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Barbarossa is well planned & executed, much like the sickle cut was.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by mjölnir, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    @DerGiLLster

    I think you are right, but, fortunately, the Nazi regime underrated the USSR and decided to wage a "Total War" when it was too late - in 1943. On the other hand the USSR have engaged completely, the whole nation was involved in war efforts, all possible resources were foccused to a single but the most important goal: to save the country from certain destruction. But the USSR did not win by the numbers, they were a weaker side but more determined to win and have developed own "art" of warfare. They outfought Germany, but haven't won by numbers.
     
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    You may have forgotten the comparison of British versus German manpower utilization I gave in another thread?

    The British working population as of June 1941 was 21,332,000 of which 3,383,000 were in the armed forces and 198,000 were unemployed. The other 17,751,000 were employed in various civil employments. Of those, only 981,000 were employed in agriculture and fishing, but about 9 million were in "industry" (manufacturing, mining, and construction).

    At the same time in Germany, the working population was 43,698,000 of which 8,254,000 were in the armed forces and 344,000 were Nazi Party officials (apparently not unemployed. Another 35,100,000 were employed in various civil employments...of whom roughly 26% were engaged in agriculture, fishing, and forestry. In May 1941, roughly 9.5 million Germans and 1.5 million Gastarbeiter. Fewer were actually engaged in "industry", just a shade over 10 million, of whom slightly more than a million were Gastarbeiter.

    So, to get just 2 million more into industry than Britain, they had to dragoon 1.5 million foreigners into working for the Reich.

    The simple answer is that you can't make one person do the work of two. The Germans were at a 48-hour work week by 1940. You can only get more hours worked by employing more people.

    Uh, the Panther was designed explicitly for mass production, which led to problems in the final drives. Sherman was designed in multiple models, with multiple sub-assemblies, by ten different manufacturers, and was essentially hand-finished...but in giant factories, with nearly unlimited manpower working three shifts, essentially round the clock.

    Oil requires drilling or synthesis. The first was limited to the Germans, the second was very expensive. On the other hand, Europe had a lot of horses, which manufactured themselves and a lot of grazing land.

    Schwerer Gustav and Karl consumed relatively few resources in the great scheme of things.

    No.
     
  3. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    this question doesn't deserve its own thread but: what if leningrad, moscow and stalingrad were only half-way far from the polish border compared to their actual locations?
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No.

    Most German workers were already doing 60 hour weeks by 1941. They had 1 (one) day off each week. Why do you think Nazis started to utilize slave labour from the East?

    IRL, 7 Karl Gerät's were built, they weigh 124 tons; that's 7*124 tons or 868 tons. Although we'd never in RL be this efficient, let's pretend. Each RSO weighs 2.5-3 tons (depending on version) let's be generous and say 2.5 tons.
    That's 347 RSO.

    2 Schwerer Gustav's at 1350 tons each, is 2700 tons or very roughly equivalent to 1,080 RSO (if we pretend to be so efficient).

    So 1,427 RSO. Sounds like a big number. but the need was far greater still. The Germans actually had 600,000 motor vehicles on 22nd June involved in Barbarossa. You need to motorise nearly 3 million men, and their logisitical train. In comparison, Germany captured and used 55,000 Soviet vehicles during 1941, most of which were trucks. They also lost 75,000 trucks to mechanical wear and tear. So you are going to have to sacrifice a hell of a lot more "heavy weaponry" to increase mobility to any significant degree.

    Bismarck and Tirpitz (ca 41700 tons each) and Prinz Eugen (ca 17,000 tons) would provide 40,000 RSO's... Perhaps we should dismantle the entire German surface fleet as well?
     
  5. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    For all the forward thinking and military innovation Germany utilized, they were backwards when it came to logistics, transport, supply, etc. Using horses and marching rather than being totally mechanized, like the US Army was after it reached its full capacity in Europe. It could have prevented a lot of their supply and logistical issues.
     
  6. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    I'm sorry RichTO90, I don't understand what you are coming across. I haven't read the Wages of Destruction yet, but why is it that only more workers equal more hours, why can't working one or two hours more to the work not make more hours? If you have any more books about factory/military/industrial production and capacity for the early 20th century and the second world war concerning their evolution and how they came to affect the war, I would be happy to check them out. Also, can I know what source did you use for you statistics of the British vs German employed in industry?

    Since this is a "what if" thread, I am asking about the other possibilities. I don't see how the Panther is relevant if they were just adopting mass production techniques, there will be initial problems concerning their craftsman culture, I am also asking if the Germans had enough oil for Barbarossa.

    I understand Schwerer Gustav and Karl were minor in terms of what the war machine consumed but they are good examples of wasted metals. Could have have gotten more in return if they were all made into tanks or field artillery.

    Why do you think no? If in this hypothetical scenario, if they had the caterpillar trucks in the place of the horses and trucks(let's say around 250,000), wouldn't that make the advances in Barbarossa much faster since the caterpillar trucks will be able to move faster and carry huger loads than dozens of humans or horses, and wouldn't their caterpillar tracks make the poor roads not so much of a problem since the caterpillar tracks could clear ground of about 20 inches.
     
  7. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    I'm only asking if the workers had worked one or two more hours.

    green slime,

    Okay, I understand that they never would have adopted mass production techniques or have the oil to be fully mechanized but what if they had a quarter of million of these RSO trucks at the beginning of Barbarossa, would they have succeeded? If not how many do you think would have been needed to help succeed? I understand the Wehrmacht had 600,000 motor vehicles at the start of the campaign and around 700,000 horses, but wouldn't a single RSO be equivalent to say(I'm just making educated guesses) ten horses or a couple regular motor vehicles in terms of it being able to handle rough road conditions and being able to clear around 20 inches of ground?

    I am looking forward to your response.I just want to know what could have helped Barbarossa succeed. And don't mention anything sarcastic about Nazi wonder weapons or anything like that. I am mentioning the RSO because I believe that a great number of it would have helped the logistics and supply of Barbarossa.
     
  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    This is all so much idle speculation because it is all ignoring what happened before by waving a magical wand.

    You can't just decide to have 250,000 RSO's, because they have to be manufactured. In order to be produced, you have to not produce something else, or build other, factories, and educate and train both management and workers. You have to have the workers to spare, or reduce effort elsewhere. You have to secure further resource supplies. Your infrastructure has to be able to handle the increased flow of goods, and warehousing. Your economy has to able to bear the burden of this increased production, and the increased burden of maintenance, as well as the training of maintence workers in the armed forces.

    None of it is impossible, of course. But Hitler only came to power in 1933. They ramped up rearmament across the board, ordered new factories, trained and employed millions, expanded infrastructure and produced thousands of trucks, planes, and tanks. So much so they had broken the German economy, it was in many aspects on the verge of default, with many of their trade partners refusing payment in the Mark.

    It is very hard to see how they could've done more, to prepare better. At least to the extent of beating the Soviet Union. It really did hinge on the Soviet reaction, more than German capabilities.

    It's like saying "If only Justin Gatlin had run faster at the 2012 Olympics, he'd have beaten Usain Bolt."

    Justin Gaitlin had run his fastest race ever, and still "only" finished third. If he could've run faster, don't you think he would've tried?

    "Ah," you say, "he should've trained harder!"

    It was the Olympics? Don't you think he was training as best as he knew how?

    "But if he had a better coach?

    His coach was reknown in the Athletic world.

    "But what If he had better shoes?"

    In spite of what advertising might tell you, at that level of competition, it's not the shoes.

    "What if he spiked a laxative in Usain's drink?"

    Well, sure, anything is possible, but the conversation is really starting to lose meaning.
     
  9. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Indeed.Or even better: what if the USSR was as large as France and was reluctant to fight-
     
  10. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    green slime,

    What do you think could have helped Barbarossa succeed, what other decisions did the Germans have?

    Also do you know how many hours it took to manufacture an RSO, now this question may seem like it has obvious answer, but read over it carefully, doesn't it take much more steel the bigger objects get? I know that a ship that weighs 10,000 tons uses 10,000 tons of developed steel and the tank that weighs 50 tons uses 50 tons of developed steel. But much iron ore had to be used to convert it into steel to implement it into the product. Wouldn't the ratio of iron ore used to make steel to put into products be higher the more huger and complicated a good is? Like making a tank may have took 50 tons of developed steel but for it to happen they had to use around 60 tons of iron ore to develop it into specialized steel, or maybe the Bismarck Battleship which used 40,000 tons of developed steel used 70,000 tons of iron ore, since the amount that you mine doesn't factor into how much can be used to make a good. Now don't assume I know what's going on, I'm just asking questions and wanting to know.

    Also I don't really see the 100m race between Gaitlin and Justin as a good comparision between that and Barbarossa. Do you even know how Justin was training? Just because of big events doesn't mean that EVERY athlete will try and train as hard as they can. Germany was not aware of Russia having poor roads, or know how bad the logistics would be for them or even how well Russia would mobilize. Overconfidence and underestimation, along with a great dependence on horses seemed to have cost them a quick victory for Barbarossa.

    Also, I don't feel as if you answered my question about Germany following a model similar to rationing like the US did during the war. What if after the Fall of France, the Germans had immediately sent out laws for the Germans to ration their items and use less of food, gas and certain metals? What if they had limited consumer goods and focus exclusively on military goods, like the US did with their entry into war, and keep it that way until a victory over Russia is secured?
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Ah....yes, maybe, and no.

    First the good, you are entirely correct in that Germany underestimated the Soviet Union and did so in a number of areas. In my humble opinion the descending order,

    The ability of the SU to take the initial blow without caving in due to command paralysis.
    The toll the rather primitive conditions would take on German equipment and manpower.
    The toll their racial policies would take on their ability to rally the anti Soviet feeling in the areas they captured.
    The ability of the SU to keep their industry functioning when the majority was in the direct path of the invasion.
    The capacity, and more importantly the willingness, of the Anglo-American's to divert war materials to the SU.

    Now the Ugly, The SU could focus 'all' their energy as opposed to Germany because she wasn't occupying vast areas of restless populations, fighting a significant naval war or an increasingly active ground/air war against a powerful alliance attacking them on the other side of its empire.

    Lastly the Bad. They didn't win by the numbers? More men, guns, tanks and planes than Germany seems to clearly demonstrate a nation using mass to overwhelm the weaker power. The SU as a underdog? Please. That would be like saying the United States was a underdog fighting Japan.
     
  12. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Justin Gaitlin was an international star before the Olympics. It's not something that just happens in a week. He was also doped up to the eyeballs.

    .

    Germany knew Russia had inadequate transport infrastructure, that the roads were poor, that the only real means was by railways, that they'd have to develop and re-gauge the main routes train tracks already immediately behind the front lines. Their war gaming indicated it would be a huge problem. Horses weren't the problem; Napoleon got to Moscow by horse and foot. The problem was; against USSR, there could be no "quick victory". It is too huge. No. Huge is too small a word. The USSR was too monumentally gargantuan.

    It's been answered; Germany rationed extemely hard. The occupied territories were starving (France less so, but Poland, and especially Greece), and even then German rations barely provided 2000 calories daily for German workers during the worst period. Consumer goods were strictly limited already well before the war; this was defeated to a some degree by the level of corruption in the system. Such is the joy when you build a value-system based on inequality, corrupt the morality of the courts and have state-sponsered thugs generating fear in a one-party state. Officials that granted permits to produce luxury items like their "gifts". Bribery was the only means of being able to do business in Nazi Germany. Once again, while the propaganda is all talking about how well it is all going, there is little incentive for self-sacrifice on the home front; corruption was rife. Once it become clear that Goebbels was full of it, then it was too late.

    Just because it is claimed that "civilian luxury goods remained available just as before the war"... you have to question what kind of goods and their availability they are talking about. yeah sure they did: they were barely available in 1938. And that was only for the wealthy. Which is why a gauleiter would be tempted by a refridgerator; he couldn't afford one!

    Metals were strictly allocated according to industry and in classic Nazi style your favourite potentate. All that did was create a fantastic black market opportunity.

    What did happen, was as Germany demanded reparations from France and payment for the occupation of France, luxury goods from France were more available in Germany.

    BTW; in 1935, 1,5 million refridgerators were sold in the US...
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but have you ever worked more than 40 hours in a week? Significantly more? As noted, the Germans went to a 48-hour week and then progressively to a 60-hour week. Have you ever worked a 60 hour week? At what might be effectively hard labor?

    We are talking finite limitations on what an individual laborer can do.

    A starting point would be Clarence D. Long, The Labor Force in War and Transition: Four Countries, (Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1952).

    You just stated the Germans didn't do mass production, which is a common misconception. They did. I provided an example. You also stated they had a "craftsman" culture. That is another misconception. The Sherman was an example of a "craftsman" design.

    No, the Germans did not have enough oil, for Barbarossa or the war.

    Why was it "wasted"? Where could it have been better used? Why do you think the Krupp's artillery floor was so suitable for tank manufacture? Krupp-Essen built artillery, Krupp-Gruson built tanks. Two different factories, doing different things. There is simply much more to it than moving resources from one factory to another.

    Because "caterpillar trucks" sacrifice fuel economy for the advantage of track-laying. They also are more complex, requiring more maintenance. You are also putting more manpower into logistics - so where do you take them from, Industry or frontline combat troops? You also need many more of them than the German auto industry was capable of, especially since most of the auto industry was re-purposed to aircraft sub-component manufacture on the outbreak of war. So more caterpillar trucks equals fewer aircraft.

    Yet again TANSTAAFL.
     
  14. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    I was thinking about your "dismantle the fleet" quote and well why not?

    Germany shouldn't have even focused on making a navy to begin with, make it on that of a tactical scale but forfeit any idea for an Atlantic campaign at all, considering that they never came close to forcing Britain to surrender nor did they even have the resources possible to defeat the Royal Navy. After the defeat of France refrain from from putting any resources into the navy and focus on just the air force and army.

    Maybe if they scrapped most of their major battleships and halted any steel or oil to go into ships between the fall of France and September of 1941, this might provide them enough forces to give Germany greater forces to be motor powered rather than horse and this might solve their logistics(IIRC a horse is limited to barely 100 miles of combat while a motor vehicle is limited to more than 200 miles). With the RSOs they would advance even faster capturing more soviet troops and reducing causalities of their own making a capture of Moscow possible in September of 1941.
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The "capture " of Moscow was not an aim of Barbarossa, because the Germans rightly considered that the "capture " of Moscow was irrelevant for the outcome of Barbarossa .
     
  16. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    @Belasar
    According to Halder&Co. you're right but if we foccus to historical facts, Halder is utterly wrong about the Uggly. ;) I have some pleasant "duties" o
    ver the weekend, but I plan to get back to this subject later... meanwhile, have a pleasant weekend and enjoy the summer. I love the heat of August...

    [media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1PfrmCGFnk[/media]
     
  17. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    What I don't understand is American automotive manufacturers like Ford and GM had multiple plants in Germany, why didn't they produce more trucks to become more mechanized and have better mobility for logistics? Like the Americans used with the mass produced Studebaker truck.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Perhaps money? Hitler used practically all the currency to ammunition and army, so much that many units had only tents to sleep in. Also during the first years the tanks were shipped back to Germany by trains to be repaired, unlike later years they had teams doing it at the spot.
     
  19. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    I know the capture would not mean complete or immediate defeat of the entire Soviet Union, but it might start off a series of events for Soviet Union to have collapsed sooner or later, with the fall of Leningrad, certain officers planning a coup against Stalin and the cutting off of significant industry in Moscow and Leningrad along with the subsequent bombing of the Ural factories from those captured territories. It may not have been entirely true, but it could have some possibility.
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The German industrial mobilization plan converted much of the auto industry to component manufacture for the Luftwaffe. Remember, the Heer was designed as a horse-drawn army, only some Heerstruppen and the Schnelltruppen were intended to be motorized.

    In any case, it was the eternal bugaboo for the Germans. Continuing to build trucks and cars for the army meant fewer aircraft for the Luftwaffe.
     

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