The Eastern Front decided WWII? - Page 5




 
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January 22nd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
I think if Hitler invaded the USSR like historically, but didn't have the Western Allies as enemies, even if he didn't won, it would be at least very much harder for the Soviets won.
January 22nd, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
Getting back to Hitlerīs blunder of not accepting the USSR into the axis in 1940.
Not only could the USSR have easily invaded Iran early in 1941, it could also have easily invaded Northern Sweden, while Germany invaded southern Sweden with the troops in Norway, securing Bofors AAA, its steel and explosives industry, iron ore, merchant fleet, etc,
The red navy could have also helped considerably the weak KM with its submarines and surface ships to destroy the British navy in the North Atlantic, capture Iceland (an invaluable base for planes and subs) and break the British naval blockade on Germany. Most importantly, after capturing Persia and Iraq, the red army could have advanced towards Egypt, while Italy and Germany attacked from Libya and Somalia, dooming the British forces there.
Another aspect that is often neglected is the great power than Stalin held over the communists in Britain, America, Canada, etc, which could have helped the axis by slowing industrial production in these countries, sabotaging infrastructure, etc, Most importantly, had Stalin joined the axis he would have had to stop providing China with help that caused a lot of trouble for the Japanese.

Once Britain and China were defeated, the axis could have easily turned on the USSR

A most interesting aspect of WW II is the efficiency with which the axis used its meager fuel supplies, despite fighting far from the member countries.
Japan had incredibly little oil and wasted a lot of it attacking PH, and then pointlessly in the Coral Sea, Aleutians, Midway (where most of the ships didn't even enter the fray but stayed hundreds of km behind and then returned to Japan after burning a lot of fuel), New Guinea and Guadalcanal.
Italy didn't have enough oil even to transport supplies to near Tripoli, but had to rely on German oil. Yet the axis managed to fight well for years.

Had Japan captured Hawaii and sunk the US carriers, instead of attacking simultaneously Thailand, the Philippines, Malaya, Honk Kong, etc, The invaluable oil, salvageable ships, scrap iron, aluminum and bronze scrap in Hawaii would have tipped the balance in favor of Japan and made it extremely difficult for America to counter attack. Japan then would have had plenty of time to eliminate the British from the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
January 22nd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
Getting back to Hitlerīs blunder of not accepting the USSR into the axis in 1940.
Not only could the USSR have easily invaded Iran early in 1941, it could also have easily invaded Northern Sweden, while Germany invaded southern Sweden with the troops in Norway, securing Bofors AAA, its steel and explosives industry, iron ore, merchant fleet, etc,
The red navy could have also helped considerably the weak KM with its submarines and surface ships to destroy the British navy in the North Atlantic, capture Iceland (an invaluable base for planes and subs) and break the British naval blockade on Germany. Most importantly, after capturing Persia and Iraq, the red army could have advanced towards Egypt, while Italy and Germany attacked from Libya and Somalia, dooming the British forces there.
Another aspect that is often neglected is the great power than Stalin held over the communists in Britain, America, Canada, etc, which could have helped the axis by slowing industrial production in these countries, sabotaging infrastructure, etc, Most importantly, had Stalin joined the axis he would have had to stop providing China with help that caused a lot of trouble for the Japanese.

Once Britain and China were defeated, the axis could have easily turned on the USSR

A most interesting aspect of WW II is the efficiency with which the axis used its meager fuel supplies, despite fighting far from the member countries.
Japan had incredibly little oil and wasted a lot of it attacking PH, and then pointlessly in the Coral Sea, Aleutians, Midway (where most of the ships didn't even enter the fray but stayed hundreds of km behind and then returned to Japan after burning a lot of fuel), New Guinea and Guadalcanal.
Italy didn't have enough oil even to transport supplies to near Tripoli, but had to rely on German oil. Yet the axis managed to fight well for years.

Had Japan captured Hawaii and sunk the US carriers, instead of attacking simultaneously Thailand, the Philippines, Malaya, Honk Kong, etc, The invaluable oil, salvageable ships, scrap iron, aluminum and bronze scrap in Hawaii would have tipped the balance in favor of Japan and made it extremely difficult for America to counter attack. Japan then would have had plenty of time to eliminate the British from the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Very unlikely Stalin would accept such an agreement without security clauses. Put yourself in his place: why you would free two countries extremely against your ideology from their enemies to a point were you could be a target from all their strenght?
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January 22nd, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
There are so many fanciful if and buts on this thread and some of them are so fanciful as to be laughable.
Once Germany had given up on the Battle of Britain they where on the slippery slope as they left the door opened to be bombed, which was not a problem for the first couple of years then things went down hill fast once the heavy four bombers came on stream. This caused them to allocate a million people for home defence when they could be better used else where.
All the Countries that Germany occupied had to be garrisoned again which which took troops away from the front. Also the British raids across the channel caused Germany to commit even more troops in these countries than they would have liked.
Raids on Norway, France and Italy caused them a lot of headaches, and even more when the British walked off with the latest German radar from Brunivael.
Also Germany lost some 340,000 troops in North Africa, again at this stage of the war was a huge blow to them.
The war in Italy made the Germans to have fight massive battles on two fronts and then with Normandy they were fighting on three fronts, and with all that they just did not have the man power to cover their losses or commitments
January 23rd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Once Germany had given up on the Battle of Britain they where on the slippery slope as they left the door opened to be bombed, which was not a problem for the first couple of years then things went down hill fast once the heavy four bombers came on stream. This caused them to allocate a million people for home defence when they could be better used else where.
The bombing was a major factor, but with Britain remaining in the war the naval blockade continued damaging Germany in a cumulative scale. The US didn't even need to enter in the war, only the LL was already as bad as a war for Hitler. Since he could not obtain the necessary resources in the USSR, and was having Britain and the Soviets being supplied in an increasingly scale and improving their domestic production and fighting capabilities, the German situation was already of desesperation. When the US entered, Hitler's chances by military means were practically none in my view. Hitler couldn't accept stabilize the front in the East, it was victory or defeat. His "obcession" perhaps not being so much an obcession at all. This being one of the reasons why he employed so much troops and the combats were so violent there.
January 23rd, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
The million people in Flak defense were mostly teen agers and women, but the guns were sorely needed at the fronts.

The incredible thing is that not only did America have to supply 11 billion dollars to Stalin and over 30 billion to Churchill and repair British ships in America (Illustrious, etc,), without the huge numbers of American pilots, troops and saliors and many more billions in planes, tanks, cannon, trucks, ships, etc, for the American forces, it took so many years to defeat Germany. Such were the fighting abilities of the USSR and Britain.
January 23rd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Women operated Flak guns in Germany?

Anyway, about the Flak guns, the "ground" version could have been different, but it was overall similar I suposse. Therefore, the AA variant was being produced in huge quantity and only because the bombing. So yes, I think it's fair to say that Germany would be capable of produce and employ much more AT guns in the East if was't for the West. Not to mention that the air warfare consumed much needed ammunition production capability.
January 23rd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quoting Zhukov:
"Speaking about our readiness for war from the point of view of the economy and economics, one cannot be silent about such a factor as the subsequent help from the Allies. First of all, certainly, from the American side, because in that respect the English helped us minimally. In an analysis of all facets of the war, one must not leave this out of one's reckoning. We would have been in a serious condition without American gunpowder, and could not have turned out the quantity of ammunition which we needed. Without American `Studebekkers' [sic], we could have dragged our artillery nowhere. Yes, in general, to a considerable degree they provided ourfront transport. The output of special steel, necessary for the most diverse necessities of war, were also connected to a series of American deliveries."

Moreover, Zhukov underscored that `we entered war while still continuing to be a backward country in an industrial sense in comparison with Germany. Simonov's truthful recounting of these meetings with Zhukov,which took place in 1965 and 1966, are corraborated by the utterances of G. Zhukov, recorded as a result of eavesdropping by security organs in 1963:
"It is now said that the Allies never helped us . . . However, one cannot deny that the Americans gave us so much material, without which we could not have formed our reserves and ***could not have continued the war*** . . . we had no explosives and powder. There was none to equip rifle bullets. The Americans actually came to our assistance with powder and explosives. And how much sheet steel did they give us. We really could not have quickly put right our production of tanks if the Americans had not helped with steel. And today it seems as though we had all this ourselves in abundance."

I think Zhukov should be considerated with much respect, specially because his statements are similar from those of Stalin himself according to Khrushchev. And while not all Russian arquives are open in order for us to have a definitive conclusion of the Lend-Lease impact, those were man who "made" the archives.

David Glantz is an opponent of the Lend-Lease critical tesis. Since he appreciates Soviet sources, it would be interesting to see what he thinks of Zhukov's words.
January 23rd, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
American trucks not only pulled artillery, they supplied the tanks and troops from the railroad, sometimes far away from the fighting. Thousands of American troops were also used to launch Katyusha rockets by the hundreds of thousands and to transport said rockets.
Zhukov doesn't mention the crucial fuel, aluminum, planes, tanks, trains, food, etc, without which the red army was powerless.

Soviet production was completely unbalanced, on the one hand they produced 7 million submachine guns, a half million cannon, 100,000 tanks, etc, but extremely little food (the Ukraine being in German hands), fuel and all the other items that they were extremely lucky to receive from Santa Claus but without which they would have collapsed.

A more detailed list than previously provided:
Throughout WW II the Soviets received 229,000 tons of aluminum, 2,752 Hurricanes, 1,331 Spitfires, 4,719 Airacobras, 2,397 P-40s, 2,400 Kingcobras, 203 P-47s, 5,000 Douglas A-20s, 866 B-25 Mitchells (19,668 planes in total), 2,000 Railroad engines, 3,485 Valentine tanks, 4,100 Sherman tanks (especially made with Diesel engines for the USSR), 832 Matilda tanks, 301 Churchill tanks, 1,200 Lee/Grant tanks, 1,233 Stuart tanks, etc, (over 13,000 tanks in all), 2,336 Bren carriers, 900 M3 halftracks, 3,092 M3A1 Scout cars, 360,000 Studebaker, Ford and Dodge trucks (200,000 of them heavy trucks), 51,000 Willys MB jeeps, 8,070 tractors, 8,000 Ford GPA amphibious vehicles (over 450,000 vehicles in all), 11,000 railroad cars, 62,000 miles of railroad tracks, 5,400 40mm AA guns, 56,445 field telephones, 600,000 km telephone wire, 317,000 tons of explosive materials and 103,000 tons of toluene the primary ingredient of TNT, 991 million shell cases in various sizes, 5.8 million tons of food (canned pork, powdered eggs, bacon, etc,), 15 million pairs of boots, millions of tons of high octane aviation fuel, steel, tires, rubber, medical supplies, etc, The Iranian railroad alone transported 5 million metric tons of supplies to the USSR. In total the USSR received 178 million metric tons. In contrast, the Germans had to relocate many Luftwaffe and army units from the USSR to North Africa in the winter of 1942 (during the Battle of Stalingrad), then to Italy and France, keep a huge air defense force over Germany and lost over 25,000 airplanes on the western front and their factories, rail road centers, power plants and cities were consistently bombed, which greatly contributed to the defeat of Germany in the USSR. On average in 1944 Germany lost 1,000 planes per month to the Angloes and 400 planes to the Soviets, in spite of the enormous size of the eastern front and the fact that Soviet pilots did not have to travel long distances to engage German planes (they had more fighting time and less cruising time).
January 23rd, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
Soviet production was completely unbalanced
Fact. So was German production; first great resources in tanks, then submarines, then planes. In each case there was a boost in production, but not enough to compensate for the vast demands of the multi-front war Germany was in. Without such demands, and the Soviets without LL, certainly the situation would not be very nice for them.
 


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