An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Huszar666
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Huszar666 » 08 May 2023 20:17

That, I'm afraid, is not true.
Sure, you can throw stuff out of a train basically everywhere, but if you want to do that in an orderly fashion, you indeed need the thingy with multiple tracks, warehouses, road accessibility, and enough workers to do the "throwing out stuff of a train".
If you have only a two-track head-station, you can do... two trains at once, and if it is a normal train station, you see everywhere, there is a certain challenge to get heavy and bulky equipment out of the hall.
If you have a one-track station... It complicates things even more.

The Wehrmacht had this problem OTL in late 1941. While they had the trains and had the capacity to send the trains East, they did not have the necessary unloading railheads. In case of Tula. In case of Kalinin, they had the railhead, but not the railway lines leading up to the railhead. So they had to unload everything in Rschew, or in Smolensk. Or Vjasma. Just not where the unloading should have happened.

Moldavia has/had this unfortunate problem, that the stations with capacity were nowhere near the border. The only town with capacity and near the border - Chernigow - was unfortunately on the wrong side of the border.

Peter89
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 08 May 2023 21:06

Guys, Avalancheon is not TMP, at least not based on his style.

TMP would never present anything in less than 10 pages and without detailed explanation for logistical issues. As a lawyer, he both valued (sometimes unimportant and misleading) details and extraordinary (sometimes unnecessary) explanations.
He also liked to engage his opponents points to the extreme.

He was also keen on hitting a personal tone and could change to amiable at a fingersnap.

Not to mention that it is not gallant to insinuate someone who's not here to defend himself.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Richard Anderson
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 May 2023 21:47

Avalancheon wrote:
08 May 2023 04:52
The results of the armaments program inaugerated in August 1940 speaks for itself. Rustungsprogram B was able to supply the German Army with the minimum amount of weaponry and equipment required for 209 divisions. There were shortages in certain categorys of weapons, certainly (foremost among them tanks and AFVs), but the production was adequate for the most part. In order to supply the requirements of an Army with 20 extra divisions, there would have needed to be a change in the German economy. This is all addressed in the original post.
Keitel ordered the revision of the armaments program from 120 to 180 divisions (plus an additional 20 division equivalent for the Ersatzheer, Feldheer, and Heerestruppen, as of 17 August. Hitler approved the plan on 26 August and it was promulgated on 5 September with detailed instructions issued as a Führerbefehl on 28 September.

However, Rüstungsprogramm B did not supply "the minimum amount of weaponry and equipment required for 209 divisions". That is your invention. It planned for the armament necessary to expand the Heer from 120 operational divisions by 60 for a proposed campaign in the east. The actual disposition of the 180 divisions was expected to be 120 divisions for the east, 50 for the west, 7 for Norway, and 3 for Holland and Belgium.

The 120-division figure was actually based on the 159 operational divisions (out of 167 total) existing 15 June, which was to be reduced by 39 divisions that were to be demobilized so that personnel could be redistributed. What was achieved instead was a redistribution of personnel and a rationalization of organizations from 167 partly complete divisions on 15 June 1940 to 209 partly complete divisions on 20 June 1941 - a growth of 42 rather than the 60 planned for. Among other things, the nine Sicherungs-Divisionen were created by reducing the capability of nine Infanterie-Divisionen, the four leichte-Infanterie-Divisionen were created by taking bits from other divisions and so on. Given the manpower restrictions of the Reich, it is extremely unlikely that 20 more fully operational infantry divisions could have been created.

In terms of munitions production, Rüstungsprogramm B did succeed in producing sufficient small arms for the additional 42 divisions but failed to meet all goals. Only 84% of the 7.5cm leIG, 91% of the 15cmsIG, and 94% of the 10.5cm leFH required were produced. Worse was the tank situation, where only 80% of the goal for the Panzer III and 10% of the goal for the Panzer IV were achieved.
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gebhk
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by gebhk » 08 May 2023 21:51

Sure, you can throw stuff out of a train basically everywhere, but if you want to do that in an orderly fashion, you indeed need the thingy with multiple tracks, warehouses, road accessibility, and enough workers to do the "throwing out stuff of a train".
But we are not talking about 'throwing stuff off', we are talking about disembarking troops and all their equipment. For this all that is required is a length of track and ramps which all military trains carried, for precisely that reason (at least Polish ones did - but I can't imagine that the Germans were that dimwitted not to have though of it). Disembarkaction at railyards was discouraged because firstly they attracted the attentions of enemy aircraft and secondly because the multiple tracks and structures of a railyard hampered the forming up and movement of the troops once they were off their train. For similar reasons, train deliveries of ammunition were never made to railyards/stations under wartime conditions.

Yes, under peaceful (or relatively peaceful) conditions it is nice to have a railyard and its associated lifting gear and warehousing for bulk deliveries of goods and stations for deliveries of personnel. However, this cannot be relied upon in war and military trains (other than in an idiots army) had to have the capacity to unload efficiently in the field. Thus the absence of railyards cannot be considered an insurmountable obstacle to deployment of troops.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 May 2023 22:12

The expansion of the Heer between 15 June 1940 and 20 June 1942 is interesting.

Panzer Divisions. There were ten in existence at the beginning of the French Campaign. Then, between the end of the French campaign and the opening of the spring campaigns in the Balkan’s, eleven more including the 5. leichte Panzer were formed.

11. Panzer-Division on 1 August 1940 from 11. Schuetzen-Brigade and Panzer-Regiment 15.
12. Panzer-Division on 10 January 1941 from the reorganized 2. Infanterie-Division (mot.).
13. Panzer-Division on 9 October 1940 from the reorganized 13. Infanterie-Division (mot.).
14. Panzer-Division on 15 August 1940 from the 4. Infanterie-Division.
15. Panzer-Division on 11 November 1940 from the 33. Infanterie-Division.
16. Panzer-Division on 2 August 1940 from the 16. Infanterie-Division.
17. Panzer-Division on 1 November 1940 from the 27. Infanterie-Division.
18. Panzer-Division on 15 October 1940 in Wehrkreis IV, partly from the specialized Tauchpanzer developed for and equipping Panzer-Regiment 18.
19. Panzer-Division on 1 November 1940 from the 19. Infanterie-Division.
20. Panzer-Division on 1 November 1940, also from elements of the 19. Infanterie-Division.

So, the Heer lost two Infanterie-Divisionen (mot.) and five Infanterie-Divisionen, but gained ten Panzer-Divisionen. Thus the net increase was three.

Motorized Infantry Divisions. Two of the existing four Infanterie-Divisionen (mot.) converted to Panzer-Divisionen after the end of the French Campaign. Seven more were created by motorizing existing Infanterie-Divisionen, so there was no net increase or decrease in the overall size of the Heer.

3. Infanterie-Division (mot.) in fall 1940 from the reorganized 3. Infanterie-Division.
10. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 1 November 1940 from the reorganized 10. Infanterie-Division.
14. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 1 November 1940 from the reorganized 14. Infanterie-Division.
16. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 2 August 1940 from the reorganized 16. Infanterie-Division.
18. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 1 November 1940 from the reorganized 18. Infanterie-Division.
25. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 1 November 1940 from the reorganized 25. Infanterie-Division.
36. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 1 November 1940 from the reorganized 36. Infanterie-Division.
60. Infanterie-Division (mot.) on 17 July 1940 from the reorganized 60. Infanterie-Division.

Mountain Divisions. The existing three divisions were reinforced by the creation of three more during 1940. All were active by the fall. Thus this represents a net increase of three divisions in the Heer, all during 1940.

Light Divisions. Four new divisions were created, all after the end of the French Campaign. Thus this represents a net increase of four divisions in the Heer, all during 1940.

97. leichte Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
99. leichte Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
100. leichte Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
101. leichte Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.

Infantry Divisions. Before the beginning of the French Campaign, ten new divisions were created (290., 291., 292., 293., 294., 295., 296., 297., 298., and 299. Infanterie-Divisionen). All were formed in January-February 1940 and were barely operational by 10 May 1940. In addition. a total of 34 Infanterie-Divisionen, mostly of the 11.-14. Welle, were formed after the close of the French Campaign.

102. Infanterie-Division was formed 10 December 1940.
106. Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
110. Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
111. Infanterie-Division was formed on 5 November 1940.
112. Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
113. Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 December 1940.
121 Infanterie-Division was formed on 6 October 1940.
122. Infanterie-Division was formed on 2 October 1940.
123. Infanterie-Division was formed on 10 October 1940.
125. Infanterie-Division was formed on 2 October 1940.
126. Infanterie-Division was formed on 23 September 1940.
129. Infanterie-Division was formed on 22 October 1940.
131. Infanterie-Division was formed on 17 September 1940.
132. Infanterie-Division was formed on 5 October 1940.
134. Infanterie-Division was formed on 5 October 1940.
137. Infanterie-Division was formed on 5 October 1940.
199. Infanterie-Division was formed on 1 November 1940 in Norway from existing elements of other divisions in garrison there.
302. Infanterie-Division was formed on 15 November 1940.
304. Infanterie-Division was formed on 15 November 1940.
305 Infanterie-Division was formed on 15 December 1940.
306. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
319. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
320. Infanterie-Division was formed 18 November 1940.
321. Infanterie-Division was formed 2 December 1940.
323. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
327. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
332. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
333. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
335. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
336. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 December 1940.
337. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 November 1940.
339. Infanterie-Division was formed 15 December 1940.
340. Infanterie-Division was formed 16 November 1940.
342. Infanterie-Division was formed 21 October 1940.

This completed the mobilization through the 14. Welle.

However, 19 or 20 divisions are usually said to have been disbanded after the end of the French Campaign. Of those, four were Landwehr divisions (209., 228., 331., and 358. Infanterie-Division). In common with the other Landwehr divisions (205., 206., 208., 211., 212., 213., 214., 215., 216., 217., 218., 221., 223., 225., 227., and 228. were not demobilized) they were mainly composed of older and often married men, some of the more senior of them Great War veterans. Their mobilization probably had had an adverse effect upon the Reich economy as a whole. The equipment of the divisions was often obsolescent.

A six other divisions, most of them Landwehr, were converted to field commands occupying conquered territories. These included:

365. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 365.
372. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 372.
379. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 379.
393. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 393.
395. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 395.
399. Infanterie-Division, reorganized as Oberfeldkommandantur 399.

Finally, 15 Infanterie-Divisionen (271., 272., 273., 276., 277, 307., 310., 311., 317., 341., 351, 380., 555., 556., and 557.) were all supposedly formed shortly before, and disbanded shortly after, the French Campaign. Some of these (555., 556., and 557.) were created in February 1940 by the renaming of Fortress divisions (Stellungs-Divisionen) as Infantry divisions, which did little to increase either their mobility or their combat readiness (556. Infanterie-Division was formed on 11 February 1940 from Divisions-Kommando z.b.V. 426 and Landsesschuetzen Batallion II/XVII). However, many left little or nothing in the way of records behind and it is unclear how far along their organization was before they were disbanded. It is also unclear if the personnel that had been mustered for these divisions were in fact discharged or were incorporated into the other divisions whose formation was completed. It is curious that all three of the former Stellungs-Divisionen were disbanded as of 1 October 1940, just as the first of the 11. Welle divisions began activating.

Thus, the Heer created approximately 69 new divisions in the Feld-Heer by the end of 1940. In the same period 19 divisions were disbanded, for a net increase of 50 divisions.

Then there was the 15. Welle of 15 divisions (702., 704., 707. – 719. Inf.Div.) organized specifically as occupation divisions in the west.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
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Huszar666
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Huszar666 » 09 May 2023 19:27

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 22:12
The expansion of the Heer between 15 June 1940 and 20 June 1942 is interesting.
You forgot the 5th Light on your list.
Just to make the list whole, that division was raised from odds and ends, mostly Heerestruppen. 5th PzRgt and 3rd Recon Btl from the 3rd PzD, plus the 2nd and 8th MG-Btls.
Since it officially counted as a "Division"...

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 May 2023 21:33

Huszar666 wrote:
09 May 2023 19:27
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 22:12
The expansion of the Heer between 15 June 1940 and 20 June 1942 is interesting.
You forgot the 5th Light on your list.
Just to make the list whole, that division was raised from odds and ends, mostly Heerestruppen. 5th PzRgt and 3rd Recon Btl from the 3rd PzD, plus the 2nd and 8th MG-Btls.
Since it officially counted as a "Division"...
Second paragraph. :milwink:
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
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Huszar666
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Huszar666 » 14 May 2023 18:07

Second paragraph. :milwink:
Oh, yeah. Not, that the 5th Light would change anything important in your well-made list :thumbsup:
But we are not talking about 'throwing stuff off', we are talking about disembarking troops and all their equipment. For this all that is required is a length of track and ramps which all military trains carried, for precisely that reason (at least Polish ones did - but I can't imagine that the Germans were that dimwitted not to have though of it). Disembarkaction at railyards was discouraged because firstly they attracted the attentions of enemy aircraft and secondly because the multiple tracks and structures of a railyard hampered the forming up and movement of the troops once they were off their train. For similar reasons, train deliveries of ammunition were never made to railyards/stations under wartime conditions.

Yes, under peaceful (or relatively peaceful) conditions it is nice to have a railyard and its associated lifting gear and warehousing for bulk deliveries of goods and stations for deliveries of personnel. However, this cannot be relied upon in war and military trains (other than in an idiots army) had to have the capacity to unload efficiently in the field. Thus the absence of railyards cannot be considered an insurmountable obstacle to deployment of troops.
No, this is not correct. Why do you think, Rschew was so important to HGr Mitte between... October 1941 and the evacuation in 1943? Or why every last railroad yard was full of trains and wagons everywhere between Stalingrad and Bourdeaux at any given time?
Even cities in the frontline (Budapest, for example), had thousands of wagons parked on every possible yard.
Yes, you can do detraining even on open track - however, it does look like that was quite an exception, and it was regarded as a curiosity and not as the rule.
Simply put, a yard is much more efficient for unloading stuff, be it personnel, heavy equipment, or those 45-kg-crates for ammo, than an open track. Yards usually have those folks, who do the work of getting the crates off the train, bringing it to somewhere (usually a warehouse), and then, when the owners come, load them up on trucks or horse-drawn wagons. Yards usually have road access, and multiple tracks to store - or unload - more, than one train at the same time.
It's like saying, no harbour is needed for unloading ships.

If you mean disembarkation of troops, NOT material, you are partially right. Getting troops of a train is easy and fast, no matter, if it is on open track or in a station. Normally, troops were only ferried with trains on strategical movement (yes, I know, there were exceptions), but mostly they were detrained faaar away from the front. Because the closer yards were meant for material unloading, since ammo-crates don't walk on their own and the closer the yard to the front is, the more supply the supply columns can transport in any time frame.
There was this rule of thumb back then: an army can be supplied no farther, than 100-150kms from the closest railhead.

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 15 May 2023 12:11

Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Oh yeah, this is TMP. The arguments are word-for-word the same, not to speak about the style...
I am not TMP, you clown. We are different people. You could easily figure that out that if you had any common sense.

I joined the AHF on April 22, 2017. I have a post count of 328.

TheMarcksPlan joined the AHF on January 15, 2019. He had a post count of 3255, at the time he was banned.

I have been on the AxisHistoryForum longer than TMP, and made far fewer posts than him. I am a casual user of this site. I am mainly interested in reading and asking questions. TMP is an adversarial character who was mainly interested in arguing and making points.

We are not the same person. Use your brain.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Ah, so we're coming right out of the gates by labeling people as cultists, are we? Its nice to see such a balanced, impartial stance from posters.
I'm actually interested in What ifs, and am doing that for around two decades by now. And yes, TMP HAD his own cultists, who were regurgitating his TRUTH. Interestingly, you give his arguments, word-for-word. So, who knows?
Perhaps you don't understand the finer points of the English language, since it isn't native to you. But 'cultist' is a very sinister term that is used to describe members of small quasi-religious groups with unhealthy beliefs and lifestyles. Like the Heavens Gate cult, for instance. When you use the word cultist to describe people who merely have viewpoints that you disagree with, you look stupid and dishonest.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Most of those troops still could have been sent to NE-Rumania, instead of Galizia. Probably someone took a Kübelwagen for a tour, and after seeing the picturesque landscape of Moldavia, noped out really fast.
Another stupid comment. You really expect everyone to believe the Germans didn't do the slightest bit of research before deploying an entire Army of 14 divisions to Romania?
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Sure, why not? Since the 12th Army noped out, despite redeploying troops from the Balkans to NE-Romania is about as hard, as redeploying them to Galizia, let's invent some other troops to take their place. Do you want an ISD too? Maybe a DS Mk 2?
This if the 'What If' forum of the AHF. :welcome: The entire purpose is to create counterfactual scenarios. My ATL involves the German Army raising more divisions than it historically did. The extra forces are inherent to the scenario. Its all there in the original post. You don't have any points to make, you are just whining sarcastically.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Let's put this discussion on a solid footing. I actually come and live in Hungary (that's the country next to Romania), and I happen to know, how well-developed the road network in Hungary was in the 30's and 40's. I actually do have a notion, how developed the road network in the liberated part of Transylvania was.
Everyone, setting foot into Central Europe knows, the farther you get from Wien, the worse the roads get.
You are no different from any other Balkanboo. All of you types (Peter89 included) love to point to the poor roads and railways and lazily conclude that it precludes the deployment of large military forces. But none of you are ever able to substantiate this with any hard evidence. You don't discuss the tonnage of supplys needed for each division per day, or what tonnage the railways could transport per day. All you profer is unsubstantiated fluff.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
I do happen to have driven around between Tulcea and Pitesti back in 2004, and yes, the road quality was worse, than in Hungary. Including dirt tracks, that on the maps were indicated as tertiary roads.
Just to be sure, I also checked Google Street View. It's quite informative.
So yes, I think, I have quite and authority on road quality in the early 40s East of Wien.
Have YOU ever been to Romania, preferably in the countryside?
Ah, the old 'Were you there?!' argument. A favourite of Young Earth Creationists. In all honesty, I was not there in Romania in the 1940s, but neither were you. :)

At any rate, the bad roads did not preclude the deployment of 12th Army to Romania, or its redeployment to Bulgaria. The roads were not the insurmountable obstacle you make them out to be.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Thank you for proving my point. There is exactly ONE (eins, uno, jedan) rail line from Bucharest to the North, namely the Bucarest-Buzau-Foscani-Border, with a branch of THE SAME line going up to Iassy.
Correct. There is one rail line running from Bucharest to Botosani, with a branch to Iassi. There is also another rail line running through the Carpathian mountains, with a very small gap at Suceava. This gap could be easily bridged with minimal effort; it may have been done after 1938. (Perhaps the war diarys of the divisions in the 11th Army could verify this) If so, this would provide two rail lines to Botosani.

This map provides a higher resolution of the Romanian railways of the period.

Railway-Romania-1938.png

Both of these railways would be single track lines. Generally, those can run about 12 train pairs per day, but the exact numbers depend on variables. Even if the Germans only have the one railway to work off of, that should be enough to supply their day to day needs AND build up a supply stockpile. 11th Army and 5th Panzer Groups would still have to march into their positions along the roads, though.

''The capacity of a particular line was the number of trains that could run down its length both up and down, usually given as 12 pairs of trains a day for single lines or 24 pairs of trains for double track lines for restored military railways. However, double-track lines run by the Reichsbahn in Germany might achieve 72 or 144 train pairs a day; the difference was due to the number of sidings that allowed trains to pass one another and the complexity of the signaling equipment.'' -The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H.G.W. Davie.

A typical German supply train would carry around 450 tons of cargo. Thus, 12 trains per day down a single track line will yield about 5400 tons of supplys at their destination. According to this site: http://www.mnstarfire.com/ww2/history/l ... ision.html Infantry divisions need about 150 tons of supplys a day, while panzer divisions need around 300 tons a day. That doesn't include ammunition. 11th Army has 12 infantry divisions. 5th Panzer Group has 3 panzer, 2 motorised, and 2 infantry divisions. 14 infantry divisions require 2100 tons of supplys per day, while 5 panzer/motorised divisions require 1500 tons of supplys per day. Thats 3600 tons per day for all 19 divisions. The railways can cover that with enough of a surplus to build a supply stockpile. So logistically, there is no problem.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Do you know, what else you need to unload stuff and disembark troops from a train? Developed train yards.
Take a look at Google Maps/Earth on ANY of the "big" cities in Modavia. What did you NOT find? Developed train yards.
No, you don't need train yards to unload supplys. The trains can carry their own unloading equipment, even such simple implements as ramps. gebhk already explained this to you in detail, so I will not belabor the point again. Train yards are a luxury, not a necessity.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Sorry, TMP, you know, where those threads are (this subforum, a page or two back), and you know fairly well, what folks told you there.
For the last time, I'm not TMP. I don't know what your talking about. Show the threads, or shut up already.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Oh, you meant 2 Btl-Divisons? I must have overlooked that piece of crucial information! But hey, you could also raise 6 Divisions wit 1 Btl each, and call them PzDiv! It is the same difference. 3 "average" PzDiv with an "average" of 192 or 3 "light" divisions of 150 or so... You build 450 or 560 tanks with the same chance. Zero. I told you in the old thread already.
At best, Germany could have built around a dozen extra Pz III and IV each, plus, say, a bit more, than that in Pz IIs. And that is generous. Since real-life production changes aren't about spewing corporate bullshit, and abraka dabra, the figures double the next day.
See, this is what I was talking about earlier. You don't actually have any points to make, you are just griping.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Dude, I actually write and post a fantasy novel at another site. (Really) There is actually NO (nada) difference between Germany building 100 or 5000 extra tanks between late summer 1940 and early summer 1941. Since neither could be done.
It CAN be done, if the correct measures are taken. In my ATL, Hitler passed a Fuhrer Order which authorized Todt to rationalise the war economy. This was in August 1940, around the same time that Rustungsprogram B was approved. Those measures would start to come in effect in September 1940, but would take time to accumulate. The latest date that weapons from the factorys could be delivered to the frontline in time for Operation Barbarossas D-Day is May 1941.

So from September 1940 to May 1941 is the relevant timespan. Thats nine months. 500 extra tanks in that timeframe works out to about 55 extra tanks per month. I don't know the precise number of tanks the Germans built of all types in that timeframe. But I do know that they produced 930 or so Panzer III tanks in those nine months, averaging out to 103 tanks per month. I imagine that the rationalisation measures would impact all the tank plants to different degrees. Some had lots of room for improvement, but some did not. One could expect a general increase in the production of all tank types.

panzer_production.png
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Even if they could build anything extra, don't you think, the already there and known shortfalls would be filled? Not raise even more Btls (assuming, there were trained crews, troops, artillery, kolonnen, etc), making the hole even deeper?
No, because there was no real incentive to do so. Not by the German leadership, who expected a quick victory in the Russian campaign. And not by the heads of industry either, because there was no guarantee of a large, steady contract. They didn't care if the tank plants were producing fewer units than their theoretical maximum. They had neither the promise of financial gain nor the threat of state coercion to drive them to maximise production. Thats what would change with the Fuhrer Order to rationalise the war economy.

Rationalisation has small and large consequences. On the small scale, it would increase the productivity of individual factorys by virtue of changes to the production process, division of labour, standardisation, etc. (Thats industrial self-responsibility) On the large scale, it would also free up considerable numbers of workers that could be employed elsewhere in the war economy. This would have to include changes to the system of deferrals to really take full effect, though. Depending on how serious the rationalisation measures are, the number of workers that could be freed up number in the hundreds of thousands.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Sure, why not? But, why stop there? It's enough to wave the magic wand, spew some corporate, and you have as many weapons and troops as you want? Why stop? Build a German Army of 500 Divisions! All Panzer! And that ISD and DS Mk 2!
More griping. Yawn.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
You claim, but do not so demonstrate.
I did.
Not to me, you didn't.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:16
Actually, if we synergize virtual functionalities and productize cutting-edge markets, we could expedite downstream markets and so iterate holistic initiatives. The unleashed back-end e-tailers would revolutionize clicks-and-mortar machine learning. Also, whiteboard cutting-edge networks would deploy enterprise deliverables.
I have worked corporate for 4,5 years.
What did I say about the sarcasm? If you don't have any actual points to make, then just be quiet.
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Last edited by Avalancheon on 15 May 2023 12:51, edited 1 time in total.

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 15 May 2023 12:32

Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
On the serious side, though...
Oh good, now hes serious. :roll:
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
Germany didn't need a knock-out blow in the Border Battles.
Germany needed a sustainable force rotation and a transition of robust supply-chains (sorry, if we spew corporate, we should do it correctly).
Translating that to normal English, a good second strategic echelon, that was more, than the puny 2nd Army and two PzDivs, i.e a meaningful reserve,
The Germans will have that, though. To a greater degree than they historically did. The operational reserve for the OstHeer in this ATL is 30 divisions, as opposed to just 24 divisions. Its not a major increase, but it matters. The larger reserves will allow them to compensate for the expanding funnel of the USSRs geography, and ensure there are enough divisions to hold the frontline in strength.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
and enough trucks, railway engineers and trains, to bring enough supply up to, and including Moscow. And Tichwin and Rostow.
No matter, how badly the soviets destroy everything.
A well-managed logistical apparatus would of course be highly advantageous in Russia. In practise, though, the Germans were undermined by their assumption of a short summer campaign. They did not put the maximum effort into improving their railways, because they assumed they would destroy the Red Army west of Dniepr-Dvina river. In their minds, there was no need to supply the bulk of the OstHeer that deep in the interior of Russia. They would just be mopping up what was left of the Soviet military.

But as for the matter of sabotage. If the Germans can make a faster advance through the Ukraine, that gives the Soviet destruction battalions less time to enact their scorched earth policys and destroy critical infrastructure. Especially bridges.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
Even THEN, a quick, one-season (or year) campaign was out of the question. The distances were simply too large. Even IF the su collapsed some time after the Border Battles - and even that was very close to wishful thinking - reaching the AA-line, EXCLUSIVE the Caucasus would be very hard to accomplish in one year (season).
Agreed. There was almost no chance of the Soviet Union collapsing in 1941, regardless of how well the Germans performed. That by itself precluded the possibility of reaching the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line by a railway advance. The occupation phase described in the Marcks plan makes me think they were hoping to repeat what they had done in 1918 during Operation Faustschlag, when the Germans overran the collapsing Russians with train detachments.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
All these threads about "Adolf getting off dope for a minute, and realizing, how wast and dangerous the su is", just to reenact the very same wishful thinking and misunderstanding the actual strategical situation. Just on dope.
The wishful thinking of Adolf & Co was: we destroy the su in a quick, one year (season) campaign, and THEN, the UK has no other choice, but to shine our boots!
There seems to be a misunderstanding. The point of departure for my ATL is a better assessment of the Red Armys capabilitys by the FHO (Fremde Heer Ost) during the summer of 1940. Specifically, they determine that the Soviets are only partially mobilised, and that they have the ability to arm and equip more divisions by the spring of 1941. This threat assessment leads to the Germans raising additional forces for the invasion of Russia, but not fundamentally changing their strategy. Thats the difference between my scenario and TMPs scenario. He proposed a change of German strategy from a one year campaign to a two year campaign against Russia, in contradiction to Hitlers rationale for the war. In that sense, it is less realistic than my ATL.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
That had quite a few leaps of faith.
But, no, we do dope, and say: the su is much more dangerous, than we thought, while we were on dope, so let's raise xyz more divisions, by being real teutonic industrials, and we do a TWO-year campaign, and THEN, the UK will surely have no other choice, than shine our boots! Gimme more dope!
Wrong. This right here is another product of your inability to distinguish between me and TMP. My biggest disagreement with him was over the fact that Barbarossa was planned as a one year campaign against Russia, which TMP retconed into a two year campaign. You can't change the conception of a short war without changing everything else.

Hitlers entire rationale for war with the Soviets is that it would eliminate Britains last potential ally on the continent; with no hope of wearing Germany down in a two front war, they would presumably be forced to the negotiating table. If he is told in no uncertain terms that Russia cannot be conquered in a single campaign, then all of that goes in the trashcan. As Hitler himself said, an invasion would only make sense if the Soviets could be shattered with a single blow.

Anyway, the entire idea of a long war of attrition goes against the ethos of the German military, which was inherited from the Prussians. They exclusively preferred fast and decisive campaigns, resulting in wars that were short and lively (kurz und vives). Blitzkrieg was just a manifestation of this long military tradition.
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
The fallacy in that chain of arguments is (not counting too much dope): the whole Eastern Campaign was meant to be over in ONE year, before the US could enter the fray, and deprive the UK of its last continental dagger (French Revolution and Napoleon, anyone?). If it is realized, the whole spiel would take MORE than ONE year, the remaining minimal rationalization just went out of the window.
IF it is realized, the su is strong enough, to last, MORE, than ONE year, it is a threat mid-term, and Adolf&Co wanted Lebensraum so bad, the logical thing to do would be to defeat the UK as fast as possible, and NOT going on a multiple-years escapade in the East, while the UK was sitting there on its islands and sending bombers to Berlin. And tying up a... certain... second strategic echelon in the Normandy.
Precisely. If the Germans thought that they couldn't defeat the Soviets in one year, then they wouldn't have gone to war with them at all. Instead, they would have made a greater effort to either pacify them, or to bring them into the war on their side. Hitler would have went to the Axis-Soviet conference in November 1941 with a completely different attitude. This could have went one of two ways. 1) He could have offered the Soviets greater compensation for joining the Axis, possibly through the annexation of parts of Turkey (Kars province, and maybe the Bosporous). 2) He could have aimed for the less ambitious goal of simply maintaining the status quo between Germany and the Soviet Union.

If the OKH tells Hitler that the USSR cannot be defeated in a one year campaign, then he would have fundamentally changed his entire strategy. Germany would have embarked on a Mediterranean strategy, instead. Operation Felix is a certainty. An enlarged Afrika Korps is likely. A sequential invasion of Crete and Malta is likely. An invasion of Turkey is a distant possibility as well, although it would have to be done with Soviet participation (as they could sabotage the entire campaign).
Huszar666 wrote:
08 May 2023 19:55
So, IF Adolf&Co get off dope long enough, to realize, blah, blah, blah, Border Battles, extra divisions, blah, blah, blah, already in MAY 1940, why don't they get off dope enough to realize, they should invade the UK in 1940, wait till 1942, and THEN invade the su with everything they have, could plunder from the UK and manufacture in the extra one year?
Oh, and probably the Teheran conference would involve Adolf, Benito, the Shah, Rashid Ali, Chandar Bose, and İsmet İnönü, sometimes in early 1942. Guess what.
Thats an entirely different scenario altogether from what I propose. I have no particular desire to explore any of the things you bring up. Especially since it involves a different POD.

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 15 May 2023 12:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
Keitel ordered the revision of the armaments program from 120 to 180 divisions (plus an additional 20 division equivalent for the Ersatzheer, Feldheer, and Heerestruppen, as of 17 August. Hitler approved the plan on 26 August and it was promulgated on 5 September with detailed instructions issued as a Führerbefehl on 28 September.

However, Rüstungsprogramm B did not supply "the minimum amount of weaponry and equipment required for 209 divisions". That is your invention. It planned for the armament necessary to expand the Heer from 120 operational divisions by 60 for a proposed campaign in the east. The actual disposition of the 180 divisions was expected to be 120 divisions for the east, 50 for the west, 7 for Norway, and 3 for Holland and Belgium.
Yes, Richard, I know all of that. I learned these fine details months ago. It was necessary background research to make this thread. Historically, Hitler ordered the expansion of the Heer to 180 divisions: 60 to occupy Western Europe, and 120 to invade Russia. The OKH also added another 20 divisions for the ErsatzHeer. Rustungsprogram B was devised to equip 200 divisions, but there was enough surplus to equip the extra 9 divisions raised by mid-1941. You'll have to forgive me for my hyperbole.

Anyway, I explained all of this in my original post. The ATL closely follows the OTL course of events, with occasional differences flowing logically from the POD. My scenario can be summarised like this... As a result of the FHOs threat assesment, Hitler and the OKH foresaw the need for 130-140 divisions to invade Russia. Together with the 60 divisions needed to occupy Western Europe, that puts them at 200 divisions total, plus another 20 for the ErsatzHeer. Rustungsprogram B was thus devised to equip 220 divisions, which provoked a heated dispute between Georg Thomas and Fritz Todt. They knew that an Army of this scale could not be provisioned without a restructuring of the economy. Hitler settled the dispute in Todts favour, authorising him to rationalise the war economy. The armaments plan reached most of its goals by mid-1941, equiping a total of 231 divisions in time for Operation Barbarossa.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
The 120-division figure was actually based on the 159 operational divisions (out of 167 total) existing 15 June, which was to be reduced by 39 divisions that were to be demobilized so that personnel could be redistributed. What was achieved instead was a redistribution of personnel and a rationalization of organizations from 167 partly complete divisions on 15 June 1940 to 209 partly complete divisions on 20 June 1941 - a growth of 42 rather than the 60 planned for. Among other things, the nine Sicherungs-Divisionen were created by reducing the capability of nine Infanterie-Divisionen, the four leichte-Infanterie-Divisionen were created by taking bits from other divisions and so on.
Correct. When you take into account the fact that some divisions were reduced to cadres so that their personnel could be given leave to work in the factorys (the 'armaments holiday' mandated by Hitler), then you can see that the re-organisation of the German Army in the fall of 1940 was a stupendous achievement. Its a testament to their organisational skill.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
Given the manpower restrictions of the Reich, it is extremely unlikely that 20 more fully operational infantry divisions could have been created.
Finally, an interesting argument! I was hoping that someone would ask questions about the force structure of the ATL German Army. This is something I put a fair bit of thought into. I know about the manpower limitations they faced at the time, and figured out a clever workaround. By mid-1941, around 85% of German men between the ages of 20 and 30 were already serving in the Wehrmacht. That pool of manpower is thus largely tapped out, especially given the state of the deferral system. But there is an untapped pool in the group of men between the ages of 30 and 40. This age group is less suitable for frontline duties, but fine for rear area and occupation dutys.

Just to clarify, my scenario does not stipulate 20 extra infantry divisions. The ATL German Army has an extra 15 infantry divisions, 2 motorised divisions, and 3 panzer divisions. Heres the main difference in its force structure. Instead of raising the 13th and 14th waves of divisions for occupation dutys, they are amalgamated into a single wave and raised for field dutys. Instead of 9 + 8 divisions of occupation troops, they have 15 divisions of combat troops. Thats where the bulk of the OstHeers additional strength comes from. These divisions which would have been occupying Western Europe were instead deployed for combat on the Eastern front. Their place was taken over by the occupation and static divisions.

In OTL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, nine occupation divisions. 14th wave, eight occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, nine security divisions.

In ATL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, fifteen field divisions. 14th wave, fifteen occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, eleven security divisions.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
In terms of munitions production, Rüstungsprogramm B did succeed in producing sufficient small arms for the additional 42 divisions but failed to meet all goals. Only 84% of the 7.5cm leIG, 91% of the 15cmsIG, and 94% of the 10.5cm leFH required were produced. Worse was the tank situation, where only 80% of the goal for the Panzer III and 10% of the goal for the Panzer IV were achieved.
Yes.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 May 2023 17:26

Avalancheon wrote:
15 May 2023 12:48
The armaments plan reached most of its goals by mid-1941, equiping a total of 231 divisions in time for Operation Barbarossa.
So by using the magic word an industry incapable of completing the requirements for the army in existence would be capable of creating a larger and better equipped army? Neat.
Correct. When you take into account the fact that some divisions were reduced to cadres so that their personnel could be given leave to work in the factorys (the 'armaments holiday' mandated by Hitler), then you can see that the re-organisation of the German Army in the fall of 1940 was a stupendous achievement. Its a testament to their organisational skill.
To be precise, by November it was calculated that 51 of the divisions in existence were non-operational due to the mass armament leave.
Finally, an interesting argument! I was hoping that someone would ask questions about the force structure of the ATL German Army. This is something I put a fair bit of thought into. I know about the manpower limitations they faced at the time, and figured out a clever workaround. By mid-1941, around 85% of German men between the ages of 20 and 30 were already serving in the Wehrmacht. That pool of manpower is thus largely tapped out, especially given the state of the deferral system. But there is an untapped pool in the group of men between the ages of 30 and 40. This age group is less suitable for frontline duties, but fine for rear area and occupation dutys.
You may have put a fair bit of thought into it but your thinking is quite simply incorrect. As of the 4 February 1941 review of the manpower situation, the following points were made (RH15/230-3 "Besprechung am 4.2. mit den Wehrersatzinspekteuren. Besprechungspunkte", OKW, 4.2.41):

1. The Ersatz situation is "difficult".
2. Germany's manpower resources are already overstretched, and consequently the available resources must be prioritized.
3. That would require releasing fit personnel of JG 08 or younger from staff positions in the Feldheer, transferring them to front line positions and replacing them with older men; releasing fit men from the Ersatzheer and replacing them by limited service men; and increasing restrictions releases from active duty and detached duty; and, finally, limiting the activation of new units.
4. The “Völkerwanderung” - the constant shifting of personnel between raising and disbanding units in the mobilization for the Polish and French campaigns and sending them back into industry - had left the personnel system in disarray.

At that time, there were 150,000 men from JG 00-07 left in the Ersatzheer and 100,000 from JG 08-21. JG 22, which was a strong year class, was not called up yet but was in its RAD training phase and would be called up in the autumn. Finally, there were 90,000 miscellaneous men in the Wehrersatzdienststellen. Of those 340,000 already in service, about 320,000 completed training by June and were available as replacements for the Feldheer, along with 80,000 trained men already in FEB with the Ostheer. If they got used for the additional 20 divisions required for your scheme, then the inadequate replacement pool would be used up that much quicker.

The "group of men between the ages of 30 and 40", AKA the Weißjahrgang, i.e., JG 00-13, that were completely untrained prewar because of the Versaiiles limitations but were deemed suitable for service had already been mostly called up and was not an "untapped pool" of manpower.
Just to clarify, my scenario does not stipulate 20 extra infantry divisions. The ATL German Army has an extra 15 infantry divisions, 2 motorised divisions, and 3 panzer divisions. Heres the main difference in its force structure. Instead of raising the 13th and 14th waves of divisions for occupation dutys, they are amalgamated into a single wave and raised for field dutys. Instead of 9 + 8 divisions of occupation troops, they have 15 divisions of combat troops. Thats where the bulk of the OstHeers additional strength comes from. These divisions which would have been occupying Western Europe were instead deployed for combat on the Eastern front. Their place was taken over by the occupation and static divisions.
The 13. and 14. Welle divisions were not raised as bewegungs divsionen because there was not sufficient fully-ready manpower and "German" equipment for such. They were:

Equipped with a reduced number of French and other captured horse drawn vehicles and a very limited number of captured motor vehicles,
Armed partly with captured small arms,
Only armed with a few 5cm mortars and no 8cm mortars, no infantry gun company, no antitank company, only a single 3-gun platoon,
No mounted troops, no reconnaissance battalion,
The Panzerjäger Abteilung was reduced to a single company and a bicycle reconnaissance squadron,
The artillery regiment consisted of just three light battalions, each with two 3-gun batteries with Czech howitzers,
The Pionier battalion was entirely horse drawn and had no bridging column,
Only a single signal company,
Reduced supply organization and capacity.

Magically changing them from bodenständige Besatzungsdivisionen to Bewegungsdivisionen requires more than hand wavium. Maybe they should rationalize?
In OTL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, nine occupation divisions. 14th wave, eight occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, nine security divisions.

In ATL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, fifteen field divisions. 14th wave, fifteen occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, eleven security divisions.
There was no 16. Welle of either nine or eleven security divisions possible - it consisted of just four security brigades (201.-204.). They were originally organized on 15 June 1941 as Ersatzbrigaden with three two-battalion regiments without any heavy weapons and were redesignated as Sicherungsbrigaden 5 February 1942, by which time quite a number of their battalions had already gone to the front as Marschbatallionen.
Yes.
Glib, but at least honest. So where do the tanks and other equipment for the three extra Panzer divisionen come from?
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 15 May 2023 20:57, edited 1 time in total.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
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Huszar666
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Huszar666 » 15 May 2023 19:26

Oh, f***, where to start...

@Avalancheon: Ok, I will assume, you are not TMP - while you are making the same arguments, partially word-for-word - or one of his cultists - yes, I do know, what a cultist is, and TMP had some, ruminating his arguments word-for-word. I won't react to your slurs, because I'm just a stupid Balkanboo (FYI: Hungary isn't part of the Balkans, and the Romanians says, they aren't either), and we have enough backbone not to take slurs of some Zombie, who doesn't even know, where the respective countries ARE, seriously. Just a hint: if you ever come to the "Balkans", take extra care with slurs. It can result in broken jaws.

ON TOPIC:
You really expect everyone to believe the Germans didn't do the slightest bit of research before deploying an entire Army of 14 divisions to Romania?
We are talking about the same Germans, who were surprised by the non-existence of roads in Russia proper, or that there are mud seasons twice a year in Russia proper, or that is winter in Russia proper, or thought, it is a wise idea to lunch a spring offensive somewhere, that is called Sárrét (i.e. Muddy Plains) for a reason? Despite the locals telling them, what the translation was. Or are we talking about other Germans?
The entire purpose is to create counterfactual scenarios. My ATL involves the German Army raising more divisions than it historically did. The extra forces are inherent to the scenario.
Yes, that is the inherent problem of your scenario. That, and deploying extra divisions to places, where the wasn't enough logistical background.
All of you types (Peter89 included) love to point to the poor roads and railways and lazily conclude that it precludes the deployment of large military forces. But none of you are ever able to substantiate this with any hard evidence. You don't discuss the tonnage of supplys needed for each division per day, or what tonnage the railways could transport per day. All you profer is unsubstantiated fluff
I did had the pleasure to drive around lower Romania (and Erdély for that matter) in 2004, 64 years AFTER your date. Even THEN, the road situation wasn't exactly glorious. What I saw there and then, the MAIN ROADS were comparable to Hungarian tertiary ones. Yes, I drove around in the MORE DEVELOPED parts of Romania, and the North-Eastern parts were considered as deep, underdeveloped countryside. In 2023, 2004, in 1940 and in 1914.
If you are interested in contemporary pictures:
https://fortepan.hu/hu/
You have to use Hungarian namings, but you can find a LOT of pictures of pre-war pictures there. If you know, what you are looking for, the road situation can be inferred. (Use the search word "Erdély" and look for pictures post-1935)
I do know, that there was ONE paved road South from Budapest even in 1944 (the Road Nr. 5 from Budapest to Szeged), and almost NONE in Northern Erdély. Please note, that Erdély was considered a quite developed part of Romania.
So yes, saying, that the road situation in NE-Romania was WORSE in 1940, than that in Hungary in 1940 is most probably true. The road situation in lower Romania (that is and was considered more developed than NE-Romania even today) was WORSE in 2004, than it was in Hungary. Where there were "issues" in 2004 and are still present in 2023.
Looking at the PRESENT Street-View-Pictures, the road situation in 2022/2023 in NE-Romania isn't glorious either.
At any rate, the bad roads did not preclude the deployment of 12th Army to Romania, or its redeployment to Bulgaria. The roads were not the insurmountable obstacle you make them out to be.
If you try to push up a dozen+ Division on only one main road - that was most probably only a dirt track back then, and isn't much better TODAY - it IS an obstacle. As Germany found out later, in Russia proper.
Correct. There is one rail line running from Bucharest to Botosani, with a branch to Iassi. There is also another rail line running through the Carpathian mountains, with a very small gap at Suceava. This gap could be easily bridged with minimal effort; it may have been done after 1938. (Perhaps the war diarys of the divisions in the 11th Army could verify this) If so, this would provide two rail lines to Botosani.
Both of these railways would be single track lines. Generally, those can run about 12 train pairs per day, but the exact numbers depend on variables.
I'm certain, you know, that the Germans asked the Hungarian not to do anything funny because that would impede the already strained transport situation on the other (trans-Carpathian) rail line. That would mean, the Germans were pushing as many trains through that trans-Carpathian rail as it was possible. Hint: take a look at the Street-View pictures TODAY. And the old ones from the link above.
I would wager, the same was done with the Romanian main line Bukarest-Botosani.
And yes, you can run around 12 trains per day on a single-track line. You seem to forget, though, that it was a Romanian line under Romanian jurisdiction. Maybe, just maybe, the Romanians would like to run civilian trains on that line too? Say, one or two pairs per day?
Of course, we can assume, the Romanians are good Balkanboos, and are bending over to shine the boots of their German overlords.
A typical German supply train would carry around 450 tons of cargo. Thus, 12 trains per day down a single track line will yield about 5400 tons of supplys at their destination. According to this site: http://www.mnstarfire.com/ww2/history/l ... ision.html Infantry divisions need about 150 tons of supplys a day, while panzer divisions need around 300 tons a day. That doesn't include ammunition. 11th Army has 12 infantry divisions. 5th Panzer Group has 3 panzer, 2 motorised, and 2 infantry divisions. 14 infantry divisions require 2100 tons of supplys per day, while 5 panzer/motorised divisions require 1500 tons of supplys per day. Thats 3600 tons per day for all 19 divisions. The railways can cover that with enough of a surplus to build a supply stockpile. So logistically, there is no problem.
Mathematics - and logistics - is a science. You can justify 1+1=3 if you try hard enough.
The problems with your calculation are:
1, the Romanians are maybe, just maybe want to run civilian trains on that line too. At best, you have NOT 12, but 10, probably fewer trains per day.
2, you assume, the railways in NE-Romania were able to accommodate 450t (net) trains. I confess I do not know the capacity of said lines, but what I saw in 2004 (and the pictures on Street-View) I do have some doubts. Be as it may, YOU are the one, who has to prove, the lines there could handle the 450t(net)-trains.
3, You assume, every last train is used to supply the 11th Army/"5thPzA", and the Romanian divisions (12 or so) North of Jassy are eating their boots and fighting with knives.
4, A division can survive with around 60t/day without fighting, 90t/day on garrison duty, but 120-150t/day is the very minimum for a defensive deployement. Heavy fighting can go upwards of 300t/day, easily. Not counting airforce demands - which you have to address in NE-Romania too.
Assuming a non-combat demand of only 90t/day, and 12 Romanian and 19 German divisions at or North of Iassy, you need 2790t/day just for to survive. Excluding Air Force demands. Even IF we assume, the rail lines could manage 10 military trains of 450t (net) per day, AND Iassy and Botosani being able to handle that many trains, we would have a maximum capacity of 4500t/day. To stockpile enough stuff for an offensive, you have, at best, 1710t/day. That's 55t/day per division, not counting Corps and Army troops and Air Force.
If we assume a conservative stockpile of 14 days of heavy battle (i.e. 300t/div) the reserve demand would be 92.000 or so tons total - excluding corps, army and airforce demands. 53 days of running trains up to Botosani. Even if we count the trans-Carpathian rail, that would be 27 days. And again, without corps or army troops or Air Force.
you can double the need if you include all those.
No, you don't need train yards to unload supplys. The trains can carry their own unloading equipment, even such simple implements as ramps. gebhk already explained this to you in detail, so I will not belabor the point again. Train yards are a luxury, not a necessity.
No, you need those, and no, they are not.
The Germans will have that, though. To a greater degree than they historically did. The operational reserve for the OstHeer in this ATL is 30 divisions, as opposed to just 24 divisions. Its not a major increase, but it matters. The larger reserves will allow them to compensate for the expanding funnel of the USSRs geography, and ensure there are enough divisions to hold the frontline in strength.
No, they will not have it. Even if they destroy 20-50 divisions more in the border battles, the soviets STILL have enough manpower and industrial capacity to put up another wave in September and another in December. And another in March, and another in June, and another in Late Summer 1942, and another, and another.
The Border Battles were a non-event in the greater picture.
A well-managed logistical apparatus would of course be highly advantageous in Russia. In practise, though, the Germans were undermined by their assumption of a short summer campaign. They did not put the maximum effort into improving their railways, because they assumed they would destroy the Red Army west of Dniepr-Dvina river. In their minds, there was no need to supply the bulk of the OstHeer that deep in the interior of Russia. They would just be mopping up what was left of the Soviet military.

But as for the matter of sabotage. If the Germans can make a faster advance through the Ukraine, that gives the Soviet destruction battalions less time to enact their scorched earth policys and destroy critical infrastructure. Especially bridges.
So, if Germany is thinking about a short, one-year-campaign, they wouldn't invest in proper logistical... investment either way, and just before the gates of Leningrad, Moscow and Rostow, they would stand there, with dicks in the hand, doing rhythmical movements.
Sorry, short, one-year-campaign and logistics beyond the D-D-Line are mutually exclusive.
There seems to be a misunderstanding. The point of departure for my ATL is a better assessment of the Red Armys capabilitys by the FHO (Fremde Heer Ost) during the summer of 1940. Specifically, they determine that the Soviets are only partially mobilised, and that they have the ability to arm and equip more divisions by the spring of 1941. This threat assessment leads to the Germans raising additional forces for the invasion of Russia, but not fundamentally changing their strategy. Thats the difference between my scenario and TMPs scenario. He proposed a change of German strategy from a one year campaign to a two year campaign against Russia, in contradiction to Hitlers rationale for the war. In that sense, it is less realistic than my ATL.
A better assessment of the RKKA's capabilities would lead to the realization, the su couldn't be defeated in a short, one-year campaign. As soon as it is realized, more, than one year would be needed, the whole idea behind the Eastern Campaign goes out of the window.
There is no way around it.
If the su is a more serious threat/has more capabilities than ALL of the Western world assumed - including the UK and the US - then NO one-year campaign is going to cut it.
Thats an entirely different scenario altogether from what I propose. I have no particular desire to explore any of the things you bring up. Especially since it involves a different POD.
Both TMP in his last cloud walking and you put the POD in May 1940 (or so). The inherent problem with both is, that if it is realized, that the su is a harder nut to crack, the whole idea for the Eastern Campaign is compromised. Even the OTL idea was borderline wishful thinking, add a more-or-less realistic assessment, and no one would be high enough on dope the propose a campaign in the East, while the UK is still around and kicking.
Accidentally, a POD in May 1940 would mean, Germany would have enough time to prepare for BoB and Seelöwe properly ;)

I will refrain to answer points, that were directed and answered by Richard :milsmile:

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 05 Sep 2023 11:25

Hello everyone. The last 4 months have been very busy for me. The demands of my job have left me with precious little time to spend on my hobbys. I am mainly restricted to the weekends. I would have responded to this thread alot sooner, but I have been busy doing research into Operation Barbarossa. To be more specific, I have been assembling a comprehensive order of battle for the Red Army as old divisions were destroyed and new divisions were mobilised. This has been a very time consuming project that was not completed until the end of July. I am very excited about the results of this project, though, and will be opening a new thread on this subject on the AHF.

Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
Oh, f***, where to start...

@Avalancheon: Ok, I will assume, you are not TMP - while you are making the same arguments, partially word-for-word - or one of his cultists - yes, I do know, what a cultist is, and TMP had some, ruminating his arguments word-for-word. I won't react to your slurs, because I'm just a stupid Balkanboo (FYI: Hungary isn't part of the Balkans, and the Romanians says, they aren't either), and we have enough backbone not to take slurs of some Zombie, who doesn't even know, where the respective countries ARE, seriously. Just a hint: if you ever come to the "Balkans", take extra care with slurs. It can result in broken jaws.
Huszar666. You might recall that Hungary was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and occupied for over 150 years. Historically, culturally, and geographically, Hungary is part of the Balkans. Just like all the other Balkan states, Hungary was deeply impacted by centuries of Turkish rule. You have the hot temper that is typical of other Balkanites.

Its rather silly to cry about 'slurs' when you were happily insulting me right from the outset, by calling me a cultist. Then you added on to that by talking about fictional ships from Star Wars, and casting my ATL in the same realm of plausibility. Hint: If you want to be treated respectfully, then you should try being respectful in the first place. Theres no point insulting others and then acting surprised when they return fire.

Now with that out of the way, lets try to act like adults and discuss this topic seriously.

Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
ON TOPIC:
You really expect everyone to believe the Germans didn't do the slightest bit of research before deploying an entire Army of 14 divisions to Romania?
We are talking about the same Germans, who were surprised by the non-existence of roads in Russia proper, or that there are mud seasons twice a year in Russia proper, or that is winter in Russia proper, or thought, it is a wise idea to lunch a spring offensive somewhere, that is called Sárrét (i.e. Muddy Plains) for a reason? Despite the locals telling them, what the translation was. Or are we talking about other Germans?
Thats hyperbole on your part. The Germans had fought the Russians in WW1 (and the Romanians too, for that matter), they knew the climatic conditions they would be operating in. They knew about the bad roads and railways, too. They simply didn't see them as obstacles due to their assumption that they could defeat the Red Army in a short summer campaign. The Germans weren't worried about the autumn rains or the brutal winters because they thought they would only be facing weak, scattered remnants of the Red Army by then.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
The entire purpose is to create counterfactual scenarios. My ATL involves the German Army raising more divisions than it historically did. The extra forces are inherent to the scenario.
Yes, that is the inherent problem of your scenario. That, and deploying extra divisions to places, where the wasn't enough logistical background.
There were no hard physical limits preventing the Germans from mobilising a slightly larger army. The only reason they opted for a 200 division plan (instead of a 220 division plan) was because they were expecting a fight with a medium-sized Red Army. If the Germans had anticipated that the Red Army would raise more forces by the spring of 1941, then they would have responded in tun by mobilising a larger army.

And again, the Germans expected to be able to support 12th Army with the existing infrastructure in Romania, so logistics isn't an insurmountable obstacle either. We don't have any proof of major difficultys in deploying troops or stockpiling supplys during their pre-war buildup in Romania.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
At any rate, the bad roads did not preclude the deployment of 12th Army to Romania, or its redeployment to Bulgaria. The roads were not the insurmountable obstacle you make them out to be.
If you try to push up a dozen+ Division on only one main road - that was most probably only a dirt track back then, and isn't much better TODAY - it IS an obstacle. As Germany found out later, in Russia proper.
If we could read the war diarys of the divisions that participated in 12th and 11th Armys, they might shed some light on the state of the roads in Romania and how that affected their operations. I was attempting to search for information on this last year, with mixed results. I found websites that carry the war diarys, but I cannot read the actual diarys themselves. This is the thread I opened on AHF: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=267270

The other part of this question is not just the roads, but also how long the march columns of the German formations were. Apparently, the infantry divisions could stretch up to 32 kilometers on the roads, and needed 24 hours to cross major rivers.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
So yes, saying, that the road situation in NE-Romania was WORSE in 1940, than that in Hungary in 1940 is most probably true. The road situation in lower Romania (that is and was considered more developed than NE-Romania even today) was WORSE in 2004, than it was in Hungary. Where there were "issues" in 2004 and are still present in 2023.
Looking at the PRESENT Street-View-Pictures, the road situation in 2022/2023 in NE-Romania isn't glorious either.
I have not been able to find any relevant images from this website. If you really want to make your case, then share some pictures of these roads. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words :D

At any rate, I will remind you of the fact that several of 12th Armys divisions moved from Romania to Bulgaria in March, fought the Greeks in April, then marched back to Romania in May as part of 11th Army, over this road network that you insist was absolutely atrocious. Methinks you are overstating your case.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
I'm certain, you know, that the Germans asked the Hungarian not to do anything funny because that would impede the already strained transport situation on the other (trans-Carpathian) rail line. That would mean, the Germans were pushing as many trains through that trans-Carpathian rail as it was possible. Hint: take a look at the Street-View pictures TODAY. And the old ones from the link above.
I would wager, the same was done with the Romanian main line Bukarest-Botosani.
Yes, I know that part of the trans-Carparthian rail line was under Hungarian administration, because they annexed Transsylvania under the Vienna award. I'm not sure what the point of your comment is? You are suggesting that this rail line was already maxed out, and could not be used for military purposes?
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
And yes, you can run around 12 trains per day on a single-track line. You seem to forget, though, that it was a Romanian line under Romanian jurisdiction. Maybe, just maybe, the Romanians would like to run civilian trains on that line too? Say, one or two pairs per day?
Of course, we can assume, the Romanians are good Balkanboos, and are bending over to shine the boots of their German overlords.
You don't seem to understand what kind of a logistical shoe string the Germans were able to work off of, while still being able to inflict massive defeats on the Soviets. You are making it sound like 12 trains per day was the minimum required for 11th Army and Panzer Group 5. Let me put this in perspective: In the crucial month of August, Army Group South was only promised 12 trains of supplys per day, and on some days they received only half this number. This was their logistical situation after they defeated the Soviets in the battle of Uman.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
Mathematics - and logistics - is a science. You can justify 1+1=3 if you try hard enough.
The problems with your calculation are:
1, the Romanians are maybe, just maybe want to run civilian trains on that line too. At best, you have NOT 12, but 10, probably fewer trains per day.
2, you assume, the railways in NE-Romania were able to accommodate 450t (net) trains. I confess I do not know the capacity of said lines, but what I saw in 2004 (and the pictures on Street-View) I do have some doubts. Be as it may, YOU are the one, who has to prove, the lines there could handle the 450t(net)-trains.
3, You assume, every last train is used to supply the 11th Army/"5thPzA", and the Romanian divisions (12 or so) North of Jassy are eating their boots and fighting with knives.
I will try to answer these questions honestly, but my knowledge on the subject is limited. There isn't much info that I can easily find on the Romanian railways.

1) Actually, the best case scenario is 24 trains per day with the trans-Carparthian rail line, although there is that troublesome gap at Suceava (which means supplys would have to be trans-shipped over the roads). But even just 10-12 trains per day is more than sufficient to supply 11th Army and Panzer Group 5.
2) This is a fair point. The weight of the tracks sets a limit on the tonnage of supplys that can be carried over them each day, without suffering undue wear and tear. I don't have any hard data on the track weights in Romania.
3) Most of the Romanian forces were in the Iassi area, so they would be supplied over the rail line from Targu-Frumos to Iassi. I am not sure how much the transit of trains to a branch line affects the transit of trains across the main rail line.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
4, A division can survive with around 60t/day without fighting, 90t/day on garrison duty, but 120-150t/day is the very minimum for a defensive deployement. Heavy fighting can go upwards of 300t/day, easily. Not counting airforce demands - which you have to address in NE-Romania too.
Assuming a non-combat demand of only 90t/day, and 12 Romanian and 19 German divisions at or North of Iassy, you need 2790t/day just for to survive. Excluding Air Force demands. Even IF we assume, the rail lines could manage 10 military trains of 450t (net) per day, AND Iassy and Botosani being able to handle that many trains, we would have a maximum capacity of 4500t/day. To stockpile enough stuff for an offensive, you have, at best, 1710t/day. That's 55t/day per division, not counting Corps and Army troops and Air Force.

If we assume a conservative stockpile of 14 days of heavy battle (i.e. 300t/div) the reserve demand would be 92.000 or so tons total - excluding corps, army and airforce demands. 53 days of running trains up to Botosani. Even if we count the trans-Carpathian rail, that would be 27 days. And again, without corps or army troops or Air Force. you can double the need if you include all those.
The Germans had almost certainly begun stockpiling supplies at the same time they moved 12th Army into Romania. They would have months of supplys built up by the time 11th Army moved into the area and crossed the Pruth river.


Now with these minor quibbles out of the way, we can discuss the major subjects.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
The Germans will have that, though. To a greater degree than they historically did. The operational reserve for the OstHeer in this ATL is 30 divisions, as opposed to just 24 divisions. Its not a major increase, but it matters. The larger reserves will allow them to compensate for the expanding funnel of the USSRs geography, and ensure there are enough divisions to hold the frontline in strength.
No, they will not have it. Even if they destroy 20-50 divisions more in the border battles, the soviets STILL have enough manpower and industrial capacity to put up another wave in September and another in December. And another in March, and another in June, and another in Late Summer 1942, and another, and another.
The Border Battles were a non-event in the greater picture.
The real question is, are the Soviets able to continue mobilising new Armys fast enough to replace the Armys being destroyed on the frontlines? Will they be able to not only maintain their numerical superiority over the Germans, but to increase it over the course of the summer (as they historically did)? What was happening during Operation Barbarossa was essentially a monumental battle of attrition. While the Wehrmacht inflicted huge losses on the Red Army during the campaign, they were unable to destroy the new formations at the rate they were being formed. The only time they did was in the month of October, when they destroyed some 80 divisions in the battle of Vyazma-Bryansk. But by that point, it was too little, too late. The Germans had missed their window of opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to the Soviet Union.

In this alternate timeline, the campaign unfolds quite differently. After the destruction of Western Front in Minsk, and SouthWestern Front in Vinnitsia, the Red Army would suffer the loss of 70 divisions (instead of 40). In addition, the early capture of Odessa would prevent the mobilisation of roughly 15 divisions in August. So when you factor in the heavier losses at the border battles, and the smaller mobilisation, this makes for a somewhat weaker Red Army. Depending on how the operations unfold in August and September, this could end up having a serious impact on the Eastern Front. If the Germans are able to launch an early attack on Kiev, then the Red Army would be whittled down in size significantly. If they are able to launch an early attack on Moscow thereafter, then the Red Army would be whittled down in size dramatically. This in turn would enable the OstHeer to take and occupy a larger swath of territory than they historically did by the time they came to a halt in winter of 1941. That could potentially be a deadly combination.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
A well-managed logistical apparatus would of course be highly advantageous in Russia. In practise, though, the Germans were undermined by their assumption of a short summer campaign. They did not put the maximum effort into improving their railways, because they assumed they would destroy the Red Army west of Dniepr-Dvina river. In their minds, there was no need to supply the bulk of the OstHeer that deep in the interior of Russia. They would just be mopping up what was left of the Soviet military.
So, if Germany is thinking about a short, one-year-campaign, they wouldn't invest in proper logistical... investment either way, and just before the gates of Leningrad, Moscow and Rostow, they would stand there, with dicks in the hand, doing rhythmical movements.
Sorry, short, one-year-campaign and logistics beyond the D-D-Line are mutually exclusive.
This takes us back to the planning process of Barbarossa in the winter of 1940. General Paulus conducted logistical wargames in December to determine how much supplys the Army Groups would need, and how far they could advance in a given span of time. Paulus came to the conclusion that Army Group Center would only be able to get as far as the Dnieper-Dvina river before it was forced to undertake an operational pause. The German plan was to build a supply district at Minsk, using it as their main railhead, and then move the supply district to Smolensk. Thats a bound of 300 and then 600 kilometers.

The Paulus wargame involved a German force of 154 divisions, and a Soviet force of rougly 150 divisions. (Whereas the Marcks plan posited 147 German divisions against 133 Soviet Divisions) The logistical plan for Barbarossa was strongly influenced by this exercise. But in this alternate timeline, the Paulus wargame would be affected by the estimates of a larger German and Soviet force. The Marcks plan would posit 169 German divisions against 153 Soviet divisions. Because of this, the OKH may come to the conclusion that their logistical plan is plainly inadequate to support an invasion of the USSR. The Army Groups would either not be receiving enough trainloads of supplys to enable them to reach the Dnieper-Dvina river, or have insufficient supplys to push across the river.

This would force the OKH to make improvisations to their logistical plan. What form these improvisations would take is anyones guess. If they were to insist on strict railway discipline and the timely unloading of trains at the railheads, that would provide the OstHeer the logistical surplus they need to support the extra divisions, and possibly advance deeper into the USSR than they historically did. They might decide to give Organization Todt (or the RAD) the task of unloading trains at the railheads, which was a very labour intensive job. The Fed and HBD proved they were unsuited for this task, lacking the necessary experience and manpower.

''Instead of the regulation 3 hours, it was found that unloading the trains took 12, 24, and even 80 hours, hopelessly congesting the stations and making it impossible to utilize more than a fraction of the capacity of those lines that were in use. So great was the confusion that whole trains were being 'lost', some never to reappear again.'' -Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, by Martin van Creveld.

''However, the lack of experience was showing: It took the Bv.T.O. Heeresgruppe Mitte (Transport Officer) until August to realize that in order to make his daily target of 24 trains a day, they would have to be unloaded at the end of their journey. The Ostheer was breaking all of Hermann Haupt’s rules of 75 years earlier and paying the price.'' -The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H. G. W. Davie.

''Rail traffic control was chaotic, not only leading to inefficiency, but becoming so bad that whole trains disappeared, while others were hijacked by local authorities. There were not enough people working at the railheads, meaning that loading and unloading trains took longer than necessary, at least until Soviet POWs were press-ganged into service.'' -Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942, by David Stahel.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
So, if Germany is thinking about a short, one-year-campaign, they wouldn't invest in proper logistical... investment either way, and just before the gates of Leningrad, Moscow and Rostow, they would stand there, with dicks in the hand, doing rhythmical movements.
Sorry, short, one-year-campaign and logistics beyond the D-D-Line are mutually exclusive.
Its really not that simple. Now, it is true that Army Group Center had to conduct an operational pause in August after crossing the Dniepr-Dvina river, in order to regauge the railway lines up to Smolensk and move their supply district there. They needed time to build up a stockpile of supplys for the attack on Moscow, and this was delayed further by the inadequate number of trains arriving at Smolensk. But while this stockpiling was going on, Army Group Center helped to destroy SouthWestern Front during the battle of Kiev. And when stockpiling was completed in late September, they launched Operation Typhoon and destroyed Western, Reserve, and Bryansk Fronts.

The battle of Kiev, and the battle of Vyazma-Bryansk, were two of the largest encirclements in the history of warfare. Both of which happened, you guessed it, EAST of the Dniepr-Dvina river.
Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
There seems to be a misunderstanding. The point of departure for my ATL is a better assessment of the Red Armys capabilitys by the FHO (Fremde Heer Ost) during the summer of 1940. Specifically, they determine that the Soviets are only partially mobilised, and that they have the ability to arm and equip more divisions by the spring of 1941. This threat assessment leads to the Germans raising additional forces for the invasion of Russia, but not fundamentally changing their strategy. Thats the difference between my scenario and TMPs scenario. He proposed a change of German strategy from a one year campaign to a two year campaign against Russia, in contradiction to Hitlers rationale for the war. In that sense, it is less realistic than my ATL.
A better assessment of the RKKA's capabilities would lead to the realization, the su couldn't be defeated in a short, one-year campaign. As soon as it is realized, more, than one year would be needed, the whole idea behind the Eastern Campaign goes out of the window.
There is no way around it.
If the su is a more serious threat/has more capabilities than ALL of the Western world assumed - including the UK and the US - then NO one-year campaign is going to cut it.
When the FHO made their intelligence assessment of the Red Army in July 1940, there were several factors they had to determine. 1) The current size of the Red Army. 2) The Red Armys ability to mobilise new forces by the spring of 1941. 3) The Red Armys ability to mobilise new forces after hostilitys commenced.

Kinzel was able to estimate the first parameter with a fair degree of accuracy, despite a lack of hard data. But he completely failed at estimating the second and third paramater. He was of the mistaken opinion that the Soviets were fully mobilised, and that they would be unable to fully arm and equip any new formations. To be sure, this was a difficult thing to calculate. The Soviets ability to mobilise new forces depended on their weapons production, which was an unknown factor. But Kinzels assumption that they would be unnable to mobilise any significant new forces by the spring of 1941 was sheer negligence.

If he had actually done his job properly and bothered to postulate an answer to the question of Soviet force generation, then this would have put the brainstorming session for Operation Barbarossa on a more solid foundation. Brauchitsch, Halder, and Fromm would have been able to make plans that were based on a more accurate assessment of the Red Army. This would change their opinions on the size of the OstHeer needed to invade the USSR, but not on the duration of the campaign itself. Hitler insisted on a short war, and the OKH complied.

Huszar666 wrote:
15 May 2023 19:26
Thats an entirely different scenario altogether from what I propose. I have no particular desire to explore any of the things you bring up. Especially since it involves a different POD.
Both TMP in his last cloud walking and you put the POD in May 1940 (or so). The inherent problem with both is, that if it is realized, that the su is a harder nut to crack, the whole idea for the Eastern Campaign is compromised. Even the OTL idea was borderline wishful thinking, add a more-or-less realistic assessment, and no one would be high enough on dope the propose a campaign in the East, while the UK is still around and kicking.
Again, that would depend on how accurate the FHOs intelligence report is. If they estimate 'only' 20 extra divisions by the spring of 1941, that would not be enough to discourage the OKH from planning an invasion of Russia. But if the FHO estimates 100 extra divisions by the spring of 1941, then that would have a very different effect. If the OKH suspected that Barbarossa could not be pulled off in a single campaign season, they would be unlikely to embark on such a risky gamble. This would shift the OKH in to planning for a Mediterranean strategy.

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 05 Sep 2023 13:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 May 2023 17:26
Avalancheon wrote:
15 May 2023 12:48
The armaments plan reached most of its goals by mid-1941, equiping a total of 231 divisions in time for Operation Barbarossa.
So by using the magic word an industry incapable of completing the requirements for the army in existence would be capable of creating a larger and better equipped army? Neat.
The German economy was neither fully mobilised or rationalised at this time. That was why it was incapable of fully completing Rustungprogram B, and supplying the weapons and equipment needed for the 200 division plan. In this alternate timeline, the armaments industry would be further along its trajectory of mobilisation and rationalisation. This would provide a significant boost to their productivity.

All the major wartime powers had to resort to rationalisation in order to increase the production of war material. Germany could -and should- have embarked on rationalisation earlier in the war. They were lagging behind Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States in this regard, and took significantly longer before they achieved maximum output. There were other contributing factors in this, but delayed rationalisation was at the forefront.

In the case of Germany, its difficult to determine how much of a boost rationalisation had on their productivity, because it was happening alongside economic mobilisation and increased use of foreign labour. Richard Overy believes that rationalisation had a significant effect on increasing Germanys economic productivity. Unfortunately, no scholar alive can precisely measure the scale of this effect. What we can measure is the effect of extra workers being filtered into the armaments industry, as a result of rationalisation.
Richard Anderson wrote:
15 May 2023 17:26
Glib, but at least honest. So where do the tanks and other equipment for the three extra Panzer divisionen come from?
The USSBS details the number of workers employed in the industrial sector over the course of the war. The Effects of Strategic Bombing on the German War Economy (Page 210) show that on May 31, 1940, Germany had 9.66 million workers in the industrial sector. 2.11 million were employed in basic materials, 3.65 million in metalworking, 1.03 million in construction, and 2.87 million in other industrys.

Germany and the Second World War, Volume 5, details the number of workers employed in the armaments industry over the course of 1940. On August 1, 1940, Germany had 3.69 million workers in the armaments industry. 408 thousand were employed in ammunition production, 1.04 million in weapons production, 480 thousand in aircraft building, 226 thousand in shipbuilding, 367 thousand in motor vehicle construction, 130 thousand in communication equipment, and 1.04 million in general army equipment.

The most critical category for this ATL is the number of workers engaged in weapons production, of which there were only 1.04 million in August 1940. Any increase to the number of workers in this sector would lead directly to an increased production of weapons. That means more small arms, artillery, and tanks. This is the sector where the German rationalisation measures would be most intensely focused (with motor vehicle construction being a second priority). Starting in September 1940, these measures put into place by Fritz Todt would free up workers from other sectors of the economy and filter them into the armaments industry.

Lets assume for the sake of argument that 1 million workers could be re-allocated in this way over the course of about 1 year. Its reasonable to assume that the number of freed workers would be small at first, but gradually increase month over month. Weapons production would closely track with the number of workers employed in that sector, but not directly correlate. (There are lots of other factors influencing productivity, some of which are hard to measure) As stated before, there is a 9 month window of opportunity for increases in weapons production to have an impact on the opening phase of Operation Barbarossa.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
In terms of munitions production, Rüstungsprogramm B did succeed in producing sufficient small arms for the additional 42 divisions but failed to meet all goals. Only 84% of the 7.5cm leIG, 91% of the 15cmsIG, and 94% of the 10.5cm leFH required were produced. Worse was the tank situation, where only 80% of the goal for the Panzer III and 10% of the goal for the Panzer IV were achieved.
In OTL, Rustungsprogram B was based on the need to equip 200 nominal divisions (209 actual). In ATL, Rustungsprogram B was based on the need to equip 220 nominal divisions (231 actual). Even if the ATL armaments program falls short by the same margin it did historically (relative to the number of divisions that were to be equipped), then that would still be quite adequate for the purposes of my alternate timeline. To put it in other terms... In OTL, the Germans planned for 20 panzer divisions and 10 motorised divisions, while in ATL, they plan for 24 panzer divisions and 12 motorised divisions. If Rustungsprogram B still only supplys 80% of the required Panzer IIIs and 10% of the required Panzer IVs for this expanded plan, then that is still entirely adequate.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
Finally, an interesting argument! I was hoping that someone would ask questions about the force structure of the ATL German Army. This is something I put a fair bit of thought into. I know about the manpower limitations they faced at the time, and figured out a clever workaround. By mid-1941, around 85% of German men between the ages of 20 and 30 were already serving in the Wehrmacht. That pool of manpower is thus largely tapped out, especially given the state of the deferral system. But there is an untapped pool in the group of men between the ages of 30 and 40. This age group is less suitable for frontline duties, but fine for rear area and occupation dutys.
You may have put a fair bit of thought into it but your thinking is quite simply incorrect. As of the 4 February 1941 review of the manpower situation, the following points were made (RH15/230-3 "Besprechung am 4.2. mit den Wehrersatzinspekteuren. Besprechungspunkte", OKW, 4.2.41):

1. The Ersatz situation is "difficult".
2. Germany's manpower resources are already overstretched, and consequently the available resources must be prioritized.

The "group of men between the ages of 30 and 40", AKA the Weißjahrgang, i.e., JG 00-13, that were completely untrained prewar because of the Versaiiles limitations but were deemed suitable for service had already been mostly called up and was not an "untapped pool" of manpower.
Thats not true. There was an untapped pool of manpower between the ages of 30 and 40. Its just that they were exempted from conscription due to their supposed importance to the war economy. To draft them into the Wehrmacht merely requires a change to the system of deferrals. This actually was done historically, but only after the failure of Barbarossa. Men in this age group were drafted to fill out the 15 static divisions of the 15th wave. In the ATL, men in this age group are drafted to fill out the 15 occupation and 15 static divisions of the 14th and 15th waves.

''Compared to May 1940, the workforce census of May 1941 counted an additional 1.4 million workers as having been called up for military service. By the summer of 1941, the population of German men between the ages of 16 and 56 had been divided into three unequal groups: 7.388 million were under arms and another 2.12 million teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were undergoing military training; 3.6 million men of all ages had been disqualified as unfit for military service, largely on medical grounds; the rest, totalling 5.516 million, were those exempted as indispensable to the war economy (Unabkoemmlich). 24 By the summer of 1941, the Wehrmacht was already scraping the manpower barrel. Due to the small number of children born during World War I, Germany had no option but to send virtually all its young men into battle.25 Of those aged between 20 and 30, who were physically fit for military service, 85 per cent were already in the Wehrmacht in the summer of 1941. Only 640,000 men in this prime age group were granted exemptions on grounds of their importance to the war economy. Those who had been exempted on economic grounds were overwhelmingly over the age of 30.'' -The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, by Adam Tooze
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
Just to clarify, my scenario does not stipulate 20 extra infantry divisions. The ATL German Army has an extra 15 infantry divisions, 2 motorised divisions, and 3 panzer divisions. Heres the main difference in its force structure. Instead of raising the 13th and 14th waves of divisions for occupation dutys, they are amalgamated into a single wave and raised for field dutys. Instead of 9 + 8 divisions of occupation troops, they have 15 divisions of combat troops. Thats where the bulk of the OstHeers additional strength comes from. These divisions which would have been occupying Western Europe were instead deployed for combat on the Eastern front. Their place was taken over by the occupation and static divisions.
The 13. and 14. Welle divisions were not raised as bewegungs divsionen because there was not sufficient fully-ready manpower and "German" equipment for such. They were:

Equipped with a reduced number of French and other captured horse drawn vehicles and a very limited number of captured motor vehicles,
Armed partly with captured small arms,
Only armed with a few 5cm mortars and no 8cm mortars, no infantry gun company, no antitank company, only a single 3-gun platoon,
No mounted troops, no reconnaissance battalion,
The Panzerjäger Abteilung was reduced to a single company and a bicycle reconnaissance squadron,
The artillery regiment consisted of just three light battalions, each with two 3-gun batteries with Czech howitzers,
The Pionier battalion was entirely horse drawn and had no bridging column,
Only a single signal company,
Reduced supply organization and capacity.

Magically changing them from bodenständige Besatzungsdivisionen to Bewegungsdivisionen requires more than hand wavium. Maybe they should rationalize?
Yes, Richard, I know all of that. Thank you for summarising the facts. In OTL, the 13th and 14th waves produced 17 occupation divisions. In ATL, that manpower is used to produce 15 infantry divisions. The extra artillery and motor vehicles needed to equip them is covered under Rustungsprogram B. How much material are we talking about here? Nigel Askey provides an estimate on the transport used by the various waves of divisions.
A German 1st wave infantry division was authorised 753 motor vehicles, 14 halftrack prime-movers, and around 490 motorcycles. The motor vehicles included 516 trucks with an average cargo capacity of around 2.5 metric tons, and 237 lighter vehicles with an average cargo capacity of around 0.6 metric tons.
11th wave infantry divisions were authorised only 17 fewer motor vehicles and 6 fewer horse teams than 1st wave divisions. All the 11th wave divisions were partially equipped with French or other captured motor vehicles.
12th wave infantry divisions were authorised only 24 fewer motor vehicles and 26 more horse teams than 1st wave divisions. The Germans produed sufficient motor vehicles to equip all 12th wave infantry divisions with predominantly German vehicles.
In total, 13th wave infantry divisions were authorised 453 fewer motor vehicles and 254 fewer horse-teams than 1st wave divisions!
In total, 14th wave infantry divisions were authorised 430 fewer motor vehicles and 262 fewer horse-teams than 1st wave divisions!
In total, 15th wave infantry divisions were authorised 652 fewer motor vehicles and 740 fewer horse-teams than 1st wave divisions!
Historically, the occupation divisions utilised the following quantity of motor vehicles:
The nine divisions of the 13th wave amassed 300 vehicles each, for a total of 2700.
The eight divisions of the 14th wave amassed 323 vehicles each, for a total of 2584.

The number of occupation divisions is almost the same in both OTL and ATL (17 vs 15), and so the pool of weapons and equipment utilised barely changes. What does change is the pool of weapons and equipment needed for the 15 infantry divisions, along with the 3 panzer and 2 motorised divisions.

If the fifteen divisions of the 13th and 14th wave are equipped as field divisions, then they would each require 729 to 736 motor vehicles. That makes for a total of 10,935 to 11,040 vehicles.

Panzer divisions required some 2685 motor vehicles. Three divisions makes for 8055 vehicles.

Motorised divisions required some 2637 motor vehicles. Two divisions makes for 5274 vehicles.

To equip these extra 20 divisions would require 24,366 motor vehicles.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 May 2023 21:47
In OTL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, nine occupation divisions. 14th wave, eight occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, nine security divisions.

In ATL, the divisional waves are arranged as so: 13th wave, fifteen field divisions. 14th wave, fifteen occupation divisions. 15th wave, fifteen static divisions. 16th wave, eleven security divisions.
There was no 16. Welle of either nine or eleven security divisions possible - it consisted of just four security brigades (201.-204.). They were originally organized on 15 June 1941 as Ersatzbrigaden with three two-battalion regiments without any heavy weapons and were redesignated as Sicherungsbrigaden 5 February 1942, by which time quite a number of their battalions had already gone to the front as Marschbatallionen.
My figures on the various divisional waves are based on John Mulhollands work, right here on the AxisHistory website. He lists 9 security divisions and 2 security brigades in the 16th wave. It seems that his work is in error. In light of this discovery, I will have to make some minor revisions.

https://www.axishistory.com/axis-nation ... -1939-1945

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