Kursk? - Page 2




 
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February 10th, 2018  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Just to rekindle this thread:
The one problem in this whole process is that even had the Germans cut off the Russian armies in the bulge they could not have secured them within it and there were still significant Russian forces outside to counterattack what would have been a very weak encirclement.

The only hope for Citadel was to think big and attack further to the North and South of the bulge to bypass the defences and encompass reserve forces.
How I see it is; the only way for the Germans to turn Citadel into a victory is to launch a major offensive, but they couldn't. The realistic goal with Citadel would be to encircle the bulge and nothing more than that, but as you said. It had been a very weak one and major Russian forces had either retreated and counterattacked somewhere else. Didn't the Germans throughout the war underestimated the Russian forces.
February 11th, 2018  
MontyB
 
 
One of the biggest problems for the Germans is that their intelligence gathering and analysis was never very good at any stage of the war, prior to Kursk German estimates of Russian manpower reserves was over three million short this I think encouraged them to believe that they were on the verge of bleeding the Russian army dry.
I am not convinced the soldiers (and officers) on the ground in Russia underestimated the Russian ability at any stage I think most of that was at political level.
February 12th, 2018  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
One of the biggest problems for the Germans is that their intelligence gathering and analysis was never very good at any stage of the war, prior to Kursk German estimates of Russian manpower reserves was over three million short this I think encouraged them to believe that they were on the verge of bleeding the Russian army dry.
I am not convinced the soldiers (and officers) on the ground in Russia underestimated the Russian ability at any stage I think most of that was at political level.
I remember I read something supporting your view. When Gelhlen, reported the strength of the Russians. Hitler got one of his tantrums and considered the Gelhlen's report as fake, silly and said probably some other unflattering words about Gelhen's competence as an intelligence officer
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February 14th, 2018  
MontyB
 
 
Another point that keeps being raised is German pessimism about the delay of the offensive but according to Glantz that pessimism only arose after the battle and was more of an excuse for failure rather than a reason.
February 24th, 2018  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Another point that keeps being raised is German pessimism about the delay of the offensive but according to Glantz that pessimism only arose after the battle and was more of an excuse for failure rather than a reason.
Didn't Manstein raise concerns about the entire Operation Citadel? The confidence and the pessimism is factor we have discussed much, not to my knowledge anyway. When did the Germans lose the confidence? Before Barbarossa or after Moscow. There were Germans apprehensive about attacking Soviet Union.
February 25th, 2018  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Didn't Manstein raise concerns about the entire Operation Citadel? The confidence and the pessimism is factor we have discussed much, not to my knowledge anyway. When did the Germans lose the confidence? Before Barbarossa or after Moscow. There were Germans apprehensive about attacking Soviet Union.

The problem I have with German Generals is that for the most part the information we have about their beliefs and opinions is from material written post-war and by 1946 every surviving German commander was an avid Hitler hating, anti-Nazi so I am dubious about those views.

As to when they lost confidence it is hard to say, I get the impression that it depends on who you talk to as to when it happened.

A personal guess is that by the end of 1941 there must have been an inkling that things were not going to go smoothly and certainly by the end of 1943 it had to be obvious that it was not going to be a positive outcome.

That being said some time ago I spoke to my wife's grandfather who was 1942 called up and although he never fought in Russia he claimed that he never really felt like it lost until Jan 1945.
February 27th, 2018  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Didn't Manstein raise concerns about the entire Operation Citadel?
No : he did not : in his memoires he claimed that he could have defeated the Soviets .
February 27th, 2018  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
Didn't the Germans throughout the war underestimated the Russian forces.
They had to do it .
February 28th, 2018  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
No : he did not : in his memoires he claimed that he could have defeated the Soviets .
Don't all Generals win in their memoirs. I doubt the Germans had been able to be successful even if Citadel had been more successful than it was. The German forces would have been drained and the Germans didn't have the strength to take the initiative on the Eastern front. Especially when things went sour in the Mediterranean with the invasion of Italy, which required reinforcements to be deployed south. Resources the Germans didn't have.
March 2nd, 2018  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
I throw in another question and see if we can get a discussion going here. It has little to do with Kursk, but I use this thread.

The Germans developed a new military doctrine prior the outbreak of the war. It worked rather well for them when they conquered most of Europe. Was it Hitler's fault when the doctrine didn't work well when the Germans were defensive?
 


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