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 historygeek2021 » 09 Jul 2021 18:50

Did Germany have enough fuel for an additional 10 mobile divisions? Germany consumed more motor gasoline than she produced in 1941:
WW2 Oil Germany consumptoin.png
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up&seq=91

The additional 10 mobile divisions would in turn require more transport trucks to ferry them supplies, further increasing fuel consumption.

Germany was left with less than 2 months worth of motor gasoline at the end of 1941, based on OTL operational consumption. ATL operational consumption would be significantly higher (41 mobile divisions instead of 31), a 32% increase, which would eat up double the leftover stocks that remained in the OTL if the mobile divisions continued at the same pace as the OTL divisions during the year. If the mobile divisions advance farther than the OTL, that would presumably increase fuel consumption even more.

The only avenue for mitigation I can think of is to relay the Soviet rail tracks faster than in the OTL.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Jul 2021 03:19

historygeek2021 wrote:ATL operational consumption would be significantly higher (41 mobile divisions instead of 31), a 32% increase
Ostheer had 600k motor vehicles on June 22; mech.divs had only a minority. The frontline ID'S were, contrary to some narratives (e.g. Stahel), semi-motorized and had ~800 motor vehicles.

Image

Motorizing a standard ID costs ~700 trucks and ~500 light transports.

Image

The five panzer divs have ~12,000 more vehicles.

Image

Plus 5k for another Grosstransportraum column gives ~23k additional MV's or <4% of MV total. Call it 5% extra fuel burn to be safe.

Mitigation through several measures:

Vehicle miles traveled- thus fuel burn - was primarily a matter of tactical, rather than strategic/operational, movement. German command tanks had only 1/4 of normal tanks miles, for example. Command tanks followed tactical movements fairly closely, suggesting that operational/strategic travel was a very small factor overall. As RKKA is so much weaker in this ATL, there would inevitably be more tactical downtime: either RKKA avoids some counterattacks or, if they don't, these battles are over sooner. Therefore I expect overall fuel burn to be significantly lower even given deeper strategic advance.

Germans will also lose less fuel. At Toropets, for example, in the battle that formed the Demyansk pocket, Hitler was still complaining in the following spring about the fuel dumps that were lost. Stopped at Stalingrad. Surely this happened in other German retreats as well.

Finally, the mobilization of foreign labor should create far more production than this ATL requires. Discussed here. Some of that excess could be traded to Romania for additional fuel, as Germany did in '42. Romania's domestic oil consumption was ridiculous for its level of development; they consumed about 60% domestically. When the Germans realized what kind of war they were in, they tried to help Romania free up oil for export. Here they can do so earlier.

Concern about fuel is why I specify only a partial full winter offensive though (Blau 3-4 basically). That also allows resting/refitting most of the MV stock for Spring '42's ~500mi blitz to the Urals from Gorkiy.
historygeek2021 wrote:The only avenue for mitigation I can think of is to relay the Soviet rail tracks faster than in the OTL.
Also a factor, as is slowing down the panzers in July. There's time for a week's pause, for instance, between Minsk and Smolensk, between Pskov and the Luga. That cuts the supply columns' journeys by hundreds of km. Only in Ukraine are heedless advances arguably justifiable on economic/strategic grounds.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 10 Jul 2021 04:30

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Jul 2021 03:19

Motorizing a standard ID costs ~700 trucks and ~500 light transports.
Thanks. So why do you think Germany in the OTL didn't motorize more infantry divisions? They knew it was important, especially after Fall Gelb, to have motorized infantry divisions to screen the gap between the panzer and regular infantry divisions. Halder was intent on advancing as fast and as deep as possible. It must have been something they considered.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Jul 2021 04:43

historygeek2021 wrote:
10 Jul 2021 04:30
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Jul 2021 03:19

Motorizing a standard ID costs ~700 trucks and ~500 light transports.
Thanks. So why do you think Germany in the OTL didn't motorize more infantry divisions? They knew it was important, especially after Fall Gelb, to have motorized infantry divisions to screen the gap between the panzer and regular infantry divisions. Halder was intent on advancing as fast and as deep as possible. It must have been something they considered.
Not sure exactly. There is a tradeoff: note that Mot.divs had less infantry and artillery. Presumably the extra vehicles absorbed more manpower.

Halder seems to have been basically illiterate on economic/production matters. He surely lacked the ability to see the real resource frontiers; if you asked him he'd probably say the OTL Heer was the maximal effort possible under the constraints he was given. Those constraints were so far back on the resource chain he couldn't seen them.

And of course: the Germans just weren't straining that hard before Barbarossa. Afterwards they had even less room to maneuver, fuel-wise.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 10 Jul 2021 16:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Jul 2021 04:43

Halder seems to have been basically illiterate on economic/production matters. He surely lacked the ability to see the real resource frontiers; if you asked him he'd probably say the OTL Heer was the maximal effort possible under the constraints he was given. Those constraints were so far back on the resource chain he couldn't seen them.
Will Halder still be chief of staff in your ATL? If so, how will that affect operations? If not, what is the point of departure that causes Hitler to replace him? Who with? Paulus?

Another consideration: How will Germany maintain its stock of vehicles over the course of a 2 year campaign? In, Enduring the Whirlwind, Chapter 4, Gregory Liedtke notes the significant decline in available transport vehicles for the OstHeer by 1942:
This would prove no easy task. Between June 1941 and the end of June 1942, the Wehrmacht had lost at least 127,731 motor vehicles and even larger numbers were in various stages of disrepair. On 20 February 1942 Heeresgruppe Süd reported that it had suffered the Totalausfalle of 23,526 of its motor vehicles since the start of operations in the East: even more disconcertingly, out of the 86,757 it still possessed, some 70,969 (81.8 percent) were not operational because they required some kind of significant overhaul or repair.
In addition, only 11,000 tons of Grosstransportraum capacity were available for AGS at the start of Fall Blau, whereas 20,000 tons had been available for each army group at the start of Operation Barbarossa.

Although Liedtke and USSBS note that the Wehrmacht's total supply of trucks increased in 1942 from 1941, mainly by plundering the civilian sector, this does not seem to have translated to a full restoration of mobility for OTL Fall Blau, since AGS's Grosstransportraum capacity was little more than half of what it had been at the start of Barbarossa (and 1/6 of what was available for the entire front at the start of Barbarossa).

Again, the only source of mitigation I'm seeing is faster repair and relaying of railroad tracks, and foreknowledge of what would be needed to save the trains in winter. What is the point of departure in your ATL that causes Germany (who exactly in Germany?) to know what will be needed to maintain adequate rail logistics in the east across all seasons?

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 11 Jul 2021 21:01

historygeek2021 wrote:Will Halder still be chief of staff in your ATL?
Yes. I don't see this causing any problems ATL. Halder followed Hitler's orders when given them directly, regardless of what he said after the war. ATL Halder is ordered to prepare for a longer campaign; ATL Halder follows those orders.

Authors (e.g. Stahel) overstate the Halder's impact on the post-June 22 battle anyway, pretending that Hitler-Halder disagreements somehow paralyzed the Ostheer. As we've discussed elsewhere, logistical problems would have constrained either earlier Moscow or earlier Kiev. Halder's errors were planning errors, as was the lion's share of German mistakes.

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

For the following answers, one's view will depend in part on whether one believes the German army and leadership were incompetent at logistics. Robert Citino has been advancing this view and it's in every other anti-Wehraboo internet meme. But it seems impossible to sustain, apart from Barbarossa and the latter stages of Blau, both of which involved an assumption that Soviet collapse was imminent. For Hitler himself being personally interested in logistics, see van Creveld's discussion of Hitler's reshaping Heer logistics during/after the French campaign. Supplying War, p.147.

We can discuss the general issue as required. Just want to head off generalized reactions like "the Germans would never have thought ahead like that" by saying I disagree and am willing to defend the viewpoint.
historygeek2021 wrote:Although Liedtke and USSBS note that the Wehrmacht's total supply of trucks increased in 1942 from 1941, mainly by plundering the civilian sector, this does not seem to have translated to a full restoration of mobility for OTL Fall Blau
Planning for Fall Blau began in the winter of '41; most of the increase in Wehrmacht vehicle stock didn't occur until after spring:

Image

...so I'm not sure the influx was available to the planners.

In addition:
-Germany loses fewer MV's in retreat during ATL Barbarossa.
-Germany can produce more MV during/after ATL Barbarossa or, if necessary, before.
-more below
historygeek2021 wrote:out of the 86,757 it still possessed, some 70,969 (81.8 percent) were not operational because they required some kind of significant overhaul or repair.
This was a spare parts issue intertwined with both rail logistics (i.e. the supply of spares to the field forces) and Barbarossa's original sin of assuming imminent Soviet collapse. Rail lines were not getting spare parts to the forward units, who were warning that deferred maintenance now would mean more maintenance and/or total loss later. Despite those warnings, OKH/Hitler pressed the armies forward hoping to finish the campaign before winter. From Logistik im Russland Feldzug [TMP translation], for example:
when the chiefs of staff of the HG and the armies met for a meeting on October 31, there was agreement on the unfortunate transport and supply situation. As the officers present unanimously expressed, this compelled the operations to be ended now and a refreshed force available for the spring instead of reaching far-reaching goals and letting the combat value of the units drop to the point where they could not be used [in the spring]. n216.
...
[Rundstedt in October] warned that the continuation of the operations would result in the almost complete operational immobility of the 1st Panzer Army and the bulk of the infantry divisions in the spring and urged again that attack operations on the lower Don and the Donetz be stopped. n222.
...
FN221: The 1st Panzer Army reported to the OK-HG on October 29th that the operational readiness of their vehicles and tanks was falling rapidly and that a thorough refresher at home would be necessary if they were to be fully operational in the next year. For smaller deployments during the winter, repairs in the army area lasting one to two months are possible, but this precludes full usability in the spring (see: KTB H.Gr.Sud (October 28, 1941) BA-MA, RH 19 I / 74 ).
...so all across the German army, people knew that, given current maintenance state, November (and after) offensives would mean an immobile Ostheer in the spring. A leadership that had not gambled everything on assuming total victory in '41 would not have pushed the '41 army into '42 operational immobility, as '41 would be planned as the setup for '42's coup de grace all along.

In my ATL, Germany can produce more spare parts for the army's trucks (based, once more, on not assuming a short campaign) and can ensure the rail network is sufficient to get the additional parts forward. More parts overall and forward means a better condition in October '41, while the timeline I've drawn up means the army's full-effort offensives end in October (then a partial January winter offensive).

So now let's turn to the rails...
historygeek2021 wrote:What is the point of departure in your ATL that causes Germany (who exactly in Germany?) to know what will be needed to maintain adequate rail logistics in the east across all seasons?
Who: The DRB. PoD: They bother to ask it.

Prior to Barbarossa, the German national railway ("DRB") was consulted only regarding initial operations. From Most Valuable Asset of the Reich by Mierzejewski:
the Reichsbahn was not included in the planning for the phase of the operation that would follow the initial breakthrough. This was the result of the optimistic view held by Hitler and the Wehrmacht leadership that the campaign would be concluded swiftly due to the racial inferiority of the Red Army. p.94
Had the DRB been consulted on a longer campaign, the need for winter facilities would have been addressed because the DRB was not incompetent. Indeed, the DRB had designed several models for the Russian/Finnish railways in interwar years, thus had experience with factors like intervals between watering stations, pipe placement for winter protection, and the need for warmed locomotive shelters. https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/ ... r-19411945 Shelters were needed in German winters as well; this is Train Systems 101 for the DRB.

On the issue of general capacity after the breakthrough, the DRB would have noted several things obvious to officials running one of the world's biggest train systems:
  • 1. Sending ~100 trains/day to an army deep in the SU will require ~10% of DRB total t-km capacity. Therefore, we should either start building more rolling stock or demand that France/Belgium/Holland send us more of their idle capacity (both were done OTL, but too late).
  • 2. You'll need extra signals/switch infrastructure to run trains as we Germans do on a foreign network. As I've pointed out elsewhere, these would have been eminently feasible and cheap to provide. OTL the Eisenbahnpioneere had only enough signals for the first 70km. Shown here, Ostheer had to rip out signals from unused Soviet track and move it to mainlines, which cost precious railroader labor.
  • 3. Unloading all those trains will require a lot of labor. Do something to make sure that labor is available, such as ensuring that just 10% of Soviet PoW aren't dead or too sick/malnourished to work. And/or get Organization Todt involved (done later, too late).
  • 4. Give the advanced railway districts a few radios for communication and tell the SS not to execute their native personnel until after things are up and running.
  • 5. Because we will be involved in running Soviet railways, let's set up administrative infrastructure for this task now (in OTL, administrative chaos ensued from trying to integrate more DRB involvement in the midst of Barbarossa).
  • 6. Because trains have to cross Poland first, give Ostheer traffic priority in the General Government (OTL Hitler didn't do this until DRB and others demanded it in November '41).
It's not even speculative that the DRB would have foreseen the most important of these issues: DRB officials warned Goering of the coming '41-'42 Winter Crisis during August '41 (Mierzejewski, p.94):
Kleinmann warned Göring that the Reichsbahn lacked the physical resources necessary to
meet all of the burdens being placed upon it.33 Clearly, Kleinmann feared that
the combination of large-scale military operations in the east and the usual fall
and winter problems that had afflicted the DRB for the past three years would
lead to major traffic disruptions.
Traffic in Germany was fine when Kleinmann issued that warning. He could see the writing on the wall because he was a minimally competent railroader.

Note again the DBR's awareness that winter was a factor, even non-Russian winters.

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

Aside from improving Barbarossa, better railway planning/performance would ameliorate/prevent the '41-'42 Winter Crisis, during which German production hit its wartime nadir. That means more of everything produced in Dec 41 - March 42, including trucks.

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

Post by paulrward » 11 Jul 2021 22:38

Hello All :

Mr TheMarcksPlan stated:
Planning for Fall Blau began in the winter of '41; most of the increase in
Wehrmacht vehicle stock didn't occur until after spring:
and he has posted an excellent pair of tables, which are apparently from official sources,
but I have a point I wish to raise about these tables, as well as pointing this concept out
to ALL the posters on this Forum.

If you examine the data in the columns for ' German Army Stocks of Unarmored Half Tracks',
and follow the data for the years of 1943 - 1944, you will see that the German Army started
1943 with nearly 24,000 half tracks on inventory, and the number increased steadily
throughout the year until, on December, 1943, the inventory number stood at over 28,000.

Then, on January, 1944, 31 days later, the inventory number of half tracks had fallen to just
15,000 half tracks ! In other words, the Germans had lost some 13,000 half tracks in one
month, OR 400 HALF TRACKS PER DAY !

What is more, if you look at the numbers of Trucks and Passenger Cars listed, according to
the data, the Germans lost 60,000 Trucks and 130,000 Passenger Cars in the same
31 day span !


I'm sorry, but as they say in my part of the country, " That Dog Won't Hunt ! "


Perhaps the informed historians among us who cite data from original sources could explain
how in Hell the Germans could lose that many truck, cars, and half tracks, in the middle of
winter, in just one month, when, at no other time in the fighting during the war had they
lost so many so quickly ( Note - if you check the data from December 1941 to January 1942,
you will see a loss of 3000 half tracks in one month, or 100 per day - but nothing like the
number two years later )

What I am trying to say is, perhaps we should take a hard look at the data in the tables of
historical sources before we accept them as Gospel.

Respectfully :

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2021 01:04

paulrward wrote:data from original sources
USSBS isn't an original source, just the original secondary source. It contains errors of data and analysis; I agree you've identified something that at least shouldn't be taken at face value.

As Art says here, however, it's an accurate portrayl of German records. The discrepancy probably traces to a decision to write off vehicles in poor condition at year end.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 12 Jul 2021 03:37

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
11 Jul 2021 21:01
historygeek2021 wrote:Will Halder still be chief of staff in your ATL?
Yes. I don't see this causing any problems ATL. Halder followed Hitler's orders when given them directly, regardless of what he said after the war. ATL Halder is ordered to prepare for a longer campaign; ATL Halder follows those orders.

Authors (e.g. Stahel) overstate the Halder's impact on the post-June 22 battle anyway, pretending that Hitler-Halder disagreements somehow paralyzed the Ostheer. As we've discussed elsewhere, logistical problems would have constrained either earlier Moscow or earlier Kiev. Halder's errors were planning errors, as was the lion's share of German mistakes.

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

For the following answers, one's view will depend in part on whether one believes the German army and leadership were incompetent at logistics. Robert Citino has been advancing this view and it's in every other anti-Wehraboo internet meme. But it seems impossible to sustain, apart from Barbarossa and the latter stages of Blau, both of which involved an assumption that Soviet collapse was imminent. For Hitler himself being personally interested in logistics, see van Creveld's discussion of Hitler's reshaping Heer logistics during/after the French campaign. Supplying War, p.147.

We can discuss the general issue as required. Just want to head off generalized reactions like "the Germans would never have thought ahead like that" by saying I disagree and am willing to defend the viewpoint.
historygeek2021 wrote:Although Liedtke and USSBS note that the Wehrmacht's total supply of trucks increased in 1942 from 1941, mainly by plundering the civilian sector, this does not seem to have translated to a full restoration of mobility for OTL Fall Blau
Planning for Fall Blau began in the winter of '41; most of the increase in Wehrmacht vehicle stock didn't occur until after spring:

Image

...so I'm not sure the influx was available to the planners.

In addition:
-Germany loses fewer MV's in retreat during ATL Barbarossa.
-Germany can produce more MV during/after ATL Barbarossa or, if necessary, before.
-more below
historygeek2021 wrote:out of the 86,757 it still possessed, some 70,969 (81.8 percent) were not operational because they required some kind of significant overhaul or repair.
This was a spare parts issue intertwined with both rail logistics (i.e. the supply of spares to the field forces) and Barbarossa's original sin of assuming imminent Soviet collapse. Rail lines were not getting spare parts to the forward units, who were warning that deferred maintenance now would mean more maintenance and/or total loss later. Despite those warnings, OKH/Hitler pressed the armies forward hoping to finish the campaign before winter. From Logistik im Russland Feldzug [TMP translation], for example:
when the chiefs of staff of the HG and the armies met for a meeting on October 31, there was agreement on the unfortunate transport and supply situation. As the officers present unanimously expressed, this compelled the operations to be ended now and a refreshed force available for the spring instead of reaching far-reaching goals and letting the combat value of the units drop to the point where they could not be used [in the spring]. n216.
...
[Rundstedt in October] warned that the continuation of the operations would result in the almost complete operational immobility of the 1st Panzer Army and the bulk of the infantry divisions in the spring and urged again that attack operations on the lower Don and the Donetz be stopped. n222.
...
FN221: The 1st Panzer Army reported to the OK-HG on October 29th that the operational readiness of their vehicles and tanks was falling rapidly and that a thorough refresher at home would be necessary if they were to be fully operational in the next year. For smaller deployments during the winter, repairs in the army area lasting one to two months are possible, but this precludes full usability in the spring (see: KTB H.Gr.Sud (October 28, 1941) BA-MA, RH 19 I / 74 ).
...so all across the German army, people knew that, given current maintenance state, November (and after) offensives would mean an immobile Ostheer in the spring. A leadership that had not gambled everything on assuming total victory in '41 would not have pushed the '41 army into '42 operational immobility, as '41 would be planned as the setup for '42's coup de grace all along.

In my ATL, Germany can produce more spare parts for the army's trucks (based, once more, on not assuming a short campaign) and can ensure the rail network is sufficient to get the additional parts forward. More parts overall and forward means a better condition in October '41, while the timeline I've drawn up means the army's full-effort offensives end in October (then a partial January winter offensive).

So now let's turn to the rails...
historygeek2021 wrote:What is the point of departure in your ATL that causes Germany (who exactly in Germany?) to know what will be needed to maintain adequate rail logistics in the east across all seasons?
Who: The DRB. PoD: They bother to ask it.

Prior to Barbarossa, the German national railway ("DRB") was consulted only regarding initial operations. From Most Valuable Asset of the Reich by Mierzejewski:
the Reichsbahn was not included in the planning for the phase of the operation that would follow the initial breakthrough. This was the result of the optimistic view held by Hitler and the Wehrmacht leadership that the campaign would be concluded swiftly due to the racial inferiority of the Red Army. p.94
Had the DRB been consulted on a longer campaign, the need for winter facilities would have been addressed because the DRB was not incompetent. Indeed, the DRB had designed several models for the Russian/Finnish railways in interwar years, thus had experience with factors like intervals between watering stations, pipe placement for winter protection, and the need for warmed locomotive shelters. https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/ ... r-19411945 Shelters were needed in German winters as well; this is Train Systems 101 for the DRB.

On the issue of general capacity after the breakthrough, the DRB would have noted several things obvious to officials running one of the world's biggest train systems:
  • 1. Sending ~100 trains/day to an army deep in the SU will require ~10% of DRB total t-km capacity. Therefore, we should either start building more rolling stock or demand that France/Belgium/Holland send us more of their idle capacity (both were done OTL, but too late).
  • 2. You'll need extra signals/switch infrastructure to run trains as we Germans do on a foreign network. As I've pointed out elsewhere, these would have been eminently feasible and cheap to provide. OTL the Eisenbahnpioneere had only enough signals for the first 70km. Shown here, Ostheer had to rip out signals from unused Soviet track and move it to mainlines, which cost precious railroader labor.
  • 3. Unloading all those trains will require a lot of labor. Do something to make sure that labor is available, such as ensuring that just 10% of Soviet PoW aren't dead or too sick/malnourished to work. And/or get Organization Todt involved (done later, too late).
  • 4. Give the advanced railway districts a few radios for communication and tell the SS not to execute their native personnel until after things are up and running.
  • 5. Because we will be involved in running Soviet railways, let's set up administrative infrastructure for this task now (in OTL, administrative chaos ensued from trying to integrate more DRB involvement in the midst of Barbarossa).
  • 6. Because trains have to cross Poland first, give Ostheer traffic priority in the General Government (OTL Hitler didn't do this until DRB and others demanded it in November '41).
It's not even speculative that the DRB would have foreseen the most important of these issues: DRB officials warned Goering of the coming '41-'42 Winter Crisis during August '41 (Mierzejewski, p.94):
Kleinmann warned Göring that the Reichsbahn lacked the physical resources necessary to
meet all of the burdens being placed upon it.33 Clearly, Kleinmann feared that
the combination of large-scale military operations in the east and the usual fall
and winter problems that had afflicted the DRB for the past three years would
lead to major traffic disruptions.
Traffic in Germany was fine when Kleinmann issued that warning. He could see the writing on the wall because he was a minimally competent railroader.

Note again the DBR's awareness that winter was a factor, even non-Russian winters.

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

Aside from improving Barbarossa, better railway planning/performance would ameliorate/prevent the '41-'42 Winter Crisis, during which German production hit its wartime nadir. That means more of everything produced in Dec 41 - March 42, including trucks.

TMP bookmark: ATL logistics
Thank you, this is a wonderfully detailed and well sourced response. Thanks for putting in the work to share all this information with everyone following the thread. :thumbsup:

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Jul 2021 05:00

historygeek2021 wrote:Thanks for putting in the work
Thanks, my pleasure. Another member sent me some chapters of Logistik im Russland Feldzug (there's literally one copy in US academic libraries, hundreds of miles from me). I've been translating it as part of a desultory project to improve my German and intending to share* some gleanings. Glad to give back.

*Excerpts are, in my judgment, fair use. I am not your attorney and you assume your own risk for reproduction.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by 1999 » 16 Jul 2021 14:30

I think that placing another panzergruppe in the south would have been a very bad idea because it would not have solved the problem of the gap between the central front and the southern front. Guderian should have joined Rundstedt anyway.
It would have been better to divide it between the GA North and the GA South.
With one or two more corps, Leeb could have taken Leningrad before the end of 1941. This would have concreted the northern front and freed up about twenty divisions for operation Typhoon or the year 1942. The gains would have been enormous! That would have perhaps - I am still rather putative - been able to change the situation in front of Moscow.
Reinforced by a panzerkorps, von Kleist could have taken Kiev as early as mid-July - on the 12th, I believe. He was prevented from doing so by a Halder who only looks at Moscow and a Hitler who only sees the danger represented by the Jews of Kiev. So, in our hypothesis, Kleist takes Kiev. The communications between the South-Western and Southern Fronts with Moscow are cut off and two panzerkorps are now behind the Dnieper. The panzers would then have turned to the Black Sea to lock the Soviets in, as Paulus' original plan had called for.

Without pushing the scenario further, the involvement of the equivalent of another panzergruppe would have had immense consequences. On the contrary, if the Germans had achieved other fantastic victories, would they have won the war?


I totally agree with TheMarksPlan. A two years campaign will would have been much better for destabilizing the Stalinist regime. With a rested Ostheer, the 1942 campaign would have been a dangerous one.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 17 Jul 2021 02:52

1999 wrote:would not have solved the problem of the gap between the central front and the southern front.
The gap is, initially, an ineluctable fact of geography: the Pripyat Marshes. My ATL address this gap by using part of ATL Army Group South - stronger and facing weaker opposition after the Border Battles - to link up with AGC's right flank by a strong Dniepr crossing north of Kiev, east of the marshes:

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

Post by 1999 » 17 Jul 2021 11:06

And after have crossed the Dnieper, what do you do ? You have still a gap between Army Group Center and Army Group South and I am quite afraid by the logistic, in particular by the level of fuel...
Plus, even with another Panzergruppe, von Leeb is still skating in front of Leningrad, locked in an out-of-date siege. If he took the city, Germans would liberate many divisions, won a crushing moral victory, which was highlighted by the propaganda. It would have been a blow to the Stalinist regime.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 17 Jul 2021 11:49

1999 wrote:
17 Jul 2021 11:06
And after have crossed the Dnieper, what do you do ? You have still a gap between Army Group Center and Army Group South and I am quite afraid by the logistic, in particular by the level of fuel...
Plus, even with another Panzergruppe, von Leeb is still skating in front of Leningrad, locked in an out-of-date siege. If he took the city, Germans would liberate many divisions, won a crushing moral victory, which was highlighted by the propaganda. It would have been a blow to the Stalinist regime.
In another thread, I have collected the posts where I address the issues you raise (scroll down to "recap"). If you'll read that post and the ones linked therein, I'll be happy to address any specific questions you have.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by pugsville » 26 Jul 2021 23:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Dec 2019 06:48


1. The WW2 Heer was not systemically bad at logistics. It was far better than RKKA even if outclassed by USA.
Juts False. Badly badly Wrong. The Germans just did not include logistics as part of their planning process. It;s every bit as bad as it sounds.

29 mins in for the lack of logistics in planning. but the first 40 mins is German command.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZMPhACNCmI&t=3404s

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