An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

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

Post by ljadw » 19 Sep 2023 20:19

KDF33 wrote:
19 Sep 2023 15:24
You are wrong, ljadw.
Who was wrong : I or the person who said that the Barbarossa decision was taken in September 1940 ?

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 20 Sep 2023 10:09

PunctuationHorror wrote:
06 Sep 2023 21:55
Hi. Nice to see a detailed ATL :)

I dont want to entangle myself in the ongoing discussions, I just want to comment on a few things.
Avalancheon wrote:
15 May 2023 12:32
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.
This is highly questionable. Even though it is a beautiful tale, it is not clearly supported by actual history:
- De facto, Barbarossa was a war of attrition from July 1941 at the latest. Perhaps even from day one. Until 1945. Besides, ~ four years isn't particularly short. But vively it was.
- WW1 was the definition of attrition warfare and it doesn't qualify for a short war.
- Napoleonic Wars were anything but short.
- the Seven Years' War wasn't short either.
This merely highlights the difference between what the German military planned for, and how the wars actually developed. They very much preferred to fight rapid wars of movement that would end quickly.

Operation Barbarossa was devised as a 11-17 week campaign.

The Schlieffen Plan was devised as a 6 week campaign.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
06 Sep 2023 21:55
- If France had put up Soviet style resistance in 1940, Case Red would have become very nasty and unpleasant for the Wehrmacht, i.e attrittion warfare. German Army was lucky.
France lacked both the strategic depth and the manpower reserves that enabled the Soviet Union to withstand the German Blitzkrieg. If French soldiers had fought with the same fanatacism as the Russians, the main result would have been a harsher battle to reduce the Dunkirk pocket, with larger numbers of KIA instead of POW.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
06 Sep 2023 21:55
There are only three examples of short Prussian/German wars in the relevant period: 1864, 1866, and 1870/71.

Maybe the German military envisioned this kind of warfare and certainly they wished for it. However, often things turned out quite differently - and they got bitten by reality.
Correct.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
06 Sep 2023 21:55
Avalancheon wrote:
15 May 2023 12:32
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).
Yep. Attacking the USSR was suicide. Imagine half of the tank and mot divisions deployed to the Soviet Union had appeared in the Middle East and Egypt instead...

I agree that a spearhead from Romania would have been beneficial. However, it likely would not have won this war. Perhaps the Soviets would lose 500,000 more men and the Wehrmacht would have a clear path - until they ran into the next soviet armies further east.
This alternate timeline isn't just about greater destruction of the Red Army during the border battles. Its about how those losses affect the subsequent deployment and mobilisation of the Red Army. Because of those losses, for instance, the Soviets will not be able to mobilise as many new divisions or Armys, due to military districts being overrun more quickly, and cadre formations being destroyed. For one example, the capture of Odessa in July would prevent the mobilisation of 15 divisions in August. For another example, the destruction of the 17th Rifle Corps at Vinnitsia would prevent the formation of 12th Army in August.

The consequences of the border battles in the ATL cannot be calculated in simple terms such as 'another 400,000 soldiers removed from the Soviet order of battle', even if they are expressed that way. There are alot of non-linear consequences that are hard to fully appreciate. All of these things have to be reckoned with before an accurate ATL can be created. And then of course, you have to take into account how the alterred course of the campaign would influence the strategic decisions of Hitler and the OKH, along with Stalin and the Stavka.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
06 Sep 2023 21:55
Yep. Attacking the USSR was suicide. Imagine half of the tank and mot divisions deployed to the Soviet Union had appeared in the Middle East and Egypt instead...
Germany had 21 panzer divisions and 10 motorised divisions, along with some motorised SS divisions and brigades. It would have been very difficult to deploy and support half of this force to the Middle East. At the very least, the Germans would need to take Malta and eliminate the threat to their sea lanes, and capture Alexandria (which had a huge port capacity and adequate railways). That would have shortened their supply lines greatly. At the same time, British supply lines would have been enormously overextended.
Last edited by Avalancheon on 20 Sep 2023 10:25, edited 2 times in total.

Avalancheon
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Avalancheon » 20 Sep 2023 10:13

Kurt_S wrote:
06 Sep 2023 19:16
Richard Anderson wrote:
06 Sep 2023 06:12
I am so tired of the ongoing dishonesty behind these replies that I'm only going to reply to this.

Bullshit. Rüstungsprogramm B was based on the need to equip 42 additional divisions, not "200 nominal" or "209" actual. It failed. Now by waving the magic wands of "rationalization" and "mobilization" you want to pretend that they will succeed in equipping 62 to 73 additional divisions.
Anderson's response here, apart from displaying odd emotional dysregulation, betrays a lack of knowledge regarding German strategy and production priorities. German army leaders were well aware that Rustunsprogram B was failing to meet the targets, as was Hitler. Their response, however, was not to be concerned. They would fill in the gaps with captured equipment and accept a suboptimal army configuration because the strategic plan - defeat Russia in a few weeks and then continue the pivot towards the Western powers - didn't require an optimal army armaments program.
There are certain people who struggle with things like conditional hypotheticals. This would consist of questions like: ''How would you have felt if you didn't eat breakfast this morning?'' These people will respond with something like: ''But I did eat breakfast this morning!'' They simply can't wrap their heads around the hypothetical nature of the question. The question confuses and frustrates them because it doesn't make sense. For people like this, the topic of alternate history is simply a non-starter.

German officials knew that the armament program for the Army would likely not be completed prior to the launch of Operation Barbarossa in the spring of 1941, but they weren't all that concerned because they were expecting a fight with a medium-sized Red Army. And if equipment shortages popped up, they believed that the gaps would be small enough to be filled with captured equipment. This assumption becomes harder to sustain in the ATL, when they are anticipating a larger Red Army, and are trying to equip a larger OstHeer.

The deficit between what the industry can supply, and what the Army requires, is simply too great to ignore. This would become apparent during the meeting between Fritz Todt and Georg Thomas on August 22, 1940. These two were already butting heads over the armament program for 180 divisions (in OTL); an armament program for 200 divisions would bring about a major confrontation. The economy would simply be unable to provide the equipment required, and would have to be reoriented. With neither Fritz or Todt willing to back down, Hitler would need to intervene to break the deadlock.
Kurt_S wrote:
06 Sep 2023 19:16
Armaments programs usually fail to meet schedules, WW2 leaders were aware of this. Their strategic priorities inhere in how they respond to predictable failures, not solely in the schedules established. A Germany viewing X quantum of army production as necessary to victory would have behaved differently from a Germany viewing Y quantum as necessary. In Avalancheon's ATL, it is both economically possible and strategically necessary for Germany to ensure quantum X of German army equipment so X is probably built (in fact >X is probably built because the additional quantities are fairly minor relative to overall German production).
Exactly, its the dialectic between aims and means. Germany adopted a 180 division plan in August 1940, and accepted a suboptimal output from the war industry. If Germany had instead adopted a 200 division plan, they would need to reorient the war industry for greater output.

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Aida1
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Aida1 » 20 Sep 2023 10:29

ljadw wrote:
19 Sep 2023 20:18
Was the Barbarossa decision taken in September 1940 or December 1940 ?
I do not deny everything, but only the lies of Liddel Hart, Guderian and Manstein .
Nothing to do with this discussion and showcases again your irrational hatred of Guderian and Manstein who by the way knew far more about warfare than you.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by ljadw » 20 Sep 2023 11:22

'""
Verlorene Siege '' is a lie,some one, Guderian, who wrote in Panzer Leader P139 "double the number of tanks,was after all what counted '' is an imbecile or a liar, or both .And we know his collaboration with Liddell Hart, also a criminal liar .

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Aida1 » 20 Sep 2023 14:35

ljadw wrote:
20 Sep 2023 11:22
'""
Verlorene Siege '' is a lie,some one, Guderian, who wrote in Panzer Leader P139 "double the number of tanks,was after all what counted '' is an imbecile or a liar, or both .And we know his collaboration with Liddell Hart, also a criminal liar .
Such nasty and incorrect comments are typical for you and the reason why nobody takes you seriously here. :lol: :lol:

ljadw
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by ljadw » 20 Sep 2023 15:54

I see : you don't know what Guderian said on P 139 of Panzer Leader .

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Kurt_S » 20 Sep 2023 16:59

Avalancheon wrote:There are certain people who struggle with things like conditional hypotheticals. This would consist of questions like: ''How would you have felt if you didn't eat breakfast this morning?'' These people will respond with something like: ''But I did eat breakfast this morning!'' They simply can't wrap their heads around the hypothetical nature of the question. The question confuses and frustrates them because it doesn't make sense. For people like this, the topic of alternate history is simply a non-starter.
The field of sub-academic history is dominated by people like this, academic history somewhat less so.

It is a classic midwit pose to consider oneself Serious for considering only "reality", whereas academics are gradually moving towards recognition of contingency and even explicit counterfactual analysis. The midwit, however, is constrained by Dunning-Kruger not to see this trend.

Part of the problem is perhaps the low intellectual status of military history generally in academia and the dominance of non-trained amateurs in WW2 history specifically. WW2 fans benefit immensely from amateur/un-trained researchers who have become quite adept at locating documents. It's essential to recognize those benefits without becoming beholden to the intellectual lacunae of this type of researcher.

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Aida1
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Aida1 » 20 Sep 2023 18:24

ljadw wrote:
20 Sep 2023 15:54
I see : you don't know what Guderian said on P 139 of Panzer Leader .
I do and his point of view is fundamentally correct.

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by ljadw » 24 Sep 2023 14:03

He said that if you double the number of armoured divisions ,you must also double the number of tanks .
The facts prove him to be wrong :the number of tanks is ONLY one of the elements of the strength of a panzer division : the PD of Fall Gelb had on the average less tanks than the prewar armoured divisions ,but were not inferior to them, the PD of Barbarossa had less tanks than those of Fall Gelb, but were not inferior to them, the Soviet tank divisions of Barbarossa had more tanks than the German PZD, but were inferior to them .
Notwithstanding this, Guderian refused to accept that he was wrong and after Stalingrad wanted to recreate the prewar PZD with a strength of 400 tanks .
He was only driven by his arrogance .

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Aida1
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Aida1 » 24 Sep 2023 15:28

ljadw wrote:
24 Sep 2023 14:03
He said that if you double the number of armoured divisions ,you must also double the number of tanks .
The facts prove him to be wrong :the number of tanks is ONLY one of the elements of the strength of a panzer division : the PD of Fall Gelb had on the average less tanks than the prewar armoured divisions ,but were not inferior to them, the PD of Barbarossa had less tanks than those of Fall Gelb, but were not inferior to them, the Soviet tank divisions of Barbarossa had more tanks than the German PZD, but were inferior to them .
Notwithstanding this, Guderian refused to accept that he was wrong and after Stalingrad wanted to recreate the prewar PZD with a strength of 400 tanks .
He was only driven by his arrogance .
A tank division is about tanks so it needs to be strong in tanks. Diluting the tank strength is a bad idea. Guderian was only driven by his conception about what a pz div should be and contrary to you it is a subject he mastered..

ljadw
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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by ljadw » 24 Sep 2023 19:00

Facts prove you to be wrong .
The average tank strength of the tank divisions of the Leningrad MD was at the start of the war 460 , of the Baltic MD 380, of the Western MD 250, of the Kiew MD 340, of the Odesa MD 250 .
The Leningrad MD did not better than the Western MD .
A tank division is not about tanks , but about tanks, infantry, artillery,a tank division is a combined arms unit and more tanks does not give this unit better results .

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Re: An Alternate Timeline: Operation Barbarossa

Post by Terry Duncan » 24 Sep 2023 21:15

Another thread where people seem to be incapable of following the site rules about not making personal comments or insults. Thread locked.

Terry

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