Germany winning on the Eastern Front

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bam
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by bam » 25 Jun 2013 22:27

we are getting stuck on semantics (the meaning of words) . POWs had to have Surrendered, surely? Or are u suggesting they were all knocked unconscious and captured and tied up? My term "surrender" isnt meant to imply they didnt fight. I'm not saying they gave up without firing a shot. I just mean that in June to Sept, they surrendered when they were trapped, leaderless and hungry; Oct onwards, this happened a lot less, and many more fought on to the death and refused to surrender, as they knew that surrender meant death anyway.
Come on mate, you havent answered my question; excluding Vyasma/Briansk, where were all these 500,000++ prisoners taken in Oct? Is your answer that the figures were high? That means you are basically saying your figures are wrong?

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2013 08:07

You don't get it :we are not discussing the exact number of POW (which is of course impossible to calculate) ,but your claim that at the start of Barbarossa,the Red Army was collapsing,that they were willing to surrender,but that the inhumane German POW treatment changed this :that the Soviet soldiers were fighting to avoid German captivity .

That the German POW figures were to high is irrelevant (they admitted they were to high),what's relevant is that the Red Army was fighting fanatically in the summer (quoting Halder),killing a lot of Germans,and losing a lot of POW,and that in the autumn ,the same trend was repeating :bitter fighting,big German losses (but lower than in the summer) and even more Soviet POW.

The number of POW is irrelevant for the morale of the Red Army .

The" Krivosheev" figures are giving the following Soviet combat losses in 1941:

third quarter : 2.6 million ,against German losses of 550000

fourth quarter : 1.5 million ,against German losses of 280000

For both quarters,the ratio is 1/5 .

Thus,it is not so that in the summer the Soviet soldiers were willing to give up,but,that this was changing because of the German treatment of the POW.

Besides,even in 1942,the Germans took a lot of POW :some 1.5 million.

Following corrected German figures,the average weekly number of POW was in 1941 :100000,and in 1942:30000.

The trend is obvious:when the Germans attacked,they took a lot of POW,notwithstanding their treatment of the POW.

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 26 Jun 2013 13:44

ljadw wrote:... The number of POW is irrelevant for the morale of the Red Army. ...
I doubt you would find many if any military experts who would agree with that assessement. The numbers or percentages that surrender are considered a fairly reliable indicator of moral especially if placed in context.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2013 17:19

Following the German figures,there were more Soviet POW in the 4th quarter of 1941 than in the third quarter,but,this is not meaning that the Soviet morale was collapsing after september 1941.

There were also 1.518 million Soviet POW in 1942,but this does not indicate anything about the morale .At Tobruk,a lot of SA soldiers were taken POW,but,it would be more than questionable to say that the reason was bad morale .Even the number of deserters proofs nothing :in 1944,there were a lot of US deserters hiding in France,but,that proofs not that the US morale was bad .

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 26 Jun 2013 17:53

It's a factor note that I mentioned placing it in context. An example mentioned earlier shows what I meant. In some of the early encirclements the Red Army units surrendered fairly quickly where in the latter ones they tried to break out. Similar circumstances but portionaly fewer POWs certainly indicates a greater willingness to fight which matches up pretty well with moral. Taken in isolation you do have to be careful with such measures.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2013 20:17

1) If in the early encirclments,the Soviet soldiers surrendered fairly quickly,while in the latter they tried to break out,that would imply that in the beginning,the German losses were low,and that later they were increasing .

Well,it is the opposite :
daily German losses :
june 4500
july:6300
august:6300
september:4600
october :3700


2) In his review of Why Stalin's soldiers fought:the Red Army's effectiveness in WWii(by R.Reese),,Kunikow (former member),writes the following :

"Reed argues that if soldiers surrendered,it was not solely or even mainly because they did not agree or were against the government ".

That's why I said that the number of POW's is irrelevant for the morale of the Red Army .


Kunikow continues:"But simultaneously we can not claim that the soldiers who continued to fight were doing so because they were supporters of the regime they found themselves fighting for ".

And also :"there is no evidence for large Red Army units surrendering en masse.On the contrary,the majority of the evidence points to soldiers"captured in small batches in a multitude of separate instances accross a vast landscape as combat ebbed and flowed " (Rees : P 190).

If Ivan was fighting and Igor was surrendering,this does not indicate that Ivan was a fanatical communist and Igor an enemy of the regime .

There were a lot of opponents of the nazi regime fighting in the WM(communists,socialists,...),but,there is no proof that they were fighting less well than those who supported the regime enthusiastically .

There is no correlation between fighting/surrendering and the morale of a soldier ,because there are countless reasons for a soldier to fight,or to surrender .

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 26 Jun 2013 22:39

ljadw wrote:1) If in the early encirclments,the Soviet soldiers surrendered fairly quickly,while in the latter they tried to break out,that would imply that in the beginning,the German losses were low,and that later they were increasing .
Not really.
2) In his review of Why Stalin's soldiers fought:the Red Army's effectiveness in WWii(by R.Reese),,Kunikow (former member),writes the following :

"Reed argues that if soldiers surrendered,it was not solely or even mainly because they did not agree or were against the government ".

That's why I said that the number of POW's is irrelevant for the morale of the Red Army .
I dont' see any logic in that at all.
Kunikow continues:"But simultaneously we can not claim that the soldiers who continued to fight were doing so because they were supporters of the regime they found themselves fighting for ".

And also :"there is no evidence for large Red Army units surrendering en masse.On the contrary,the majority of the evidence points to soldiers"captured in small batches in a multitude of separate instances accross a vast landscape as combat ebbed and flowed " (Rees : P 190).

If Ivan was fighting and Igor was surrendering,this does not indicate that Ivan was a fanatical communist and Igor an enemy of the regime .

There were a lot of opponents of the nazi regime fighting in the WM(communists,socialists,...),but,there is no proof that they were fighting less well than those who supported the regime enthusiastically .
Interesting but irrelevant to the question at hand.
There is no correlation between fighting/surrendering and the morale of a soldier ,because there are countless reasons for a soldier to fight,or to surrender .
That is a leap of faith and a poorly chosen one. There may be many reasons to fight on or to surrender but moral is an important one.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 27 Jun 2013 07:01

In wartime,politics are a far from my bed show for the average soldier,whose final preoccupation is to survive .There are no stats that of the German soldiers who were taken POW,a specified % surrendered for political motives .

How many of the 80000 + Germans who became POW in NA in may 1943,surrendered because they were hostile to the regime ?

How many of the 2.8 million Soviets who were taken POW in 1941 surrendered because they were hostile to Stalin ?

The fact that soldiers surrendered,does also not indicate a bad morale :in 1940,the majority of the losses of the BEF were MIA/POW,but,this does not prove a low morale of the BEF .
A lot of Commonwealth soldiers became POW at Singapore,a lot of US soldiers became POW at Bataan/Corregidor,but no one will claim that the reason was a bad morale .

Thus,why should the fact that 2.8 million Soviets surrendered in 1941,indicate a bad morale / hostility to the regime ?

At Brest-Litowsk,the Soviets continued the fight til the end,in other places,they surrendered more quickly .But ,that does not indicate that those of Brest-Litowsk were fanatical communists,and the others hidden enemies of Stalin .

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 27 Jun 2013 14:25

ljadw wrote:In wartime,politics are a far from my bed show for the average soldier,whose final preoccupation is to survive .There are no stats that of the German soldiers who were taken POW,a specified % surrendered for political motives.
That's something of a straw man though. We weren't talking about surrendering for political motives we were talking about the effect of moral on POWs. Certainly if you look at the west there were large numbers that surrendered in 45 and it was due in large part to the knowledge that the war was lost and the acompanying loss of moral from that.
How many of the 80000 + Germans who became POW in NA in may 1943,surrendered because they were hostile to the regime ?

How many of the 2.8 million Soviets who were taken POW in 1941 surrendered because they were hostile to Stalin ?
Irrelevant as above we're talking about moral and it's corolation to POWs not hostility to a given regime although that also may impact moral.
The fact that soldiers surrendered,does also not indicate a bad morale :in 1940,the majority of the losses of the BEF were MIA/POW,but,this does not prove a low morale of the BEF .
Really? A unit whose posiition is over run or who is cut off is typically going to have lower moral than one that isn't.
A lot of Commonwealth soldiers became POW at Singapore,a lot of US soldiers became POW at Bataan/Corregidor,but no one will claim that the reason was a bad morale .
Actually this is not the case. At least for Singapore poor moral on the part of the Indian units is often sited. But again I'm not saying it's the only factor but a factor it certainly is.
Thus,why should the fact that 2.8 million Soviets surrendered in 1941,indicate a bad morale / hostility to the regime ?
One would have to put it in context before that a conclusive determination can be made but it's certainly not a good sign.
At Brest-Litowsk,the Soviets continued the fight til the end,in other places,they surrendered more quickly .But ,that does not indicate that those of Brest-Litowsk were fanatical communists,and the others hidden enemies of Stalin .
It may simply indicate a better leader, it does suggest higher moral. I agree political projections in the above, especially without more data are unwarrented.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 27 Jun 2013 17:21

The following claims have been made by Bam

1)At the start of the war,the Soviet morale was bad

Reply :unproved,and most things prove the opposite

2)The Soviet soldiers were hostile to the regime

reply :unproved,and most things prove the opposite


3)The Soviet soldiers surrendered in droves

Reply :wrong


4)points 1,2 and 3 are proved by the big number of POW's

Reply:a big number of POW's proofs nothing

5)Everything changed with the bad treatment of the POW's

Reply :wrong

6)Signifiant reinforcements from Siberia saved Moscow

Reply : this is a very old fable,which has been debunked countless times,but it still continues to appear (as the monster of Loch Ness)

7)The Germans could have won,if they provided food and shelter for the Soviet POW's

Reply :this is a joke .

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 27 Jun 2013 18:05

ljadw wrote:The following claims have been made by Bam
But I'm not Bam. Replying to my statements like I was is at the very least unreasonable.
1)At the start of the war,the Soviet morale was bad
Reply :unproved,and most things prove the opposite
I'd agree that it is unproven. I don't agree that "most things prove the opposite". Indeed I would be surprised if this was the case given the events of recent years.
2)The Soviet soldiers were hostile to the regime
reply :unproved,and most things prove the opposite
Again I agree that it is unproven. I'd need to see "most things" to confirm your opinion in this matter. Could well turn into a question of semantics.
3)The Soviet soldiers surrendered in droves
Reply :wrong
I'll have to agree with this one. Large numbers of Soviets did surrender that's a fact.
4)points 1,2 and 3 are proved by the big number of POW's
Reply:a big number of POW's proofs nothing
It certainly proves 3 by itself it doesn't prove 1 and is of questionable utility in regards to 2.
5)Everything changed with the bad treatment of the POW's
Reply :wrong
It's hard to be correct when one uses such global pronouncements. I'll agree with you that 5 is incorrect. (Of course looking back to see what he said the above isn't exactly correct either)
6)Signifiant reinforcements from Siberia saved Moscow
Reply : this is a very old fable,which has been debunked countless times,but it still continues to appear (as the monster of Loch Ness)
Ironically as you state it it may be correct but as he stated it I'll agree it was wrong.
7)The Germans could have won,if they provided food and shelter for the Soviet POW's

Reply :this is a joke .
It's also a strawman. Now what he said is probably worng or at least insufficient in and of itself but that's another matter.

If you read and try to fully comprehend what people are saying you won't find yourself making so many mistakes. Very often you take an essentially sound position so far that it looses it's validity and to do so vs strawmen really undermines your credibility.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 28 Jun 2013 17:48

The whole discussion is bathing in the irreal atmosphere of the 1950's and is swarming of stereotypes :the underlyingargumentatios is: the Germans had a royal flush,and,still,they lost :they were very stupid .

A few exemples:

1)By the time of the advance to Moscow,the Russian attitude changed .

It did NOT change : in 1942,every week,an average of 30000 Soviets were taken POW


2)If the Germans had advanced with soup kitchens and loudspeakers promising release from Bolshevism,they would have yielded quicker advances than 100's of panzers .

This is RIDICULOUS.


3)The Germans could have gone to Moscow virtually unopposed before significant :P reinforcements from Siberia (of course :roll: ) could arrive : this has been debunked countless times,but still is rearing its head


4)The average Russian grunt was very badly treated by officers and especially commissars : COLD WAR PROPAGANDA


5)The whole rotten Soviet structure :question :why would the Soviet structure be rotten ?

6)Virtually no country that had lost its capital city in a war,has gone on to win ; :P

The British burning the White House :wink:
Napoleon in Moscow did not prevent the Russians to be in Paris . :wink:

On the points 1 + 2 (bad Soviet morale/hostility to the regime) : a lot of things are proving the opposite,as ... the regime
was able to mobilize immediately millions of reservists and to sent monthly an average of 1 million men to the front .

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LWD
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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by LWD » 01 Jul 2013 14:46

Impressive collection of straw men.

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by ljadw » 01 Jul 2013 18:10

The man means of course : impressive collection of no strawmen (a typo :wink: ),because,nothing has been invented,all these points can be found again in the thread . 8-)

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Re: Germany winning on the Eastern Front

Post by Kelvin » 01 Jul 2013 19:50

Provenzano wrote:I wanted to make a forum post discussing what Hitler could have done in order to win the Eastern front, if he could've won on the Eastern front at all. So I did. (Sorry if a similar post has been posted before)

In my opinion, if Hitler listened to his generals and pushed all the way onto Moscow, successfully captures it and then proceed to swing around North and South to divide Russia into different parts will have probably won the Eastern front.

Also I think Hitler should've focused more on bombing/destroying Russian industries. I read on the book 'Stalingrad, the Fateful Siege' by Anthony Beevor that at some point in 1942, some member of the OKW or a German general informed Hitler that Soviet Union was producing more than 1,100 tanks a month (Germany was only producing 500 a month), despite the complete destruction of most western Soviet Union industrial centers (e.g. Kiev). Hitler in response, banged his hand on the table and yelled "IMPOSSIBRU." In fact, Soviet Union was producing an average of more than 2000 tanks a month and most of them are T-34s, which is superior to vitually all German fighting vehicles at this time. Except for maybe the panzer IV, but I'm not sure if when the panzer IV received its long 7.5 cm gun upgrade. Anyways yeah, at this rate of more than 4:1 production ratio, no matter how many German tank aces Stalin will create by producing so many great T-34s with its lackluster crews, German panzers are seriously likely to get their butt spanked if Germany don't put some more pressure on Soviet production.
Moscow was not a easy target in this moment, Hoth 's Panzer Group 3 failed to annhilate Soviet 16th, 19th and 20th Armies in Smolensk pocket. And still a lot of Soviet forces in front of Moscow in August and September, 1941, Even Vyzama-Bryansk battle began one month earlier, but you should remember that German neither had enough panzer and motorized forces in August 1941, because at this moment, German Army Group Center also had two Panzer Group ( Panzer Group 2 & 3), totally 9 x Panzer and 6 x Motorized Infantry division plus 1 x motorized brigade and 1 x motorized infantry regiment and many were underequipped after two months exhaustion. They were not capable of encircling a large number of Soviet troop in front of Moscow.
When go to actual fact in Oct 1941, Vyzama-Bryansk pocket : German totally had 3 Panzer Group ( Panzer Group 2 came from South and Panzer Group 3 & 4 from North) and they possessed 14 Panzer divisions including newly arrived fresh units : 2. and 5. Panzer Divisions and 8 x motorized infantry divisions. For this gigantic encirclement battle, like Kiev and Vyzama, only adequate panzer troop could complete this task, it was reason why Army Group South needed Guderian's Panzer Group 2 in Kiev encirclment when strength of Kleist 's Panzer Group 1 was not enough for that huge battle.

Not only did German not have enough panzer troop to annhilate a huge Soviet grouping in front of Moscow in Sept 1941, but also she was under the threat of 670,000 men Southwestern Front on her right flank. Was it viable to capture Moscow successully.

When go to actual fact : German destroyed 19th, 20th, 24th and 32rd Armies from Western Front and Reserve Front and destroyed or damaged another two armies from Bryansk Front in Oct 1941, but in Nov 1941, Soviet still had 8 Armies from Western and Kalinin Front in front of German army and also two newly rebuilt Armies reinforced from South and in late Nov 1941, Moscow area formed another twelve infantry divisions and other unit numbering 200,000 men. If German started this campaign one month earlier, Vyzama battle occured in Sept and in Oct, German still had a lot of Russian troop needed to be destroyed, I doubt that even they could captured Moscow in 1941. When German wiped out that units in Oct, they would face another newly built units formed in Moscow which had a large population.

Also remember that Stalin still had 1.35 million troop, 2000 tanks and 2000 aircraft in Siberia , when in actual fact, he still kept that large unit in the East, albeit Japanese threat was unlikely at that moment. Stalin just relied upon units raised in Moscow area resisted German invader in late 1941. Actually German was beaten by Soviet Speed Reserve System. Blitzkrieg was only used for defeating small or medium size countries in a one blow, but for transcontinential powers like Soviet and USA, it does not work.
Last edited by Kelvin on 01 Jul 2013 20:54, edited 2 times in total.

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