The German invasion of Russia:




 
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October 16th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: The German invasion of Russia:


I am wondering whether Germany shouldn't have concentrated its efforts in the south right from the very beginning and driven straight for the Ukraine and oil fields in the south before swinging north ie a rather large hook as opposed to the three pronged attack plan they went for (similar to the invasion of France), while fighting holding actions in the north..

Had they achieved these goals quickly not only would they have cut the bulk of Russian fuel supplies they would have also have severely reduced Russian food supplies prior to the first winter.

Yes I know this is a bit simplistic but it is a theory that interests me.
October 16th, 2007  
perseus
 
 
MontyB

Perhaps a better idea still may have been to give Russia all of Poland in return for Lithuania, Bessarabia and Moldavia, or do you think it would have been a bit obvious what they were up to!

Regarding the Ukraine I recall at least one historian suggested that Germany didn't make full use of the Black Sea and river system flowing into it for transporting supplies. This would have been an additional advantage at least until the rivers froze up.
October 17th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Umm...no. The Germans were stretched thin as it was while attacking along an entire front and keeping their flanks in check. If they had an extended flank they would have been even more stretched, especially in the logistics area. They had enough problems concentrating their supply routes throughout three army groups, putting the majority of forces into one would have been even worse.
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October 17th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
IMO Barbarossa would have worked best as a 2 season campaign, with the schwerpunkt though through Army Group South. I don't have enough time to expand on this atm but the idea would be to reach and hold the Dneiper River and hold that general defensive line until spring 1942. What would happen then would depend obviously on the actual results of the first season. The Red Army would have to be caught off guard as they were historically, which is why 'Case Blau', the German codename for the 1942 summer offensive, went initially so well.

The whole point of a 2 season campaign is twofold:

1) To allow the proper refit, recycle and resupply of German front line formations, allowing amongst other things winter clothing to reach the front line troops in good time for winter.

2) To attack in the summer which maximizes German mobility and tactical strength and defend in the winter where Soviet strength is at its greatest.
October 17th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
I am just wondering whether depriving the Russians of southern Russian oil fields and the Ukrainian supplies in the first year while German strength was at its best and the Russians were technically and tactically at their weakest may not have more beneficial than bogging an entire Army Group down outside Leningrad.

I think the simplest explanation is to leave Army Group North holding the Polish frontier with AG Center and South combined and attacked along AG Souths historical lines with AG Center breaking off North toward Moscow around Kharkov.
October 17th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
IMO Barbarossa would have worked best as a 2 season campaign, with the schwerpunkt though through Army Group South. I don't have enough time to expand on this atm but the idea would be to reach and hold the Dneiper River and hold that general defensive line until spring 1942. What would happen then would depend obviously on the actual results of the first season. The Red Army would have to be caught off guard as they were historically, which is why 'Case Blau', the German codename for the 1942 summer offensive, went initially so well.

The whole point of a 2 season campaign is twofold:

1) To allow the proper refit, recycle and resupply of German front line formations, allowing amongst other things winter clothing to reach the front line troops in good time for winter.

2) To attack in the summer which maximizes German mobility and tactical strength and defend in the winter where Soviet strength is at its greatest.
That isn't a Blitzkrieg campaign anymore. This means an actual build up for war surpassing what the Germans had already done in 1941, which in turn means that the USSR would probably have done more to get ready.
October 17th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am just wondering whether depriving the Russians of southern Russian oil fields and the Ukrainian supplies in the first year while German strength was at its best and the Russians were technically and tactically at their weakest may not have more beneficial than bogging an entire Army Group down outside Leningrad.

I think the simplest explanation is to leave Army Group North holding the Polish frontier with AG Center and South combined and attacked along AG Souths historical lines with AG Center breaking off North toward Moscow around Kharkov.
You are, again, ignoring logistics, pushing more forces than Army Group South had as it began its advance will only complicate and slow things down, not speed them up. It will also create an extended flank.
October 17th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
That isn't a Blitzkrieg campaign anymore. This means an actual build up for war surpassing what the Germans had already done in 1941, which in turn means that the USSR would probably have done more to get ready.
Well it would be a 2 season Blitzkrieg campaign. The major difficulty I see though is gaining the impetus/surprise for season 2. The problem would be that the schwerpunkt of any new advance would have to be carefully considered, with the element of surprise being crucial for success.

Stalin ignored all the signals for German build-up for the historical campaign. Why then would he react to a slightly bigger logistical build-up and more focused military build-up? He would most likely ignore it again.
October 18th, 2007  
Del Boy
 

Just another historical irrelevance from me. It seems to me that the Russians, because of their confidence in Generals Janvier and Fevrier, never get serious until Moscow can see the whites of their invaders' eyes. Then they get under their duvets and hibernate. OK,OK -I'm going.
October 18th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Well it would be a 2 season Blitzkrieg campaign. The major difficulty I see though is gaining the impetus/surprise for season 2. The problem would be that the schwerpunkt of any new advance would have to be carefully considered, with the element of surprise being crucial for success.

Stalin ignored all the signals for German build-up for the historical campaign. Why then would he react to a slightly bigger logistical build-up and more focused military build-up? He would most likely ignore it again.
There's no such thing as a 'two season' blitzkrieg campaign. A Blitzkrieg campaign is a quick battle, at most a month or two, and that's what the Germans planned for. Stalin didn't ignore 'all the signals' rather he was suspicious of them. If he saw forces for a real campaign against the Soviet Union, that'd be a different story. Even so this is a moot point since a 'two season' campaign would never have been tried.
 


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