One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2019 06:17

It is also not so ,as has been claimed in post 103,that the Germans were bad in logistics.They were as good/bad as the others . The allied advance stagnated in August 1944 due to the German resistance and to logistic problems : the Red Ball Express failed to supply the advancing armies .Bagration did not result in the capture of Berlin,due to the German resistance and due to logistic problems .
No one would have done better than the Germans in the summer of 1941 ,because the outcome of Barbarossa depended on the Soviets, not on the Germans .And all attempts to change this by ATL will fail .

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Aug 2019 06:28

ljadw wrote:the outcome of Barbarossa depended on the Soviets, not on the Germans. And all attempts to change this by ATL will fail .
Right. It wasn't even a Soviet-Nazi war. It was a Soviet-Soviet war. Even had the Germans captured every single Soviet soldier, as long as the Soviets made the right decisions (in captivity) the Germans still would have lost. Soviets are infinite; Germans are discrete. The population and manpower of the SU cannot be written until AHF moves to a quantum server.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Terry Duncan » 15 Aug 2019 11:06

Sometimes, the conclusion of a famous general might just turn out to be true, 'The Germans will find that they are not strong enough for the task they have chosen to undertake'. The lack of numbers against the USSR is a major handicap, as is the problem of dealing with the vast spaces involved in invading Russia. You need large numbers of troops behind the lines the further you advance, rather like depleted the army of Napoleon in 1812, not just the transport staff. It could just be that other than a further 50 million Germans in total, there is little that will lead to a successful attack on the USSR by Germany in 1941.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Takao » 15 Aug 2019 12:04

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2019 06:17
It is also not so ,as has been claimed in post 103,that the Germans were bad in logistics.They were as good/bad as the others . The allied advance stagnated in August 1944 due to the German resistance and to logistic problems : the Red Ball Express failed to supply the advancing armies .Bagration did not result in the capture of Berlin,due to the German resistance and due to logistic problems .
No one would have done better than the Germans in the summer of 1941 ,because the outcome of Barbarossa depended on the Soviets, not on the Germans .And all attempts to change this by ATL will fail .
Ummm...The Red Ball Express was not conceived until August 25, 1944.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2019 12:18

The ATL from the Marcksplan totally denies the existence of the Red Army . It is as if there was no one on the other side of the front and as if the Germans had no opponents .
Saying that the Germans could have won with a few more Panzer and motorised divisions, is to ignore that in 1941 the Germans had 140 divisions + 9 security divisions and failed, but that in 1942 they had 165 divisions and 12 security divisions, but also failed . This proves that the strength of the Ostheer in June 1941 was not decisive and that one additional Panzergroup would not help them .As Christian Gerlach was writing: Barbarossa was founded on the hope that suddenly and very soon a Deus ex Machina would happen : a Soviet collaps.
In German :
die Hoffnung auf einen sowjetischen ''Zusammenbruch'' wie auf einen deus ex machina .

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 15 Aug 2019 14:32

Operational tieners of Generals Heinz Guderian and George S Patton ,George A Higgins Biblioscholar 2012 is an analysis of the operational methods of Guderian and Patton.One of the tieners of Guderian was momentum.On Page 45 it is stated:""My views concerning the next stage of operations was as follows:to detach the minimum of the panzer group for the destruction of the russians in the Bialydtok pocket,while leaving the major part of this operation for the following infantry armies:thus our rapidly mobile,motorised forces would be able to push forward and seize the first operational objective of the campaign...."Evidently Guderians concern was that valuable and irreplaceable combat power needed for achievement of operational objectives would be diissipated by using panzer and panzer grenadier divisions to reduce enemy pockets of resistance.Moroveover and this is more fundamental,Guderian thought such pauses in the tempo of operations would destroy the momentum of the attack,allow the enemy to establish coherent defenses,and seriously jeopardize the attainment of operational objectives"The following is said on p.46:"A surprise armor attack-surprising in it's location,force composition,changing direction.and speed-enabled his panzer units to punch through weak defensive areas into the rear of tactical defenses.Taken by themselves,however such procedures would not,Guderian thought,be sufficient.He thought maintenance of momentum was essential if seizure of operational objectives.and.hence.operational devisiveness we're to be achieved.Therefore he sought to move panzer operations and corps among parallel axes towards operational objectives.But in order to maintain a high tempo of operations congested areas and enemy centers of resistance had to be bypassed.And mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance,otherwise.speed and momentum and eventually,the initiative would be lost".

So for the momentum of an offensive to be maintained,reducing of pockets needed to be left as much as possible to the infantry.Mobile forces need to keep pushing forward...Leakage from pockets is not so important when mobile units far bypass the pockets.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by MarkN » 15 Aug 2019 17:10

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 05:45
It's not about making German logistics *good* - that's too much to ask IMO because the Germans sucked at logistics.
It's simply about setting up the obvious logistics conditions for typically-bad German logistics behind a slightly larger army in 1941, and then having better rail connections in 1942.
The Heer logistics planners and implementers were very good. In practice the Heer logistics system performed better than planned.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 05:45
Such a need wasn't obvious to OKH pre-Barbarossa because the strategic conception assumed supplying the full Ostheer for only a short campaign. Germany showed itself capable of at least addressing obvious strategic logistical needs in preparing for campaigns; a different strategic conception of Barbarossa would have entailed different planning for the different obvious strategic logistical needs.
The Heer leadership was incapable of looking beyond a quick campaign because it went against every conceptual belief they were taught, believed and held dear.

TheMarcksPlan fantasy Heer seems to have changed direction in its understanding of how to conduct offensive operations about 1938. However, TheMarcksPlan has failed to explain what effect that change would have on the various military expeditions prior to BARBAROSSA as well as the effect on structure to the Heer itself.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2019 18:02

Aida1 wrote:
15 Aug 2019 14:32
Operational tieners of Generals Heinz Guderian and George S Patton ,George A Higgins Biblioscholar 2012 is an analysis of the operational methods of Guderian and Patton.One of the tieners of Guderian was momentum.On Page 45 it is stated:""My views concerning the next stage of operations was as follows:to detach the minimum of the panzer group for the destruction of the russians in the Bialydtok pocket,while leaving the major part of this operation for the following infantry armies:thus our rapidly mobile,motorised forces would be able to push forward and seize the first operational objective of the campaign...."Evidently Guderians concern was that valuable and irreplaceable combat power needed for achievement of operational objectives would be diissipated by using panzer and panzer grenadier divisions to reduce enemy pockets of resistance.Moroveover and this is more fundamental,Guderian thought such pauses in the tempo of operations would destroy the momentum of the attack,allow the enemy to establish coherent defenses,and seriously jeopardize the attainment of operational objectives"The following is said on p.46:"A surprise armor attack-surprising in it's location,force composition,changing direction.and speed-enabled his panzer units to punch through weak defensive areas into the rear of tactical defenses.Taken by themselves,however such procedures would not,Guderian thought,be sufficient.He thought maintenance of momentum was essential if seizure of operational objectives.and.hence.operational devisiveness we're to be achieved.Therefore he sought to move panzer operations and corps among parallel axes towards operational objectives.But in order to maintain a high tempo of operations congested areas and enemy centers of resistance had to be bypassed.And mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance,otherwise.speed and momentum and eventually,the initiative would be lost".

So for the momentum of an offensive to be maintained,reducing of pockets needed to be left as much as possible to the infantry.Mobile forces need to keep pushing forward...Leakage from pockets is not so important when mobile units far bypass the pockets.
There is no reason to pay attention to what was saying after the war Guderian, who was only a bad general who in collaboration with Hart was creating his own myth .
If mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance, they could not obtain decisive results .

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Aug 2019 20:00

Terry Duncan wrote:The lack of numbers against the USSR is a major handicap, as is the problem of dealing with the vast spaces involved in invading Russia. You need large numbers of troops behind the lines the further you advance, rather like depleted the army of Napoleon in 1812, not just the transport staff. It could just be that other than a further 50 million Germans in total, there is little that will lead to a successful attack on the USSR by Germany in 1941.
It *could* be, but I've proposed a very specific ATL about German victory and invite you to respond to my specific assertions.

For instance, how does an SU that has lost everything up to the Volga continue to fight effectively? That's a country with a ~60mil population and no significant oil supplies. Its only Lend Lease conduit is Vladivostok (Archangel and the Persian route are cut off), through which military material isn't allowed and which has a discrete capacity. It seems obvious to me that an SU left only its western territories is no longer a great power - Germany can screen its East with a smallish Ostheer and with allies.

How does Germany get there? I have put forward a path to that as well, which you don't address. If Germany actually succeeds in the opening weeks of Barbarossa instead of failing - i.e. if Germany encircles the bulk of Soviet forces - then things look much different. In the second half of July Germany is facing ~30% weaker forces than OTL and can again do two massive encirclements (Ukraine and Smolensk) instead of one. In September Germany is facing ~40% weaker forces than OTL. SU loses Leningrad, all of Ukraine, and southern Russia up to the Don during 1941. In 1942 they're significantly weaker and Germany significantly stronger, enabling Blau to be accompanied by a successful German Moscow offensive. That means no counterattack against Blau (i.e. no Stalingrad) and SU loses the Volga basin, putting us at the point where the SU is no longer a great power by the end of 1942.

In 1943 Hitler can either make a peace treaty with Stalin or push to to the Urals, capture of which leaves the SU with a population of ~20mil plus the Central Asian republics which are unlikely to stay on side.

We need to look at the particulars of the Eastern Front, not at generalities about the SU and its size/space. Stalin could not afford to lose too much territory in the Western SU, a fact that his "not a step back" order of 1942 acknowledged. The 1942 SU was stretched to the breaking point, experiencing excessive internal mortality due to malnutrition-induced diseases and starvation as it mobilized everything to stop the Germans. The additional strategic losses I describe might have caused internal collapse; even if they didn't they would prevent the SU from fielding more than 4mil men against the Germans by the start of 1943.

Let's take a step back and look at the population/economic fundamentals at play:
  • German 1940 population was ~80mil (Germans within the Greater Reich only)
  • SU 1940 population, excluding newly-conquered territories, was ~165mil
  • OTL Barbarossa reduced the SU's population base by ~50mil; my ATL 1941 reduces it by another ~20mil (loss of Leningrad and surrounding areas in the north, loss of eastern Ukraine and southern Russia to the Don).
  • 1942 population balances is ~80mil Germans versus ~95mil Soviets.
  • German economy is about twice SU's by this point, as SU has lost most of its heavy industrial base.
Given the greater combat power of German soldiers and greater German economic power, the real force imbalance at the front should be ~3-1 if Germany can focus on Russia only. Of course Germany can't focus only on Russia, but even if it's 70% focused in the east, German combat power should be far in excess of Soviet.

Here's the basic fact: Germany was a more powerful country than SU even before Barbarossa; if we let Germany keep its OTL Barbarossa sucker-punch that massively wounds the SU, then the economic/demographic fundamentals heavily favor German victory in '42-'43. Folks often forget how devastating the OTL Barbarossa was to the SU.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 15 Aug 2019 20:36

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2019 18:02
Aida1 wrote:
15 Aug 2019 14:32
Operational tieners of Generals Heinz Guderian and George S Patton ,George A Higgins Biblioscholar 2012 is an analysis of the operational methods of Guderian and Patton.One of the tieners of Guderian was momentum.On Page 45 it is stated:""My views concerning the next stage of operations was as follows:to detach the minimum of the panzer group for the destruction of the russians in the Bialydtok pocket,while leaving the major part of this operation for the following infantry armies:thus our rapidly mobile,motorised forces would be able to push forward and seize the first operational objective of the campaign...."Evidently Guderians concern was that valuable and irreplaceable combat power needed for achievement of operational objectives would be diissipated by using panzer and panzer grenadier divisions to reduce enemy pockets of resistance.Moroveover and this is more fundamental,Guderian thought such pauses in the tempo of operations would destroy the momentum of the attack,allow the enemy to establish coherent defenses,and seriously jeopardize the attainment of operational objectives"The following is said on p.46:"A surprise armor attack-surprising in it's location,force composition,changing direction.and speed-enabled his panzer units to punch through weak defensive areas into the rear of tactical defenses.Taken by themselves,however such procedures would not,Guderian thought,be sufficient.He thought maintenance of momentum was essential if seizure of operational objectives.and.hence.operational devisiveness we're to be achieved.Therefore he sought to move panzer operations and corps among parallel axes towards operational objectives.But in order to maintain a high tempo of operations congested areas and enemy centers of resistance had to be bypassed.And mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance,otherwise.speed and momentum and eventually,the initiative would be lost".

So for the momentum of an offensive to be maintained,reducing of pockets needed to be left as much as possible to the infantry.Mobile forces need to keep pushing forward...Leakage from pockets is not so important when mobile units far bypass the pockets.
There is no reason to pay attention to what was saying after the war Guderian, who was only a bad general who in collaboration with Hart was creating his own myth .
If mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance, they could not obtain decisive results .
I am not surprised you do not even try to refute anything from the study i quoted except by making a bland statement we are to accept at face value.You should actually read the study.It would make you understand what the role of mobile forces really is and it is not reducing pockets.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Aug 2019 21:54

ljadw wrote:If mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance, they could not obtain decisive results .
This entire debate is ignoring the most important point:

THERE ARE NO POCKETS TO REDUCE WITHOUT THE MOBILE UNITS

The Ostheer NEVER executed a major encirclement with standard ID's only.

No, you don't want the mobile divisions "tied down" with reducing the pockets.
Yes, the mobile divisions are essential to forming the pockets.

At some point the focus of the battle shifts from pocket formation to pocket reduction.
This is not a fine line, however. While waiting for the ID's to catch up, the mobile divisions must fend off breakout attempts from within and break-in attempts from without.
If the surrounded enemy simply sat still and waited for its supplies to run out then, yes, you wouldn't want to use any of your mobile forces to reduce the surrounded enemy.
But of course that's not how it works: the surrounded forces attack the inner encirclement ring while relief forces attack the outer encirclement ring.
You can call the resulting battles "pocket reduction" if you want, in which case yes, the mobile divisions are going to be involved in the initial stages of pocket reduction as a matter of necessity.
Once the ID's have caught up, you want to release the mobile forces from the pockets and from defending the outer rings of encirclement.
You want to do this to (1) sustain the advance to the next objective and/or (2) preserve the mobile divisions' power for the next advance.

Sometimes (1) is impossible due to logistical constraints. That was plainly true after Smolensk, when AGC required an operational pause before the next stage. Even Guderian and Hoth recognized this fact. Nontheless, it was important to hand over pocket reduction to the ID's as quickly as possible for reason (2).

Folks emphasizing ID role in pocket reduction aren't wrong about that, they're just ignoring how you form pockets in the first place.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by MarkN » 15 Aug 2019 22:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 21:54
ljadw wrote:If mobile forces could not be tied up reducing pockets of resistance, they could not obtain decisive results .
This entire debate is ignoring the most important point:

THERE ARE NO POCKETS TO REDUCE WITHOUT THE MOBILE UNITS

The Ostheer NEVER executed a major encirclement with standard ID's only.

No, you don't want the mobile divisions "tied down" with reducing the pockets.
Yes, the mobile divisions are essential to forming the pockets.

At some point the focus of the battle shifts from pocket formation to pocket reduction.
This is not a fine line, however. While waiting for the ID's to catch up, the mobile divisions must fend off breakout attempts from within and break-in attempts from without.
Once the ID's have caught up, you want to release the mobile forces from the pockets and from defending the outer rings of encirclement.

You want to do this to (1) sustain the advance to the next objective and/or (2) preserve the mobile divisions' power for the next advance.

Sometimes (1) is impossible due to logistical constraints. That was plainly true after Smolensk, when AGC required an operational pause before the next stage. Even Guderian and Hoth recognized this fact. Nontheless, it was important to hand over pocket reduction to the ID's as quickly as possible for reason (2).

Folks emphasizing ID role in pocket reduction aren't wrong about that, they're just ignoring how you form pockets in the first place.
Yes, but.....

The concentration of motorized and armored forces into just 4 pantser groups was a product of panzerwaffe thinking concerning how to do war quickly.

In TheMarcksPlan fantasy scenario, the Heer drops its decades long concept of quick offensive wars through deep destabilizing penetrations and assumes a war strategy of a longer drawn out war of attrition.

Thus there is unlikely to be a concentration of motorized and armored forces and thus nobody to form the pockets.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Terry Duncan » 15 Aug 2019 23:45

As I have to act as a mod here to try and keep things civil, I cannot get drawn too much into the discussion and so have limited my comments to simple observations overall, however, I will answer some of what you propose.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
It *could* be, but I've proposed a very specific ATL about German victory and invite you to respond to my specific assertions.
I posted a very specific comment from Alfred von Schlieffen 'The German people may well find that the task they have chosen to undertake is too great for them' or similar translations was his own verdict on his own war plan while still in office as CoS! Much the same applies in WWII with the same two front war problem. There really may well not be enough Germans to fight such a war with any chance of success?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
For instance, how does an SU that has lost everything up to the Volga continue to fight effectively? That's a country with a ~60mil population and no significant oil supplies.
The USSR has shipped many of its key industries east long before the Germans were able to seize them, and had no long range bombers to strike at them where they were relocated, so this is going to be a major problem still. The USSE with -60 million people is still a USSR with 90 million, 15 million more people than the greater Germany you are using here, so even without counting German losses to the point they reach the Volga line (as well as IF) the numbers still favour the USSR. Oil may be an issue, but it is possible to ship it through Persia also, and Germany also has limited oil supplies in the first place. There remains a route via Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan into the USSR heading north to Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg/Sverdlovsk.

The other problem here is the Germans need to provide garrisons, guards, and general 'police' forces for all the land up to the Volga or where ever they do get to, which will cut down on front line troops and the ability to remain mobile. It is a long front, there is a massive conquered 'interior' that has many partisan forces conducting long term operations against supply lines, and of course the inevitable losses than need to be replaced. The USSR does have problems, but so do German armoured forces when they meet the T 34 and KV 1 units so losses in experienced men will likely be heavy. There is also the fact it is hard to hide so many more mobile armoured units, so quite how the USSR would have responded prior to the attack can only be a matter of guess work.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
How does Germany get there? I have put forward a path to that as well, which you don't address.
To be fair, when pointing out an issue with the numbers and distances involved I dont have to provide answers for every single point you raise, and WWII is not a specific area of knowledge for me.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
If Germany actually succeeds in the opening weeks of Barbarossa instead of failing - i.e. if Germany encircles the bulk of Soviet forces - then things look much different. In the second half of July Germany is facing ~30% weaker forces than OTL and can again do two massive encirclements (Ukraine and Smolensk) instead of one. In September Germany is facing ~40% weaker forces than OTL. SU loses Leningrad, all of Ukraine, and southern Russia up to the Don during 1941. In 1942 they're significantly weaker and Germany significantly stronger, enabling Blau to be accompanied by a successful German Moscow offensive. That means no counterattack against Blau (i.e. no Stalingrad) and SU loses the Volga basin, putting us at the point where the SU is no longer a great power by the end of 1942.
The 'kesselschlacht' operations proved much more costly to the Germans than they expected, so presumably they too will suffer larger losses in this scenario. As to fighting in Leningrad and Stalingrad, good luck with that one, the losses will be huge even if there is no Uranus counterattack before the end of 1942.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
We need to look at the particulars of the Eastern Front, not at generalities about the SU and its size/space. Stalin could not afford to lose too much territory in the Western SU, a fact that his "not a step back" order of 1942 acknowledged.
Given the Gemran policy towards all the conquered peoples the USSR is unlikely to make peace or even need to think about it, as German actions firmly set the people against them for the most part. Stalin simply has to fight an attritional war, Rzhev doesnt get the publicity now but shows what would be possible all through 1942 in place of the overly ambitious operations like Kharkov that only led to more encirclements as the USSR was not really well enough prepared for offensives at that point. Given your projected operations in 1941 it is hardly a stretch to suggest the USSR strategy in 1942 will be almost entirely defensive and attritional.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
Given the greater combat power of German soldiers and greater German economic power, the real force imbalance at the front should be ~3-1 if Germany can focus on Russia only. Of course Germany can't focus only on Russia, but even if it's 70% focused in the east, German combat power should be far in excess of Soviet.
A German with a gun is much the equal of a Russian with a gun, the combat power rests mostly with experience and command, the former will certainly have been considerably weakened by 1942. Economic power is harder to gauge, Germany has a larger industrial base but struggles with key materials and cannot import them, whilst the USSR still can and has relocated much of the key war industry and it is coming back online by the end of 1942. Even in your scenario which doesnt count German losses, the USSR can afford to lose at least 2 million men in attritional battles and still have more manpower than your starting maximum for Germany by 3 million men. The losses on the spearheads and experienced men is always the highest so German efficiency is possibly only about equal by the end of 1942.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:00
Here's the basic fact: Germany was a more powerful country than SU even before Barbarossa; if we let Germany keep its OTL Barbarossa sucker-punch that massively wounds the SU, then the economic/demographic fundamentals heavily favor German victory in '42-'43. Folks often forget how devastating the OTL Barbarossa was to the SU.
And the German still lost after all that. People forget that in the Headingly test match in 1981 the Australians totally dominated the game for 4 days until a last wicket partnership after tea on the 4th day between Botham and Dilley, all they remember is the 5th day and that England won. The GGS prior to WWI accepted they could overrun large areas of Russia and still not win in the end, and after doing so in WWI lost in 1918 whilst still having over a million men in the east trying to hang on to what they had taken, which brings me back to where I began.

Moltke the Elder concluded Germany was incapable of winning a long war against Russia in a two front war scenario of any sort, Moltke the Younger came to very similar conclusions, and as noted earlier, so did Schlieffen too. That only leaves Waldersee to consider for the 1870 - 1941 period, and he was the man who first decided the only solution was to knock France out of the war at the start in order to prevent having to fight a two front war that had already been declared as beyond Germany to win. What were the opinions of Hitler's generals about a war with the USSR whilst Britain remained in the war? I am not sure if I recall correctly, but believe they too considered it beyond them to win, and that is when they were grossly underestimating the strength of the USSR entirely.

There really may well not be enough Germans to win Hitler's WWII scenario.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Aug 2019 02:52

TerryDuncan wrote:The USSE with -60 million people is still a USSR with 90 million, 15 million more people than the greater Germany you are using here
I said ~60mil for USSR east of the Volga, I use the "~" as "approximately".
TerryDuncan wrote:Germans need to provide garrisons, guards, and general 'police' forces for all the land up to the Volga or where ever they do get to, which will cut down on front line troops and the ability to remain mobile.
Do you have any evidence of an impact on mobility? Garrison troops didn't have much, if any, motorized authorization.
What's your expected magnitude of occupying troops? In Barbarossa Germany had only a few security divisions and, with its allies, was able to maintain adequate security.
The allies alone probably could have maintained security in an expanded occupation zone.
Plus partisan activity was sensitive to the course of the war and was lower when it looked like the Germans would win. Few men like to fight voluntarily for lost causes after all. So greater German success means less security burden.
I appreciate that this isn't your specialty interest area but I'd still want to see evidence of a claim before crediting it.
TerryDuncan wrote:The 'kesselschlacht' operations proved much more costly to the Germans than they expected
Is there any evidence that's true? AGC reported only ~12,000 casualties in the Minsk/Bialystok battle.
It's surely true that Germany lost more men than expected in Barbarossa, but that's largely because they expected large-scale fighting for 6 weeks or so.
AG's North and South had minimal Kessel fighting for the first few months.
The Ostheer had ~300,000 replacements ready when it launched Barbarossa, those were sufficient to cover the first couple months' losses.
Terry Duncan wrote:As to fighting in Leningrad and Stalingrad, good luck with that one, the losses will be huge even if there is no Uranus counterattack before the end of 1942.
Ostheer wasn't going to fight IN Leningrad; they were going to surround and starve it and its defenders.
Same could have happened to Stalingrad if Ostheer had had operational freedom around that city.
Terry Duncan wrote:A German with a gun is much the equal of a Russian with a gun, the combat power rests mostly with experience and command, the former will certainly have been considerably weakened by 1942
There's no situation in which the Soviets win with numerical parity.
If you look at the 1942 campaign, the German qualitative edge was arguably higher than in 1941. Operation Blau's summer offensive was outnumbered ~1.6 to 1 but advanced hundreds of kilometers, smashing several defensive lines. The Germans were at or near their peak in 1942.
Terry Duncan wrote:The losses on the spearheads and experienced men is always the highest so German efficiency is possibly only about equal by the end of 1942.
OTL the German army's Combat Effectiveness Value exceeded the Red Army's right through Berlin. There's really not much serious historical debate about this.
Terry Duncan wrote:What were the opinions of Hitler's generals about a war with the USSR whilst Britain remained in the war? I am not sure if I recall correctly, but believe they too considered it beyond them to win, and that is when they were grossly underestimating the strength of the USSR entirely.
The German generals were more optimistic about the campaign than Hitler himself. General Halder wrote in his diary during July that the war had already been won. Most of the German generals thought, basically, we take Moscow in a couple months and "poof" the SU disappears. Hitler actually expressed misgivings and anxieties about the attack, none of which his senior commanders took seriously.
Terry Duncan wrote:Moltke the Elder concluded Germany was incapable of winning a long war against Russia in a two front war scenario of any sort, Moltke the Younger came to very similar conclusions, and as noted earlier, so did Schlieffen too.
These are smart dudes but obviously they weren't considering the 1941 facts.
Plus Germany wasn't really fighting a two-front war in 1941-43. At most it's a "1.1 to 1.5 front" war depending on where in that period we are.
The SU arguably had a greater portion of its forces watching Japan in 1941 than did Germany watching England.
Terry Duncan wrote:which brings me back to where I began.
I appreciate that you engaged with my points and I especially appreciate your admission that WW2 isn't a particular area of expertise. Most folks here would rather die than say that.
As with any war or historical topic, there's a Conventional Wisdom narrative and a more nuanced narrative. I'm sure you could teach me where I'm stuck in CW about WW1 for instance.
Here I think you may be more influenced by the CW than you think, and unaware of richer analyses of WW2.
It's not just I who thinks this way - I'd recommend Richard Overy's "Why the Allies Won," for example, for an extremely thorough historian's argument that the Allies won because they made better strategic decisions than the Axis, not merely because they had more men and material.
The SU had a lot of men and territory but by 1942 it was in real danger of destruction.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Aug 2019 04:47

Terry Duncan wrote:The USSR has shipped many of its key industries east long before the Germans were able to seize them,
Meant to respond to this point...
The primary constraint on SU's arms output was labor, not physical plant. Many of the factories evacuated eastwards sat idle in railcars for lack of labor. The SU was unable to evacuate all of its workers from occupied territories and wouldn't have been able to feed them had it done so.

I'm getting these facts mostly from Harrison and Barber's "The Soviet Home Front 1939-1945", an excellent compendium of the economic and food issues confronting the SU during the war.
Terry Duncan wrote: Oil may be an issue, but it is possible to ship it through Persia also, and Germany also has limited oil supplies in the first place. There remains a route via Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan into the USSR heading north to Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg/Sverdlovsk.
True enough but it would take a while to build up the infrastructure (mostly rail) through that corridor and time would not be on the SU's side. UK and SU invaded Iran in 1941 but supplies didn't start moving in large quantities until months later after much investment in infrastucture.

In addition, shipping via the Persian corridor was extremely expensive in terms of Allied shipping capacity. Until the fall of Sicily, the route from US/UK went around Africa rather than through the Mediterranean. Given that shipping space constrained Allied strategic operations until 1944 or so, it's not possible to significantly increase the Persian route over OTL without a big hit to Allied operations elsewhere. For a good description of the issues, see: https://history.army.mil/books/70-7_09.htm

It's true that abandonment of the Persia route would mean greater Western power to invade Europe, but the US and UK were in agreement that if Russia collapsed there would be no invasion of Europe until after dealing with Japan. Even then, I doubt they ever would have invaded. Maybe Roosevelt would want to do so but Churchill almost certainly would not.
Terry Duncan wrote:There is also the fact it is hard to hide so many more mobile armoured units, so quite how the USSR would have responded prior to the attack can only be a matter of guess work.
I'm adding 5 divisions; the Germans massed over 140 divisions on the border OTL. Hard to see 5 divisions making the difference.
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