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Myths of the Eastern Front

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Comrade General, May 19, 2015.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    I recently saw a post either here or on WW2talk that showed the percentage of Soviet soldiers with 12 years of school. It was significantly higher than the US for the early forties, which surprised me. Seems the uneducated Soviet peasant is a myth.
     
  2. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    educated is misleading, the average peasant was not allowed to think. I don't see how the Soviet system would have survived bloody Omaha because of the troops inability to adjust to circumstance
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The Soviet system survived things that were 100 times worse than bloody Omaha :it survived the loss of 5 million men in 1941.
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Re. poor choices: One choice Hitler had was to negotiated with Stalin in late '41 or early 42. At that time it wasn't a certainty that Hitler would lose. Stalin might have agreed to a peace settlement where Hitler got the Baltic States, eastern Poland and Eastern Ukraine but left the bulk of the USSR intact. Had Hitler been content with "half a loaf" he would have ended up with a huge empire and enough land to absorb an attack should Stalin or his successors want a rematch. So, one of the myths might be that when Hitler turned East he guaranteed his regime's destruction.
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    What you are describing is what Hitler intended to do : occupy a part of the SU that was big enough to prevent the resurrection of the SU and small enough to be defended with "small " forces .

    More could not be defended,less would mean that the war would continue .
     
  6. Comrade General

    Comrade General Member

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    It is true that both Hitler and Stalin meddled with their field commanders from time to time, but they were not always wrong. According to Glantz, Hitler listened to the advice of his commanders for the first year and a half during the invasion of the Soviet Union. Indeed, he often tolerated those who disagreed with his orders. When General Hans-Valentin Hube decided in August in 1942 to disobey direct orders from Hitler to hold the banks of the Volga and attempt a breakout with 16th Panzer which had become encircled, Hube was not sanctioned but instead promoted to commander of XIV Panzer Corps the next month. In July 1942, Hitler even joked with his generals about the tendency of the British leaders to fire generals in North Africa after a single defeat.

    Can others think of similar cases where Hitler (or Stalin) followed the advice of their generals, even when it went against their instincts?
     
  7. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    During Operation Weserübung, Hitler ordered his troops to withdraw from Narvik but Jodl, who planned the operation, ignored it and told Dietl to defend and wait. Ok, it was the right decision, so Jodl stayed.

    After Hitler heard of "Rheinübung" he asked Raeder, if the operation could be stopped. But he did not insist.

    Hitler wanted and needed the oil fields for a long and naval warfare against GB and USA, so he was not interested in a "small" victory. Even in late 1943, when Manstein promised him a possible "Remisfrieden" (draw), he wasn't interested.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I thought Hitler practically sacked all his main Generals in the east Dec 1941 for various things especially retreating or planning it.

    Rundstedt:He was dismissed by Adolf Hitler in December 1941

    Brauchitsch: He was dismissed as Commander-in-Chief of the German Army on 19 December and transferred to the Führerreserve (officers reserve), where he remained without assignment until the end of the war;

    Leeb: In January 1942, Leeb asked Hitler to relieve him of his command, and Hitler complied.

    Bock: On 18 December, Bock was relieved of his command of Army Group Center.

    Guderian: On 26 December 1941 Guderian was relieved.

    Alll Army Group commanders, and Hitler took total command of the German Army himself.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Rundstedt RESIGNED because Hitler disagreed with his proposal to evacuate Rostov

    Brauchitz was already out since more than a month because of serious health problems

    Bock resigned,claiming that he was ill;a month later he had miraculously recovered

    Guderian was fired because Kluge said : it's him or me ,and his dismissal was more than justified .
     
  10. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Bock did not resign from his position as commander of Army Group Center. Because Hitler had diverted a lot of Bock's troops Toward Kiev and Leningrad, this stalled the German advance on Moscow. This delay would force his men to prepare for the winter which his troops were not. This stalled the German advance and Hitler blamed the halt on Bock and had him replaced.

    Rundstedt did not resign either. Because of a Soviet counter attack near Rostov which forced the Germans back, Hitler blamed it on Rundstedt for the failure and had him replaced with Walter Reichenau.

    I agree that Guderian was removed because of issues with his superiors such as Kluge.

    Brauchitsch did have a heart attack when Hitler gave him so much abuse for the failure to reach Moscow, and was relieved of his command in December of 1941.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Richard Evans (The Third Reich at War): on 16 december Bock asked Hitler for permission to go on sick leave .

    Bock did as the skipper of the Concordia : leaving the sinking ship .

    Rundstedt asked Hitler the permission to give up Rostov,when Hitler refused,Rundstedt (who also was ill) resigned . Rundstedt's successor (Reichenau) also asked the permission to abandon Rostov,and this time Hitler agreed .

    The health of Brauchitz was already broken in the autumn (he had several heart attacks) and Halder took the decisions (he took them already since 1938).It was obvious that Brauchitz could not lead the army in the winter and a successor was needed urgently .
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Stalin wanted to attack at Kursk in 43 and decided to wait. Rokossovsky wanted to launch two attacks on his front in 1944, Stalin wanted one and decided to allow two.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Your initial point is accurate your conclusion is not. As has been pointed out by many the number and severity of flu cases increases in the winter which is pretty strong evidence for it being winter related.

    One would have to look at the details to determine why. So far no one has presented them and I'm not even convinced they are relevant to the point at hand. Care to explain why and give some details or is this just another attempt at diversion.

    Certainly they didn't prevent some big successe although they likely impacted some likewise the winter ones. The German defeate was due to the accumulated stress from a variety of sources weather and disease being just a couple.

    Talking to the person in the mirror?

    Start out with an obvious fallacy. Great way to start out a post, if you are trolling.

    Another assumption on your part that doesn't look particularly valid.

    When you start out with highly questionable assumptions (that you mistake for facts) and use very questionable "logic" to arrive at your "conclusions" they are essentially worthless. SOP for you though.

    You would have better luck with things like this on a comedy stage than you will here.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Of course I don't understand that my sources are "irrelevant" because they are particularly relevant. They illustrate over time and place that the severity and frequency of influenza is strongly correlated with winter, i.e. it is winter related. Your post does illustrate your tendency to throw irrelevancies into them though along with either a lack of comprehension or just obstinat refusal to understand or acknowled facts.

    Which is of course irrelevant as no one has suggested one can't get the flue in the summer. Also note that other have illustrated that this epidemic was worse in the winter rather proving the counter to the point you were trying to make.

    Alone none of the above stopped the Germans but they were certainly factors in stopping the Germans. Nor is it simlply a reptition of the claims of certain Germans. Any reasonable study of the campaign shows that these were things that impacted it. You of course are free to maintain your delusions.

    Only to someone with a marginal understanding of English or a fevered imagination.

    That seems a rather "interesting" statement to make. Care to expand on it? Clearly there were cases where the Germans out generaled the Soviets and others where the opposite is true. To just blithly assume they are on the same level seams very counter intuitive to me.

    Indeed but if the distance from the Polish border to the Urals was say 300km or less would the Soviets have survived? I doubt it. Or if the Germans had been able to keep their units continuously in supply and up to strength? Perhaps but it's by no means certain. The breathing spaces the weather supplied which allowed the Soviets to equip and train more troops were certainly useful as well were they not?
    But I forget you like simple explanations to complex events. There's a say that covers that quite well: "To every complex question there is a simple answer .... that is wrong."

    Had you just stopped there I think we would all have agreed with you.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Anyway, during winter 1941-42 the most top Generals in East were out of the picture whatever the reason, but mostly because Hitler started to consider them not good enough. The fact that the his order "not a step back" held made him think he was the one who was right now and later on. Halder was simply waiting to be put aside. I recall he did not get any medals or promotion for West 1940. Probably the only top German General. So from now on planning even a possible retreat was practically wrong in the eyes of Hitler. This would make the troops morally less willing to fight.
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1)this is not correct : he was promoted to general oberst and got the RK.

    2) This is not correct : in january 1942,Hitler ordered a retreat of AGC,and the same after Stalingrad .The AK retreated in the winter of 41/42 and Rommel was promoted and got the swords of the KC .
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This is not correct : Rundstedt and Bock returned,as well as Guderian;Küchler was promoted,Hoth remained .
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    On 22 june there were 7 army commanders in the east :

    Küchler
    Lindemann
    Kluge
    Strauss
    Reichenau
    Stülpnagel
    Schobert

    ONE was fired : Strauss;one got killed : Schobert

    There were also 4 PzG commanders :

    Guderian
    Hoth
    Höppner
    Kleist

    Guderian was fired but returned;Höppner was fired and did not return (in an other army he would have been shot rightly).
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About Strauss : some sources are saying that he resigned in january 1942 for health reasons .
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This one shall be preserved for posteriority (after the colonisation of Michigan by the Martians:these poor people also will need some diversion)

    Follow the logic :

    There was influenza in the US in the 41/42 winter,thus the Ostheer must have been hurt by influenza .

    Thus : the first cases of influenza in the US happened in Boston in august,thus in august 1918 the German army was hurt by influenza .

    Reality is that influenza is not related to the winter, it is not caused by coldness,it can also happen in a period of clement temperatures .

    It is more than probable that in the winter of 39/40 there was some influenza in the US,but only some one with special logic will argue that this is proving that at the same time the German army on the Siegfried line also was hurt by influenza .

    Besides ; the so called "influenza saison " in the US is lasting from october to may,maybe that in Michigan the winter starts in october and ends in may,but even the most chauvinistic inhabitant of Lansing will not claim that Michigan = the US .
     

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