Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

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Max Payload
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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Max Payload » 15 May 2020 01:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 May 2020 18:19
The essential job of the man leading the German General Staff should have been to provide a path to victory based on military analysis and judgment, not based on political punditry about which Halder had no special insight and turned out to be disastrously wrong. ...

Had Halder presented Hitler with detailed, compelling arguments about the obstacles facing the Ostheer, the plans could have been rectified and Germany could have defeated the SU.
That’s quite a claim. Some of the obstacles facing the Ostheer were the geographical size of the SU, the limited industrial capacity of Germany in 1940/41 to supply everything that might be required for an advance in strength to the Volga and beyond, and the timescale set by Hitler for the start of the invasion, none of which Halder could influence. If those detailed, compelling arguments from Halder had required substantial additional resources and a longer period of preparation they would have been dismissed out of hand. As for the political punditry, the agenda was set by Hitler who by the summer of 1940, with his authority unassailable, would brook little dissent. It is true that Halder did not express any serious reservations about the Barbarossa planning and his diary entries of the time make surprisingly little reference to the preparations, but as Halder well knew a dissenting OKH CoS would not have survived in post for long.
Even without the benefit of hindsight the General Staff could have made a better fist of the planning, but enough to make a critical difference to a campaign that had to begin by June 1941? I doubt it.
Planners have to make a whole raft of assumptions in preparing a campaign, including assumptions about requirements for, and diversion of resources towards, infrastructure upgrading. And as you previously stated (#7) “... they saw no urgent need for it. Why worry about building a railway system in a rush when the Red Army will be destroyed and the war won within truck range of the border? Worry about that after the war...”

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Futurist » 15 May 2020 01:46

stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57
Futurist wrote:
14 May 2020 05:21
stg 44 wrote:
12 May 2020 03:20
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 May 2020 11:40
The simple fact is the wartime SU was a discrete entity with discrete capabilities. Taking Moscow and its environs would be a significant blow that would have had significant impact on Soviet war-making potential. I doubt it's sufficient on its own to change the outcome but it would push the SU very near to inability to stop and roll back the German '42 offensive. Loss of the Blau-lands plus Moscow may have caused Soviet collapse during '43.
Per Mark Harrison's work on the Soviet economy if the Soviets cannot roll back the 1942 offensive they are finished, so if losing Moscow means they can't then it is a delayed mortal wound.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8fea/8 ... b1263e.pdf

I don't think anyone claims that the loss of Moscow, short of Stalin being killed in the process, is going to immediately collapse the USSR, but that it would be a mortal wound that the Soviets would not be able to recover from if they cannot recover the city relatively quickly. Eventually accumulated economic damage would start the unraveling process Harrison talks about in the above essay.
For what it's worth, if this wasn't already mentioned here, the centrality of Moscow to the Soviet Union's railroad system certainly needs to be kept in mind in these discussions:

http://www.philatelicdatabase.com/histo ... ions-1965/

Image
Thanks for the link. We did talk about it here in another subforum:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=219561&p=1985390&h ... w#p1985390
Image
Yep, these two maps show just how deadly the loss of Moscow would have been for the Soviet Union. Scary stuff! This is why it's best not to have a super-centralized railroad system around one location. That way, even if that location (such as one's capital) will fall, it won't actually be the end of the world for one's cause.

BTW, what do you think would have occurred had Nazi Germany went for Moscow instead of Kiev in August or September 1941?

Also, as a side note, I haven't actually seen you post much on these forums recently. Is it because you're busy with other stuff, or what?

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by stg 44 » 15 May 2020 02:25

Futurist wrote:
15 May 2020 01:46
BTW, what do you think would have occurred had Nazi Germany went for Moscow instead of Kiev in August or September 1941?
That's a long discussion, but it could go a few ways. I think the most likely is that September was the earliest AG-Center could try and attack Moscow and they'd have to forego the move on Leningrad and Kiev, but would have to undertake offensive operations to secure their flanks somewhat and weaken the Soviet forces in front of Moscow before attacking. Given that the weather wouldn't be against them nearly as much in September as October they'd have a better than even chance of taking the city. Too many variables to say for sure what happens then.
Futurist wrote:
15 May 2020 01:46
Also, as a side note, I haven't actually seen you post much on these forums recently. Is it because you're busy with other stuff, or what?
Haven't had much reason to lately.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by stg 44 » 15 May 2020 02:28

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57

Can you quote what the consensus was among German generals about the fall of Moscow was? They said it would preciptiate the fall of the USSR, but AFAIK didn't give a timeline on how long that would actually take. I'd assume if they did think the USSR would totally collapse in 1941 they were being grossly optimistic, but it would start the unraveling process.
For to understand what was expect for to be Russia after Unternehmen Barbarossa can to read weisung 32.

For to understand what was expect time for to finish Unternehmen Barbarossa must to look many places. 1. datas can to find in General Marcks study.
The Marcks Plan was one proposal, it wasn't the final plan, same with Hitler's Barbarossa order, which was a general directive.


Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57
For what it's worth, if this wasn't already mentioned here, the centrality of Moscow to the Soviet Union's railroad system certainly needs to be kept in mind in these discussions:
Thanks for the link. We did talk about it here in another subforum:
Map from Paul Ward was not for understand real historys but for to mislead peoples with false historys.
Can you post an alternative map to show what you consider to be more accurate? I'm genuinely curious, because that map I linked was overly general and maybe somewhat flawed.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 May 2020 02:35

Max Payload wrote:That’s quite a claim.
I'm well aware; you're probably aware of my arguments detailed elsewhere on this board to back up the assertion.
Some of the obstacles facing the Ostheer were the geographical size of the SU, the limited industrial capacity of Germany in 1940/41 to supply everything that might be required for an advance in strength to the Volga and beyond
These aren't unreasonable points, certainly not by the standards of accepted historiography on the Eastern Front. But I still think these points - and all the eminent historians who'd repeat them - are dead wrong.

Re geography, you don't need to conquer the whole SU. You just need to take enough to render the SU either amenable to peace or - should it be suicidally intransigent - a small distraction. Certainly reaching the Urals accomplishes that goal.

Re "limited industrial capacity" - Germany was the second biggest industrial power pre-war and had just added most of Europe to its resources. The idea that Germany benefited little from these conquests is simply a persistent myth that modern scholars have exposed (I have numerous posts on this topic).

Your appraisal of the logistics (which again, is an honorable position given prevailing historiography) simply doesn't address the actual constraints on German rail logistics. These constraints were NOT large, expensive items like trains, rails, and right-of-way - all of which Germany either had gobs of (trains) or captured in the east (rails and RoW). The historical consensus that views these logistical problems as inevitable for a Russian invader fails to inquire why a German army that possessed all the large industrial transport infrastructure - trains, rails, RoW - could only get 10 trains/day to AGC. Because the German army ignored the small stuff. Because Halder (and many others) behaved like Nazi idiots rather than like the honorable professionals they painted themselves as after the war.

The logistics failed because relatively cheap things like signals, water sheds, and sidings were lacking. They were lacking due to a lack of military foresight, for which Halder bares the blame unless we let him off the hook for going along with Hitler. About that:
It is true that Halder did not express any serious reservations about the Barbarossa planning and his diary entries of the time make surprisingly little reference to the preparations, but as Halder well knew a dissenting OKH CoS would not have survived in post for long.
This is simplistic at best. Yes, it was difficult to argue against Hitler. No, it was not impossible or even rare. It was primarily Halder, after all, who convinced Hitler not to invade France in late '39. Have you heard, for instance, the story of Model challenging Hitler face-to-face with "who commands the 4th Army, you or I?" Hitler backed down, Model won a significant victory. Halder didn't even start the argument with Hitler, let alone throw down a gauntlet a la Model.

In fact Halder passive-aggressively tried to undermine Hitler's plans for the Ukraine before Moscow. So we know he was fine with disobeying the Fuehrer, even if he was too cowardly to provoke a real confrontation over his judgments.

We also have ridiculous instances of Halder bending facts to fit his prior notions - the exact opposite of the intellectual traditions once endemic to the General Staff. There's the infamous remark that the war had been won with the Minsk battle. When reports came to him of rail movements behind the front, he remarked in his diary that this would usually indicate reserves moving up (as was the case) but concluded that couldn't be because the Russians lacked reserves - a lazy, intellectually weak confirmation of his priors.
as you previously stated (#7) “... they saw no urgent need for it.
...because they were behaving like ideologically blinkered and politically cowed idiots rather than as prudent professions.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Max Payload » 15 May 2020 11:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 02:35
Re "limited industrial capacity" - Germany was the second biggest industrial power pre-war and had just added most of Europe to its resources. The idea that Germany benefited little from these conquests is simply a persistent myth that modern scholars have exposed (I have numerous posts on this topic).
We are talking about the spring of 1941, before the supposed industrial benefits of Germany’s conquests could be fully explored. There were limits to what even “the second biggest industrial power pre-war” could achieve and by May ‘41 Germany had been reduced to plundering French trucks and guns, Czech tanks and Dutch bicycles in its pursuit of world domination.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 02:35
These constraints were NOT large, expensive items like trains, rails, and right-of-way - all of which Germany either had gobs of (trains) or captured in the east (rails and RoW). The historical consensus that views these logistical problems as inevitable for a Russian invader fails to inquire why a German army that possessed all the large industrial transport infrastructure - trains, rails, RoW - could only get 10 trains/day to AGC. Because the German army ignored the small stuff. Because Halder (and many others) behaved like Nazi idiots rather than like the honorable professionals they painted themselves as after the war.
Why do you assume that German planners need only have had consideration for the “cheap things”? Might they not have reasonably concluded that the Soviets, in the event of seeing their armies in general retreat, would have planned for a scorched earth policy that included removal or destruction of track?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 02:35
Yes, it was difficult to argue against Hitler. No, it was not impossible or even rare. It was primarily Halder, after all, who convinced Hitler not to invade France in late '39. Have you heard, for instance, the story of Model challenging Hitler face-to-face with "who commands the 4th Army, you or I?" Hitler backed down, Model won a significant victory. Halder didn't even start the argument with Hitler, let alone throw down a gauntlet a la Model.
Yet as lauded war hero Hitler had, by the spring of 1941, acquired an extremely limited tolerance for dissent, as many of his generals were to discover over the subsequent months.
(Apart from a couple of months in the summer of ‘44 when he was GOC AGC, when was Model in command of Fourth Army?)

It is worth remembering that these “idiots” managed to project a panzer group 460km from the Neman to Ostrov in the first twelve days of the war against opposition from three Soviet mechanised and six rifle corps.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 15 May 2020 12:34

Futurist wrote:
15 May 2020 01:46

Yep, these two maps show just how deadly the loss of Moscow would have been for the Soviet Union. Scary stuff!
Tosh.

Maps not show that. Worstest maps was designed for to give false understandings and historys.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 15 May 2020 12:43

stg 44 wrote:
15 May 2020 02:28
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57

Can you quote what the consensus was among German generals about the fall of Moscow was? They said it would preciptiate the fall of the USSR, but AFAIK didn't give a timeline on how long that would actually take. I'd assume if they did think the USSR would totally collapse in 1941 they were being grossly optimistic, but it would start the unraveling process.
For to understand what was expect for to be Russia after Unternehmen Barbarossa can to read weisung 32.

For to understand what was expect time for to finish Unternehmen Barbarossa must to look many places. 1. datas can to find in General Marcks study.
The Marcks Plan was one proposal, it wasn't the final plan, same with Hitler's Barbarossa order, which was a general directive.
I know. What is your point for to write obvious statements? They not help discuss or understandings.


stg 44 wrote:
15 May 2020 02:28
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57
For what it's worth, if this wasn't already mentioned here, the centrality of Moscow to the Soviet Union's railroad system certainly needs to be kept in mind in these discussions:
Thanks for the link. We did talk about it here in another subforum:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=219561&p=1985390&h ... w#p1985390
Map from Paul Ward was not for understand real historys but for to mislead peoples with false historys.
Can you post an alternative map to show what you consider to be more accurate? I'm genuinely curious, because that map I linked was overly general and maybe somewhat flawed.
You know correct map. It was give by kdf33 in same topic what you was link Message #16.

It is interest that you was remember tosh maps from paul ward not correct maps from kdf33.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Yuri » 15 May 2020 19:35

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
15 May 2020 12:43
stg 44 wrote:
15 May 2020 02:28
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57

Can you quote what the consensus was among German generals about the fall of Moscow was? They said it would preciptiate the fall of the USSR, but AFAIK didn't give a timeline on how long that would actually take. I'd assume if they did think the USSR would totally collapse in 1941 they were being grossly optimistic, but it would start the unraveling process.
For to understand what was expect for to be Russia after Unternehmen Barbarossa can to read weisung 32.

For to understand what was expect time for to finish Unternehmen Barbarossa must to look many places. 1. datas can to find in General Marcks study.
The Marcks Plan was one proposal, it wasn't the final plan, same with Hitler's Barbarossa order, which was a general directive.
I know. What is your point for to write obvious statements? They not help discuss or understandings.


stg 44 wrote:
15 May 2020 02:28
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
14 May 2020 23:08
stg 44 wrote:
14 May 2020 17:57
For what it's worth, if this wasn't already mentioned here, the centrality of Moscow to the Soviet Union's railroad system certainly needs to be kept in mind in these discussions:
Thanks for the link. We did talk about it here in another subforum:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=219561&p=1985390&h ... w#p1985390
Map from Paul Ward was not for understand real historys but for to mislead peoples with false historys.
Can you post an alternative map to show what you consider to be more accurate? I'm genuinely curious, because that map I linked was overly general and maybe somewhat flawed.
You know correct map. It was give by kdf33 in same topic what you was link Message #16.

It is interest that you was remember tosh maps from paul ward not correct maps from kdf33.
You can add that river transport is ignored.
Let me remind you that the Volga is the largest river in Europe, and its numerous tributaries are themselves large rivers (Oka, Kama). The Volga flows into the Caspian lake (this is a lake, not a sea), the Ural and Emba rivers flow into this lake. The Volga-Ural river basin is something that was not even close to it in Europe.

On the question of the influence of Stalin's death on the outcome of the struggle.
The country created Stalin, and Stalin created the country. Stalin is not the name of a particular person, but a position. There were many thousands Stalins in the Soviet Union, and the Stalin who was given the name Joseph by his mother and father at birth was not the worst candidate for the position of Stalin. Joseph Dzhugashvili understood perfectly well that he held the position of Stalin exactly as long as he reflected the will of the absolute majority of the Russian people. Any unfriendly force (any enemy) that crosses the line of the Dnieper river is subject to destruction at any price and at any time – this is the Russian consensus. If any Stalin (including the one whose mother and father gave the name Joseph at birth) tried to make peace with such force, he would fly out of the gates of the Kremlin, like a cork out of a champagne bottle, and with a probability close to 101% flew out of these gates feet first.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 May 2020 20:26

Max Payload wrote:Why do you assume that German planners need only have had consideration for the “cheap things”?
Your question is beside the point. Planners didn't ignore the cheap stuff out of focus on the dear stuff. They largely ignored all the stuff.
Even had that been their focus, it would have been even more incompetent to spend billions on rails etc. then render those investments meaningless due to lack of cheap stuff.
Might they not have reasonably concluded that the Soviets, in the event of seeing their armies in general retreat, would have planned for a scorched earth policy that included removal or destruction of track?
Your argument gets the actual history and logic backwards.

Germany should have assumed a scortched-earth policy but did not.
Even under the best scorched earth practice, however, it's impossible to remove millions of tons rails during a quick retreat, let alone to destroy right-of-way other than to blow up bridges (which the Soviets largely did, with a few important failures).
It is relatively easy to evacuate rolling stock and disable things like signalling and water stations, which the Soviets actually did.
We are talking about the spring of 1941, before the supposed industrial benefits of Germany’s conquests could be fully explored. There were limits to what even “the second biggest industrial power pre-war” could achieve and by May ‘41 Germany had been reduced to plundering French trucks and guns, Czech tanks and Dutch bicycles in its pursuit of world domination.
"There were limits" is an empty statement. Yes of course there limits. The analytical question is which limits, which consequences, and what price of remediation?

The tens of thousands of trucks plundered from occupied countries was immensely significant to Barbarossa's success.

Barbarossa should have been planned as a 15-18 month campaign, in which case the augmented German resources become highly relevant.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by EKB » 16 May 2020 11:04

Franz Halder could not talk his way out of shipping the German army to the Soviet Union. Because true believers, like the Nazis, were not impressed with intellectual debate. They cared most about superficial matters like heritage, culture and whether one was for, or against the party. Adolf Hitler was all in for racial ideology and forging a new order in Eastern Europe. As soon as possible.

The story about Walter Model, almost certainly embellished, is not significant. The supposed dispute with Hitler was over deployment of one Panzer Korps in one specific battle. Even if the legend is true, winning a small concession with the boss is not the same as persuading the boss to cancel his plan to start the bloodiest conflict in the history of warfare.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 16 May 2020 13:16

EKB wrote:
16 May 2020 11:04
Franz Halder could not talk his way out of shipping the German army to the Soviet Union. Because true believers, like the Nazis, were not impressed with intellectual debate.
Why for Halder to talk his way out of shipping the German army to the Soviet Union? Not make sense. Halder was agree for to invade Soviet union was not against. Why to argue with Hitler?

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by EKB » 16 May 2020 15:32

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
16 May 2020 13:16
EKB wrote:
16 May 2020 11:04
Franz Halder could not talk his way out of shipping the German army to the Soviet Union. Because true believers, like the Nazis, were not impressed with intellectual debate.
Why for Halder to talk his way out of shipping the German army to the Soviet Union? Not make sense. Halder was agree for to invade Soviet union was not against. Why to argue with Hitler?

I meant that after Adolf Hitler endorsed a timetable for invasion of the Soviet Union, economic and military experts from Germany could do nothing about it, regardless of whether they were optimistic or skeptical. A mutiny would be the only way to stop the attack.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by Max Payload » 17 May 2020 09:07

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 20:26
Your question is beside the point. Planners didn't ignore the cheap stuff out of focus on the dear stuff. They largely ignored all the stuff.
Even had that been their focus, it would have been even more incompetent to spend billions on rails etc. then render those investments meaningless due to lack of cheap stuff.
If they had spent "billions on rails etc" it would have diverted resources from other priorities. But if that had been their choice, why do you assume that they would not then also spend supplementary sums on the cheap stuff?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 20:26
Germany should have assumed a scortched-earth policy but did not.
Even under the best scorched earth practice, however, it's impossible to remove millions of tons rails during a quick retreat,
But in a quick retreat it is possible to destroy sleepers and distort rails to render them useless.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 20:26
Yes of course there limits. The analytical question is which limits, which consequences, and what price of remediation?
The limit being the capacity of the German military/industrial complex of 1940/41 to render the Red Army largely ineffectual in a short campaign near the frontier.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 May 2020 20:26
Barbarossa should have been planned as a 15-18 month campaign, in which case the augmented German resources become highly relevant.
The title of this thread is 'why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941'. What you are proposing belongs in a different thread entirely.

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Re: Another reason why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 May 2020 00:00

Max Payload wrote:The title of this thread is 'why Germany could not defeat Russia in 1941'. What you are proposing belongs in a different thread entirely.
You're being tedious. "In 1941" doesn't necessarily mean during 1941. I'm virtually certain the OP would agree with the statement, "In 1941 the Germans had no chance of prevailing against Russia ever."
But in a quick retreat it is possible to destroy sleepers and distort rails to render them useless.
They did destroy some sleepers and ruin some rails. Nonetheless the Germans repaired and regauged the railways at 30km/day.
If they had spent "billions on rails etc" it would have diverted resources from other priorities. But if that had been their choice, why do you assume that they would not then also spend supplementary sums on the cheap stuff?
More tedium.
The limit being the capacity of the German military/industrial complex of 1940/41 to render the Red Army largely ineffectual in a short campaign near the frontier.
With whom are you arguing?
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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