Most decisive battle in WW2? - Page 22




View Poll Results :Most decisive battle in WW2?
Battle of Stalingrad 34 33.33%
Battle of Kursk (Operation Citadel) 15 14.71%
Battle of Moscow 10 9.80%
Battle of Leningrad 0 0%
Battle of El Alamein 3 2.94%
Operation Overlord (Battle of Normandy) 17 16.67%
Battle of Midway 11 10.78%
Other 12 11.76%
Voters: 102. You may not vote on this poll

 
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December 25th, 2010  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korean Seaboy
Well, the Moscow in the Napoleonic Age and the Moscow in WWII were different.
Back then, there were almost no Siberian soldiers, and the army was already in retreat and there were no troops in Moscow. In fact, it was deserted. The French or the Russians burned it. Also, Napoleon didn't lay waste thoroughly like Hitler did. He just plowed ahead to Moscow, caring little for vital areas like Eastern Europe (where the Russian agriculture was based on), or the Crimea Peninsula (where Russia's sea trading mostly took place). He headed only straight for Moscow, dealing little damage to the vital areas.
Also, the Russians had preparations. They had adequate clothing, while Napoleon (with striking similarity with Hitler) didn't anticipate the dangers of the famous Russian weapon: THE WINTER!!! The Russians were well stocked and already left Moscow.
Also, you have to remember the transportation, morale, and economical factors. The transportation factor didn't matter much during the Napoleonic age as there were virtually no Siberian units to mobilize. Moscow was the last stop. The troops were all mobilized and there were no essential leftovers (in WWII, the survival of the Soviet Union would have been doubtful if there was no arrival of the Siberian and Far East units). Also, transportation didn't get centered on Moscow. There were no trains, cars, etc... Transportation could have been easily altered to a different route. Also, for the economical factor, Moscow wasn't the economical center. Back then, agriculture was the main economy of Russia, and as I stated before, the powerhouse of the Russian agriculture was left relatively untouched. Also, there were no companies, etc... The shops and businesses that was in Moscow had fled, so there was no significant economical damage. Transportation and spreading of the news is slow, so it took weeks for the Russian people to be demoralized. By that time, Napoleon was pushed back.
So, you can see that Moscow during the Napoleonic age and Moscow in WWII was very different. To alter the saying, It's still Kansas, but you're in the wrong time
well,that's a traditional,but,IMHO,a wrong POV
1)That moral would fall if Moscow was captured :I could reply that the Soviet resistance would stiffen,if Moscow did fall
2) the importance of the Siberian units:much overestimated:between june and december,the SU did send 5 million men to the front,of which at most :10% of the Siberian units .
3) the winter of 1812 was not exceptional ,but,Napoleon was spreading the myth that it was the fault of the winter,and the same happened in 1941-1942.
4) Moscowwas an important transport center,but,it has not been proved that without that transportcenter,the SU could not continue the war .
5)Starting from the assumption that the battle for Moscow would result in the fall of Moscow,is risky:I could reply that the battle for Moscow would result in a Stalingrad avant la lettre
December 25th, 2010  
LeEnfield
 
 
Korean Seaboy......You sat that Hitler ignored the Crimea, yet there was some very fierce fighting there and the Germans lost a whole army trapped on the Crimea Peninsular. The fighting there was equal to Stalingrad
December 26th, 2010  
Doppleganger
 
 
Capturing the capital of any country is important in war. While I agree there is no real evidence that the fall of Moscow would automatically mean the end of the war in the east, I'm not sure it can be said that resistance would stiffen or even could - it was pretty stiff already after Stalin's famous November 7th speech. Also, Moscow was far more important in 1941 than it was in 1812. Iljadw is correct about the impact of the Siberian troops - they had a minimal effect on the outcome of the battle and much less than is often made out.

As far as the weather conditions in 1941/42 they were harsher than average, especially south of Moscow where Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army was the main attacking pincer. Also the autumn 'rasputitsa' really slowed the Germans down before the winter set in although they should have anticipated this. This also affected Napoleon's Grande Armee. It is important to note that it was very difficult for the Germans to prepare adequate defensive fortifications due to the frozen ground. The capture of Moscow would have afforded ready made defensive fortifications.

I agree though that the capture of Moscow doesn't mean that the city will automatically fall. The Germans have to defend it through a particularly harsh Russian winter with tired and battered troops that desperately need refitted and rested and who lack ammunition, winter clothing and above all, fuel. If they can hold Moscow until Spring then they're laughing. I think they probably would as the Red Army at this time deserved many of the insults thrown at it by western historians and observers. Zhukov was under intense pressure from Stalin to drive back the German invaders and he really did just throw formation after formation in a blunt attempt to do just this.
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December 26th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
I am sorry but I still hold the opinion that had Moscow fallen in 1941 you would have seen an early Stalingrad and the destruction of Army Group Center especially given the large Russian formations NW and SW of the city.

I believe it is delusional to this the Russians would have simply rolled over at the loss of Moscow especially given the condition German forces at that point in the battle.

As to whether it is THE decisive battle of WW2 I can not see how it can be given that Germany still held the initiative almost until the end of 1942 and as such in my opinion it had to be Stalingrad that saw the turning point of the war in the east because beyond that the Germans were never able to regain the initiative nor replace the loss of the 6th Army.
December 26th, 2010  
Korean Seaboy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Korean Seaboy......You sat that Hitler ignored the Crimea, yet there was some very fierce fighting there and the Germans lost a whole army trapped on the Crimea Peninsular. The fighting there was equal to Stalingrad
No, actually I said Napoleon ignored the Crimea. Hitler wanted to cripple SU's economy, so he went for the Ukraine (the SU economic powerhouse) and for Crimea (the Crimean oilfields).
December 26th, 2010  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korean Seaboy
No, actually I said Napoleon ignored the Crimea. Hitler wanted to cripple SU's economy, so he went for the Ukraine (the SU economic powerhouse) and for Crimea (the Crimean oilfields).
what Crimean oilfields ?
December 27th, 2010  
Korean Seaboy
 
 
I meant the Caucasus oilfields
December 27th, 2010  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am sorry but I still hold the opinion that had Moscow fallen in 1941 you would have seen an early Stalingrad and the destruction of Army Group Center especially given the large Russian formations NW and SW of the city.

I believe it is delusional to this the Russians would have simply rolled over at the loss of Moscow especially given the condition German forces at that point in the battle.

As to whether it is THE decisive battle of WW2 I can not see how it can be given that Germany still held the initiative almost until the end of 1942 and as such in my opinion it had to be Stalingrad that saw the turning point of the war in the east because beyond that the Germans were never able to regain the initiative nor replace the loss of the 6th Army.
Com'on Monty, you can do better than that. On what basis do you compare the Russian forces centered around Moscow to those that were committed to Stalingrad? They were similar in name only. The Red Army at Stalingrad was a different animal. The only reason why the Red Army pushed back Army Group Centre was because the latter was exhausted, critically low on supplies (especially fuel) and severely depleted. In short, it was as much as what the Germans were incapable of doing as it was what the Soviets did.

The Red Army should have destroyed Army Group Centre in their winter counter-attack in 1941 - the German formations, 4th Army aside, were there for the taking. But they didn't and do you know why? Because their counter attacks were poorly planned, poorly co-ordinated and poorly executed. Had the Germans captured Moscow I do not see the Red Army of 1941/42 having any real success in pushing back a dug-in enemy. There were no weak Romanian Armies with no AT guns holding the flanks here.

Why is it delusional that the Russians would roll over given that the Soviet Union was really just a vast collection of different peoples and cultures under one banner. Monty, on October 18th they almost did just that, roll over. Moscow was in a state of utter panic for 24 hours. Do you really think it's delusional to suggest that the fall of their capital could not have a fatal impact on morale? IMO it's delusional to dismiss it out of hand.

I think I have to state the reason why Moscow was so important once again. It was the only chance for Germany to quickly knock the Soviet Union out of the war. Once embroiled in a long conflict, the odds switch sharply towards the Soviet Union with its greater capacity in resources in manpower, not to mention the fact that the Germans know that Britain and America are coming at some point.

The only way for Germany to win WW2 is to kill the Soviet Union. The only way they can do that is quickly. Either the original aims of Barbarossa (which were hopelessly optimistic) or the capture of Moscow could hope to do that. That's why the Battle of Moscow was the most decisive battle of the European Theatre and probably of WW2.

End of.
December 28th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The Red Army should have destroyed Army Group Centre in their winter counter-attack in 1941 - the German formations, 4th Army aside, were there for the taking. But they didn't and do you know why? Because their counter attacks were poorly planned, poorly co-ordinated and poorly executed. Had the Germans captured Moscow I do not see the Red Army of 1941/42 having any real success in pushing back a dug-in enemy. There were no weak Romanian Armies with no AT guns holding the flanks here.
The German army at the end of 1941 was exhausted and had the size of the salient that would have been formed had Moscow fallen they would have been stretched even further now given the large formations of Russians that would have been on both flanks of that salient (especially to the South West) I doubt that the Germans would have had the manpower, firepower, logistics or reserves to prevent an encirclement.

Now I would ask you what German units would have been holding the flanks around Moscow, I am prepared to bet that they were not in a hell of a lot better condition that the Romanians.

I would also suggest that AGC was on the verge of collapse and had the sky's not cleared for the Luftwaffe in late December things would have been extremely dire especially given the destruction of the German 39th Corps.
December 28th, 2010  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The German army at the end of 1941 was exhausted and had the size of the salient that would have been formed had Moscow fallen they would have been stretched even further now given the large formations of Russians that would have been on both flanks of that salient (especially to the South West) I doubt that the Germans would have had the manpower, firepower, logistics or reserves to prevent an encirclement.

Now I would ask you what German units would have been holding the flanks around Moscow, I am prepared to bet that they were not in a hell of a lot better condition that the Romanians.

I would also suggest that AGC was on the verge of collapse and had the sky's not cleared for the Luftwaffe in late December things would have been extremely dire especially given the destruction of the German 39th Corps.
One of the main reasons why AGC almost crumbled at the end of 1941 was a lack of defensive preparation. Mainly because the retreat order from Hitler came too late and the weather prevented the German engineer and infantry divisions from making any proper defensive formations. Those German formations that did have the time and ability to dig in, such as von Kluge's 4th Army, survived the Soviet counter attack more or less intact. Capturing Moscow would have allowed a defensive line to be built. The danger is whether they have the time to do this.

I would not put my house on the Germans holding Moscow through the winter, but if they can get set and dig in, using Moscow itself as a fortress, then I believe it's possible that they see out until February/March 1942. The Soviet formations in late 1941 were bolstered by a large quantity of green troops with very little basic training and short of equipment. They are not the same troops that surrounded Stalingrad a year later. There is no coordinated battle plan as there was at Stalingrad a year later. Historically, Zhukov ended up checking divisions piecemeal at the Germans who in the main chewed them up. The Soviets pushed the Germans back because the Germans had no defensive line and had to retreat.

Regarding the German 39th Korps I have two things to say. Firstly that it was just one Korps and secondly that the Cholm Pocket itself would likely not have existed had the Germans taken Moscow. Therefore I don't see this as having much relevance to the subject at hand.

The only other thing to consider is that the most likely scenario for Germany to capture Moscow is to race for it in August instead of targeting Kiev. This opens up a whole new set of debate which is probably best left for another thread.