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If Operation Barbarossa had been delay by one year?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Todd W Secrest, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Todd W Secrest

    Todd W Secrest New Member

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    If Operation Barbarossa had been delay, until let's say March of 1942.
    How many modern tanks (T-34/KV-1) and modern fighter aircraft would the Soviet Union have?
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Historically the SU built just over 3,000 T-34's in 1941 and over 12,000 in 1942. but after late June it would be 'war time' production, For the KV heavy tank it was over 1.100 in 1941 and approximately 2,600 in 1942, again war production. From that we must deduct 2/3 of 1942 production and perhaps at least half of the remainder for peacetime production levels.

    The most quoted number for T-34/KV's available for June 1941 is between 800 and 1.000 for both combined.
    So I would guess between 1,800 and 3,000 total between them which would be a very nasty surprise for Herr Hitler.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Aircraft numbers are a little fuzzy. The SU built a little over 7,000 fighters in 1941, and nearly 10,000 for 1942.
    So somewhere between 3-5,000 modern fighters seem reasonable, plus those already in service.
     
  4. olegbabich

    olegbabich Member

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    Interesting Question, but what do other countries do for another year?

    Does,Germany build more and better tanks, start jet aircraft and rocket production earlier?

    Does Japan still attack Pearl Harbor?
     
  5. Todd W Secrest

    Todd W Secrest New Member

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    The Soviet Union, was just about to start (May, 1941) building the improved T-34, the T-34M tank, which fixed several of the flaws of the original T-34.
    But the T-34M had to be canceled, as to not interrupt the mass manufacturing of the original T-34.
     
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Hopefully we'll get some thoughts, but I don't see much that Britain or her allies could do differently. We might consider whether Germany would send additional reinforcements to Rommel. Units, vehicles, and materials would be available; the main question would be how much additional force they could ship across the Med and keep supplied.

    I think their production would continue much as it did historically. As mentioned in the other thread on this topic, the panzer force would be fully or at least mostly equipped with the intended PzIIIs and IVs. A new heavy tank was in development, but the Tiger design as we know it only emerged after their first experiences with the T-34 and KV. The Czech 38t was in production and was used in place of PzIIIs in six panzer divisions until sufficient PzIIIs could be built; most likely the 38t line would be turned over to self-propelled artillery as it was historically. The panzer/motorized force would also benefit from having more halftracks and trucks.

    Japan and the USSR had a neutrality pact which was observed until 1945, so I don't see the date of Barbarossa changing things. Japan's war in China and the American sanctions resulting from it would not be changed either.
     
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  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Historically the 38t remained in production until March of 1942, so I suspect it remains at least that long and perhaps until the fall of '42 after it becomes clear it can no longer compete. The possibility that Germany's "breakthrough" tank comes out closer in concept to Panther is intriguing.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Lets imagine what else might happen in the event of a delay to Barbarossa to 1941.

    For a start it would give the Germans the rest of the year to sort out the problems that Mussolini caused in the Mediterranean. That might have given the German proponents of the Southern strategy a year to capture Egypt, if the Luftwaffe could neutralise the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean.

    There would be limits to what the British could do to reinforce the Mediterranean. The British could not be certain that Op Sealion would not be launched in 1941, nor would the Germans have refrained from spending the year improving the blockade with more U boats.

    However, the Germans would be under economic pressure, the German rationale for Op Barbarossa. There was no food or oil in Egypt.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler interestingly enough was also lowering Ammo production towards 1941 and sending soldiers to reserves although planning Barbarossa. Remember ' Kick the door in and the rotten house collapses'. Hitler did not believe in the Red Army and its capability to fight back. Hitler also believed that getting the USSR out of war the UK had no more choice but to Make peace.
     
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  10. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    If the timeline of events is not corrupted that would have put the USA at war with Germany before she would have attacked Russia, a reverse of what happened in 1941.
    A delayed invasion would have resulted in a defeat, Russia was the game changer which took away what limited options Germany had.
    In respect of Egypt, it was the major British position in the middle east it would have given access to the Canal and the oil which lay beyond.
    Malta and Cyprus would have found it hard to sustain themselves and politically had the British lost Egypt before an American involvement ( a declaration of war) by either the USA or Germany it would have been a heavy blow to Churchill in terms of being able to survive as PM.
    As with all things impossible to call .
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The US entry into the war was a unknowable in Berlin, that would largely decided by Japan in most part and would not inform Germany until just before.

    The issue with a southern strategy is with Italian infrastructure and resources. Italy became a unified nation state at about the same time as Germany, but did not modernize at the same rate. Southern Italy was deeply rural and road, rail, ports and airfields were limited. Worse, Mussolini could not command the economy as Hitler could, port loading was terribly inefficient due to labor issues.

    A similar effort would need to be undertaken in North Africa, lest supplies and troops just get log jammed at the coastal ports. Italy would also need a increase in oil allocation simply to move all of this.

    This was not insurmountable though, without the massive use of oil for combat operations in Russia it would be available and without the effort to rebuild infrastructure in a devestated Russia, Italy limitations could be addressed.

    Germany would have to move quickly though, with Britain getting stronger every month, the window to take Egypt was closing.
     
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  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..as usual, there are very many ''ifs''' in the responses .....
     
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  13. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    When in these waters it is the name of the game.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yes, Hitler was not to attack Tunisia except to save Mussolinini''s face and keep the northern Africa at minimal Costs.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler had to win By one stroke or he would stay fighting forever. In Kursk he thought he could wait another year even if he lost but the Red Army beat his defence far back.
     
  16. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The number of tanks and aircraft are (almost) irrelevant in the context of Barbarossa (A surprise attack on the USSR).

    What matters, is how better would the USSR be prepared? Psychologically? Logistically? Fortifications, planning, and preparations? How would this affect the ability of the initial forces meeting the onslaught to weather the attack? How much better would their supply dumps and supply chain provide the necessary equipment? What about the chain of command performance? Is the Red Army and Soviet leadership ready to perform better? Would they update outdated doctrines?

    Not much, I dare say. It was only the crucible of fire that allowed them to make the desperate improvements necessary.
     
  17. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    In the event of another 9-10 months delay would the Germans have been able to free themselves of North Africa in this time and if so what would the possible implications have been for GB, had events gone on as they played out America would now be in the war with Japan, would Hitler in December 1941 have still declared war on America. ( probably very likely), would he still have sought to attack Russia?
    Had he done so the same ground would have to be taken and the same problems would have been encountered with I dare say the same eventual outcome. Russia in countering Barbarossa had ripped the guts out of the German Army, Russia sustained terrible losses but had left the Germans in the position of having become bogged down in a war which they could not now win and all alternatives which might have existed had now been altered or ceased to exist on account of Russia being invaded.
    The Germans became engaged in a series of far-reaching decisions and commitments which were increasingly dependent on the opportunity and governed by time, time was a factor which now worked against them as they spread themselves too thinly to meet any of their obligations in any theatre of operations.
    Waiting of having delayed an attack on Russia would not have changed anything, Russia would have been stronger and more organised Germany would not.
     
  18. Christopher67

    Christopher67 Member

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    Hang on a sec...

    Wasn't Barbarossa launched in response to food and oil shortages that were starting to bight?

    Wasn't it a gamble born of desperation?

    I really think that if no Barbarossa ic 1941, there would have been none in 1942 simply from an economic point of view.
     
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  19. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    "Living space" and resources but one of desperation?
    Hitler always intended at some point to destroy the USSR the home of his arch political enemy and this political entity he saw as being the product of his arch racial enemy, "The Jews".
    I would agree that if 41 had passed without Barbarossa , 42 should have been likewise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  20. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The USSR was already supplying foodstuffs, oil, and other strategic materials to Germany in the era of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement; AFAIK - comments welcome - there was no indication that this would not continue. Trainloads of supplies continued flowing right up to the start of Barbarossa.

    Hitler's goal of expansion to the east would have been just the same if Russia was Tsarist, democratic, or anything else. The circumstance that Russia was also the heart of Bolshevism was icing on the cake.
     
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