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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. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    I did a little research on Baltic sea travel/trade, Finland and the German merchant fleet available. When WW2 started Germany had 400 merchant ships, of which 80% were in foreign ports on 1 Sep 1939. That leaves less than 75 (accounting for losses in Norway) by Spring of 1941 for building Wehrmacht combat power in Finland (which is crazy, since 90% of those ships were involved in shipping coal and iron ore to German steel factories). Only Helsinki had cranes capable of offloading tanks as well as the corresponding piers, railyard, etc. The port freezes sporadically in winter (until 1 April) and requires an icebreaker, of which Finland had 1 only. The ice and winter conditions preclude any buildup until spring, which includes any air transport due to terrible conditions, limited warehouse capacity and limited airfield capacity (which was in use in Crete/Med anyway).
    So basically you have a single port with limited monthly tonnage capacity, limited rail capacity and close very proximity to the Soviets.
    The port is mathematically incapable of supporting the force structure suggested in the OP and it is also mathematically impossible to simultaneously deploy and build a logistical base from a small port in a very short period (less than 90 days).

    This by itself makes the scenario a complete pipe dream... It is logistically impossible. A single Pz Corps with a single Luftwaffe fighter wing would be quite a stretch IMHO.
     
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  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    ... but Black, there are other transportation options. Quantum Teleportation, for example. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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  4. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    No, I didn't miss the "acquired shipping". It didn't amount to anything of note, thus the non-mention.
    Why didn't you address the port capacity, timeframe and inability to keep the build up a secret?
    Germany was mostly unable to ressuply or evacuate the Courland divisions, they fought in similiar fashion to US forces in the Philipines in 1942. They lived hand to mouth with very little resupply, most of what they had was due to falling back on logistical hubs as they initially retreated in Oct 1944. You're way off on your assessment, the facts say much different. The similiar sized Courland forces had ZERO offensive capacity due to logistical difficulties. I challenge you to prove otherwise and prove your previous statements from actual source material and leave your ideas and opinion out of it.


    Right.... Not only is that incredibly simplistic, but its wrong. You don't account for 90% of the equipment, personnel and time requirements. It took 4 months to deploy the 2 understrength divisions of the Afrika Korps to Libya, as a similiar example of what you are proposing.

    Thats your unsupported opinion, not facts...

    So the British RN will play along and not send a task force to destroy the concentration of KM vessels? How does the KM get their units up there past the Norway/North Sea gauntlet without tipping the British/Soviets off to the plan?

    Your plan( :poop:) is completely unworkable. As I stated earlier, the confidence you display requires a look up of "Dunning-Kruger", just sayin...
     
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  5. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Tripoly is much farther from Germany (and the Afrika Korps was transported in wartime, past the RN and RAF), than Helsinki and Oulu are from Könnigsberg (Kaliningrad) and in peacetime. During 1942-43 a much larger axis force was transported to nearby Tunisia (farther from Malta) much faster and with fewer losses, despite the axis having lost by far most of the shipping in the Med and the allies having a massive navy and air force in the Med.

    OTL Germany did not hide its massive build up along the Soviet border, its recce flights, its troop movements in Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, or its armament supplies to Finland, etc, yet Stalin knew that the USSR was not ready and kept supplying Germany up to the day the USSR was invaded, hoping to buy time. What could be more threatening than 3 million men, 3,600 tanks, 625,000 horses, 7,200 guns and 2,800 planes along his borders and with the strongest force along the Belorussian border, in the direction of Moscow? Stalin was positive this was all a bluff by Hitler. He simply refused to believe that Hitler was ready and willing to attack the USSR at the time. Would he feel more threatened if he saw a few hundred planes and tanks in Finland, some of them in the Arctic. The USSR was so unprepared in the Arctic, that despite having 56 reece planes, the German attack from Norway was a surprise.

    Stalin was so far from reality, that after incurring extremely heavy losses, instead of invading all of Finland after the latter ran out of munitions and its few remaining troops were completely exhausted and when a huge Soviet force was in the country (when Finland was utterly defeated), he signed a peace treaty which allowed Finland to keep Petsamo (extremely close to Murmansk), enabled Finland to rearm and resupply itself, to greatly expand and train its army, to grant access to German troops, etc, for over a year!

    I really doubt that Stalin would have declared war on Germany, even if it had invaded only Lithuania and helped Finland and Romania to liberate the territory lost to the USSR, but not invaded Belorussia or Ukraine, say on May 20, 1941. Stalin was so convinced that Hitler was not ready and willing to plunge into full scale war, that he would have bitten the bullet in order to delay war.
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    J. C. (*)

    Guderian is now turning over in his grave moaning: »Glauben Sie, daß ein Mensch weiß, wo Ost Karelien liegt?« ("How many people do you think even know where East Karelia is?")

    The essence of plans for invading the USSR was to pull the Red Army as close to the border – hence the invitation for Russian invasion of East Poland. Then they would give decisive blow to the Red Army before they escape into interior. Finally they would advance quickly towards Moscow without considerable resistance – it was assumed that the Red Army would collapse quickly. That was the best they could have done. Quick victory had no options.

    Now, you are sending the Germans to Moscow over the longest and the most time consuming, debilitating path over Karelia towards Arkhangelsk. The Nazis would have never let allies, or should I mercifully say "co-belligerent" nations, impose them their own national objectives.

    By the way, Arkhangelsk has gained its significance after the deadline for the final Barbarossa blow. Strategic importance of Archangelsk for the success of Barbarossa was equal to clear zero.

    (*) J. C. = Jesus Christ!

    PS: @mjölnir read Blacks' post carefully and even more carefully investigate "Dunning-Kruger effect" from the last statement in the post #144. That may be helpful to you, if you are within an adequate range.
     
  7. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    The distance is not the issue, the issue is LIFT CAPACITY. Please wrap your mind around that... Regardless of how you conduct your own personal problem solving and inventing of ideas, that does not suffice for research and truly understanding the FACTS as they are. The Germans lacked the lift capacity to support your plan, the Finns lacked the port capacity and rail capacity even if they did. There is no way to wave the magic wand and have that disappear, those are facts you cannot work around.
    A fully motorized force plus the Luftwaffe assets you have suggested will require approximately 2500 tons of supplies PER DAY in offensive operations at a minimum (understand that a Pz Div needs 350 per day, Luftwaffe requirements are high due to fuel and ammunition weighing a lot). The daily capacity of the port in question is less than 1000 in winter and maybe 2000 per day in "fair"weather" which is comparable with Tripoli. So...how do you expect to move huge amounts of men and equipment AND stockpile supplies for an offensive through a port than cannot handle the volume? How would you hide the huge increase in activity? How do you transport the massive amount of fuel without tankers? How do you store bulk fuel without storage capacity available? (the Germans had neither the capacity to move the fuel required or store it if they did)
    The list of facts against your plan is massive.
    https://rommelsriposte.com/2011/06/01/capacity-of-tripoli-and-benghazi-harbours-1941/



    OTL the Germans DID hide their build up in multiple ways, one of which was that they didn't execute the build up until 30 days out. They also assured the Soviets the troop concentrations were for Sea Lion and placed there to be away from British eyes and bombs. Large numbers of German troops in Finland does not meet this criteria.

    There were many other issues, to include a limited set of objectives to begin with.

    All the Soviets had to do was put their units on a war footing and begin mobilization and Barbarossa in any form was impossible. Even if your plan was remotely feasible, it ensures pre-invasion detection.
     
  8. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    :dance2: :dance1: :panic:
     
  9. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Again ATL Moscow is being attacked through much shorter routes (Finland-Leningrad-Moscow, E Prussia-Latvia-Rzhev-Moscow and coastal Romania-Maryupol-Kharkov-Moscow) and with shorter supply lines than the incredibly long Poland-Smolensk-Kiev-Moscow and Poland-Smolensk-Leningrad-Moscow). Leningrad is being attacked from nearby Finland, instead of from distant Poland and E Prussia. The route, area and enemy forces encountered by AGS is much easier to Maryupol-Kharkov than the route taken by Kleist's Panzers: Poland-Brody-Kiev-Nikolaev-Kiev-Rostov, while the infantry advanced slowly from Kiev to Kharkov without Panzers.

    The attack on Murmanks and Kandalaksha are not doomed, before they start. They are sucessful, because they are simply taking place with a slightly larger force with secure supplies by sea (Murmansk through Petsamo) and air (kandalaksha and halfway) and by halftracks, as opposed to using a ridiculous air force, weak, poorly trained land forces (SS_Nord) and with no supplies by sea getting through Soviet and British forces.to Murmansk and no supplies by air in Kandalaksha and halfway to it and using mules and horse-drawn carts with narrow, steel rimmed wheels (ill suited for poor roads in difficult, muddy and rocky terrain) in both areas. The successful attacks mean that instead of keeping many ill supplied divisions with heavy losses in ships, planes and troops and no gains for years in that area (while the Soviets received aluminum, planes, explosives, etc, through Murmansk and Arkhangelsk), much of the force is allowed to advance southwards and the Soviets receive nothing through the N Atlantic.

    I am sorry if you cannot see the obvious advantages of securing Murmansk by taking Arkhangelsk and supplying an offensive on Moscow in July-August through Leningrad, Tallin, Riga & Arkhangelsk, as opposed of from Poland, through partisan infested areas. It is interesting that the shortest distance the Germans reached from Moscow was not in the S, E or W,

    Again, what more preinvasion detection do you want than OTL? everybody and his sister knew the invasion was comming, Stalin just bent over backward to gain as much time as possible. Do you think planes (attack planes deployed and recce planes performing flights deep in the USSR), tanks, guns, hundreds of thousands of horses and trucks and millions of men across the border are not obvious?

    Guderian must have also known that nobody knew where Yelnya, Tula and other places where his forces were trounced were and he opposed fervently advancing from Smolenk to Kiev (whose location was well known), so your quote is completely out of context.
     
  10. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Black exactly how many Polish, Dutch, Danish, Belgian, Norwegian, French, Greek, Yugoslav, British, Canadian, etc, ships did your thorough research reveal? funny that you found the number non existant. Even the U-boats, merchant raiders, etc, captured a few.
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Yugoslav?!? Greek? Seriously?!?

    You are the one proposing this idiocy; you post where and when these vessels were seized, and how you are getting them into the Baltic.
     
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  12. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    You claimed to have done the research and found the number of captured ships insignificant. I didn't. Number of axis ships was never a problem in 1941. The problem was the RN and RAF in the Atlantic, Med and Arctic and the Soviet navy and air force in the Arctic. Even Soviet submarines did little OTL in the Baltic, until the Finns removed the steel net barring them from the Baltic in 1944 and ATL they're destroyed initially and their bases captured.

    Although most Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Greek, etc, ships out at sea went over to the allies and helped Britain considerably, to compensate for extremely long routes (around S Africa to Egypt, India, Iran, Malaya, HK, Australia, etc) and heavy losses in 1941 and 42, Germany captured many ships during its conquests and many at sea with valuable cargoes and sneaked some of them all the way back to Norway, France, etc, merchant raider Pinguin alone captured several ships, including three over 12,000 GRT and a 9,000 GRT tanker.
    The huge shipping help received by the British from countries other than the US and the Common Wealth is seldom mentioned, but even Poland's 3 ocean liners helped considerably to evacuate and deploy troops (Dunkirk, Norway, where one was lost, Sicily, etc,), the large fleets of Norway, Denmark, Holland, etc, helped even more to move fuel, food, materiel, etc,
     
  13. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I'm still waiting on how the Germans were going to reach Murmansk from Leningrad and then turn South toward Moscow?
     
  14. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Sloniksp,
    Please read a little of the thread, Murmansk is attacked from Kirkenes and Petsamo, Kandalaksha is reached by paratroopers and from Salla and halfway between them and Leningrad is attacked from S Finland, all simultaneously.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    d'oh; No, I didn't, that was Black6... LTR. Not that I disagree with him on this issue at the least.

    The number of Axis ships was a constant problem, for the Axis.

    The Soviet Baltic Sea submarine fleet - sank 48 ships [17 German, 7 Finnish, 1 Danish, 2 Dutch, 11 Norwegian, 10 neutral Swedish] during in 1941-1945: 1 submarine, 1 mine-sweeper, 1 patrol ship, 1 training ship, 1 depot ship, 2 tankers, 1 tug, 1 barge, 37 transports, 2 seine-netters. The most successful year - 1942 [when 22 ships were sunk]
    45 Soviet submarines wele lost in Baltic during WWII. The worsest year - 1941 [27 submarines were lost].

    So you're not even presenting correct information on the historic timeline.

    Taken as individual nations, the following totals would apply for Baltic Sea combat related naval and maritime losses in 1941:
    Soviet Union lost 217 ships (126 military and 89 civilian ships)
    Estonia lost 71 ships (2 military and 69 civilian ships)
    Germany lost 52 ships (35 military and 17 civilian ships)
    Latvia lost 32 ships (4 military and 28 civilian ships)
    Sweden lost 4 ships
    Finland lost 3 ships (3 military ships)
    Lithuania lost 3 ships (1 military ship and 2 civilian ships)


    Interesting how, when they were in total control of the Baltic, they still failed to eliminate the Baltic sea fleet in 1942, after nearly a whole month of trying:

    On 04 April 1942, the Germans initiated operation “Eisstoß”. This was the first major aerial effort specifically designed to eliminate the Soviet Baltic Red Banner Fleet in Kronstadt and Leningrad. Luftflotte 1 was selected to accomplish this task. Although the German were able to sink the cruiser Krivoi and the training ship Svir, the operation did not attain the results the Germans had hoped for. By 30 April 1942, “Eisstoß” was cancelled.


    The Germans were extremely limited already in '41 by a lack of available new construction to replace sunk vessels, and lack of skilled workers to effect repairs and maintenance on merchant vessels.

    At the beginning of 1940 there were still 60 German merchant ships alone in South American harbours, costing £300,000 per month in port and harbour dues, and Hitler eventually ordered them all to try to make a break for home. Very few reached Germany. Most were sunk or scuttled, and at least eight foundered on rocks trying to negotiate the way down the unfamiliar and hazardous Norwegian coast. The Germans tended to prefer to sink the ships themselves rather than allow the Allies to capture them, even at risk to those aboard. Such was the case of the Columbus, Germany's third-largest liner at 32,581 tons, and the Glucksburg, which ran herself ashore on the coast of Spain when sighted. Another, the 'Watussi', was sighted off the Cape by the South African Air Force and the crew immediately set her on fire, trusting the aircrew to bring aid to the passengers and crew.

    The British blockade of the Mediterranean immediately cut Italy off from 80% of its imports. Essential items such as pasta, flour and rice were severely rationed, leading to riots.


    Also, no consequential transfers of merchant shipping from the Med were ever undertaken by the Axis.
     
  16. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    A U-turn at Murmansk wouldn't have been necessary at all because the Red Army would have crumbled from the attack at the north alone - the war at the east would have ended. The Führer and Reichmarschall would have been flown to Moscow by a special secret flying vehicle. Below is a photo of a spacecraft landing near Moscow and the Führer exits the spaceship in company of Göring, the Reichsmarschall is the larger creature on the left.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    You are including 4 years of war, when we're discussing moving men and supplies to Finland before the war and supplying them for the weeks it will take to take Kola, Karelia & Leningrad and having wiped out the Soviet fleets from the start. Even your figures make clear the facts that Germany used extensively captured ships and that in 1941 the Soviets lost 27 subs and sank a few ships (despite none having been sunk by planes on the first days of the war). BTW, a sub, a barge, etc, are not a ship.

    As I already stated, the Germans did not wipe out the Soviet fleets (not only in the Baltic, but also the wee fleet in the Nord and the large fleet in the Black Sea) because they did not target them at all, preferring to concentrate the bulk of the LW in the center and using all of it to destroy airfields, planes, dumps, tanks, artillery, etc, on the first days and wasting completely the fact that on June 22, the fleets were not ready at all and surprise attacks would rapidly wipe them out, as ATL. Not only did they not wipe out the ships, but also the army and naval planes in these sectors. I already mentioned that on the first day only 10% of the planes were destroyed in the Baltic countries and 17% in the Ukraine (almost all in N and central Ukraine, where Kleist was so the percentage is even lower in the Black Sea coast, where there were almost no German bombers that day, not even Romanian planes attacked the USSR on that day), Although I do not have the exact number, the North Fleet lost an even smaller percentage of its planes than did the Baltic fleet (perhaps 6%). In contrast to 50% in AGC's Belorussia. Hitler used 195 bombers attacking pointlessly strongly defended Moscow on the night July 21-22 and smaller numbers attacking repeatedly thereafter, but none at all sinking poorly defended subs and ships at port early on June 22. The LW did not wipe out the fleets in 1942, because the WM was short of air support in every front (Demyansk, Crimea, Rostov, the Don, Stalingrad, Caucasus, Rzhev, Leningrad, Northa Africa, etc,) and it was busy defending Germany from bombers, attacking the RN and convoys in the Med, Atlantic and Arctic and supporting the KM in the Channel dash, etc, So Germany and Finland had to lay a steel net from Finland to Estonia to trap the subs.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Actually, they did attack some ports, but it was ineffectual. Probably because the ports weren't so ill-defended as you propose.
     
  19. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    From
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_and_Soviet_air_operations_during_Operation_Barbarossa#VVS_North-Western_Front_vs_Luftflotte_1

    Aleksey Ionov and his VVS North-Western Front had avoided the near destruction of the VVS Western Front, but at the cost of conceding much territory. Alfred Keller's Luftflotte 1 had defeated the attempted Soviet counterattack in Lithuania, then the Fourth Panzer Army and Erich von Manstein's LVI Panzerkorps outflanked the Red Army, reaching Daugavpils on 26 June, and advance of 240 kilometres in four days. It was nearly the case, as much of its forces had been largely destroyed. A number of Soviet aircraft had been abandoned, as was seen on the 25 June, when III./JG 54 occupied the airfield near Kaunas found 86 undamaged Soviet aircraft, the remains of 8 SAD. Luftflotte 1 controlled the skies over the battlefields. The VVS forces had lost 425 aircraft in the air and 465 on the ground in the first eight days. Another 187 had sustained battle damage. Out of 403 SB bombers available on 22 June, 205 had been shot down, 148 lost on the ground and 33 damaged by 30 June. Fighter losses included 110 I-153s, 81 I-16s, and 17 MiG-3s. The problem for the Luftflotte, was it lacked close support aircraft. It was forced to use medium bombers in the role. In a raid against Soviet tanks at Riga, six KG 1 Ju 88s were lost in one mission.[116]
    Unable to summon adequate forces, Ionov turned to the VVS KBF, the air force of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. The plan revolved around a massive air strike, at the bridges in Daugavpils and the airfield, occupied by JG 54 at Duagava. The Soviets had not learned the tactical lessons from the previous air battles and sent their bombers unescorted. 8 BAB, 1MTAP, 57 BAP, and 73 BAP were intercepted en route. The bombs fell short of the target, and the mission failed. A further attack by 36 bombers from 57 BAP and 73 BAP was also intercepted. Soviet sources admit to the loss of 15 and two damaged, though the Germans claimed 29. Another attack was made in the evening of 30 June. 57 and 73 BAP sent 21 bombers, losing seven destroyed and six damaged. The failure meant Ivonov was placed under arrest. His successor, Timofey Kutsevalov took command of the remnants of the VVS North-Western Front, but it had ceased to be a force to be reckoned with. The VVS KBF now assumed responsibility for most air operations.[117]

    This describes the main operations for the 1st week. as you can read, Luftflotte 1 did not even have Stuka or Hs 123 to attack tanks. AGN had the fewest and the worst tanks and trucks and Luftflotte 1 had the fewest planes and the least adequate for ground support. Yet, its armor penetrated 240 km in 4 days, because it encountered much weaker armor and artillery than Kleist did. However, the fast advance of the first weeks was wasted when Manstein had to halt for a week. With plenty of trucks, tanks and planes (including Stuka) in the Baltic, the advanced would ahve been even more spectacular and it could have been sustained and incurred fewer losses.
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No.

    As multiple posters have attempted to explain to you earlier;
    0) The quoted text does nothing to support the point you are trying to make.
    1) more is not better. In fact, it is more likely to be worse, due to the ensuing logistical congestion.
    2) 300 km was the approximate operational limit , after which, there needed to be time enough to re-supply, and bring forward sufficient stockpiles of supplies to continue in a coherent manner. IOW, they were going to need to stop, regardless.

    None of your posts address these issues. None. But we are now used to the idle speculation that is your standard fare.
     

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