Could Germany have defeated Russia? - Page 8




 
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3 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
My personal belief is that the delay of Barbarossa was the failing point of the campaign, that extra few weeks of mobility would have made the difference.

I don't think the Lotzen decision made any difference as the Germans were out of steam and could not have taken and secured Moscow anyway, was probably one of the last smart military decisions Hitler made.

"Retreating into the Urals" is a smart thing to do with your industry but there is no way "Russia" could have survived east of the Urals, it would have lacked a population density, transport infrastructure and food supply to sustain itself. Once over the Volga, there is not a hell of a lot of Russia that is useful to keep a nation at war.
2 Weeks Ago  
lljadw
 
The Germans failed in the summer, thus a longer summer would not change the outcome .

Besides, it is not a question of mobility: PzG 2 (Guderian ) failed and of course blamed 4th Army of von Kluge .

To win the Germans needed mo bility, manpower and firepower, in the correct balance .

But reality 76 !! years ago was that it was impossible to have this correct balance :

more mobility meant less manpower and firepower .

more manpower and firepower meant less mobility.

more manpower did not mean more firepower.

more firepower did not mean more manpower .

The Germans needed boots on the ground, with sufficient firepower and sufficient mobility . Tanks are not boots on the ground and have no sufficient firepower .

And, there is also the question of the opponent ,who is always forgotten by those who try to excuse their defeat .

Barbarossa was conceived as a short campaign that would be decided in the summer ,onthe border . And it failed .
2 Weeks Ago  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Germany could have defeated the Soviet Union, but in only by instigating a general collapse of the Soviet political superstructure. The only way to do this would be to get rid of Stalin. Once he's gone, I think there's a good chance the whole edifice comes crumbling down. The best (perhaps only) way to do this would have been to drive straight to Moscow as quickly as possible, induce general widespread panic and have Stalin and his goons (if alive) running for the Urals.

There were 2 key decisions that may have hampered the Germans:

  1. The delay of Barbarossa
  2. The Lotzen Decision

The Germans even so, managed to introduce such panic in Moscow on October 16th that Stalin very nearly left the city. He didn't and the moment was lost for Germany. Stalin then went on to give his stirring speech on November 7th that stiffened public moral and resolve to defend Moscow to the last. Had the Germans turned up earlier, I'm not sure the panic could have been stopped.

Of course, a drive to Moscow is fraught with difficulties and a massive gamble. I'm not even sure that logistically, it would have been possible, But it was the only chance for outright victory, The problem with German operational tactics in Russia is that the country is vast, unlike Poland and France, Unless the Germans moved quickly enough to cause regime collapse, they'd run out of time as the Soviets had massive tracts of land to retreat into. This was not the case in the West.

Time was of the essence! Which is why the 2 decisions I mention above were so key.
The delay of Barbarossa and the Lötzen decision had no influence on the speed of the Soviet mobilisation, which decided the outcome .

And it is not so that a drive on Moscow (which was impossible ) would have forced the SU to give up :a drive on Moscow was only possible after the Soviet state had collapsed .
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2 Weeks Ago  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
I agree with Monty. The delay of Barbarossa cost the Germans a lot. However I am not convinced the capture of Moscow had changed anything if the Soviets had been able to regrouped east. It had been an significant blow for the Russians, but it would make them to stop the fighting. If the Russians could relocate their industries, they moved their people with an ease. They got help with the logistics, but it the long run, they paid the price for the war
2 Weeks Ago  
Doppleganger
 
 
The only way the Germans can win is by forcing regime change. If they can't do that then they can't win. Unless Stalin is overthrown quickly Germany has no chance. The only way Germany can overthrow Stalin is to drive straight to Moscow quickly enough to paralyse the Soviet political system, cause general panic, exploit the local grievances of the Ukrainians and Belorussians etc and cause a systemic collapse. The whole German military doctrine is built on rapid war anyway so it fits into that profile.

If the Germans had progressed along a less 'all or nothing' strategy, then what they might have achieved is an armistice, nothing more. They could have advanced to the river Dnieper in 1941 and then held the line until spring 1942, at which point launched Case Blau and had been in a better position historically. However, there would have been a very poor chance to defeat the Soviets because in a protracted war they had more of everything, more men, more tanks, more resources. Ultimately more tends to win.

It's a no brainer for me guys. It's like a boxing match. If you have a big punch but poor stamina, then you try and knock out your opponent before you tire. In military terms, Germany had a big punch but poor stamina. If they dont beat Russia in 1941 then ultimately its game over.
2 Weeks Ago  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
My personal belief is that the delay of Barbarossa was the failing point of the campaign, that extra few weeks of mobility would have made the difference.

I don't think the Lotzen decision made any difference as the Germans were out of steam and could not have taken and secured Moscow anyway, was probably one of the last smart military decisions Hitler made.

"Retreating into the Urals" is a smart thing to do with your industry but there is no way "Russia" could have survived east of the Urals, it would have lacked a population density, transport infrastructure and food supply to sustain itself. Once over the Volga, there is not a hell of a lot of Russia that is useful to keep a nation at war.
No delay does not mean more better wetter and more better wetter does not mean more chances for the Germans : the Germans did not better in good wetter than in bad wetter .
2 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
If the Germans had progressed along a less 'all or nothing' strategy, then what they might have achieved is an armistice, nothing more. They could have advanced to the river Dnieper in 1941 and then held the line until spring 1942, at which point launched Case Blau and had been in a better position historically. However, there would have been a very poor chance to defeat the Soviets because in a protracted war they had more of everything, more men, more tanks, more resources. Ultimately more tends to win.

It's a no brainer for me guys. It's like a boxing match. If you have a big punch but poor stamina, then you try and knock out your opponent before you tire. In military terms, Germany had a big punch but poor stamina. If they dont beat Russia in 1941 then ultimately its game over.
Yes and no.

I don't entirely disagree with your argument because it is mostly right.
But I think people put far too much emphasis on the resources of the USSR especially in terms of manpower.

The population of the USSR in 1939 was ~170M and Germany ~87M and while the difference is large it isnt proportionately overwhelming especially when you consider 70% of it lives West of the Urals and by late 1941 the majority is in German-occupied territory and no longer available to the Red Army.

Add to that the vast amount of manpower and material captured or destroyed since the opening of Barbarossa and and you would forgive the Germans a reasonable amount of confidence, by October the bulk of the June 1941 standing Red Army had been destroyed, killed or captured and the majority of the population they needed to replenish it was in German hands the 170M vs 87M fight had become a 1 on 1.
 


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