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Hans von Seeckt

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by harolds, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Something of a straw man there though isn't it? Has anyone argued that Goering in particular or the Germans in general were "stupid"?
    As for Point 9. I thought that the Germans had at least temporarily put some of the radar sites out of operation. There's also the question of whether or not they should have continued to target them but perhaps changed the mode of attack. At least your are trying to support your position now, just not doing a very good job of it. The wandering off into other topics doesn't really help either.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Example: When asked by Hitler if the LW could supply Stalingrad throughout the winter, Jeschonnik said yes. Later, after doing the math he realized that there was no way that could be done. He told Goring he would go to Hitler, explain the mistake and take the blame. Goring forbade him to do so saying that the LW couldn't disappoint Hitler any more. Goring may have been very culpable in the Stalingrad disaster.

    Example: Goring going into denial about the Allies having the capability to field a long range fighter; even going to the extreme of ordering Galland that the P-51s shot down over Germany were NOT shot down over Germany! He categorically stated that such things were "impossible".

    It is your opinion that Galland, Guderian, etc were out and out liars. Haven't heard that from any historians of note. Certainly, there were errors because much of these autobios were done from memory.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Did I say that Galland was a liar ? I said that he was biased,because he was inspector general of the fighters and as thus biased :the POV he was giving after the war was that of the fighters,which was something biased .


    About Guderian : he was a liar and collaborated after the war with Basil Hart,whose reputation was the same . In Panzerleader, Guderian kept hidden that when he was out of office in 1942,he was travelling in Poland searching for an estate and that he finally found one the owner of which had disappeared mysteriously (if he was lucky to Dachau,otherwise to Auschwitz),but,this did not prevent Guderian to proclaim after the war that he always had opposed the nazis.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I would advise the interested ones to read the 14 pages (available on the net) written by Joel Hayward on "Stalingrad:an examinatin of Hitler's decision to airlift".
     
  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    As for Point 9. I thought that the Germans had at least temporarily put some of the radar sites out of operation. There's also the question of whether or not they should have continued to target them but perhaps changed the mode of attack. At least your are trying to support your position now, just not doing a very good job of it. The wandering off into other topics doesn't really help either.


    1)Göring was asking the question if one should continue the attacks on the radar installations,because,the informations from the LW Ic (Martini) indicated that these attacks had no result . If the informations were wrong,this was not the fault of Göring.

    2)Why would the observation of Göring be wrong? The importance of radar has been much exaggerated,may I observe that 3 years later,the Allies did not attack systematically the German radar installations ?

    3)You asked me to give "good" orders from Görong: the directives from 15 august 1940 were,IMHO,"good" orders, not things that were deleterious.I am still waiting for exemple(s) of a nefast role of Göring = of orders from Göring which were nefast for the LW,NOT for mistakes that were irrelevant for the outcome of the war .
     
  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Stalingrad may have been surrounded, but early on it still had the power to break out especially if they had help from the outside. Later, when it was tried the encircling forces were too strong. The point being that Goring didn't tell Hitler the truth and gambled the 6th Armee's life that he could somehow bring it off. He and the 6th Armee lost.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Goring's idea that the P-51s shot down were hit over France or Belgium was an drug addict going into denial. Galland knew who and where they fought the Mustangs. This denial and refusal to acknowledge the truth was a long-standing tradition with the Reichsmarshal starting with the BoB. By 1944 Goring was totally discredited with Hitler and the other services, not to mention with many in his own service.
     
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    On Guderian: That he may have given the impression that he did all the heavy lifting re. the formation of the panzer arm but I've never heard of him being an out and out liar. As far as the Estate goes, he does mention it in Panzer Leader. Hitler was carrying on the tradition of Koenigs and Kaisers of giving land to retiring generals of note. However, it was not Poland to Guderian, it was East Prussia. Now, of course, it is Poland.
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    It was not East Prussia,but West Prussia which for the main part had become a part of Poland after WWI .
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Goering was not discredited because he was a drug addict,but because the LW could not prevent Harris and Spaatz from destroying the German cities .

    I like also to see the proofs for the claim that the German cities were destroyed because Goering was addicted to morfine .

    The denial of the shooting-down of the P 51 over Germany was a logical one from the German POV:if the P 51 could fly over Germany,this meant that the LW had lost the air battle over Germany :there was nothing to do against it .Thus,let sleeping dogs lie .If goering had accepted the truth (=that the enemy fighters could fly over Germany) ,would this have changed anything ? Would Dresden and other cities have been spared ?

    One can't claim that Goering's denial was a wrong decision ,because,it didn't hurt the LW .
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About Stalingrad :Goering's decision was logical:I would have said the same .

    After the war,the German public opinion was demanding a scape-goat,and the scape-goats were found easily : it were the deceased : Hitler and Goering (Zhukow/Yeremenko would not be accepted by the public opinion) .

    If Jeschonnek had returned to Berchtesgaden and said :I was wrong:the LW can not supply 6 Army (or something different,but also meaningless),6 Army would not be saved ;the outcome would still be the same .

    Saying that the survival of 6 Army depended on supplies by air is putting the chart before the horses:survival of 6 Army depended on

    a)a break out of 6 Army

    b) a rescue operation

    A without B (or B without A) was impossible and A+B was only possible if it happened very quickly:after a few weeks,it would be impossible .

    If A+ B was not possible,6 Army was doomed even with air supplies

    If A+B was possible, air supplies were not necessary .

    And this was the same for Demyansk,Bastogne,Corregidor,etc....
     
  13. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Why ? ultimately a trapped force needs to be rescued but isolation may last for months as long as sufficient supplies get through, wounded get evacuated, and replacements can be brough in Demyansk, and Tobruk did.
    So stating the air bridge was irrelevant because there could be no immediate relief of breakout is wrong. The true conditions for an isolated force survival are:
    ( A ) A relief attempt will succeed at some point
    ( B ) Supplies and replacements allow the force to survive until relieved.

    Condition B was very much dependent on the LW, and condition A partly so as a relief attempt was heavily dependent on the Soviets having to allocate large forces to contain the pocket. If the Panzer divisions in the pocket could be supplied back to an effective state that could be too much for the red army.
    One major German problem at Stalingrad was that up to the encirclement any fresh troops or supplies were thrown into the meat grinder, many infantry divisions were stripped of the most effective elements by creating KG around their Pionnier batallions, so had little or no offensive capability left. As a result there was nothing immediately available to attack out with and lack of supplies and Soviet pressure prevented any meaningful reorganization.
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This is not correct :

    A:a relief attempt was only possible during the first days (a maximum of 2 weeks): a relief operation in january was out of the question
    B: no :the question is not if 6 Army could survive, but if it could be saved :while 6 Army could survive with air supplies (it survived 10 weeks),it could not be saved by air supplies : every day,6 Army would become more and more weaken :air lifts could not replace lost tanks,artillery,trucks,the Ju and He could not transport heavy ammunition .

    During the first few weeks,a relief attempt was possible AND air lifts were not necessary.

    After these few weeks, a relief attempt was out of the question and an air lift could only extend the agony of 6 Army(which was the reason why the air lift was not stopped after the failure of the rescue attempt : the doomed 6 Army was tying Soviet forces .

    The problem is that we don't know what Hitler asked to Jeschonnek and what Jeschonnek said ,but, given the situation,it is more than probable that Hitler asked if 6 Army could be supplied by air (if this was necesssary)til it was relieved by Manstein and that Jeschonnek said :yes (in which he was correct,although Hitler nor Jeschonnek knew how much would be needed).

    It is also more than probable from the air lift problem .that the relief decision was taken independently

    Later,Jeschonnek blamed Goering,he said (but,this is unproved) that he recognized that he was wrong,but that Goering forbade him to tell it to Hitler .

    Later,Goering blamed Hitler: he said (but this is unproved) that Hitler said : if the LW can not supply 6 Army,it is lost,and that he (=Goering),blackmailed emotionally could only answer: the LW will supply 6 Army .

    Later,the Army blamed ...(as one can expect ) the LW:

    Zeitzler said (but that is unproved) that he told Goering (in the presence of Hitler) :you are a liar.

    Manstein said : it is all the fault of Goering (but we know that we shouldn't believe anything from Manstein unless it had been proved not twice,but five times .)
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    If you, LJAd, are saying that Goring was a competent air force commander, that is remarkable! I've never read anything from any credible air historian that would back that assertion up. His drug addiction alone would make him unfit for command. Drug use severely impairs a person's decision making ability, plus opiod use and addiction make one lethargic and lazy. Not to mention that he was deep down a political animal and based many of his decisions on what was best for him politically: i.e. what Hitler would approve.

    Stalingrad could be only be partially supplied by air and then only for a relatively short time. After that, plane losses, deteriorating weather, mechanical breakdowns etc. would keep on reducing the amount of supplies well below the minimal acceptable level. Letting Hitler believe anything else, especially after Jeschonnek corrected himself, was totally irresponsible. One of the reasons Dowding and Montgomery kept their place in history is that they resisted Churchill's demand that they do something that would have been militarily unwise. To resist unwise demands of politicians is the military and moral requirement of high commanders. Goring falls short in all departments.
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    To say"letting Hitler believe anything else" is not correct,because it implies that Hitler believed that 6 Army could be supplied til it was rescued,and,there is no proof for this .The survival of 6 Army did not depend on air supplies,but on a rescue mission (Wintergewetter).Hitler knew it :if Manstein could not save 6 Army,it was doomed .If Goering was saying:we can't supply 6 Army,the OKH would blame the LW,if he said : we can supply 6 Army ,the OKH also would blame the LW :it was a lose/lose situation:the only reasonable thing was to keep silent .

    I am saying that before the war and til 1943,Goering was a competent air force commander;after Stalingrad,he abdicated,IMHO,mainly because he knew that the war was lost and that he would end on the gallows
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Actually the survival of 6th Army depended on it breaking out while it was still able to do so. Had Goring believed Wolfram v. Richthofen and Jeschonnek (he recanted his earlier advice very quickly) they might have convinced Hitler to give Paulus the order to break out before the Soviet ring became too strong and the Germans too weak. Telling a superior what he wants to hear vs what he NEEDS to hear to bad practice, but then Goring was a mass of bad practices.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Hitler never would have admitted the outbreak of 6 Army :the aim of Wintergewetter was to make a contact with 6 Army which would remain where it was .
     
  19. harolds

    harolds Member

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    No. When the Wintergewetter force was within 20 miles of the Stalingrad perimeter, Paulus was supposed to start a breakout. This according to von Mellithin. It was too late by then, plus the Soviets started another attack that pushed the German forces back even further. 6th Panzer was taken from Wintergewetter which fatally weakened it. The only chance for 6th army was to break out as soon as possible after being surrounded.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The problem with these examples is that they are post 1941 and the topic would seem to focus on the mid and late 30's. From what I've read Goring suffered from a progressive decline so his performance in this time period doesn't really say much about his performance in the period of interest.
    It was up to him to at least some extent to consider the reliability of his information sources. Even then it would have been in his perview to consider alternatives. That said I don't see this as being a major flaw especially when as the above it's actually after the period of interest.

    I'm not sure what "oservation of Goring" you are talking about. I do agree that the importance of radar has been exaggerated but you need to put that into a logical framework to be of much use. As for the allied attacking German radar they did in a very concerted way the attacks however were at the system via EW rather than just bombing the radar sites.

    I don't see them as being outstanding in either direction. Hardly sufficient to prove incompetence but not

    That very much depends on whether the denial was for the "benefit" of the public or it was an accepted internal attitude. In the latter case it may and indeed probably did hurt the LW. On the other hand as I've pointed out earlier this is well after the period of interest that is the base topic of this thread.

    This is considerably off topic but again you have taken a rather extreme and poorly stated position. Obviously a relief attempt was possible at just about any point prior to the surrender and perhaps even afterward. The probability of success would of course decline greatly as time advanced. You have stated a very definitive interval when it could be attmepted but it's not clear when that interval starts thus confusing the issue.

    I seem to recall reading one that was actually quite positive about his early carreer right up to the start of the war from what I recall. From that point on there was an accelerating decline in his competence of which the drugs and political situation surely played a part.
     

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