PODs for Leningrad in 1941

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daveshoup2MD
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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 01:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 Jan 2022 22:55
historygeek2021 wrote:“If there’s war, then I’ll build U-boats, build U-boats, U-boats, U-boats, U-boats. I’ll build aircraft, aircraft, aircraft, and destroy my enemies!”
Ah the simple take - believe what Hitler says at face value. Funny how many continue this error despite history's lessons.

It is not, of course, an error we see in scholarship much. Ian Kershaw - Hitler's best English-language biographer - points out that many of Hitler's "rages" were carefully controlled acting performances intended for a specific audience (though he also had rages). Here he's probably trying to convey a message of intimidation to an English intermediary (knowing well that the English feared bombing).

Even were the rage real instead of staged, a minimally serious reading of Hitler's outburst would ask whether his planning and actions confirm that he was disclosing actual strategic intent. Obviously not. Hitler built shells, shells, shells after Wallies declared war.
Well, the Germans certainly bought it, hook, line, and sinker ... until they started "buying it," in the literal sense, at least ;)

So IF Hitler was building shells, while the Allies were armies, air forces, and the merchant marines and navies to get them to Europe, invade Germany, and kill Germans, apparently Hitler et al miscalculated along the way...

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 01:55

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:41
Of course, Hitler was a strategic genius. Go to war with all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet, and hope for the best!
Well, other than that ... um ... minor detail, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 19 Jan 2022 01:56

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:34
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:41
Of course, Hitler was a strategic genius. Go to war with all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet, and hope for the best!
Hitler was no strategic genius (what even is 'strategic genius'?), but he obviously didn't go to war with 'all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet'. For one, Germany's Grossraum itself clocked in at number 2 after the United States, and after Barbarossa had cut the USSR down to size, Japan would have been close to the same ballpark as Britain and the USSR.

In essence, Hitler bid his country's future, as well as his own, on defeating the Soviet Union in time to face the Anglo-Americans from a position of strength. He failed, and thus lost the war.
He did actually. He went to war with the 3 other largest industrial countries on the planet:
Industrial production.png
Source: John Ellis' Databook, USSBS

At an incredible cost in manpower and material, he managed to reduce the USSR's steel production to less than Japan for two years (1942 and 1943) ... and that is all this extremely rational leader (who fooled everyone by pretending to go into a rage) accomplished.
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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 19 Jan 2022 01:57

daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Every nation makes war plans; if they don't carry them out, it's just paper. So that strikes off #1
It was more than just a war plan. It was aggressively pushed by Paul Reynaud, and both the French and the British transferred air assets to the Middle East in March and April 1940, with a program to expand air bases in the region, and reconnaissance flights of Baku. What ultimately shelved it was German offensives in the West, first in Norway and then France.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
#2, yeah, the French fouled that one up; #3 yeah, the British fouled that one up as well; #4, USSR was a dictatorship, so reinforces my point; #5, see #4; #6, Britain again. Yep.
Good to see that we agree. Don't know why the USSR being a dictatorship reinforces your point, given that democracies don't appear to be better at avoiding fuck-ups.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Actually, Japan's options were 1) capitulation in 1945, less 3 million dead Japanese and the utter destruction of their military, merchant marine, industry, and most of their major cities, and the loss of what passed for their empire prior to 1931, or 2) withdrawal from China in 1941-42, keeping all of the above, including - probably - Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria; maybe even Jehol.
No. The Hull note made clear that Manchuria and Jehol would be lost.

Besides, your framing of the options implies that the war could only have one outcome, something which I strongly dispute.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Perhaps if the Germans hadn't invaded all their neighbors in less than five years, it might have ended better for them
Again, this implies that the war could only have one outcome.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
at least absent some of the 7 million dead Germans by 1945.
I'm not sure where the figure of 7 million dead Germans comes from. It strikes me as very high.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Yep, the Germans failed at war with their peers both times they tried it in the 20th Century; they probably should have learned from their mistakes in 1914-18.
This implies that nations or people can 'learn'. They can't - only individuals can. Germany didn't engage in WW2 because its population hadn't 'learned its lesson', but because Papen wanted to get back at Schleicher.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Considering which nations surrendered in 1945, pretty safe bet. ;)
Again, this only makes sense if you adhere to a strict determinist worldview.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 01:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:45
To return to OP's question, note the strength of German forces on the Volkhov front on September 25, 1941:

Image

AGN has 7-8 divisions (4 mechanized) facing eastwards between Lakes Ladoga and Ilmen. At that same time, AGC was concentrating 25ish mechanized divisions for Taifun. An additional 4 mech.divs with AGN (2 fresh from reserve, full strength), plus probably a few ID's, easily doubles AGN's strength in this sector. Reapportion some of AGC's massive LW concentration and reaching the Svir shouldn't be too difficult.

It is, again, only 60% of the distance that AGC covered after October. And the weather's better - I grabbed a 25.9.1941 screenshot but this could have been done a few weeks earlier were that the play.
The little steamboat is cute. Your work, or from the original?

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 02:03

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:46
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:41
Of course, Hitler was a strategic genius. Go to war with all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet, and hope for the best!
It's an unfortunate that some can't conduct a discrete conversation on analytical topics without devolving into childish nonsense.
In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka ...

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 19 Jan 2022 02:11

historygeek2021 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:56
At an incredible cost in manpower and material, he managed to reduce the USSR's steel production to less than Japan for two years (1942 and 1943) ... and that is all this extremely rational leader (who fooled everyone by pretending to go into a rage) accomplished.
I have no idea why you keep sarcastically referring to Hitler as a 'rational' leader. My point, and as I understand it TMP's point, is simply that Hitler's irrationality wasn't all-encompassing, doesn't explain every German failure, and can be compared to serious delusions on the part of the Allied leaders.

As I see it, Hitler's main deficiences as a warlord were:

1. Formulated plans on the basis of his a priori, rather than careful deliberation and analysis
2. Faced with failure, tended to retreat into uncertainty and passivity until jolted by subsequent events
3. Took extreme risks

Point 1 was widely shared by his contemporaries. Point 3 is what made him such a threat, and ultimately what made his chances for success comparatively remote.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 19 Jan 2022 02:19

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:11

As I see it, Hitler's main deficiences as a warlord were:

1. Formulated plans on the basis of his a priori, rather than careful deliberation and analysis
2. Faced with failure, tended to retreat into uncertainty and passivity until jolted by subsequent events
3. Took extreme risks

Point 1 was widely shared by his contemporaries. Point 3 is what made him such a threat, and ultimately what made his chances for success comparatively remote.
Yes, this sounds like a good overview of Hitler's deficiencies, agreed.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 02:20

historygeek2021 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:56
KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:34
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Jan 2022 23:41
Of course, Hitler was a strategic genius. Go to war with all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet, and hope for the best!
Hitler was no strategic genius (what even is 'strategic genius'?), but he obviously didn't go to war with 'all of the biggest industrial countries on the planet'. For one, Germany's Grossraum itself clocked in at number 2 after the United States, and after Barbarossa had cut the USSR down to size, Japan would have been close to the same ballpark as Britain and the USSR.

In essence, Hitler bid his country's future, as well as his own, on defeating the Soviet Union in time to face the Anglo-Americans from a position of strength. He failed, and thus lost the war.
He did actually. He went to war with the 3 other largest industrial countries on the planet:

Industrial production.png

Source: John Ellis' Databook, USSBS

At an incredible cost in manpower and material, he managed to reduce the USSR's steel production to less than Japan for two years (1942 and 1943) ... and that is all this extremely rational leader (who fooled everyone by pretending to go into a rage) accomplished.
Paul Kennedy makes a pretty similar case in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers which was published in paperback in 1989... there are multiple ways of laying it out, and dates of comparison, but in Table 30, he lists it as "Shares of World Manufacturing Output" and the 1938 measure is as follows:

US (#1) 28.7%
USSR (#2) 17.6%
GE (#3) 13.2%
UK (#4) 9.2%
etc.

Genius. Sheer genius.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 19 Jan 2022 02:31

daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:20
Paul Kennedy makes a pretty similar case in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers which was published in paperback in 1989... there are multiple ways of laying it out, and dates of comparison, but in Table 30, he lists it as "Shares of World Manufacturing Output" and the 1938 measure is as follows:

US (#1) 28.7%
USSR (#2) 17.6%
GE (#3) 13.2%
UK (#4) 9.2%
etc.

Genius. Sheer genius.
Again, no one is arguing that Hitler was a 'genius' here. This table, however, has one significant problem: it is for 1938. Between 1938 and 1941, Germany effectively conquered continental Europe, absorbing its resources and productive capacity.

To that must be added that the Germans didn't expect to fight the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans at the same time, but rather one after another. Thus, if a mistake must be identified, it ought to be Hitler's (and Halder's) assumption of a quick, one-season campaign against the USSR.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 02:41

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:57
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Don't know why the USSR being a dictatorship reinforces your point, given that democracies don't appear to be better at avoiding fuck-ups.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Actually, Japan's options were 1) capitulation in 1945, less 3 million dead Japanese and the utter destruction of their military, merchant marine, industry, and most of their major cities, and the loss of what passed for their empire prior to 1931, or 2) withdrawal from China in 1941-42, keeping all of the above, including - probably - Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria; maybe even Jehol.
No. The Hull note made clear that Manchuria and Jehol would be lost.

Besides, your framing of the options implies that the war could only have one outcome, something which I strongly dispute.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Perhaps if the Germans hadn't invaded all their neighbors in less than five years, it might have ended better for them
Again, this implies that the war could only have one outcome.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
at least absent some of the 7 million dead Germans by 1945.
I'm not sure where the figure of 7 million dead Germans comes from. It strikes me as very high.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Yep, the Germans failed at war with their peers both times they tried it in the 20th Century; they probably should have learned from their mistakes in 1914-18.
This implies that nations or people can 'learn'. They can't - only individuals can. Germany didn't engage in WW2 because its population hadn't 'learned its lesson', but because Papen wanted to get back at Schleicher.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 01:28
Considering which nations surrendered in 1945, pretty safe bet. ;)
Again, this only makes sense if you adhere to a strict determinist worldview.
Because the statement you responded to was "It's almost like - work with me here - dictatorships rarely encourage reality-based decision-making, do they?

Negotiations generally involve making a all encompassing case and then setting some points aside as one negotiates...

War between combatants that are technically peers (which, if one squints, one can say the Western powers were in the 1930s-40s), then the obvious differentials are wealth and population. By 1938, Germany was in the hole, even with Japan and Italy, and with France off the board, by about 68% to 21% of the total war potential globally by 1937 (Table 32, Rise and fall of the Great Powers)

7 million German dead (including their own citizens they murdered, of course) comes from various sources; if I understand correctly, in 2005 an estimate of 7.3 million was published by the German Red Cross, with some level of endorsement by the German government. This included Germans, Austrian, ethnic Germans from outside of Germany and Austria, military, etc.

Well, to be fair, the Japanese only had to lose one world war ... maybe it only took two for the Germans.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 19 Jan 2022 02:44

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:11

As I see it, Hitler's main deficiences as a warlord were:

1. Formulated plans on the basis of his a priori, rather than careful deliberation and analysis
2. Faced with failure, tended to retreat into uncertainty and passivity until jolted by subsequent events
3. Took extreme risks
I would add that Hitler's a priori was rooted in extreme hatred and desire for revenge based on his experience in WWI and life of poverty before that, which manifested into an irrational worldview based on race and a pathological obsession with the Jews. The Nazis, moreover, exalted the traditional agricultural lifestyle above urban industrialization, which they viewed as a corrosive Jewish influence on society. Hence the absurd plan to find living space for overcrowded German farmers instead of moving them to work in the cities.

Western leaders on the other hand were generally brought up in affluent circles that had exercised authority in global powers for decades if not centuries. That brings with it a certain sobriety and rational understanding of what their countries are capable of rather than delusions about finding living space for the master race.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by Cult Icon » 19 Jan 2022 02:56

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 00:47
Fundamentally the problem with Hitler (apart, obviously, from his amorality) was his extremely high tolerance for risk-taking, which is what truly stands out compared to the other leaders in question.
I meant more in terms that he was not necessarily interested in "surviving". The high risks and poor odds were obvious. He wanted himself- and his country to go down a certain "heroic/romantic" path. He found it intolerable that Germany would be just an medium-sized power, and he had to act fast, even if the chances were slim. This was related to their view that the US and SU were soon to dominate world affairs. This is was mindset in the 30s.

I think the posters here do not understand that his values, and those of the SS, nazis, or hard core German soldiers, etc. were very different from western statesmen or those hobbits from the shire :lol:

They were rather be dead or be a failure than not live on their terms.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 02:58

KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:31
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:20
Paul Kennedy makes a pretty similar case in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers which was published in paperback in 1989... there are multiple ways of laying it out, and dates of comparison, but in Table 30, he lists it as "Shares of World Manufacturing Output" and the 1938 measure is as follows:

US (#1) 28.7%
USSR (#2) 17.6%
GE (#3) 13.2%
UK (#4) 9.2%
etc.

Genius. Sheer genius.
Again, no one is arguing that Hitler was a 'genius' here. This table, however, has one significant problem: it is for 1938. Between 1938 and 1941, Germany effectively conquered continental Europe, absorbing its resources and productive capacity.

To that must be added that the Germans didn't expect to fight the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans at the same time, but rather one after another. Thus, if a mistake must be identified, it ought to be Hitler's (and Halder's) assumption of a quick, one-season campaign against the USSR.
The same table includes France at 4.5%, Japan at 3.8%, and Italy at 2.9% - Yay!

Even Germany "with" France, Japan, and Italy is all of 23.4%; the US, USSR, and UK are 55.5 - and that's better than 2-1 in OUTPUT as of 1938, years before the US economic and military mobilization.

Intentions and capabilities are not he same thing, of course; expecting one's enemies (plural) to limit themselves to what one thinks are their intentions, as opposed to the capabilities, only ends one way.

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Re: PODs for Leningrad in 1941

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Jan 2022 03:11

historygeek2021 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:44
KDF33 wrote:
19 Jan 2022 02:11

As I see it, Hitler's main deficiences as a warlord were:

1. Formulated plans on the basis of his a priori, rather than careful deliberation and analysis
2. Faced with failure, tended to retreat into uncertainty and passivity until jolted by subsequent events
3. Took extreme risks
I would add that Hitler's a priori was rooted in extreme hatred and desire for revenge based on his experience in WWI and life of poverty before that, which manifested into an irrational worldview based on race and a pathological obsession with the Jews. The Nazis, moreover, exalted the traditional agricultural lifestyle above urban industrialization, which they viewed as a corrosive Jewish influence on society. Hence the absurd plan to find living space for overcrowded German farmers instead of moving them to work in the cities.

Western leaders on the other hand were generally brought up in affluent circles that had exercised authority in global powers for decades if not centuries. That brings with it a certain sobriety and rational understanding of what their countries are capable of rather than delusions about finding living space for the master race.
AH's utter inability to listen to anyone else's counsel, much less even recognize that consensus is a strength (especially in terms of coalition warfare), probably should be listed, as well.

It's also worth noting that while WSC and FDR were members of wartime cabinets or executive branch agencies in 1914-18 and had personal experience with overseeing the mobilization of manpower, capital, and resources for global war, Hitler was an enlisted infantryman.

FDR was college educated, and trained as a lawyer; Churchill graduated from Sandhurst; Hitler had, essentially, a high school education. WSC and FDR both seem to have had fairly typical family lives and marriages for men of their generation; Hitler? Not so much, to be charitable... ;)

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