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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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    I have abandoned this discussion but, just to mention the most important constraint that should be taken into account in any alternative scenario:

    Germans had just two months to win.

    There was no play-off.
     
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  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Not really. How many RR lines do you think there were? If you cut out half of them and reassigned the crews to the other half that doesn't mean that you would modify/repair the lines twice as fast. Keep reducing the lines and you will reach a point where you don't improve the rate of modification at all. At the same time the line you are modifying becomes much more critical and your opponent can mass forces to attack it. A narrow thrust also makes more of the line vulnerable as at least one flank will be open (at least to aircraft). Concentration along a single narrow front also means that it's clear to the defenders just how critical the RR bridges are along that axis of advance, which suggest the probability of them being dropped in advance is higher.

    Note that you have fallen for one of the more common faults of what ifs (even though it's been pointed out) of looking at only one side of the issue and presuming the other side won't react reasonably.
     
  3. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL Hoth's large force advanced rapidly from Smolensk to Leningrad and back before Typhoon and Höpner's force advanced from Leningrad to reinforce the attack on Moscow during Typhoon (despite a small battered Panzer force and meager air support) . Yet you don't think that ATL Guderian cannot advance with strong air support from Leningrad to Moscow (part of the force joining Höpner in Rzhev).
    750 km is nothing in the USSR, as proven by the fact that Hoth went back and forth.
    It is amazing how easy it is to make a completely baseless, yet apparently factual statement.
     
  4. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    As I already mentioned 4 times, the only captured trains were in the Baltic and advancing very rapidly along coastal Ukraine would have probably also resulted in capturing more trains. Even if the gauge has to be modified immediately, it is much easier to do so along the Black Sea coast, with a flank covered and to supply a small army (the bulk remaining along the central border), than several long RRs in Belorussia and the Ukraine to supply a huge, rapidly advancing army

    The red army reacted dismally in every action during the first months (as it did in Poland and Finland). The problem was that Barbarossa wasted all that by smashing against Bialystok, Brest, Grodno, Brody, Kiev, Minsk, Smolensk, Odessa (with a weak, Romanian force), Raseiniai (with a weak Panzer force and air support), etc, and diluting its strength over a huge front, presenting the USSR with invaluable time and the opportunity to kill or wound hundreds of thousands of axis men, destroy well over a thousand tanks, etc, from strong defenses and with the largest armor concentrations. It is as if instead of bypassing the Maginot and allied armor in 1940, concentrating and advancing rapidly where the French were weak, the Germans had wasted months and hundreds of thousands of men smashing through the Maginot and over a thousand tanks crashing against the strongest allied armor formations, letting the French use their defensive posititions and superior and more numerous armor.
    Yet, you appear to think that somehow, magically the Soviets will react promptly and efficiently to stop two very strong thrusts with a protected flank and far from the strongest defenses and armor (the sickle cut all over again, but with only a flank exposed in each thrust).
     
  5. green slime

    green slime Member

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    1 ) Your flank is not protected at all; or at least, you have definitely failed to demonstrate how. Handwaving about the ports, was not good enough. Now, handwaving about the railroads, is also not good enough.

    There are only 4 major East-West lines:
    Niemen river to Leningrad (double track)
    Bug river to Orsha to Moscow (double track)
    Bug river to Kremenchug to the Donets basin (double track)
    San river to Odessa (double track)

    The Soviets were able to destroy nearly every bridge the Germans needed as the Soviet forces retreated eastwards.

    2 ) You cannot advance as fast as you pretend. No one ever has. Ever. Not even the superior trained, highly organised, extremely well supplied, with total air dominance, modern mechanised US armed forces against an antiquated Iraqi enemy in an open terrain.
    3 ) There are no paratroopers to drop.
    4 ) No one else is aware of this concept of "bulk" in regards to an army; this new concept, how many divisions, how it is organised, who is in control, where exactly does the line of control pass between this "bulk" and the meagre, flimsy attacking force, with no protection for it's supply or flank.
    5) This flimsy attacking force: Exactly which divisions are attacking where? What is their daily timetable? Where are the planned halts for re-supply? Which air assets are assigned to which front, where are their airfields?

    I understand why you are so reticent to deliver the requested detailed information and timetable; it would be so much easier for critics to tear a whole the size of Jupiter in your "plan",

    Your characterisation of the first months is also horribly flawed, but it also explains why you are unable to grasp other concepts. It shows a very shallow understanding of the undertaking that was Operation Barbarossa, and the capabilities of the Soviets.
     
  6. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Again, the ATL "flimsy attacking force" is much stronger than OTL and facing a much weaker force along the coast. Kleist and Hoth have an extremely strong, joint force and instead of smashing against Brody & Minsk respectively with both flanks exposed, they are bypassing Odessa, Nikolaev, etc, with heavy air support.

    Likewise, Höpner has 850, instead of under 700 Panzers, a lot more trucks, supplies also through Riga from early in the offensive and much stronger air support, Reinhardt does not waste days nor take heavy losses in Raseiniai.

    OTL despite Reinhardt wasted several days in Raseiniai and Manstein advanced alone with weak and poorly supplied and supported force to Daugavpils in record time (315 km in 100 h, according to Erik Manstein in wiki) and then repelled counter attacks. ATL all of Höpners Panzers plow through the weak area and with fewer losses and far better supplies. Manstein's magnificent achievement beign wasted when he is halted in order for foot infantry with horse trains to catch up.

    Flimsy is four separate columns OTL, only the weakest one (Höpner's) with a flank covered and the 3 of them with exposed flanks advancing smack against colossal defenses and armor concentrations. Worst of all, all of them depending on foot infantry with horse supplies to limit their advance.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    OTL: not so flimsy, as the "bulk" of the army was there, to protect the flanks, protect the supplies, and to provide security.

    Manstein had to halt, in order to get supplied. Without foot infantry, he'd not be getting supplied, because there'd be no security in his rear.

    315 km in 100h (more than 4 days); considered remarkable, yet here you are, planning 1000 km in 7 days, and you wonder why no one takes you seriously. The planning originally held pulses of 300-350 km precisely in order to keep the armored forces in supply. It is not a limit of the infantry, or the horses, but of the mechanised forces.

    Still looking for a proper breakdown of which units, where and when.
     
  8. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL the bulk of the army (including artillery) was on foot and with horses, days to weeks behind the armor with exposed flanks, so it did not assist the flimsy, exposed armor's nearly continuous, heavy combat. The huge, marching army with 625,000 horses actually hindered the logistics of the Panzer divisions by crowing roads, bridges, etc, for hundreds of km

    Manstein could and wanted to advance, but was ordered to halt for infantry on foot and horses to catch up (not supplies), just like Guderian was daftly ordered to stop in France, but fortunately for Germany, Guderian's superior relented and authorized a recce in force. Manstein then lost command of his small Panzer force!

    What part of Höpner is not advancing all the way to Leningrad, but meeting 150 Panzers advancing S from Finland on the 7th day, while the other 300 Panzers of Guderian advance to Moscow, destabilizing the front?
    Even from E Prussia to Leningrad it was about 950 km and Höpner is meeting the 150 Panzers under 660 km from E Prussia, so his strong force is advancing on average 94 km/day, a perfectly feasible advance, given the much stronger force, air and motorized infantry support and better logistics than OTL (Höpner has a lot more trucks than OTL, plus supplies through Riga). The pincer attack (850 Panzers from E Prussia and 150 from Finland, 1,000 Panzers in the area and from 2 directions, instead of under 700 Panzers in the area and from one direction) forces Soviet forces to split, rendering the task of Höpner's stronger force much easier than OTL. Moreover, the 300 Panzers heading for Moscow also prevent forces in that sector from reinforcing the coast. In total, there are 1,300 tanks in the area, nearly twice as many as OTL and much better deployed, supported and supplied.

    Keep in mind that also all the engineering resources (bridging equipment, personnel, etc,) are available for the two main thrusts, Murmansk & Kandalaksha, instead of spread OTL all over the Ukraine (N Ukraine initially, then advancing S to Nikolaev, then N to Lokhvitza), Belorussia (Hoth and Guderian had each a large egineering team and had to use separate bridges) and the Baltic and that there was no Stalin line in the Baltic and in Russia it is attack from behind by the 150 tanks from Finland.

    [​IMG]

    Here is an interesting comment about partisans in the Baltic countries helping the Germans, instead of attackling them as in Belorussia:
    from http://latvianhistory.com/2013/06/22/nazi-germany-invasion-in-latvia-1941/
    As the Germans invaded in Lithuania and Latvia a sharp rise of the partisan activity occurred. However, these people attacked Soviets not Germans. Motivated by the will to avenge the Soviet terror and reclaim independence the Red Army faced even harder times. Important factor in this was the mass deportations in June 14 that made many to take their arms and chase away the Soviets. After one year of terror the Nazi’s seemed as the lesser evil.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Every tank general blames the foot soldiers, when in reality, it is their own supply lines they are out running, and their flanks that need protecting. Happened in France, happened in Russia.

    Let's take this "daft" order in France:

    Rundstedt, the commander of Army Group A, had intended that the panzer divisions should rest after the exertions on 20 May. (I wonder why.... panzertroopers are supermen never tiring, German tanks run on the willpower of their drivers)

    The British and French counterattack at Arras on May 21, 1940 put a fright into German commanders. Though the counterattack had been pretty much a fizzle, it had caught the German panzers with their pants down. The German armored divisions had outrun the slower infantry divisions and German commanders were worried about their flanks. Erwin Rommel contributed to the general angst among German commanders by claiming he was attacked by "hundreds" of British tanks to the tune of five divisions at Arras and was in favor of sitting tight until the infantry caught up.

    While the counterattack had been fended off, German commanders feared another attack at Arras.

    General Ewald von Kleist, commanding Panzer Group Kleist, pulled out the 10th Panzer Division from Heinz Guderian's XIX Corps's advance on Boulogne and Dunkirk, put it into in reserve in case Britain and France renewed their attack at Arras. Kleist then complained that his XIX and XIV corps weren't strong enough to continue their advance until Arras was dealt with.

    These moves were kicked up the chain of command to 4th Army's Gunther von Kluge and on to Army Group A commander Gerd von Rundstedt. von Kluge ordered a halt on May 23. von Rundstedt approved of the halt and kicked it up to OKH where Field Marschal Walter von Brauchitsch and Hitler okayed the halt. OKH's orders to von Rundstedt gave him the discretion of when to resume the advance.

    Thus the pause was requested by von Kluge, who had suffered severe depletion of his armoured forces, needed time to regroup, resupply, and protect his flanks... That the feared Franco-British counter-attack never materialised is immaterial to the question of whether the Germans feared for the flanks and their supply.

    Oh dear! Once again German Generals actually obfuscating and being very elective in their memories.

    Once all this is understood, you cannot claim the halt was daft.

    Historically, supplies were brought in through the ports; so how are you increasing the amount? Yet another question you just fail to answer.

    You have not shown that the supply is improved, in the least. You are just hand-waving, and stating it is so. More trucks does not necessarily mean better supply or improved logistics. More trucks need more protection, not less. As you have never said anything about which divisions are where, other than the broadest of contexts, you are still showing a very lax attitude towards what really is the key element in any operation, which is logistics. In this discipline, more than any other, the devil really is in the details. Details which you never reveal. Failure to do so, only confirms that you are either too lazy to care, or that this as a crackpot theory.

    Repeatedly I've asked for details, and the quality of your answers are, quite frankly below all criticism. It's on the level of asking how a fridge works, and being told "You open the fridge door and it's cold inside, what about that don't you get?" Putting it less succinctly; it's the answer of a five-year-old, not that of an engineer.

    Even after repeatedly explaining the losses taken at Crete, you were still advocating dropping paratroops near the White Sea. If you wanted to kill off the remains of one of the finest divisions the Germans had, it'd be hard to come up with a better plan to do so.
     
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  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    And I'll say again, Repeating something does nothing to increase its validity.

    You have done nothing to show that they could have captured more trains. Nor have you in any way shown that it would be easier along the Black Sea coast (although why you brought this up when you are talking about the Baltic is an open question) The fact that it would be a narrow thrust would mean that the flank would indeed be open to both attacks by air and infiltration of ground forces to attack the line(s). There's also a lot about RR operations that you apparently don't understand. There are a couple of good threads on the topic over on the axis history forum if you are interested in facts.
     
  11. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Again, men do not need a week's rest. The Panzer crews of Kleist, Hoth and Guderian, who encountered much tougher resistance than Manstein's certainly did not, not even on their long detours from Smolensk to Leningrad and back or from Smolesnk to Lokhvitsa and back or from Uman to Nikolaev and back to Lokhvitsa. The suggestion that Manstein's men desperately needed a week´s holydays, more so than Hoth's, etc, is a joke. Manstein and his men knew that the longer they waited, the much tougher resistance would be when they renewed the attack.

    It is not my problem, but yours, if you cannot understand that Höpner and the infantry following him had extremely few trucks, engineers, planes, STUG and the worst tanks [Pz I and II and 35 (t)] because the trucks, engineers, STUG, planes, etc, and the best tanks were concentrating on Guderian's and Hoth's thrusts and that Riga was not available on the first days, because Reinhardt had to waste several days in Raseiniai (held up for over a day by a single KV-1) and fighting 300 counter attacking tanks with a very small force and weak support. Or that AGN was the only one taking heavy air attack (because 90% of enemy planes survived the 1st day, compared to 50% in AGC's area), or that AGN captured the only train available in Soviet territory in all of Barbarossa. Therefore, if the planes in AGN's sector are wiped out, if Riga is available after a couple of days (because resistance in Raseiniai is rapidly swept aside by stronger armor and planes) and if AGN has several times more trucks than it did OTL (some of them and supplies landing in Riga), supplies are much better and losses much lower than OTL.

    You do not realize that the 1st and critical week of Barbarossa was wasted with over 2 million men advancing on foot with 625,000 horses (with artillery, shells, etc,) far behind the armor and with the armor engaging in pointess battles in Raseinia, Minsk, Grodno, Brody, etc, with ridiculously weak Pazner forces in Raseiniai and Brody and with the infantry held up in Brest, Bialystok, Grodno, Minsk, etc, for long periods instead of penetrating rapidly with stronger forces in weak areas.

    Infantry marching into the endless USSR for long weeks in the sun and dust became bored, exhausted and depressed even before entering combat. If most of those men remain in defensive lines (where they can be rotated) and the men who do advance do so mostly by truck, ship and train, the force is much more effective.

    Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and Crete were invaluable airborne operation experiences. Crete's heavy losses resulted only from Student ignoring completely Löhring's objections to dispersing the airborne force and air support over a wide area. Even then the capture of an island with a strong British force and complete Bitish sea domination impressed tha allies so much that the British and Americans developed airborne units. The losses that you consider enormous for capturing an island are minute compared to the huge number of troops killed or captured LOSING GROUND in Libya (130,000 Italians) or allies in Dunkirk, Greece-Crete, Gazala-Tobruk, Malaya, PI, etc, or Germans in Stonne, Yelnya, Rostov, Stalingrad,
    Only an idiot like Hitler concludes that it is better to stop airdrops althogether, instead of learning from mistakes and perform only concentrated airdrops with heavy air support. Luckily for the allies, they continued improving and using airborne operations (although Monty managed to make big mistakes and wasted more men for no gains at all during market-Garden than Germany in Crete).

    You have all the details you need, you just cannot assimilate them, any more details would simply result in more tangential objections
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    When you build a structure based on assumptions, fallacies, and faulty logic it's hardly surprising that others don't readily accept it. Demonstrating that you can't or won't answer the objections of others with fact and logic makes it even worse. To date it's not clear that you have convinced anyone on any of your threads and certainly you have not convinced any of us posting. The implication is pretty clear and it's most certainly not us who don't understand.
     
  13. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    By the way, in Crete the British promptly lost more men than the Germans and an island which Churchill considered so valuable that he had ordered to hold at all costs and the RN was trounced, so regarding it as a failed operation is odd, when the allies took over a month, ridiculous casualties and tank losses, etc, just to capture bloody Caen or Iwo Jima and considered those victories.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What a warped view of history. No wonder your concepts are so flawed.
     
  15. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    User's Awards
    [​IMG]


    Posted Today, 12:11 PM

    Crete with 8,300 km2 and crucial location in 11 days and damaging or sinking over a dozen RN ships by a small German force (practically without a fleet) is an exceedingly costly operation. In contrast, Iwo with 21 km2 invaded by a large force with a huge fleet in over a month is a remarkable, exemplary victory. Tarawa, etc, were also exemplary operations.

    Sicily is a remarkable airborne operation, despite dozens of planes shot down by friendly fire. Even Algeria, where the paratroopers landed very far from target and they were fighting neutral Frenchmen was a wll planned and executed, qualified success.

    Accordinly, you have determined that German airborne troops will not be able to take and hold even weak Kandalaksha and an undefended area midway between it and Salla and will be wiped out.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The British defenders of Crete were disorganized and in some cases without weapons having recently been evacuated from the mainland. The Germans also had air superiority over Crete and used that against the RN. They still weren't very successful vs RN ships that had adequate AA ammo and were able to maneuver at speed. Also look at what happened to the sea born part of the invasion.

    As for Kandalaksha I have determined no such thing so that's a bit of a straw man isn't it. On the other hand I airborne forces didn't do that well when dropped on organized units. Not sure how well the terrain would work for an airborne assault either. In the case of the Germans they have serious problems if actually dropped on an opposing unit and if dropped too far away their lack of artillery support becomes a serious weakness. You also haven't addressed the fact at all that since you are not engaging the mass of the Red Army that it can pivot to oppose your operations.
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member

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    ROTFLMAO!!

    This statement is so baldly idiotic it ranks right up there with quotable quotes from old Baghdad Bob!!

    How does someone like you, manage to say so little of real consequence, with so many words?

    Your statements are filled with Strawmen, laced with insults, ripe with assumptions, and rich in false conclusions.

    You never answer the question posed. Like some pouting child.
     
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  18. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The LW sank one of the formidable RN AAA light cruisers, which had a lot of guns, but small magazines, which after a few minutes ran out of shells, so the crews had to manhandle the rounds, greatly limiting the rate of fire. After a while many ships completely ran out of AAA shells. The RN was shanefully trounced and kicked out of Crete.
    RAF sent a few Hurricanes during the invasion, most of which were shot down by friendly fire.
    In Kandalaksha the LW also has complete superiority and the Soviet force there on June 22 is a joke compared with Crete (the Soviets did not expect an attack there and were defending Salla, Murmansk and other areas where they expected an attack or to attack from them.
    I did specify that Ju 52 with floats are used to transport troops and a disassembled 8.8 cm gun and shells.
    The Soviets have to prioritize reinforcing vital Murmansk on the first days (after losing the fleet and planes and facing a German fleet, which I also specified), over liberating insignificant Kandaksha. Rapidly capturing Salla and the midway area and the Germans-Finns establishing a connection between them, with heavy air reinforcement and supplies also makes liberating Kandalaksha, while much more important Murmansk, Leningrad, Tallin and Kronstadt are being attacked much more difficult and less important for the Soviets.

    Here is how important blue blood was for Churchill: After Mountbatten lost his destroyer in Crete, he received a fleet carrier (despite knowing nothing about naval aviation or even about large ships). He was then put in charge of special ops and after the Dieppe fiasco-debacle, he was put in charge of the India-China theater! Likewise, Lord Sempil, a proven traitor for years was not shot, but simply got a job in a less critical position.
    In contrast, lowly O'Connor performed the only successful British army operation with few resources and plans against a large Italian force and he lost his troops (sent to Somalia and Greece) and command and was sent only as an advisor after his substitue was trounced by Rommel and he was captured.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Lord Sempil was not a traitor, as Britain and Japan were not at war and as he was not giving military secrets to Japan : he was a private citizen .

    That was the reason why he was not accused .
     
  20. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    He passed extensive classified information about aircraft, munitions, etc, and received excellent payment from the Japanese for years. MI-5 and 6 had quite increminating dosiers with letters, phone calls, checks, etc, which Churcill saw. Had Sempil not been a lord, his case would not have even reached Churchill and he would have been executed promptly (like the RAF traitor in Malaya-Singapore who was shot on the docks without trial). You are completely wrong if you think there has to be a war for treason to occur. Any Frenchman, Pole, Belgian or Brit passing information to Germany or viceversa before Sept 1,1939 was definitely a traitor. The USSR and US were not at war, when many Americans and Soviets were prosecuted for treason (including the Rosenbergs, who passed A bomb information to an ally).
     

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