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View Full Version : Invading Russia in 1941, ingenious or ******ed?



darkhorizon11
09-11-2005, 09:48 PM
I go with ingenious. Everybody thinks it was Hitlers fatal flaw and hindsight of course is 20/20 but...

Germany was equipped to fight a short war, not a long drawn out one. With the Luftwaffe's utter failure to take out the RAF and keep the skies clear for an invasion that wasn't well planned there really wasn't anyway to take Britain quickly. Eventually Germany would have won, but they didn't have element of surprise and swiftness they had in France. Britain was dug in and ready.

On the other hand Russia, like the U.S. was complacent and ignorant, pretty much ignoring the many warning signs of an imminent invasion. Hitler himself said "all we must do is kick down the door and the whole rotting thing will fall down". He was almost right. If Stalingrad and Chechnya were the priorities from the beginning of the invasion the Russians probably wouldn't not have been able to hold the city since the Germans would have gotten there sooner. By capturing the vital Volga and the Chechnians oilfields the power of the German army would doubled with the availablilty of all that oil. Meanwhile, with a loss of one of its most vital oil supplies the Russian army would have ground to a halt. Remember the Japanese were supposed to wait on their war with us Americans and simultaneously invade Russia from the West.

Hitler himself planned that Britain with Russia out of the way Britain would have no chance, as that would have freed up probably 10 more divisions for the invasion of the British isles. The German invasion of Russia took no less than about 22 divisions compiling about 2 million or so men. Not all however were German, there were various defected troops from France, Poland, and GB as well as loyal Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian, and others. Still even with all the troops needed to occupy the USSR and quell any attempted Communist cou German would have pushed a major roadblock out of the way.

Thankfully none of this happened and nowadays it lookes like a pretty ******ed move to attack a country like Russia that is many times what Germany is, but at the time when would domination is your goal, it must've been the thing to do. What do you guys think?

darkhorizon11
09-11-2005, 09:48 PM
I go with ingenious. Everybody thinks it was Hitlers fatal flaw and hindsight of course is 20/20 but...

Germany was equipped to fight a short war, not a long drawn out one. With the Luftwaffe's utter failure to take out the RAF and keep the skies clear for an invasion that wasn't well planned there really wasn't anyway to take Britain quickly. Eventually Germany would have won, but they didn't have element of surprise and swiftness they had in France. Britain was dug in and ready.

On the other hand Russia, like the U.S. was complacent and ignorant, pretty much ignoring the many warning signs of an imminent invasion. Hitler himself said "all we must do is kick down the door and the whole rotting thing will fall down". He was almost right. If Stalingrad and Chechnya were the priorities from the beginning of the invasion the Russians probably wouldn't not have been able to hold the city since the Germans would have gotten there sooner. By capturing the vital Volga and the Chechnians oilfields the power of the German army would doubled with the availablilty of all that oil. Meanwhile, with a loss of one of its most vital oil supplies the Russian army would have ground to a halt. Remember the Japanese were supposed to wait on their war with us Americans and simultaneously invade Russia from the West.

Hitler himself planned that Britain with Russia out of the way Britain would have no chance, as that would have freed up probably 10 more divisions for the invasion of the British isles. The German invasion of Russia took no less than about 22 divisions compiling about 2 million or so men. Not all however were German, there were various defected troops from France, Poland, and GB as well as loyal Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian, and others. Still even with all the troops needed to occupy the USSR and quell any attempted Communist cou German would have pushed a major roadblock out of the way.

Thankfully none of this happened and nowadays it lookes like a pretty ******ed move to attack a country like Russia that is many times what Germany is, but at the time when would domination is your goal, it must've been the thing to do. What do you guys think?

BaldieJr
09-11-2005, 10:03 PM
Thank goodness. I haven't seen a good battle-of-britain-pat-on-the-back-thread in some time.

I was beginning to think that you brits had grown complacent and ignorant.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Scharnhorst1943
09-11-2005, 10:06 PM
I am going to agree, however ...
If Germany had invaded Russia Before late summer Hitler would have won. The Russian winter is what saved them. If Hitler attacked russia sooner = russian defeat.

I do dissagree that England would have fallen because Japan still would have hit Pearl Harbor, and Germany would still have declared war on the US. DDay still would have happened, but it would have been alot more bloody and costly. who knows? maybe england and germany would have signed a peace treaty. Besides, I don't think Hitler even really wnated England Anyway. He just wanted Europe and West Asia.

Badsight.
09-11-2005, 10:14 PM
from what i have read at this forum in the past . . . . . Germany didnt have the set-up required to invade England during 1941

& Hitler's army got stopped by the Russian winter , as well as the hard fighting russians themselves

jensenpark
09-11-2005, 10:17 PM
I dont' think it was the winter that beat Germany - it was more Hitler's interference and/or incompetence.
If he had stayed out of it and let the Generals run things entirely, it would have been a different outcome...for better or for worse - depending how you view it.

wayno7777
09-11-2005, 10:38 PM
Bad timing. 3 to 5 weeks earlier may have made all the difference in the world....

ImpStarDuece
09-11-2005, 10:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:


Hitler himself planned that Britain with Russia out of the way Britain would have no chance, as that would have freed up probably 10 more divisions for the invasion of the British isles. The German invasion of Russia took no less than about 22 divisions compiling about 2 million or so men. Not all however were German, there were various defected troops from France, Poland, and GB as well as loyal Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian, and others. Still even with all the troops needed to occupy the USSR and quell any attempted Communist cou German would have pushed a major roadblock out of the way.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Ummm... a German infantry division was around 11,000 to 13,000 men. For Operation Barbarossa the Wehrmacht alone assemble around 2.6 million troops. It had 142 infantry divisions, 17 tank divisions and numerous other specalist divisions on the front. Other services (Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen SS) added around 600,000 to 700,000 to this total.

10 divisions is only 120,000 men, give or take. Given that the LW didn't have aerial spremacy, the Royal Navy was very active and anti-invasion preparations were carried out at a feverish pitch by the British in the summer/autumn of 1940, it is doubtful that a crossing of the Channel would of been anything less than a costly debarcale for Germany.

As for Russia, I don't think it was opportunism, I think it was what Hitler always wanted. Mein Kampf is fairly emphatic about Lebenstraum, or 'living space'. For him it was essentially the only option. Hitler was paranoid about communism and Bolshevism as the only strong alternatives/rivals to the continued growth of Fascism in the 1930s and 40s. He believed in 1939 that the democracies of Western Europe were weak, and to a greater or lesser extent, he was proved right. German intelligence believed well into until 1941 that Britian was susceptiable to an internal Fascist uprising, somehing that British intelligence was only too happy to keep feeding to them.

Possibly, if Barbarossa had been more limited in its objectives, then they could of been obtainable. If the Cacaus oil field had been properly captured and exploited Germany and Russia may well have fought themselves into a standstill. However, the goal was always to defeat Russia and destroy communism as a viable entity in Eastern Europe, something that was nigh on unachievable.

XyZspineZyX
09-11-2005, 11:22 PM
Completely ******ed

Germany had captured Western Europe & had campaigns occuring in North Africa, Hitler had an ALLIANCE/Treaty with Stalin & they had split up Poland as they saw fit. He then decides to mug the big bear & it cost them the war.

Nobody can win a 2 front war unless you have superior economy, technology & manpower, Germany arguably had better weapons tech but not the manpower or the economy & when one nation takes on the world they will in the end fail, especially when it is a war of conquest, the conquored nations governments may surrender but sections of the people will not, they would rather die fighting & with the Nazis evil doctrine of mass genocide against different races they dug Germanys grave.

This is my opinion

F19_Olli72
09-11-2005, 11:30 PM
The ******ness of operation Barbarossa is in direct relation to the number of ******s in Germany's high command i.e. completely ******ed.

BBB_Hyperion
09-12-2005, 12:00 AM
Audacious Gambling is the word. Could have worked when Italy didnt try to be so eager on conquering.(the weeks missing) . The original 2 spearheads wouldnt be bad either 1 for moscow area 80 % of russian power production for industry at this time and second for maikop area oil fields.

In any case it was a preventive measure to avoid getting into trouble by french-russian secret threaty. It was clear that when the war in russia isnt over in the end of 41 it failed. Same conclusion did Churchill he did give russians 3 Months . Imagine what could have stopped the russians when they were rdy to push into romania and ungary and blocking much needed oil supply.
War would be over before it started cause synthetic oil production could only deliver 40 to 50 % of all needed oil.

As most things in war result is based on weather,luck etc http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Zjoek
09-12-2005, 12:01 AM
Well... ******ed, given that he had to fight on two fronts.

If he and Goring hadn't decided to bomb London, they would have crushed the dying RAF, and an invasion of Britain might have been successful. This would have prevented the Americans from gaining a base for the air force to conduct their air campaign (that diverted a lot of resources from the eastern front...). Perhaps, this would've made a campaign into Russia more succesful.

But then, who knows? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Xiolablu3
09-12-2005, 01:15 AM
I think Hitler basically wanted peace with Britain, he was just trying to 'scare' her into submission.

My view on the Russian campaign is this...

Germany had won so many battles (on land), basically having clean sweeps. This was down to Hitlers brilliant commanders like Manstein, Rommel, Von Runstead etc.. But Hitler had deluded himself that HE himself was the reason the Germans had succeded.

As time went on he delegated less and less, mantaining full control more and more, therefore the brilliance of his Generals could not have been used to as greater extent, and only in local areas. (Or he fell out with them and put in some loyal but not-so-talented General such as 'powerless' (sic) at Stalingrad )

As the tide turned he was moving heavy Panzer Divisions up and down the massive breadth of Russia, wasting time and resources. Not realising the trouble it caused when he did this. Hitler wants his panzers here, then they must be here!

If he had left the Battle more to his generals , as he did with the Battle of France, Poland and the begining of barbarossa I think he may have succeeded. (It was the same in the West, with him mantaining personal control of the Panzer Divisions on D Day and therefore rendering them impotent)

As the war went on he became more and more deluded, to the state he was in at the end, moving non existent Panzer units (which consisted of 3 men with panzerfausts and a broken down tank kind of thing) around the map in the bunker.

If he had used his generals advice as much as he did in the earlier part of the war, I would say genious, but to render them impotent in the larger scale of things like he did, ******ed.

NOTE: Another thing to remember though, is even if Hitler didnt get hung up on Stalingrad like he did, there would still have been a 'Stalingrad' type battle at Moscow, probably even worse since it was the capital.

bazzaah2
09-12-2005, 01:18 AM
******ed or not, Barbarossa could well have been succesful had Hitler not ordered Army Group Centre to divert and secure the Ukraine. Hitler's thinking in that was primarily economic and not military. Essentially that delayed the assault on Moscow from late summer to winter, with the results that we all know. The fall of Moscow would have fractured Soviet resistance and denied them the opportunity to mount a coherent defence, making the collapse of the USSR al but inevitable.

HoldSteady641
09-12-2005, 01:49 AM
Axis MAY have won a victory in Russia, If they had concentrated maximum effort on one goal, not multiple (Moscow, Leningrad, Ukraine/Kaukasus area). My choice would have been Moscow. If they had been able to begin earlier and not shifted goals couple of times, Moscow would have fallen. Soviet government infrastructure, morale and chohesion of Soviet state would have been shattered. No way Stalin and Soviet militairy high command could have wielded same power from some Ural mountain town.

After that, Germany would probably still have gotten a counter offensive in the winter, moscow captured or no. It started only a few weeks after the Germans were grinded to a halt before moscow. Now, it would have been a bit more half-hearted maybe and more poorly coordinated perhaps, but still the germans would have gotten hit bad.
If they allowed for a flexible front (eg retreat is an option), PERHAPS enough of their amry would have survived in good order to recapture moscow the next year, and gotten Stalingrad and the southern goals the same or the following year.

I think it's a misunderstanding if you believe a quick war WAS possible against the soviets. There wasn't. The soviet unit was simply to big and to much an unforgiving and infrastructurally undeveloped country for that. This wasn't Poland or France. Blitzkrieg mostcertainly worked in Russia, but after army corps X was enveloped, there was allways the next couple of hundred miles steppe/bogs/badland ahaead. Tanks would have bogged down anyway, whether moscow was captured or not. And every hundred miles further would have put German supply system under more strain as it was.

I really doubt if it was possible. If you look at how hard the Soviet counteroffensive hit the frozen Germans in the first winter, that could not have been prevented, even if the Germans captured Moscow. That shows that the Russians had productive power which lay to the east of Moscow, and which would have been able to work throughout the Russian winter. If the Germans HAD concentrated on Moscow, thoat would mean that region North and South would have been neglected. Russia would have concentrated on defending Moscow as well, but will all the space in the south and the Allied help coming in the north, Germany would have had the biggest of problems keeping on to moscow AND securing other goals, let alone advancing eastwards to the Urals.

bhunter2112
09-12-2005, 02:10 AM
ingenious if it had worked !!!
I would say ******ed.
Should have consolidated power and resources in counquored areas. sue for peace and pour resources into advanced tech's Should have gone on full war production footing from the very beginning. Never declared war on US. US production capacity unmatched. Oh well...hindsight is 20/20. The world would have been better off if he read a book and took a nap.

alert_1
09-12-2005, 02:16 AM
If german army behaved more like "liberators" (especially on Ukraine) and not like coquerors, they might crushed Stalin's regime.

tigertalon
09-12-2005, 02:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wayno7777:
Bad timing. 3 to 5 weeks earlier may have made all the difference in the world.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. Hitler had plans to invade russia earlyer then he did actualy, but Yugoslavia screwed his plans up (kicking it's own king and turning against Germany), so Hitler had to take things in hand in Yugoslavia first.. He invaded Yugoslavia on 6th of april 1941. If he would invade Soviet Union on that date, things would have turned out the other way IMO.

Kuna15
09-12-2005, 02:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dasriech:
Completely ******ed

Germany had captured Western Europe & had campaigns occuring in North Africa, Hitler had an ALLIANCE/Treaty with Stalin & they had split up Poland as they saw fit. He then decides to mug the big bear & it cost them the war.

Nobody can win a 2 front war unless you have superior economy, technology & manpower, Germany arguably had better weapons tech but not the manpower or the economy & when one nation takes on the world they will in the end fail, especially when it is a war of conquest, the conquored nations governments may surrender but sections of the people will not, they would rather die fighting & with the Nazis evil doctrine of mass genocide against different races they dug Germanys grave.

This is my opinion </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gif

This may be a bit strange comparison, but greed is No1 reason for failure in game [online/offline] and in real life. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

ianboys
09-12-2005, 03:01 AM
I think only Alert1 has it right. With a different attitude, no Einsatzgruppen and immediate declaration of a sovereign Ukrainian government the war would have been completely different.

With the racist mentality there was no way they could win. With the Ukrainians and others on their side in an anti-Stalin campaign they could well have won easily, if it became less about defending Russia and more about defending Communism.

Look at what the Romans did - a huge part of their army was non-Roman. Ditto Napoleon, even though he failed.

As it was the Nazis could never have won simply because of their outlook.

Von_Rat
09-12-2005, 03:02 AM
1st rule of modern warfare,,,

DON'T INVADE RUSSIA.

ianboys
09-12-2005, 03:11 AM
... unless you can get the Russians on side.

g5r_88
09-12-2005, 03:15 AM
If Britain would be defeated first, and that is the elimination of a future airbase for the allied bombings, the Germans would have had difficulties in Russia, but they`d win.
If Russia would have not had the murderous red revolution, and would remain and empire, my guess it would join the axis forces. That would have been the complete and total defeat of all allied nations.

LEXX_Luthor
09-12-2005, 04:33 AM
Hitler, Napolean, and the flight sim community think the same. Napolean captured Moscow, and the Russians waited him out until he ran. Like in Napolean's time, Moscow was essentially evacuated (and abandoned to some extent) by the time Germans reached the city.

Another thread packed with If Only Moscow Fell. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif

Kuna15
09-12-2005, 04:50 AM
rotfl

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

p1ngu666
09-12-2005, 07:58 AM
poor planning, late start, poor recon and intelligance, plus the logistics, after each campaign all the tanks had to be overhauled completely, but in russia it would be ALONG time or distance. the comanders where askin units to move at the limits of what they could do on good roads while fresh and with fully serviceable tanks and lorrys etc. they had worn out equipment and a road that was a dirt track..

germany had a better potential war output than russia BEFORE the invasion, plus they had most of europe aswell.

moscow is a important transport hub, that would have been the best reason to capture it.

and hitler went after long term goals incase the war went long, but by doing so he lengthend the war...

and its probably not worth invading russia, as they have mostly been rather poor, and they have that tendancy to beat the invaders..

germans should of gone into africa or middle east...

AWL_Spinner
09-12-2005, 08:43 AM
You guys all read "The Forgotten Soldier"?

The distances involved and the huge logistical supply issue are well described in that account, it's hard to believe they could ever have pulled it off given the enormity of the task.

But yes, had the generals been in charge and not the delusional upper echelons it may have panned out differently (but then that thread ran through the whole war, didn't it!).

Agree with the stuff about Ukraine - Stalin managed to pursuede the whole of Russia that it was a patriotic war because of the actions of the occupiers - without this unifying force the country could have been split and lost. Had the Germans taken a different line in much of their occupied territory....

zan_bzk
09-12-2005, 08:47 AM
Long story short:Operation Barbarossa was quite ******ed operation...If Hitler wouldn't attack Yugoslavia and started Barbarossa earlier it might be different...But still,Russia at that time was a big,BiG,BIG country...German army just wasn't trained for attackin big countries...Blitzkrieg was good only for attacking smaller countries,not Russia.If Hitler would convince the russian nation that Germany wasn't a Conqueror but Liberator then the russians could help the Germans,and that is the key.If you don't have enough army strenght then use different metods like anti-comunist propaganda or something like that...... But still,things could be different...

Aaron_GT
09-12-2005, 08:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">plus they had most of europe aswell. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

But in 1941 this was probably a drain on the military resources as it required a fair bit of policing until local personnel were fully vetted and in place to run each satellite nation. That didn't really happen until 1942 (and even then Vichy was problematic, to say the least).

In terms of economic and food resources, the May 1940 invasion was a bit late in that it takes a while to fully impose your will on the people and get them to give up their grain in rural economies based on mostly small farms (it would be easier today with large farming conglomerates).

There were stocks of vehicles and aircraft available from conquered nations, but it takes a while to assess each design, determine if and how it is worth integrating those into your forces and so on. Given that relatively few aircraft or tanks were directly integrated in front line service into German forces I don't think there was a huge bounty there either.

So I don't think having most of Western Europe dominated helped much, except it meant that the Germans weren't going to be subject to a land invasion from that direction.

SeaFireLIV
09-12-2005, 10:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ianboys:
I think only Alert1 has it right. With a different attitude, no Einsatzgruppen and immediate declaration of a sovereign Ukrainian government the war would have been completely different.

With the racist mentality there was no way they could win. With the Ukrainians and others on their side in an anti-Stalin campaign they could well have won easily, if it became less about defending Russia and more about defending Communism.

Look at what the Romans did - a huge part of their army was non-Roman. Ditto Napoleon, even though he failed.

As it was the Nazis could never have won simply because of their outlook. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is the unique thing about Fascism compared to just about any other philosophy (?)

By it`s very nature it must have enemies. It will ALWAYS have enemies until it destroys the enemy or the enemy destroys it. There`s no leeway. Even the Romans, as Ian Boys said, were adaptable enough to see the error of this. Unless Fascism has some garguantan super power advantage right from the start it cannot win because it must destroy everything that doesn`t meet its strict rules of acceptance.

Even if it destroyed all its enemies it would still need to find another enemy to burn itself upon.

On another point, wouldn`t it be interesting to have a TRUELY dynamic campaign similar to BOBII where you could play as the leader of either side. It would allow for interesting alternatives to taking on Russia.

Ankanor
09-12-2005, 10:30 AM
First let me say, the question should be "Invading Russia, ingenious or ******ed" Since

The invasion was a gamble, and initially it was working like miracle. Hitler wasn't ready at all. His units were low on ammo, his tanks(from all sorts, not only the main battle line tanks) were fewer than the russian T-34s. German industry was not working on full-scale military level. It doesn't sound like preparation to me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif He underestimated the manpower of the USSR. And also, there were Soviet units that surrendered with all gear. They could be used, but instead were sent to the camps. Actually, what made the initial thrust work was the level of training of the Germans, smart maneuvering, etc. With all that said, Something here stinks. What man would gamble everything he has and try to wrestle this monster of an army and state? Remember, since the Tatar invasion Russia has lost only one war on home ground and it took the forces of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire to do it. if the russians were surprised, why were there so many aircraft dispersed on frontline fields? why were there so many units deployed in very close proximity to the border? Just a thought : the time when the enemy is most vulnerable is just before he attacks. And Hitler used it.

bazzaah2
09-12-2005, 11:13 AM
for all of your various comments above, Barbarossa was working spectacularly well.

Some scholars argue that the failure of Barbarossa has nothing to do with an apparent lack of preparedness nor much to do with the decision to invade Yugoslavia.

Had Hitler not intervened in the running of Barabarossa, it was feasible for Operation Typhoon to have taken place before the rasputitsa and winter. Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre to Ukraine when it was ready and able to move towards and surround Moscow was one of the most fateful decisons of the war, if not the most.

Still, that's Hitler for you, shot himself in the foot so many times he must have had a lot of feet. Or at least 2 very sore ones. And thank God for that.

alert_1
09-12-2005, 11:38 AM
As for original question, dont forget that Stalin's Red Army were starting huge modernization program just in 1941: new tanks, modern aircraft and so on. Hitler had no other option then strike hard because after Stalin would be armed to teeths he would pose permanent threat to the Third Reich.

Bearcat99
09-12-2005, 11:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dasriech:
Completely ******ed

Germany had captured Western Europe & had campaigns occuring in North Africa, Hitler had an ALLIANCE/Treaty with Stalin & they had split up Poland as they saw fit. He then decides to mug the big bear & it cost them the war.

Nobody can win a 2 front war unless you have superior economy, technology & manpower, Germany arguably had better weapons tech but not the manpower or the economy & when one nation takes on the world they will in the end fail, especially when it is a war of conquest, the conquored nations governments may surrender but sections of the people will not, they would rather die fighting & with the Nazis evil doctrine of mass genocide against different races they dug Germanys grave.

This is my opinion </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree.. not only that.. you need a certain amount of natural resources at your disposal as well..

bazzaah2
09-12-2005, 11:55 AM
hence the invasion. It was as much about Germany's economic autarky as anything else.

Edbert
09-12-2005, 12:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wayno7777:
Bad timing. 3 to 5 weeks earlier may have made all the difference in the world.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
In taking Moscow definitely, but getting an unconditional surrender from Stalin? Doubtful. Even if they did get a surrender they never could have occupied Russia, too vast.

There are so many what-ifs involved it is largely useless to discuss, but still much fun. WHat if Japan had attacked north from China in 1941 instead of at perl harbor? What they needed was oil but Russia has it's share, no way for a pipeline from the caucasses to them but even land transport was more feasable than the pacific.

No matter how many divisions Hitler had for invading England it could not succeed without tansport and naval supremacy or even parity.

Edbert
09-12-2005, 12:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If you look at how hard the Soviet counteroffensive hit the frozen Germans in the first winter, that could not have been prevented, even if the Germans captured Moscow. That shows that the Russians had productive power which lay to the east of Moscow, and which would have been able to work throughout the Russian winter. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The GERMANS could not have prevented the counteroffensive even with the capture of Moscow. But with the capture of the city their troops would have been able to prevent the ~60% casualty rate from the cold due to better provisions and shelter. The Russian counteroffensive was comprised largely of Siberain troops, fresh divisions released from their defensive positions facing Japan. Had Japan begun an all-out offensive against Russia at close to the same time as barabrossa things might have been different. You are right about the production capabilities east of Moscow but they were not fully functional until late '42.

p1ngu666
09-12-2005, 12:54 PM
it was the biggest industrial migration ever, and done very quickly.

and not even no roofed factories in -40c, with hardly any food could stop the russians making il2s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

F19_Olli72
09-12-2005, 01:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Edbert:
In taking Moscow definitely, but getting an unconditional surrender from Stalin? Doubtful. Even if they did get a surrender they never could have occupied Russia, too vast.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Heh that comment reminded me of an interview with Johannes Steinhoff ;

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> "Steinhoff: I first met Hitler around September 3, 1942, when he awarded me the Oak Leaves [to the Knight's Cross]. He asked those of us present about the war, which we were supposed to be winning, and what we thought about the new territory being incorporated into the Reich in the east.

I mentioned something to the effect that "I hope the Führer will not become too attached to it, because I don't think we will be taking up long-term residence." He looked at me as if he was going to suffer a stroke. When he asked me to clarify my statement, I simply told him that since the United States had entered the war, and they, along with Britain, were supplying Russia, and we had no method of attacking their industry beyond the Urals, I did not think we would keep making great gains.

He sat silent for a moment, then said something like, "We will finish Russia soon, and turn our attentions to the West once again. They will see that supporting Bolshevism is not to their benefit." And then we were dismissed. I met with him again outside Stalingrad a few weeks later when he toured the front. He told me: "Now I have Russia, now I have the Caucasus. I am going to penetrate the River Volga; then after that the rest of Russia will be mine." I remember looking at the others around us and thinking that this guy was nuts!" </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://history1900s.about.com/library/prm/bljohannessteinhoff3.htm

darkhorizon11
09-12-2005, 02:03 PM
"If Britain would be defeated first, and that is the elimination of a future airbase for the allied bombings, the Germans would have had difficulties in Russia, but they`d win.
If Russia would have not had the murderous red revolution, and would remain and empire, my guess it would join the axis forces. That would have been the complete and total defeat of all allied nations."

I agree that with Britain occupied there would have been no Allied bombing campaign, infact it would probably be the beginning of a darker German bombing campaign of the American east coast.

However, although Hitler did make a pact with Stalin at first, Communism and Nazism were bitter enemies. During the Weimar Republic's reign up until Hitler taking control of the chancellry in 33 there was MUCH tension between the two, even streetfighting. One of Hitlers battlecries was that he would rid the world of impurities, gays, jews, blacks and other "inferior" races, AND forms of government which disagreed with Socialism like Communism and Democracy. To Hitler mankind was just a competition between different ethnic groups and he believed it was his destiny to lead the Aryans to victory.

Hitler, Napolean, and the flight sim community think the same. Napolean captured Moscow, and the Russians waited him out until he ran. Like in Napolean's time, Moscow was essentially evacuated (and abandoned to some extent) by the time Germans reached the city.

"Another thread packed with If Only Moscow Fell."

I agree 100%, Moscow is just a city, thats it. Hitler wanted another capitol to add to his collection, if he put his pride aside and went for the jugular (Stalingrad and the Chechnyan oilfields) exclusively and initially, Russia would have fallen. Although it would hurt morale if Moscow was taken, it would have had a numbing effect on the Soviets, probably making them hate the Germans more and fight harder.

Perhaps another option for Hitler would have been to invade Britain first despite the loss in the BoB, risk more casulties and totally get GB out of the way before heading East.

For the record I'm American not British, I got the good teeth to prove it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

p1ngu666
09-12-2005, 02:14 PM
britain and american supplied russia alot of equipment and materials aswell http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

JuHa-
09-12-2005, 03:24 PM
One vote for the importance of Moscow, primary because the city was the main railway hub
of western USSR. Capture that, and logistical problems would cripple the USSR troops pretty
badly for some time.

The oilfields were pretty important for Germany too, no denying that fact.

Overall, the attack was a good plan, but the execution on the highest levels was plainly
******ed - only surpassed by the N. ideology.

Read the memoirs of H. Guderian to get an impression what happened on German side - pretty
awful personalities and crazy ideas mixed
together with few decent generals.

StellarRat
09-12-2005, 04:05 PM
******ed. Hitler should have been happy with his gains in Europe. The Russians had no good reason to attack Germany and probably would have left them alone. If they had attacked, Germany could have defended a narrow front for long, long time and bleed them dry. Not having to fight on two fronts would have made Hitler's gains in the West much more strongly defended and possibly prolonged the war long enough for many of the Uber weapons to have gone into large scale production. Me 262, Walther U-boats, V-2, etc...The Japanese were also guilty of jumping the gun. They should have left the US alone and consolidated their gains in China. Instead they got themselves nuked and gave the British a powerful ally against Germany. Without the US and Russia in the war there is a good chance that Germany could have eventually achieved a negoiated settlement of some kind and kept much of their conquests.

Aaron_GT
09-12-2005, 04:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Some scholars argue that the failure of Barbarossa has nothing to do with an apparent lack of preparedness nor much to do with the decision to invade Yugoslavia. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you look just at the raw logistics it was a heck of a gamble. There had to be a rail interchange due to differing gauges and rail stocks which meant that the supply situation for the Wehrmacht in Russia was inadequate from the outset. There was insufficient motor transport in the Wehrmacht, not enough captured to make up for this. There were insufficient roads anyway. So divisions were not being sufficiently supplied. As the supply lines lengthened this got worst, so by the time German troops got to Moscow they were, in a sense, running on fumes.Basically the campaign rested on a knock out blow very quickly.

LStarosta
09-12-2005, 04:30 PM
I think war in general is ******ed.

SeaFireLIV
09-12-2005, 04:47 PM
Men grow tired of song, drink and women sooner than they do of war...

NorrisMcWhirter
09-12-2005, 05:23 PM
Bad idea.

Especially without closing Britain down first...but that goal never really appeared to be attainable.

The human cost was staggering also. For that alone, it had to be ******ed.

Ta,
Norris

LEXX_Luthor
09-12-2005, 08:00 PM
SeaFire:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On another point, wouldn`t it be interesting to have a TRUELY dynamic campaign similar to BOBII where you could play as the leader of either side. It would allow for interesting alternatives to taking on Russia. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That would be mostly ground Army strategery.

For a flight sim Dynamic Campaign, my idea is less strategery and more in the cockpit game like FB/PF with the following features....

(1)When player is killed or captured, he/she becomes new pilot in a different unit...or starts out as gunner (motivation to survive as pilot).

(2) Player is assigned aircraft whether he/she likes them or not, although player may have some input in choice, leading to a somewhat better chance than random of getting the plane or mission type.

(3) All comabat aircraft must be Flyable. Player may be assigned anything from old Hs-123 for ground support I-153 for either fighter (early war) or ground support (somewhat later).

(4) Option to have Barbarossa start in summer 1940 instead of Hitler wasting the Luftwaffe (and Bf-110's reputation against Spits and Hurricanes). The most fascinating idea here is Bf-110 as the Elite fighter of the Luftwaffe, which it was considered as until the Battle of Britain. In 1940 Barbarossa, Bf-110 faces I-16 and I-153 -- No Yaks, No LaGGs, No MiGs.

(5) Player option to fly for mutlitple nations on one side such as German or Italian for the Blue side (Red side has only Soviet nation). If player is killed or captured, he/she may be "reborn" as German or Italian, or the player may choose just one nation to fly for one side. Possible:: Japan nation also assuming Japan attacks after Germany does, as Hitler hoped and worked toward.

As a Dynamic Campaign, the battle area should represent the entire Eastern Front, until such time that home computers can calculate the full Eastern Front. mmm it may be some time before we see that.

p1ngu666
09-12-2005, 09:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Some scholars argue that the failure of Barbarossa has nothing to do with an apparent lack of preparedness nor much to do with the decision to invade Yugoslavia. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you look just at the raw logistics it was a heck of a gamble. There had to be a rail interchange due to differing gauges and rail stocks which meant that the supply situation for the Wehrmacht in Russia was inadequate from the outset. There was insufficient motor transport in the Wehrmacht, not enough captured to make up for this. There were insufficient roads anyway. So divisions were not being sufficiently supplied. As the supply lines lengthened this got worst, so by the time German troops got to Moscow they were, in a sense, running on fumes.Basically the campaign rested on a knock out blow very quickly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

there photo recon and maps was awful, the roads where wrong, towns wherent where they where on maps...

its been said that the allies needed russia, we killed some 400,000germans i think, the russians killed millions.

imo it may have been possible to pull it off, if everything went right, which of course it didnt..

Arms1
09-12-2005, 10:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I go with ingenious. Everybody thinks it was Hitlers fatal flaw and hindsight of course is 20/20 but...

Germany was equipped to fight a short war, not a long drawn out one. With the Luftwaffe's utter failure to take out the RAF and keep the skies clear for an invasion that wasn't well planned there really wasn't anyway to take Britain quickly. Eventually Germany would have won, but they didn't have element of surprise and swiftness they had in France. Britain was dug in and ready.

On the other hand Russia, like the U.S. was complacent and ignorant, pretty much ignoring the many warning signs of an imminent invasion. Hitler himself said "all we must do is kick down the door and the whole rotting thing will fall down". He was almost right. If Stalingrad and Chechnya were the priorities from the beginning of the invasion the Russians probably wouldn't not have been able to hold the city since the Germans would have gotten there sooner. By capturing the vital Volga and the Chechnians oilfields the power of the German army would doubled with the availablilty of all that oil. Meanwhile, with a loss of one of its most vital oil supplies the Russian army would have ground to a halt. Remember the Japanese were supposed to wait on their war with us Americans and simultaneously invade Russia from the West.

Hitler himself planned that Britain with Russia out of the way Britain would have no chance, as that would have freed up probably 10 more divisions for the invasion of the British isles. The German invasion of Russia took no less than about 22 divisions compiling about 2 million or so men. Not all however were German, there were various defected troops from France, Poland, and GB as well as loyal Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian, and others. Still even with all the troops needed to occupy the USSR and quell any attempted Communist cou German would have pushed a major roadblock out of the way.

Thankfully none of this happened and nowadays it lookes like a pretty ******ed move to attack a country like Russia that is many times what Germany is, but at the time when would domination is your goal, it must've been the thing to do. What do you guys think? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

too many "probablies" and "ifs" in this for me.

CVK_Monkey
09-13-2005, 02:09 AM
Czech pilots from RAF fought againts Nazis... When they came home after the war, bolsheviks in czech army demote them and put them in prisons for 20 years, just because they were fighting on wrong front.
In these prisons they met many soldiers from German SS forces...
Own czech people fighting boshevik's class struggle under Moscow's command were killing these heros... this is also the result of this silly and crazy war.

And now tell me who and where made fatal mistake in WW2?

Deadmeat313
09-13-2005, 04:15 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
On another point, wouldn`t it be interesting to have a TRUELY dynamic campaign similar to BOBII where you could play as the leader of either side. It would allow for interesting alternatives to taking on Russia. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
-----------------------------------------------------------

I'd recommend Hearts of Iron II by Paradox. I tend to play it when my world dominating megalomania outweighs my desire to pilot a single plane. The game is necessarily vast and intricate, but allows you to control the government, economy, foreign policy, military/industrial development and - of course - the armies of ANY country in the world. The full game starts in 1936 and runs HOUR BY HOUR through to Dec 1947, giving plenty of time for global conflagration.

No game of this type is ever going to be a truly faithful representation of the vastly complicated permutations of real life historical events, but this game has come closer than any other I've seen.

Plug over. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

T.

Edbert
09-13-2005, 06:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CVK_Monkey:
And now tell me who and where made fatal mistake in WW2? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'm guessing you are thinking of Neville Chamberlain.

Edbert
09-13-2005, 06:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Deadmeat313:
I'd recommend Hearts of Iron II by Paradox. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I played the chit outta HOI-1, is the second one much better? The best bararossa game I've ever played is "The Operations Art Of War", there are many downloadable campaigns for it. Although it is an old title it is the only one that contains the entire (detailed) map from Finland to Iraq. It is not as complex as something like "Pacific War" which can take 6 hours for a single turn, but a full Eastern Front campaign will take a 100+ hours to complete.

Regarding a campaign for a flight simulator...there were two games that set the standards for this IMO.
The original Red Baron, it was totally engrossing and immersive 9as has been mentioned in this thread) I finished careers with 300+ kills and had a great time but it was not "dynamic".
Falcon 3.0 from Spectrum Holobyte, the first truly dynamic campaign game I can recall, sad it has not been surpassed in roughly 15 years.

Triggaaar
09-13-2005, 07:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Scharnhorst1943:
who knows? maybe england and germany would have signed a peace treaty </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I think Britain would have lost rather than sign a peace treaty
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
1st rule of modern warfare,,,

DON'T INVADE RUSSIA. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>At lease not in winter.

Deadmeat313
09-13-2005, 07:16 AM
I've never actually played HOI 1 so I can't compare. I understand from reviews though that the interface has been simplified, and the national economy system has been abstracted somewhat so that it retains a realistic feel for what your nation might have as shortages/surplus without the danger of getting bogged down with shortages of specific grommits or widgets while your armies are getting pounded to snot.

If you liked HOI 1 though, I imagine HOI 2 will be right up your street. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

One beautiful feature of the game is that at any time you can choose to liberate any territory you have captured, and it forms its own friendly government as a puppet state of yourselves. Thus the germans - when invading the USSR - can choose to create a separate Ukraine (and Baltic States) friendly to themselves. This frees them up from anti-partisan duties and allows them to get on with the job.

T.

Kuna15
09-13-2005, 08:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LStarosta:
I think war in general is ******ed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gif

huggy87
09-13-2005, 09:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:

Eventually Germany would have won, but they didn't have element of surprise and swiftness they had in France. Britain was dug in and ready.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

France surprised and not dug in??? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif What about 8 months of sitzkrieg in a very well dug maginot line.

huggy87
09-13-2005, 09:43 AM
One other point I am surprised nobody brought up is the effect of WW1 on the Third Reich's decision making. In WW1, the central powers were fighting on several fronts, the bloody west, the julian alps in the south, and of course the eastern front. Despite some seesaw battles, and having most of their resources in the west, the central powers gave the eastern front one good push. That was all it took for the Russians to collapse, or rather implode combined with their internal problems.

Fast forward to 1941 (without any other active front to speak of) and you can see how Hitler and his compadres could easily underestimate the Soviets. One good push would seem all it would take. Of course, this time hitler wasn't facing the wishy-washy czar, but a tyrant every bit as determined as himself.

Andrew OConnor
09-13-2005, 09:54 AM
Intresting - I feel that either way, the soviet union would end up fighting nazi germany. of course, the biggets mistake hitler made was invadin poland and then leaving half to stalin. ole adolf should never have started a war on two fronts, and while they had no real control of the enemies - germany didnt declare was on england. adolf never really wanted to crush the uk at first - in his eyes we were the same, pure race, he held his tanks back at the evacuation of france...
He should have tried to finish us (the uk) off first, sent fighters, not bombers, and get rid of any resistance. the germans were trying to fight blitzkrieg, ut in a way, by our rules. we had the sea, and we did have some kind of airborne resistance.
Invading russia on two fronts? one front, a month earlier, and it might just have been possible to win, but if your enemy has more men and tanks than you have bullets http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif, the chnaces of victory are much less. Of course, if britain had got the full attention of the Luftwaffe, the bofb may have been won by the germans, but weather we could stop the invasion here, who knows. We did have the home guard, and they would have fought like the germans defended Berlin. But if we could have stopped aground assault, thats for another topic. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif no, there is no difinitive answer answerto if invading russia was stupidity. In retrospect, well, ******ed. Who knows just what hitler thought the power of the CCCP was? it probbably seemed an ingenious idea at the time.

JtD
09-13-2005, 10:26 AM
******ed.

The only ingeniuos thing would have been to declare peace on UK and Allies and to withdraw to the 1933 borders.

jimDG
09-13-2005, 11:29 AM
Ingenius to do it, ******ed to not let the generals do it properly (Guderian etc.)
Stopping tanks before their objectives (Dunkirk,Moscow) is.. it begs for a proper word..
The British saved most of their army (men), without whom hitler could have just walked over England, RAF or not..and the Russians got to keep their armament production tools (in new Siberian buildings).
This guy didn't really want to win, just to deal lots of damage, to get even - so to say.

luftluuver
09-13-2005, 11:58 AM
<span class="ev_code_RED">Barbarossa could not have started any sooner than it did because of a wet spring. The roads and land were finally dry enough in June to start the invasion.</span>

p1ngu666
09-13-2005, 01:37 PM
the tanks didnt park up in front of moscow for no reason, they had been depleted by action, mechnical trouble etc, they must have driven along way in them, and tanks arent that reliable..

Kuna15
09-13-2005, 01:44 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/2191008653

Some good info about East front war.

Low_Flyer_MkII
09-13-2005, 02:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<span class="ev_code_RED">Barbarossa could not have started any sooner than it did because of a wet spring. The roads and land were finally dry enough in June to start the invasion.</span> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's an interesting point.

It's often overlooked that the Mongols successfully invaded Russia (from the east) in winter, using frozen rivers as roads.

To stay on topic, it's also often overlooked that Britain could draw on the resources and manpower of her empire - Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India etc (in no particular order of importance and no insult implied or intended to countries covered by 'etc'). It's probable that the fight would have gone on in some shape or form (however limited) even if the British Isles were subjegated, drawing manpower away from the Russian front. Hitler totally underestimated the British will to fight on against the odds. It cost him dearly. I vote ******ed.

Pirschjaeger
09-14-2005, 04:10 AM
You guyz should take a look at this.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/2191008653

I know the discussion is about "was it stupid?" but maybe we should look at the reasons. Whether it was stupid or not, it seems Hitler felt he had little or no choice.

Fritz

Ruy Horta
09-14-2005, 06:16 AM
Long thread, skipped the bulk, so just ignore the following if it repeats ground already covered.

Strategically the idea of attacking the Soviet Union was unwise, it was contrary to German strategic thinking.

When Germany secured the eastern border they achieved their ideal strategic situation, to be able to place the bulk of their forces on a single front, something they could not achieve in WW1. The way the German onslaught in the West started in 1940 could only have been done by securing the East.

Now from a strategic point of view Britain was well contained in 1940/41, regardless of it still being in the fight.

Where views differ is the situation in the East.

Hitler genuinely feared the Soviet Union. The Soviet armed forces were rapidly modernizing their equipment, increasing their effectiveness. In terms of technology the sooner the Germans could attack the better.

Fears of Soviet moves against countries like Rumania, strategically important source for German oil, increased the need for swift action in the East.

Of course the Nazi's also needed their Lebensraum if they wanted to realise their dream of an autartic German Reich which only the expanse of the East could offer.

The perceived threat from the East combined the the lure of the land and the unique military situation (still obsolescent Soviet military machine) was a combination that proved to be too strong for Hitler offset against "neutralized" Britain and the Western Front.

The rapid campaign against France blinded many Germans. Soviets were seen as weak and backward, if the center would fall, Moscow, so would the whole aparatus of Soviet power. There is some truth in the latter as proven by more modern events.

The Germans certainly underestimated the Soviets on almost all counts. However if Nazi ideoly had not turned a liberator into a murderous oppressor and if the military leadership had been able to hold back Hitler from interfering with the ORIGINAL strategic drive towards Moscow, events could have been different. The Soviet system was certainly capable of collapse, under the right conditions.

We should also not underestimate the role of Stalin, who understood that love for Russia was stronger than communism. Nazi oppression combined with Russian patrotism proved a potent weapon against the Germans.

There is also evidence in support of Soviet attempts at a negociated peace, which means that cease fire on the Eastern front was not beyond all possibility in 1941.

One might easily speculate about a Soviet regime without Stalin. Perhaps only Stalin could cement the nation, like Britain needed Churchill in 1940.

Perhaps we should not look at 1941 with hind sight, but as things looked in late 1940 and early 1941.

If Germany had concentrated on Britain, it would have been necessary to change the force ratio (as per plan), to convert to a strategic bomber force and start work on the expanded Kriegsmarine. Such a program would have meant a (much) reduced land army, which was always difficult set against a Russian or Soviet threat.

Britain did have that luxury because they were an island, always able to invest in a relatively big navy (or air force) and small army.

In a way Germany would never have a clear back, at least not for long. The need for a large standing army for a continental power, able to defend against sudden attack would remain.

Remember that Berlin is not too far from the Eastern border, not even in 1941.

Just some rambling, and just like I skipped the thread, so it will happen to my writings.

SnapdLikeAMutha
09-14-2005, 07:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jimDG:
The British saved most of their army (men), without whom hitler could have just walked over England, RAF or not... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...except for a little thing called the Channel, dominated by a little thing called the Royal Navy... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BBB_Hyperion
09-14-2005, 07:33 AM
Depends how you define far from Berlin.

Here is a map how it looked pre ww1 .
http://astro.temple.edu/~barbday/Europe66/resources/ima...n%20of%20Germany.jpg (http://astro.temple.edu/~barbday/Europe66/resources/images/Unification%20of%20Germany.jpg)

That was about the same situation that was archived after moltov ribbentrop pact.

Ruy Horta
09-14-2005, 10:19 AM
The distance is not far on a continental scale, secondly the terrain is relatively easy to advance with only a couple of major rivers acting as real geographical barriers. Germany did not have the luxury of a deep defense in depth relative to the 1941 border.

Even the early WW1 eastern front campaign was fought in Eastern Prussia, the primary need to push the enemy out of Prussia's farmland, while the bulk of the army was facing the western allies.

In 1941 Soviet forces were far more capable, even in their obsolescent state, of becoming a mortal threat if allowed a massed attack.

The switch to a long term strategic (maritime) war against Britain, while still allowing for a continental threat in the East was a dilemma that could not be solved within the social and economic restraints of the Reich.

If there ever was a moment to attack the Soviet Union, it was 1941, that any delay would mean a stronger enemy and a lessened chance of attaining the ultimate Nazi or Hitlerite dream of an Eastern Empire.

I wouldn't call the Invasion of the SU ingenious, since little of the operational plan was new, nor would I call it ******ed, since success was not beyond the realm of possibility.

It was Nazi Schrecklichkeit that made it difficult to reach a settlement in the East without a total victory, something which proofs the diplomatic weakness of Nazi Germany.

Isn't there a saying that goes something like: an enemy today can be your friend tomorrow.

The Nazis made that almost impossible.

There are plenty of sources that describe Russian peasants welcoming German troops, of Ukranian farmers offering salt and bread.

What if these people had been treated with respect?

Soviet collapse impossible?

PS.

My apologies to the professionals, I am just another armchair "strategist" who knows nothing of war.

Ruy Horta
09-14-2005, 10:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by huggy87:
In WW1, the central powers were fighting on several fronts, the bloody west, the julian alps in the south, and of course the eastern front. Despite some seesaw battles, and having most of their resources in the west, the central powers gave the eastern front one good push. That was all it took for the Russians to collapse, or rather implode combined with their internal problems. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very astute of you that you take into consideration WW1. Although I agree with you on the multi front aspect of WW1, I have since learned that the Eastern Front was more complex in WW1, due to the role of Rumania, Bulgaria and Greece. Also the importance of the Austro-Hungarians.

Judging by Hindenburg's biography the war in the East was anything but a "single drive" cakewalk, and more like a continued juggling match. Certainly the force balance between West and East was a factor, although at some point forces had to be pulled from the West. Everything depended on these minor allies holding the balance. It nevertheless took three brutal years of war to break the Russians and only after their almost succesful 1916 Brusilov offensive.

But I agree that victory on the Eastern Front (or the collapse of Imperial Russia) in 1917, must certainly have influenced Nazi decision making.

Plenty of high ranking officers had gained their practical experience on the Eastern Front in WW1, at least on the part of the front that saw the fast 1941 advance of German troops, armored and mobile.

Ruy Horta
09-14-2005, 12:28 PM
Did some catching up in this thread, which I should have read in the first place before my initial and followup posts. Looks like most ground had been covered already, although it appears hthat most of us agree in large lines.

Interesting is the Moscow versus Caucasus strategy.

Government vs Oil.

Just a thought, but only the collapse of the Soviet regime would have made a quick victory possible, going after the resources was a second choice, taking more time (and just look at the length of your logistic lines and exposed northern flank).

As to the likelyhood of a Soviet collapse, according to Richard Ordway Stalin actually had a short break down, during which he retreated to his dacha, expecting his imminent execution.

Right, Russia could not be defeated, but the same does not go for the Soviet regime. The rot could always come from within, given the right stimulation (military defeats etc).

That's why I suspect the crucial role of Stalin. If it hadn't been for the purges there would probably have been more strong men ready to take over at these times of weakness, to cause political instability at best, collapse at worst.

Those who think of Napoleon's defeat, seem to forget WW1.

This is a nice book for those who are interested in this subject, easy reading.

Russia's War
A History of the Soviet War Effort: 1941-1945
Richard Ordway

fluke39
09-14-2005, 12:32 PM
As is has probably been said already i think Hitler was expecting that the war in the east could be won quickly. - which is probably kind of right if you consider the fact that britain had been beaten back across the channel and was effectively impotent as it had lost almost all its armour and equipment.
therefore if with the intelligence that the german high copmmand had at that time indicated that a victory was possible it was probably best to go for it then before britain had a chance to recoup its armour and equipment and mobilise its large imperial forces.

i guess it kind of depends on how ghood german intelligence was - if it was accurate then it was a stupid move as the got caned http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

blakduk
09-14-2005, 09:24 PM
Good points well made so far.
The key is not try not to view this in hindsight but with the knowledge and experience the Nazis had at the time.
-They had beaten a well equipped and seemingly well prepared French army in 6weeks of battle.
-They had beaten a well resourced and supported British land army back to the channel.
-They had watched the Red army struggle to beat the under-resourced Finnish army and saw their incompetence against the Poles (sheer weight of numbers had won them the victories).
-They knew the Red army's morale was low and that competent leadership in the field was lacking.
-They had seen the Russian army collapse in WW1 and abandon the field.
-The soviets were already engaged in a 'cold' war with the Japanese in the east.
-At that time the bulk of Russian industrial infrastructure was in the west of the USSR and vulnerable
-The USSR was a dysfunctional beauracracy at the time and was still recovering from the horrors of the Bolshevik revolution as well as Stalin's ONGOING purges
-Up to that point in time ALL Hitler's gambles had succeeded. He'd defeated (or murdered) all his political enemies and rivals during the 1930's (and he hadnt started from a very powerful base). In the battle of France his generals had pleaded for time to consolidate their gains while he'd personally intervened to override their caution and pushed them on to total victory over continental western Europe (hence their willingness later on to go against their better judgement). He'd also won significant victories with the threat of force alone (such as the annexation of Austria and the capitulation of the Czheks) and expected the same from Britain (the battle of the Atlantic was going horribly for Britain and it was getting worse)
-the USA was still neutral and wasnt expected to support the communist regime.
-Very few Germans had direct experience of the USSR and couldnt comprehend just how large the land mass was. They thought they would be able to support their troops in the field but the facts soon made it plain that there logistical support was not up to the task. Also, although winter was a hindrance they didnt have the local knowledge that allowed them to adequately use such things as frozen rivers and lakes to their advantage.
In total- the time seemed right, the USSR seemed to be a rotten entity that would collapse, and it didnt look like it would garner any support from the western powers.
The Nazis failed for many reasons but the odds seemed to favour a quick victory, the early successes of the operation appeared to bear this out.
The Russians were also lucky that the winter that year was so severe!

The old adage goes- 'If you gamble and succeed you're a genius, if you gamble and fail you were obviously a fool'

Professor1942
09-14-2005, 11:24 PM
******ed. Hitler had a terrible habit of underestimating his enemies (and overestimating his allies).

Pirschjaeger
09-15-2005, 03:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Professor1942:
******ed. Hitler had a terrible habit of underestimating his enemies (and overestimating his allies). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the only ones he truly under-estimated were the Russians.

As for over-estimation, the Italians. One of Hitler's worst mistakes wasn't an over-estimation but rather trusting in the Japanese. Hitler grabbed the bull by the horns while the Japanese promised to grab the bull by the tail. The Japanese never lifted a finger. From this point, Germany was doomed.

Fritz

Interminate
09-18-2005, 05:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I go with ingenious. Everybody thinks it was Hitlers fatal flaw and hindsight of course is 20/20 but...

Germany was equipped to fight a short war, not a long drawn out one. With the Luftwaffe's utter failure to take out the RAF and keep the skies clear for an invasion that wasn't well planned there really wasn't anyway to take Britain quickly. Eventually Germany would have won, but they didn't have element of surprise and swiftness they had in France. Britain was dug in and ready.

On the other hand Russia, like the U.S. was complacent and ignorant, pretty much ignoring the many warning signs of an imminent invasion. Hitler himself said "all we must do is kick down the door and the whole rotting thing will fall down". He was almost right. If Stalingrad and Chechnya were the priorities from the beginning of the invasion the Russians probably wouldn't not have been able to hold the city since the Germans would have gotten there sooner. By capturing the vital Volga and the Chechnians oilfields the power of the German army would doubled with the availablilty of all that oil. Meanwhile, with a loss of one of its most vital oil supplies the Russian army would have ground to a halt. Remember the Japanese were supposed to wait on their war with us Americans and simultaneously invade Russia from the West.

Hitler himself planned that Britain with Russia out of the way Britain would have no chance, as that would have freed up probably 10 more divisions for the invasion of the British isles. The German invasion of Russia took no less than about 22 divisions compiling about 2 million or so men. Not all however were German, there were various defected troops from France, Poland, and GB as well as loyal Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Slovakian, and others. Still even with all the troops needed to occupy the USSR and quell any attempted Communist cou German would have pushed a major roadblock out of the way.

Thankfully none of this happened and nowadays it lookes like a pretty ******ed move to attack a country like Russia that is many times what Germany is, but at the time when would domination is your goal, it must've been the thing to do. What do you guys think? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What do you mean, "thankfully none of this happened" I wish all of it would have happened!! No "would" domination was not Hitler's goal. That's what I think. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Luftwaffe_109
09-18-2005, 06:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What do you mean, "thankfully none of this happened" I wish all of it would have happened!! No "would" domination was not Hitler's goal. That's what I think. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You wish that Hitler had colonised the East, reducing the population through mass-deportations, executions and starvation and transfroming them into a class of uneducated surfs?


http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

blakduk
09-18-2005, 06:48 PM
Luftwaffe_109- just ignore him, check his other posts and you'll see what he's on about.
I think Pirschjaeger made an interesting point before about the side of the story the Germans were allowed to give. We have the USSR story of it being an unprovoked attack when the deployment of troops and diplomatic pressure would undoubtedly have made the Nazis nervous.
Add to this that the USSR took Berlin in 1945 and gained control of the archives the Nazis had documented. It would be naive in the extreme to think they wouldnt have put some spin on this information.
Generally accepted history has tended to see the Communists in the USSR during WWII as being content to maintain control over the east and leaving the west to itself- i dont believe the Germans saw it this way and after the war NATO was formed specifically to face that threat.
Also, prior to the Nazis gaining power one of the most organised and enduring political organisations during the inter-war years was the communist party of Germany. They received special treatment (ie the concentration camps) once the Nazis gained control.

Luftwaffe_109
09-18-2005, 07:10 PM
Hello blakduk.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Luftwaffe_109- just ignore him, check his other posts and you'll see what he's on about.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You're right, will do.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think Pirschjaeger made an interesting point before about the side of the story the Germans were allowed to give. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'm not sure I agree with this point. Sure, popular history may have it that way but proper and unbiased, scolarly, research has always recognised that a major reason for Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union was what he viewed as the "Bolshevik threat". Communism and Nazism were two fundamentally opposed ideologies who's core aims involved the destruction of one another. Neither could co-exist in Europe. A central tennet of Communism has always been the notion of "worldwide revolution", and this was especially prominent during the interwar years. One need only look at Russian involvment in the Spanish Civil War, or Finnish Civil War to see evidence of this. Nazism, on the other hand, is a form of Facism and, as such, held as a central tennet the desire to erradicate Communism.

When coupled with the fact that both Germany and the Soviet Union wanted to dominate Europe, the former wishing to create a "New Order" the result was explosive. We can also see that both were imperialistic. The Soviet Union had taken the Baltic States, eastern Poland, parts of Rumania and attacked Finland while Germany had annexed parts of Chechoslovakia, western Poland, achieved anshluss with Austria, etc. Eventually, their competing aims would collide.

Conflict between the Soviet Union and Germany was thus inevitable. Of course, this is only looking at it from an ideological perspective. Strategic considerations made a large part of the reasoning that led to the decision to invade the Soviet Union. Hitler wished to remove the Soviet threat before he attempted any invasion of Britain. The longer Hitler delayed an invasion of the Soviet Union the stronger she became, and more likely to join the war on the Allied side. The USSR had bloodied her nose during the Winter War and was in the middle of a period of massive modernisation and expansition of her military and industry. Her obsolete tankettes were gradually being replaced with the excellent T-34s and heavy KV-1s. Her airforce was being revitalised.

Hitler wanted to avoid a protracted two-front war. To him, the choice was either to attempt to invade the British Isles and risk an oppertunistic invasion by the Soviet Union from the east, avoid invading the British Isles and risk a bloody two-front war later on after the Soviet Union had become considerably more powerful and joined the Allies, or attempt to nullify the Soviet threat quickly and early while this was still possible and thus guarrantee Germany's eastern front. We all know the choice Hitler made, and it ultimately proved diasterous.

Now, none of this is new, it has been suggested for a long time. I personally fail to see an example of the Germans not being allowed to "give their story".

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Generally accepted history has tended to see the Communists in the USSR during WWII as being content to maintain control over the east and leaving the west to itself- i dont believe the Germans saw it this way and after the war NATO was formed specifically to face that threat.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Perhaps.. but Germany in this case could hardly be considered as being in the West as it shared a common border with the Soviet Union following the partitioning of Poland between them. Furthermore, both had their vital interests in the East, not the West.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It would be naive in the extreme to think they wouldnt have put some spin on this information.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
To be honest I'm not aware of any examples where German archives have been forged or altered.

blakduk
09-18-2005, 09:49 PM
Luftwaffe_109- I'm not sure that we are actually disagreeing. I may not be making myself very clear.
When i referred to 'generally accepted history' i should probably have called it 'popular history' or even propoganda from mid-ww2 (when the western allies were convincing their populations that the USSR was an ally also). I was being sloppy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
I also agree that both Facism and Communism were totalitarian regimes that were completely incompatible. They both mistrusted and feared each other.
As for the point about the fact that it was the USSR that gained the archives in Berlin first- the soviets would have been loath to release anything which may have indicated they were at all the aggressor in the initial conflict. The other factor is that the Nazi propoganda machine was so efficient at putting out its version of events that many postwar historians tended to have a very biased view of the history of the war. They tended to discount most if not all the information from the German government as being compromised by the facists. As far as the information being forged or altered, i dont believe much of it would have been. My theory is it was merely 'lost'.
My point about the creation of NATO was that it demonstrates the leadership of the western allies recognised the nature of the communists and reacted decisively to counter it- the difference was that the USSR didnt have the means to strangle vital supplies the way they had against the Germans. Thus the West could engage in a 'cold' war.

I posted the reply above in response to the original question, ie was the invasion 'ingenious or ******ed?'.
I take it from that question that popular wisdom is still that Hitler invaded the USSR completely on a whim, and not that he may have been responding to a perceived threat to his regime.
As i've said before; Hitler was a monster, not an idiot.

Luftwaffe_109
09-18-2005, 10:11 PM
I see blakduk, well we seem to be largely in agreement then, my mistake. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I suppose then that I'll try a stab at the question (forgive me if this has been said before, I haven't read all of the thread). In my opinion the planning for Barbarossa which was initial quite good became flawed in that during its execution it did not have clearly defined goals or objectives (this largely the fault of Hitler).

The emphasis on three different and broad ultimate targets, Leningrad, Moscow and the Ukraine limited the effectivness of the individual Heeresgruppen (However it was required to in order to safeguard the flanks of the other army groups). The changing, by Hitler, of the objective of the Wehrmact back and forth from destroying the Red Army in the field to capturing cities proved to be indecisive.

The crucial mistake in the final plan for Barbarossa, which was an adjustment made to the original OKH plan by Hitler, was that it called for the diversion of forces from the Heeresgruppe Mitte, after the capture of Smolensk, to support the northern army group in attacking Leningrad and only after achieving this would the central army group continue operations toward Moscow. A further mistake made during the battle by the Fuehrer was the diversion of Guderian's panzers away from Mitte to seal the northern part of the Kiev encriclement. This crucial delay doomed Operation Typhoon, the battle for Moscow.

Moscow should have been made the primary objective of Barbarossa. It is the logisitical communications and transportations (railway and road) hub of the Soviet Union, and taking it would have crippled Soviet supply and movement of divisions and coordination of units. Furthermore, the morale blow to Soviet troops of the loss of such a symbolic city would have been tremendous, and it is not impossible that it would have resulted in the eventual disintegration of the Soviet leadership (already under much strain). Furthermore, being the capital of the USSR, the Soviets would have done everything they could to defend it and thrown as many hastily assembled units at it as they could, meaning large amounts of Soviet troops could have been drawn in to their destruction.

With Moscow taken, the Moscow-Leningrad railway is gone and the supply lines to Leningrad are all but severed, and it is highly unlikely that it would survive the siege. If Leningrad does eventually fall then the morale blow would be catastrophic, as the very birthplace of the revolution will be lost.

Taking Moscow in my opinion would thus have been a mortal blow to the USSR, and would have likely resulted in a German victory by 1942.

Barbarossa, "ingenious or ******ed"? Neither. I would say flawed, and it was Hitler's interference that doomed what could well have been sucessful.

Best Regards

blakduk
09-18-2005, 10:58 PM
Luftwaffe_109- it seems your knowledge of the eastern front is far better than mine. I only know vaguely about the campaign and have a lot to learn. Like a lot of people i suspect, i have become quite interested in this theatre since playing IL2 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
It seems apparent that the strategy the Germans had devised to win the campaign in the west was very well thought out with very clear goals. Comparing the two sides of the conflict the Germans gained the initiative early and never lost it. I suspect one of the main reasons for this was the direct experience of the land a lot of the wermacht leadership had from ww1. Their machinery of war was geared to that conflict- Hitler's hatred of the treaty of Versaille was a major focus for him.
Contrasting that is the eastern campaign- as you described they seemed to have lost the initiative after spectacular early successes and become ambivalent regarding their objectives.

Luftwaffe_109
09-18-2005, 11:21 PM
Hi blakduk ,

I€m not really sure whether you would say that the Germans lost the initiative after the early spectacular successes of the Barbarossa offensive (although perhaps we are thinking of different definitions of "initiative"?). Certainly the Soviet Union did not seem to gain the offensive until after Typhoon had halted due to the freezing conditions before the gates of Moscow, during their General Winter Offensive of 1941-42 (which began on 5 December). Before this you can recall that the Germans had made amazing successes, and were on the offensive. As late as 6th October (during Operation Typhoon) Heeresgruppe Mitte had achieved two massive double-encirclements around Vyazma and Bryansk, cutting off 665,000 Red Army soldiers and destroyed or captured 1,242 tanks (more than Army Group Centre€s whole three panzergruppen!).

Nor did the Soviet manage to hold their initiative gained during the General Winter Offensive, which had quickly broken down (decpite some limited early successes around Moscow) due to poor planning and over-ambitious execution. The initiative passed firmly back to Germany during the year of 1942. As early as May 1942 the 6th Army (which later perished at Stalingrad) and 4th Panzer army secured a huge victory when during a counter-attack against Timoshenko they secured nearly 240,000 Soviet prisoners, 2,000 guns and most of the 1,200 strong tank force.

Basically, instead of saying the Germans lost the initiative (because I don€t think they did, they were pretty much on the offensive throughout 1941, most of 1942, and perhaps half of 1943, continuing to launch some minor offensives after that as late as the failed Operation Spring Awakening in 1945) I would rather say that because of Hitler€s indecisiveness and constant shifting of objectives he doomed any chance of exploiting the German army€s tremendous successes in the field.

blakduk
09-18-2005, 11:42 PM
Luftwaffe_109- I take your point re the spectacular successes in the field. My use of the term 'losing the initiative' refers more to the lack of a grand strategy to win the conflict- German commanders in the field demonstrated a profound ability to win the battles but couldnt find a way to win the war.
In the west, they basically waged a war until they hit the channel then set about fortifying it. In contrast, they couldnt stretch far enough into the USSR to neutralise their infrastructure- they certainly couldnt reach the Bering strait!
If, as you suggested, they had more clearly identified their goals and pursued them more diligently they may have succeeded. There are many recent conflicts that also indicate that you cant guarantee a victory in a war unless you know what your objective is.

darkhorizon11
09-19-2005, 12:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SnapdLikeAMutha:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jimDG:
The British saved most of their army (men), without whom hitler could have just walked over England, RAF or not... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...except for a little thing called the Channel, dominated by a little thing called the Royal Navy... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I don't get what the big deal is about the RN. When far out at sea defending convoys the RN was quite a power. But what could they have done in stopping an invasion? You just can't park all your ships in the channel and make a road block for the landing craft. Even the most powerful navies are completely crippled by land-based fire. I mean obviously if Germany did attempt an invasion they would have tried to intervene but to what success. Were also talking about raids from very capable land-based bombers as well.

Not to mention that the entire Royal Navy wasn't sitting at Liverpool waiting for the invasion. It was literally spread all over the world, calling them all back to defend the homeland would have taken months.

luftluuver
09-19-2005, 02:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I don't get what the big deal is about the RN. When far out at sea defending convoys the RN was quite a power. But what could they have done in stopping an invasion? You just can't park all your ships in the channel and make a road block for the landing craft. Even the most powerful navies are completely crippled by land-based fire. I mean obviously if Germany did attempt an invasion they would have tried to intervene but to what success. Were also talking about raids from very capable land-based bombers as well.

Not to mention that the entire Royal Navy wasn't sitting at Liverpool waiting for the invasion. It was literally spread all over the world, calling them all back to defend the homeland would have taken months. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You obviously have no idea of what ships the RN had in Home Waters in 1940 to oppose a German invasion.

Unopposed the bombers would have some success but there still was the RAF.

You think the Germans could have stopped a couple of destoyer flotillas running at flank speed through the slow and unweildly low freeboard barges at night, for they had to leave at night to arrive on English shores during daylight?

A seaborne invasion by the Germans would have been an even worse disaster than what happened to the Mongol fleet.

Edbert
09-19-2005, 08:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
One of Hitler's worst mistakes wasn't an over-estimation but rather trusting in the Japanese. Hitler grabbed the bull by the horns while the Japanese promised to grab the bull by the tail. The Japanese never lifted a finger. From this point, Germany was doomed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know the point you are making, and definitely agree with it but your anaology is fatally flawed. Japan did not fail to grab the bull's tail, Japan failed by finding another set of horns to grab and bringing two Bulls into the fight. They had a decent chance at one, but two bulls were too much for their china shops (pun intended).

Kuna15
09-19-2005, 11:25 AM
Intersting read. ...

Hitler did *this* (or that) wrong and because of that he arguably lost the war on east etc. etc.

tsk tsk tsk http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

List of things that Stalin did wrong wont be easy to even sketch. We can add to that generally obsolete warfare tactics employed by Soviets early in the war etc.

With this or that way outcome would be very much the same. Too large bite to chew. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Pirschjaeger
09-19-2005, 11:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Edbert:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
One of Hitler's worst mistakes wasn't an over-estimation but rather trusting in the Japanese. Hitler grabbed the bull by the horns while the Japanese promised to grab the bull by the tail. The Japanese never lifted a finger. From this point, Germany was doomed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know the point you are making, and definitely agree with it but your anaology is fatally flawed. Japan did not fail to grab the bull's tail, Japan failed by finding another set of horns to grab and bringing two Bulls into the fight. They had a decent chance at one, but two bulls were too much for their china shops (pun intended). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

TBH I don't know a lot of the details but I think Japan had no intention to attack Russia in the east. They wanted Germany to declare war on the US to take some of the heat off.

Fritz

darkhorizon11
09-19-2005, 04:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I don't get what the big deal is about the RN. When far out at sea defending convoys the RN was quite a power. But what could they have done in stopping an invasion? You just can't park all your ships in the channel and make a road block for the landing craft. Even the most powerful navies are completely crippled by land-based fire. I mean obviously if Germany did attempt an invasion they would have tried to intervene but to what success. Were also talking about raids from very capable land-based bombers as well.

Not to mention that the entire Royal Navy wasn't sitting at Liverpool waiting for the invasion. It was literally spread all over the world, calling them all back to defend the homeland would have taken months. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You obviously have no idea of what ships the RN had in Home Waters in 1940 to oppose a German invasion.

Unopposed the bombers would have some success but there still was the RAF.

You think the Germans could have stopped a couple of destoyer flotillas running at flank speed through the slow and unweildly low freeboard barges at night, for they had to leave at night to arrive on English shores during daylight?

A seaborne invasion by the Germans would have been an even worse disaster than what happened to the Mongol fleet. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes with enough shore batteries and aerial bombardment. Don't get me wrong it would have been quite a bloody encounter but I don't think the RN would have been able to stave them off. The RAF was still hurt pretty bad although they did outlast the Luftwaffe, in fact the blitz itself was a huge mistake because it took the pressure off the RAF and gave them breathing room.

Britain didn't come off the Battle of Britain eager, untouched, and ready to pounce on a helpless Germany.

It took years of aerial bombardment and domination of the sea as well hundreds millions of tons of supplies and millions of men to swing the war into the Allies favor. And thats just on the western front.

The threat of invasion was still quite large even after the British success at the BoB.

Luftwaffe_109
09-19-2005, 05:04 PM
Hi guys.

Firstly, blakduk I agree with most of your comments. A lack of the correct and clearly defined) strategic goals (largely the fault of Hitler) is what doomed Barbarossa.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">TBH I don't know a lot of the details but I think Japan had no intention to attack Russia in the east. They wanted Germany to declare war on the US to take some of the heat off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think that after the Nomohan Incident in 1939, where Japanese light armour was shown to be inferior to Russian tanks and where Zhukov decisively beat the Japanese in skirmishing in Mongolia, the Japanese became extremely wary about the suggestion of any attack on the Soviet Union.

Even had there been an attack on the USSR from the east the result is not entirely predictable. Remember that 19 Soviet reserve divisions, 1200 tanks and 1000 aircraft were available in Mongolia even after moving divisions to Moscow to fight the Germans.

Regards

Pirschjaeger
09-19-2005, 05:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
Hi guys.

Firstly, blakduk I agree with most of your comments. A lack of the correct and clearly defined) strategic goals (largely the fault of Hitler) is what doomed Barbarossa.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">TBH I don't know a lot of the details but I think Japan had no intention to attack Russia in the east. They wanted Germany to declare war on the US to take some of the heat off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think that after the Nomohan Incident in 1939, where Japanese light armour was shown to be inferior to Russian tanks and where Zhukov decisively beat the Japanese in skirmishing in Mongolia, the Japanese became extremely wary about the suggestion of any attack on the Soviet Union.

Even had there been an attack on the USSR from the east the result is not entirely predictable. Remember that 19 Soviet reserve divisions, 1200 tanks and 1000 aircraft were available in Mongolia even after moving divisions to Moscow to fight the Germans.

Regards </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thx LW http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Fritz

gkll
09-19-2005, 08:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I don't get what the big deal is about the RN. When far out at sea defending convoys the RN was quite a power. But what could they have done in stopping an invasion? You just can't park all your ships in the channel and make a road block for the landing craft. Even the most powerful navies are completely crippled by land-based fire. I mean obviously if Germany did attempt an invasion they would have tried to intervene but to what success. Were also talking about raids from very capable land-based bombers as well.

Not to mention that the entire Royal Navy wasn't sitting at Liverpool waiting for the invasion. It was literally spread all over the world, calling them all back to defend the homeland would have taken months. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You obviously have no idea of what ships the RN had in Home Waters in 1940 to oppose a German invasion.

Unopposed the bombers would have some success but there still was the RAF.

You think the Germans could have stopped a couple of destoyer flotillas running at flank speed through the slow and unweildly low freeboard barges at night, for they had to leave at night to arrive on English shores during daylight?

A seaborne invasion by the Germans would have been an even worse disaster than what happened to the Mongol fleet. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes with enough shore batteries and aerial bombardment. Don't get me wrong it would have been quite a bloody encounter but I don't think the RN would have been able to stave them off. The RAF was still hurt pretty bad although they did outlast the Luftwaffe, in fact the blitz itself was a huge mistake because it took the pressure off the RAF and gave them breathing room.

Britain didn't come off the Battle of Britain eager, untouched, and ready to pounce on a helpless Germany.

It took years of aerial bombardment and domination of the sea as well hundreds millions of tons of supplies and millions of men to swing the war into the Allies favor. And thats just on the western front.

The threat of invasion was still quite large even after the British success at the BoB. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.flin.demon.co.uk/althist/seal1.htm

My opinion is pretty much in agreement with what you'll find on that site.

Nobody at that point in the war had shown any talent for sinking ships at sea, particularly alert and fast moving warships. Also interesting is that an &lt;unapposed&gt; German invasion fleet could have met with disaster due to the 5 knot river barges (that made up the bulk of the fleet) simply swamping if the sea got up....

We're a bunch of BOB types, hard for us to imagine the truth, which is that the British Naval command were &lt;hoping&gt; for an invasion attempt in fall of 40... said 'invasion' would have been a naval victory to rival Trafalgar no doubt....

WW2 was the time in which the art and science at sinking ships with aircraft first truly developed. Only the Japanese came out of the box knowing how to do this, the RAF and the Luftwaffe were quite hopeless at it until some years had passed.

p1ngu666
09-19-2005, 10:03 PM
FAA had some successes early on in norway, but yes basicaly attackin ships, everyone sucked.

the barges dubios sea worthyness aside, there probably vunrable to straffin, maybe not sink, but machine gunning the contents http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

RN was a very potent force, plus alot of espeit de corpes or whatever. they would probably hoist the flags that said engauge the enemy more closely http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif. like nelson did all the time http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

btw it wasnt the freezin in the east that stopped the germans, first the mud did, but once frozen it was ok, but then it got very very cold...

early on, german soldiers felt that the russian commander would find out the number of mg guns, there rof, the amount of ammo (guess) and time it would take.. then he would send that many men to attack, plus a few more for luck in a human wave..
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

LEXX_Luthor
09-19-2005, 10:31 PM
Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Basically, instead of saying the Germans lost the initiative (because I don€t think they did, they were pretty much on the offensive throughout 1941, most of 1942, and perhaps half of 1943, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Germany lost all strategic initiative on the Eastern Front in December 1941 and never regained it, and they knew it. The limited German summer 1942 offensive was an admission of the loss of ability to defeat the Soviet Union, and can be seen as an early offensive delaying tactic. Don't confuse the German 1942 summer offensive with the vastly greater German summer 1941 Barbarossa initiative.

Luftwaffe_109
09-19-2005, 11:54 PM
That€s simply false LEXX_Luthor . It simply isn€t possible to contend that Germany did not have the strategic initiative in 1942 given that they made some huge advances which the Soviets were not able to even respond to until later in the year. That these advances were not as large or as wide as those of the previous year is quite irrelevant.

As I have already said, following the break-down of the Soviet General Winter Offensive the Germans had achieved a huge encirclement near Barvenkovo when during a counter-attack against Timoshenko they secured nearly 240,000 Soviet prisoners, 2,000 guns and most of the 1,200 strong tank force. If that isn€t decisively reclaiming the initiative I don€t know what is.

As well as Operation Blau, two other lesser yet successfully offensives were carried out which established bridgeheads beyond the Donnets. Operation Blau itself is an example of how the Germans held the strategic initiative advancing all the way from the Donnets to the Volga, a distance of about 500 km. It simply does not make sense to claim that this offensive was done despite the fact that €œGermany lost all strategic initiative on the Eastern Front in December 1941 and never regained it, and they knew it€ as you erroneously claim. During this time the Russian Army in the east was in constant retreat.

Then of course there was the large drives into the Caucusas by Heeresgruppe A, a distance (even if we only take it from Rostov-on-Don to the limit of the advance) of about 500 km. Perhaps you will try to tell me again that this is an example were the Germans did not have the initiative?

No, the German advances did not end with 1941. That the offensives which followed were less ambitious is obvious, but quite irrelevant to the issue of initiative. By the Spring of 1942 they had already began what was hoped to be the decisive campaign which would win the war. Simply the Soviets were not capable of launching a successful offensive in 1942 until Uranus and the Germans were, and their advances were quite extraordinary. If anything the limiting of scope was simply a recognition that Germany€s capabilities were not as great as Hitler had thought, though they were still deemed sufficient to achieve victory.

Certainly it is not defensible to state that Blau was only an €œearly offensive delaying tactic€. It was nothing of the sort, but instead supposed to be a decisive campaign to end the war, as it likely would have if its objectives had been met. Had it succeeded, and neutralised Stalingrad while capturing the Caucusas, the blow to the Soviet Union would have been tremendous, if not fatal. One could hardely call a campaign which aimed to achive that a "delaying tactic".

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">btw it wasnt the freezin in the east that stopped the germans, first the mud did, but once frozen it was ok, but then it got very very cold... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't understand this point. Both the poor weather at the start of winter which contributed to the horrendous transport network in the Soviet Union to create a logistical nightmare for the Germans (before the snow began to fall and make it even worse) and the extreme cold which affected the Wehrmact's ability to wage war (during the winter of 1942 frosbite cases outstriped all other forms of casualties) were significant factors which prevented the capture of Moscow.

Edbert
09-20-2005, 06:41 AM
I think it is clear that the Germans lost the "grand strategic" initiative in December 1941, although they enjoyed full tactical initiative until the next winter and the Soviet counteroffensive and isolation if Stalingrad in late '42. What you guys are arguing about is the smaller-scale strategic initiative, and that is debateable from either position. The german 6th army penetrated deeply in a classic action reminiceint of the previous summer, their strategic intiative (which they did have) was changed more than once (can't change something you don't have, right?) and their ultimate strategic goal (elimination of all resistance in Stalingrad) doomed the entire 6th Army. Only point being the strategic goals were completely theirs to change, therefore the Germans had the strategic initiative after the Russian's winter counteroffensive on December '41 ended. And they had it until the Russian counter-offensive started in early winter 1942.

The startegic initiative of summer 1943 was not really one. they had a limited tactical initiative of another incirclement with two pincers near Kursk. The russians by this time had figured out how, where, and when the attack would come and had figured out how to counter it. That was the last grand-tactical initiative the germans had on the eastern front, although numerous small tactical actions too place.

LEXX_Luthor
09-20-2005, 07:06 AM
Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">No, the German advances did not end with 1941. That the offensives which followed were less ambitious is obvious, but quite irrelevant to the issue of initiative. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Exactly, they blew their chance at the end of 1941, and for the most part, both knew it.

Luftwaffe_109
09-20-2005, 01:48 PM
Edbert, one can hardly call the momvement of entire divisions tactical, at the very least it is operation but far more likely strategic. Operation Blau was not a small offensive, it comprised, at its begining an entire Army Group and later two (really Army Group South split in two). It is at the very least a strategic operation.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Exactly, they blew their chance at the end of 1941, and for the most part, both knew it.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It is highly debatable to say the least that the Germans "blew their chance at the end of 1941" and even more so that "for the most part they knew it". In all likelihood the war was probably still winable for the Axis in 1942.

Operation Blau was designed to be a decisive campaign and may well have been if successful. Although some generals were not convinced that the war could be won by this stage a large number were.

Field Marshal Keitel had commented during the huge successes during the early part of the Blau offensive that "the Russian is finished". These are not the words of a General Staff who "knew they were finished".

-HH-Quazi
09-20-2005, 02:44 PM
If the rest of this thread is like pg.5, good read/discussion. Refreshing to say the least. I believe some of you guys could teach a college course of WWII history. Some great information/insight. Thanks!

Aaron_GT
09-20-2005, 03:03 PM
Moving divisions is tactical. Strategic is on the scale of army groups (or fronts on the Soviet side). During an assault phase of a major advance in WW2 the normal expectation was for a division to be in combat for only three or four days before rotating it out for brief R&R (based on simulations at Camberley Staff College anyway, or based on the expectations during Overlord). That seems to be a tactical level to me.

Luftwaffe_109
09-21-2005, 05:57 AM
Well, I think the issue is not so much a substantive one but a definitional issue.

The movement of entire Heeresgruppen would probably more accurately fit with the grand strategic level, while divisions and armies might be described as operational art rather than tactical (which might end at regiment level?).

Regarding the rotation of divisions, there was no regular system for German divisions on the Ostfront, due to the simple fact that there not nearly enough of them. Reserves were limited and it was rare for an entire division to be withdrawn from the line.

ploughman
09-21-2005, 10:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Well, I think the issue is not so much a substantive one but a definitional issue. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..and possibly temporal. The British Fleet gained a tactical advantage at Jutland in that it's relative superiority was enhanced for a limited period of time because damaged German Fleet units took longer to repair and return to service than those of the RN tipping the scales even further in favour of the British over the rest of the summer of 1916.

Here the advantage is considered tactical not because of any material scale but because of the limited duration of the advantage.

Luftwaffe_109
09-21-2005, 06:20 PM
Interesting point. One could also argue that Germany gained a tactical victory at Jutland because the Grand Fleet suffered the loss of 3 battlecruisers, 3 cruisers and 8 destroyers for the loss of 6,100 compared with the High Seas Fleets' loss of only 1 obsolete pre-dreadnaught, 1 battlecruiser, 4 light cruisers and 3 destroyers for the loss of 2,550 men.

Then again, one might also label it a British strategic victory as at its end the British were left with control of the North Sea and with their blockade on Germany intact. Also, while the Grand Fleet was made ready to put to sea almost immediately the High Seas Fleet spent the rest of the war in port.


Regards

gkll
09-21-2005, 11:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
Interesting point. One could also argue that Germany gained a tactical victory at Jutland because the Grand Fleet suffered the loss of 3 battlecruisers, 3 cruisers and 8 destroyers for the loss of 6,100 compared with the High Seas Fleets' loss of only 1 obsolete pre-dreadnaught, 1 battlecruiser, 4 light cruisers and 3 destroyers for the loss of 2,550 men.

Then again, one might also label it a British strategic victory as at its end the British were left with control of the North Sea and with their blockade on Germany intact. Also, while the Grand Fleet was made ready to put to sea almost immediately the High Seas Fleet spent the rest of the war in port.


Regards </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with your and Ploughman's tactical definitions. However yet another view of a tactical victory, a little more modern perhaps, is &lt;control of the battle area&gt;. The stuff I have read about Jutland has seemed mostly recycled, the several authors all refer to a 'tactical' German victory and then total up the losses. The fact that the Brits controlled the battlefield is added to the 'strategic' victory (which did hinge on this control). However had the Germans wanted something specific out of the action (such as a landing) they would have been frustrated in that immediate aim. In this sense it was a tactical Brit win.

This understanding of 'tactical' is perhaps more suited to the speed of air combat. Our online play is not at all like this, however in real war you can lose a lot of fighters, and if the bombers get through, and the objective outweighs the losses, then you can lose 3:1 and still win a 'tactical' battle.

BaldieJr
09-21-2005, 11:45 PM
And now, over 60 years past wars end, the battles rage on.

ploughman
09-22-2005, 01:55 AM
Calling The Battle of Jutland a tactical victory for the German Navy would be a little like the Wehrmacht claiming a tactical victory at Stalingrad as, when all said, and done the Russian losses were much greater than their own.

telsono
09-22-2005, 02:54 PM
A couple of comments on this discussion. There are so many facets to this campaign that many little things added up to its eventual outcome.

Railroads: The Russians used a narrow gauge system which was different than what was standard in Europe. Until the tracks could be converted (widened, etc.) the Germans were forced to use Russian locomotives and rolling stock that weren't destroyed. I don't have figures on have many miles of track they could convert in a day, but it wasn't enough to decrease the length of the supply lines.

Balkans: Italy's failure to subdue Greece increased the problems with Yugoslavia. The southern flank was not secured. An allied stronghold in the southern Balkans (Yugoslavia, Greece and Albania) was possible with a complete failure by the Italians in Greece. Greece didn't declare war on Germany, Britain fought as co-belligerents with Greece against Italy. British troops in Athens were constantly warned not to pick fights with the German military assigned to the embassy there.

darkhorizon11
09-22-2005, 05:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
I see blakduk, well we seem to be largely in agreement then, my mistake. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I suppose then that I'll try a stab at the question (forgive me if this has been said before, I haven't read all of the thread). In my opinion the planning for Barbarossa which was initial quite good became flawed in that during its execution it did not have clearly defined goals or objectives (this largely the fault of Hitler).

The emphasis on three different and broad ultimate targets, Leningrad, Moscow and the Ukraine limited the effectivness of the individual Heeresgruppen (However it was required to in order to safeguard the flanks of the other army groups). The changing, by Hitler, of the objective of the Wehrmact back and forth from destroying the Red Army in the field to capturing cities proved to be indecisive.

The crucial mistake in the final plan for Barbarossa, which was an adjustment made to the original OKH plan by Hitler, was that it called for the diversion of forces from the Heeresgruppe Mitte, after the capture of Smolensk, to support the northern army group in attacking Leningrad and only after achieving this would the central army group continue operations toward Moscow. A further mistake made during the battle by the Fuehrer was the diversion of Guderian's panzers away from Mitte to seal the northern part of the Kiev encriclement. This crucial delay doomed Operation Typhoon, the battle for Moscow.

Moscow should have been made the primary objective of Barbarossa. It is the logisitical communications and transportations (railway and road) hub of the Soviet Union, and taking it would have crippled Soviet supply and movement of divisions and coordination of units. Furthermore, the morale blow to Soviet troops of the loss of such a symbolic city would have been tremendous, and it is not impossible that it would have resulted in the eventual disintegration of the Soviet leadership (already under much strain). Furthermore, being the capital of the USSR, the Soviets would have done everything they could to defend it and thrown as many hastily assembled units at it as they could, meaning large amounts of Soviet troops could have been drawn in to their destruction.

With Moscow taken, the Moscow-Leningrad railway is gone and the supply lines to Leningrad are all but severed, and it is highly unlikely that it would survive the siege. If Leningrad does eventually fall then the morale blow would be catastrophic, as the very birthplace of the revolution will be lost.

Taking Moscow in my opinion would thus have been a mortal blow to the USSR, and would have likely resulted in a German victory by 1942.

Barbarossa, "ingenious or ******ed"? Neither. I would say flawed, and it was Hitler's interference that doomed what could well have been sucessful.

Best Regards </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Luft your first paragraph is very true but I still can't agree with your entire argument.

Moscow was/is just a city, Stalin was a propaganda king and he could have easily have swung the capture of Moscow from morale defeat into an "alamo" of the Eastern front. Stratigically its in the center of the country between north and south, but theres really nothing there. No coal, oil, not much timber, just farmland. Remember, Moscow fell to Napolean 130 years earlier and it didn't make any difference at all.

Stalingrad however, was the lifeline of the USSR.

Luftwaffe_109
09-22-2005, 06:14 PM
Hello gkll.

Regarding your point on "control of the battlefield" you make an intersting point. I'm going to admit to being one of those people with the "recycled views" in placing this area under the category of the British strategic victory. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

The Battle of Jutland was not fought to wrest control of the North Sea away from the British, at least that was not one of its tactical aims. Rather Scheer was ordered to trap and destroy a sizable amount of the Beatty's battle cruiser squadron so that the Germans could achieve numerical parity with the British around the British Isles and Continental Europe. The focus primarily on inflicting damage to another's force seems to me a tactical aim.

Therefore, I can't see the fact that the Royal Navy was ultimately able to maintain its embargo of Germany as a tactical achievment, but rather a strategic one. It was an ultimate, wider consequence of the battle, not a direct result of the Battle itself so to speak.

I agree however that, for example, if a navy was attempting to force a landing and would be unable to remove an enemy navy's presence on the coastline that would be a tactical victory, but it doesn't really seem relevant to Jutland (at least, not in my opinion).

Hello Ploughman.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Calling The Battle of Jutland a tactical victory for the German Navy would be a little like the Wehrmacht claiming a tactical victory at Stalingrad as, when all said, and done the Russian losses were much greater than their own. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hardly. The two are not really comparable. The battle of Stalingrad would more accurately be classified in my opinion as a campaign, and therefore primarily strategic. Its goals were strategic and its was controled at the operational levels. We might say the Germans were "tactically superior" at Stalingrad but that does not mean they won a tactical victory as Stalingrad was not really a tactical battle. Jutland, on the other hand was a single engagement, and one can well examine the tactical consequences of it to determine who won a tactical victory.

Besides, if you can compare two completely different battles to make a point, allow me to do the same:

Using your logic, I would have to conclude that Hannibal did not win a Carthaginian tactical victory against the Roman generals Paullus and Varro at Cannae in 216 BCE as he proved unable to capatalise on the strategic aftermath of the battle and went on to lose the 2nd Punic War! This despite the fact that he inflicted vastly larger casualties (destroying 16 legions) than he sustained.

Luftwaffe_109
09-22-2005, 06:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:

Moscow was/is just a city, Stalin was a propaganda king and he could have easily have swung the capture of Moscow from morale defeat into an "alamo" of the Eastern front. Stratigically its in the center of the country between north and south, but theres really nothing there. No coal, oil, not much timber, just farmland. Remember, Moscow fell to Napolean 130 years earlier and it didn't make any difference at all.

Stalingrad however, was the lifeline of the USSR. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hello darkhorizon11.

I must disagree (though you have an intersting perspective that I respect).

Moscow was not just a city. While there may not be strategic resources at Moscow, that Soviet capital is the central communications and transportations core of the USSR. For example, Leningrad (with its huge industry and the birthplace of the revolution) is supplied primarily through the Leningrad-Moscow railway. The loss of Moscow would have been disastrous, even decisive. Moscow also contains the main North/South railway and road networks of the nation. Without it, Soviet ability to shift armies to deal with the German threat to different parts of the front would have been crippled. Finally, Moscow also has the main transport links from the East of the Soviet Union, meaning replenishing and arming Soviet divisions in the west would have been a logistics nightmare without it.

I disagree regarding your comments of the loss of Moscow becoming a Russia "Alamo". Moscow and the Kremlin was the symbol of Soviet domination over the USSR. It is the political heart of the nation, and without it faith in the Soviet government would have possibly collapsed (both internally and externally, perhaps resulting in infighting within the Soviet regime and abandonment of the Soviet government by the Army and civilians).

Finally, regarding your point about the Napoleonic capture of Moscow in 1812. It is not so relevant. Moscow was not the capital of Russia at the time, St Petersburg was. Also, Russia was no where near as centralised at the time as it was in 1941, and Moscow was not the logistics and communications hub it had since become.

Finally, I disagree regarding Stalingrad. Although I do agree that its capture and holding by the Germans would have proved mortal to the Soviets (not least because it would have severed the Volga and made likely a capture of the Cacasus), Stalingrad did not have anywhere near the significance of Moscow or Leningrad. Despite being the showcase "new model city" of the Communist regime it was not a political centre of the Soviet Union. Before Stalin's defence of it during the siege in the Russian Civil War it had virtually been unheard of. Its transport and communications links, though formidable, did not rival those of Moscow or Leningrad. Nor, do I think, did its industry. Finally, though symbolically very important it was not more so than Moscow or Leningrad.

Regards

Interminate
09-22-2005, 06:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by -HH-Quazi:
If the rest of this thread is like pg.5, good read/discussion. Refreshing to say the least. I believe some of you guys could teach a college course of WWII history. Some great information/insight. Thanks! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Possibly,
If you were creating a society of politically correct know-nothings of an immature nature.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Luftwaffe_109
09-22-2005, 06:49 PM
Ah, always with an enlighting, thoughtful and constructive contribution to add to the discussion I see, Interminate.

[/extreme sarcasm for those who might not recognise it]

gkll
09-22-2005, 11:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
Hello gkll.

Regarding your point on "control of the battlefield" you make an intersting point. I'm going to admit to being one of those people with the "recycled views" in placing this area under the category of the British strategic victory. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

The Battle of Jutland was not fought to wrest control of the North Sea away from the British, at least that was not one of its tactical aims. Rather Scheer was ordered to trap and destroy a sizable amount of the Beatty's battle cruiser squadron so that the Germans could achieve numerical parity with the British around the British Isles and Continental Europe. The focus primarily on inflicting damage to another's force seems to me a tactical aim.

Therefore, I can't see the fact that the Royal Navy was ultimately able to maintain its embargo of Germany as a tactical achievment, but rather a strategic one. It was an ultimate, wider consequence of the battle, not a direct result of the Battle itself so to speak.

I agree however that, for example, if a navy was attempting to force a landing and would be unable to remove an enemy navy's presence on the coastline that would be a tactical victory, but it doesn't really seem relevant to Jutland (at least, not in my opinion).

. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi

My post was not clear. I was trying to present the viewpoint that Jutland was both a tactical and strategic victory for the Brits, the 4 or 5 accounts and/or studies of the battle I have read assign tactical victory to the Germans and strategic to the Brits, on the basis of losses one side to another. I meant that regardless of losses the Brits certainly exercized better (luckier ha ha) tactics and controlled the battle, and by extension the battle area. The result was a strategic victory although that was of course not known at the time, and did not result only from Jutland although it played an important role.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 12:03 AM
Hi gkll.

What makes you say that the British excersied better tactics than the Germans at Jutland? Jellico failed in his objective to cut off the High Seas Fleet from its bases despite having cracked the German naval code and, despite significantly outnumbering his adversary, suffered graver losses. The battle itself was fairly confused with a series of ineffectual engagements by the British but with some decisive ones by the Germans.

I do agree that in the end the Royal Navy remained in control of the North Sea, but once again this seems to me a strategic consequence of the battle and not a tactical outcome.

Let me just make clear that I agree your point has merit behind it, I just don't neccessarily agree with it.

gkll
09-23-2005, 12:47 AM
Hey there 109,

I respect your viewpoint as well, it is obviously backed by some thought and information. True the Brits failed to cut off the German fleet, however in the first EDIT &lt; SECOND, first was battlecruiser action&gt; part of the battle they crossed the German "T" twice and forced a pair of "battle turnaways" (nicely executed BTW), followed by a scrabble through the Brit light forces that night to get back to base. I guess it seems to me that the side that spends the majority of their time and energy trying to get away has not really 'won' any tactical battle. However add in the losses.... hard to say.

And the Brit T crossing was luck of course, however luck counts.... some Yank submarine admiral of WW2 said something like "If you're not lucky we can't use you" I believe alluding to luck but also good intuition based on limited data. Jellicoe made the right call, lucky or not, when deciding on deployment into line of battle.

S!

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 01:33 AM
Hello gkll! Actually this is getting quite interesting, I hope you will continue to discuss Jutland with me in this thread.

I do agree with you that Jellicoe's decision that his battleships deploy in line of battle to port, which gave the British the visual advantage (of being east of the High Seas Fleet so that they were silhouetted against the western sky) and yet also put his 24 battleships in a position to move vertically across the strung-out German battle line to crossing the T was a masterful move.

However there were also British tactical mistakes. Most famous of course is probably Evan-Thomas' battleships' failure to turn simultaneously with Beatty's battlecruisers twice (first south and then north) which gave them a distinct tactical disadvantage and subjected them to unnecessary gunfire.

And the Germans also managed to pull of some fine tactical moves (as well as their share of mistakes). In the initial engagement with the Battlecruiser fleet (when von Hipper was unaware that the Grand Fleet was out to sea yet) where the Germans sunk the Indefatigable and Queen Mary while badly damaging Lion I think we can see that the Germans preformed better, certainly their gunnery was very good.

Also, later on Scheer's dreadnaughts performed an excellent 180 degree turn, although the second one back towards the Grand Fleet was certainly a tactical mistake.

Also I don't think it is fair to say that, during the later part of the battle where the Germans were attempting to break contact with Jelicoe's much larger force that they were thus performing tactically inferiorly. In my opinion, at that stage the nature of the battle had quite changed, and Scheer had to do his utmost to prevent a British "Trafalgar", which Jutland could possibly have been.

Anyway, some interesting musings.

Best Regards

LEXX_Luthor
09-23-2005, 02:03 AM
109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I disagree regarding your comments of the loss of Moscow becoming a Russia "Alamo". Moscow and the Kremlin was the symbol of Soviet domination over the USSR. It is the political heart of the nation, and without it faith in the Soviet government would have possibly collapsed (both internally and externally, perhaps resulting in infighting within the Soviet regime and abandonment of the Soviet government by the Army and civilians). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Motherland (for the first time and for war purposes) and Stalin were the primary Symbols at that time -- but not Moscow...nor Party for that matter, which Stalin was only too happy to encourage.

Moscow was already abandoned by the functioning Soviet government when the Germans approaced the city's edge. The Germans would have needed to reach the northern Volga far beyond Moscow, and then bomb the Ural factories as specified in Hitler's Directive #21 authorizing Barbarossa. The Soviets were prepared to wage war without Moscow, no matter how difficult.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 02:37 AM
It is true that Soviet wartime propaganda (which incidentally had not yet become an important factor as this is early war) focused on nationalist and patriotic themes rather than Communist and revolutionary ones, but the source of the strict and often brutal dominance of the Soviet State had always been seen to emanate from the Kremlin and Stalin. Moscow was the heart of the Soviet Union and the heart of the Communist Party.

The Soviet government had fled Moscow because they had feared it would fall. It is not insignificant that Stalin did not though. He knew that if he left the Kremlin it would show the Soviet people that Stalin no longer had control over the nation. It would have been a terrible blow to the morale of the hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops who were being hurled into a hurried defence of Moscow during the Typhoon.

The Soviets were not prepared to wage war without Moscow, that is why they attempted to defend it at all costs. By looking at troop movements at the time you can see the vast lionshare going to the Moscow districts which were critcally threatened. Had it been lost, it would have been an utter disaster. That the Soviet government had largely fled the Kremlin does not to me prove that the Soviet Union was capable of continuing the war without Moscow.

Regarding your "The Germans would have needed to reach the Volga up north, far beyond Moscow, and then bomb the Ural factories from there" I don't this is true, as the war would certainly have reached a decisive turning-point with the taking of Moscow. If a Soviet political reigime could even survive the loss of its capital without mass defection from the army or civilians it most probably would seek to negotiate some peace after such a calamity. In any case, the capture of Moscow and the resultant catastrophe to transport and communications would definitely have made those two goals you mentioned far easier for the Germans to achieve. Leningrad, the second most important city in the USSR, would have become untenable.

ploughman
09-23-2005, 03:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Using your logic, I would have to conclude that Hannibal did not win a Carthaginian tactical victory against the Roman generals Paullus and Varro at Cannae in 216 BCE as he proved unable to capatalise on the strategic aftermath of the battle and went on to lose the 2nd Punic War! This despite the fact that he inflicted vastly larger casualties (destroying 16 legions) than he sustained. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hrrmmph. While it's true that the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Jutland are not directly comparable the point I made is valid and it is one of perception. Nobody thinks of the outcome of Stalingrad as offerring any type comfort to the Germans. And yet the Soviet losses were so great that their victory there was almost pyhrric. As for Hannibal, his options were enhanced as a result of the outcome of that battle and he failed to capitalise on them; great tactician, poor strategist.

Destroying more of the enemy's 'stuff' than he destroy's of yours, whilst generally a good thing, does not necessarily imply a tactical success. A tactical success enhances your range of choices but what advantage did the German Fleet gain from Jutland? They did not control the North Sea, they actually had a worse rather than better balance of forces following the battle. They had demonstrated their doctrine and exposed weaknesses in the RN's doctrine which the RN was to correct whilst devising counters to German doctrine. German advantages were annulled at Jutland, not enhanced. The only arena in which the Germans scored over the British at Jutland was that the casualty lists made better reading in Germany than Britain. A propaganda coup that on reflection was cold comfort indeed. The ratio of British/German losses at Jutland was, on relection, irrelevant.

Perhaps we can agree to disagree. Nice to have a good chat though. S!

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 03:57 AM
It is simply not possible to overstate what was the critical importance of Moscow to the Soviet Union. Moscow was the transportation and communications of the USSR, the central core of the road network and the supply system from the east. It was also the political centre of the nation.

Firstly, was it possible for the German Wehrmact to capture Moscow in 1941? Possibly.

After the apparent ease with which German troops had crushed Soviet resistance during the start of Operation Typhoon (the Battle for Moscow), it seems quite safe to deduce that several more weeks of good weather to campaign would have proven sufficient to capture Moscow.

In the double encirclements before Moscow, well over 700,000 Soviet prisoners were captured in the Vyazm and Bryansk pockets. Following this catastrophe, the Soviets were initially left with little more than 90,000 troops available to man the final defensive line before Moscow. Some advance German detachments even got within perhaps 20km of Moscow.

The crucial problem however was that as the Vyazma pocket was still being reduced the Autumn rains began which entirely immobilizing the Wehrmact. This compounded its already critical logistics problems (German supplies were almost complete dependent on wheeled transportation from Smolensk eastwards, much via livestock). On the other hand, the Soviets had the crucial advantage of a huge rail network which radiated out from Moscow, efficiently bringing in reinforcements from across the Soviet Union.

Thus, had the battle for Moscow began some weeks earlier, it is quite possible Moscow could have been captured.

But even if it had, what would that have resulted in. Well, in a single phrase, the Soviet Union would quite possibly have suffered a mortal blow from which it would not recover.

Firstly, since the Soviets would have spared nothing to defend their capital, vast amounts of Soviet soldiers would have been drawn in to their destruction at Moscow, crippling the Red Army in the immediate area.

Secondly, the main railway junction of European Russia, which was the part of the trans-Siberian Railway and the Moscow-Leningrad railway would have been captured. The following is an image of the transport hub that is the Soviet Union:

http://www.parovoz.com/maps/electric.jpg

The red represents the primary railway lines. As one can see, its loss would paralyse the nation. Firstly, supplies and troops coming in from the east of the USSR would have been drastically cut. Secondly, the supply links for Leningrad would be all but cut. This may well have resulted in Leningrad€s fall. If this had been the case it would be yet another calamity for Russia. The massive industrial city of Leningrad, the birthplace of the Communist Revolution, would be in the hands of the Germans, allowing them to secure their northern flank and free up about 20-30 divisions which would be available for further offensive operations next year.

Finally, as can be seen Moscow is the primary hub for all North-South movement in the West, meaning the Soviets would have a nightmare reinforcing different areas on the frontline and supplying them according to the needs of the war.

The third factor is that Moscow is the primary communications hub of the USSR and the centre for command and control of the Red Army (which has its headquarters there). It€s capture would result in a vast breakdown in the day to day running of the Soviet Armed Forces.

The fourth factor is that Moscow is the political centre of the nation and the location for all of the apparatus of the Soviet government and Communist party. The strain of its loss and the loss of the perceived invincibility of its leader, Stalin, may well have torn it apart.

Finally, there would be the huge morale blow to the civilians and soldiers of the USSR as well as the complete invigoration of all the groups within Stalin€s Russia that were hostile to the regime.

Anyway, that is my attempt to paint a picture of(what I must stress is only my opinion) the importance of Moscow. Not all of these outcomes are certain but all are possible and many likely, and when taken in aggregate they paint a very gloomy future for the Soviet Union should she loose her capital.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 04:16 AM
Hello Ploughman.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
And yet the Soviet losses were so great that their victory there was almost pyhrric. S! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
And what of my distinction between Stalingrad being more of a "campaign" and thus not really definable in terms of "tactical victory", whereas a single engagement on the high seas could well have such an application of the term? While one might be able to claim the Germans demonstrated much superior tactical skill at Stalingrad, since its outcome was not tactical in nature one can't talk of a "tactical victory"?

As regards its supposed Pyhrric nature I dont think it can apply. A Pyhrric victory may only be one won at such a cost to have made it worthless to have won. Since the losses were able to be easily absorbed by the Soviets the battle could not have been Pyhrric.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As for Hannibal, his options were enhanced as a result of the outcome of that battle and he failed to capitalise on them; great tactician, poor strategist. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
But do we define a battle (in the broader context of the war) by the possibilities it created or its ultimate consequences? An interesting notion to consider.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Destroying more of the enemy's 'stuff' than he destroy's of yours, whilst generally a good thing, does not necessarily imply a tactical success. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Perhaps in single engagements you can apply this rule?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">A tactical success enhances your range of choices but what advantage did the German Fleet gain from Jutland? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well... they came off better against a numerically superior enemy? To me, if this outcome is what results from a single, distinct, engagement then it is the very definition of a tactical victory.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They did not control the North Sea, they actually had a worse rather than better balance of forces following the battle. They had demonstrated their doctrine and exposed weaknesses in the RN's doctrine which the RN was to correct whilst devising counters to German doctrine. German advantages were annulled at Jutland, not enhanced. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I would rather define all of these as strategic outcomes, once again the difference seems mainly definitional.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The ratio of British/German losses at Jutland was, on relection, irrelevant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Not so. It has resulted in countless arguments ever since the battle concluded on who won it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Perhaps we can agree to disagree. Nice to have a good chat though. S!
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you think it best, I have most enjoyed our discussion. Good day to you, sir, I look forward to discussing with you elsewhere.

ploughman
09-23-2005, 05:58 AM
Well, if you're going to go and do that I'm hardly going to not respond am I? Exscuse the bits that might seem a little repetative.

&lt;QUOTE&gt;And what of my distinction between Stalingrad being more of a "campaign" and thus not really definable in terms of "tactical victory", whereas a single engagement on the high seas could well have such an application of the term? While one might be able to claim the Germans demonstrated much superior tactical skill at Stalingrad, since its outcome was not tactical in nature one can't talk of a "tactical victory"? &lt;/QUOTE&gt;

Well, naval and land warfare diverge in structure so they are difficult to compare but I'll have a go. A decisive battle was much more likely in naval, especially surface, warfare than on land where main fleet units are engaged. Trafalgar is the exemplar of this. A naval surface battle, whilst often short in duration, implies the application of resources and manpower that would be the equivalent of army corps or entire armies on land. Ships lost or badly damaged require months or years to be restored or replaced. The cost of an afternoon's engagement on land is not relatively the same as an afternoon's fleet engagement. Thinking of Trafalgar, in 6 hours the Franco-Spanish fleet lost 19 ships and their crews, a loss from which the Bonapartists were never able to recover even though the Napoleonic wars lasted another ten years. The nearest Bonaparte came on land to matching this disaster was the ill fated 1812 campaign in Russia. As such, the meeting of the fleets at Jutland represented the application of forces and national resources equivalent to entire land armies.

As for the German tactical skill, I think it's fair to say that German art of war on the tactical level was superior to almost every foe they met during the Second World War, but that's for another day I think.

Sorry if this bit seems like I'm repeating myself but my original point about Stalingrad was one of perception, the Germans inflicted greater losses on the Russians but lost the battle/campaign and there is no perceived advatage gained from having cost the Red Army millions of casualties. My point was that inflicting greater casualties or material damage does not directly confer and advantage by default. As such, it does not immediately follow that the German Navy won a tactical advantage or victory at Jutland simply because they killed more enemy sailors or sank more of his ships. You would have to argue that some advantage had been gained that was available for the Germans to exploit. During the Battle Cruiser engagement the advantage that the loss of the Indefeatigable and the Queen Mary was nullified by the arrival of the Queen Elizabeths. The loss of the Invicible when both battle fleets were engaged did not change the situation one iota. Relatively, the loss of the Lutzow was a more serious blow.

Scheer and Hipper's orignal plan was, I think, to trap and annihilate Beatty's force, to bite of a chunk of the Royal Navy. In someways the outcome of the Battle would make you think they'd gone some way to acheiving this. After all Beatty was down a few of his Battle Cruisers by the end of it. And yet the German fleet remained in it bases for the rest of the war...

&lt;QUOTE&gt; quote:
As for Hannibal, his options were enhanced as a result of the outcome of that battle and he failed to capitalise on them; great tactician, poor strategist.


But do we define a battle (in the broader context of the war) by the possibilities it created or its ultimate consequences? An interesting notion to consider.&lt;/QUOTE&gt;

Perhaps we can define the outcome of a battle or sub-engagement in this way, as in did it enhance or reduce your options or ability to acheive your desired outcome?

&lt;QUOTE&gt; Since the losses were able to be easily absorbed by the Soviets the battle could not have been Pyhrric.&lt;/QUOTE&gt;

As I said, "almost pyhrric." Stalingrad cost the Soviets enormous casualties, the true scale of which were hidden until quite recently. They were not 'easily' absorbable.

Have a groovy one.

Edbert
09-23-2005, 07:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
Edbert, one can hardly call the momvement of entire divisions tactical, at the very least it is operation but far more likely strategic. Operation Blau was not a small offensive, it comprised, at its begining an entire Army Group and later two (really Army Group South split in two). It is at the very least a strategic operation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree with you for the most part, I am just not communicating well. For the renewed German offensive in 1942 there were no doubt sweeping strategic operations, like I said the entire 6th army was alone the most powerful formation on the planet at the time and it was just one component. What I was referring to was as much the intitiative factor, again it is quite clear that when the russian counteroffensive that statrted in 12-41 wore itself out the RUssians were purely defensive other than the buildup for the following winter's offensive.

I was trying to say that the Germans DID have the strategic initiative in '42, in fact the initiative might have been part of their problem, they changed initiatives twice mid-campaign and it cost them plenty.

But the initiatives changed from 1941 where they were planning the capitulation of the Soviet government to 1942 where they planned on capturing oilfields, certainly a smaller goal. I don't beleive that Germany and Russia would be ble to keep hostilities from breaking out for long but if Hitler had concentrated 10% of the forces he threw at Russia in the Afrika campaign they might have had their oilfields soon after crossing the Suez.

Ruy Horta
09-23-2005, 11:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
The only arena in which the Germans scored over the British at Jutland was that the casualty lists made better reading in Germany than Britain. A propaganda coup that on reflection was cold comfort indeed. The ratio of British/German losses at Jutland was, on relection, irrelevant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

After WW2 people could start looking at Dunkirk in a positive sense, however that does not hide the fact that the BEF was forced off the continent.

Jutland was a tactical draw at best, and although it may be regarded as a strategic victory for the British, lets not forget that this was Jacky Fisher's Battlefleet!

The British were expecting another Copenhagen or a Trafelgar, all in good RN tradition, what they got was a tactical draw.

What must smart a little is that the germans did show better seamanship (not entering the debate on gunnery and ship quality). Lets not forget that these were areas that RN claimed supremacy.

Sure did help win the war, but certainly not in the grand tradition of the RN (unlike the later Battles of Riverplate or Cape Matapan).

Perhaps a strategic victory, but also its apex.

If anything Jutland is the heigth of RN power and the start of its decline as the ruler of the waves.

Ruy Horta
09-23-2005, 11:58 AM
Do not know if it has been covered, but the failure to capture Moscow was as much caused by stretched supply lines and worn out troops as it was by the (early) extremely cold winter.

The offensive had literally petered out as they say.

The question remains if Hitler's decision not to go straight for Moscow influenced the final offensive.

Perhaps?

Certainly chances would have been better, troops fresher, more materiel. Supply lines would have been equally stretched though.

Possibly exposed flanks?

But like the German Generals, the strategic target was Moscow. As long as the ultimate goal was a quick victory.

Interminate
09-23-2005, 12:18 PM
Hitler and the great German Soldiers would have smacked down the Soviet if the Buttinsky US had not stuck its long long long nose up europe's rearend.

And to answer your question, invading Russia in 41, yes it was necessary, otherwise the soviets would have built up to too great a strength. Absolutely the only way to have pulled this off was to go when he did.

God Bless Germany

Pirschjaeger
09-23-2005, 12:33 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

ploughman
09-23-2005, 01:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What must smart a little is that the germans did show better seamanship (not entering the debate on gunnery and ship quality). Lets not forget that these were areas that RN claimed supremacy. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


If maintaining a crippling blockade in all weathers for four years that ulitmatley contributes decisively to the defeat of the Central Powers doesn't demonstrate a mastery of seamanship perhaps you could tell us what does?

LEXX_Luthor
09-23-2005, 05:21 PM
Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">In any case, the capture of Moscow and the resultant catastrophe to transport and communications would definitely have made those two goals you mentioned far easier for the Germans to achieve. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Far easier yes! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

...But not 100% certain. The Soviets did not move their industry to Moscow, but far beyond Moscow. And yes they envisioned the possibility of losing Moscow (hence the Urals). Of course there is a chance, lets guess 50% at this webboard, that having captured Moscow, Germany could have reached the northern Volga and bombed the Ural factories out of the war, thus keeping what remained of the Soviets helpless and so finding an eventual ceasfire. This was Hitler's concept in Directive #21. You are correct in that things such as loss of railroad lines would have hurt the Soviets. For example, Lend Leace through Murmansk would have been cut off from the historic train route (Directive 21 orders taking Archangel), and we saw in the "1942" Me262 thread that you fatally underestimate the importance of Lend Leace to the (later) Soviet war effort. Although Murmansk could be at least partially replaced by other routes if needed.

If it makes you feel better, we all know here the Soviets would be one (1) step closer to eventual defeat if Moscow had fallen, but some are not willing to predict this defeat with 100% certainty if Moscow fell, especially that the final outcome of World War 2 was decided as early as December 1941, at the time of the Battle of Moscow.... <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
WWII: What, if any, changes did you see after the United States entered the war, and what was your opinion about it?

Johannes Steinhoff (Luftwaffe): When this happened we were in the middle of the first Russian winter, and we were too busy to think about it. I was <span class="ev_code_yellow">just south of Moscow</span> when I heard the news. However, it later penetrated my mind that this was a decisive step. The Americans had tremendous willpower and an unmatched industrial capacity for building big bombers, fighters, ships and so on. It was more or less the end of the war--only time determined how long we would survive.


Page 3 of ~ http://history1900s.about.com/library/prm/bljohannessteinhoff1.htm
</div></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Our mistake is assuming our intellectual Knowledge is powerful enough to predict events, including morale and motivations, with 100% certainty. If we are trying to generate a Thesis, and testing it here, we advise that a stab at probabilities be made in our conclusions. One mistake we make is our popular focus on Capital City(tm). In our haste, we often mistake Moscow for Paris.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 07:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
As such, it does not immediately follow that the German Navy won a tactical advantage or victory at Jutland simply because they killed more enemy sailors or sank more of his ships. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well... I was not really arguing that the Germans won a tactical advantage but that they tactically performed better and thus won a tactical victory (ie, they came off better from a single engagement). I think to say anymore would just be repeating some of my earlier points so I think we might both be able to agree to disagree here.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Scheer and Hipper's orignal plan was, I think, to trap and annihilate Beatty's force, to bite of a chunk of the Royal Navy. In someways the outcome of the Battle would make you think they'd gone some way to acheiving this. After all Beatty was down a few of his Battle Cruisers by the end of it. And yet the German fleet remained in it bases for the rest of the war... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
But why only examine German battle aims? What of British aims, specifically to cut off the High Seas Fleet from their bases and inflict a "Trafalgar" on Germany. These aims were completely frustrated despite the fact that the Grand Fleet had much larger numbers. So in that sense couldn't we define Jutland as a German victory? Just a thought.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As I said, "almost pyhrric." Stalingrad cost the Soviets enormous casualties, the true scale of which were hidden until quite recently. They were not 'easily' absorbable. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
No doubt the losses at Stalingrad were horrendous, as indeed they had been even more catastrophic the previous year during Barbarossa. That said, the Soviets were able not only to make good those losses but also vastly increase the size of their armies.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 07:44 PM
Hello again LEXX_Luthor.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...But not 100% certain. The Soviets did not move their industry to Moscow, but far beyond Moscow. And yes they envisioned the possibility of losing Moscow (hence the Urals). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sure nothing is certain in war. My only point was that, not only were both goals more likely should Germany have persued them, they could arguably have been unnessesary to win the war in the east.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">For example, Lend Leace through Murmansk would have been cut off from the historic train route (Directive 21 orders taking Archangel), and we saw in the "1942" Me262 thread that you fatally underestimate the importance of Lend Leace to the (later) Soviet war effort. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
We saw this, did we? Hardly.

I never said that Lend-Lease did not substantially help the Soviet War effort during the later part of the war, only that by this stage in the hostilities it was a factor that was not decisive to the ultimate conclusion of the war. There is nothing in that thread to suggest that argument was somehow refuted.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Our mistake is assuming our intellectual Knowledge is powerful enough to predict events, including morale and motivations, with 100% certainty. If we are trying to generate a Thesis, and testing it here, we advise that a stab at probabilities be made in our conclusions. One mistake we make is our popular focus on Capital City(tm). In our haste, we often mistake Moscow for Paris. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Where does your above quote touch on the issue of morale? What about all of the other reasons I gave for Moscow being the critical city of the USSR.

I've already explained why I think that the loss of Moscow would be a symbolic blow as well as a military one for the nation. Therefore, I don't think its necessary to add anything more.

And I hardly think that it is wise to take the opinion of one ace on the effect of the entry of the US into the war as gospel to our understanding of WWII.

luftluuver
09-23-2005, 08:17 PM
American lend/lease to the Soviets,

http://www.geocities.com/mark_willey/lend.html

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 08:33 PM
Why only American?

British Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union between 1st October 1941 and 31st March 1946:

Admiralty Supplies:

Battleships - 1
Destroyers - 9
Submarines - 4
Motor Minesweepers - 5
Minesweeping Trawlesr - 9
ASDIC - 293 sets
Radar - 329 sets
Submarine Batteries (complete) - 41
6" guns complete - 2
5.25" guns complete - 35
4" guns complete with 16 spare barrels - 36
12pdr guns complete with 12 spare barrels - 22
20mm Oerlikons with 54 spare barrels - 162
.5" Vickers machine guns with 52 spare barrels - 384
.5" Browning complete with 120 spare barrels - 240
.30" Martin - 210
2" Rocket projectors - 36 sets
AAD Type L projectors with ammunition - 16 sets
Misc Gun mountings - 530
Mines (various) - 3206
Paravanes - 318
Depth Charges - 6800
Hedgehog Projectiels - 2304
Torpedoes - 361
Smoke generators, candles and Lachrymatory candles - 5124 sets
Greande throwing eqiupment - 67 sets

Ammunition

15" - 2000 rounds
6" - 2400 rounds
4.7 ", 4.5", 4", 3" - 13600 rounds
12pdr - 31000
2pdr - 93000 rounds
20mm - 882000 rounds
.5" Vickers - 5792000 rounds
.5" Browining - 1399000 rounds
.455" SA - 26000 rounds
.303" SA - 359000 rounds
.30" SA - 899000
2" Rockets - 4000
Flares & Misc. pyrotechnics - 8273

War Office Supplies:

Tanks (various) all
supplied with
ammunition - 5218
MT vehicles - 4343
Bren Carriers - 2550
Motor Cycle - 1721
AFV and MT spares - 4090 tons

Weapons
PIAT projector - 1000
Thompson SMG - 103
2pdr AT Rifle - 636
6pdr AT gun - 96
Boys AT Rifles - 3200
Bren guns - 2487
7.92mm Besa guns - 581
Smoke Generators - 303000

Ammunition
PIAT - 100000
2pdr AT gun - 2807000 rounds
.45" SMG - 20807000 rounds
6pdr AT - 776000 rounds
Boys AT - 1761000 rounds
.303" SA - 89332000 rounds
7.92mm BESA - 53411000 rounds
2" Mortar (HE &Smoke) - 1163000 rounds
3" Mortar (HE&Smoke) - 162000
Signal Cartridges - 2204000
Clams - 159000

Electronic Equipment
Radar - 1474 sets
Radio - 4338 sets
Valves - 42850
Misc Radio Test Eqipment - 850 items
Charging & Generating Eqipment - 160 sets

Telephone Equipment
Telephone Cable - 30227 miles
Telephones - 2000 sets
Switchboards 40 line - 60
Switchboards 10 line - 400

Miscellaneous Items
Exploder Cable - 1070 miles
Camouflage Netting - 3013000 meters
Camouflage Face Veils - 1199500
Surveying & Meteorological Eqipment - 925 items
Specialloid Pistons - 159000
Tyres -72000

Air Ministry Supplies:

Aircraft (all types) - 7411
Aircraft Engines - 976
MT Vehicles - 724
Petrol, oil & other products - 14146 tonns

Ammunition
.303" - 162000000 rounds
.30 - 66450000 rounds
.5" - 24000000
20mm - 17500000



Aircraft Engines and MT Spares worth - 15981000 pounds
Misc. aircraft eqipment worth - 1734000 pounds



Raw Materials:
Aluminium - 32,000 tons 3,803,000
Copper - 40,000 tons 2,204,000
Industrial Diamonds - 1,424,000
Jute - 100,435 tons 4,975,000
Rubber - 114,539 tons 239,000
Graphite - 3,300 ton 160,000
Tin - 28,050 tons 7,774,000
Wool - 29,610 tons 5,521,000


Foodstuffs:
Total Value - 8210000


Machine Tools, Plant and Associated Equipment:
Machine Tools - 13,081,000
Power Plant - 12,264,000
Electrical Eqipment - 9,091,000
Misc Eqipment - (e.g.: communications, food processing,
textile plant, port and salvage eqpt.) - 4,691,000
Misc industrial plant - 5,201,000

luftluuver
09-23-2005, 09:38 PM
Why only American? Because that is the only link I had.

Trying to find British info on the net is like looking for the chicken's teeth. Do you have any British OoB links (army, RAF)?

Some might find this of interest, http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/raw.htm

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 09:52 PM
Orders of Battle for what and when, exactly?

LEXX_Luthor
09-23-2005, 10:10 PM
Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I've already explained why I think that the loss of Moscow would be a symbolic blow as well as a military one for the nation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Everybody here knows the loss of Moscow would have been a blow. You have not yet explained why the loss of Moscow would cause automatic Soviet surrender. Its funny how all that military equipment from the relocated Ural factories made it to the front somehow. Not to mention how those Siberian troops got to Moscow in the first place. Moscow was important to Barborossa...

Hitler (Directive-21):: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Only after the fulfilment of this first essential task, which must include the occupation of Leningrad and Kronstadt, will the attack be continued with the intention of occupying Moscow, an important center of communications and of the armaments industry.
:
:
In the North a quick advance to Moscow. The capture of this city would represent a decisive political and economic success and would also bring about the capture of the most important railway junctions.

~ http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/1084/hitler_directives/dir21.htm
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
...and the closest this comes to your claim is Hitler's hope for a "decisive" political sucess at Moscow. Its entirely possible the loss of Moscow may (or may not) have caused Soviet surrender, or replacement of Stalin, but as we see below, Hitler was not certain as you are about Soviet surrender after Moscow.

Hitler (Directive-21):: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The last surviving industrial area of Russia in the Urals can then, if necessary, be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.
:
:
In order that we may concentrate all our strength against the enemy Air Force and for the immediate support of land operations, the Russian armaments industry will not be attacked during the main operations. Such attacks will be made only after the conclusion of mobile warfare, and they will be concentrated first on the Urals area. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hitler planned for the case if the Soviets continued fighting after the German Army reached the northern Volga far beyond Moscow, which would represent the end of mobile land warfare.

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 10:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You have not yet explained why the loss of Moscow would cause automatic Soviet surrender. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have, however, explained why the loss of Moscow would likely result in an ultimate Soviet loss.

As yet I've seen nothing from you which adresses those points.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Its funny how all that military equipment from the relocated Ural factories made it to the front somehow. Not to mention how those Siberian troops got to Moscow in the first place. Moscow was important to Barborossa... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Not funny at all. The huge arterial rail networks running to Moscow played a huge part of it. Remember that Moscow is part of the tans-Siberian railway. Without it, West-East transport and supply movement in the Soviet Union would have been devestated.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Hitler planned for the case if the Soviets continued fighting after the German Army reached the northern Volga far beyond Moscow, which would represent the end of mobile land warfare.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
But I think you missed the point. Once the Soviets lost Moscow the Soviet ability to wage war in the West would be highly affected. It would make Soviet victory in the west unlikely, and the eventual capture of Leningrad assured. It would not matter that the Soviet Union's industrial capacity still existed behind the Urals, it would not have been capable of continuing the war with the Germans.

Soviet command, communication and coordination with their armies would be severly affected and resupplying and reinforcing them from the east would be very, very difficult.

If you read the "Me-262" thread I have made the argument for a negotiated peace. After such a terrible blow to their war prospects as the loss of Moscow, it is quite a possibility that the Russians might sue for peace, if a coherent Soviet Government can still exist to do it, that is.

Jetbuff
09-23-2005, 10:56 PM
Anyone interested in finding out just how insurmountable as an obstacle the Soviet Union was needs to pick up this book: "Fighting in Hell: The German Ordeal on the Eastern Front."

This work includes the compiled first-hand reports of a handful of German command personnel from the OKW general staff down to Panzer division commanders involved in operations on the Eastern front. In it, these commanders explain just how difficult it was to operate under the conditions on this unique battleground. Everything from the terrain, to the weather to the Russian soldier's psychological build-up was decidedly "against them" is the conclusion they seemed to unanimously arrive at. Most telling perhaps is this opening quote by the lead narrator, General Erhard Rauss of General Deitl's warning to Hitler:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">"... the landscape up there in the tundra outside Murmansk is just as it was after Creation. There's not a tree, not a shrub, not a human settlement. No roads and no paths. Nothing but rock and scree. There are countless torrents, lakes and fast-flowing rivers with rapids and waterfalls. In the summer there's swamp - and in winter there's ice, snow and it's 40 to 50? below. Icy gales rage throughout the eight months of Arctic night. This 100 kilometers of tundra belt surrounding Murmansk like a protective armor is one big wilderness. War has never before been waged in this tundra, since the pathless stony desert is virtually impassible for formations..." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Granted, he was talking about Murmansk, but reading the book you discover that it was almost the same throughout the Soviet Union. It was beyond a ******ed move.

However, for anyone witnessing the start of WWII it simply was not feasible for Germany to take on both France and England either. Heck, on paper, France alone outclassed Germany militarily! Some even say the whole war might not have happened had the French Army challenged Germany's remilitarization of the Ruhr valley in 1936 when 3 infantry battalions crossed the Rhine within easy reach of several French divisions. Conversely, on paper, the Soviet Union's forces, their capabilities and overall cohesiveness as a nation were in doubt. Coupled with the early (and on hindsight rather surprising) German victories in Western Europe, it is only natural that Hitler (already suffering from megalomania by all accounts) and a good proportion of the OKW command were deluded into thinking they could pull this off.

Finally, when you realize just how politically inept the German army was and how they balked every step of the way in Hitler's early successes, it's easy to see how easily they could have been misled into believing that, once again, "the Fuhrer knew better." They attacked Russia and sealed the outcome of the war. The Allies' later efforts, while significant, required this second front and the vast tying down of resources to succeed.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that, while there were many other factors involved, this singular blunder is perhaps the most important contributor to the downfall of the third Reich - and thank God (and the Russians http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif )for that!

Luftwaffe_109
09-23-2005, 11:10 PM
The following is an illuming quote by Field-Marshal Erich von Manstein, one of the greatest strategists of the Second World War, on the importance of Moscow:

"... The OKH, on the other hand, rightly contended that the conquest and retention of these undoubtably important strategic areas [the capture of Leningrad, the raw-material regions of the Ukraine, the armaments centres of the Donetz Basin, and later the Caucasus Oilfields] depended on first defeating the Red Army. The main body of the latter, they argued would be met on the road to Moscow, since this city, as focal point of Soviet power, was one whose loss the regime dared not risk. There were three reasons for this. One was that - in contrast to 1812 [Napoleon's Russian Campaign] - Moscow really did form the political centre of Russia; another was that the loss of the armaments areas around and east of Moscow would at least inflict extensive damage on the Soviet War economy. The third and possibly most important reason from the strategic point of view was Moscow's position as the nodal point of European Russia's traffic networks. The loss would split Russian defences in two and prevent the Soviet command from ever mounting a single, co-ordianted operation."

LEXX_Luthor
09-23-2005, 11:38 PM
Thanks. Good reading.

Lexx:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> You have not yet explained why the loss of Moscow would cause automatic Soviet surrender. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have, however, explained why the loss of Moscow would likely result in an ultimate Soviet loss. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Right. I see what you say now. Loss of Moscow may or may not have resulted in Soviet surrender. Manstein may not have known that the Soviets were prepared to lose Moscow. Of course they wanted to save it, and they did, but they had plans to carry on and were acting on those plans (Moscow evacuation) before the Germans were stopped outside Moscow.

As Jetbuff seems to indicate at the bottom of last page; beyond Moscow, the Germans might have as much difficulty in shifting troops and material around as the Soviets. So no, the loss of Moscow as a rail hub or for any reason political or symbolic may not have "likely" resulted in eventual Soviet surrender, whatever "likely" means here, although its certainly a good possibility. We agree on that. Further, the capture of Moscow would be a critical and obvious -- its in the way -- stepping stone in the drive to the northern Volga.

Luftwaffe_109
09-24-2005, 02:12 AM
Hello LEXX_Luthor.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Manstein may not have known that the Soviets were prepared to lose Moscow. Of course they wanted to save it, and they did, but they had plans to carry on and were acting on those plans (Moscow evacuation) before the Germans were stopped outside Moscow.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Manstein knew that the Soviets were not prepared to lose Moscow, as he wrote this after the war.

You have yet to convince me that the Soviets were prepared to lose Moscow. The fact that the Soviet Government (but, critically, not Stalin) fled Moscow does not to me provide evidence that they were able to continue the war without it, nor that they felt they could.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As Jetbuff seems to indicate at the bottom of last page; beyond Moscow, the Germans might have as much difficulty in shifting troops and material around as the Soviets. So no, the loss of Moscow as a rail hub or for any reason political or symbolic may not have "likely" resulted in eventual Soviet surrender, whatever "likely" means here, although its certainly a good possibility. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't see how you can maintain this, as the Germans would have Moscow and its rail and road network, and the Soviets wouldn't. This would allow the Germans unprecedented flexibility of movement even without the same rail-gauge. It makes the Soviet ability to wage war in this part of Russia very difficult, and engances Germany's.

Jetbuff provides a quote talking about the inhospitableness of the Northern front and he also contends that the road networks of the Soviet Union and the wider conditions where generally very poor, I agree with both points. If anything, this makes the need for good transport networks even more neccessary. It also makes the vast repair facilities for heavy equipment, large stores of tools, electricity reserves, materials, housing, etc, that Moscow offered a major boost to whomever owns it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Right. I see what you say now. Loss of Moscow may or may not have resulted in Soviet surrender. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sort of, I mean the loss of Moscow would probably result in an ultimate (not immediate) Soviet defeat, as it would be a decisive turning-point of the war and quite possibly a mortal blow.

Ruy Horta
09-24-2005, 02:42 AM
The question remains if the Soviet regime would have survived the loss of Moscow in 1941. Again lets not mix up the Soviet Regime with greater Russia or even the fast expanse of the Soviet Republics.

IMHO most focus on events as they happened, with the Soviets having time had sufficient time to evacuate some of their heavy industry to the Urals etc.

The Soviet Regime was in a panic, this is documented fact, and if the pressure had been kept on at the earliest opportunity, they might not have regained their strength of will and purpose.

Stalin's own temporary break down is a good reflection of this situation.

Again, would the Soviet Union have survived the collapse of central power, or even a situation of internal strife?

Perhaps it is time to shift from military to socio-political thinking.

Ruy Horta
09-24-2005, 02:51 AM
Ploughman, the German tactical victory at Jutland is part based on a feat of seamanship, the (in)famous Gefechtskehrtwendung nach Steuerbord, something that had hiderto been thought to be impossible.

During the Battle of Jutland the German Imperial Navy showed superior seamanship under combat conditions.

Certainly it was expected that the RN would have sufficient seamanship to hold a cruiser blockade, more than expected in the grand tradition of the Royal Navy.

Or am I mistaken?

Luftwaffe_109
09-24-2005, 03:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Again, would the Soviet Union have survived the collapse of central power, or even a situation of internal strife?

Perhaps it is time to shift from military to socio-political thinking. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well then let's discuss this issue, and not shy away from it. Firstly, what was the chance of the Soviet Union fragmenting or of internal strife breaking out, given a loss of Moscow?

My view is that morale was often quite bad during the first two terrible years of the war. The loss of Moscow certainly would not have helped. Ruthless domination was needed to control the nation, for example at Stalingrad alone 13,500 Soviet soldiers were executed for "extraodinary events" which included desertion, cowadice, incompetance, self-inflicted wounds, 'anti-Soviet agitation' (which probably meant defeatism) and drunkeness. That is a huge number, more than an entire division of troops.

The brutalness of the regime explains largely why so many former Red Army soldiers fought for the Germans. For example, the 6th Army's front-line divisions contained over 50,000 Hiwi auxiliary troops. Although many were brutally press-ganged into service by the Germans, others were volunteers.

Is any of this evidence that, had the main symbol of Soviet domintation (Moscow) been captured, the nation coukld have torn itself appart or that morale would have sunk far too low for Soviet troops to be effective? Perhaps. Luckily this was not the case.

The problem is that trying to infer some what might have happened based on the individual actions and motivations of a minority of people during the war is fraught with danger.

LEXX_Luthor
09-24-2005, 05:57 PM
Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I mean the loss of Moscow would iprobably result in an ultimate (not immediate) Soviet defeat, as it would be a decisive turning-point of the war and quite possibly a mortal blow. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That is close to what I am thinking, things would get real hard for the Soviets if they had to retreat beyond Moscow. I apologize if I made you think you needed to explain that.

The Soviet government and industry were already being evacuated -- ie...the Soviets were prepared to lose Moscow and continue fighting if possible, or they would not have bothered to move. Stalin stayed to show himself as steady Leader, and as a gamble, it worked. It does not take much time to evacuate one Leader when the time comes, and the risk was worth the benefit to Stalin appearing at the Kremlin in the darkest days. Stalin still had plenty of time to get out if it came to that.

Also, the Volga River is the most important transport route in Russia, more so than rail lines, which is why it was so important for Germany to establish its final line along the Volga. Capturing Moscow would leave the Volga open for some Soviet internal troop and material movements.

I am thinking the Germans would not be able to take full advantage of the Moscow rail hub far beyond Moscow. There, 200+ kilometers beyond Moscow, the Germans and Soviets would be on more equal ground in terms of transportation of troops to battlefield. This is where the Luftwaffe used strategically for interdiction after the end of the German advance would keep the Soviets crippled -- as specified in Directive-21 authorizing Operation Barbarossa.

Your claim is not false so much as a bit too "certain." The loss of Moscow would be a great contributing factor in forcing any later Soviet surrender -- by definition for one thing, since the German Army had to get past Moscow (ie..."capture Moscow") to push the Soviets past the Volga River. So yes, we are in agreement at least over that.

Luftwaffe_109:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My view is that morale was often quite bad during the first two terrible years of the war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes and No. This is a very strange subject, but it seems the Soviets looked at the war -- including the early years -- as some kind of alternative way of suffering refreshingly differnt form what they had been suffering -- call it a vacation from 1930s communism if you want. I dunno. Its really strange, but personal support for the war among the Soviet population was, in general and not always -- astronomically greater than that found in Germany at any given time. Its intangible stuff like this that makes the fate of Moscow seem trivial (although it was not), and cannot be analyzed by intellectual data or Number Of Divisions alone.

Jetbuff
09-24-2005, 06:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As Jetbuff seems to indicate at the bottom of last page; beyond Moscow, the Germans might have as much difficulty in shifting troops and material around as the Soviets. So no, the loss of Moscow as a rail hub or for any reason political or symbolic may not have "likely" resulted in eventual Soviet surrender, whatever "likely" means here, although its certainly a good possibility. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't see how you can maintain this, as the Germans would have Moscow and its rail and road network, and the Soviets wouldn't. This would allow the Germans unprecedented flexibility of movement even without the same rail-gauge. It makes the Soviet ability to wage war in this part of Russia very difficult, and engances Germany's.

Jetbuff provides a quote talking about the inhospitableness of the Northern front and he also contends that the road networks of the Soviet Union and the wider conditions where generally very poor, I agree with both points. If anything, this makes the need for good transport networks even more neccessary. It also makes the vast repair facilities for heavy equipment, large stores of tools, electricity reserves, materials, housing, etc, that Moscow offered a major boost to whomever owns it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
First, Moscow would have definitely been a tough blow on the Red Army. However, reading the book I quoted earlier, several key points are being ignored in this argument:

1. The railway tracks in Russia are a different guage than in the rest of Europe. This presented a really difficult problem for the Germans who, even when they could capture enough modified guage railway cars, could not reliably transport their tanks on them - it had to do with the width of the their tank treads iirc.

2. The Red Army definitely used the railways... BUT, their ingenuity in using non-standard methods of transport were beyond anything the Germans, or indeed any traditional army, could invisage. The book is littered with examples where the Germans would be taken by surprise from unexpected quarters by large Russian divisions through what had previously been though impassable terrain. Swamps, roads rutted over from autumn/spring rains and imposing rivers were crossed by large bodies of Russian soldiers with their equipment with amazing regularity.

3. While the German Army did capture large tracts of Russian land, securing these areas was another matter and one that they simply did not have the men or materiel to achieve. You are assuming that territory under German control would automatically become inaccessible to Russian communication and movement when in fact it almost always still was. The Germans, even with 2 million+ men simply lacked the necessary numbers to fully secure captured areas.

4. Inspite of the rapid German advance, there is evidence to suggest that the Red Army only really started fighting in October of 1941. Concentrating on one objective might have freed them up to act earlier since it was only the vastness of the initial German onslaught that threw things into such disarray.

5. The German offensive was based on false information which severely underestimated the Red Army's size and resources. It is no exaggeration that the Germans were stunned by the T-34, a tank they had no knowledge of at all. It rendered their anti-tank 37mm guns worthless and could cross terrain that the German panzers would not dare enter. Initial German estimates put the Russian army at about 200 divisions, but 360 divisions were fielded in that first year!

6. While the Russian Army was well nigh on incompetent at the start of Barbarossa, they proved to be quick studies and picked up the concepts of Blitzkrieg. By some accounts, they even surpassed the Germans in it's application: they combined massive artillery barrages on a scale the Germans could rarely mount with incredible feats of maneuvering to encircle and entomb whole Army's. The real surprise, imo, of that fateful decision is that the German Army was able to withstand the Winter onslaught in the first place.

7. Finally, tactically speaking, any isolated advance would have left the advancing columns exposed on one or both flanks, something the Russians would prove later to be adept at exploiting.

Capturing Moscow (or even focusing on 1 or 2 tasks instead of the 3 Hitler laid out) would perhaps have prolonged the war but the outcome was pretty much sealed from the get go. In a smaller country, it might have worked to capture key locations but the simple size of the Soviet Union is it's greatest defence. Throw in the climate and the German-attested resilience/resignation of the Russian soldier and you end up with one hell of an obstacle that no one can withstand.

If you want the ultimate "what if" scenario to consider, think about what might have happened had the Germans launched Barborassa in mid-May as originally intended. Hitler delayed the launch by 4-5 weeks, depending on your source, to deal with his petty obsession with teaching the "upstart" Yugoslavs a lesson. Valuable time was wasted crushing Yugoslavia which ironically had actually already sought a non-aggression pact with Germany.

Alternatively, think what might have happened had Stalin been a weaker leader or not in power and the Russian people had been rallied around fighting for communist idealogy versus "Za Rodina". The incredible psychological boost gained from fighting for one's homeland/rights is well known and referred to as the "territorial imperative" which even animals exhibit.


End of the day, for every "What if?" there are a thousand "But then..."s.

LEXX_Luthor
09-24-2005, 08:08 PM
Jetbuff:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If you want the ultimate "what if" scenario to consider, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
...Summer 1940, instead of wasting both the Luftwaffe and the reputation of the Bf-110 over England, turn East in late summer 1940 (assuming an earlier invasion of France perhaps).

My attraction to this idea for Dynamic Campaign (Offline or Online) is that before the Battle of Britain, the Bf-110 was considered the Elite fighter of the Luftwaffe, and in 1940, No Yaks, No LaGGS, No MiGs!!

Could Barbarossa be conceivable in 1940? The Germans certainly benefitted by waiting another year, but so did the Soviets (although not as much I guess). Could the Bf-110 succeed as tactical escort fighter in 1940 over the Eastern Front, escorting the usual suspects like -17, -88, and -111 on long range interdiction of Soviet supplies? What would be the effect of Soviet relocation of industry during a time when the new generation of aircraft (and tanks) were being designed and prototyped but not having to be actually mass manufactured?

Jetbuff:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">In a smaller country, it might have worked to capture key locations but the simple size of the Soviet Union is it's greatest defence. Throw in the climate and the German-attested resilience/resignation of the Russian soldier and you end up with one hell of an obstacle that no one can withstand. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Exactly. Something small, like France.

LEXX_Luthor
09-24-2005, 08:42 PM
mmm...About securing those rear areas. The Germans succeeded in open terrain like south Ukraine, but the forests presented problems. What is the terrain like between Moscow and the northern Volga? Would it be partisan friendly terrain or easily secured?

Even in forested areas, the Germans eventually figured out how to crush partisans, but it required a firm committment to military offensives against the partisans, and not just security guards, either secondary German troops or locals, at key points.

I assume the further the Germans pushed beyond Moscow to the northern Volga, the better the rear area problem would get in the occupied western territories like Ukraine.

Aaron_GT
09-25-2005, 12:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...Summer 1940, instead of wasting both the Luftwaffe and the reputation of the Bf-110 over England, turn East in late summer 1940 (assuming an earlier invasion of France perhaps). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

France was invaded as soon as the weather was good enough to do so, so that timescale is fixed . It takes time to fully secure a nation and this takes time too, so it would make a 1940 invasion of Russia pretty much impossible.

LEXX_Luthor
09-25-2005, 06:01 AM
Yes, that makes sense. But weather need not be fixed in a Dynamic Campaign and its conceptual background. But oh yes indeed, I am aware of the radical -- or ******ed -- nature of this entire proposal, and that makes it the ultimate "what if" scenario, to be enjoyed as is without too much intellectual prisonry. What I am interested is the German military abilities and the ability to transfer troops west to east in sufficient time. Probably not, butt... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jetbuff
09-25-2005, 05:57 PM
The Germans did not have the men, materiel or preparation to engage in a slugfest. The wehrmacht, from composition to mentality, was too firmly entrenched in Blitzkrieg tactics to wage a successful Russian campaign. The latter simply was not amenable to blitz tactics due to the terrain, climate, scale of the battlefield and armies involved and even the psychological make-up of the Russian people.

The only "what if" that could have materially changed the outcome would have been if the Russian state did indeed collapse "like a deck of cards" after the wehrmacht "kicked in the door" as Hitler had deluded himself and his cronies into believing would happen. Sure it happened in France, but the Soviet Union bears almost nothing in common with the former. Past that, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

LEXX_Luthor
09-26-2005, 05:48 PM
It would be a close thing, that's for sure. I think if Germany had been more prepared in equipment, earlier industrial expansion, anti-partisan planning, etc...they could have succeeded if most everything went right for them on the battlefield as it mostly did in 1941.

By the same token, if the Soviets had been more prepared, or prepared enough, there would never have been any Barbarossa as it happened at least. The similarities of Barbarossa and Pearl Harbour are stunning.

darkhorizon11
09-26-2005, 06:33 PM
Remember as imporantant of transportation center Moscow is, you guys didn't mention trucking. Sure losing the railroad link would have been bad, in fact catastrophic but theres two other factors.

A. Russian transport has heavily dependent upon American trucks for getting the necessary goods to the front.

B. Germany was equipped to fight a short war not a long one. Hitler's original plan was for the last of the Soviet forces to surrender around the next Spring. For Germany, the longer the war waged one the more resources were strained on the Germans, the more troops killed, and the weaker they became. Adversely, with most of their factories moved to the Urals, the longer the war waged on the more time the Soviets had to mobilize and recruit troops from the far corners of their country and the more time to arm.

In Oct. 1812 when Napolean took Moscow he practically nothing, the city a ghost-town that was completely bombed out. No food or shelter.

Moscow was definitely an important target for the Wehrmacht. My point is not that everyone is overemphasing its importance, but rather, everyone is under-estimating the importance of capturing Stalingrad and the access to the Chechyan oil.

luftluuver
09-26-2005, 07:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
Remember as imporantant of transportation center Moscow is, you guys didn't mention trucking. Sure losing the railroad link would have been bad, in fact catastrophic but theres two other factors.

A. Russian transport has heavily dependent upon American trucks for getting the necessary goods to the front. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not according to this article.
http://www.1jma.dk/articles/1jmaarticlelendlease.htm

alert_1
09-27-2005, 01:35 AM
Luftluver, my dad had personal experience with Red Army as they "liberate" east Europe: every single truck they had was Studebacker, Dodge or Austin. And that was in May '45...

Jetbuff
09-27-2005, 01:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
In Oct. 1812 when Napolean took Moscow he practically nothing, the city a ghost-town that was completely bombed out. No food or shelter. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's a very good point. If the Russian state did not crumble then when power was more centralized (Tsarist rule Vs. communism) and communications were so rudimentary, it was highly disputable that it would do so in 1941.

I think many of the "what if's" considered here would probably have made Barbarossa either more or less successful, but would have had minimal impact on the ultimate outcome of the conflict.

One scenario that the Germans might have "gotten away with" in my opinion was a strategic rush to the Caucassas. They would have still had to fend off determined Russian attacks over a very lengthy frontline, but theoretically they could have secured the necessary resources to significantly prolong the war.

Of course, they would need to take the time to build significant defensive positions along the entire front line. (Poland - Balkans - Norther flank of their Southward push) However, with only one objective they may have been able to withstand the Russian counterattacks for a while longer. Also, with most of the Northern front-lines in Europe proper, they would have had the geography and transportation network working for them instead of against them. The German's biggest mistake is they counted on the blitz to topple the Russian regime - they had no plans whatsoever for what they would do AFTER the initial surprise and its momentum were spent. (militarily speaking, they had plenty of ideas of what to do when the occupation commenced, mostly gruesome)

This is not isolated to the Germans though and plenty of the world's tacticians, good and bad, ancient and modern, have made the very same mistake. They devise a great plan that may even work, but have no backups for what to do after the plan is completed. If the enemy survives the first blow, they are left to look like idiots, over-extended, unprepared and vulnerable. Just as an example, think what would have happened had the German pincer movement that encircled the BEF, French and Belgian troops in Northern France and Belgium been recognized early and attacked from both within and without. Had it been initiated early, when the German "column of steel" was still weak, the tables would have been reversed and it would have been the Germans trapped behind enemy lines and perhaps speedily capitulating. Btw, the within part almost happened and only indecisiveness led to the delay of the plan until it was too late. The without part never materialized because the French, for some insane reason, did not have any reserves to carry out the task.

Even the most astounding victories accomplished by such daring plans amount to nothing if no tangible objective is actually achieved.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Sun Tzu writes:
"One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful.
Subduing the other's military without battle is the most skillful." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Similarly, the US practically won every single battle in Vietnam, but ultimately still lost the war.

ImpStarDuece
09-27-2005, 02:06 AM
I have to go with ******ed.

Hitler had conqured or entered into alliances with all of North-Western Europe. France, Poland, the Low Countries, Scandanavia were all his. He was allied with Italy and Spain. Half of the Blakans supported him as well. Everything apart from Russia and the Causcas were his.

His only worries at this point are 1) British resistance in the sea and air around Britain, and 2) UK and Commonwealth resistance around the Meditteranean and North Afric theatre. The UK and the Dominions (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa) could do very little to project power against a German occupied N/W Europe. The RAF air offensive was almost a total failure in 1941. While Britain is defensively strong, as Germany's only major opponent in 1940-41 it has no power to attack. The British couldn't hope to invade Europe, but Germany couldn't deal with the British Isles effectively without commiting itself to a Barbarossa sized operation, of which the first phase operation (a massive seaborne landing without naval or air supremacy against prepared positions) may of been prohibitive.

Neither issue is really THAT much of a concern to the power of Germany. Mostly the UK is a hinderance because it limits shipments of resources from areas outside continental Europe. Essentially, if all he wanted to do was hold the territory that he had, then I think that there was little that could be done, at least until the United States joined the war.

Without invading Russia, Germany has a free hand to rule 200 million people in Europe, strangle any British attempts at resistance and expand National Socialism. If it does invade Russia then it has a 3 front war (Meditteranean/Balkans Air-Sea-Land operations, British Isles/France Air operations and Russia Air-Land operations)

darkhorizon11
09-27-2005, 02:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jetbuff:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
In Oct. 1812 when Napolean took Moscow he practically nothing, the city a ghost-town that was completely bombed out. No food or shelter. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's a very good point. If the Russian state did not crumble then when power was more centralized (Tsarist rule Vs. communism) and communications were so rudimentary, it was highly disputable that it would do so in 1941.

I think many of the "what if's" considered here would probably have made Barbarossa either more or less successful, but would have had minimal impact on the ultimate outcome of the conflict.

One scenario that the Germans might have "gotten away with" in my opinion was a strategic rush to the Caucassas. They would have still had to fend off determined Russian attacks over a very lengthy frontline, but theoretically they could have secured the necessary resources to significantly prolong the war.

Of course, they would need to take the time to build significant defensive positions along the entire front line. (Poland - Balkans - Norther flank of their Southward push) However, with only one objective they may have been able to withstand the Russian counterattacks for a while longer. Also, with most of the Northern front-lines in Europe proper, they would have had the geography and transportation network working for them instead of against them. The German's biggest mistake is they counted on the blitz to topple the Russian regime - they had no plans whatsoever for what they would do AFTER the initial surprise and its momentum were spent. (militarily speaking, they had plenty of ideas of what to do when the occupation commenced, mostly gruesome)

This is not isolated to the Germans though and plenty of the world's tacticians, good and bad, ancient and modern, have made the very same mistake. They devise a great plan that may even work, but have no backups for what to do after the plan is completed. If the enemy survives the first blow, they are left to look like idiots, over-extended, unprepared and vulnerable. Just as an example, think what would have happened had the German pincer movement that encircled the BEF, French and Belgian troops in Northern France and Belgium been recognized early and attacked from both within and without. Had it been initiated early, when the German "column of steel" was still weak, the tables would have been reversed and it would have been the Germans trapped behind enemy lines and perhaps speedily capitulating. Btw, the within part almost happened and only indecisiveness led to the delay of the plan until it was too late. The without part never materialized because the French, for some insane reason, did not have any reserves to carry out the task.

Even the most astounding victories accomplished by such daring plans amount to nothing if no tangible objective is actually achieved.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Sun Tzu writes:
"One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful.
Subduing the other's military without battle is the most skillful." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Similarly, the US practically won every single battle in Vietnam, but ultimately still lost the war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well said.

I guess that article partially proves me wrong although supposedly the Russian trucks weren't as reliable as American ones... but thats just relative I won't go there...

I believe it was Khruschev however who later said there was no way the Russians could have won at Stalingrad without American trucks.

darkhorizon11
09-27-2005, 02:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Luftwaffe_109:
The following is an illuming quote by Field-Marshal Erich von Manstein, one of the greatest strategists of the Second World War, on the importance of Moscow:

"... The OKH, on the other hand, rightly contended that the conquest and retention of these undoubtably important strategic areas [the capture of Leningrad, the raw-material regions of the Ukraine, the armaments centres of the Donetz Basin, and later the Caucasus Oilfields] depended on first defeating the Red Army. The main body of the latter, they argued would be met on the road to Moscow, since this city, as focal point of Soviet power, was one whose loss the regime dared not risk. There were three reasons for this. One was that - in contrast to 1812 [Napoleon's Russian Campaign] - Moscow really did form the political centre of Russia; another was that the loss of the armaments areas around and east of Moscow would at least inflict extensive damage on the Soviet War economy. The third and possibly most important reason from the strategic point of view was Moscow's position as the nodal point of European Russia's traffic networks. The loss would split Russian defences in two and prevent the Soviet command from ever mounting a single, co-ordianted operation." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't doubt von Manstein's judgement truly a legend in his field but I should also point out in argument that oil is still more important. One of the pivotal factors in Germany's defeat was the destruction of the Ploesti oil fields, same would have gone for Chechyna. You can always build more armaments if your Stalin (in all those nice factories you have moved to the Urals http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif), but there is a limited amount of oil.

Just ask the Japanese! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

joeap
09-27-2005, 03:33 AM
Just a comment regarding the comparisons between 1812 and 1941...don't forget St. Petersburg was the capital of Tsarist Russia in 1812, Moscow was the ancient Muscovy capital and just had symbolic importance. Just because some seem to think Moscow was always the capital...plus the Soviet regime was far more centralised than the Tsarist so I have to disagree with Jetbuff's statement otherwise.

Interminate
10-16-2005, 01:22 PM
Germany would have defeated the soviets if not for the usual arrival of the scavenging bald eagle. And easily I might add.

Edbert
10-28-2005, 11:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Interminate:
Germany would have defeated the soviets if not for the usual arrival of the scavenging bald eagle. And easily I might add. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I assume you mean that Germany lost because the US fully joined the war after 12-7-41, but what do you mean by "scavenging"?

bazzaah2
10-28-2005, 12:19 PM
Interminate seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about the US. I'd just rise above it if I were you.

Now if what Interminable says is true, to wit;

"Germany would have defeated the soviets if not for the usual arrival of the scavenging bald eagle. And easily I might add."

then the question he needs to answer is why Barbarossa failed and why Germany failed to defeat the USSR prior to Hitler's declaration of war on the US.

MLudner
10-28-2005, 04:56 PM
At the moment he made the decision it was not ******ed, but neither was it ingenious. All wars, all battles and all campaigns are inherently risky. Sure things are few and far between, particularly in war.

Had I been in command of the Amry of Northern Virginia in May 1863 I would have bugged-out when I realized the Army of the Potomac had gotten into my rear without being detected, then sought battle at a more favorable point later. But, Robert Eustice Lee was in command, not I. He gambled, stood his ground, buffaloed General ******, then divided his army to turn the exposed Union right. He literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. His aggression created an opportunity that had not existed when the battle began, and he exploited it well.

Thus, boys and girls, just because it looks impossible does not mean it is. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Hitler believed Britain had been reduced to impotence and would prove unable to to effectively counter-attack. Had it not been for the entry of the U.S. he would have been right.

But, it was not the Luftwaffe that utterly failed to defeat the RAF, it was Hitler and Goering. Though, Churchill had something to do with it, as well. The most brilliant move he made in the entire War he did not even know was such: It was his decision to bomb Berlin that won the Battle of Britain. Up until then RAF Fighter Command is on the ropes, punch-drunk and spitting teeth. They are losing pilots and aircraft at a rate they cannot sustain. If that had continued the RAF would have buckled. BUT! Hitler was infuriated that BERLIN!!! Ber-Fing-LIN!!! had been raided! Why, he'd show those insolent, Limey b@satrds! He'd turn Lon-Fing-don into a smouldering, smoking ruin, he would!
You know, sometimes I wonder just whose side he was on anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
The Bf-109 was an excellent fighter, left on Freiejagd ops it would have won the battle. Tied to close escort missions it was a failure due to its limited range, for the RAF would wait until the 109's were approaching their fuel limits and then attack the bombers. Their fighters then only had to tangle with the 109's for a matter of minutes before there was nothing but bombers left when the 109's turned for home.

I calculate that he should have just invaded Britain. You don't need total air supremacy, just control of the skies over channel and landing areas. There was no British Army then, after France; just a half-armed rabble and a militia. He should have sent every submarine into the eastern and western ends of the channel. He should have refused to allow ANY capital ships - including the Bismark - to be used as commerce raiders. He should have sent every ship he had available into the channel. Covered by the Luftwaffe and aided by the submarines you might be quite surprised at how good a job they could have done in holding the Royal Navy back.
Of course, that doesn't mean it would have worked. But, he who dares wins.

When it came to Barbarossa, that would have worked had it not been for two, major factors:
The delay in beginning it.
Adolf Hitler.
The lack of unity in forming and executing a single plan decisively was a telling failure of the German command. There was the Army, which quite correctly wanted to go straight for the jugular: Moscow. Hitler wanted the immediate economic gains of seizing the Ukraine and the Causasus. Either strategy singularly executed would have worked (Though, I favor the Army's thinking: Defeat the enemy quickly with the most decisive stroke possible, then rake in the rewards), but the German leadership failed to unify behind one plan and execute it. You had the Generals on one side pulling one way, then Hitler pulling the other. As a result their operations became muddled at the strategic level as their goals shifted from this to that, that to this. Halting Army Group Center's advance was quite possibly the single stupidest thing Hitler ever did in the entire war.
Sometimes I really, really wonder just whose side he was really on. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif
Good thing he wasn't on his own side, though! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

He failed to capture Moscow as a direct result. Yes, there were many, many Soviet troops in the way. Yes, it looks like AGC was over-extended and played out.
That's what it looked like approching Minsk, too. Smolensk, as well. Smolensk is closer to Moscow than Minsk is to Poland. The Soviet Amry was in even worse shape than the AGC. Their command and control, frankly, sucked. They had better tanks ... and more of them.
But as the saying goes: It's not the size, it's how you use it.
The French and British had more and better tanks, too. A lot of good it did them.
In fact, a lot of good it had done for the Soviets up to that point.
It took AGC less than a month to go from Poland to Smolensk through an ocean of Soviet troops and tanks. Moscow was - I believe not even half as far from Smolensk as Smolensk was from Poland. Stalin would have been blind lucky if Moscow had still been in his hands in mid-August.

Thus, I think neither ingenious nor ******ed.

bazzaah2
10-29-2005, 02:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MLudner:



The lack of unity in forming and executing a single plan decisively was a telling failure of the German command. There was the Army, which quite correctly wanted to go straight for the jugular: Moscow. Hitler wanted the immediate economic gains of seizing the Ukraine and the Causasus. Either strategy singularly executed would have worked (Though, I favor the Army's thinking: Defeat the enemy quickly with the most decisive stroke possible, then rake in the rewards), but the German leadership failed to unify behind one plan and execute it. You had the Generals on one side pulling one way, then Hitler pulling the other. As a result their operations became muddled at the strategic level as their goals shifted from this to that, that to this. Halting Army Group Center's advance was quite possibly the single stupidest thing Hitler ever did in the entire war.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Spot on.

MLudner
10-29-2005, 01:11 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Wow! Someone agreed with me for once. I think I like it...

bazzaah2
10-29-2005, 02:13 PM
Stop making sense, makes the natives restless. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

darkhorizon11
10-29-2005, 02:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Interminate:
Germany would have defeated the soviets if not for the usual arrival of the scavenging bald eagle. And easily I might add. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats funny. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

panther3485
10-29-2005, 11:03 PM
Hi guys!

I've been passionate about the Eastern Front for decades so this is the sort of thread that would normally have me engaged from the outset. Unusual for me to let it get to nine pages before jumping in! This is mainly because I was heavily engaged on another thread until recently, discussing the Battle of Britian. Anyway, to start off, I'll address the original question.

I believe that attacking the Soviet Union in 1941 was neither 'ingenious' nor '******ed'.

Seems to me, there are two fundamental issues being argued here:

(1.) Whether or not Hitler SHOULD have attacked in 1941 (or at any other time)

(2.) Having attacked, was there any prospect of a successful outcome for Germany; i.e., could the Soviets have been either decisively defeated or at least rendered effectively impotent for the forseeable future?


My answer to question (1.):

Attacking the Russians was very far from being a hastily conceived or 'casual' decision. It is not as if Hitler one day said to his High Command, "Well, OK boys, waddaya reckon - should we do it or shouldn't we?"
Not long after the fall of France, Hitler announced that he had made up his mind about this. AS HE SAW IT, he had a number of reasons, including:

(a) The desire for 'lebensraum' and the acquisition of an Eastern empire.
(b) The prospect of improved access to vital resources and the ability to guarantee their future supply.
(c) The opportunity to smash his long hated ideological enemies.
(d) The need to remove a serious threat.

By the Autumn of 1940, Hitler was master of most of Western Europe, but he was deeply troubled. To maintain the Reich's growing war machine and strengthen it against possible future contingencies, Germany would require vast amounts of Oil, Minerals and Foodstuffs. Adequate supplies of these resources (and particularly the first two) could be obtained neither in Germany nor the newly acquired conquered territories. Hitler was unhappy that Germany depended quite heavily on imports from the Soviet Union and there was no telling how long these would be forthcoming.

Also, there was the matter of Soviet territorial gains, which had put the Red Army within easy striking distance of the Romanian Oil Fields - his major dependable supply.

Then, there was the question of Soviet re-armament. Following the purges of the 30's and a general deterioration of the quality of the Red Army (subsequently highlighted by their appalling performance against the Finns), the Russians were embarked on an urgent program of modernization and reform. Soon, any prospect of a successful attack would vanish forever.

Seen from Hitler's viewpoint, then, an attack against the Soviet Union was NECESSARY, if for no other reason than to help guarantee the future of the Reich.

But this attack must be made no later than the spring/summer of 1941 and he was painfully aware that his margin of resources was very slender. To be reasonably certain of victory, Germany needed some sort of decisive (or near decisive) outcome by the end of the first campaigning season. Time would be everything.


My answer to question (2.):

Some here have posted to the effect that German failure in the East was a forgone conclusion. I cannot agree with this position.

I believe there WAS a chance of German victory in the East, but it depended on a number of things.

One contributor has stated that the Germans should have commenced the operation in April, rather than diverting into the Balkans. I think this could be a little unrealistic as they could not afford to totally ignore what was happening there.

Another contributor asserted that the offensive could not have begun any earlier anyway, due to the long winter and late spring thaw making roads impassable. Certainly, it could not have begun in April and probably not in May but early June would have been possible IMHO. This is only a difference of 2 to 3 weeks but in view of later events, even that small amount of time could have made a substantial difference. So, in my conclusion, the Balkans diversion DID cost a little.

Then, we have the conduct of the campaign itself, where the strategic objectives were switched first one way and then another. This, I feel, was even more costly. IMHO but for this, the Germans could have been in possession of Moscow by October/November at the latest.

As for the consequences of taking Moscow, my opinion falls pretty much in line with that of Luftwaffe_109 so I won't go into further details at this point.


Best regards to all,
panther3485

Jetbuff
10-30-2005, 01:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MLudner:
You know, sometimes I wonder just whose side he was on anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Excellent question! Hitler was indeed his own worst enemy - thank goodness for that.

I also see your point about war being a risk, but it should be a more calculated risk - what it boils down to is not enough men and tanks to do the job. Afterall, inspite of the overwhelming success of Barbarossa's initial onslaught which surprised even the Germans, they could not capitalize on the situation. If they failed even after the fortunes of war had favoured them, what chance did they really stand? Of course there's much to be said about incompetence, delays, indecisive and incoherent strategy, but for me the simple truth is Germany did not have the resources to take on a behemoth the size of Russia and win. Not by a long shot.

bazzaah2
10-30-2005, 02:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jetbuff:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MLudner:
You know, sometimes I wonder just whose side he was on anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Excellent question! Hitler was indeed his own worst enemy - thank goodness for that.

I also see your point about war being a risk, but it should be a more calculated risk - what it boils down to is not enough men and tanks to do the job. Afterall, inspite of the overwhelming success of Barbarossa's initial onslaught which surprised even the Germans, they could not capitalize on the situation. If they failed even after the fortunes of war had favoured them, what chance did they really stand? Of course there's much to be said about incompetence, delays, indecisive and incoherent strategy, but for me the simple truth is Germany did not have the resources to take on a behemoth the size of Russia and win. Not by a long shot. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the point is that there was a good chance that the Germans could have taken Moscow were it not for Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre to Ukraine instead of pressing on to Moscow. Of course,we will never know but you can easily imagine Operation Typhoon taking place 6-8 weeks earlier, with more favourable whether behind them, though even then they may have still been hampered by the rasputitsa. One scholar, Stolfi, in 'Hitler's panzers East' makes a case for Moscow falling by the end of August without that diversion to the Ukraine.

MLudner
10-30-2005, 10:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by panther3485:
Hi guys!

I've been passionate about the Eastern Front for decades so this is the sort of thread that would normally have me engaged from the outset. Unusual for me to let it get to nine pages before jumping in! This is mainly because I was heavily engaged on another thread until recently, discussing the Battle of Britian. Anyway, to start off, I'll address the original question.

I believe that attacking the Soviet Union in 1941 was neither 'ingenious' nor '******ed'.

Seems to me, there are two fundamental issues being argued here:

(1.) Whether or not Hitler SHOULD have attacked in 1941 (or at any other time)

(2.) Having attacked, was there any prospect of a successful outcome for Germany; i.e., could the Soviets have been either decisively defeated or at least rendered effectively impotent for the forseeable future?


My answer to question (1.):

Attacking the Russians was very far from being a hastily conceived or 'casual' decision. It is not as if Hitler one day said to his High Command, "Well, OK boys, waddaya reckon - should we do it or shouldn't we?"
Not long after the fall of France, Hitler announced that he had made up his mind about this. AS HE SAW IT, he had a number of reasons, including:

(a) The desire for 'lebensraum' and the acquisition of an Eastern empire.
(b) The prospect of improved access to vital resources and the ability to guarantee their future supply.
(c) The opportunity to smash his long hated ideological enemies.
(d) The need to remove a serious threat.

By the Autumn of 1940, Hitler was master of most of Western Europe, but he was deeply troubled. To maintain the Reich's growing war machine and strengthen it against possible future contingencies, Germany would require vast amounts of Oil, Minerals and Foodstuffs. Adequate supplies of these resources (and particularly the first two) could be obtained neither in Germany nor the newly acquired conquered territories. Hitler was unhappy that Germany depended quite heavily on imports from the Soviet Union and there was no telling how long these would be forthcoming.

Also, there was the matter of Soviet territorial gains, which had put the Red Army within easy striking distance of the Romanian Oil Fields - his major dependable supply.

Then, there was the question of Soviet re-armament. Following the purges of the 30's and a general deterioration of the quality of the Red Army (subsequently highlighted by their appalling performance against the Finns), the Russians were embarked on an urgent program of modernization and reform. Soon, any prospect of a successful attack would vanish forever.

Seen from Hitler's viewpoint, then, an attack against the Soviet Union was NECESSARY, if for no other reason than to help guarantee the future of the Reich.

But this attack must be made no later than the spring/summer of 1941 and he was painfully aware that his margin of resources was very slender. To be reasonably certain of victory, Germany needed some sort of decisive (or near decisive) outcome by the end of the first campaigning season. Time would be everything.


My answer to question (2.):

Some here have posted to the effect that German failure in the East was a forgone conclusion. I cannot agree with this position.

I believe there WAS a chance of German victory in the East, but it depended on a number of things.

One contributor has stated that the Germans should have commenced the operation in April, rather than diverting into the Balkans. I think this could be a little unrealistic as they could not afford to totally ignore what was happening there.

Another contributor asserted that the offensive could not have begun any earlier anyway, due to the long winter and late spring thaw making roads impassable. Certainly, it could not have begun in April and probably not in May but early June would have been possible IMHO. This is only a difference of 2 to 3 weeks but in view of later events, even that small amount of time could have made a substantial difference. So, in my conclusion, the Balkans diversion DID cost a little.

Then, we have the conduct of the campaign itself, where the strategic objectives were switched first one way and then another. This, I feel, was even more costly. IMHO but for this, the Germans could have been in possession of Moscow by October/November at the latest.

As for the consequences of taking Moscow, my opinion falls pretty much in line with that of Luftwaffe_109 so I won't go into further details at this point.


Best regards to all,
panther3485 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

See? Great minds think alike http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif (we need one pointing left, guys...)!
Yours is even more coherently written than mine, so kudos http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
However, I was in a real big hurry and a bit fragged at the time I wrote that.

MLudner
10-30-2005, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jetbuff:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MLudner:
You know, sometimes I wonder just whose side he was on anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Excellent question! Hitler was indeed his own worst enemy - thank goodness for that.

I also see your point about war being a risk, but it should be a more calculated risk - what it boils down to is not enough men and tanks to do the job. Afterall, inspite of the overwhelming success of Barbarossa's initial onslaught which surprised even the Germans, they could not capitalize on the situation. If they failed even after the fortunes of war had favoured them, what chance did they really stand? Of course there's much to be said about incompetence, delays, indecisive and incoherent strategy, but for me the simple truth is Germany did not have the resources to take on a behemoth the size of Russia and win. Not by a long shot. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Numbers aren't everything and that has been oft demonstrated in the history of warfare. One would not have thought the ancient Hellenikoi (Greeks) would have had the rescources to stop the Persians, yet they did.
Not only that, A Spartan King named Agesilaos 'o Megas drove the Persians nuts for several years in the region of western Anatolia known as Ionia with a pathetically out-numbered army. In fact, a Satrap named Tissaphernes, a man with a proven track-record of successful military operations, was so badly humiliated by Agesilaos during these campaigns that the Great King had him beheaded.
Then, less than a hundred years later a Makedonian boy named Alexandros 'o Tritos invaded the Persian Empire and lost not even a single battle in the process of conquering it against all odds. He was just as pathetically out-numbered.

In the protracted war that resulted from the failure to deliver the decisive blow in 1941 you are right: The Germans did not stand a chance.
Had they delivered that decisive blow that protracted war would not have occured. The Soviet system would - most likely - not have survived the fall of Moscow.
But, if it did, then the Germans would almost certainly have lost anyway. If the U.S. had not gotten into it it probably would have just taken longer...

It would be possible, had Germany had competent to brilliant leadership at the strategic level they could have won even a protracted war, but they did not, fortunately, have it.

Nazi Germany was led by Adolf Hitler.
Makedonia was lead by Alexandros 'o Megas.
It makes, just, all the difference.

panther3485
10-30-2005, 06:16 PM
Quote:

"See? Great minds think alike (we need one pointing left, guys...)!
Yours is even more coherently written than mine, so kudos
However, I was in a real big hurry and a bit fragged at the time I wrote that."

[Errr... thanks for the kind words, MLudner. Always thought of myself as 'competent' or 'rational', rather than 'great', but I'll accept the compliment with good grace. It'll be interesting to see if this discussion can really go any further....]


Best regards,
panther3485

MLudner
10-30-2005, 09:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by panther3485:
Quote:

"See? Great minds think alike (we need one pointing left, guys...)!
Yours is even more coherently written than mine, so kudos
However, I was in a real big hurry and a bit fragged at the time I wrote that."

[Errr... thanks for the kind words, MLudner. Always thought of myself as 'competent' or 'rational', rather than 'great', but I'll accept the compliment with good grace. It'll be interesting to see if this discussion can really go any further....]


Best regards,
panther3485 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, we should have pretty much capped this thing off...
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1241.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

ViktorViktor
10-31-2005, 12:18 PM
Why is it only the losing side who has the "if only" scenarios ? If only Barberossa were begun a month earlier, if only the ME-262 were prioritized as a fighter.

The winning side also had their share of "if only" situations as well. If only Stalin took the signs of German invasion seriously, if only Britain and France realized in the early 30's that Hitler was willing to use warfare to achieve his political aims.

Jetbuff
10-31-2005, 12:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bazzaah2:
I think the point is that there was a good chance that the Germans could have taken Moscow were it not for Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre to Ukraine instead of pressing on to Moscow. Of course,we will never know but you can easily imagine Operation Typhoon taking place 6-8 weeks earlier, with more favourable whether behind them, though even then they may have still been hampered by the rasputitsa. One scholar, Stolfi, in 'Hitler's panzers East' makes a case for Moscow falling by the end of August without that diversion to the Ukraine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh there are plenty of "what if's" that could have made Moscow attainable. My argument is that capturing Moscow would not have been the decisive blow the German command thought it would be. i.e. capture Moscow or not, the Germans could never have one this one.

MLudner
10-31-2005, 03:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jetbuff:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bazzaah2:
I think the point is that there was a good chance that the Germans could have taken Moscow were it not for Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre to Ukraine instead of pressing on to Moscow. Of course,we will never know but you can easily imagine Operation Typhoon taking place 6-8 weeks earlier, with more favourable whether behind them, though even then they may have still been hampered by the rasputitsa. One scholar, Stolfi, in 'Hitler's panzers East' makes a case for Moscow falling by the end of August without that diversion to the Ukraine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh there are plenty of "what if's" that could have made Moscow attainable. My argument is that capturing Moscow would not have been the decisive blow the German command thought it would be. i.e. capture Moscow or not, the Germans could never have one this one. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, you have every right to think that, and it is not impossible that you are right....just not likely that you are. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
Really, it's all just interesting theory, but I agree with Von Manstein - I've read that quote above in Manstein's memoirs. His assessment is astute and well considered.
He left out, though, that Dzhugashvili was - if this is possible - even more inept than Hitler. At that stage the diminutive butcher of Moscow was intending to do in Moskva what Hitler did in Berlin in April of '45. That would have nicely decapitated the U.S.S.R.
Also, it might indicate to you just how important even Dzhugashvili thought Moskva was.

bazzaah2
10-31-2005, 04:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jetbuff:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bazzaah2:
I think the point is that there was a good chance that the Germans could have taken Moscow were it not for Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre to Ukraine instead of pressing on to Moscow. Of course,we will never know but you can easily imagine Operation Typhoon taking place 6-8 weeks earlier, with more favourable whether behind them, though even then they may have still been hampered by the rasputitsa. One scholar, Stolfi, in 'Hitler's panzers East' makes a case for Moscow falling by the end of August without that diversion to the Ukraine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh there are plenty of "what if's" that could have made Moscow attainable. My argument is that capturing Moscow would not have been the decisive blow the German command thought it would be. i.e. capture Moscow or not, the Germans could never have one this one. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Necessarily we are dealing with what-ifs and opinion here. The loss of Moscow would have denied the Soviets the ability to defend the whole front in a coherent and cooridinated way since it was the logistical and transport hub of the USSR. Militarily and logistically, the loss of Moscow in 1941 would have been a disaster. Politically perhaps the USSR might have survived its loss, but the loss of Moscow and surrounding industrial areas such as Tula would have been a hammer blow which would have degraded still further the Red Army's already weakened capacities, denying them supply lines, munitions and equipment.

We'll have to agree to disagree I guess, but I see the loss of Moscow as a political disaster, but one that the USSR might have been survived. The military and logistical implications of Moscow's loss would have spelt catastrophe for the Red Army. I think we could look to the effective end of the war on mainland Europe by mid 1942 had Moscow fallen.

panther3485
10-31-2005, 11:33 PM
Hi again, guys

As stated previously, I do believe that a satisfactory outcome for Germany would have been possible. As for the consequences of taking Moscow, Luftwaffe_109 has said it as well as I think I could say it myself. Read his posts and that's ditto for my opinion here.

Of course, as some have said, we are dealing with 'what ifs' and it is going to be a matter of opinion in the end. There are those who believe that a German victory was impossible no matter what. I can't agree with them but I respect their right to hold that opinion.


Best regards,
panther3485