoshenko means less threat and damage to AGC, regardless of the operational scheme.
CultIcon wrote:if Soviet forces are eliminated at such a rapid rate than Moscow could be occupied but what is next?
I describe "what next" throughout the ATL. Not trying to be rude or anything - I know it's a long thread and don't blame for you for not having read it all - but I'm averse to repeat myself too much and clog the thread (as well as my free time). Short version is SU losses of men and economic/demographic resources means a much weaker SU, ultimately a militarily impotent one.
CultIcon wrote:The historical situation paints a picture of the German Army's limits being reached.
That's a superficial analysis of the situation, IMO. But you're in good company - it's the analysis of virtually every historian to have looked at the case.
That's not to say it's strictly wrong, just superficial. Yes, the Ostheer had reached its limits but only in regard to its enemy. That's the factor often ignored or mystified: the Red Army's strength. It was stronger than ever by December 41 while Ostheer was weaker than ever. This is not because of mystic Soviet hordes but because RKKA numbered ~4.5mil at the front and the Ostheer ~2.5mil. Because of the attrition rates. Those rates could have gone much differently with just a couple more grand kessels. Those kessels would have happened given a few more German mobile units, just as kessels happened every time the OTL Germans had two panzer-pincers.
CultIcon wrote:The space that opened up for "Case Blue" was a series of victories that wrote down Soviet forces in the spring of 1942
Right.
..which is saying Case Blue owes much of its success to the destruction of Soviet forces immediately preceding it.
...which like saying my ATL Moscow/Leningrad battles would have succeeded with large-scale destruction of Soviet forces immediately preceding those ATL battles.
...which is like saying that the ATL battles immediately preceding ATL Moscow/Leningrad would have succeeded given large-scale destruction of Soviet forces in immediately preceding pre-pre-Moscow/Leningrad ATL battles.
...which embodies my rather simple (I prefer elegant but whatever) point that if the Germans can destroy more Red armies in the Border Battles they can keep destroying Red armies through Moscow and, in '42, all the way to at least the Volga.
...which leaves Stalin with half his OTL May '43 demographic/economic base and a dwindling fuel stock.

And if that May '43 endpoint isn't decisive enough, then Ostheer can take the Urals and leave Stalin with a population of ~25mil, at which point the Romanians and Hungarians (and Turks?) can hold the front (with a little German help, sure, but not much).
CultIcon wrote:What defines the limits of combat value? Say a German division takes 100% casualties in their combat elements- this was reached in various duration within Barbarossa.
I can't think of specific division for which this was true but wouldn't be surprised if, after replacements, some lost 100+% of their rifle strength. But is your question pursuant to an ATL-specific point or just general curiosity?
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 21 Jul 2019 08:55

WHY would Romanians,Hungarians and Turks wast their time on the Urals ?
And saying that if the Germans could destroy more Soviet divisions on the Border Battles they can do it also through Moscow and in 1942 to at least the Volga, is totally absurd .The Germans could not go with an army of 150 divisions to Moscow and to the Urals ,and if you reinforce the Ostheer with 20 additional mobile divisions, using a magician's trick,your chances to go to Moscow /the Urals, will not increase, but decrease : the bigger the army, the slower the advance, and the slower the advance, the less chances to advance .
In WWI,with few trucks, the Germans did not advance to Moscow, thus, why would they be able to go to Moscow /the Urals with a lot of trucks ?The reality is that as long the enemy is fighting, mobile divisions can only advance at the speed of the infantry : 2 km per hour .Tanks are too vulnerable . Thus an advance of 3 million men with 600000 trucks to the Urals is impossible .The only way to go to the Urals was to use small very light armoured divisons,using the railway option,as in 1918 . But that was only possible after the collaps of the SU .
Advancing to the Urals will not cause the collaps of the SU,but the collaps of the SU will make possible the advance to the Urals .
It was the same in 1944 : the German defeat in Normandy made possible the allied advance to the German border . But not the opposite : the advance to the German border did not cause the defeat of the German army .
It was the same for Desert Storm .

jesk
Banned
Posts: 1973
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

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

Post by jesk » 21 Jul 2019 09:50

ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2019 08:55
,and if you reinforce the Ostheer with 20 additional mobile divisions, using a magician's trick,your chances to go to Moscow /the Urals, will not increase, but decrease : the bigger the army, the slower the advance, and the slower the advance, the less chances to advance .
In WWI,with few trucks, the Germans did not advance to Moscow, thus, why would they be able to go to Moscow /the Urals with a lot of trucks ?
Russia the most populous country of Europe. Kostroma, Vologda, Saratov, Samara, Kazan between all these cities are roads. 100 mobile divisions also will easily be located on them.
Germans in World War I were afraid to overthrow the government of Bolsheviks that the Entente did not restore former positions. Therefore did not want to take Moscow.
The reality is that as long the enemy is fighting, mobile divisions can only advance at the speed of the infantry : 2 km per hour .Tanks are too vulnerable .
In mobile divisions, the infantry moves in trucks and armored personnel carriers, at the speed of tanks.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 21 Jul 2019 11:18

And the speed of the tanks is limited by/tied to the speed of the infantry marching on foot :infantry moves in trucks only after the enemy is defeated, otherwise trucks are coffins .

jesk
Banned
Posts: 1973
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

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

Post by jesk » 21 Jul 2019 11:23

Often the fire was on the move. If the resistance is not particularly strong.

Image

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2631
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

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

Post by MarkN » 21 Jul 2019 16:48

ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2019 08:55
WHY would Romanians,Hungarians and Turks wast their time on the Urals ?
Good spot for a picnic. Locals do a cracking cabbage soup too.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 21 Jul 2019 17:55

jesk wrote:
21 Jul 2019 09:50
ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2019 08:55
,and if you reinforce the Ostheer with 20 additional mobile divisions, using a magician's trick,your chances to go to Moscow /the Urals, will not increase, but decrease : the bigger the army, the slower the advance, and the slower the advance, the less chances to advance .
In WWI,with few trucks, the Germans did not advance to Moscow, thus, why would they be able to go to Moscow /the Urals with a lot of trucks ?
Russia the most populous country of Europe. Kostroma, Vologda, Saratov, Samara, Kazan between all these cities are roads. 100 mobile divisions also will easily be located on them.
I see that you have not much knowledge of the road space a mobile division needs .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 21 Jul 2019 18:08

Maybe you and TheMarcksPlan should look on ''The Loss of strength Gradient ''.

jesk
Banned
Posts: 1973
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

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

Post by jesk » 21 Jul 2019 20:06

ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2019 17:55
jesk wrote:
21 Jul 2019 09:50
ljadw wrote:
21 Jul 2019 08:55
,and if you reinforce the Ostheer with 20 additional mobile divisions, using a magician's trick,your chances to go to Moscow /the Urals, will not increase, but decrease : the bigger the army, the slower the advance, and the slower the advance, the less chances to advance .
In WWI,with few trucks, the Germans did not advance to Moscow, thus, why would they be able to go to Moscow /the Urals with a lot of trucks ?
Russia the most populous country of Europe. Kostroma, Vologda, Saratov, Samara, Kazan between all these cities are roads. 100 mobile divisions also will easily be located on them.
I see that you have not much knowledge of the road space a mobile division needs .
Russians like to settle in remote places. I watched a film about a journey through the northern latitudes. The man said that in Canada for 4 months he did not see a single person; in Siberia, the village is every 3-4 days.
Between villages - roads...

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 22 Jul 2019 06:28

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Jul 2019 05:08





CultIcon wrote:The space that opened up for "Case Blue" was a series of victories that wrote down Soviet forces in the spring of 1942
Right.
..which is saying Case Blue owes much of its success to the destruction of Soviet forces immediately preceding it.
...which like saying my ATL Moscow/Leningrad battles would have succeeded with large-scale destruction of Soviet forces immediately preceding those ATL battles.
...which is like saying that the ATL battles immediately preceding ATL Moscow/Leningrad would have succeeded given large-scale destruction of Soviet forces in immediately preceding pre-pre-Moscow/Leningrad ATL battles.
...which embodies my rather simple (I prefer elegant but whatever) point that if the Germans can destroy more Red armies in the Border Battles they can keep destroying Red armies through Moscow and, in '42, all the way to at least the Volga.
.

1 Fall Blau was a failure,although immediately preceding it, large Soviet forces were destroyed .
2 The same for the Leningrad and Moscow battles .
3 The assumption that more Soviet losses in the Border Battles would mean that the Germans could keep destroying Soviet forces through Moscow and to the Volga ,is wrong , because time and distance were working against Germany :DISTANCE DECAYS POWER.
The Germans could commit and supply 150 divisions west of the DD line, they were unable to commit victoriously and supply 150 divisions between the DD line and the line Leningrad-Moscow-Rostov,and they would not be able to commit even 75 divisions east of Moscow.They were only able to invade the Caucasus and to go to Stalingrad by remaining defensively on the rest of the front .Their invasion of the Caucasus failed, they failed at Stalingrad and they were unable to go to Astrachan .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15639
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

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

Post by ljadw » 22 Jul 2019 06:36

The Germans could not supply 22 divisions at Stalingrad, thus they could not supply more than 22 divisions east of Moscow .
All the rest is theoretical drivel and wishful thinking based on the intentional ignoring of the fundamental law of war .

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Jul 2019 07:17

Research question:
What was the actual fuel consumption during Barbarossa?

From DRZW volume VI, I have a figure of 667,292 cubic meters (448,000t) for the entire Ostheer from mid-October 1941 through March 1942:

Image

So far I have accepted, for the purposes of argument, the absolute highest estimate (355,000t) provided in this thread. I doubt these estimates and don't trust their authors but it serves the argument to show that even the worst-case-scenario isn't a prohibitive fuel delta for 20 extra mobile divisions.

The figures from DRZW are more credible than anything produced here. Per those figures, this thread's highest estimate would mean 20 divisions burn 80% of what the entire Ostheer burned over five months of fighting. Admittedly that fighting was mostly defensive (the first 7 weeks were not), but that defensive was quite fluid and involved many counterattacks. 80% is obviously wrong; incremental fuel burn would have been closer to the 60,000t estimate at the lower end of the thread so far.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
Cult Icon
Member
Posts: 4474
Joined: 08 Apr 2014 19:00

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

Post by Cult Icon » 22 Jul 2019 07:43

Case Blue was a strategic failure that cost von Bock his career- at the same time it was the last time a competitively declining German army achieved a string of minor encirclement victories and projected that level of offensive power.

Whatever was achieved in that operation owed itself to the cluster of (never to be repeated again !) successes of the German army in the spring after the Soviet winter-counteroffensive winded down, which temporarily softened the Soviet defenses in the center and weakened the Soviet defense against Case Blue during that summer. In the fall Soviet strength and STAVKA reserves accumulated again substantially against AGA/AGB and were released in Nov 1942-March 1943 like the prior year. So it was possible to overcome the Soviet force generation system, but unless the system was directly threatened and destroyed the effect could only be temporary.

Victory in Barbarossa is dependent on eliminating the system.

jesk
Banned
Posts: 1973
Joined: 04 Aug 2017 08:19
Location: Belarus

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

Post by jesk » 22 Jul 2019 08:03

ljadw wrote:
22 Jul 2019 06:28
They were only able to invade the Caucasus and to go to Stalingrad by remaining defensively on the rest of the front .Their invasion of the Caucasus failed, they failed at Stalingrad and they were unable to go to Astrachan .
But what do I see on the map? How many Germans are trying to conquer the Caucasus?

parts 23 Pz, 13 Pz, 370, 2/3 SS Wiking. It's all. The rest cover flanks from the Russian counterattacks. Hitler had to allocate more forces on the Caucasian direction.

Image

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... II1042.jpg

Return to “What if”