Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
DavidFrankenberg
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 20 Mar 2018 19:41

Jack Radey wrote:I recommend to you the article Charles Sharp and I wrote for The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, entitled "Was it the Mud?" Our conclusion - no. Mud was a factor. It looms large in German memoirs, and German documents of the period. But only by guiding on the former and failing to carefully read the latter can you believe that the German offensive was stopped by the mud. There were other factors that were far more important.
1) The Red Army. After losing a million men in two weeks, it would seem there was nothing what was left of the Red Army could do to prevent a German waltz into Moscow. But it managed. Partly because of the lack of roads and their condition the Germans were only able to bring a portion of their strength to bear, and the Soviets matched them, if not in numbers, on every axis they tried to advance on. The critical clue - examine the German loss numbers in the last three weeks in October. And examine the condition of German divisions at the end of October, compared to the beginning of Typhoon. All those guys, and tanks, etc, did not die or get knocked out by being choked by mud. Someone was shooting holes in them. Wanna guess whom?

2) The roads. There weren't very many. For German purposes west of Moscow there were two, or three if you count the Old Post Road that ran parallel to the Moscow Highway. The other one was the Roslavl-Podolsk road. Over these the Germans attempted to supply two armies and two panzer groups. Wanna guess how that worked out? It caused enormous traffic jams for one thing. For another, it destroyed the roads, none of which were built to carry hundreds of tanks, tractors, heavily loaded trucks, guns, etc. As to the dirt roads, designed for peasant carts, sending one panzer regiment out to follow one meant after they had passed, there was no road at all. Their fuel trucks, schutzen, artillery, ammo, bread... had a hard time following. The Red Army again played a roll. Though they ran up a terrible record in 1941 for blowing major bridges, they did just fine on the small ones, and every culvert that ran under a road too. Putting 1,000 kgs of TNT under a road with a three day delay fuse can be a real drag too if you're trying to use the road. There are lots and lots of rivers and marshes west of Moscow. Everywhere a road crossed one, you had a low point. Blow the bridge and the vehicles will try to ford. Send enough heavy vehicles over this way and you have one magnificent mud wallow.

3) The logistics. As Halder put it, even after the war in an interview, "The material must be the servant of the spiritual; this means the problems of the quartermaster corps may never interfere with the operational plan." It could be engraved on the tombstone of the Wehrmacht. Fact - at the beginning of Typhoon, there was enough fuel to reach Vyazma. No more. It had been impossible to stockpile. More to the point, during the battle (I have the supply records of 4th Army), most days the amount they received from the Reich was... zero. On one or two days they got fuel delivered to the dumps around Roslavl. True, pushing it forwards, through the traffic jams, was no joy and could take a week. But the bottom line was there was little or no fuel to push forwards. Food and ammo were also very tight (ammo less than food). In some cases, threadbare panzer divisions screaming for infantry relief had to demur when offered reinforcements. I've come across at least two instances when the infantry were warned not to come forwards, because it was impossible to feed the troops already at the front. Many divisions complained of no bread for a week...

The problem was the Red Army was supposed to collapse, as it was supposed to have done on the frontier. But it didn't. By the middle of the 3rd week in October, only 3 days after the Vyazma Pocket was declared liquidated, the Red Army launched a 3-army counterstroke that chewed up XXXXI Motorized Corps and left it hors de combat. Zhukov landed another counterstroke, albeit a weak one, in the fourth week of October on both the Moscow Highway and the Roslavl-Podolsk road that smashed four German infantry divisions and a panzer division, cut off 10th PzD on its drive north to Skirmanovo.

Someone above asked how Rotmistrov made his run to Torzhok. Simple. He had one tank brigade, with augmented repair assets, and was driving down a paved road (one of few). So he really made time.

Finally, on 1 Nov, Zhukov submitted a report to the Stavka. In it he detailed the German's condition, identified most of the enemy divisions facing him, and declared that the enemy would not be able to resume operations for two weeks, during which time he would have to bring up supplies, rebuild and reorganize some of his shattered formations, and bring up reinforcements. He got the time correct to the day. But what is interesting is what he did not mention. Every German memoir and KTB talks of how they need to wait for the Frost (always capitalized), if only the Frost would come, then, on to Moscow!! (It behooves one to be thoughtful in what you ask for.) At times Soviet reports speak of how nearly impassable the dirt roads were to motorized traffic (this after 19th Oct, when the rain began for serious and things did indeed get muddy.) But Zhukov makes no mention whatsoever about the weather, nor does he assign it any significance in determining when the Germans would resume. He identifies their problem as having a shattered spearhead, and being out of supplies.

German memoirs, and official reports, tend to be heavy on the excuses, all of which are attributable to factors over which they had no control. They successfully threw mud in they eyes of history. But if anyone had bothered to read their actual records, they would find all the material I cite above about roads collapsing under the weight of the German columns, the lack of roads, the lack of supplies, the traffic and lack of traffic discipline, the numerous blown bridges and their effects, , the fierce resistance of the Red Army and the horrendous casualties they had taken. Its all there, along with the daily weather and road condition reports. Pity most historians never really looked, since they already KNEW THE TRUTH!! It was the MUD!! It must have been.... but it wasn't...
You are absolutely right.
I would add two things which invalidate the mud's excuse :
- "the mud" was also there for the Soviets
and
- when the Germans did not put the blame on "the mud", they currently put the blame on the "frost".
It is interesting to see them hoping for "frost" since once frost would come they could only say "the frost is stopping us".

Let me put the reference of your article :
Jack Radey & Charles Sharp (2015) "Was It the Mud?", The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, n°28.4, p.646-676.
What about writing a new one intitled "Was it the Frost ?"

As you recall it, the only reason the Germans failed was the superiority of the SU army. By the end of the 1941 summer the Wehrmacht had lost all the cream of its troops, as Halder stated in his diary.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Jack Radey » 21 Mar 2018 00:26

Well, for "serious historians" I would include Alan Clark, Earl Zeimke, "Paul Carell" (OK, that one was for laughs), Albert Seaton, Zetterling & Frankson, David Stahel, all of whom assign the mud (Z&F refer to it at one point as "the well known mud"), Guderian, Raus, all of whom assign the primary responsibility for the failure of Typhoon's phase II (Phase I the crushing of Western, Reserve and Bryansk Fronts, Phase II the exploitation towards Moscow, culminating in the battles at Kalinin, the Mozhaisk Line, and Mtsensk/Tula), and Phase III, the Last Gasp in November. The issue was settled in Phase II, and by the issue, I mean the outcome of WWII. Germany's one and only chance to take Moscow and have a hope of driving the USSR out of the war. By Phase III it was already way too late, there were three reserve armies forming up behind Moscow and another 7 up and down the front, none of which the Germans had a notion of. And by the end of Phase II they had taken such damage to their forces that they simply lacked the strength to even reach Moscow, let alone take it.

Your notion of cross country mobility really doesn't apply. Armies move, and supply, by roads, unless they have rail lines and/or river or sea transport as an option. In Russia, north of roughly Tula, the country is all wooded, and wet. If you want to cross the wet bits, it behooves you to move on the roads. Fording streams is sometimes possible, with a few vehicles, but unless the banks are carefully structured to support this, they soon turn to mud wallows. You can't drive trucks over streams usually, and marshes, which are found everywhere in this wet country, in nearly all seasons, are impassable to all but infantry, and that would be infantry without heavy infantry weapons, resupply, casualty evacuation, etc. The Germans were able to maneuver off road for a bit, tactically, even during the worst of the rains (which came after 19 Oct). When you say that the mud constrained the Germans to predictable routes, you miss the point. Von Kluge in an amazing report practically tears his hair in frustration - the "weather" by which he actually means "terrain" is preventing us from doing what we want to, we must take the terrain and location of the roads into consideration!!! Its so unfair!!!! Reality, to German military planners focused on "The Will", was a nuisance that had no right forcing them to conform to it. But thinking you can maneuver a million troops over river and wood filled terrain without taking into account the number of, location of, orientation of and condition of what roads there are - or whether you have enough fuel to take your vehicles where you want to get to, this is not generalship. This is a formula for disaster. And so it proved.


The bottom line is that Operation Barbarossa, and Operation Typhoon, were classic examples of terrible military thought, planning, and execution. If your plan is based on the assumption that your enemy will collapse, so no concerns about logistics, terrain, weather, enemy mobilization potential, etc is necessary, you are likely to have a rather unpleasant experience if your enemy refuses to play his scripted roll. That is not competent military planning. Tactics without strategy is the noise that precedes defeat, as Master Sun said. The Germans were brilliant tactically, good operationally, and totally absurd strategically. There are more recent examples of the same sort of thinking to be found even more recently and closer to home, if you care to look. Many of them.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 21 Mar 2018 09:40

There are indeed areas that are virtually impassable at any time of year, (as Manstein discovered in early July when he tried to advance his corps from the Dvina to Opochka) that is hardly a matter of dispute. But the rasputitsa was such an integral part of military reality in the territory of the Soviet Union that a four to six weeks pause was built into much of the advanced offensive operational planning. (Though I am aware that there were exceptions.) Those pauses were not down to terrain, or 'the number, location and orientation' of the roads, or fuel, food and ammunition stocks; they were down to the mud. Whether the German operations in 1941 were or were not 'classic examples of terrible military thought' is a separate point as to whether the rainfall and mud in 'phase II' was a major or relatively minor factor in the slow pace of advance of AGC in the second half of October.
On a minor point, I'm puzzled. If Kluge meant "terrain", why did he say "weather", and how do you know what he really meant?

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 15 Aug 2018 09:08

Jack Radey wrote:
20 Mar 2018 02:01

German memoirs, and official reports, tend to be heavy on the excuses, all of which are attributable to factors over which they had no control. They successfully threw mud in they eyes of history. But if anyone had bothered to read their actual records, they would find all the material I cite above about roads collapsing under the weight of the German columns, the lack of roads, the lack of supplies, the traffic and lack of traffic discipline, the numerous blown bridges and their effects, , the fierce resistance of the Red Army and the horrendous casualties they had taken. Its all there, along with the daily weather and road condition reports. Pity most historians never really looked, since they already KNEW THE TRUTH!! It was the MUD!! It must have been.... but it wasn't...
All these other factors were always there before from the beginning of Barbarossa and are never pushed under the rug.They did not prevent the successes that were obtained. During Taifun mud was an added negative factor that slowed down the advance a lot Pretending that mud made no major difference is nonsense.Without it the offensive culminates much further east.Exactly why the OKH wanted the advance to start a month earlier.Weather has a major influence on military operations.It is not an excuse.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 15 Aug 2018 09:30

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
20 Mar 2018 19:41
Jack Radey wrote:I recommend to you the article Charles Sharp and I wrote for The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, entitled "Was it the Mud?" Our conclusion - no. Mud was a factor. It looms large in German memoirs, and German documents of the period. But only by guiding on the former and failing to carefully read the latter can you believe that the German offensive was stopped by the mud. There were other factors that were far more important.
1) The Red Army. After losing a million men in two weeks, it would seem there was nothing what was left of the Red Army could do to prevent a German waltz into Moscow. But it managed. Partly because of the lack of roads and their condition the Germans were only able to bring a portion of their strength to bear, and the Soviets matched them, if not in numbers, on every axis they tried to advance on. The critical clue - examine the German loss numbers in the last three weeks in October. And examine the condition of German divisions at the end of October, compared to the beginning of Typhoon. All those guys, and tanks, etc, did not die or get knocked out by being choked by mud. Someone was shooting holes in them. Wanna guess whom?

2) The roads. There weren't very many. For German purposes west of Moscow there were two, or three if you count the Old Post Road that ran parallel to the Moscow Highway. The other one was the Roslavl-Podolsk road. Over these the Germans attempted to supply two armies and two panzer groups. Wanna guess how that worked out? It caused enormous traffic jams for one thing. For another, it destroyed the roads, none of which were built to carry hundreds of tanks, tractors, heavily loaded trucks, guns, etc. As to the dirt roads, designed for peasant carts, sending one panzer regiment out to follow one meant after they had passed, there was no road at all. Their fuel trucks, schutzen, artillery, ammo, bread... had a hard time following. The Red Army again played a roll. Though they ran up a terrible record in 1941 for blowing major bridges, they did just fine on the small ones, and every culvert that ran under a road too. Putting 1,000 kgs of TNT under a road with a three day delay fuse can be a real drag too if you're trying to use the road. There are lots and lots of rivers and marshes west of Moscow. Everywhere a road crossed one, you had a low point. Blow the bridge and the vehicles will try to ford. Send enough heavy vehicles over this way and you have one magnificent mud wallow.

3) The logistics. As Halder put it, even after the war in an interview, "The material must be the servant of the spiritual; this means the problems of the quartermaster corps may never interfere with the operational plan." It could be engraved on the tombstone of the Wehrmacht. Fact - at the beginning of Typhoon, there was enough fuel to reach Vyazma. No more. It had been impossible to stockpile. More to the point, during the battle (I have the supply records of 4th Army), most days the amount they received from the Reich was... zero. On one or two days they got fuel delivered to the dumps around Roslavl. True, pushing it forwards, through the traffic jams, was no joy and could take a week. But the bottom line was there was little or no fuel to push forwards. Food and ammo were also very tight (ammo less than food). In some cases, threadbare panzer divisions screaming for infantry relief had to demur when offered reinforcements. I've come across at least two instances when the infantry were warned not to come forwards, because it was impossible to feed the troops already at the front. Many divisions complained of no bread for a week...

The problem was the Red Army was supposed to collapse, as it was supposed to have done on the frontier. But it didn't. By the middle of the 3rd week in October, only 3 days after the Vyazma Pocket was declared liquidated, the Red Army launched a 3-army counterstroke that chewed up XXXXI Motorized Corps and left it hors de combat. Zhukov landed another counterstroke, albeit a weak one, in the fourth week of October on both the Moscow Highway and the Roslavl-Podolsk road that smashed four German infantry divisions and a panzer division, cut off 10th PzD on its drive north to Skirmanovo.

Someone above asked how Rotmistrov made his run to Torzhok. Simple. He had one tank brigade, with augmented repair assets, and was driving down a paved road (one of few). So he really made time.

Finally, on 1 Nov, Zhukov submitted a report to the Stavka. In it he detailed the German's condition, identified most of the enemy divisions facing him, and declared that the enemy would not be able to resume operations for two weeks, during which time he would have to bring up supplies, rebuild and reorganize some of his shattered formations, and bring up reinforcements. He got the time correct to the day. But what is interesting is what he did not mention. Every German memoir and KTB talks of how they need to wait for the Frost (always capitalized), if only the Frost would come, then, on to Moscow!! (It behooves one to be thoughtful in what you ask for.) At times Soviet reports speak of how nearly impassable the dirt roads were to motorized traffic (this after 19th Oct, when the rain began for serious and things did indeed get muddy.) But Zhukov makes no mention whatsoever about the weather, nor does he assign it any significance in determining when the Germans would resume. He identifies their problem as having a shattered spearhead, and being out of supplies.

German memoirs, and official reports, tend to be heavy on the excuses, all of which are attributable to factors over which they had no control. They successfully threw mud in they eyes of history. But if anyone had bothered to read their actual records, they would find all the material I cite above about roads collapsing under the weight of the German columns, the lack of roads, the lack of supplies, the traffic and lack of traffic discipline, the numerous blown bridges and their effects, , the fierce resistance of the Red Army and the horrendous casualties they had taken. Its all there, along with the daily weather and road condition reports. Pity most historians never really looked, since they already KNEW THE TRUTH!! It was the MUD!! It must have been.... but it wasn't...
You are absolutely right.
I would add two things which invalidate the mud's excuse :
- "the mud" was also there for the Soviets
and
- when the Germans did not put the blame on "the mud", they currently put the blame on the "frost".
It is interesting to see them hoping for "frost" since once frost would come they could only say "the frost is stopping us".

Let me put the reference of your article :
Jack Radey & Charles Sharp (2015) "Was It the Mud?", The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, n°28.4, p.646-676.
What about writing a new one intitled "Was it the Frost ?"

As you recall it, the only reason the Germans failed was the superiority of the SU army. By the end of the 1941 summer the Wehrmacht had lost all the cream of its troops, as Halder stated in his diary.
You may certainly choose to believe that the tempo of military operations is not influenced by mud and frost but it is. A commander that ignores it ,does it to his peril.Bad weather in an area with not many good roads will have a major influence on the depth of your advance.Executing Taifun a month earlier without bad weather obviously makes a major difference on where the advance comes to a standfstill .Exactly the reason the OKH wanted to advance on Moscow earlier.The negative influence of weather was clearly mentioned by the OKH in august when proposing the advance on Moscow then so was not an excuse invented afterwards.
Given the beating the red army took in 1941 and the amount of terrain it lost,one can hardly call it superior.
Last edited by benwi on 15 Aug 2018 09:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 15 Aug 2018 09:41

Jack Radey wrote:
21 Mar 2018 00:26

The bottom line is that Operation Barbarossa, and Operation Typhoon, were classic examples of terrible military thought, planning, and execution. If your plan is based on the assumption that your enemy will collapse, so no concerns about logistics, terrain, weather, enemy mobilization potential, etc is necessary, you are likely to have a rather unpleasant experience if your enemy refuses to play his scripted roll. That is not competent military planning. Tactics without strategy is the noise that precedes defeat, as Master Sun said. The Germans were brilliant tactically, good operationally, and totally absurd strategically. There are more recent examples of the same sort of thinking to be found even more recently and closer to home, if you care to look. Many of them.
You are the one assuming that they never thought that there were would be logistical challenges and that weather and opponent would not play a role. You are underestimating the intelligence of staff officers.What was wrong about Barborassa was the focussing on three objectives for which there were not enough forces.That was not the idea of the army command.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 15 Aug 2018 16:54

Max Payload wrote:
20 Mar 2018 11:45
Thanks for your post. Very interesting.
As someone who has not made a study of AGC documents, I can only comment as follows
A chewed up dirt road is still a rutted road. A chewed up dirt road plus a couple of hundred millimetres of rain is a quagmire. A dry field is reasonably passable to infantry, tracked vehicles and, to a degree, wheeled vehicles. A waterlogged field at the very least slows down such movement quite considerably. The second sentence of your post stated unequivocally, "Mud was a factor." I agree. It was a factor in limiting the rate of advance from Vyazma/Briansk to the Mozhaisk line and beyond. It was a factor in constraining the the direction of advance to predictable routes along which the Red Army could concentrate its limited resources. It was a factor in preventing AGC from rapidly circumventing blocking positions. It was a factor in exacerbating an already chronic logistical situation.
I'm not sure any serious historian claimed that to the exclusion of all else, "It was the MUD!!"
Neither I am sure it was the relatively insignificant factor that you seem to imply.
Exactly.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2018 20:34

Jack Radey wrote:
21 Mar 2018 00:26


Your notion of cross country mobility really doesn't apply. Armies move, and supply, by roads, unless they have rail lines and/or riv


The bottom line is that Operation Barbarossa, and Operation Typhoon, were classic examples of terrible military thought, planning, and execution. If your plan is based on the assumption that your enemy will collapse, so no concerns about logistics, terrain, weather, enemy mobilization potential, etc is necessary, you are likely to have a rather unpleasant experience if your enemy refuses to play his scripted roll. That is not competent military planning. Tactics without strategy is the noise that precedes defeat, as Master Sun said. The Germans were brilliant tactically, good operationally, and totally absurd strategically. There are more recent examples of the same sort of thinking to be found even more recently and closer to home, if you care to look. Many of them.
The Germans advanced to Moscow, thus the weather/terrain was not decisive .
The plan was NOT based on the assumption that the enemy would collapse, the plan was based
1 on the correct conviction that the SU could only collapse if its armed forces were defeated
2 on the correct conviction that they could defeat the Red Army
3 on the correct conviction that this could only happen west of the DD line (Dnjepr-Dvina)
4 that this could only happen if the Red Army would go to the west of the DD line
All these points were correct: only a short campaign could be successful.
What caused the German defeat was point 5 : if the Soviets could mobilize and send to the front their manpower (15 million were mobilized in the first year of the war ),it was over for Germany ;the Germans gambled that the Soviets could not do it, and were wrong .
Saying that the plan was not good is wrong : it was the only plan that could succeed ,but, in fine, everything depended on what the Soviets could/would do .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 16 Aug 2018 10:14

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2018 20:34
Jack Radey wrote:
21 Mar 2018 00:26


Your notion of cross country mobility really doesn't apply. Armies move, and supply, by roads, unless they have rail lines and/or riv


The bottom line is that Operation Barbarossa, and Operation Typhoon, were classic examples of terrible military thought, planning, and execution. If your plan is based on the assumption that your enemy will collapse, so no concerns about logistics, terrain, weather, enemy mobilization potential, etc is necessary, you are likely to have a rather unpleasant experience if your enemy refuses to play his scripted roll. That is not competent military planning. Tactics without strategy is the noise that precedes defeat, as Master Sun said. The Germans were brilliant tactically, good operationally, and totally absurd strategically. There are more recent examples of the same sort of thinking to be found even more recently and closer to home, if you care to look. Many of them.
The Germans advanced to Moscow, thus the weather/terrain was not decisive .
The plan was NOT based on the assumption that the enemy would collapse, the plan was based
1 on the correct conviction that the SU could only collapse if its armed forces were defeated
2 on the correct conviction that they could defeat the Red Army
3 on the correct conviction that this could only happen west of the DD line (Dnjepr-Dvina)
4 that this could only happen if the Red Army would go to the west of the DD line
All these points were correct: only a short campaign could be successful.
What caused the German defeat was point 5 : if the Soviets could mobilize and send to the front their manpower (15 million were mobilized in the first year of the war ),it was over for Germany ;the Germans gambled that the Soviets could not do it, and were wrong .
Saying that the plan was not good is wrong : it was the only plan that could succeed ,but, in fine, everything depended on what the Soviets could/would do .
You are in denial of the fact that weather and terrain do have a major influence on operations and that Taifun done earlier would undoubtedly have achieved much more.In addition,from the beginning concentrating on the one objective of destroying the red army by going for Moscow instead of going for 3 objectives would have worked much better.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2018 13:09

Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by stg 44 » 16 Aug 2018 13:35

ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:09
Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .
The largest pocket during Barbarossa in terms of captured and killed was Vyazma and Bryansk in October 1941.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_en ... Barbarossa
Vyazma-Bryansk 663,000 POWs 1,242 tanks 5,412 guns

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 16 Aug 2018 15:49

ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:09
Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .
Motorised units advance much quicker when not hampered directly and indirectly by mud turning roads into quagmires.So Taifun a month earlier automatically achieves more than in october.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2018 16:44

stg 44 wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:35
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:09
Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .
The largest pocket during Barbarossa in terms of captured and killed was Vyazma and Bryansk in October 1941.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_en ... Barbarossa
Vyazma-Bryansk 663,000 POWs 1,242 tanks 5,412 guns
But it still did not result in the defeat of the Red Army .Besides : 663000 is tooo much ( Jukes gives a figure of 514000 ), 663000 is the number that was encircled, not the number that was captured : a lot of Soviet soldiers were breaking through the encirclment; the same happened for Bagration ,where a lot of Germans escaped to the German lines ." Only " some 150000 Germans became POWs .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2018 17:00

benwi wrote:
16 Aug 2018 15:49
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:09
Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .
Motorised units advance much quicker when not hampered directly and indirectly by mud turning roads into quagmires.So Taifun a month earlier automatically achieves more than in october.
Wrong answer : the advance of motorised units was depending on the enemy resistance, and the speed of the advance was depending on the speed of the infantry : mobile units did not advance without the protection of infantry/artillery .
The success of Taifun a month earlier would principally depend on the strength of the opponent, and as the Germans were weaker in August than in September, Taifun had no chance to succeed a month earlier .
Besides, a possible success of Taifun was not depending on an advance to /capture of Moscow , but on the destruction of the opposing Soviet forces and on the possibility that the Soviets could not replace these forces .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by benwi » 16 Aug 2018 17:51

ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 17:00
benwi wrote:
16 Aug 2018 15:49
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2018 13:09
Prove it .
And, it was impossible to go to Moscow to destroy the Red Army : the defeat of the Red Army was only possible between the border and the DD line .
Motorised units advance much quicker when not hampered directly and indirectly by mud turning roads into quagmires.So Taifun a month earlier automatically achieves more than in october.
Wrong answer : the advance of motorised units was depending on the enemy resistance, and the speed of the advance was depending on the speed of the infantry : mobile units did not advance without the protection of infantry/artillery .
The success of Taifun a month earlier would principally depend on the strength of the opponent, and as the Germans were weaker in August than in September, Taifun had no chance to succeed a month earlier .
Besides, a possible success of Taifun was not depending on an advance to /capture of Moscow , but on the destruction of the opposing Soviet forces and on the possibility that the Soviets could not replace these forces .
You clearly have no clue. Once breakthrough is achieved mobile forces move as fast as they can drive which is obviously a lot slower when you are stuck in mud and your fuel does not come through.Obviously mobile divisions do not wait for the infantry divisions .
Waiting a month does not make you relatively stronger as your opponent will get stronger too.In additon to that, there was no real pause as many of the mobile units were involved in operations to the north and south which causes losses and wear and tear on vehicles.
Hitler did not decide on a pause .He was simply more interested in other objectives.The supposedly impossibility of advancing on Moscow in august is a postwar invention .

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