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The myths of WWII (Eastern Europe)

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by LJAd, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    3) Saying that they could reach Moscow with what they had,without giving a proof/a source,is telling blahblah .As far as I know,not even Guderian (ha) claimed he could reach Moscow .
    There are a lot of exemples of Hitler allowing to go back .31 january 1943:withdrawal of the Demyansk pocket .
     
  2. Jager

    Jager Member

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    I believe it is consensus that Bock asked to bypass the Minsk cauldron to continue to moscow and Guderian requested a push to moscow during Smolensk. Instead both of these were denied. Of course there is no guarantee they could have reached moscow at this point. The russians could have stopped them here as well. But there is just as good a chance they could have succeeded. It was Hitlers idea and plan to try to win a quick victory by using three aggressive thrusts at the soviets. Yet during execution he was conservative and changed his mind several times and thus whatever momentum the Germans had left was slowed. There is no way this can be denied that it cost the German offensive momentum to slow more than it was.
    January of 1943? Barbarossa is 1941. Should we really go into how many times Hitler said hold to the last man during the whole war?
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Thus,saying that they could have reached Moscow with what they had,is wrong .
    Hitler refusing to go on defensive /Hitler's stand fast order :don't you think that these are contradicting ?
    About point 3 :it is wrong to say that after september,it was Hitler who refused to step back :it were the generals who tried to go forward,and Hitler agreed .
    About point 5 (Kursk) :it is clear that you have no idea of the situation ,and of the Russian counteroffensives,starting DURING Citadelle .In 1943,the Soviets committed 14 million men and more than 20000 tanks,against this,the backhand of Manstein could do nothing .
    I also don't see the relevance of the comparison betwen the German and Russian uniforms .
     
  4. Jager

    Jager Member

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    Saying could have reached moscow is not wrong. If i said would have reached moscow then it would be wrong.
    I see what you are saying but not what I meant. by defensive i did not mean not attack (that was not manstiens idea). i meant fall back to a position that could be well defended (a short line, and in ideal location, i believe manstien said the dnieper but not sure), a position that could be well supplied, and a position that was not covered in marsh and steppe that reduced german mobility. The russians scorched the land they left behind to the germans. This combined with the already fragile road system made supply a problem. In fact many russian civilians died from starvation due to the scorched earth tactics. Manstien argued to make the russians use this land instead of the germans (his backhand idea).
    at point 3. you are right in this instance i agree. his generals did want typhoon. but if you re-read my statement you see that i said after the failure of barbarossa and typhoon the germans should have adopted a defensive strategy instead of continuing to go on the offensive as hitler continued to order.
    For 5. im not sure what you are getting at but if you are saying that i am unaware of the orel sarient offensive and south offensive that took place shortly after kursk began then i am aware. Manstien did not argue that he could win kursk. The German offensive bogged down faster than it started. He argued that hitler should continue to press the offensive long enough for his units in the south to withdrawal to a better defensive position. More or less the pressure on the kursk salient prevented it from cutting off the southern forces. After kursk Manstien had to conduct a withdrawal that cost the south army to lose a majority of its equipment because of the rapid advance of soviet forces. I know some people argue the germans might have been winning at kursk but IMO zhukov had prepared well and the german offensive actually made little penetration into soviet lines. Manstien needed time to get his forces back. Kluge wanted to forget kursk and try to stop the orel offensive but he should have also worked on a withdrawal.
    For the uniforms. In the experiment they put a person in each uniform and make him sit in an iced room. they examine the person through thermo sensory goggles and you notice how much body heat escapes the german uniform compared to the russian. The german inform losses alot of heat through the arm pits and far end of the sleeves. Thus german uniforms actually did not keep the soldiers as warm as russian soldiers. thats the point. the cold did have an effect on the germans. although it is not the deciding factor.
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well,the cold factor is irrelevant for Barbarossa(which failed before the winter) and the effects of the cold during the winter have been exagerated to the point that this has become something mythological.
    About point 3 (the Germans still advancing after the failure of Typhoon):the reality is the following :
    Bock and Halder pressed ahead with the plan,at the conference of 13 november,they insisted on continuing the attack,Guderian gave the order to the LIII corps to advance 140 km to Ryasan(this would take 3 weeks).
    The theory that it was Hitler who insisted on the final attack against Moscow against any price,is wrong .During those critical days in november,Hitler did not exert any particular influence on the final attack against Moscow .
    An other point is :was this attack a mistake ? Without hindsight,it is very questionable to say that the attack was a mistake .
     
  6. Jager

    Jager Member

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    yes and yes agreed. cold was not relevant for barbarossa. and yes typhoon was a mistake and was pressed by German high command and not Hitler. Again though I was talking about after typhoon. German High Command was not without its mistakes. But Hitler's mistakes were more crucial than the decision to press on typhoon. First the mistake to even invade the soviet union, failure to issue a furher order and follow through with it instead of changing the objectives multiple times during the operation, the stand fast rule, Hitlers structural re-organization (34 commanders were dismissed from battalion command and up from december of 41 to feb 42) , and an insistence on staying on the offensive that would only cost needed German soldiers in an effort to hold onto scorched and battle hindered land. So yes agreed Typhoon was not Hitlers decision and it was a mistake. And there were other mistakes committed by german high command but its fair to say that Hitler's actions were detrimental.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Again no. If you make an irrelevant statment then calling you on it shows that it doesn't support your position. If you think it's relevant then explain why.
    Sorry that's not quite right. You said that the US couldn't defeat China. Given the fact that the Chinese offensive was stopped and pushed back with the US using only a fraction of its power your contention that they couldn't do so is hardly a fact. Indeed the defeat of the Chinese offensive could be viewed as a direct counter to your hypothesis. Even more telling is the operations that eventually got the Chinese to negotiate seriously. The US position in Korea was that if the US (actually UN) inflicted a clear and serious defeat on China that the Soviets might feel that they had to step in which would likely have resulted in a nuclear exchange so ending things at or close to the start line was viewed as the best option at that point.
    Not really especially when you haven't supported your position at all.
    I could do so but it would be off topic in this thread if you want it answered start a thread in the appropriate forum.
    Most of your statments have indicated a strong nationalistic sentiment in favor of the Soviets. The Chinese thing was just a side light and not all that relevant to the thread.
    Please indicate where I have made such remarks. I think the shoe is rather on the other foot as the whole Korean war/Chinese discussion would indicate.
     
  8. Jager

    Jager Member

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    I didnt bother to respond to his chinese argument. America never didnt lose at Korea. China could raise a 2 billion man army and it would never reach the shores of the US. On the other hand the US could strike China from multiple angles with multiple weapons. While Russia is defended by vasts amounts of terrain and harsh climate. The US is protected by the 2 largest oceans in the world and the most powerful navy on those waters, with the most powerful air force supporting them. if the us is at war with china then it wont take place in just Korea. That makes little sense. We need not go into the details of how china has virtually no way of reaching america. Unless you assume they can hide a massive army in the pacific and reach america without being seen. as lwd said this is off topic and makes little sense anyways.
     
  9. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Hi; I believe one of the mistakes the German high command made was was to underestimate just how vast European Russia was. France 212,935 sq mi (2011) Germany 138,00 sq mi (2011) western Russia in the Soviet Union days 1.841,000 sq mi that is taking modern western Russia and adding Ukraine and Belarus to it. That is 8 times the area of France, now when you consider the German blitzkrieg took 6 weeks( approx) to defeat France they thought they could do the same in the Soviet Union in just 10 weeks? When people look at a map there is a tendancy not to consider the distances involved . I live in Eastern Canada and during tourist season we commonly get foreign visitors asking how long a drive is it to Toronto for example and when you tell them it will take 2 days to drive there they look at us with disbelief ! " it doesn't look that far on the map " is a common responce. Just logistically to keep a huge military machine going over such a vast area must have been a huge undertaking.
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    You are wrong here(IMHO):the Germans dod not underestimate the extensiveness of European Russia .They were planning to eliminate -at the border-,the Red Army,this would demand 10 weeks, afterwards (some 12 weeks,minus an operational pause),the mobile units,followed by the infantry,would advance-as quick as possible-till the A-A line .This would be possible,because,at the end of august,the Soviet state would collapse,thus,after august,there would be no big fighting,only a mop up.Thus,how big the SU was,was not that important .
    But,all was depending on a success in the first 10 weeks,and,there,the Germans failed,resulting in the failure of the whole plan .
     
  11. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    I am sure Hitler and his staff had accurate maps and they were familiar with the distance between two points on that map. Do you think the initial 10 week campain would have worked if the Soviet Union was the size of France instead the area involved was France x7 .. Is it possible that the German military was inflicted with the same "victory disease" in 1941 that the Japanese had in /42 ? After steamrolling through western Europe as rapidly as they did they must have thought themselves invincable to invade something as vast as Western Russia and believe they could achieve complete victory in less than 6 months..
     
  12. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Perhaps the largest myth is that German occupation forces could be divided into good guys (Wermacht) and bad guys (SS and Einsatzgruppen).
    All of them were deeply involved in death of 13 million Russian civilians that have died during German occupation. SS and Einsatzgruppen can not be considered as separate forces who have acted secretly and indepandently from Wehrmacht. All of them knew exactly what are they doing and all have been involved in the largest crime ever committed by one nation to another.
     
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  13. Jager

    Jager Member

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    The 13 million russian civilians were not slaughtered by just German forces. Though millions were viciously murdered by Germans, Stalin himself exposed millions of these civilians to starvation and disease by using scorched earth. And Stalin would send many to their deaths for surrendering to the Germans when the russians would return. The russians would also do the same to the germans as they came back. The ostfront was a war based on hatred and all the people from both sides would suffer accordingly. Stalin and Hitler are perhaps the 2 most evil people to ever exist and it is only logical to know that everybody caught between them would not be treated well regardless of what side you were on.
     
  14. Jager

    Jager Member

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    I agree with scrounger. The Germans thought they would roll through russia as easily as they did in France. They failed to think of how primitive the roads were and how much harsher the terrain in russia was compared to france. The German mechanized and air formations that had given them a good victory in france would not be as effective in russia due to the vastness. And to be honest I do not know of any German commander in high command that truly believed that the eastfront could be won quickly. Only hitler and his supporters thought so and they were in dis illusion by their quick victories clearly. That and it was clear that Hitler was in dis illusion because it doesnt take common sense to know the hardships of fighting a 2 front war. Watch any interview of any German veteran. They will all say how suprised they were at the decision to invade the USSR before the war in the west was won.
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This is dangerously close to the classic excuses of the fanboys :it was Hitler,the weather,the primitive roads,the terrain ,and blahblah .
    The primitive roads and the terrain were also hindering the Soviets .The same for the vastness :if you would look on a map,you would see that the distance Magnitogorsk-Smolensk is bigger than the distance Ruhr -Smolensk .Magnitogorsk=one of the centers of the Soviet armament production .
    There also is no proof that with better roads,the Germans would advance faster .
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    There may not be quantative proof, but logic would suggest that it be so. Vehicles move faster and cheaper on paved roads than they do though dirt and especially mud.
     
  17. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    When Barborossa was Initially planned did Hitler and his staff believe Britian and the Commonwealth countries were no longer a threat ? They must have planned to committ most of Germany's resources to have any chance of success in Russia . Than in December 1941 he declares war on the other world's superpower the U S A . Somewhere in a back room I could imagine a couple of high ranking German officers leaning over their schnnaps and in a hushed voice exclaming " we're screwed "
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1)it is the same for the Russians
    2)vehicles move faster on paved roads....if there is no opposition,and this was not the case in the summer of 1941
    3)the German advance was not depending on the vehicles:the advance of the mobile divisions was depending on the slow advance of the infantry divisions:it is like a convoy:the speed of a convoy was limited by the speed of the slowest ship .
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    When Hitler took the decision to start Barbarossa,he was convinced that Britain and the Commonwealth were a very big possible threat,and that,if the US and the SU would join Britain,he was doomed .And,most of Germany's resources were committed to Barbarossa ,only some 5 operational divisions were not engaged in Barbarossa .
     
  20. Jager

    Jager Member

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    The soviets were in defense. Busy being rounded up by the Germans or in a hasty retreat and they destroyed the roads they used along the way. Something called scorched Earth. The Russians moved easier than the Germans. Again watch any veterans interview. The German rapid advance took its toll on the Germans. Moving as quickly as they did and fighting as much as they did exhausted them. Not the same for the russians who more or less expended everything they had and just replaced the losses.
     

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