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

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Jul 2019 21:54

JohnT wrote:Like design and build a series of "Kriegsbinnenshiffe" , riverine / costal vessels usable on soviet waterways.
Given that most Russian waterways ran north-south and supplies needed to move west-east, I'm not sure how much this would have directly helped the Ostheer.

Indirectly, more reliance on water transport should have been used within Germany and, indeed, later in the war this was prioritized. I said in one of my early posts that one of the benefits of not doing the Sealion bluff is that the barges requisitioned for that folly can be redirected to industry. More barges moving coal in Germany means fewer trains required to do so, which means more rail lift for the Ostheer (as you point out).

Additionally, using the Baltic as a supply line for ~half of the army could have greatly eased the Ostheer's logistics problems in 1942. For this to work, Leningrad must fall. Again, Hitler's strategic conception (Ukraine first, Leningrad second, Moscow third) was absolutely right. Moscow is ~600km from Leningrad by rail; it's ~2,000km from the Ruhr to Moscow. Shipping by barge and Baltic from Ruhr to the front cuts your rail burden to one-third.
JohnT wrote:The other major assumption you do is the Soviets inability to recover the added lost manpower
I don't make that assumption but it's a long thread and I can't blame you for missing my points on this.
Two global points:

1. For the Barbarossa period, the RKKA had a discrete (albeit huge) capacity to train new soldiers and field new armies. This was limited by the staffing of the internal military districts where training occurred and by the number of men withdrawn from industry/agriculture. My ATL takes the flow of new formations during 1941 as set; the lead time for training a new cohort is at least six months so that seems like a reasonable parameter. So yes, RKKA would replace a Southwest front destroyed in the Border Battles with new armies, but those armies have to come from somewhere - most likely the bounty that Timoshenko received around Smolensk when the only manpower crisis was opposite AGC. And yes, the RKKA would reconstitute its fronts following subsequent encirclements by amplified Ostheer, but again doing so would weaken its defences elsewhere.

2. I assume that the SU will, in fact, replace most of the loss delta between my ATL and OTL before the 1942 campaign season. I posit ~2mil more POW's but an RKKA strength in May 1942 only ~1mil lower than OTL. Why a smaller RKKA at all, why not assume they replace everyone? Here I fix the operative constraint on RKKA size as being not the number of military-age males available (~42 million in 1941) but rather the ability of the economy to support an army without suffering economic and social collapse. As I discuss at more length in another post, Soviet 1942 mobilization is the absolute peak in terms of percentage of men under arms and working in war factories; it was unsustainable and that percentage declined thereafter. viewtopic.php?p=2212903#p2212903 A 1942 SU with a smaller economic/demographic base cannot mobilize a larger army unless it wants industry and agriculture to completely collapse.

Here's a somewhat subtle point, one that gets lost in an internet fight:

I emphasize better attrition rates against the SU but the point of attrition isn't to "bleed the SU white" in two years. There's too many Soviets to achieve that in a reasonable time period. Rather, the point of attrition is for Germany to stay ahead of the SU's growth curve sufficiently long to wreck the SU's economic/demographic fundamentals by capturing critical territory. The economic base determined the size of the army, not the pure numbers of men who could theoretically pick up a rifle. As I say elsewhere, Barbarossa caught the SU in transition from peasant backwater to superpower; Germany had a shot at wrecking that transition and nearly did so.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by ljadw » 28 Jul 2019 07:43

To say ( in post 514 ) that supplies need to move west to east,is a big simplification and generalisation : supplies need also to move south to north and north to south : after the fall of Sebastopol, divisions of Manstein's 11th Army were transported to the Leningrad area : from south to north .
Supplies for 6th Army were going west to southeast .
In both cases,the waterways could be used .

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

Post by Yuri » 28 Jul 2019 15:10

ljadw wrote:
28 Jul 2019 07:43
To say ( in post 514 ) that supplies need to move west to east,is a big simplification and generalisation : supplies need also to move south to north and north to south : after the fall of Sebastopol, divisions of Manstein's 11th Army were transported to the Leningrad area : from south to north .
Supplies for 6th Army were going west to southeast .
In both cases,the waterways could be used .
11th Army is a very strong word.
The main forces this Army remained after the battle for Sevastopol continued to operate in South.
Namely, all Romanian and Slovak troops, all Luftwaffe forces, 22nd Panzer division and assault guns in Stalingrad, 46th infantry division in the Caucasus (Taman), 22nd infantry division in Crete.
To North (Leningrad) set off the headquarters of 11th Army, the headquarters of two Army corps; the headquarters, special units and infantry 10% from OoB of five infantry divisions; artillery of extra-large caliber (part in Stalingrad).
All that has set off from Crimea to Leningrad region did not exceed 20% of what was in Crimea.

Here Lieutenant-General Weinknecht (OberQuartiermeister OKH) tells 16 pages about the problems of supply of Army Group "South" with 22.6.41 at 1.11.42. (he was captured in August 1944 as the commander of 79th infantry division in the Iassy-Kishinev's pocket).
Here OberQuartiermeister Weinknecht multiple reiterates "Space devouring force!"
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by Lars » 28 Jul 2019 17:40

Moving some of Manstein's 11th Army along the entire Estern front from south to north was a waste that took up a lot of transport space mainly on trains. Move the siege trains, the pioneers, and some of the commanders but not entire burnt out divisions.

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

Post by Lars » 28 Jul 2019 17:40

Moving some of Manstein's 11th Army along the entire Estern front from south to north was a waste that took up a lot of transport space mainly on trains. Move the siege trains, the pioneers, and some of the commanders but not entire burnt-out divisions.

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

Post by John T » 29 Jul 2019 12:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Jul 2019 21:27

If we posit earlier rationalization/mobilization/simplification steps then we'd see German production numbers during early war coming closer to the numbers reached late in the war - as was true of UK and SU.
Generally speaking most ww2 W/I scenarios are easier to explain if they start earlier than the original poster started it.
OTOH the needed changes tend to chain react back trough history.
the same way much of history can be explained by the actors previous experience.

and as a general note What could have been done is based on different limitations
- Based on physical limitations, like lack of oil and the Germans capacity to expand synthetic oil production.
- Based on "Soft" limitations, political, doctrinal, and training limitations.

And the second is most of the time perceived as the first. at least at the time of implementation.
(we have had many discussions on Western European countries economical capacity to rearm earlier before ww2,
If you read the political discussion of the day, rearmament where impossible
but if you compare with later defense expenditures the prewar funding was peanuts.
And I think it is easy to abuse Tooze in a similar way regarding German financial failings.

BTW one way to keep the operational tempo up for extended periods would be to have more crews.
Swedish cold war tank units and smaller ships duplicated the crews to be able to operate 24/7 for extended periods.
So instead of erzats heer far away, the tank battalion had their own integral replacement company,
part of the logistics but immediate available.

Cheers
/John

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Jul 2019 20:36

John T wrote:
29 Jul 2019 12:20
BTW one way to keep the operational tempo up for extended periods would be to have more crews.
Swedish cold war tank units and smaller ships duplicated the crews to be able to operate 24/7 for extended periods.
That is a very clever solution, which unfortunately for this scenario was not a solution the Germans considered feasible (see below). I rather suspect the Swedish solution was at least partly developed from analyzing wartime experience, probably via the Swedish Defense Research Agency. Niklas Zetterling likely knows, but he rarely posts here any more.
So instead of erzats heer far away, the tank battalion had their own integral replacement company,
part of the logistics but immediate available.
That was addressed, at least partly, by me on page 15 of this monster. viewtopic.php?p=2211202#p2211202

Manpower was one of the most intractable problem the Germans had to deal with. The Ersatzheer was not just "far away" in Germany, but was also present in the Feldheer in the form of the 80,000 trained replacements in the FEB...which got used up in the first two months. The remaining 320,000 trained replacements were still in Germany and ready for shipment to the front...which then leads back to those pesky logistical issues. For the Panzertruppen I suppose the ten Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilungen could have been broken up and attached to the various Abteilungen in the Feldheer, but that was not the German replacement-training concept...such a concept requires splitting the training and replacement functions...which the Germans did do in a fashion later in October 1942 when the Ersatz Abteilung was split into a Ersatz and an Ausbildungs Abteilung, but that proved unworkable so the two were reunited as Ersatz-und-Ausbildungs Abteilungen in April 1943.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by David Thompson » 30 Jul 2019 00:38

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Jul 2019 02:38

John T wrote:BTW one way to keep the operational tempo up for extended periods would be to have more crews.
German tanks broke down so often that many of the crews were often "extra." I recall reading of ad hoc infantry companies formed of "unhorsed" tankers.
John T wrote:Generally speaking most ww2 W/I scenarios are easier to explain if they start earlier than the original poster started it.
True enough. As a matter of preference I focus my limited research time on the war period and immediately preceding events - I prefer reading about historical events that hinge on military decisions more than political decisions. I spend enough time already on contemporary bad politics..

I could start the ATL with Hitler having a coherent strategic vision from 1933 but that makes this all too easy IMO. Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days.

A German victory over the SU is, in accord with the oft-mocked conventional wisdom of the day, actually quite hard to avoid. Anglo/US expectations of Nazi victory were based not so much on underestimation of the SU as their failure to understand how inexplicably weak Germany's armies actually were. To lose, the Nazis had to adopt the worst strategy possible, come with a ridiculously inefficient military procurement system and a low level of mobilization.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by g6337772 » 30 Jul 2019 16:43

"499".You're playing tricks with numbers again.Year over year only catches in large part the sharp jump in 1942 after Hitler's January 10, 1942.In june 1941 germany produced 520 field artillery pieces;in december 1941 it was 107.Is that not a "significant drop? All other army armament numbers other than AFV's and anti tank guns showed similar drops;Fromm told Hitler in mid December 1941 that unless Directive 32A was rescinded germany proper would soon be out of the gun and ammunition business almost altogether.Even excluding AFV production from 32A, for 1942 german afv production (inclusive *AC, APC etc) was 4 % of germany's arms production;by contrast the navy(mostly u-Boat) was near 11%.Germany NEVER assigned more than 20% of its total arms production to weapons and equipment for the army-ever

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

Post by ljadw » 30 Jul 2019 18:15

g6337772 wrote:
30 Jul 2019 16:43
"499".You're playing tricks with numbers again.Year over year only catches in large part the sharp jump in 1942 after Hitler's January 10, 1942.In june 1941 germany produced 520 field artillery pieces;in december 1941 it was 107.Is that not a "significant drop? All other army armament numbers other than AFV's and anti tank guns showed similar drops;Fromm told Hitler in mid December 1941 that unless Directive 32A was rescinded germany proper would soon be out of the gun and ammunition business almost altogether.Even excluding AFV production from 32A, for 1942 german afv production (inclusive *AC, APC etc) was 4 % of germany's arms production;by contrast the navy(mostly u-Boat) was near 11%.Germany NEVER assigned more than 20% of its total arms production to weapons and equipment for the army-ever
The reason is simple : a few days before the start of Barbarossa, army production was cut, as there was no reason for big army production after the summer, and as the Schwerpunkt would go back to where it was till the autumn of 1940 :KM and LW .When it was obvious for even the most fanatical goose-stepper in Rastenburg that Barbarossa had failed, the army got again priority for the armament production, but ,as these changes took time,the result was that the production of artillery and artillery ammunition was very low in December 1941 .OTOH one should not exaggerate the result of the low artillery production .Germany lost during Barbarossa (June-December 1941 ) 7096 artillery pieces,but still the Ostheer survived the Soviet winter offensive .

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

Post by John T » 30 Jul 2019 18:29

Richard Anderson wrote:
29 Jul 2019 20:36

That was addressed, at least partly, by me on page 15 of this monster. viewtopic.php?p=2211202#p2211202

Manpower was one of the most intractable problem the Germans had to deal with. The Ersatzheer was not just "far away" in Germany, but was also present in the Feldheer in the form of the 80,000 trained replacements in the FEB...which got used up in the first two months. The remaining 320,000 trained replacements were still in Germany and ready for shipment to the front...which then leads back to those pesky logistical issues. For the Panzertruppen I suppose the ten Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilungen could have been broken up and attached to the various Abteilungen in the Feldheer, but that was not the German replacement-training concept...such a concept requires splitting the training and replacement functions...which the Germans did do in a fashion later in October 1942 when the Ersatz Abteilung was split into a Ersatz and an Ausbildungs Abteilung, but that proved unworkable so the two were reunited as Ersatz-und-Ausbildungs Abteilungen in April 1943.

But this scenario starting 1938 and posits that Germany went for a 50% larger armored force than in reality
Could it not be reasonable to expect that the training capacity also extended by 50%?
so ten Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilungen becomes fifteen?

And as a note on you post on page 15,
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jul 2019 02:04
By 4 February 1941, the number of available trained personnel in the Weißen Jahrgänge were fully expended. The "reserve" as of 1 June 1941 consisted of 80,000 personnel in the divisional FEB and 320,000 trained replacements in the Ersatzheer. Otherwise, the only manpower pool available was Jahrgänge 1922, whose call up had been delayed in order to ease the civilian employment situation. Thus, of 565,060 men registered as fit for service (in what was assessed as an uncommonly large year group), 117,565 already volunteered and were in the Wehrmacht, 72,435 were deferred as critical civilian workers (UK-gestellte), and 375,062 were classed as Reserve I personnel available for service. Of those, 170,125 were already doing RAD service (pre-military work training), so 200,000 were available for call up. Under existing plans, 72.5% would go to the Heer, 22% to the Luftwaffe, 4.1% to the Kriegsmarine, and 1.4% to the SS; manpower was always prioritized to the Heer.
You choose situation 1941 and Jahrgänge 1922, If I understands it correct it means the young men that should start their conscript training in 1941.
which by scenario design was rather irrelevant for the situation of trained men available in June 1941.
So if we keep your numbers as ballpark for earlier Jahrgänge:

117,565 already in arms (suppose some went to LW and KM) but they would have been part of the manpower pool to prioritize.
170,125 RAD servie - who needed RAD? especially 1938-39 their effort to build the Ost & West wall was a waste of time and money.
and after RAD service you did you conscript service, so it's not a matter of either or, just a delay by six month to start military training.
That means we are back to the 565,060 fit for service, not 200 000.

Gives us a ball park of a manpower pool of 1 500 000 men in three years.(38-40)
Luftwaffes 22% of that is 330 000
So to get the additional 10 tank and 20 PG divisions in three years, would swallow approximate the same manpower as LW.
But manpower wise, 2 Inf divisions spent the manpower of 3 tank divisions,
while Infantry and Panzer Grenadier was more or less equal.
So with no manpower expansion at all we could have replaced 26,5 infantry divisions with 10 tank and 20 PG divisions.

Scrap the RAD and the yearly allocation of 300 000 to 400 000 men during 1936 -1940 according to German wiki,
could start their military training six month earlier gives you aprox 10 infantry divisions ahead of actual schedule.
( but still the same young men- not double counted, but compressed in time to get them available before Barbarossa)

That gives us
+ 30 mobile divisions and
- 16 infantry divisions.
at the cost of some work battalions, some border fortifications, some miles of autobahn and some marshes not dried pre war.

So now we have to squeeze up an additional 16 German infantry divisions to reach posit of this scenario.
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jul 2019 02:04
BTW, the expansion of the Panzerwaffe was dependent on the ten training battalions available as of June 1940.
I find it reasonable that you bring up the issue of training,
but claiming it would be dependent on exactly ten units as an insurmountable limitation,
that's the "did not happen, could not happen" attitude.

Cheers
/John

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Jul 2019 20:58

JohnT wrote:Could it not be reasonable to expect that the training capacity also extended by 50%?
Indeed.
But also there might not be a need for increased total manpower for training. Hitler gave an "armaments holiday" to much of the Heer immediately after France; retaining some of that force retains the manpower for a larger training program during latter 1940.

OTL the spasmodic shifts in weapons production priority during 1940 caused a precipitous decline in German labor productivity as workers were shifting from artillery production elsewhere and programs for war with the Anglosphere ramped up. I haven't seen specific analysis but I'd bet the workers released briefly to industry were extremely unproductive - maybe counterproductive as integrating them, only to lose them a few months later, would have been disruptive. A strategically coherent vision of the war (i.e. planning to attack SU after France much earlier) would have prevented these spasms and increased the productivity of existing labor.
John T wrote:especially 1938-39 their effort to build the Ost & West wall was a waste of time and money.
I mentioned in one of my early posts that Germany would spend less on fortifications from 1938, relying instead on its bigger army. With perfect hindsight of course you'd just scrap any fortification building from that period on at the latest.
Gives us a ball park of a manpower pool of 1 500 000 men in three years.(38-40)
I like that you're thinking "outside the box."
Again the heart of the ATL is Hitler foresees a much bigger threat from the SU and prepares accordingly. This changed strategic picture opens up many labor-saving initiatives employed OTL once the threat in the East became clear. Manning the Flak artillerie with more auxiliaries, for example, can free up tens of thousands of men even in 1941.

Upthread I mention increased labor substitution from Europe as well. Foreign workers in Germany increased by a factor of at least four between spring 1941 and the peak in 1944. OTL Germany did not have a coherent strategy for the Western European economies immediately after the Fall of France, in part because Hitler didn't have a coherent strategy regarding his next move. What should have been clear is that the economies of Western Europe were going to collapse given the blockade and their reliance on imports. Germany could barely feed/fuel/supply its own economy so it couldn't help. Rather than acknowledge this reality, various parts of the German state envisioned using Western Europe's industrial base to produce weapons, while other parts of the state and private entrepeneurs raided haphazardly for equity holdings and for favorable contracts (now that Germany had a monopoly on demand). Rather than this haphazard picture, a coherent strategic outlook would have recognized Western Europe as primarily a source of skilled and unskilled labor, with a few consumption-substitution measures placed with French firms. Germany could have used both carrot and stick for labor recruitment: reduce French rations below the somewhat generous OTL level, increase rations for workers in Germany. Trade workers for POW's as happened later in the war. Tie exports to labor provision as well, which has the synergistic effect of accelerating underemployment in occupied countries and thereby further pushing workers into Germany.

With a greater flow of French/Belgian/Dutch workers underway by latter 1940 (and more Poles btw) and labor-saving measures like Flak auxiliaries, Germany can expand its number of formations. Confident in a flow of replacement European workers, the replacement portions of the Ersatzheer (as opposed to its training portions) can be inserted into the Heer to fill out vacancies left by creating new formations.

Let's not forget the broad picture: Using the initiative described above and others, Germany inducted ~2.9 million men into the Wehrmacht during 1941-42. By the end of the war ~12mil more men had served than were under arms in 1940. Let's not let the trees obscure the forest.
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Re: What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2019 06:12

There was no bigger threat from the SU, there was even no threat from the SU ,and thus no need for Barbarossa til it was obvious that Britain would continue the war .
If Britain gave up in 1940 ,there would be no Barbarossa in 1941 .
And saying that Germany could have produced before Barbarossa what it produced after Barbarossa,is saying that US could have produced in 1942 what it produced in 1943 .
It is totally ignoring the fact that a war economy is as a big oil tanker : it takes time to change its direction ,and Germany had no time .It took a year to build a UBoat and to make him operational, to build a plant, to make a division.It took a year to train the crew of a bomber, it took time to build a tank, to train the crew of a tank .
The increased aircraft production in 1942 had been made possible by the pre war measures from Milch and Goering,etc,etc ...
The proposed ATL is wishful thinking, it could not be done .

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

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2019 09:49

For the period December 1941-April 1942, the WM asked an additional 1.010.000 men.
December : 151000
January 325000
February 236000
March 265000
April 33000
Source : Eichholtz P 193
OTOH, in September 1940 5,3 million Germans were working directly/indirectly in the industry for the WM,which was more than 50 % of the total .(Same source )
A long Barbarossa would result in the need for more workers and more soldiers,something that was impossible in a period of less than 1 year .
There were NO millions of additional French, Belgians, Dutch willing to work in Germany in the pre Barbarossa period : The German agriculture asked for an additional 500000 men. Where would Germany get them ?

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