Germans Halfway to Moscow; Final Victory only Matter of Time

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Globalization41
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Location: California

Germans Halfway to Moscow; Final Victory only Matter of Time

Post by Globalization41 » 19 Jun 2004 17:47

Berlin, By Telephone to The New York
Times,
By C. Brooks Peters, Sunday, July 13,
1941:
The armed forces of the U.S.S.R. have
been defeated and their final capitulation or
annihilation
is now but a question of time,
according to the opinion of authoritative
quarters in the Reich's capital tonight. ... In
the double battle of Minsk and Bialystok, the
Germans assert, the enemy lost the best troops
and the most modern equipment he had in his
entire arsenal. With the reported breakthrough
of the "vital" positions of the Stalin Line on all
fronts, moreover, these quarters content that all
of European Russia now lies exposed to the
assaults of the Reich's motorized and tank
divisions. ... The German advance is
understood to be close to the metropolitan
boundaries of Kiev and that the city's surrender
is believed to be not far off. In the middle
sector the Germans appear to have trapped
sizable enemy forces in the pocket east of
Vitebsk
and to the north German tank and
motorized formations are reported closing in on
Leningrad
-- which, for days has been referred
to as Petersburg in the German press. The
German High Command's communique today
did not give any further information on the
progress of the [Leningrad] campaign. ...
Declaring that the Stalin Line represented the
last line of defense that the Russians present in
Europe, informed German quarters contend
that there are now four obvious phases of the
invasion. The first phase was the reported
break through the Red positions on the border.
The second phase comprised the battle between
fixed German and Russian forces in the double
battle of Bialystok and Minsk, in which two
entire Soviet armies were reported wiped out.
The third phase was the conquering of the
Stalin line. ... They argue that, having broken
that line, or zone of enemy defenses, in all its
most vital points, what now remains is merely
the complete destruction or annihilation of
those portions of the Russian armed forces that
still find themselves west of the Volga -- or
European Russia. ... Having disrupted the
Russian railway system, these same quarters
say, the Germans are confident that not much
of the enemy forces would be able to retire
safely behind any geographical obstacles,
such as the Volga or the Ural Mountains. All
of which, they insist, means merely that in the
German view victory against the Soviet forces,
excepting for the final clean-up operations, has
already been achieved. ... According to local
circles, the front at the moment runs somewhat
as follows: In the south those forces operating
as far north as the Pripet Marshes are
advancing along the entire line of their attacks.
The northern wing of these forces has
advanced so successfully, it is believed here,
that they are dangerously close to the capital
of the Ukraine. ... North of the Pripet Marshes,
this outline continues, the Germans have made
inroads into enemy territory that has pushed
them some 60 miles to the east of the Stalin
Line. The Dnieper River has been crossed at
many points and the thrusts of German
motorized and tank units carried well beyond
the enemy's last line of organized defense,
they say. ... Between Vitebsk and Moscow,
the Germans assert, there are no
geographical obstacles that may be counted
upon to hold up the German drive. In
addition, they add, there are no defenses that
the enemy had constructed before the war
began that they, the Germans, considered
sufficiently strong to impede the progress of
the German legions. ... The Germans claim in
addition that they have already covered half the
distance
between the borders of the Polish
Government General and the Russian capital.
... In the local view the offensive on the
northern front has been so successful that
Leningrad is directly threatened -- not only by
the German forces advancing from Peipus Lake
sector, but also from the combined German and
Finnish forces descending upon the Russian
forces from the north. ... The Germans say
that the Stalin Line has an average depth of
around 30 miles. The entire zone, they add,
was equipped with modern defensive weapons.
The attack on this strong enemy position, it
now appears, they add, did not begin until the
morning of July 11, that is, last Friday. ...
The German Air Force, they say, prepared the
way for a frontal attack on the ground by
providing the necessary artillery preparations.
German level and dive bombers harried the
enemy's positions until they were considered
ripe for storming. ... German sappers, they
explain, crossed the Dnieper River while the
aerial barrage was still in-progress and
established the necessary bridgeheads. Shock
troops extended the area of attack until from
small bridgeheads the Germans were attacking
the entrenched Russian positions on a wide
front. Then, these quarters add, "without
difficulties worthy of mention" German forces
forced their way through the Stalin zone of
defenses in a "very few days." The Germans
recall tonight, moreover, that on June 7, 1940,
the Maginot Line was broken. On June 14 of the
same year, they add, Paris capitulated. There
is, they continue, no reason to believe that the
Russian capital and the Russian armed forces
will hold out any longer than the French did last
year.

Rome, United Press, The New York Times,
Sunday, July 13, 1941: Twenty-two persons
were killed, including 14 Italians, and 54
wounded in recent British air raids on Tripoli,
according to today's Italian communique which
also reported new British air raids on Bengazi
and Derna on the Libyan coast. A military
hospital at Derna was reported hit. ... In the
Eastern Mediterranean, Italian air units
"repeatedly attacked" the British base of
Famagusta, Cyprus, the communique said.

Tokyo, Wireless to The New York Times, By
Otto D. Tolischus, Sunday, July 13, 1941: In
execution of the important national policies
decided upon at the recent Imperial
Conference, Japan's national structure is being
geared for total war,
Domei, the Japanese news
agency, announced today. ... Large scale
preparations for that purpose, the agency says,
are evident from the intensified activities in all
government quarters. They are also indicated,
it adds, by various other emergency measures
that are creating a tense atmosphere throughout
the country. ... These preparations, according
to the agency, center especially on the
application of the National Mobilization Law in
the expectation that "the policies to be pursued
by the government in the future will be
increasingly characterized by the present
wartime situation." ... A conference of the
National Mobilization Council will be held at
the end of this month and it is expected that the
people's daily life will be put on an intensified
wartime footing in line with the basic economic
and financial policies decided upon at an
extraordinary Cabinet session Friday. But the
government, already expecting that even the
application of the National Mobilization Law
will not be sufficient to effect the necessary
wartime controls, is, therefore, preparing
additional emergency measures for the future.
... Among these plans is further extension of
the control of the entire economic and financial
system including industry, agriculture,
transportation, and consumption. ...
Indicative of the extent of the preparations
are the new communication regulations.
According to these, only Japanese, English, or
German may be used in cables aboard, while
code messages must have a translation attached
to them and all cables must be signed. The use
of the telephone is restricted to Japanese or
German in conversations with Europe and to
Japanese or English in conversations with all
other countries except China and Manchukuo,
with which Japanese, Chinese, or Manchukuo
dialect may be used. ... All languages except
Japanese are barred in long-distance
conversations
within the Japanese Empire,
including such closely connected points as
Tokyo and Yokohama. Even the Yokohama
consulates are unable to telephone their
embassies in Tokyo in any language except
Japanese. ... News of the Anglo-Russian
alliance arrived here too late for comment, but
it is assumed that both the British Ambassador,
Sir Robert Leslie Craigie, and Constanin
Smetanin,
the Soviet Ambassador, who have
conferred with Foreign Minister Yosuke
Matsuoka
at length in the last few days, have
informed the Japanese Government regarding
this new development. ... In the meantime the
press continues to expound the implications of
the alleged Anglo-Chungking alliance, which it
has been reporting. The newspaper Asahi declares
in this connection: "It must be borne in mind
that a London-Chungking alliance also
means a Washington-Chungking alliance." ...
The newspaper Miyako declares that "should
they try to check our advance and lay obstacles
in our path by expanding their military bases
and openly challenge us, we would be forced
to accept such a challenge." ... But the
newspaper Yomiuri says that such an alliance
would not be surprising in view of the fact that
the three governments have historic relations
with one another and their own interest in the
south, and it warns: "Remaining calm, as
always, we must maintain a strictly critical
attitude in order not be taken aback by the
manoeuvres." ... The Navy Ministry
announced today that Vice Admiral Rokuso
Sugiyama
had been appointed supreme
commander of the Japanese naval forces in
North China succeeding Vice Admiral
Mitsuyoshi Shimizu,
who has been attached to
the Naval General Staff.

Berlin, United Press, The New York Times,
Sunday, July 13, 1941: Lieut. Commander
Herbert Schultze, 32-year-old U-boat
commander,
today became the 15th German
officer to receive the oak leaf to the knight's
cross of the Iron Cross from Reichsfuehrer
Hitler.
He was honored for having sunk
200,000 tons of enemy shipping. The same
decoration was telegraphed to General Wilhelm
Schmidt
of the German tank corps for gallantry
on the Eastern Front.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Nucleicacidman
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Posts: 126
Joined: 01 Apr 2004 05:53
Location: El Provencio, Cuenca, España

Post by Nucleicacidman » 22 Jun 2004 20:04

Moscow was very well near falling. Had Hitler gone through with Army Group Center and continued the assault on Moscow in late July, early August, Moscow would have fallen. It was only the two month stall which Hitler created when he deviated Guderian south to Kiev that allowed Stalin to pull in the Siberian reserves to safeguard the capital which allowed Moscow to survive. Not to mention the winter.

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1273
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Moscow or the Ukraine?

Post by Globalization41 » 23 Jun 2004 05:31

That's true, but I guess Hitler was more
interested in economic exploitation of the
Ukrainian breadbasket. No doubt Moscow
would have fallen without the two-month
delay. The fall of Moscow in 1941 may also
have inspired anti-Soviet Ukrainian freedom
fighters (who had recently suffered their own
holocaust at the hands of the Bolsheviks),
which would have benefited the Germans. ...
But regardless of which way the Germans
turned in July 1941, Stalin was fully prepared
to strategically retreat into the vast Russian
hinterlands
and continue ruthlessly
prosecuting the war.

Globalization41

Nucleicacidman
Member
Posts: 126
Joined: 01 Apr 2004 05:53
Location: El Provencio, Cuenca, España

Re: Moscow or the Ukraine?

Post by Nucleicacidman » 25 Jun 2004 22:16

Globalization41 wrote:That's true, but I guess Hitler was more
interested in economic exploitation of the
Ukrainian breadbasket. No doubt Moscow
would have fallen without the two-month
delay. The fall of Moscow in 1941 may also
have inspired anti-Soviet Ukrainian freedom
fighters (who had recently suffered their own
holocaust at the hands of the Bolsheviks),
which would have benefited the Germans. ...
But regardless of which way the Germans
turned in July 1941, Stalin was fully prepared
to strategically retreat into the vast Russian
hinterlands
and continue ruthlessly
prosecuting the war.

Globalization41
I don't doubt a Russian resistance east of the Urals, however, I do doubt Stalin leading it. His determination to stay in the capital during the October battles was most probably in him since the beginning of the war - and I don't doubt the German ability to capture and kill him, or him committing suicide.

Also, had Moscow fallen it would have facilitated the capture of Leningrad and Kiev, hence making a prolonged resistance much harder to materialize. Most probably the Werhmacht would use their SS units to form raiding parties on the Urals, destroying factories and the like.

Of course, the true outcome of a resistance will never be known. Good thing at that. :D

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1273
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

The Limit of German Expansion

Post by Globalization41 » 26 Jun 2004 02:20

As I understand it, Stalin only made his
decision to remain in Moscow on or about
October 15th. Rain and mud were beginning
to bog down the German drive on Moscow.
Winter was fast approaching. But he kept a
plane standing by in case the Germans got
too close. ... Even if the fall of Moscow in
August or September had facilitated the capture
of Kiev and Leningrad, the Germans couldn't
have got much further due to the laws of math.
The front would have eventually stabilized.
Since German resources and capabilities were
finite, strategic retreats to more efficiently
defensible lines would have been necessary.
Leningrad and Moscow, not being ecomomic
breadbaskets, may have been deemed not
worth the effort to defend. Besides, Hitler's
main strategic dream all along (even in the
1920s) had been colonizing the Ukrainian
breadbasket and establishing a German
landlocked empire. (This idea was actually a
popular fad among World War I veterans,
some of whom had gained prominent
positions in the S.S. by the 1940s.)

Globalization41

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