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Operation Blue

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by wellington527, Oct 15, 2010.

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  1. wellington527

    wellington527 Member

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    Ive been reading about the German plans during the war with the USSR and was wondering what people would think what would have happend if they stuck to their original plan instead of diverting so may troops to Stalingrad and instead swept through the caucuses and captured the soviet oil fields instead. Could this have been the war winning strategy they needed or would it have just delayed the inevitable?
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1) more troops to the Caucasus would mean less to Stalingrad,thus weakening the flank .
    2) more troops to the Caucasus would not mean the capture of the oil fields,because:
    Success or failure of the German plan of campaign of 1942 depended on being able to destroy large parts of the Russian army in southern Russia IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE START OF THE OFFENSIVE and preventing their withdrawal to the Wolga and the Caucasus.
    If the Germans failed to encircle and destroy the bulk of the Soviet Southern and Southwestern Fronts as well as parts of the opposing Briansk fronts at the very beginning of the attack,there was harrdly any hope of their taking Stalingradand the valuable areas in the Caucasus before the onset of winter .
    Source:Hitler's War(H.Magenheimer P 139 + 140)
    On your last question :with hindsight,one can say: it only would have delayed the inevitable ,because,
    the principal aim of Fall Blau was the Caucausus,
    1)because the Germans assumed that the SU was depending on oil
    2)that the principal oil fields were situated in the Caucasus
    3) that without the Caucasus oil,the SU could not continue the war .
    But,
    1) in 1940,the Russian oil productionwas 32 million ton,of which 27 miilion (84 %) in the Caucasus
    2) in 1945,the russian oil production was 19 million ton,of which 13 .1 million (69 %) in the Caucasus.
    3)without the capture of the Caucasus,the SU lost 40 % of its oil production,and,did not lose the war.
    We can conclude
    1)that the SU was not that dependent on oil
    2)that it was able to recieve the partial loss of the Caucasus oil .
     
  3. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Further to that, without control of the River Volga and the Don where they flow close together at Stalingrad, getting Caucasus oil anywhere would have been difficult. The main transport route for all caucasus oil was into the Caspian sea and up the Volga, where from Stalingrad it could either be transferred to the Don and down to the Sea of Azov and then the Black Sea, or it could carry on North towards Moscow.

    Without Stalingrad under German control, the caucasus oil would have had to be carried out by truck or by a rather limited and heavily damaged rail system, and that just wasn't going to achieve what the Germans wanted.
     
  4. wellington527

    wellington527 Member

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    Thank you for the enlightening answers, so russia was hopeless from the start.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Getting to Caucasus would not mean the Germans would get any oil either. The oil fields they took autumn 1942 the drilling holes were filled with cement etc and if I recall correctly they got some 30-50 barrels a day in january 1943 from those.
     
  6. wellington527

    wellington527 Member

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    The oil fields shouldn't be the only criteria for german success I mean what what would it mean for them strategically, wouldnt it rob the soviets of their armies in the southern area if not destroying them, causing them to have to transfer their troops around the Caspian. oil may be important but its not the only deciding factor for the Wehrmacht, at least in my humble opinion
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler himself had set the object to taking the wheat area and oil area away from Stalin and considered this the winning stroke of war in summer 1942. The Red Army was more or less close to Moscow waiting for the major offensive to take place there. It took a while to transfer these to the Southern front.
     
  8. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    But in the 'Russia as a whole' concept, taking Moscow wouldn't win the war, taking the oil wouldn't, taking the grain areas wouldn't, etc. Russia is just too big and at that time not very interdependent. - Lend Lease could have reached them from the south east and east, so even if the Germans were successful in the caucasus and at Moscow and Leningrad, it's not all over.

    It is true that the Russians may have considered surrender at this stage, but I think IMHO they would have continued to fight.
     
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  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    It was probably,with hindsight:cool:,but the Germans did not have that benefit,and ,of course(IMHO :cool:),there was no viable alternative .
     
  10. IRu

    IRu Member

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    If you do not take into account the idea that by attacking Russia, Hitler had no chance of winning anyway:).
    I think his decision to go to the Volga River was more correct than their offensive in the Caucasus.
    1. Exit to the Volga River on a broad front, to cut off the Caucasus from the rest of Russia. Given the anti-Russian sentiment in the region, continued its capture in future would be easy.
    If Hitler had turned south before reaching the Volga, hi would leave the army group "South" is in danger of hitting the Red Army in the rear.
    2. Loss of Stalingrad - a large emotional hit to Russia. For German army, exit to the Volga - is a big emotional victory. When I read the memoirs of a Cerman officer, I was surprised that when he looked on the Volga, he seriously believed that the purpose of the war reached and the war will end soon. And for Russia, the war had just begun.
    The seizure of oil fields does not greatly worsen the situation to the Red Army. Quite a lot of oil extracted in Sakhalin, Tatarstan and even Zhiguli Mountains.
     
  11. wellington527

    wellington527 Member

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    The war in the east would be completely winnable if Hitler wasn't such a racist though. I read a book the other week and it said that given all that Germany did the soviet people that between 1-3 million served the German army in some role or another many of them serving til 45, and this is with all the brutality. Imagine if the Germans unleashed an anti-Stalinist propaganda campaign, and used the soviets that joined the Germans to patrol the conquered areas and as regular army soldiers. With these changes the Germans may have very well destroyed the soviet defenses in all theaters. So it wasnt doomed from the start
     
  12. IRu

    IRu Member

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    wellington527 wrote: The war in the east would be completely winnable if Hitler wasn't such a racist though.


    Let me disagree with you:). Hitler came to Russia is to enslave the Russian nation. Photo of German soldiers with the inscription: "The Russian must die so that we live" - remember everybody. http://pretich2005.narod.ru/foto-war/1941/russ-smert.htm. That is why I wrote that he had not any chance to win the war.
    Well, let,s imagine that Hitler had not been targets of racism. Assume, that his goal was to liberate Russia from Communusm. But the Communism were in power in Russia for 24 years. During this time, propaganda has done its job. Most of the literate population in Russia really believed that to live under Soviet rule - very well. That in other countries, working people, oppressed. And in Russia is really a happy life.
    As for illiterate peasants, they have suffered and with the king and the communists. I think some of them could take the Germans by their liberators. And as history shows. I wrote on this forum post about an unusual Republic in the Bryansk region, which existed in the occupied territories from 1941 to 1943. In addition, opponents of communism were among urban residents. Examples were described in the book "Babi Yar" Kuznetsov. The book was published in English.
    Basically, it was the opponents of communism were in the German army. Russian modern historians call these 1.5 million people. But the tragedy of the Russian people, and Stalin merit in the fact that most people really did a good life under the Soviets. They did not want any liberation. If you read the memoirs of Guderian, remember his conversation with former tsarist general. He said that the Germans have come too late. Life in Russia really began to improve.
    So, I can not imagine the political conditions under which Hitler would defeat Russia. Perhaps an alliance with England? Churchill hated communism, but Hitler, he hated even more.
    Sorry, I think Hitler had no any chance win this war:).
     
  13. wellington527

    wellington527 Member

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    I agree with Hitler in charge it would be impossible for German victory but the people MAY have like but they HATED the who had control of it and no amount of propaganda would change that. the amount of his own people he killed is at least 8 million higher Hitlers, his policies caused mass starvation, he killed his closest allies because he thought they going to betray him, people were even afraid to be the first to stop clapping for him. but you are right many did like the system but many also disliked the Stalin.
     
  14. IRu

    IRu Member

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    I would rather say that the attitude towards communism and Stalin in Russia (on the eve of WW II) was more complex and confusing.
    Negativity is obvious: repression, famine, total control. Much is said and written about this. But we must not forget that the new regime also gave an opportunity to large numbers of people live a better life. Look at biographies of Soviet generals. All of them came from the peasants. During the reign it was impossible. Same we can say about ministers, engineers, other leaders. These people were many. They sincerely love the new government and were ready for her at all.
    What about Stalin. The paradox is that he managed to create the following system: All good things in the country - it is a merit of Stalin. All the bad (famine, terror) – these are the machinations of enemies.
    Therefore, when Stalin died in 1953 the whole country was crying and sincerely sorry for him. A lot of people in Russia still consider him a good man:eek:. This is one of the mysteries of the Russian soul:).
    I myself am to Stalin in the negative, but I think it is very unusual men, who are not born often. In a sense he was a genius.
     
  15. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The battle which developed over the city of Stalingrad distorts the whole picture. Success or failure of Blue depended on establishing a secure flank along the line of the Don and Volga, backed up by mobile reserves. Anyone with a map could anticipate a Soviet counterstroke in the direction of Rostov; the fate of the drive into the Caucasus would be determined by whether that could be stopped.
     
  16. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    I'm afraid to disagree with you but i have to, the facts state otherwise. Stalin murdered tens of millions of his own people, including most of his own officer corps, for no reason other then his own crazed paranoia. The Russian peasants had their land and crops simply taken from them and millions of them starved due to Stalin's mad and unworkable ideas.

    Stalin's weapons against his own people were terror, the gulag and starvation. Things never became better in Russia under Stalin they became far worse. Stalin's terror campaign broke the will of his own people and when the Germans invaded, thousands of Russians gladly surrendered, preferring to take their chances with the Germans who called them untermenschen rather then fight for a mad regime. The proof is in every history book, it was only due to the immensity of Russia itself, the large population, Allied lend-lease help, and compulsion/traditional bravery and loyalty to the Rodina (motherland) of his soldiers that the Russians were able to prevail.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    There is no proof that thousands of Russians were gladly surrendering,a lot of things are indicating the opposite :the German losses in the summer of 1941 were very big ,the Russians were fighting very hard .
     
  18. freebird

    freebird Member

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    But Russia is not all of the Soviet Union. ;)
    Many of the people in the Ukraine (especially the west) were not supporters of Stalin, and were far from happy.
     
  19. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Did the Russian Army change strategy in 1942 in the fact that the large amount of prisoners that the Germans captured in 1941 ceased, they seemed to yeald ground and melt away to fight another day rather to be encircled in there thousands.
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    It was a combination of factors that saw a change in fortunes.

    First after a year at war in Russia the German army was worn, tired and lacked the spark of 1941. They were also in transition as the Pz I's, II's and 38t's were withdrawn from front line service to be replaced by Pz III's, IV's, Stugs and Marders when possible. The others (I's,II's and 38t's) were fast but too light to be effective, thus reducing Panzer Division mobility slightly.

    Next the sheer size of frontage needed to be covered by the German Heer was so vast that they could no longer attack across the whole front as in 1941. This narrower attack meant large areas of 'quiet' frontage for the USSR making the challenge of defense a little easier. The vast distance also meant problems for Germany in supply of the attacking units. Many units started the 1942 attack under authorized strength and with worn equipment compared to the previous summer. Getting replacement men, parts and equipment became far harder, and each unit slowly but surely began to become less combat effective as each week passed.

    The Russian army had learned from 1941, junior and senior officers who survived now new how fast a Panzer Korps could move. They also learned better how to communicate and coordinate their troops. By no means perfectly, as they lost every stand up battle fought untill Stalingrad, but far better than 1941. they had learned how to fight, delay, reteat and fight again a few miles down the road.

    The biggest factor was Stalin. He no longer gave 'fight to the last bullet' or 'not one step back' orders for every village in the path of the whermacht. Stalin had learned from his mistakes in the way Hitler did not in 1943-44.
     

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