The Courland Pocket




 
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October 26th, 2019  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 

Topic: The Courland Pocket


I have been looking at the Army Group North, later the Army Group Kurland. It was isolated on the Courland peninsula shortly after the Leningrad front's attack and after operation Bagration. It has been discussed why the Germans didn't evacuate the German forces on the peninsula. The Russians were quite pleased to have these German units in what can be described as a self imposed POW camp. The Russians regrouped several of the units involved in the offensive in the Baltic states, they kept units to keep the Germans busy.

I doubt the Germans could evacuate the trapped army group in the peninsula. They were at the same time evacuating east Prussia and Danzig. The Germans lacked the amount of surface ships to evacuate both Courland and East Prussia.

Do we have a tendency to focus on the poor decisions of the Germans and ignoring the competence of the Soviet forces? The Soviet forces performed poorly during the first year of the war, but they learned and became a very skilled force conducting their version of the blixt krieg. We can probably blame the cold war for ignoring the Soviets performance during the war
October 26th, 2019  
George
 
Another obvious screw up by Hitler's "don't give up anything" policy. Should have been withdrawn as soon as it was obvious they were going to get cut off. Would have been useful elsewhere.
October 29th, 2019  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Another obvious screw up by Hitler's "don't give up anything" policy. Should have been withdrawn as soon as it was obvious they were going to get cut off. Would have been useful elsewhere.
They were just as useful where they were as they tied up Russian troops and logistics in greater numbers to ensure they stayed there.
At best they probably could have withdrawn 50% before the pocket would have collapsed and that number would have made no difference to the outcome of the war nor would it have slowed the Russian advance for more than a day.
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November 1st, 2019  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Guderian wanted to evacuate the pocket, but Doenitz wanted to keep it under German control because the training and the testing of new uboats. I giggled a little when I read that. Another reason was to keep the iron ore coming in from Sweden, but the Swedes stopped the shipping anyway. The Germans were concerned about losing the Baltic sea, which they did with or without holding on to the Courland pocket.
November 4th, 2019  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Guderian wanted to evacuate the pocket, but Doenitz wanted to keep it under German control because the training and the testing of new uboats. I giggled a little when I read that. Another reason was to keep the iron ore coming in from Sweden, but the Swedes stopped the shipping anyway. The Germans were concerned about losing the Baltic sea, which they did with or without holding on to the Courland pocket.

I think there is some logic to the German view given how much they were investing in the type XXI and XXIII Uboats.
4 Weeks Ago  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I think there is some logic to the German view given how much they were investing in the type XXI and XXIII Uboats.

The Russians were bombing the ports and the training facilities pretty hard. I agree with your earlier statement about evacuations. The Germans couldn't of two reasons. They lacked the ships to do it and if they tried, they would have been crushed.

What else can we discuss? We are talking mostly about the Nazi-Germany and the war in Europe. Shall we try to find a topic about the Pacific?
4 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
The Russians were bombing the ports and the training facilities pretty hard. I agree with your earlier statement about evacuations. The Germans couldn't of two reasons. They lacked the ships to do it and if they tried, they would have been crushed.

What else can we discuss? We are talking mostly about the Nazi-Germany and the war in Europe. Shall we try to find a topic about the Pacific?

The Pacific is probably the theatre we have discussed the least so it may be an interesting learning curve although I find the period between operation Bagration and the fall of Berlin to be one of the most interesting (albeit done to death).
4 Weeks Ago  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The Pacific is probably the theatre we have discussed the least so it may be an interesting learning curve although I find the period between operation Bagration and the fall of Berlin to be one of the most interesting (albeit done to death).
I'm interested in the Operation Bagration, but I haven't read much about it. I have only watched a documentary about the Operation.
4 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
I'm interested in the Operation Bagration, but I haven't read much about it. I have only watched a documentary about the Operation.
It really did show how far the Russians had come since 1941.
4 Weeks Ago  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
It really did show how far the Russians had come since 1941.
Indeed. I have been thinking about how we in the west describe the Second World War, especially the war in the east. Aren't we focusing more on how bad Adolf Hitler's decisions were and ignoring how good the Russians were? The Russians lost a huge amount of soldiers in the early stages of the war and at the same time the Russians went through a huge expansion of its armed forces. It takes time to expand the armed forces when the country needs to find new commanders rapidly and at the same time train new soldiers rapidly. The Russians needed to find new commanders from the battalion level up to army level fast when the red army was expanding and creating new units. That is quite impressive to achieve it while being invaded