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

Korsun pocket (and maybe other pocket encirclements)

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Hummel, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Hummel

    Hummel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    33
    Hi all,
    This thread is really going to demonstrate my ignorance, but, as I tell my students, the only cure to ignorance is asking questions. Here we go. I know a little about the Korsun pocket. Were there other encirclements along the same lines in the numbers of German troops involved and the amount of materiel captured/destroyed/lost on the Eastern front? The main thing I am interested in knowing is this theoretical: If Hitler had given his field commanders more control, including the option to retreat when it was called for, how much difference would that have made in the course of the war. I know there was also the Falaise pocket on the Western Front, but didn't the Wehrmacht have permission to pull back there? Suppose the German troops were never told to "Defend this pile of logs to the last man!"? I realize this is a VERY wide open question calling for a LOT of theoretical thinking and assessment, and I am sorry, but there just isn't a way I can think to make it less so. If someone who reads this can narrow the topic down a bit, I would be grateful. I hope I was clear in what I asked, and, if you don't understand it, please let me know, and I will try to rephrase it. Thanks.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,748
    Likes Received:
    2,260
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Here is something on the Korsun Pocket Korsun Pocket. I'm sure someone with greater knowledge will chime in with more info.

    BTW, welcome back to the forum. I haven't seen you about recently.
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    The second largest of the east front was in 1944 operation Bagration where the Soviets destroyed army group center. over all the Germans lsot 450000 men in a couple of months. It was the single greatest disaster for the Germans in the war.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,301
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Some names to start with: Krim ( they escaped by boats who could), Korsun, Bagration, Courland, Budapest,Jassy–Kishinev, Halbe...
    And also the fortress cities towards the end of the war.
     
  5. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    3
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courland_Pocket
    The example of quite successful and flexible German defense of the pocket against the superior enemy forces.

    Regards,
     
  6. Hummel

    Hummel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    33
    I was wondering . . . if Hitler had given his generals more active command as well as permission to retreat when their positions called for it, what sort of effect could this have on the outcome of the war? Would it have delayed it at all? I know nothing could stop either the eastern European or western European steamroller advances, but delay it? What do you think?
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    Google up Kurland battles of which there were 4 of them. talk about a Hell hole place to be...........
     
  8. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    In fairness there was nothing of value in Courland and the Soviets they decided it was not worth casualties. It was a waste of valuable men for the German and did not tie down enough Soviet troops to be worth it.
     
  9. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think five tries of Soviet forces to destroy this pocket indicate the opposite.

    Regards,
     
  10. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    As part of the campaign, the Soviets did try to eliminate the pocket, but once the front moved on into Poland the Soviets gave up and just contained the pocket. In reading Erickson's two part series, he said Stalin tried to roll up the Baltics from the north which contributed to the German defence instead of from the south. Two other factors were the terrain was made for defence and the Soviets did not asssign any tank armies which could have helped.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    On the eastern front,the generals wanted to withdraw to shorten the front (it also would be shortened for the Russians),on the Western front,the generals also asked to withdraw,this would result in the lenghtening of the front,and this would give the allies the opportunity to deploy their mobile forces and the front would collapse .
     

Share This Page