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#21 Nobu

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 1501 PM

What you propose is starting to sound like the makings of a plan to move the venue of the giant battle of maneuver in 1942 westward. This would depend on cooperation from both idiots in various ways.


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#22 lastdingo

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 2120 PM

What you propose is starting to sound like the makings of a plan to move the venue of the giant battle of maneuver in 1942 westward. This would depend on cooperation from both idiots in various ways.

Well, Stalin had showed an overestimation of the Red Army's offensive capabilities.

 

Moreover, I didn't mean so much operational manoeuvre.

 

There was a kind of routine

 

  1. rearward positions were prepared and stocked
  2. plan for orderly withdrawal of the slow (partially motorised) infantry divisions was devised
  3. Red Army was enticed to attempt an offensive by signalling weakness or geographic exposure (such as salients)
  4. Red army readied for offensive
  5. German artillery fires on marshalling areas inflicted most damage (seriously - more casualties from this than from actual battle involving line of sight)
  6. Red Army attacked nevertheless
  7. German forward positions were largely unoccupied during barrage
  8. Red Army suffered from delaying action (agile artillery strikes, anti-tank ambushes and machinegun+mortar ambushes incl. mortar fires from infantry company itself) during advance
  9. Red Army advance stalled in main defensive line (HKL)
  10. rinse, repeat

 

What armoured forces were available in the sector exploited opportunities for counterattack and were available to help in a local crisis within hours.

 

The Red Army would advance less than 10 km at a time with this routine, and suffer an appalling casualty ratio as long as it couldn't break through rapidly. They became proficient at that only by 1944, and then only with a tell-tale build-up of strength that was visible even to sporadic aerial reconnaissance, occasional POW interrogation and SigInt.

 

Worst case scenario for Red Army; the offensive doesn't only stall, but the divisions turn into a disorderly and demoralised mess, and a German counteroffensive pushes them back to approx. the original front line with yet again an appalling casualty ratio for the Red Army.

 

That's about what the German generals wanted to do in 1942-1943 (and still in 1944 when the strength ratio didn't really allow for it any more).

 


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#23 Ken Estes

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 0412 AM

Ah yes, if only the Fuehrer had let the German Army use its innate brilliance, WWII would have been won.

 

 

Cf:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=bLJol2jcOIE

 

The myths surrounding the German high command in World War II deviate significantly from the reality. Many people have an image of the German high command (or, loosely, the German General Staff) as an entity that was independent; organized and centralized; expert; and anti-Nazi. While not wholly false, this picture is also far from accurate. This talk will examine the high command's structure, ideas, and culture, in order to reveal weaknesses that severely inhibited its performance and contributed to the onset, nature and ultimate loss of the war. Length: 69 Minutes Lecture Date: January 18, 2012

 


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#24 RETAC21

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 0538 AM

 

Ah yes, if only the Fuehrer had let the German Army use its innate brilliance, WWII would have been won.

 

 

Cf:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=bLJol2jcOIE

 

The myths surrounding the German high command in World War II deviate significantly from the reality. Many people have an image of the German high command (or, loosely, the German General Staff) as an entity that was independent; organized and centralized; expert; and anti-Nazi. While not wholly false, this picture is also far from accurate. This talk will examine the high command's structure, ideas, and culture, in order to reveal weaknesses that severely inhibited its performance and contributed to the onset, nature and ultimate loss of the war. Length: 69 Minutes Lecture Date: January 18, 2012

 

 

 

Well, Hitler was uniquely situated among WW2 leaders in the sense that he was able to unilaterally decide strategy - the US/UK has a collegiate direction in fact if not de lege as the UK was dependent on US support. Stalin didn't have a choice after 1941, and Japan had enough with survival.

 

Problem was, Hitler wasn't mentally prepared for that role, as he had no training, increasingly relied on yes men and eventually was overwhelmed, so the wide objectives of 1941/42, became operational by 1943 and was reduced to reacting by 1944.


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#25 seahawk

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 1254 PM

It was not Hitler alone. There were plenty of incompetent people in the high command and even the competent ones made mistakes like any other person. 


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#26 RETAC21

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 1355 PM

It was not Hitler alone. There were plenty of incompetent people in the high command and even the competent ones made mistakes like any other person. 

 

Everywhere, but that's not my point, Churchill could decide on executing one operation or other, but strategy had to be decided together with FDR. Stalin could only decide what else to invade after kicking the Germans out. The Japanese, after Pearl Harbor could only plod ahead and hope for the best, but Hitler was free to invade the Soviet Union or not, to leave the Italians hanging on the Med, to go on with Sea Lion, etc. without the need to consult anyone. He had a lot of input to be sure, and as pointed out in the link, he had plenty of people agreeing to have a go at the USSR, but the final decision was his alone.


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#27 lastdingo

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 1518 PM

It was not Hitler alone. There were plenty of incompetent people in the high command and even the competent ones made mistakes like any other person. 

There were also a lot of incompetents in the Red Army and STAVKA.

What I described was one of the consensus tactics / operational ideas on the corps to army group level.

It was the known best practice for shortening the front-line by abandoning wide outward-facing salients at the very least. See example Unternehmen Büffelbewegung (often and poorly translated as Operation Buffalo).


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#28 seahawk

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 0354 AM

Which would not win the war. The Soviets could suffer through the 3:1 and above casualty rates for a long time, while the Germans could not, as the Allies would be landing on the continent at some point. The whole war was a stupid idea and there is no way Germany could win it. (unless you hand them godlike performance for all decisions and total incompetence to all enemies)


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#29 Inhapi

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 0618 AM

 

Ah yes, if only the Fuehrer had let the German Army use its innate brilliance, WWII would have been won.

 

 

Cf:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=bLJol2jcOIE

 

The myths surrounding the German high command in World War II deviate significantly from the reality. Many people have an image of the German high command (or, loosely, the German General Staff) as an entity that was independent; organized and centralized; expert; and anti-Nazi. While not wholly false, this picture is also far from accurate. This talk will examine the high command's structure, ideas, and culture, in order to reveal weaknesses that severely inhibited its performance and contributed to the onset, nature and ultimate loss of the war. Length: 69 Minutes Lecture Date: January 18, 2012

 

 

 

Yes that is a good lecture.


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#30 Ken Estes

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 1725 PM

Jeff/Geoff has an impressive pedigree, being the son of a professor at the Naval Academy and Naval War College. After taking his PhD at Ohio State, he began to produce very impressive works, including:

 

 

War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941 (Total War: New Perspectives on World War II) Oct 16, 2007

 

Inside Hitler's High Command (Modern War Studies  Jun 8, 2000

 

Barbarossa 1941: Hitler's War of Annihilation (2008-05-01) 


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#31 Inhapi

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 0208 AM

Thanks ken


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#32 Redbeard

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 1619 PM

If there still is major combat on the Eastern Front when the oilfields are captured I would suggest you focus on refining the oil locally and use the oil/gaz on the Eastern Front. I'm fully aware that building refinery capacity is not just done overnight, but it certainly would be much easier than gaining control over Black Sea and Mediterranean searoutes.

 

If/when the East Front is won, for instance because the Soviets now have far less oil, there will also be freed capacity on the railway lines that so far had been connecting the front with Germany and even resources left to consolidate and expand that infrastructure. 

 

Taking Moscow would be important though as it is hard to find a good railway line not passing by Moscow. 

 

If the oil wells are taken in 1942 and Moscow taken in 1943 it would be impossible to have a steady flow of gaz to Germany by 1944, which would make D-day and just about any allied operation a lot tougher.

 

But anyway this also points to why it was a big mistake not to take Moscow in 1941 - it would have cut the Soviet war effort in two - that east of Moscow and in the Urals (tanks) and that in the south (oil) - none are worth much without the other.


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#33 seahawk

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0332 AM

As if Germany could take Moscow in 1941, much less hold it over the Winter.


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#34 Ken Estes

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0332 AM

Most true, which is why the Battle of Moscow 1941 is more decisive than Stalingrad or any other of the Russo-German War. This is one area where Hitler actually deserved the blame. The OKH presented their plan for Barbarossa, an advance on three fronts, asking him to choose the preferred objective. Typically, he chose all three. When combined with the German underestimation of the strength of the USSR [totally ignoring the info from the German attache in Moscow], the campaign was doomed. It went as far as it did because of the tenacious faith of the OKH and lower levels of the army, corps HQs that even a poor battle plan could be carried to victory because of the fighting ability of the Landser. Impressive, but still no way to run a war. This was the reason why on any German staff, the operations officer 1a, always outranked the logistics officer 2c. The former made the plan and the latter supported it. No plan was made on the basis of its logistic supportability.

 

It's interesting that the Axis powers each went to war while financially ruined and woefully overmatched by the industrial and economic power of its enemies, not to mention their geographic positions [one of Mahan's requirements for dominant naval strategy].


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#35 RETAC21

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0404 AM

Most true, which is why the Battle of Moscow 1941 is more decisive than Stalingrad or any other of the Russo-German War. This is one area where Hitler actually deserved the blame. The OKH presented their plan for Barbarossa, an advance on three fronts, asking him to choose the preferred objective. Typically, he chose all three. When combined with the German underestimation of the strength of the USSR [totally ignoring the info from the German attache in Moscow], the campaign was doomed. It went as far as it did because of the tenacious faith of the OKH and lower levels of the army, corps HQs that even a poor battle plan could be carried to victory because of the fighting ability of the Landser. Impressive, but still no way to run a war. This was the reason why on any German staff, the operations officer 1a, always outranked the logistics officer 2c. The former made the plan and the latter supported it. No plan was made on the basis of its logistic supportability.

 

It's interesting that the Axis powers each went to war while financially ruined and woefully overmatched by the industrial and economic power of its enemies, not to mention their geographic positions [one of Mahan's requirements for dominant naval strategy].

 

Could there be a window of opportunity in 1942 if instead of going for Moscow in the winter of 41, the Ostheer has dug in in November, taken the brunt of the Russian offensive and then executed Blau, but aiming at Moscow rather than the South?


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#36 DougRichards

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0447 AM

What about a 1943 version of Operation Pike, with better aircraft than those envisaged in 1940.

 

If Germany had captured the oil fields then RAF USAAF operations may have at least attempted to put them out of production, much like the failed Operation Tidal Wave. 


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#37 Adam_S

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0452 AM


Could there be a window of opportunity in 1942 if instead of going for Moscow in the winter of 41, the Ostheer has dug in in November, taken the brunt of the Russian offensive and then executed Blau, but aiming at Moscow rather than the South?

 

There were substantial Soviet forces covering Moscow in 1942 though. Arguably the reason why Army Group South was able to advance as far and as quickly as it did was that the Soviets retained the bulk of their units around Moscow.


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#38 Adam_S

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0454 AM

Most true, which is why the Battle of Moscow 1941 is more decisive than Stalingrad or any other of the Russo-German War. This is one area where Hitler actually deserved the blame. The OKH presented their plan for Barbarossa, an advance on three fronts, asking him to choose the preferred objective. Typically, he chose all three. When combined with the German underestimation of the strength of the USSR [totally ignoring the info from the German attache in Moscow], the campaign was doomed. It went as far as it did because of the tenacious faith of the OKH and lower levels of the army, corps HQs that even a poor battle plan could be carried to victory because of the fighting ability of the Landser. Impressive, but still no way to run a war. This was the reason why on any German staff, the operations officer 1a, always outranked the logistics officer 2c. The former made the plan and the latter supported it. No plan was made on the basis of its logistic supportability.

 

It's interesting that the Axis powers each went to war while financially ruined and woefully overmatched by the industrial and economic power of its enemies, not to mention their geographic positions [one of Mahan's requirements for dominant naval strategy].

In fairness to them, the Red Army had taken casualties greater than their pre-invasion strength by about November 1942. I don't know if too many other nations could have taken punishment like that and stayed in the fight.


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#39 Rick

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0523 AM

Most true, which is why the Battle of Moscow 1941 is more decisive than Stalingrad or any other of the Russo-German War. This is one area where Hitler actually deserved the blame. The OKH presented their plan for Barbarossa, an advance on three fronts, asking him to choose the preferred objective. Typically, he chose all three. When combined with the German underestimation of the strength of the USSR [totally ignoring the info from the German attache in Moscow], the campaign was doomed. It went as far as it did because of the tenacious faith of the OKH and lower levels of the army, corps HQs that even a poor battle plan could be carried to victory because of the fighting ability of the Landser. Impressive, but still no way to run a war. This was the reason why on any German staff, the operations officer 1a, always outranked the logistics officer 2c. The former made the plan and the latter supported it. No plan was made on the basis of its logistic supportability.

 

It's interesting that the Axis powers each went to war while financially ruined and woefully overmatched by the industrial and economic power of its enemies, not to mention their geographic positions [one of Mahan's requirements for dominant naval strategy].

I have not heard of the information known by the German attache in Moscow. Could you explain further please.


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#40 Nobu

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 1850 PM

Off the top of my head without consulting a reference, the numbers in the attache's report were dismissed as impossibly high.

 

Later in private conversation over dinner I believe, the head of OKH ruefully admitted that he never would have gone to war in the east had he known how many tanks Stalin actually had.


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