Germany lost the war in 1940 - Page 7




 
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March 8th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Welcome back, you have missed some fun arguments.

As to Germany losing the war in 1941 I am not sure I agree, if we base it off Nazi racial doctrine then they lost the war in 1933-35 or when they accepted Mein Kampf as an accepted national direction.

If we are looking at military strategy in going for a single season campaign I really don't agree, the problem when fighting a country that has more manpower and greater resources is that time is not on your side, the longer you give them the stronger they get.
March 8th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
I think you know what I'm driving at Monty. The 'liberation' of the Ukraine could have been handled much better by the Germans had their idelogical policy allowed it.

It's all very well saying that time wasn't on the side of Germany and it wasn't. Under ideal circumstance the Germans would have continued regardless. But the Germans were not campaigning under ideal circumstances, far from it. They had 3 giant army groups marching in different directions. They had a wholly inadequate logistical chain to feed these army groups. By August there was really only enough supplies to feed one army group for any substantial operations. By the time the Germans launched Operation Typhoon on October 2nd, their armies were severely battered from combat attrition and severely lacking in supplies, most notably fuel. The infantry divisions were force marching up to 40 miles a day, under almost constant attack, and they had been doing this since June. And you have the coldest winter for 140 years, especially in the area south of Moscow, with troops that had very little winter supplies or clothing. Attacking under these circumstances was a recipe for disaster and Army Group Centre was eventually pushed back 200 miles and very nearly routed. For what? It is not appreciated how close the strongest combat formation in the German Army was to collapsing in that winter.

Time wasn't on their side, indeed. However, there was still enough time for the Germans to wait until 1942 to start Operation Typhoon and/or Case Blau. The Red Army was still reeling from the losses at Smolensk, Minsk and Kiev and had not yet taken on board the very harsh lessons they 'learned' in 1941. The Germans would have been able to regain the initiative relatively easily. Remember, it was only after Kursk in 1943 that the Soviets were able to gain the initiative in Spring/Summer. Had the Germans halted on the line of the Dnieper river they would have found themselves rested, resupplied and refitted, deep in European Russia ready for a Spring 1942 offence that would again have rolled over the Red Army. Even so, there would still be no guarantee of victory but they'd have a much better shot than they did historically.

I've read an awful lot about the Eastern Front Monty, more than most, and nothing I've read has convinced me that a 2 season campaign in 1941/42 was nothing other than the best chance of German victory in Russia.
March 8th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
One of the problems in analysing this campaign though is in determining the effects of outside influences, had Italy stayed out of the war Germany would not have needed to carry out the Balkans campaign would the time, men and material used during that campaign and for subsequent garrison duty made a difference on the Eastern Front.

What effect did the Lotzen decision play in the campaign?

The extra 6 weeks of reasonable weather may well have allowed Germany to finish off the Soviet Union or at least put it in a better position prior to winter.

I certainly agree that the logistical side of the Russian campaign was always going to be a nightmare but I am more inclined to believe that had things gone well during early 1941 the wintering lines would have been the Volga not the Dnieper and this would have made the Russian position almost if not completely untenable.

I agree with the notion that being a little more humane towards the Ukrainians would have helped a lot but then killing or expelling the Jews of Germany deprived them of a huge number of resources as well so this problem was in effect well before Germany invaded Russia.
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March 9th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
One of the problems in analysing this campaign though is in determining the effects of outside influences, had Italy stayed out of the war Germany would not have needed to carry out the Balkans campaign would the time, men and material used during that campaign and for subsequent garrison duty made a difference on the Eastern Front.
It would have made a difference; whether it would have been decisive is pure speculation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
What effect did the Lotzen decision play in the campaign?
Unknown. There are good arguments on either side. Ignoring the Kiev situation might have led to the cutting off of Army Group Centre or it could have led to the capture of Moscow. Which side you happen to be on depends on your assessment of the state of the Red Army and the willingness of its people to fight in an ever deteriorating situation. History records that the Russians fought very hard whilst they felt they still had hope. If Moscow falls would this still be the case? Unknown.

Even if the Germans capture Moscow that is a long supply corridor to hold open and the Germans would not have very strong forces to hold the flanks, especially the crucial right flank. Historically, that was left to a weak 2nd Army that had no armour and not nearly enough forces to do its task. Any serious Red Army assault would blow that flank wide open. The Germans could be cut off holding Moscow and they might have another Stalingrad on their hands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The extra 6 weeks of reasonable weather may well have allowed Germany to finish off the Soviet Union or at least put it in a better position prior to winter.

I certainly agree that the logistical side of the Russian campaign was always going to be a nightmare but I am more inclined to believe that had things gone well during early 1941 the wintering lines would have been the Volga not the Dnieper and this would have made the Russian position almost if not completely untenable.
The extra 6 weeks would have come in handy, for sure. It might have allowed the Germans to launch Typhoon in August instead of October. However, the material losses and the logistical problems suffered by the Ostheer would still have been present. BTW, the Volga river as a wintering position in 1941 is far too ambitious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I agree with the notion that being a little more humane towards the Ukrainians would have helped a lot but then killing or expelling the Jews of Germany deprived them of a huge number of resources as well so this problem was in effect well before Germany invaded Russia.
I do not know enough about this subject to make much of a comment. You may well be right here.
 


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