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Kursk (by popular demand!)

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by CrazyD, Aug 8, 2002.

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  1. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    I know Zeitzler was in favor of the operation as was Model I think. Manstein was achieving his goal of causing casualties, but due to the collapse of Models front there was a threat to Mansteins flank.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler if I recall correctly said he needed a victory that would show the world like the beam of a lighthouse that he was still winning and was not beaten. Also he defended the operation by the need to convince Turkey to stay out of war and keep their trust to German´s victory.
     
  3. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Do you think hitler consistently underestimated the soviet ability to wage war,after the early victories of Barbarossa and the others that followed.? Cheers,Lee.
     
  4. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I think a stage of denial played a role...
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Mostly Hitler kept saying and believing the Red Army is running out of reserves, he simply could not believe there was always new fresh units available. Hitler himself kept making new units without really making good the losses to the old units, and perhaps he believed all the units of his army were fully manned. It was said in one book that if all the units Hitler had end of April 1945 on his map in central Europe were 100% manned, he would have had 10 million men in arms....
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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  7. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Hitler had two beliefs, The Soviets were running out of troops and that there was a wonder weapon on the verge of winning the war.
     
  8. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    IMHO,he was more realistic than is assumed.
     
  9. thunder_love

    thunder_love Member

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    You're right,most of the Wehrmacht was composed of World War one officers, who weren't trained in armor warfare,even the Russians, British,Americans and the French never developed armored warfare. The father of blitzkrieg General Heinz Von Guderian, although creating the new concept, never was able to get the troops trained enough to be fully proficient in tank warfare or mobile warfare. What everybody understood was static trench warfare and infantry cavalry charges.The success of Manstein plan in France is that the French never full developed the concept of mobile warfare, and full armor brigades.Even Guderian would not it won`t be until Paris, that the French used full armor brigades.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Guderian was hardly the father of armored warfare. That title goes to a number of officers from other countries who developed the theories he used in the 20s and 30s.
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    In summer-autumn 1942 once the German Army pincer operations gave no more harvest (= no enemy soldiers in huge numbers ) Hitler sarcastically said " Der Russe ist tot!"...
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    While not the originator of armoured warfare, Guderian was innovative in two critical aspects, the placement of a radio in every tank and combining all arms into large armoured formations which allowed the tank units to operate independently. Much of the German success against superior allied armor was based on the ability of tanks to coordinate their actions. Thunder, Tuhkachevsky and others in the Soviet army before they were shot were quite advanced in their tank use theories. Much of the Soviet success in their tank units was based on theories that Stalin had banished for a time. The Americans had a diffent concept of the use of tanks, but were way ahead of every one else in the mobility of their units.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Never heard of VON Guderian
     
  14. thunder_love

    thunder_love Member

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    Correct if something was new about Gen. Heinz von Guderian is that the new doctrine of armoured warfare centered alongside maneuver warfare and cooperation between ground and aerial units, gave rebirth to combined arms operations. This allowed for smaller units to be more efficient against larger size units. Also, this allowed for the German units to be quite mobile and deliver huge punches, in the opening stages of the war. But when it came down to logistics side of the operational part it was a complete breakdown.Similar combined arms operations were borne in Antiquity.
     
  15. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    its not Von just Guderian. It was not just coordination with air, he had Pz units made with engineer, anti tank and other supporting units. The French and British just had tanks working independently which was one reason for their defeat in France and Africa. It was not until Montystarted using tanks in combined groups at El Alamain that the British had success.
     
  16. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    I would not have hired Adolf as an accountant. ;)
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    To be fair a number of allied brass were making the same observation about Germany in late November/early December 1944. They more correct than Hitler, but just a wee bit off. :)
     
  18. thunder_love

    thunder_love Member

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    But in comparison to Erich von Manstein's earlier plan for France, the biggest handicap for the Wehrmacht army was that the freedom of maneuver, was abandoned in Kursk. The whole planning method which was based on Moltke's victory of the French during the Franco-Prussian war was implemented.The freedom of maneuver which existed and for which the early successes of the Wehrmacht owed to,was replaced with a detailed planning.
    For example Guderian would note that the SS units on the Russian front were ill-disciplined and were given top priority over the Wehrmacht in terms of resupply.
     
  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Earlier in this thread, there is a question as to whether the Panzerkiel was such a good idea: with the Tigers leading.

    The advantage is clear: the superior gun range and armour, means that

    1) if any AT crew break their nerve and fire too early: they're likely to fire at the Tiger, with little to no effect, and get obliterated by the 88.

    2) If they engage the weaker armour at range instead, well, they've still given up their position, and are toast.

    3) If they wait in concealment until the last minute and fire at the tiger; it still has the best armour, and is most likely to survive. Additionally, the AT-crew are banking on not being visible to more eyes with weapons in effective range. Tanks have to be hit, a near miss doesn't cut the cheese. AT-crew are extremely vulnerable, a near miss with HE-round can still mess with their ability to produce effective fire.

    IOW, the AT units were under a lot of pressure.

    Placing the Tigers in the centre, as someone suggested, would severely restrict their range and vision: there'd be all these MK IVs in the way.
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    IRC, it was the British and French who started to formulate theories during the Great War and immediately after, as Guderian himself writes in his pre-WW2 "Achtung Panzer". It was, however, Guderian and the resource starved Wehrmacht which was "forced" to prove the theories. Indeed, it was Guderian, that sold the idea to Mr Hitler in spite of the scepticism of much the German General Staff. French and British Generals were on the whole, not entirely convinced of the validity of those theories, to put it mildly.
     

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