Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

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ChrisDR68
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Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by ChrisDR68 » 27 Apr 2021 16:36

I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 27 Apr 2021 17:31

In the original timeline (OTL), the Germans made a broad advance east across the entire front in October-November 1941. Panzer Group 4 was brought south from Leningrad to assist in the drive on Moscow, and Panzer Group 2 under Guderian drove to the northeast from his position east of Kiev.

The only feasible change from the OTL would be for Guderian to drive in an eastern or southeastern direction rather than northeast. This might have helped Army Group South cross the Donets River before winter, but it would have left the Soviet Briansk Front unaccounted for and lurking on Guderian's northern flank. I think the OTL plan of surrounding and destroying the Briansk Front was better, as Stalingrad later showed the danger of leaving Soviet forces on your flanks in a drive for more territory.

After the Briansk pocket was closed, Guderian could have turned to the southeast instead of driving for Tula, but it's not clear this would have made more than a marginal difference in the final positions of Army Group South prior to the winter of 41/42.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 28 Apr 2021 04:13

Steven Mercatante's book Why Germany nearly Won advances this approach but I don't recall the specifics.

PzGr2 was actually to remain with AGS in Hitler's original adjudication of the Moscow/Kiev debate. Only later did he agree to send Guderian towards Moscow.
ChrisDR68 wrote:2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
Source? Not sure why this would be so - mud is mud and Ukraine's soil was, if anything, softer than farther north (thus better for agriculture).
ChrisDR68 wrote:4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.
Very unlikely that AGS gets to Stalingrad in '41. The problem is logistics, with AGS lacking a rail bridge over the Dniepr until November IIRC.

Nonetheless, there's much to commend this approach. In another ATL with a different September timeline I've made a similar proposal whose basic outline would apply here:

Image

Just ignore the verticalish red line on the left and you have something like what Guderian could have done in October: add a pincer prong to 17th Army's Kharkov push, likely bagging most of the defenders there.

After Kharkov, 2PzGr pushes on Voroshilovgrad and 1PzGr meets it there - turning left after the Mius river instead of right towards Rostov. Ostheer could feasibly add two kessels in October/November (Kharkov and Voroshilovgrad). Losing V'grad and Eastern Ukraine in '41 has important impact on Soviet force generation for '42. When evacuated in July '42, 7,000 railcars were required to get everything valuable out of V'grad. That's a massive production apparatus denied to SU by fall '41 in this ATL. It's likely that evacuation would go very well either: When AGS took Mariupol in OTL Fall '41, nearly all its heavy plants were still in operating condition. There was something amiss in Soviet evacuation planning in this region; they appear not to have anticipated rapid German advances east of the Dniepr. Same goes for Kharkov, btw. Its evacuation was still ongoing to the last minute before its fall; a rapid PzGr2-assisted capture in early October would probably trap a lot of valuable material.

Meanwhile in the north, the Vyazma portion of Taifun goes as in ATL, taking ~515k PoW (Bryansk was comparatively minor part of Taifun in PoW haul). The Kharkov-V'grad PoW haul would certainly exceed the Bryansk pocket's haul, making RKKA weaker than OTL across its front in November.

What about Bryansk Front during a two-PzGr Taifun? Well it had its hands full with 2nd Army OTL, which created its own breakthroughs during Taifun and was well positioned to guard PzGr4's flank during the Vyazma kessel. Here's October 4:

Image

As you can see, Bryansk Front's northern wing is being pushed back by 2nd Army, which has advanced strong units blocking any counterattack against PzGr4.

A Bryansk Front attack against 2nd Army to relieve the Vyazma kessel would fail spectacularly; it might try to interfere with the developing Kharkov battle instead. Probably it would be ordered to do both and would destroy itself piecemeal in frantic attacks on both its flanks.

In an ideal ATL, AGC would pause to clean up its flanks after Vyazma. The ATL Vyazma salient could be used to destroy Bryansk front by sending PzGr3 south to link up with 2nd Army, trapping all Soviets in a late-October Kessel. Mud conditions mean that the Soviets could probably escape if authorized to do so but would they be so authorized? Even if they are, it gets the frontlines to about where they were historically by Nov. 1.

--------------------------------

The implications for '42 could be decisive: AG's A/B logistical troubles in Fall '42 related primarily to the Soviets destroying rail bridges and track between Donets and Don during the '42 retreat. As I've discussed in another thread, German primary documents show much better Soviet rail destruction in '42 retreats than in '41.

Give the Germans all winter and spring to repair rail lines and bridges as far as Rostov/Voroshilovgrad and the Stalingrad/Caucasus drives have far better logistics. Combined with greater force destruction in October/November '41 and lower Soviet force generation due to losing V'grad and the eastern Donbas in '41, these factors could be decisive.

-------------------------


The primary virtue of this ATL is enables Ostheer to use its PzGr's to do what they were best at: creating Kessels. This was a world-historical military capability; in few wars has an army been able to "Cannae" its opponent as routinely as did Ostheer in '41. OKH largely wasted this capability after Taifun: PzGr's 3 and 4 made a side-by-side push north of Moscow while PzGr2 operated so far south of them that linkup was feasible only on the most megalomaniacal reading of German capabilities in late fall. Ostheer's other mechanized formations to the north and south lacked optimal partners for double-envelopments.

While late-fall mud conditions weren't optimal for kessels - they would have developed more slowly and RKKA could have retreated from encirclement - even the threat of slower kessels could force abandonment of important strategic territory. Realistically, that important territory was in the South in Fall '41.
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"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 29 Apr 2021 08:52

ChrisDR68 wrote:
27 Apr 2021 16:36
I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.
It seems to be an easy thing to do. The Germans could get all the resources of the SU without breaking a sweat (it was cold anyway), the Soviets would suddenly stop fighting and sue for peace. Ukraine could be the breadbasket of the Reich and the Caucasus would instantly provide all the oil the Germans needed.

The Brits would realize that their situation is hopeless, the Americans would give up without a fight, because they entirely depended on the Soviets, and don't know how to build tanks like the Tiger II, planes like the Me 109 or ships like the Bismarck.

Every belligerent would realize that the best way to deal with Hitler is to make appeasements and sign treaties.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by History Learner » 29 Apr 2021 23:12

Peter89 wrote:
29 Apr 2021 08:52
ChrisDR68 wrote:
27 Apr 2021 16:36
I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.
It seems to be an easy thing to do. The Germans could get all the resources of the SU without breaking a sweat (it was cold anyway), the Soviets would suddenly stop fighting and sue for peace. Ukraine could be the breadbasket of the Reich and the Caucasus would instantly provide all the oil the Germans needed.

The Brits would realize that their situation is hopeless, the Americans would give up without a fight, because they entirely depended on the Soviets, and don't know how to build tanks like the Tiger II, planes like the Me 109 or ships like the Bismarck.

Every belligerent would realize that the best way to deal with Hitler is to make appeasements and sign treaties.
I wouldn't go that far in some respects, but this seems accurate, given the internal planning, statements, diaries/memos, and public opinion of the Allied powers, in so far as the Anglo-Americans making peace with a Reich dominant from Brittany to the Urals. As a side effect of conducting an armistice with Nazi Germany, the Western Allies would also probably have to establish something like a Versailles style peace with Imperial Japan. Some military limitations and conquests surrendered but no occupation and the "Core Empire" of Manchuria, Korea, the Home Islands and Formosa retained.

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 30 Apr 2021 11:25

History Learner wrote:
29 Apr 2021 23:12
Peter89 wrote:
29 Apr 2021 08:52
ChrisDR68 wrote:
27 Apr 2021 16:36
I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.
It seems to be an easy thing to do. The Germans could get all the resources of the SU without breaking a sweat (it was cold anyway), the Soviets would suddenly stop fighting and sue for peace. Ukraine could be the breadbasket of the Reich and the Caucasus would instantly provide all the oil the Germans needed.

The Brits would realize that their situation is hopeless, the Americans would give up without a fight, because they entirely depended on the Soviets, and don't know how to build tanks like the Tiger II, planes like the Me 109 or ships like the Bismarck.

Every belligerent would realize that the best way to deal with Hitler is to make appeasements and sign treaties.
I wouldn't go that far in some respects, but this seems accurate, given the internal planning, statements, diaries/memos, and public opinion of the Allied powers, in so far as the Anglo-Americans making peace with a Reich dominant from Brittany to the Urals. As a side effect of conducting an armistice with Nazi Germany, the Western Allies would also probably have to establish something like a Versailles style peace with Imperial Japan. Some military limitations and conquests surrendered but no occupation and the "Core Empire" of Manchuria, Korea, the Home Islands and Formosa retained.
Indeed, they would realize that their situation is hopeless.

They had no means to convince the people of Eurasia to fight against the Axis, and the Anglo-Saxon powers could be invaded or subjugated any year.

Britain was near collapse - they had manpower shortages (even had to draft civilians!) and the US was near exhaustion. One more final push on their merchant marine, one more Blitz would have done it.

The Germans were working on the Amerikabomber project and new U-Boats. And jet planes as well. The Americans would probably give the Japanese the Hawaii Islands, because that seemed to be the only way to appease them, and to buy time for their survival - they knew exactly that Germany and Japan would knock on their shores soon, so it would be better to give them some time to build fleets and air forces of comparable size.

Now, who would tell me that the A-bombs could stop any of that?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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danebrog
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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by danebrog » 30 Apr 2021 14:07

The main target of the '42 offensive was the oil fields in the Caucasus. The lack of fuel was the strategic Achilles' heel of the Third Reich. What was extracted from Romania, Hungary and the hydrogenation plants was just enough to get by. A fact that the Soviets were well aware of.

But ATL would have had exactly the same problem as OTL:
1. the oil wells would have been unusable and, according to estimates at the time, it would have taken about two years until they could have produced again.
2. Ludendorff had to realise already in 1918 that the possession of the (intact) oil wells was worth nothing as long as the necessary infrastructure to transport the oil "home to the Reich" was missing.

Enormous resources would have been tied up in order to remedy this. This would have been aggravated by the fact that, as long as a Soviet air force still existed, the extremely sensitive infrastructure would also have required considerable resources for its protection.
(I cannot say in this context to what extent the Western Allies would have flown attacks from the direction of Persia - but plans for bombing already existed in 1939).

And as long as Moscow was not yet in German hands, there would still be a huge long flank to secure. That, too, would have tied up considerable German forces.
(To what extent Churchill would have prevailed with his "Mediterranean obesssion" in order to possibly build up a new front here, I cannot survey.)
In this context, one can also take a look back at 1917/18: After the Peace of Brest-Litovsk and a Russian empire shattered by the revolution, Germany nevertheless had to leave so many security troops in the east that it was of little use to the western front.

In short, expanding and securing the Caucasus as a primary source of oil would have tied up almost the entire Eastern Army for the next few years, as well as considerable economic resources.
In order to bring about a strategic relief here, it would have been necessary IMHO to conquer Moscow as well or at least to persuade the SU to conclude a peace treaty. I do not see the all too simple equation: "Caucasus conquered - war won".

And now, at the latest, there are so many variables in the equation that it is definitely too hypothetical for me to make any further considerations.
But it is an interesting thought experiment in any case...

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by glenn239 » 30 Apr 2021 16:34

danebrog wrote:
30 Apr 2021 14:07
The main target of the '42 offensive was the oil fields in the Caucasus. The lack of fuel was the strategic Achilles' heel of the Third Reich. What was extracted from Romania, Hungary and the hydrogenation plants was just enough to get by. A fact that the Soviets were well aware of.

But ATL would have had exactly the same problem as OTL:
1. the oil wells would have been unusable and, according to estimates at the time, it would have taken about two years until they could have produced again.
So the Germans need the oil from the Caucus, but the Soviets do not?

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by History Learner » 30 Apr 2021 16:39

Peter89 wrote:
30 Apr 2021 11:25
History Learner wrote:
29 Apr 2021 23:12
Peter89 wrote:
29 Apr 2021 08:52
ChrisDR68 wrote:
27 Apr 2021 16:36
I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.
It seems to be an easy thing to do. The Germans could get all the resources of the SU without breaking a sweat (it was cold anyway), the Soviets would suddenly stop fighting and sue for peace. Ukraine could be the breadbasket of the Reich and the Caucasus would instantly provide all the oil the Germans needed.

The Brits would realize that their situation is hopeless, the Americans would give up without a fight, because they entirely depended on the Soviets, and don't know how to build tanks like the Tiger II, planes like the Me 109 or ships like the Bismarck.

Every belligerent would realize that the best way to deal with Hitler is to make appeasements and sign treaties.
I wouldn't go that far in some respects, but this seems accurate, given the internal planning, statements, diaries/memos, and public opinion of the Allied powers, in so far as the Anglo-Americans making peace with a Reich dominant from Brittany to the Urals. As a side effect of conducting an armistice with Nazi Germany, the Western Allies would also probably have to establish something like a Versailles style peace with Imperial Japan. Some military limitations and conquests surrendered but no occupation and the "Core Empire" of Manchuria, Korea, the Home Islands and Formosa retained.
Indeed, they would realize that their situation is hopeless.

They had no means to convince the people of Eurasia to fight against the Axis, and the Anglo-Saxon powers could be invaded or subjugated any year.

Britain was near collapse - they had manpower shortages (even had to draft civilians!) and the US was near exhaustion. One more final push on their merchant marine, one more Blitz would have done it.

The Germans were working on the Amerikabomber project and new U-Boats. And jet planes as well. The Americans would probably give the Japanese the Hawaii Islands, because that seemed to be the only way to appease them, and to buy time for their survival - they knew exactly that Germany and Japan would knock on their shores soon, so it would be better to give them some time to build fleets and air forces of comparable size.

Now, who would tell me that the A-bombs could stop any of that?
To be honest, I feel like an idiot for just now realizing you were being sarcastic. Well, to answer the question about the Atomic Bomb:
REPORTER: General Groves, could we go back for a minute. You mentioned in your book [Now it Can Be Told] that just before the Yalta Conference that President Roosevelt said if we had bombs before the European war was over he would like to drop them on Germany. Would you discuss this?​

GROVES: At the conference that Secretary Stimson and myself had with President Roosevelt shortly before his departure, I believe it was December 30th or 31st of 1944, President Roosevelt was quite disturbed over the Battle of the Bulge and he asked me at that time whether I could bomb Germany as well as Japan. The plan had always been to bomb Japan because we thought the war in Germany was pretty apt to be over in the first place and in the second place the Japanese building construction was much more easily damaged by a bomb of this character than that in Germany. I urged President Roosevelt that it would be very difficult for various reasons.​

The main one was that the Germans had quite strong aerial defense. They made a practice, as every nation does, that when a new plane came into the combat area, that they would run any risk that they could to bring such a plane down so that they could examine it and see what new ideas had come in so that they could make improvements and also would know the characteristics of the plane so that they could prepare a better defense against it. We had no B-29’s in Europe. If we had sent over a small squadron or group as we did against Japan of this type, everyone of them would have been brought down on the first trip to Germany. If they hadn’t been, it would have been through no lack of effort on the part of the Germans.​

The alternative would be to bring a large number of B-29’s over to to England and that would have been a major logistical task and the other possibility would have been to have used a British plane which would not have been a bit pleasing to General Arnold and also would have created a great many difficulties for our general operation because then it would be an Allied operation with the United States furnishing the bombs and everything connected with it but using a British plane and a British crew to actually drop the bomb and it would have raised a tremendous number of difficulties.​

And difficulties like that — while you say you should be able to handle that — you can but in a project of this character there are so many little things, each one of them key, that you can’t afford to throw any more sand into the wheels that you can help.​

The bombing of Germany with atomic bombs was, I would say, never seriously considered to the extent of making definite plans but on this occasion I told the President, Mr. Roosevelt, why it would be very unfortunate from my standpoint, I added that of course if the President — if the war demanded it and the President so desired, we would bomb Germany and I was so certain personally that the war in Europe would be over before we would be ready that you might say I didn’t give it too much consideration.​

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by ljadw » 30 Apr 2021 18:11

glenn239 wrote:
30 Apr 2021 16:34
danebrog wrote:
30 Apr 2021 14:07
The main target of the '42 offensive was the oil fields in the Caucasus. The lack of fuel was the strategic Achilles' heel of the Third Reich. What was extracted from Romania, Hungary and the hydrogenation plants was just enough to get by. A fact that the Soviets were well aware of.

But ATL would have had exactly the same problem as OTL:
1. the oil wells would have been unusable and, according to estimates at the time, it would have taken about two years until they could have produced again.
So the Germans need the oil from the Caucus, but the Soviets do not?
The Soviets arrived in Berlin with an oil production that was lower than in 1940 .In 1945 the oil production of the Caucasus was only the half of that of 1940 .
Germany did NOT need more oil,and if it had more oil, it could not use it .
German oil production/import in 1942 : 9,4 million ton. In 1943 : 10,4 million ton .
German crude oil production : 1942 :1,686,000. In 1943 : 1,883,000.
There was NO lack of fuel for Germany till the autumn of 1944 .
The oil fields of the Caucasus were the main target of Blau, NOT because Germany did need this oil, but because the Germans were convinced ( it was only wishful-thinking ) that without this oil, the Soviets would collapse .They stick to this illusion,although their oil experts had warned them that it was an illusion .

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by History Learner » 30 Apr 2021 18:47

ljadw wrote:
30 Apr 2021 18:11
glenn239 wrote:
30 Apr 2021 16:34
danebrog wrote:
30 Apr 2021 14:07
The main target of the '42 offensive was the oil fields in the Caucasus. The lack of fuel was the strategic Achilles' heel of the Third Reich. What was extracted from Romania, Hungary and the hydrogenation plants was just enough to get by. A fact that the Soviets were well aware of.

But ATL would have had exactly the same problem as OTL:
1. the oil wells would have been unusable and, according to estimates at the time, it would have taken about two years until they could have produced again.
So the Germans need the oil from the Caucus, but the Soviets do not?
The Soviets arrived in Berlin with an oil production that was lower than in 1940 .In 1945 the oil production of the Caucasus was only the half of that of 1940 .
Germany did NOT need more oil,and if it had more oil, it could not use it .
German oil production/import in 1942 : 9,4 million ton. In 1943 : 10,4 million ton .
German crude oil production : 1942 :1,686,000. In 1943 : 1,883,000.
There was NO lack of fuel for Germany till the autumn of 1944 .
The oil fields of the Caucasus were the main target of Blau, NOT because Germany did need this oil, but because the Germans were convinced ( it was only wishful-thinking ) that without this oil, the Soviets would collapse .They stick to this illusion,although their oil experts had warned them that it was an illusion .
Except in the late Fall of 1941, the Germans had been forced to suspend truck production precisely because of oil shortages and then in the following fall, that of 1942, were forced to drastically cut fuel allotments for pilot training which directly impacted the ability of the Luftwaffe to maintain the output of pilots in general, and quality trained pilots in particular. This is directly cited in Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945 as a major cause of their late war collapse. On the Soviet end, loosing 80% of their production would indeed be fatal, as would the loss of the Persian route of Lend Lease. Soviet overall production may have been less in 1945 than 1940, but that doesn't prove anything without consumption matched to production statistics.

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by danebrog » 30 Apr 2021 19:35

Germany did NOT need more oil,and if it had more oil, it could not use it
8O
viewtopic.php?t=255358#p2325926

Fuel was scarce already during the Poland campaign and there were very good reasons why much of the Heer was equipped with horses and wagons.
At the same time, in the Reich itself, motor vehicles were powered by wood gas wherever possible. This even applied to driving school tanks.
Otherwise, the principle was followed of transporting shipments by rail whenever at all possible.
There was plenty of need for extra fuel, it just wasn't available and therefore had to be rationed from day one.

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by danebrog » 30 Apr 2021 19:51

So the Germans need the oil from the Caucus, but the Soviets do not?
As early as the end of the 1920s, the Soviet leadership was aware that huge quantities of oil and other raw materials were stored in the Volga-Ural region. But it made hardly any effort to develop these resources. In view of the growing fear of war, the focus at the end of the 1930s was on the fastest possible growth in production, and this could only be achieved in the short term by increasing oil production in the Caucasus.
In fact, however, oil production near Groznyj had already peaked in the early 1930s.
In the event of a total failure of the Caucasian oil fields, there would still have been the option of developing new sources behind the Urals. This would not have failed because of the available manpower.

One must not forget that the SU owns the largest part of its land mass behind the Urals and that large industrial plants had already been built there in 1941. There was no compelling necessity to surrender even if Moscow was lost. And the Wehrmacht was definitely not in a position to march all the way to Sverdlovsk without completely thinning out the west.

Whether Stalin would have survived the domestic earthquake is another matter. It is also completely unclear how Turkey would have behaved in such a scenario.
As I already wrote: Too many variables

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Aida1
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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by Aida1 » 30 Apr 2021 19:59

ChrisDR68 wrote:
27 Apr 2021 16:36
I've often wondered whether it would have made a material difference to the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front in WWII if Hitler would have aimed Operation Typhoon at southern USSR in October 1941 instead of Moscow.

The situation after the fall of Kiev and the capture of around 600,000 Soviet troops in September 1941:


Image


Consider the advantages to this alternative strategy:

1. The Germans would already have had 2 panzer groups in the south with no need for a major redeployment further north.
2. The terrain in the south was more conducive for mobile warfare with less boggy ground when the mud season began.
3. The resources that Germany lacked were in the south - namely the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil in the Caucasus.
4. With the capture of territory all the way to the Volga around the Stalingrad area the Germans would have been in an ideal position to attack south into the Causasus in 1942.

The territory marked in green in this map is the amount of territory captured historically during Typhoon despite the poor logistics, mud, rain, freezing temperatures later on and Soviet resistance.


Image


Transfer that amount of captured territory further south and you get to around where the Germans were historically at the end of July 1942 when Hitler wrote his ill fated Directive 45 which gambled on capturing the oil fields before Army Group South's northern flank had been secured along the southern Volga.

In other words the Germans could have been where they were in the southern USSR 6-7 months earlier than historically and potentionally without the losses and defeats they suffered historically further north in the December 1941 to March 1942 period.
You seem to forget that at the same time of Typhoon, AGS was actually advancing also and was supposed to eventually reach the Caucasus. This demand by Hitler and the OKH was considered as completely unrealistic by AGS . Mud ,bad logistics and russian resistance were a massive problem in the south too. Made that objective impossible to reach. Explained in detail in Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion Boog/Förster/Hoffmann/Klink/Müller/überschäer Fischer 1991 pp 595-625.

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Re: Operation Typhoon aimed at southern USSR in 1941

Post by ljadw » 30 Apr 2021 20:16

History Learner wrote:
30 Apr 2021 18:47
ljadw wrote:
30 Apr 2021 18:11
glenn239 wrote:
30 Apr 2021 16:34
danebrog wrote:
30 Apr 2021 14:07
The main target of the '42 offensive was the oil fields in the Caucasus. The lack of fuel was the strategic Achilles' heel of the Third Reich. What was extracted from Romania, Hungary and the hydrogenation plants was just enough to get by. A fact that the Soviets were well aware of.

But ATL would have had exactly the same problem as OTL:
1. the oil wells would have been unusable and, according to estimates at the time, it would have taken about two years until they could have produced again.
So the Germans need the oil from the Caucus, but the Soviets do not?
The Soviets arrived in Berlin with an oil production that was lower than in 1940 .In 1945 the oil production of the Caucasus was only the half of that of 1940 .
Germany did NOT need more oil,and if it had more oil, it could not use it .
German oil production/import in 1942 : 9,4 million ton. In 1943 : 10,4 million ton .
German crude oil production : 1942 :1,686,000. In 1943 : 1,883,000.
There was NO lack of fuel for Germany till the autumn of 1944 .
The oil fields of the Caucasus were the main target of Blau, NOT because Germany did need this oil, but because the Germans were convinced ( it was only wishful-thinking ) that without this oil, the Soviets would collapse .They stick to this illusion,although their oil experts had warned them that it was an illusion .
Except in the late Fall of 1941, the Germans had been forced to suspend truck production precisely because of oil shortages and then in the following fall, that of 1942, were forced to drastically cut fuel allotments for pilot training which directly impacted the ability of the Luftwaffe to maintain the output of pilots in general, and quality trained pilots in particular. This is directly cited in Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945 as a major cause of their late war collapse. On the Soviet end, loosing 80% of their production would indeed be fatal, as would the loss of the Persian route of Lend Lease. Soviet overall production may have been less in 1945 than 1940, but that doesn't prove anything without consumption matched to production statistics.
1 Truck production had nothing to do with oil shortage and the oil shortage of the Ostheer was not caused by production problems, but by transport problems : the problems to transport the oil to the front .In 1941,the German consumption of motor oil was the highest of the war .
2 Murray is wrong ,twice .
a the cuts of fuel allotments for training were not impacting the ability of the LW to maintain the outputs of pilots
b they did not diminish the quality of the new pilots . (As usual, the bomber crews are neglected ).
In 1942 the following were trained
Fighter pilots : 2329
For bombers : 2499
For Observers :327
Transporters : 89
In 1943 :
Fighters : 5311
Bombers : 4595
Observers : 1278
Transporters :699
The big problem was not fuel , not aircraft , but that the losses were higher than the number of newcomers, which forced the LW to shorten the training .
Source : Stilla :Die Luftwaffe im Kampf um die Luftherrschaft .
Notes 1173 and 1239
There were in 1942 5295 new pilots/crew. In 1943 :12164 .
About the Soviets : they went to Berlin with 127 million ton of oil (1945) , in 1941 they produced 31 million ton of oil .
The loss of the Caucasus oil would hurt the Soviets, but would not force them to surrender , because
a they consumed less oil during the war than before the war
b they had very big reserves of oil in June 1941
c a part of the losses were replaced by new oil fields : Baku 2 .

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