Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Sloniksp, Aug 25, 2006.
Indeed winter. In Russia it gets very, very cold and the Russian people are more accustomed to the cold that people who don't live in such conditions. In this case the Germans. None of the German equipment was made to function in such cold, nor did the germans troops have proper winter attire.
It wasn't the only reason that Russia defeated Germany, but it was a huge factor. Frankly I'm surprised you didn't know this...
Really? and have you been to Russia Blazkowicz?
Do you know how cold it gets in Russia or Germany?
I'm originally from Europe, and I have been to both Berlin and Moscow. But I don't need to visit to know how cold it it anywhere, temperature is a matter of public record. More fish for you I guess.
Yet another thread you threw off topic.
everybody agrees that cold froze the wermacht in its tracks in front of Moscow.
If it wasn't the cold, maybe the wermacht could have cut its way through the massed Moscow defenses, like they did since June in other places.
But why did the Germans arrived in front of Moscow as late as december 1941 ? They must have encountered some resistance on their way don't you think ?
And why such thing as climate had such an impact on the Wermarcht ? They must have been under some sort of strain at this time, don't you think ?
If cold in itself was sufficient to stop an army, how could the red army launch a counter offensive ?
I personaly read the cold factor as being part of the bad planning and preparation of Barbarossa + harsh resistance and sacrifices ordered by Stalin, which are, I believe, the most important factors to explain what happened up until feb. 1942.
Germans had 3 summers to win in Russia. In fact Some of the largest battles that Germany lost were in the summer.
I guess the Germans were just stupid for invading Soviet Union, sounds to me like they need to eat fish.
everybody agrees that cold froze the wermacht in its tracks in front of Moscow.///cold weather and lack of supplies yes
If it wasn't the cold, maybe the wermacht could have cut its way through the massed Moscow defenses, like they did since June in other places.///possible,even in the summer the Germans would have to fight the hardest and most awfull battle that its ever fought too break though the soviet lines around Moscow and if it was a success it would be the greatest victory for the GErmans EVER,(but lets remember that by the time the Germans got anywhere near Moscow they had already lost the best part of 1 million men.)
But why did the Germans arrived in front of Moscow as late as december 1941 ? They must have encountered some resistance on their way don't you think ?///They did,the reasons for the late arrival at Moscow are the Germans had no idea that the Russians would FIGHT BACK.
And why such thing as climate had such an impact on the Wermarcht ? They must have been under some sort of strain at this time, don't you think ?///YEP being commanded by Hitler too march and keep marching even if it ment the loss of a
Division didnt bother Hitler the slightest, frozen Climate means frozen oil in engines, means frozen supplies and frozen soldiers.
If cold in itself was sufficient to stop an army, how could the red army launch a counter offensive ?///The Russians are tough tough people who know alot more about the cold than the Germans thats why can survived better than the Germans.
I personaly read the cold factor as being part of the bad planning and preparation of Barbarossa + harsh resistance and sacrifices ordered by Stalin, which are, I believe, the most important factors to explain what happened up until feb. 1942.///If the Russians didnt fight like they did who knows.?
Good points rifleman.....Like I said before the biggest problem the Germans encountered was the Russian soldier, not winter, supplies or transportation. Those were more of a Inconveniences.
Oh and I almost forgot. The Russians also suffered from frozen oil in engines, frozen supplies and frozen soldiers. Unlike the Germans the Russians were the ones that were actually under supplied. In some cases fighting with only 1 rifle between 2 men, and with almost no food. This ofcourse changed as the war progressed.
That's what I put into the "harsh resistance" factor.
If the Red Army had not put such a strong resistance against Germans, I guess winter in itself would not have been such a lethal issue to the Germans, maybe they would even have won the war before winter !
about climate, Soviets were probably more used to cold, especialy the reinforcements that came from Siberia, but winter 41-42 was exceptionaly cold and sudden, it was not the usual winter. And Russian suffered from it also, like they did when they got spanked 1 year before in the Finnish winter.
Hitler lost a big number of his combat hardened soldiers during the winter 1941-42, I think. So even if Hitler would have been forced to retreat I suppose that would have been better than to lose those men who would have to be replaced by total newcomers the next years for the new offensive. So von Rundstedt´s idea of finding suitable defensive positions in time might have helped in saving those valuable veterans for the future!
I think KP hit the nail on the head ...the question pre-supposes that the Germans 'were the strongest military' at the time of Barbarossa - they weren't- certainly not in the air..the Luftwaffe destroyed 2,000 (mostly obsolescent)Soviet aircraft on day 1 and still lost...the notion that Soviet air power was somehow inferior to the Germans is wrong. Same with other areas as we know - tank production etc..In addition, the territory was so vast the Luftwaffe was spread far too thinly, production was falling at home, and re-supply distances were enormous as already mentioned. A key factor was the Luftwaffe's lack of a strategic capability. Operating successfully close to the front lines wasn't going to have any impact at all on Soviet production and the supply of Soviet war materiel was never halted..
The THING is Hitler never expected that the Russians would be prepared to die in their millions to protect their land.
Hitler wanted the red army destroyed in one almighty attack, but Germany could never quite pin it down it was always there hidding ready to fight and die.
Moscow defence at the end of 41 was already impossible for the Germans to break though.Its unlikly that Center army group could even carry out such an attack on Moscow.
1 word y Germany lost is they were TOO LATE
the morale of the russians was much higher than the germans ever were, not to speak loyal
Hitler himself said "If we fail to take Russia in six months it would have all been for nothing"
OK, may not be his exact words but you get the picture.
Hitler was dangerous man too have in charge running the Ost Front; to quote him again, "I conduct my life like a sleepwalker on a tight rope."
you probably mean "more dangerous to the Germans themselves"...
up until Barbarossa, the German Army did not encounter stiffened resistance. There have been numerous occasions when the Germans were scratching their heads because the Russians were in an impossible position yet were still fighting instead of surrendering. The Russian soldier lived on so little. The Germans were not prepared for a long drawn out war because of their previous experience with the low countries. If the was was not "quick" then Germany was not in a position to win. So it is truly the Russian stubborn will to fight against impossible odds that beat the Germans
The 'general winter' argument has rather lost its punch in recent years. Modern historiography suggests that the reliance of historians on the accounts of disgruntled German officers after the war and their wartime reports has tended to make it look as though the mighty German war machine was defeated by winter, transport problems and anything else that isn't the 'slavic untermensche.' More recently documents released by the Russian government (as well as the governments of the other former Soviet republics) suggests that in 1941 the RKKA suffered from the cold just as much as the Germans.
The idea that the Russians have some sort of 'superhuman' resistance to the cold is just plain false. They were better prepared in terms of kit and equipment (though there were still massive shortages early on) but thats it (having worn authentic Soviet winter uniform in a north Russian winter I can safely say it does the job well).
The most interesting theory I've heard of late was that German fear of the Russian soldier was an important factor. Looking at the accounts of Soviet attacks, of the 'slavs appearing from nowhere' and the Russian being 'closer to nature' suggests a genuine terror arising from Soviet tactics (particularly the concealed approach and then surprise assault).
the "Ivan" was not afraid to die. He would keep on coming at you as long as there were men to attack. If you surrounded them they might look like they were giving up but once you got closer they started shooting at you. " Take one German with you" was the motto, I think. Not surprised that the Germans were stunned/afraid. This was totally different war from the battles they had fought 194o-41 when the enemy seemed to give up when the situation was hopeless but not Ivan.