Why did Germany lose WW2? - Page 3




 
--
 
January 2nd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
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.
The main question for me is whether the Germans could hold Moscow if they had captured it so a 'Stalingrad' scenario is one possible outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
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.
IMO they would have needed at least an extra 2-3 months of good weather in order to capture and secure Baku. If you're not exactly sure where they are the following map will show how deep into Soviet territory they were. Nowadays they are located in Azerbaijan.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=baku+oil+fields&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GBfficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl
January 2nd, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 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.
That means the mistake was already Polish campaign because of eliminating sanitare cordone between Reich and USSR. When having direct border with USSR and in war with West, Reich still had danger of Soviet invasion which most likely would happen in case of `Sea Lion`. Again - in such way 2 fronts were unavoidable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Moreover, the mere possibility of a Japanese attack from Manchuria could of avoided the Russian 41 winter offensive that started the rot.
Not possibility, but real attack was needed to make Soviet strategic decisions more difficult. However, after June 22 there was lost moment of surprise, and breaking up of prepared Soviet defense in Far East would be not so easy as Germans did it in European sector of USSR using the factor of surprise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
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.
They still needed to make those 300 miles over. Moreover, despite of beginning of assault on Kiev started in July, Germans took Kiev only in 26 september.
On other hand, if leave the Kiev and turn to Moscow in full force already in July, Germans risked to have a powerful Soviet group (Kiev group, which wouldn't be defeated, if no assault on Kiev) in their South flank.

They had two chances:
1) attack Moscow as soon as possible with less exhausted and more numerous forces in more friendly climatic circumstances, but having treat of undefeated Soviet Kiev group in their South flank.
2) To eliminate at first treat to South flank and only then attack Moscow with secure flanks. It resulted in delay of attack as well as increasing of exhaustion and decreasing number of combat-capable manpower right in first lines.

They choosed the second one decision, which was quite logical and right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The reasons why the Germans failed to take Leningrad were not quite the same as the reasons for not taking Moscow.
Why not? They still did no have manpower enough to capture this city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
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.
Moreover, capture of Leningrad could give them chance to transport supply and reinforcements directly to Leningrad by sea, and use Leningrad as platzdarm to assault on Arhangelsk and Murmansk, where lend lease cargos arrived...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
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.
I think You can be closer to truth since I do not remember any sources claiming about Stalingrad in terms of `secondary capital`.
January 2nd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
They still needed to make those 300 miles over. Moreover, despite of beginning of assault on Kiev started in July, Germans took Kiev only in 26 september.
On other hand, if leave the Kiev and turn to Moscow in full force already in July, Germans risked to have a powerful Soviet group (Kiev group, which wouldn't be defeated, if no assault on Kiev) in their South flank.

They had two chances:
1) attack Moscow as soon as possible with less exhausted and more numerous forces in more friendly climatic circumstances, but having treat of undefeated Soviet Kiev group in their South flank.
2) To eliminate at first treat to South flank and only then attack Moscow with secure flanks. It resulted in delay of attack as well as increasing of exhaustion and decreasing number of combat-capable manpower right in first lines.

They choosed the second one decision, which was quite logical and right.
Sure, it eliminated a potential powerful threat on the right flank of AGC and was a great tactical success, but it did little to improve their strategic position. The only chance for Germany to win was to either a) plan Barbarossa as a 2 season campaign or b) go straight for Moscow as quickly as possible. Anything else would see Germany being sucked into a war of attrition that favoured the Soviet Union's greater manpower reserves. This is what happened historically of course. The main reason why the Red Army defeated the Wehrmacht was the ability of the former to field a large strategic reserve throughout the war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
Moreover, capture of Leningrad could give them chance to transport supply and reinforcements directly to Leningrad by sea, and use Leningrad as platzdarm to assault on Arhangelsk and Murmansk, where lend lease cargos arrived...
The capture of Leningrad would undoubtedly have helped the Germans. Aside from the benefits you mention it would also have freed up much needed troops for operations directed towards Moscow. However, capture of Leningrad in itself would not have been decisive as the capture of Moscow would have been.
--
January 2nd, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
Russia did not seem to have any desire to go to war with Germany, as Russia was still in one hell of a muddle due to Stalin's purges. If Germany had taken out Britain first it would have released a huge amount of troops that they had stationed in Norway to prevent another British Invasion. Lets face it Hitler always thought that Britain would invade Norway and kept over 300.000 men there to prevent this. Also it it would have released a million men that Hitler had tied up to try and stop British bombers chewing up Germany. Now if these had been released to attack Russia there could have been a different outcome to the battle, Also he would not have lost any production due to the RAF bombing.
January 2nd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Russia did not seem to have any desire to go to war with Germany, as Russia was still in one hell of a muddle due to Stalin's purges. If Germany had taken out Britain first it would have released a huge amount of troops that they had stationed in Norway to prevent another British Invasion. Lets face it Hitler always thought that Britain would invade Norway and kept over 300.000 men there to prevent this. Also it it would have released a million men that Hitler had tied up to try and stop British bombers chewing up Germany. Now if these had been released to attack Russia there could have been a different outcome to the battle, Also he would not have lost any production due to the RAF bombing.
The problem for Germany in 1941 wasn't a lack of manpower, it was a flawed operational plan that underestimated many facets of invading Russia. Because of this, the only viable strategy under the plan was to punch through to Moscow and grab it asap. As soon as the momentum towards Moscow was lost, the plan was already in trouble. As he did at Dunkirk, Hitler lost his nerve and played safety first. The decision to capture the Ukraine was a conventionality sound plan, but a realistic chance to capture Moscow was lost.
January 2nd, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
Moscow like Stalingrad where more symbols of victory rather than sound objectives, if they had captured Moscow the war would have still gone on and made the German supply lines even longer. All the heavy industry had already been moved to the Urals, it one thing taking all this territory but it is another thing to control it. The Germans by their actions in Russia had just made themselves more hated than Stalin and had unified the the Russian people against them
January 3rd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Moscow like Stalingrad where more symbols of victory rather than sound objectives, if they had captured Moscow the war would have still gone on and made the German supply lines even longer. All the heavy industry had already been moved to the Urals, it one thing taking all this territory but it is another thing to control it. The Germans by their actions in Russia had just made themselves more hated than Stalin and had unified the the Russian people against them
I can't agree that Moscow was a mere symbol rather than a sound objective - in fact quite the reverse is true. Despite the Soviets moving as much of the political and communication apparatus to Kuibyshev in late 1941, much of it was still in Moscow. Moreover, Moscow was still the most important railroad hub in the whole of Russia and it still controlled North/South communications and transport links. If you don't believe me go and have a look at a map. If the Germans controlled Moscow they would seriously disrupt the Red Army's ability to move their forces north to south. The only way they could guarantee large-scale movement of their forces would be East, which of course is in the wrong direction. Any suggestion that Moscow was merely or even mainly a symbol is entirely incorrect.

You also need to realize that that the main reason why the Russian people fought was not their hatred of the German invaders but their fear of Stalin and his political and military apparatus. If Stalin and his power is seen to be gone (and indeed he himself by many accounts was in a state of panic for a few weeks when the Germans were scoring victory after victory) then the Russian people in the main will panic and flee, as when it comes down to it concern for personal safety and the safety of loved ones becomes the primary goal. It's human nature. That is why it was so vital that Stalin chose to remain in Moscow during the darkest days of October/November. Had he relocated to Kuibyshev there was a real danger that Moscow would not have held.
January 3rd, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The problem for Germany in 1941 wasn't a lack of manpower, it was a flawed operational plan that underestimated many facets of invading Russia.
And one of these flaws was the manpower which was planned for quick victory, not for heavy fighting. So the manpower under `Barbarossa` was not enough for such success/unsuccess of `Barbarossa`, as it was, and reinforcements come too late for offensives under `Barbarossa` and helped only to save front line from further breakdown due to Soviet counteroffensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
If the Germans controlled Moscow they would seriously disrupt the Red Army's ability to move their forces north to south.
We again return to problem that Germans did not have forces enough for success in all of the directions. As we already discuss - decisive assault to Moscow without defeating of the Soviet South fronts could be rather high risk. Moreover, the fight for Moscow wouldn't end in couple of weaks, but much longer since Moscow is a giant city. While fighting in Moscow, Germans would have quite long front line in South, attacked by Soviet South forces. If this front fell, Soviets could cut all the main communications to Moscow Germans could loose the war already in 1942 or 1943 since all the Moscow sturming forces would be encircled just like under the Stalingrad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
You also need to realize that that the main reason why the Russian people fought was not their hatred of the German invaders but their fear of Stalin and his political and military apparatus.
That is not true. Soviet people just defended their homeland just the way Germans did it in 1945 but more successfuly. I am not sure that Germans that defended Berlin and Selow(?) heights fighted for fascism or nazi ideology or because of fear from SS and Gestapo. They just defended they Faterland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
If Stalin and his power is seen to be gone (and indeed he himself by many accounts was in a state of panic for a few weeks when the Germans were scoring victory after victory) then the Russian people in the main will panic and flee, as when it comes down to it concern for personal safety and the safety of loved ones becomes the primary goal. It's human nature.
If You are talking about defeat of Soviet forces during first two weaks of war near Soviet-German border, then I must say that Soviet forces were simply outnumbered and outgunned there due to force proportion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
That is why it was so vital that Stalin chose to remain in Moscow during the darkest days of October/November. Had he relocated to Kuibyshev there was a real danger that Moscow would not have held.
It was vital because in case of war state should have a government in place and this government must believe (or at least show to public that they do believe) in victory (or at least in stabilizition of the front). If government flees the endangered sector, it gives a non-verbal signal to all the people that government does not believe in victory (or stabilization of front), which means, there will be no victory. Therefore people will flee either. It's as simple as it is and has no connection with `fear factor`.
January 3rd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
And one of these flaws was the manpower which was planned for quick victory, not for heavy fighting. So the manpower under `Barbarossa` was not enough for such success/unsuccess of `Barbarossa`, as it was, and reinforcements come too late for offensives under `Barbarossa` and helped only to save front line from further breakdown due to Soviet counteroffensive.
Well as I said before lack of manpower was not the reason why the Germans failed on a strategic level. Better candidates to blame would be the divided objectives, the complete underestimation of both the individual qualities of the Russian soldier and the size of their strategic reserve, and the shaky logistical infrastructure that was barely adequate to support an operation the size of Barbarossa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
As we already discuss - decisive assault to Moscow without defeating of the Soviet South fronts could be rather high risk. Moreover, the fight for Moscow wouldn't end in couple of weaks, but much longer since Moscow is a giant city. While fighting in Moscow, Germans would have quite long front line in South, attacked by Soviet South forces. If this front fell, Soviets could cut all the main communications to Moscow Germans could loose the war already in 1942 or 1943 since all the Moscow sturming forces would be encircled just like under the Stalingrad.
The Red Army was too weak to assault in more than one place at a time in 1941. If general panic ensued in Moscow, as it did in particular on October 18th, the city could have been secured in 24 hours. There doesn't have to be a 'Stalingrad' cauldron if the Germans strike the city at the right time; i.e. as quickly as possible and before the Red Army has time to reorganize and lay down 1st and 2nd echelon defences. Stalingrad itself could have been taken almost without a fight in July 1942 had Hitler not dithered and diverted 4th Panzerarmee elsewhere. In any case AGN and AGS would be on the defensive when AGC assaulted Moscow and local successes aside I do not see the Red Army of 1941 being able to inflict any serious reverses on the dug-in AGN and AGS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
That is not true. Soviet people just defended their homeland just the way Germans did it in 1945 but more successfuly. I am not sure that Germans that defended Berlin and Selow(?) heights fighted for fascism or nazi ideology or because of fear from SS and Gestapo. They just defended they Faterland.
There was an element of defending their homes and lands and of course the Nazis did not endear themselves to the local population in any way but remove Stalin from the equation and IMO you'd find that general civilian resistance would be fatally weakened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
If You are talking about defeat of Soviet forces during first two weaks of war near Soviet-German border, then I must say that Soviet forces were simply outnumbered and outgunned there due to force proportion.
No, I was referring to the Kiev operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
It was vital because in case of war state should have a government in place and this government must believe (or at least show to public that they do believe) in victory (or at least in stabilizition of the front). If government flees the endangered sector, it gives a non-verbal signal to all the people that government does not believe in victory (or stabilization of front), which means, there will be no victory. Therefore people will flee either. It's as simple as it is and has no connection with `fear factor`.
This is all true but much more so than in most other regimes Stalin was the state.
January 3rd, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Well as I said before lack of manpower was not the reason why the Germans failed on a strategic level. Better candidates to blame would be the divided objectives, the complete underestimation of both the individual qualities of the Russian soldier and the size of their strategic reserve, and the shaky logistical infrastructure that was barely adequate to support an operation the size of Barbarossa.
Lets say - lack of manpower was one of reasons why Germans failed to fulfill objectives, however lack of manpower was result of bad planning, i.e. underestimation of enemy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The Red Army was too weak to assault in more than one place at a time in 1941. If general panic ensued in Moscow, as it did in particular on October 18th, the city could have been secured in 24 hours. There doesn't have to be a 'Stalingrad' cauldron if the Germans strike the city at the right time; i.e. as quickly as possible and before the Red Army has time to reorganize and lay down 1st and 2nd echelon defences. Stalingrad itself could have been taken almost without a fight in July 1942 had Hitler not dithered and diverted 4th Panzerarmee elsewhere. In any case AGN and AGS would be on the defensive when AGC assaulted Moscow and local successes aside I do not see the Red Army of 1941 being able to inflict any serious reverses on the dug-in AGN and AGS.
Well, couple of things:
  • Red Army was not as weak as there was lack of adequate plan (`what to do, where to run?` ) and poor coordination between large units like armies and fronts. Moreover, Germans had initiative and in fact Red Army was forced just to react on Germans moves, not to carry out its own strategy.
  • In case of an asap offensive on Moscow danger from right flank (on left flank Red Army had no forces enough, indeed) still would be there despite of dug in AGS. Since due to enclosing to Moscow the front line AGS should defend would stretch in hundreds of kilometers or even more. So, there already are two factors, decreasing AGS defensive capacities: a) long front line (which means there would not be very high density of German forces); b) short of time to prepare multi-level, echeloned defense (Red Army's defense lines in the half-circle of Kursk were prepared about three or four months, and Germans still managed amost to break them up in certain places).
  • There is no chance to sit in trenches and fox-holes and defeat ALL attacks. The attacking side sooner or later will concentrate force enough to break up the defense. And again, due to flaws in planning, Germans also weren't able to attack EVERYWHERE, so in case of main assault on Moscow AGS most likely wouldn't be able to counterrattack Soviet South armies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
here was an element of defending their homes and lands and of course the Nazis did not endear themselves to the local population in any way but remove Stalin from the equation and IMO you'd find that general civilian resistance would be fatally weakened.
Of course. Stalin played role of government and if government falls or flees, the resistance can only weaken. Due to both psychologic and lack of united management reasons.

However I can agree that Stalin himself was more decisive factor than any other governor could be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
No, I was referring to the Kiev operation.
There also should be considered that Kiev was much closer to border than Moscow. Therefore:
  • Assault on Kiev could be launched faster what also means less time for defending side to organize defense and refit its forces with new units;
  • Germans could attack Kiev with greater number of forces, and status of those forces was higher as it could be in case of assault on Moscow. Kiev was half as far from border as Moscow was, and when Germans could reach Moscow, the number and status of their forces will significantly decrease due to casualties (still no reinforcements) and attrition...
So I do not have any background to think that Moscow could be taken as easy as Kiev was.
 


Similar Topics
Japan and Germany co-operation in WW2
U.S. Issues Warning On Terrorism In Germany
China plans to invade US!
Allies and neutrals in WW2
How important was Germany right before WWII?