Why did Germany lose WW2? - Page 2




 
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January 1st, 2008  
Pale Rider
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
It can be argued that there were in fact 2 major wars that occurred from 1939-1945. The first, a European war, lasted from September 1st, 1939 until September 30, 1941 (i.e. 2 years), which Germany decisively won. The 2nd war, which started when Hitler declared war on the USA they obviously lost, at least in the short-term. The other thing to consider is who won the war in the long term? Did Germany really lose long-term?

Anyway, the reason why Germany didn't 'win WW2' was simply because they failed to achieve a decisive victory over the Red Army in the Battle of Moscow, which started on September 30th, 1941. Had they done so it wouldn't have mattered one bit whether Hitler declared war on the USA or not. if Hitler knocks Stalin out of the war everything changes.

In fact, let's narrow it down further. There is much contention over this but the reason that Germany lost WW2 might be because of the 'Lötzen Decision'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B6tzen_decision

Why is it that everyone thinks that by Germany taking Moscow that this would of ended the war in the East, another army during a different time frame achieved that goal and ended up leaving in total chaos.
January 1st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Rider
Why is it that everyone thinks that by Germany taking Moscow that this would of ended the war in the East, another army during a different time frame achieved that goal and ended up leaving in total chaos.
Its a good question and I have certainly seen nothing that would have indicated that had Moscow fallen the Russia would have thrown in the towel.

My opinion is that had they concentrated on on the oilfields right from the start and captured those it would have made the Russian position during the winter of 1941-42 untenable, however this would have meant that the main thrust of Barbarossa would have to have been south of the Pripyat marshes with AGC hooking north through Kursk-Orel toward Moscow and AGS heading straight at the Caspian sea with the bulk of the armour.
January 1st, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Rider
Why is it that everyone thinks that by Germany taking Moscow that this would of ended the war in the East, another army during a different time frame achieved that goal and ended up leaving in total chaos.
The difference is that Moscow back in 1812 was not nearly as important as an economic, political and cultural centre as it was in 1941 and beyond. Moreover, Napoleon's 'Grande Armee' did not inflict the scale of casualties in the field that the Wehrmacht inflicted on the Red Army. The Imperial Russian Army was largely intact, a lesson that was not lost on German military reformists such as Scharnhorst and also not lost on a certain Adolf Hitler. There are differences of opinion on whether the loss of Moscow would have knocked the Soviet Union out of the war but consider this. Had the Germans won the Battle for Moscow they would have:

a) Captured the political centre of the Soviet Union
b) Captured the most important communications and railroad hub
c) Severed the North/South communications/transport link of European Russia

This would have had the likely effect of:

a) Severely compromising the Red Army's ability to plan and coordinate large scale operations
b) Inducing mass panic amongst the Russian population

It must be noted that several times during the Battle of Moscow there was mass panic amongst the local population, none more so than on October 18th when the whole city was on the verge of anarchy. The actual loss of the city would be a hammer blow to civilian morale and the impact of that cannot be understated.

The question for me is not whether capturing Moscow would knock the Soviet Union out of the war as I think it would. The question is whether the Wehrmacht can hold the city against the expected Soviet winter counter-attack. If they can, they win the war.
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January 1st, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Had the Germans won the Battle for Moscow they would have:

a) Captured the political centre of the Soviet Union
b) Captured the most important communications and railroad hub
c) Severed the North/South communications/transport link of European Russia.
It was impossible to take Moscow in conditions of those as in September-December of 1941. At first, German forces were exhausted since fighting already longed much longer than planned. The first reinforcements arrived from Germany only in February of 1942 and were used to stabilize the front during the Soviet counteroffensive. Second, German forces still were not prepared for winter combat since `Barbarossa` was considered to end before winter.

Leningrad was also very meaningful center - `the cradle of revolution`. Germans failed to take it too, mostly due to the same reasons. As well as Stalingrad - it was namesake city of Stalin and very important communication center too.

There are some versions stating that some preparations was made by Soviet government to move to Stalingrad in case Moscow will fall in end of 1941.
January 1st, 2008  
perseus
 
 
MontyB

These are all good reasons, and some either led to, or are subcategories of the major reasons which were
  1. failure to have any real plan to invade Britain and clean up the west before attacking Russia thus ensuring a 2 front war.
  2. failure to place the economy on a full war footing until it was too late
From both reasons this follows:

They were simply out numbered, out gunned and out classed once both Russia and the USA were at full war footing.

It is also noteworthy that Germany didn't make full use of their female population for idealogical reasons until it was too late.

In addition to 1) and 2) above may I suggest two other reasons

3 Subjugation and terrorisation rather than placation and utilisation of the population of conquered territories in the East who must have surely have more reasons to hate Stalin than Hitler initially.

4 Failure to coordinate strategy and amalgamate resources with Japan. Japan's navy together with the German U boats would have been more than enough to eliminate the Royal and Merchant Navy in the Atlantic, bringing a swift close to the Western front and prevention of a US foothold in Europe. Moreover, the mere possibility of a Japanese attack from Manchuria could of avoided the Russian 41 winter offensive that started the rot.
January 1st, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
The first thing Hitler did wrong was to start a war on two fronts. Had he invaded Britain and Ireland he would have secured Europe from attack from the West. He would have had Spain come on side with him and they would have taken Gibraltar locking up the Med. They could have then swept right down across north Africa taking the Suez Canal and the oil fields in Persia and Iraq. They would have taken Israel and settled that business, Hitler would have know doubt been helped by his first world war partner Turkey to push into Russia and with only one war going on there might have been different out come.
January 2nd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
It was impossible to take Moscow in conditions of those as in September-December of 1941. At first, German forces were exhausted since fighting already longed much longer than planned. The first reinforcements arrived from Germany only in February of 1942 and were used to stabilize the front during the Soviet counteroffensive. Second, German forces still were not prepared for winter combat since `Barbarossa` was considered to end before winter.
This is why some think the decision to strike for Kiev instead of Moscow in July was so fateful. In July the leading elements of Panzergruppe 2 were only 200 miles from Moscow. Of course it was very difficult to take Moscow in November/December but attempting it in July/August might have had a very different outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
Leningrad was also very meaningful center - `the cradle of revolution`. Germans failed to take it too, mostly due to the same reasons. As well as Stalingrad - it was namesake city of Stalin and very important communication center too.
The reasons why the Germans failed to take Leningrad were not quite the same as the reasons for not taking Moscow. The capture of Leningrad, although an important city, would not have had the same impact as the capture of Moscow, since it did not have the same economic, political, transport and communications links importance as Moscow did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
There are some versions stating that some preparations was made by Soviet government to move to Stalingrad in case Moscow will fall in end of 1941.
I have not heard that myself. I was under the impression that Kuibyshev (now Samara) was always intended to be the secondary capital had Moscow fallen and indeed it was the de facto capital until 1943 anyway as most of the government and political apparatus had been moved there in late 1941.
January 2nd, 2008  
Pale Rider
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Its a good question and I have certainly seen nothing that would have indicated that had Moscow fallen the Russia would have thrown in the towel.

My opinion is that had they concentrated on on the oilfields right from the start and captured those it would have made the Russian position during the winter of 1941-42 untenable, however this would have meant that the main thrust of Barbarossa would have to have been south of the Pripyat marshes with AGC hooking north through Kursk-Orel toward Moscow and AGS heading straight at the Caspian sea with the bulk of the armour.
Agreed, political infrastructure had a plan in place to evacuate Moscow and continue the struggle at a safer distance, taking the oil fields would of placed the red army in a choke hold for offensive operations. The terrian was just to vast for a army the size Germany was fielding to take and hold. Not having a long range bomber capability also contributed to their demise.
January 2nd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Its a good question and I have certainly seen nothing that would have indicated that had Moscow fallen the Russia would have thrown in the towel.
Hello Monty.

I feel you are not properly taking into consideration what the fall of Moscow would mean to the ability of STAVKA to direct large scale operations or what the impact would be on the civilian population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
My opinion is that had they concentrated on on the oilfields right from the start and captured those it would have made the Russian position during the winter of 1941-42 untenable, however this would have meant that the main thrust of Barbarossa would have to have been south of the Pripyat marshes with AGC hooking north through Kursk-Orel toward Moscow and AGS heading straight at the Caspian sea with the bulk of the armour.
The only way your suggestion would have worked was if Barbarossa had been planned as a 2 season campaign. Sure they would have secured Kiev and the Donets basin but there is simply not enough time for the Germans to reach the Baku oilfields and secure them before the onset of winter and the expected Soviet winter counter-offensive. Take a look at a map and see how far it is from the initial Russo-German border to the Caucasus area - it's a bloody long way even just to drive, never mind having to fight your way through hostile armies operating a scorched earth policy.

So, if it's a 2 season campaign then it's a viable strategy. If not then it's mission impossible and folly. The German armies would be even more extended than they were historically (assuming they got that far) and the resultant losses would probably be even more decisive than they were historically.
January 2nd, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Hello Monty.

I feel you are not properly taking into consideration what the fall of Moscow would mean to the ability of STAVKA to direct large scale operations or what the impact would be on the civilian population.
But lets face it the impact is an unknown to both sides as the capture of Moscow may well have led to a Stalingrad only a year earlier.

Quote:
The only way your suggestion would have worked was if Barbarossa had been planned as a 2 season campaign. Sure they would have secured Kiev and the Donets basin but there is simply not enough time for the Germans to reach the Baku oilfields and secure them before the onset of winter and the expected Soviet winter counter-offensive. Take a look at a map and see how far it is from the initial Russo-German border to the Caucasus area - it's a bloody long way even just to drive, never mind having to fight your way through hostile armies operating a scorched earth policy.

So, if it's a 2 season campaign then it's a viable strategy. If not then it's mission impossible and folly. The German armies would be even more extended than they were historically (assuming they got that far) and the resultant losses would probably be even more decisive than they were historically.
Hard to say but had they had the extra 6 weeks that were wasted bailing the Italians out in the Balkans it may have made the plan a possibility.
 


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