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Spring Rasputitsa 1941

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by phylo_roadking, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Does anyone know the dates that the longer and heavier than normal SPRING Rasputitsa of 1941 began and ended? The one that made the Bug River burst its banks, and contributed to BARBAROSSA being delayed for a month?
     
  2. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Hello Phylo,

    Rasputista in Russia occurs twice anually and usually around the same time year after year. The first in the Spring when the ice and snow melt and later from the Autum rains. To my knowlede though; what delayed German plans for Barbarossa by a month was her allies inability to take care of Greece, the Balkans too had to go... The second Rasputista, played her part. The Germans advanced slower then they had in December.

    Late July to mid Sept. would be my guess? I will try to see if I can locate something more precise.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The Austrian author H.Magenheimer writes the following in "Hitler's War" (P 83):
    What mitigated against a theoretical invasion at the end of May or in early June was the fact that many rivers in the western Soviet Union which would have to be crossed in the course of the attack, including the Bug and the Narew, were still in flood until well into June and would therefore have presented a very disagreeable obstruction .For this reason alone,an attack after 10 june appeared to be the only realistic possibility .
    Magenheimer gives the following source:
    Zapantis:"Hitler's Balkan Campaign,P 86 et seq.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I have found the following on Hyper War:Moscow to Stalingrad:decision in the East:Chapter IX:the Clinch P 176
    In normal years the thaw could be depended upon to begin in about the third week of March at the latitude of Moscow,a week or two earlier in the Ukraine, and at least a week later in the North .
    The whole thing would take some six weeks .
    Sadly enough,there is nothing on when the Rasputitsa would start/finish on the western border .
     
  5. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    All, thanks so far for the above.

    It seems the Spring Thaw started "late" in 1941, same as it did in 1940 in Northern latitudes - for the years 1940-43 saw a La Nina event, with the Jet Stream moving south and allowing the Polar Spiral to hose cold air down from above the Arctic Circle all over Northern Europe; it's what had led to the eight weeks' late thaw in Norway the year before.

    (Conversely, North America saw record HIGH temperatures that Spring, with a very small number of vessels making it through the so-called "North West Passage"!)

    The Spring Rasputitsa is also a fortnight longer than the Autumn's 4-5 weeks average, because it STARTS with a huge amount of water already present in the form of snow and ice! It doesn't depend on it falling out of the sky as rain in late September/early October LOL

    Still, the search is still on for the dates of the Spring 1941 event...
     
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    All, for those interested I've been given some enlightening details elsewhere...from Andrew Zapantis

    .

    I'm not sure about the last question - for the important thing is what the prospect seemed to be when the decision to delay BARBAROSSA was made.

    BUT - we now have a start date....and an interesting little piece of information that fopr some reason (records incomplete/nonexistent) there were TWO, and possibly THREE major periods of flooding during the Spring Thaw....

    "...following the March 3 thaw of the ice, the level of the water of the Bug rose and it was high on March 5. After this, by April 2 the water level dropped considerably; however, on April 23 it began to rise again and attained a very high level on May 5 after which the river's water level began to decrease gradually.

    At Frankopol (situated north of the city of Sokolow Podlaski which is some 75 kilometers northeast of Warsaw and about 100 kilometers west of Brest) high water levels occurred in March, April and May; and the monthly maximum levels in March and then in the beginning of May (the maximum value was reached on May 7) were flood levels."

    ...and the final one in May was high enough to constitute a flood.

    The Rasputitsa ALSO seems to have lasted longer than the normal ~6 weeks - if it began on the 3rd of March, and wasn't winding down again until AFTER May 5th-7th! That's over eight weeks....
     
  7. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Germans did not need the troops used in Greece to start the invasion. There were enough to begin if the Germans had wanted to.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    On paper it would seem so (German paper :)).

    Others on this forum tend tend disagree, they count every possible available sole and then blame logistics and Hitler...:rolleyes: ;)
     

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