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Barbarossa is well planned & executed, much like the sickle cut was.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by mjölnir, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    From time to time we have to listen to desperate Führer's fan boys lamenting about the wrong end of the war that was already (almost) won. They feed their enthusiasm predominantly on Guderian's and Manstein's memoirs. These sources are just biased, blame-shifting, selective popular historiography where major defeats are simply overlooked. Here is an incomplete list of major defeats of the Axis in Europe:

    Battle for Britain – Lost
    Battle for Russia – Lost
    Fall Blau – Lost
    Kursk – Lost
    North Africa – Lost
    Battle for Ukraine – Lost
    Battle for Italy – Lost
    Allied Invasion of Europe – Lost
    Bagration – Lost
    Battles for Germany – Lost
    Battle for Berlin - Lost
    ........

    Defeat of the Axis was deserved, complete, utter and overwhelming. I regret just that they haven't been beaten much harder - at the north too.
     
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  2. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Tamino; I've also started to think along this line of reasoning; it gets tiresome when people are auto-accepting the German Commanders whom always blame extenuating circumstances:

    Roll a dice

    1) Hitler
    2) Mud
    3) Snow
    4) Göring and the LW
    5) Russian Hordes
    6) Lend Lease

    The reason those German commaders were where they were; they were a bunch of self-aggrandizing toadies.

    Imagine if someone else in modern times tried to make as many excuses for their frequent failures; they'd be the laughing stock of the world.

    The culture really comes across in the difference in tone of memoirs, between Germans (Grim; Desperate, Self-Glorifying, Wagnerian), British (Self-efacing bordering on the Incompetent, Humourous).
     
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  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Historically they destroyed lots of Soviet planes and ship and killed or captured massive numbers of Red Army troops. In your scenario many of these can be improving defenses or moved to contain or counter attack your narrow thrust. Ultimately though what does reaching Murmansk or even Moscow by you? If the USSR is essentially intact except for your northern incursion what have you gained? Especially when you consider that the Red Army can threaten the German oil supply? Barbarossa was based on Hitler's belief "kick in the door and the whole house will collapse". Barbarossa was a huge kick and more than the door caved in but the house didn't collapse. How will your lesser kick be expected to have any real positive impact for the Germans. PLS remember also that the Red Army has greater strategic mobility due the intact railroads than the Heer has. Historically much of it was negated as much of the Red Army was engaged.
     
  4. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    7) von Paulus
    :dance3: :sunglasses-peek: :circlejerk:
     
  5. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    You still never addressed the fact that regardless of shipping available, Finland has one port capable of offloading heavy equipment (tanks, ammunition) that has rail capacity and its limited capacity is half of what was the minimum requirement of the force structure you suggested.
    Perhaps you feel cramming every Finish port (from the one decent sized port down to small fishing villages???) with German military hardware and troops won't tip off the Soviets that something bad might happen soon?
    Your simpleton solutions and avoidance of major issues aren't convincing anyone, not even on single aspects of your "plan".

    If you want a "Barbarossa" thats better planned, try this: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/43452-son-of-barbarossa-or-sob-a-what-if-where-barbarossa-is-made-to-work/

    We've been down this road many times and many here abd VERY well read on the topic.
     
  6. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Black,
    I did write about how easy it is to unload a few 27 tonne tanks, most tanks being much lighter in Barbarossa) in Oulu or in any beach for that matter from barges and ships. Considering that a dauntig task with 1940s technology, materials and tools would make Archimedes, the Egyptians or any ancient engineer laugh really hard.
    You keep making the same absurd objections over and over. Give tools, men and lumber or steel and I'll unload a 50 tonne tank anywhere in 3 days. Caesar's engineers and a lot fewer troops than available for these operations took 10 days to cut the logs, build a pile driver and a whole bridge to cross the Rhine, using only handtools.
    How do you thing that Hannibal transported elephants to Spain?

    No operation in WW II is more difficult and absurdly planned than OTL Barbarossa, except Churchill's invasions of Norway and the Dodecanese.

    The thread you mention (SoB) does not change Barbarossa, it changes the whole war, like improving intelligence enormously, defeating the British, getting the Japanese to attack at the same time, producing more tanks and more and better AT guns, acquiring more fuel, etc, yet the offensive itself is just as absurd.
    BTW, the guy doesn't know that even captured French 47 mm AT guns did not knock out Char B1, unless the shell struck the engine ventilation grid, where the German 37 mm also knocked it out and the KV-1 was superior to the Char B1, so the French 47 mm or even the German 50 mm were not adequate. The best strategy is to have plenty of 88 and 105 mm Flak atatic along the border and advancing rapidly behind trucks, instead of very slowly behind a horse, far from the front.

    I am using only armor, planes, etc, available OTL. but concentrating them on the flanks and the Arctic.and leaving most of the infantry static along the central border.
     
  7. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    They are destroying the planes, etc, but in a smaller and more important area and the ships, securing German shipping. Let the Soviets build all the defenses they want in Smolensk, Kiev, etc, and bleed attacking the border (after all defensive Soviet strategy centered on offense), the main objectives are Murmansk, Leningrad, Kharkov and Moscow, if these fall the millions of troops, with their strong defenses will be out of reinforcements, supplies, transportation, etc, in the mother of all encirclements. It makes a lot more sense to force the Soviets to move their forces than to attack their fortifications head on. OTL Moscow had months to prepare defenses, in this scenario it has weeks.

    OTL the Soviets did bomb Ploesti and there were few LW planes in the area. ATL a large part of the LW is supporting the advance along the Blsck Sea coast, destroying those lanes which bombed Romania, the ships which transported reinforcements and supplies to Odessa and then evacuated the men to Crimea, etc, So Romanian oil, shipping, armor, troops, etc, are dafer and more effective than taking heavy causalties in Odessa for months. Romanian pilots and navy are also much more effective with the LW in their area.

    Another thing that Manstein probably would have done while planning Barbarossa is to secure 2 Bulgarian divisions, planes and naval support for the advance along the Black Sea. The Mojo of the rapid thrust along the Black Sea (capturing Odessa in days and with moderate losses) is more likely to get Bulgarian cooperation, than OTL seeing the Romanians bleed for months just to capture Odessa.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I didn't say most of that. You have shown you can use the quote function properly, PLS take the time to do so..

    As for the aircraft destruction in Barbarossa they got a large number of planes on the ground and overran the airbases not too long afterwards which meant that damaged planes were lost as well. This isn't going to happen in your scenario. It's also fairly easy to move aircraft strategically. The result is that the Soviets will be able to contest the air around the line of attack and LW losses will increase considerably. The fact that the Baltic was heavily mined and saw a lot of action by Soviet subs isn't going to help the German logistics effort either.

    How is Manstein going to secure Bulgarian forces before the fighting starts? That's a huge security risk, indeed it would almost guarantee that the Soviets know ahead of time about the attack.
     
  9. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    Easy? How many tanks have you moved and in what professional capacity? Are you an engineer on a cargo ship? Do you have dockyard experience or perhaps time in the military in an armored unit?
    This whole discussion is a better example of the psychology behind someone not knowing how much they don't know and using simpleton home made logic to solve any issue presented. Regardless, you've been wrong since the OP and continue to be.

    Barbarossa was a bad idea that turned into a bad plan.... Scrap the idea all together and then you have a good plan.

    Exactly... Which is the only way for Barbarossa to actually have a chance of succeeding. Perhaps you missed the point or simply don't get it.

    :tennisclap: (fail)....
     
  10. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The Soviets knew about the attack (just like the Poles, French, Dutch, Belgians, etc, knew before hand that they were being invaded). They all thought that they were prepared, Securing two divisions doesn't mean that you take them home with you and inform everybody of their destination. It means that you get assurances from the top commander that they will be ready for deployment on a given date.

    OTL Stalin knew that Finland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary had German armament and Finland and Romania had German troops ready to attack. The problem is that these countries were not reinforced enough, did not help at all on the first, crucial days of Barbarossa and Germany placed the bulk of armor and aviation far from Finland and Romania (the best locations).
    Stalin and Churchill knew that Bulgaria was in the axis and had Germans, the problem is that Bulgaria did not provide troops, planes, etc, to boost the offensive.

    If you want to learn about maximizing troop use, look at how Napoleon got Spain to provide him his best division, which he deployed in Denmark, before invading Spain (taking Barcelona with soldiers hidden in carts). Hannibal persuaded Gauls, etc, who attacked him, to join him as mercenaries against Rome. In contrast, Hitler refused to use Soviet troops willing to fight Stalin, until after Barnarossa and Typhoon had failed.
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    And look how well things turned out for Napoleon in Spain...

    Napoleon said of the conflict, "It was [the Spanish war] that overthrew me. All my disasters can be traced back to this fatal knot."

    Give up. Your shallow analysis never looks at the practicalities of the real world as it actually existed, nor the limitations of a political dimension, and constantly grants the power of hindsight to your aggressor.

    Consistently ignoring Finnish, Bulgarian and Romanian realities and politics because you do not understand them, or they do not fit into how you want the world to function.
     
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  12. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Invading is one thing, expecting a nation to be ruled by his daft brother is another. I referred to troop use during the invasion od Spain. Napoleon made huge mistakes at sea and in Diplomacy, economy, and militarily in Egypt, Russia, etc, that does not mean he did not have some brilliant campaigns.
    Cesar had a bad end, that does not detract from brilliant campaigns. Finland fought brilliantly and lost. Eisenhower made every possible mistake in Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. Stalin also made huge, costly, serial blunders througout his life, but he remained in power and became ever stronger. Brilliant campaigns and final results are completely different animals. Victoria and fate are fickle women.
     
  13. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    Using the same logic and problem solving as displayed by mjolnir from the Soviet position;

    The Soviets detect the German buildup and build defensive positions similar to those seen at Kursk at all locations opposite German troop concentrations. They pull their forward air forces back out of range of the Luftwaffe but still in range to protect their own forward positions. They concentrate heavy AA assets all through Leningrad and disperse the Baltic Fleet. Soviet Industry goes on a full war footing and begins churning out T34's/KV's, etc. at break neck pace along with modern aircraft. The Soviet then build successive defensive belts north west of Moscow to a depth of 100km similar to Kursk. The Soviets wire every road and rail bridge as well as all key infrastructure in the Baltics to be demolished before the Germans can reach them.
    Soviet procurement agents head to the US with Soviet gold reserves to secure US war materials in mass quantity.

    This type of simpleton speculation works both ways....
     
  14. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The Soviets did know about massive German deployment and chose to build weak frontline defenses in order not to provoke Hitler. Stalin thought that Hitler was bluffing, but would not attack and did not want to provoke Germany to invade (as the Czar had done in 1914, with fatal consequences, despite the fact that Germany was heavily engaged in France and Belgium and A-H was engaged in Serbia. In contrast, in 1941 Germany had 2 divisions fighting in Africa).
    Kursk involved a very small area, a lot of experience (completely lacking in 1941) and took months and huge resources (not available in 1941) and it was built with Germany already at war, not when Stalin is bending over backwards to avoid war.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Part of why Stalin thought Hitler was not going to attack, was that there was no significant build up of German forces in Romania, nor Finland, and accepted the excuse of "Exercises" in Western Poland.

    Had 10+ German mechanised divisions by some logistical miracle appeared in Helsinki, you can be damn sure, Stalin would sit up and take notice.

    Psst: You cannot hide 250,000 Germans with panzers in 1941, passing through Helsinki... not without Harry Potter's cloak of Invisibility. You'll need to capture Hogwort's first!
     
  16. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Sorry had to do it gs. I just had a debate about this in a casino recently, so it's fresh on my mind.

    Following this thread with some interest.
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member

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    :) I know it's "die", but out of consideration of the international audience, and those less gifted in the Anglo-speaking world, I changed it at the last minute... LOL! Serves me right, I guess! :cool:
     
  18. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'll let it slide, this time. :D
     
  19. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    There are 450 Panzers. through Helsinki and some arrive while the invasion is starting (Hitler can tell Molotov that he is preparing to invade Sweden, in his sphere of influence. He claims that he has to unload the bulk of the tanks in Hlesinki and send them by rail. This would even help to justify the mining of the Baltic, which OTL the Soviet fleet observed before the invasion, but did nothing to stop!) and fewer Panzers through Oulu-Petsamo-Kirkenes.
    But again, the Soviets knew perfectly about the massive build up in the direction of Moscow and Kiev (the most vital areas) and still did nothing significant to preempt or defend against it. He did not even relocate crucial industries, people, horses, cattle and stockpiles in Ukraine, until he was invaded. Do you think that Stalin is going to be more worried if he sees tanks in Romania, although he has nothing vital in that direction? What part of Stalin bent over backwards not to provoke war (despite the obvious preparations for a massive invasion and reports by his large spy network and the allies) do you not understand?

    Even after the first massive use of armor and air support in Poland, the most successful surprise attack in WW II, the Sickle cut, involved lines of armor, trucks, cannon, horses, etc, over a 100 km long, about which the Swiss, Luxemburgers, Dutch, etc, informed the allies, yet nobody expected them to attack through the Ardennes and break through Sedan's fortifications and artillery in days.
    Aven after the Sickle cut and Rommel rush to Cherbourg, Paclov was taken completely by surprise by the rapid armor advance to Minsk. Surprise was achieved despite detection of massed forces.
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    What part of not using knowledge only gained through hindsight, do you not understand?

    Invade Sweden from Helsinki?!? 250,000 Germans, lurking in the area between Helsinki and Vyborg, and no one near Sweden? Now there's something no one is going to believe.
     

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