Most decisive battle in WW2? - Page 33




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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May 24th, 2014  
Doppleganger
 
 
Hitler certainly drew upon his 'standfast' tactics from his WW1 experience and mainly it negated one of the superior aspects of the German Heer, namely their tactical mobility. However, on other occasions the order worked in the Germans' favour, such as stopping the rout of Army Group Centre after the defeat at Moscow. It might also be argued that the standfast order at Stalingrad sucked in a great deal of the Red Army and prevented the Southern German front from collapsing, particularly if the Germans had bothered to reinforce their flanks.

I think your estimate of the force ratio between the 2 sides is a bit simplistic. In the early part of the Ostfront war, the Germans often outnumbered the Soviets. I don't dispute that the Germans probably had the best army in WW2, particularly in their operational tactics, mission-based orders system, infantry squad tactics and of course, their use of armour. However, after Moscow the war was over and stalemate at the very least was the best they could have hoped for. Hitler likely never even wanted to attack Moscow in 1941 as he felt that economic targets were more important. His generals (Manstein, Bock, Guderian et al) convinced him otherwise and they were wrong.
May 24th, 2014  
JOC
 
 

Topic: ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
Wrong,it started before 1942
I don’t understand what you’re saying? What started before 42?

It seems you are fixated on the Soviets as having been solely responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany. I give credit to all that pitched in to defeat the Nazi menace: USSR, Britain, USA, even partisans this is why it’s called a world war.

The Soviets lost perhaps 30 million people but how many would they have lost had the Nazis won? I have never played down the Hugh Soviet contribution in the defeat of Nazi Germany. However who supplied the countless trucks “best trucks in the world” , jeeps, radios, foods stocks to help support the USSR so they could dedicate their industrial might on military hardware: Tanks, shells, etc. Although the greater part of the German army fought in the USSR depending on the time frame ~ (25 to 35) % of the German army fought the allied armies on different fronts Africa, Italy, France - Belgium. In 42- 43 the Luftwaffe had to start being diverted to deter the air threat over Germany; a fleet of submarines were used to attack allied shipping some of which was intended for the USSR.
I appreciated the tremendous accomplishments of the Red army but also it must be viewed in perspective.
May 24th, 2014  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
I don’t understand what you’re saying? What started before 42?
He's talking about the fact that Hitler took power away from his generals before 42.
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May 24th, 2014  
JOC
 
 

Topic: Different Viewpoint


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Hitler certainly drew upon his 'standfast' tactics from his WW1 experience and mainly it negated one of the superior aspects of the German Heer, namely their tactical mobility. However, on other occasions the order worked in the Germans' favour, such as stopping the rout of Army Group Centre after the defeat at Moscow. It might also be argued that the standfast order at Stalingrad sucked in a great deal of the Red Army and prevented the Southern German front from collapsing, particularly if the Germans had bothered to reinforce their flanks.

I think your estimate of the force ratio between the 2 sides is a bit simplistic. In the early part of the Ostfront war, the Germans often outnumbered the Soviets. I don't dispute that the Germans probably had the best army in WW2, particularly in their operational tactics, mission-based orders system, infantry squad tactics and of course, their use of armour. However, after Moscow the war was over and stalemate at the very least was the best they could have hoped for. Hitler likely never even wanted to attack Moscow in 1941 as he felt that economic targets were more important. His generals (Manstein, Bock, Guderian et al) convinced him otherwise and they were wrong.


This is where we disagree. I don't believe the war was lost outside of the gates of Moscow but at Kursk. The USSR won at Moscow mainly due to Germany’s arrogance of refusing to prepare for a winter campaign. The Reds were soundly defeated in the following winter offensive which resulted in the taking of hundreds of thousands of more Red army prisoners. In 42 the Osteer advanced hundreds of more miles into the USSR proving their still strong offensive capabilities. Operation Blau was hampered for the previous mentioned reasons “Army groups A’s back and forthing” and the defeat at Stalingrad showed that the Germans could but not necessarily would lose the war. The Southern front collapsed during the following Soviet winter offensive of 43. However before the rasputitsa Manstein defeated the Soviets and retook the Kharkov, leaving both sides to ponder the upcoming summer of 43.
Fortunately the Germans shot themselves in the foot and fell for Zhukov's trap at Kursk from which point the Germans lost the power for taking the initiative again on the eastern front and lost the war. Virtual nonstop Artillery and tank assaults closely followed by infantry tore the outnumbered German army to sheds. After Kursk the Soviets also learned to attack on a narrow front and did a good job of not letting the Germans know where to expect the next offensive.

Notice I mentioned the no retreat order was detrimental during the defensive part of war which is generally assumed to start after Kursk in late summer 43, not 41.
May 25th, 2014  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
This is where we disagree. I don't believe the war was lost outside of the gates of Moscow but at Kursk. The USSR won at Moscow mainly due to Germany’s arrogance of refusing to prepare for a winter campaign. The Reds were soundly defeated in the following winter offensive which resulted in the taking of hundreds of thousands of more Red army prisoners. In 42 the Osteer advanced hundreds of more miles into the USSR proving their still strong offensive capabilities. Operation Blau was hampered for the previous mentioned reasons “Army groups A’s back and forthing” and the defeat at Stalingrad showed that the Germans could but not necessarily would lose the war. The Southern front collapsed during the following Soviet winter offensive of 43. However before the rasputitsa Manstein defeated the Soviets and retook the Kharkov, leaving both sides to ponder the upcoming summer of 43.
Fortunately the Germans shot themselves in the foot and fell for Zhukov's trap at Kursk from which point the Germans lost the power for taking the initiative again on the eastern front and lost the war. Virtual nonstop Artillery and tank assaults closely followed by infantry tore the outnumbered German army to sheds. After Kursk the Soviets also learned to attack on a narrow front and did a good job of not letting the Germans know where to expect the next offensive.

Notice I mentioned the no retreat order was detrimental during the defensive part of war which is generally assumed to start after Kursk in late summer 43, not 41.
If you don't mind me saying you have a rather simplistic and naive view of the Eastern Front. 10, perhaps 15 years ago I might have agreed about Kursk being the defining battle of the Russo-German war. That was when I had a superficial understanding but now that I've done much more research and reading it's clear to me that Kursk was just another speedbump on the way to a Soviet victory. You have to understand that the Germans, from day 1, were not set up to fight extended campaigns. They didn't even go to a full war footing until 1943. Once they had failed to quickly knock out the Russians by way of capturing Moscow (if this even would have ended the war as it's far from certain) there was only going to be one eventual outcome. Compare the potential force ratios of both nations, look at the size of the Soviet Union, even just the European part, consider the strains on Germany from other fronts, consider the strains on the German Wehrmacht, paticularly the Panzerwaffe which rapidly increased in size but with significant shortcomings. I could go on but the essence is that if Nazi Germany didn't defeat an enemy quickly, it was in trouble.

Just to clear up some myths:

  1. German winter clothing was available, that wasn't the problem. The problem was the hopelessly over-extended logistical chain that was barely up to the task of supporting one army group, never mind three. Most of the winter equipment was stuck in Poland as there wasn't the available rolling stock to get it any further east.
  2. The advances in 1942 in the end merely delayed the inevitable, as the Soviets proved that they could just retreat further into the hinterland and then counter-attack in the winter. Yes the Red Army suffered some horrible casualties as it was poorly led and the average Russian soldier was poorly trained and it was up against a very good seasoned army with superior tactics, leadership and training. Stalingrad and then Kursk demonstrated that the Soviets could afford to lose hundreds of tanks and thousands of men but that the Germans could not. When you have this situation, in an extended war of attrition, there can be only one victor.
  3. Kursk wasn't 'Zhukov's trap' as you call it. It was simply the demonstration of one nation attempting to impose itself on another come what may. Both sides knew full well that the other was up to, although the Soviets had far more detailed information due to the failure of German intelligence. By this time, only an armistice was a realistic outcome for Germany; after Kursk it was off the table as the Soviets knew that they had the power now to smash Germany at will, which they slowly did. I will agree that there was a possibility before Kursk that adoption of elastic defence and Manstein's 'backhand' tactics could have bled the Red Army white. Then we might have had a situation whereby both sides would have exhausted themselves somewhere near pre-war borders. All conjecture of course.
May 25th, 2014  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
So you think Hitler's decisions were the best possibly decision for the Ostheer since he oversaw all major operations and basically often - usually dictated the plan of action (i.e.: not to breakout of Stalingrad), taking away the ability of many of the best generals in the war to strategize? If you believe this is a myth you are wrong. This is a fact to the horror of the Ostheer particularly the no retreat and die to the last man orders which was almost always Hitler's order during the defensive stage of the Eastern conflict. This reduced the Germans ability mobility and replaced it with what Hitler understood the WW1 defense.

As the breakout of Stalingrad was not possible,Hitler's order not to give up Stalingrad can not be considered as wrong .

Hitler aldo did not always forbid to retreat: already in the41/42 winter,Hitler consented to retreats .
May 25th, 2014  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
I don’t understand what you’re saying? What started before 42?

It seems you are fixated on the Soviets as having been solely responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany. I give credit to all that pitched in to defeat the Nazi menace: USSR, Britain, USA, even partisans this is why it’s called a world war.

The Soviets lost perhaps 30 million people but how many would they have lost had the Nazis won? I have never played down the Hugh Soviet contribution in the defeat of Nazi Germany. However who supplied the countless trucks “best trucks in the world” , jeeps, radios, foods stocks to help support the USSR so they could dedicate their industrial might on military hardware: Tanks, shells, etc. Although the greater part of the German army fought in the USSR depending on the time frame ~ (25 to 35) % of the German army fought the allied armies on different fronts Africa, Italy, France - Belgium. In 42- 43 the Luftwaffe had to start being diverted to deter the air threat over Germany; a fleet of submarines were used to attack allied shipping some of which was intended for the USSR.
I appreciated the tremendous accomplishments of the Red army but also it must be viewed in perspective.
This is very simplistic : the truth is that the Western allies would have defeated Germany if the USSR had remained neutral or was defeated and that the USSR would have defeated Germany if the Western Allies had remained neutral/ were defeated .

The truth is also that Germany had lost the war in the East in the summer of 1941 (NOT at the gates of Moscow) BEFORE even ONE LL shipment arrived at Murmamsk/Archangelsk .
May 25th, 2014  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdan
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Hitler understood Blitzkrieg.
There was no Blitzkrieg in the East,and I doubt there was one in WWII,besides Blitzkrieg is a postwar invention by half educated US journalists: the Germans did not use the term Blitzkrieg .
May 25th, 2014  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
. I will agree that there was a possibility before Kursk that adoption of elastic defence and Manstein's 'backhand' tactics could have bled the Red Army white. Then we might have had a situation whereby both sides would have exhausted themselves somewhere near pre-war borders. All conjecture of course.[/LIST]

I don't know who invented the "back hand" theory,probably some wise guy of the H CH.
The fact is that Manstein demanded all mobile forces to stop the Sowjets,if he received them, it would have been the end of the other 2 AG's (North and Center).
May 25th, 2014  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
I don't know who invented the "back hand" theory,probably some wise guy of the H CH.
The fact is that Manstein demanded all mobile forces to stop the Sowjets,if he received them, it would have been the end of the other 2 AG's (North and Center).
Yes it's a post-war term but the theory was utilized by Manstein and others. Well that was the reality of the situation for Germany after 1941, they only had the capability to operate one army group at a time. They wouldn't need three army groups anyway - it was a hugely ambitious (and ultimately reckless) plan they had at the start and come 1943 under a universal elastic defensive doctrine they wouldn't need more than one.