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Was Stalingrad yet another Manstein's Lost Victory?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Tamino, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    That is indeed a good parallel. But consider difficulties of retreating from Chuikov and at the same time breaking through deep zones filled with Zhukov's fresh troops who have just arrived behind the lines of the 6th Army. Good example is when von Seidlitz ordered retreat to 60th Motorized Infantry Division and the 94th Infantry Division on 23 November. He wanted to force Paulus's hand by starting the retreat. Edwyn Hoyt described the battle as follows: "When the 94th Division started to draw back, it was attacked by the Russian 62nd Army. The men of the 94th Division were caught in the open, and the toll exacted was enormous. One officer observed that this would mean the loss of one-third of the division. As it turned out he was an optimist." Half starved, exhausted men, without enough fuel, with no reserves couldn't break out without the assistance from the outside. To come 40 miles away from the pocket wasn't enough. Reinforcements had to enter the pocket to help.

    I am not claiming that the loss of the 6th Army was entirely Manstein's fault - that would have been utterly wrong. Just his responsibility was higher than he was ready to admit. On the other side, Pauls' responsibility is exaggerated. The truth is somewhere in between. Finally, Hitler's responsibility was the greatest but we cannot allow generalization of his guilt without investigating participation of his henchmen.

    I'm sorry, I wasn't that gathered in this post but it is a bit too late and there may be some thought and syntax errors. I do apology for my clumsiness.
    .
     
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  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting also in my opinion is that the Winterstorm operation by Hoth was also meant to be met by troops from Stalingrad at some point. The attack from the Stalingrad was possible only by Manstein giving the key word. Not Paulus. So Manstein was keeeping the operation in his hands.
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    There were several problems with Paulus tying to break out. The main one was the lack of fuel and vehicles to move the troops. The second would be trying to break through while defending against a certain Soviet strike against troops trying to break out. Finally as mentioned the troops were in poor condition, which is why I think so many died in captivity
     
  4. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Let me ask you the same question. This statement is a bit of a canard:
    … is it not?
    Now, tell me please, what's so utterly wrong with your post? Hint: read carefully my post #59. Do you see? ;)
     
  5. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Adolf had connectivity problems.
     

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  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    [FONT=&amp]It is difficult to judge communication problems if you read about the Befehlwagen from Wiki, with a smartphone in your pocket. Here is description of then the state-of-art communication system from Irving's “Führer und Reichskanzler”. He describes exactly what we are talking about, Führer's journey on 22th November 1942:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&amp]or, in English:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&amp]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&amp]Just two weeks before, on 7. November 1942, A. Speer joined Führer on his trip to Berthesgarten, on the same train »Amerika«. Here is how Speer describes "communication":
    Now, you may judge how comfortable was »radio« communication in November 1942 when the train had to stop at some sizeable railway station to connect cables to the railroad telegraph system. Most likely, the whole conversation had to be encoded and decoded with Enigma.

    [/FONT]...a bit of a canard?
     
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  7. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Perhaps you should check your own posts. If Hitler was "silent" it was because he chose to be since as you confirm he was communicating with Berlin periodically. At any of these stops he could have sent a message to Russia though Berlin or had an office detrain at any station with a message to seek a hardline communication line while he proceeded onward.

    Yes it was hard to communicate, but not impossible as you implied in Post 57


     
  9. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Unfortunately, you still haven't realised what was so wrong with your post.
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Perhaps you could quit playing games and actually say what you mean?
     
  11. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Are you serious about the "radio communications" and why not?

    During the short conversation Hitler said to Zeitzler just "Wir sprechen morgen mündlich weiter (*)." and they haven't been speaking since then until the Führer has met Zeitzler personally. Hitler was essentially silent: he just kept informed during his stops. The journey itself was a huge obstacle to communication of any kind except personal, for security reasons.

    * word for word translation is: "We [will] speak tomorrow orally."
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Regardless of whether or not Hitler had the info he needed , a withdrawal by 6th army was not going to allowed.
     
  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Ah, so your objection is to my use of the term 'Radio Communications'.

    Though I lack the documentation for it, I feel confident that the Fuhrer's train had a radio as well as the hook-up to railway telegraph lines. I would find it mind boggling to learn that it did not have a radio for emergencies. What if the train was over run by Smruff's and they proceeded to eat up all the Schnitzel? Would Hitler be forced to flee on foot in the middle of the night simply because he could not call for help?

    Certainly he would desire the most secure manner to send any message, but most messages to frontline commanders or ships at sea, would at some point go over radio waves. During or after the encirclement of 6th Army messages, unless flown in, would definitly have to be sent by radio.

    If Hitler was recieving updates during his journey, either by radio or by stopping and 'hooking up', Hitler had all he needed to give an withdrawl/breakout order to 6th Army or to give local commanders the freedom to act as they saw fit.

    He could stop the train at any suitable rail station, hook up, and send.

    He could wait for a update stop and do the same.

    He could order the train to slow to a walking or even running pace at the next station and order a officer to disembark and proceed to the nearest secure landline to send such an order.

    He could have sent such an order as he switched from his train to airplane, or a variation of above.

    Or he could have sent a radio message from the train.

    That Hitler was silent during this journey had more to do with the chareter of Hitler and a steadily creeping command inertia overtaking the system. (it would rear its head again on June 6th, 1944) As Steve Rodger's points out Hitler would not give such an order no matter where he might have been at the time and he would not make the effort that he could have.

    Compare this to the Battle of Leyte Gulf. All communications had to be by radio. Nimitz broke his personal protocal and sent a message to Halsey ( "world wonders" message)to support the amphibious forces. Another commander (Spurance or Sprauge) sends a radio message in the clear (no encoding) pleading for help.

    At a certain point a battle or war is at a turning point and it is more important that a message be sent and recieved than it is to use perfect operational security. This is one of those points. Message sucurity is a moot point in any event. The West was reading much of Enigma anyway, and an order to withdraw/breakout would hardly come as a surprize to the Soviets who were already doing as much as they could to prevent such an action.

    p.s. No smart phones were harmed or used during this or any previous post.
     
  14. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Please, don't generalize: we are talking about the particular case with very particular background and scope. I gave particular information which entirely contradict your claims. And, by the way: Are you sure about the Enigma and why not? :D

    Anyway, I will stop now addressing this of topic subject and resume dealing with the subject of this thread.
     
  15. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    ---------------------------
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Carry on!

    I agree that events had gotten inside Hitler's command decision loop and were happening faster than he was acustomed to act.
     
  17. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    [ON TOPIC]
    Adolf Hitler, on 8th November said: “Time plays no part here.”


    In December 1942, Hitler has spent 16 days at Berghof and has lost time travelling to the FHQ. In addition to that, on the next morning after the arrival he refused to discuss with Zeitzler the recent development at the Eastern front.

    No doubt, his absence was a problem. Part of his staff was located at “Little Chancellery”, 3/4 hour from Berghof and others were located 1:30 away from Berghof. At FHQ there was no officer for the Eastern front. On 22[SUP]nd[/SUP] December, telephone/telegraph connections with 6[SUP]th[/SUP] Army were cut. Besides, at the same time Hitler had to deal with additional major problems: in Africa and Vichy France.

    He had to deal with all of these problems during his vacation at Berghof. The real problem was that he had too little time to decide alone on too many important questions.

    Meanwhile, Manstein has lost almost a week of precious time travelling by his luxurious headquarters train of wagons-lits-the drawing room on wheels stolen from the Queen of Yugoslavia. This indicates how the Germans underrated the real strength of the Red Army. With that train Manstein missed an opportunity to start solving the problem timely. No matter why he has decided to travel by train, that was entirely his fault and that was a huge mistake.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Actually I believe that message was in code. In fact the "world wonders" part was a filler required for the code.
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Nimitz's message was in code, but I believe the Taffy group commander did send one message pleading for help from Halsey in the clear.

    Kinkaid sent in plain language "My situation is critical. Fast battleships and support by airstrikes may be able to keep enemy from destroying CVE's and entering Leyte"
     
  20. Firefoxy

    Firefoxy Dishonorably Discharged

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    Everyone always forgets about the winter conditions that Russia received. Yes, Manstein lost that victory, not because he was a bad leader/ German troops were not good enough, it was down to bad luck.
     

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