Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

decisive battle debate

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by steverodgers801, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    3 persons who dissent

    1) Zetterling and Frankson :"it is not possible to claim that [Citadel] produced an outcome which was decisive fr the war in the east .

    Mentioned in "Kursk the German view (S.Newton) P 407 "

    2)Manstein (in a letter to Zeitzler from 1 june) : "The battle in the east in view of the enemy's reserves could not be won with the present level of forces.It would require further reserves from OKH."

    Mentioned in "Manstein Hitler's greatest general (M.Melvin) note 50


    3)Adolf,who said : "Citadelle ist nur eine beschränkte Offensive " (Citadel is only a limited offensive)

    Source : Diaries of Goebbels T 2,Bd 8,P 225 ( 7 may 1943) mentioned in Germany and WWII 8,P 171 note 93.
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Why the Allies won was not one of Overy's bests (and,this is an euphemism)
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    Kursk was critical because not only did the Germans lose the initiative, the Soviets stopped a German summer offense for the first time. Manstein down plays Kursk, because it didn't prove his genius, since he was not allowed to single handedly destroy the Soviet army in one battle
     
    Richard71 likes this.
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    No : the Soviets stopped a German summer offensive in the summer of 1941 and in the summer of 1942 .
     
  5. Richard71

    Richard71 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    Can it be argued that Kursk was different to 1941 and 1942 as in those years the USSR traded land and time to defeat offensives (or the offensives outran their supplies) whereas at Kursk the Soviets stood and won without giving up territory?

    We can attribute less significance to the views of Manstein as his account of his actions is self-serving.
     
  6. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    The Soviets, delayed the Germans in 1941, but it was more German weakness then Soviets ability and the same goes for the drive in 1942. If Hitler had stuck with the original plan Stalingrad should have been taken.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    568
    Not allowing the 6th Army to get the hell out of Dodge (Stalingrad) in time, could be said to be decisive. Getting sucked in, in the first place was a mistake. Sticking around was worse.

    Kursk was decisive in that the German's never held the initiative on the Eastern front again.

    It was the time to show subtle mastery, and Hitler went for the obvious blow. Which, being obvious, is easily managed.
     
  8. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    This is assuming

    1) That 6 Army could get out of Stalingrad before Uranus

    2)That,if it was out of Stalingrad (where ?) it would be save

    3)That it was possible to avoid Stalingrad

    All things which are very questionable .
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    At the end of november 1941 (when Typhoon had failed) Todt (minister for armament) proposed to Hitler to search for a diplomatic exit of the war,because, IHO,militarily and considering Germany's industrial capacities,the war was already lost .(Source : Überschar:Das Scheitern des Unternehmens Barbarossa PP 107/108)


    If Todt was right,everything that happened after 30 november 1941 could not be decisive,because the outcome of the war was decided already.Thus Stalingrad, Kursk,etc were not decisive .

    One can of course disagree with Todt, but than ,one should be sure of one's ground; Todt was not an ignoramus,but minister of armament .
     
  10. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    568
    You're assuming

    1) that flawed spelling doesn't cause me to go blind or mad.

    2) No one was expecting to be safe. But Germans were masters of mobile warfare. It is generally understood to be not a good idea to waste well-trained infantry in house-to-house and floor-to-floor fighting for months at a time. It definitely can not be said to be better to waste 300,000+ soldiers lives.

    3) How wasn't it? Already there, you're making new assumptions. If life has taught me anything at all, it's that there is always at least another option, if not several.
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    568
    Re: Todt. Well aware of this.

    If war were solely a matter of statistics and logistics, then Todt was right. Throughout History, however there are many occasions when a smaller country has managed to wrangle a larger, richer nation to a successful peace.

    What was failing for Germany, was the ability of the German leadership to realise this, and act thereafter. It was inconceivable for Hitler to do so. There could be no accommodation with the East.

    Even so, the war was still not a forgone conclusion. No one outside the USSR could be 100% certain that some faction within the Soviet state would not attempt a coup, that the political will to continue fighting the Nazi state and all the sacrifices that it entailed of the Russian citizens would endure. Indeed, that they did was surely due to the fact the life of ordinary citizens in the USSR had improved vastly over the 10 years preceding the war. It was the dream of a future Socialist Utopia, that allowed people to endure to the extent they did, even through the purges.
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    One of the reasons for the German defeat is the Germans assumed the Soviets were not capable of such an attack. 6th army had been beating off attacks on in immediate flanks and assumed that any more attacks would come in the same area. The Soviets made a huge leap when in the previous winter they were unable to exploit successful attacks and had only tank brigades which were sadly unable to exploit a breakthrough.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    The POV of the Austrian historian Magenheimer (who BTW is critical of Hitler) in his book "Hitler's War" PP 160/161 :

    Summary :In the autumn of 1942, senior commanders were asking the withdrawal of 6Army and 4 PzArmy and the giving of support to the flanking armies . But,that would not be enough to stabilize the eastern front,the stabilization of the eastern front would require the withdrawal of AG B and A to the frontline of 28 june ,at the beginning of the summer offensive .

    As every one on German side was convinced that the Soviets were unable to start a big offensive against 6 and 4 PzA (Hitler was the only one of thinking on a possible attack against Stalingrad),there was no need to give up the conquest of the summer,and when the first indications appeared of a possible Soviet attack (in the second half of november) it was to late ..

    Besides, Stalingrad would be decided by what the Soviets could do,not by what the Germans could do .And,if the Soviets could encircle 6 A at Stalingrad, they also could encircle 6 Army if it had withdrawn 100 km to the west .(My opinion,although Magenheimer is suggesting the same)

    And on P 139 : Success or failure of Blau depended on the possibility that immediately after the start of the offensive large parts of the opposing Soviet forces would be destroyed and prevented to withdraw to the Caucasus /Wolga .If this did not happen, it was over .

    It was the repetition of Barbarossa and Typhoon : there also,an immediate decisive victory was required .

    And there also,as during Blau, the Germans continued,hoping that if the enemy did not collaps on the first week,he would collaps the second week,and when this did not happen,they hoped it would happen the third week,etc,etc..
     
  14. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    293
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    :thumbup:
    Paradoxically, it appears that the absence of the decisive battle was decisive for the outcome of the entire war.
     
  15. Robbie55

    Robbie55 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hitler never realized that Germany even under the most ideal military situation was not going to conquer the world in his lifetime. He never listened to what his generals or Todt were saying. The only possible way for Barbarossa to have succeeded, and even this is iffy at best, is if they had stopped at Minsk and Kiev and then threw everything they had at Stalingrad and overwhelmed the southern oil fields and started a consolidation. At that point, withdrawing from France and secretly suing for peace with GB and The USA. GB and Churchill, and FDR would have taken that in heart beat knowing that The Red menace and Stalin was not a worry for the time being. Of course Germany would have insisted on the West ceasing all military/industrial aide to the Soviet Union. I think FDR and Churchill might said OK you can have eastern europe for the time being knowing that the A-bomb was only a few years away. I think you would have seen a massive arms race on both sides and possibly a bigger war in the late 1940's if Hitler were still in power.
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    A lot of strange ideas

    1) You have looked to much at "The Great Dictator" ,because, afaics, there was no plan from Hitler to conquer the world

    2) The fall of Stalingrad would not give Germany a decisive victory in the East

    3) the same for the oil fields

    4) For the rest : a separate peace with the West was out of the question (you are aware of the Casablanca declaration ?),such a thing is science-fiction .
     
  17. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Location:
    God's Country
    Theoretically, his idea might work. The Casablanca Declaration took place in early 1943, and there is some evidence that Churchill wasn't fully onboard with the concept.
    Stalingrad took place between 23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943 so it was apparent at the time of the Conference that the Soviets would have a victory. If as Robbie55 has suggested, the Germans had concentrated at Stalingrad and soundly defeated the Soviets, (not saying it's probable), then the political dynamic would have changed and Roosevelt's stance on the issue might have been different. Especially, if that's the way the political winds were blowing. If Germany agreed to pull out of western europe and North Africa, and before the United States had suffered significant casualties, the public that was really angry with Japan might have pushed for an end to the european war to concentrate on Japan.
    We cannot say with certainty that a different outcome would not have branched off into an entirely different reality. How would a decisive defeat have affected Soviet morale, American public opinion, British strategic planning?
     
  18. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    293
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    Before someone jumps into quick conclusions, it is advisable to take into account a promise made before the others joined the British efforts to finish the Nazi Germany for ever:

    We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...

    Sir Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 4 June 1940

    And then, later on:

    If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

    It was: Hitler's head first, then others.

    So let's get back to serious business.
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Location:
    God's Country
    Well it is usefull to note that Churchill was a politician. Secondly, some statements made by Roosevelt contemporaneously to Churchill's;

    30 Oct 1940-"I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."

    1 Nov 1940-"I am fighting to keep our people out of foreign wars. And I will keep on fighting."

    2 Nov 1940-"Your President says this country is not going to war."

    These tend to support his October 1939 statement that, "The simple truth is that no person... in the national administration... has ever suggested... the remotest possibility of sending the boys of American mothers to fight on the battlefields of Europe. That is why I label that argument a shameless and dishonest fake."

    So whenever dealing with a politician what they're saying and what they're doing or planning are not necessarily the same.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,963
    Likes Received:
    1,699
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Sure they are...

    Getting reelected.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CdVTCDdEwI
     

Share This Page