Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9488
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Apr 2021 09:46

Hi ljadw,

And yet North Korea has done precisely that for generations! It is nor "impossible", whatever other drawbacks it may entail.

You post, "In June 1940 ,without Barbarossa, Hitler ordered to bring back the army on 120 divisions." Yup, but with Barbarossa in the planning for the following year.

Why would there need to be (1) 60 divisions to occupy European Russia and (2) why would these need to be in addition to 120 other divisions? Similarly, why would any circum-Mediterranean occupation force need to be 50 divisions strong? Where is the threat coming from if the Axis hold the entire Mediterranean coastline?

Much of the French army in North Africa was locally recruited and not for local defence. It was to reinforce the manpower-strapped French Metropolitan Army in France itself. This would not be an issue for Germany, though it, too, had the option of recruiting locally.

In 1939 Britain ran a worldwide Empire of reluctant subjects with just two formed divisions in the UK and two(ish) in the Middle East. You don't need masses of field divisions to hold down territory. The British Empire largely occupied itself through local recruitment. In practice the Germans subcontracted much of their anti-partisan operations to allies and collaborators.

Certainly occupying such large swathes of territory might prove a massive long-term embuggerance at the levels of commitment you propose, but why do you assume that most of it would require such large numbers of German field divisions?

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9488
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Apr 2021 09:53

Hi ljadw,

You post,

"Strength of the Flak in Germany, without the occupied countries and without the Flak units used for ground fighting
1942 : 400000
1943 : 600000
1944 : 900000"


This may or may not be true, but it has absolutely no evidential value if you provide no verifiable sources.

Where did you get that from?

Cheers,

Sid.

KDF33
Member
Posts: 943
Joined: 17 Nov 2012 01:16

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by KDF33 » 02 Apr 2021 16:01

ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:32
The German fighters could not prevent air attacks on German cities, only the Flak could do this .
Your personal opinion, lacking all supporting evidence.
ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:32
The aim of the Goering program was to defend the German cities,the industry and the occupied territories . This could not be done by aircraft .
Nope. The aim of the Göring-Programm was something far more specific:

1. Build three new large aircraft factories as well as an additional aircraft engine factory. The preliminary target was to produce 3,000 aircraft per month by June 1942.
2. Double light metal production, most prominently aluminum.
3. Increase avgas production to 390,000 tons per month.

That's it. No mention of Flak.
ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:32
Source for the one -armed WSS is the diaries of Goebbels, which I no longer have .
As I expected: a half-remembered anecdote.
ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:32
And, what Leonov meant with the Soviet manpower pool has nothing to do with the fact ( also mentioned in Germany and WW 2) that already in 1941 Germany had big manpower problems .
Notice ljadw's shifting of the goalposts. He previously asserted that the manpower pool was "empty". Now he writes of "big problems".

Here is some actual data:

15.06.1941: Wehrmacht has 7,309,000 personnel
04.11.1942 : Wehrmacht has 9,750,000 personnel
01.12.1943: Wehrmacht has 10,324,985 personnel
01.07.1944: Wehrmacht has 10,220,000 personnel

Mobilization by year is:

1.6.1941 - 31.5.1942: 2,050,000
1.6.1942 - 31.5.1943: 1,800,000
1.6.1943 - 31.5.1944: 1,150,000

Source is here.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 02 Apr 2021 19:58

No shifting of the goalposts : in 1941 Germany had big manpower problems . In 1943 the manpower pool was empty .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 02 Apr 2021 20:05

Sid Guttridge wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:53
Hi ljadw,

You post,

"Strength of the Flak in Germany, without the occupied countries and without the Flak units used for ground fighting
1942 : 400000
1943 : 600000
1944 : 900000"


This may or may not be true, but it has absolutely no evidential value if you provide no verifiable sources.

Where did you get that from?

Cheers,

Sid.
Source :
Statista : Stärke der deutschen Flakbesatzungen im Reichsgebiet im Zweiten Weltkrieg in den Jahren 1942-1944
1942 : 439000
1943 : 600000
1944 : 900000

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 02 Apr 2021 21:00

Sid Guttridge wrote:
02 Apr 2021 09:46
Hi ljadw,

And yet North Korea has done precisely that for generations! It is nor "impossible", whatever other drawbacks it may entail.

You post, "In June 1940 ,without Barbarossa, Hitler ordered to bring back the army on 120 divisions." Yup, but with Barbarossa in the planning for the following year.

Why would there need to be (1) 60 divisions to occupy European Russia and (2) why would these need to be in addition to 120 other divisions? Similarly, why would any circum-Mediterranean occupation force need to be 50 divisions strong? Where is the threat coming from if the Axis hold the entire Mediterranean coastline?

Much of the French army in North Africa was locally recruited and not for local defence. It was to reinforce the manpower-strapped French Metropolitan Army in France itself. This would not be an issue for Germany, though it, too, had the option of recruiting locally.

In 1939 Britain ran a worldwide Empire of reluctant subjects with just two formed divisions in the UK and two(ish) in the Middle East. You don't need masses of field divisions to hold down territory. The British Empire largely occupied itself through local recruitment. In practice the Germans subcontracted much of their anti-partisan operations to allies and collaborators.

Certainly occupying such large swathes of territory might prove a massive long-term embuggerance at the levels of commitment you propose, but why do you assume that most of it would require such large numbers of German field divisions?

Cheers,

Sid.
1 120 divisions was for the scenario of peace in the West and no war in the East .
2 The OKH/OKW calculated that 50/60 divisions would be needed to occupy the regions west of the Volga/Urals ( a too low figure in my opinion for a population of 100 million + and a surface of 4 million square km ) .The other ones would be needed for the occupation of the other conquests in Europe .
3 For Germany to hold the NA coastline (3613 km ,minus the coast of Libya ) Germany would need a lot of divisions, if not Britain would be back .The same for the ME (Suez-Damascus : 2330 km ).
Don't forget that in 1944 the Wallies dominated the coasts of the ME and of NA and that there were no Axis forces outside Europe in 1944: it would take more than a year for the Axis to recapture what they had lost ad to capture what they never had .
There were two types of French forces in NA : one ,mostly European and one mostly Muslim .
The comparison with Britain is wrong ,because there was no foreign danger for the British possessions in Africa and the ME before September 1939 /June 1940 ,while it was the opposite for Germany : if it withdrew from Tunisia, Britain and the US would take over .
If Germany had defeated the USSR in the Autumn of 1941 resulting in the capitulation of Britain , the manpower demands would be insoluble : 50/60 divisions in the East,60 divisions elsewhere + 30 divisions to occupy Britain and Ireland + a general reserve of 30 divisions in Germany = 180 divisions for the field army ( 3.5 million men ) + the Ersatzheer + the LW + the KM ( Lorient, Dakar, Narvik would become big naval bases ) .All this would constitute a WM of at least 5 million men .
And, this is the scenario where Germany would not be forced to replace Britain and France as colonial rulers in Africa and the ME . There was no way that the Third Reich could survive such a situation .
That North Korea is credited to have a military force of 1,3 million for a population (guessed at 25 million ) does not mean that it was possible for Germany to have in peacetime a military force of 4/5 million men with a population of 80 million .

KDF33
Member
Posts: 943
Joined: 17 Nov 2012 01:16

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by KDF33 » 02 Apr 2021 22:37

ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 19:58
No shifting of the goalposts : in 1941 Germany had big manpower problems . In 1943 the manpower pool was empty .
Interesting how they mobilized 1,765,000 men from 1.6.1943 to 30.9.1944.

I note you haven't acknowledged being refuted about the Göring-Programm or misleading in your interpretation of the anecdote about the one-armed Waffen-SS.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9488
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Apr 2021 09:49

Hi ljadw,

1) 120 divisions was what Hitler intended in mid 1940, when he began planning Barbarossa, not what was necessarily needed to consolidate his existing conquests. Germany needed to be able to mobilise a hundred divisions to match France. Once France (and Poland, and Scandinavia and the Low Countries and the Balkans) were out of the way and the rest of the continent were allies, 100 standing divisions were not needed just to keep at arms length the British, who were never able to raise a large enough army to conduct continental scale operations at any stage.

2) You post, "The OKH/OKW calculated that 50/60 divisions would be needed to occupy the regions west of the Volga/Urals." If needed, there is no reason why they should be additional to those divisions already under arms, many of which existed to guard against the Soviet threat anyway.

3) If the Axis held the entire basin of the Mediterranean, it would not need to garrison any of its shores against seaborne invasion - just the eastern and western approaches against the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

4) Yes, "There were two types of French forces in NA : one ,mostly European and one mostly Muslim ." Most were designated to reinforce metropolitan France in the event of war with Germany.

All your calculations seem to be based on (1) the need to deploy field divisions on occupation duties, for which they are not designed, (2) no peace treaties, (3) no collaborationist regimes or forces. Germany involved field divisions against Partisans behind its lines on the Eastern Front only occasionally, leaving it largely to security divisions, police forces, allies and collaborators to carry most of the burden. Vichy France and half Denmark occupied themselves. Most of the occupation troops in the Balkans were Italian, Bulgarian or Croatian.

You post, "All this would constitute a WM of at least 5 million men." This is less than half the Wehrmacht's full wartime strength.

You post, "That North Korea is credited to have a military force of 1,3 million for a population (guessed at 25 million ) does not mean that it was possible for Germany to have in peacetime a military force of 4/5 million men with a population of 80 million ." It rather does! It may be improbable, inadvisable, burdensome and/or unnecessary, but it was clearly not Impossible.

Cheers,

Sid.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 03 Apr 2021 12:33

Field divisions were needed
a for occupation duties ,because without occupation forces there would be a general revolt
b to protect the coasts and prevent a wally landing .
There were in the HTL NO peace treaties, thus it is questionable to think that there could be peace treaties in the ATL.
About the collaborationist regimes /forces : these rats were leaving the sinking ship and had to be replaced by German forces .
You can't use the existence of a wartime army of 10 million men ,to argue that a 5 million peace army would be possible and this for generations .Everyone demobilized after the war ,even the Soviets and Hitler ordered already before the end of the war with France to demobilize .
The Goering Program of June 1941 was elaborated (before Barbarossa ! ) in the function of what would happen in the near future .
In June 1941 Germany occupied already a population of 80 million people .
Everyone assumed that the USSR would be defeated in a short campaign,with as result an other 110 million + people (living on a surface of 4 million square km ) to occupy and administrate .These 110 million would claim more than 60 divisions (more than 30 would be needed to protect the AA line ) and a big Luftflotte .The 9 security divisions would be totally inadequate .
Thus, at the end of 1941 what would remain and be available of the 200 German divisions ?
60 would be disbanded
60 in the East
50 + would be tied by occupation duties in France, etc
30 would remain as a general reserve .
If Britain capitulated these 30 would be needed as occupation forces .
If after the British capitulation US would replace the UK,Germany would need additional forces, everywhere .
If Britain continued the war and US would join her (as happened in the HTL ),the situation for Germany would be disastrous.
The scenario proposed by Counter means a catastrophe for Germany : it would have to occupy at the end of 1943 110 million people in the East and 140 million elsewhere : Vichy France and most of Italy would be occupied and Germany would have to replace the Italians in the Balkans .
And Counter proposes a strategy that was not only suicidal for Germany but could not happen : Germany had in 1944 not the forces and resources to reconquer what it had lost in NA and to conquer the ME .And if it could do it, this would mean an other 50 million people to occupy .
There was no way that 80 million Germans could occupy territories with 300 million people, not with 250 million people not with 110 million people .The Soviets, with 200 million inhabitants and a strong 5th column,were unable to dominate their satellites with 90 million inhabitants : they could do nothing when Tito seceded,they were forced to sacrifice Rokossovsky a de facto commander of the Polish army,after Budapest 1956 they were forced to accept a liberalization that made Hungary the most liberal and prosperous satellite state.When they invaded CZ in 1968 the Romanian dictator Ceausescu condemned their invasion and refused to participate . And Moscow did nothing,because it could do nothing .
Germany would be in the same position .The occupation forces in the USSR would be bigger than the standing WM in 1939 .And, if miraculously, they would be able to do what Counter proposed, they would need another million men .
It would be a dead end : everything they conquered had to be occupied and the more territories they occupied the more men they needed .
Returning to the Goering Program : the fighters of the LW would never, never be able to guard and protect the European coasts from the North Cape to Gibraltar ( not included the British coasts ! ) and from Gibraltar to Istanbul .Whatever would be the fighter production : fighters need pilots/a crew and technicians,etc to fly and it took 2 years to have a trained pilot,without experience .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 03 Apr 2021 12:51

KDF33 wrote:
02 Apr 2021 22:37
ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 19:58
No shifting of the goalposts : in 1941 Germany had big manpower problems . In 1943 the manpower pool was empty .
Interesting how they mobilized 1,765,000 men from 1.6.1943 to 30.9.1944.

I note you haven't acknowledged being refuted about the Göring-Programm or misleading in your interpretation of the anecdote about the one-armed Waffen-SS.
About the aims of the Goering program :
1 and 2 were impossible and 3 was irrelevant : no one could say if a bigger production of avgas would be needed and be useful .And Germany never produced 390000 tons of avgas per month,one of the reasons being that the LW did not need 390000 tons of avgas per month .
About the manpower pool : if he was not empty,why did they mobilize again handicapped people as Stauffenberg and why did they call up boys of 17 and younger ? (recruits of the HJ division were 17 ) Why were young girls and POWs used in the Flak units ?Britain did not use German POWs against V1s.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9488
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Apr 2021 13:34

Hi ljadw,

Certainly a few field divisions would be advisable as an ultimate deterrent. However, occupation duties rarely require the large combined arms formations of conventional warfare.

Certainly some divisions would be needed "to protect the coasts and prevent a landing." However, these would not be a major requirement in occupied Russia or an occupied Mediterranean basin. The main area of concern would be the Atlantic coast, which the British, without the USA, could not effectively assault because they did not have the army manpower for continental scale operations.

Assuming Britain does capitulate, (which would presumably lift any British threat elsewhere), any occupation force could presumably be made up from the divisions no longer needed to protect continental Europe's North Sea and Channel coasts.

I don't know what you mean by, "About the collaborationist regimes /forces : these rats were leaving the sinking ship and had to be replaced by German forces." I thought your premise was that the Axis were in the ascendant?

You post, "You can't use the existence of a wartime army of 10 million men ,to argue that a 5 million peace army would be possible and this for generations ." True, and I didn't. I used the example of North Korea which, presumably by coincidence, has done precisely what you said was not possible - kept 5% of its population under arms for generations. It may be improbable, inadvisable, burdensome, unnecessary and/or unwise, but it was clearly not Impossible.

Cheers,

Sid

Boby
Member
Posts: 2655
Joined: 19 Nov 2004 17:22
Location: Spain

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Boby » 03 Apr 2021 13:39

KDF33 wrote:
02 Apr 2021 22:37
ljadw wrote:
02 Apr 2021 19:58
No shifting of the goalposts : in 1941 Germany had big manpower problems . In 1943 the manpower pool was empty .
Interesting how they mobilized 1,765,000 men from 1.6.1943 to 30.9.1944.
How many were Uk-gestellten, etc? From where did they come?

KDF33
Member
Posts: 943
Joined: 17 Nov 2012 01:16

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by KDF33 » 03 Apr 2021 14:51

ljadw wrote:
03 Apr 2021 12:51
About the aims of the Goering program :
1 and 2 were impossible and 3 was irrelevant
Your unsupported opinion is what's irrelevant here (admittedly, anywhere). YOU brought up the Göring-Programm as evidence that the Germans planned to quadruple the manpower of the Luftwaffe. I corrected that foolish assertion. Now, as you are wont to do, you are misdirecting.
ljadw wrote:
03 Apr 2021 12:51
About the manpower pool : if he was not empty,why did they mobilize again handicapped people as Stauffenberg and why did they call up boys of 17 and younger ? (recruits of the HJ division were 17 ) Why were young girls and POWs used in the Flak units ?Britain did not use German POWs against V1s.
Again, you respond to data with anecdote. I gave you the figure: 1,765,000 men were mobilized from 1.6.1943 - 30.9.1944. Tell me: is it possible to mobilize 1,765,000 men if your manpower pool is empty?

Also, you should drop the Stauffenberg argument on two counts. First, it is absurd on its face: after his wounding, Stauffenberg served as a staff officer with the Ersatzheer. His loss of a hand and an eye obviously didn't render him unable to discharge those duties.

Second, the British had Adrian Carton de Wiart.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9488
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Apr 2021 16:09

Hi KDFF 33,

.....not to mention Danger Mouse: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DdZ3t0CWkAAM2vu.jpg

Cheers,

Sid

ljadw
Member
Posts: 11997
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Vulnerability of Soviet population, agriculture, and industry to German occupation

Post by ljadw » 04 Apr 2021 08:23

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Apr 2021 13:34
Hi ljadw,

Certainly a few field divisions would be advisable as an ultimate deterrent. However, occupation duties rarely require the large combined arms formations of conventional warfare.

Certainly some divisions would be needed "to protect the coasts and prevent a landing." However, these would not be a major requirement in occupied Russia or an occupied Mediterranean basin. The main area of concern would be the Atlantic coast, which the British, without the USA, could not effectively assault because they did not have the army manpower for continental scale operations.

Assuming Britain does capitulate, (which would presumably lift any British threat elsewhere), any occupation force could presumably be made up from the divisions no longer needed to protect continental Europe's North Sea and Channel coasts.

I don't know what you mean by, "About the collaborationist regimes /forces : these rats were leaving the sinking ship and had to be replaced by German forces." I thought your premise was that the Axis were in the ascendant?

You post, "You can't use the existence of a wartime army of 10 million men ,to argue that a 5 million peace army would be possible and this for generations ." True, and I didn't. I used the example of North Korea which, presumably by coincidence, has done precisely what you said was not possible - kept 5% of its population under arms for generations. It may be improbable, inadvisable, burdensome, unnecessary and/or unwise, but it was clearly not Impossible.

Cheers,

Sid
About the German occupation forces : if they did not exist, Britain would be back .In June 1941 50 German divisions were tied by occupation duties and by the necessity to guard the European coasts .
From Nigel Askey's Operation Barbarossa (Volume II B PP 86 and 87 );June 22 1941
Norway : 7 divisions ,124000 men, 13800 motor vehicles and 564 artillery pieces
AG D ( France and the Low Countries ) : 43 divisions, 509000 men,330 tanks, 49500 motor vehicles,3076 artillery pieces
12th army (Balkans ) : 12 divisions : 169000 men, 22 tanks, 1084 artillery pieces and 21300 motor vehicles .
AG D would not go to Britain if this capitulated ,because it was tied to France and the Low Countries : it did not go to the East in January 1942,because it was needed in the West .Germany had to occupy and guard all the territories it had conquered ,otherwise it would lose them .
And, it had to defend the German industry and cities against possible British air attacks : 502000 men were in the Flak units, mostly in Germany ( same source PP 89/90 ),without these men there would be British air attacks, without AG D there would be a British landing in Normandy in June 1941 .
And, if there were no 60 occupation divisions in the East after the defeat of the Soviets in 1941 or 1943, there would be a British/allied landing in the East .
If there were no 7 divisions in Norway, the commandos who attacked the Lofoten ( operation Claymore ) would go unopposed to Oslo .
If you do not defend what you have, you will lose it .But the problem is (as said the Old Moltke ) : those who want /must defend everything, defend nothing .
If Britain capitulated, the German occupation forces in France and Belgium would not be available for the occupation of Britain : no German forces in France would mean a general revolt in France .
About the rats who were leaving the sinking ship : think on Horthy in 1944, on Badoglio in 1943,on Vichy in 1942, on Franco in 1940 (! ) .The German ship was already sinking in the autumn of 1940 .
And, the Axis was never in the ascendant .

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”