Why did Germany lose WW2? - Page 4




 
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January 3rd, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
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.
Well, the Germans could have used more manpower when things started to worsen from October onwards but if, for example, their logistical infrastructure had been up to the job to get say winter clothing to them in time, manpower would not have been a critical factor. The Germans lost many men to frostbite as well as to enemy action during Operation Typhoon. This is why I say that a lack of manpower was not really a reason why the Germans failed to secure their later objectives. The lack of manpower was as a result of other failings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
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.
The Germans would still be forcing the Red Army to be reactive rather than proactive, had they gone straight for Moscow after the win at Smolensk. There is a calculated risk in leaving the massed Soviet forces in the Donets Basin intact and hoping that the speed and shock of pushing towards Moscow will continue to leave the Soviets dazed and confused. There is of course a huge threat to the right flank of AGC with the Germans only having screening forces in place to defend that flank. But, it's the only way that the Germans can knock out the Soviet Union in 1941, and perhaps even at all. The Wehrmacht has to keep pushing on and not allow the Red Army time to breathe or get organized.

The same goes for AGS on the defensive, as this Army Group will be under much greater pressure than AGN. If the Germans went for an elastic defence doctrine, which they didn't on a big scale historically, that would have been a possible answer to manage numerically superior forces attacking them. Adopt the same tactics that Manstein used in the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. In any case, AGS might have to give ground but if the great prize of Moscow is seized it might be academic anyway. It just has to prevent a Soviet breakout and ensure also that it helps keep the Soviet Southwestern Front busy and off balance. Remember too that AGS was strong enough, with the help of Guderian's Panzergruppe 2, to take Kiev and destroy the above mentioned Front. On its own it would be strong enough to defend itself and probably push on towards Kiev on its own. There would be no left pincer to close the encirclement but that wouldn't matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
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.
Moscow would be harder than Kiev to take, there's no doubt there, assuming the city was defended. You can also argue that taking Kiev was the sensible thing to do at the time. Traditional military thinking states that flanks must always be secured although Hitler's reasons were more concerned with seizing natural resources rather, although he was also obsessed with destroying enemy armies in the field. However, the Germans had to gamble in this case and push towards Moscow because it would be the only way to end the war quickly, which was essential for them. I'm not even sure if it's possible as I really need to look at the logistical aspect before I can say yay or nay. If they don't have the logistical capacity then they would fail as they did historically, Kiev operation or no Kiev operation.
January 4th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
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.
I agree that this did not help their cause as it seems that a large number of troops were required to fight partisans and repair resistance damaged infrastructure not to mention that a little bit of common sense would have allowed occupied territories to provide troops and war materials to offset German industrial deficiencies.


Quote:
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.
There were several clashes between Russian and Japanese forces throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s and in every case the Japanese came off the loser I seriously doubt that much in the way of a coordinated ground war could have been achieved and given the geographical separation of the Pacific and Atlantic I am not sure how the Japanese navy could have maintained a presence in the Atlantic, at best German Uboats could have supported the Japanese navy in the Pacific a bit more but I am not sure how this would have helped the German European campaign.
January 8th, 2008  
Fox
 
 
-Well-trained and experianced Generals follow the orders from Hitler.
-Fought 3 sides at once.
-Low supplies at the Eastern fronts
-Outnumbered
-The allies had the adventures of the sky to bomb Germany
-Messed up in Italy when the Italian facism governments surrendered to the Allies in 1943.
-Declared war on the USA which Hitler think the USA are "underdogs." (He had no idea how much the Americans were pissed off at the Japanese by the aerial suprise attack on Pearl Harbor.)

Anything else?
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January 8th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
There were several clashes between Russian and Japanese forces throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s and in every case the Japanese came off the loser I seriously doubt that much in the way of a coordinated ground war could have been achieved and given the geographical separation of the Pacific and Atlantic I am not sure how the Japanese navy could have maintained a presence in the Atlantic, at best German Uboats could have supported the Japanese navy in the Pacific a bit more but I am not sure how this would have helped the German European campaign.
I agree it is difficult to see how this could benefit Japan in any immediate way. However, I expect a presence would have been possible, either due to the German supply ships that made their own surface raiders operational in the Indian ocean, and the 'friendly' Russian icebreaker over the top to Norway!

Perhaps a direct presence in the Atlantic would not have been necessary, an focused assault on British possessions such as India and a threat to the Suez route (as opposed to attacking America) could have made Churchill send some of the British carriers and battleships into a direct confrontation. This would have been the easiest way for Japan to intervene, perhaps with the agreement of Japanese control of an axis leading from the Urals and the Iran/Iraq border East.

Another cooperate venture would be to simply sell technologies German Tanks for Japanese Aircraft Carriers and naval aircraft. Perhaps Hitler could have convinced Stalin to supply Japan with raw materials. A bizarre situation admittedly. However a focus on eliminating Britain before attacking Russia and the US was surely the best choice.
January 8th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
I agree it is difficult to see how this could benefit Japan in any immediate way. However, I expect a presence would have been possible, either due to the German supply ships that made their own surface raiders operational in the Indian ocean, and the 'friendly' Russian icebreaker over the top to Norway!

Perhaps a direct presence in the Atlantic would not have been necessary, an focused assault on British possessions such as India and a threat to the Suez route (as opposed to attacking America) could have made Churchill send some of the British carriers and battleships into a direct confrontation. This would have been the easiest way for Japan to intervene, perhaps with the agreement of Japanese control of an axis leading from the Urals and the Iran/Iraq border East.

Another cooperate venture would be to simply sell technologies German Tanks for Japanese Aircraft Carriers and naval aircraft. Perhaps Hitler could have convinced Stalin to supply Japan with raw materials. A bizarre situation admittedly. However a focus on eliminating Britain before attacking Russia and the US was surely the best choice.
I think the only viable help the Japanese could have given was the continued threat to attack the Russians thus tying down Russian resources in the east, outside that they did attack British possessions in the east but much too late and there is almost no way they could have launched a direct assault on India without securing the other British possessions between Japan and India.

As far as technology goes I am not sure there would have been any benefit in an armour exchange as a 50 ton tiger probably wouldn't have been effective in the jungles of SE Asia (until they reached Australia and India at least) and the Germans really didn't need to be spending resources on a surface fleet that late in the war however they did sell the ME-163 and ME-262 along with other minor technology to Japan late in the war.

On the whole the best chance at an ally the Germans had were the Italians and there failings ended up killing more Germans than the British and Americans combined.
January 8th, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
As far as technology goes I am not sure there would have been any benefit in an armour exchange as a 50 ton tiger probably wouldn't have been effective in the jungles of SE Asia (until they reached Australia and India at least)
A 50+ tonne Panther/Tiger would have been no good but a 25 tonne late-model Panzer IV might have made good sense. This tank was able to deal with the T34 and would have given the Imperial Japanese Army a much better chance to engage the Red Army, had they a need to do so. Plus it was light and maneuverable enough to deal with the terrain, virgin jungle aside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
On the whole the best chance at an ally the Germans had were the Italians and there failings ended up killing more Germans than the British and Americans combined.
With hindsight the Germans should have left the Italians well alone. They contributed little in the the great scheme of things and hindered the Germans to the point where some believe they cost Germany WW2. I am referring to the Greece campaign which may have delayed the onset of Barbarossa. Those extra 6 weeks could have been decisive in Russia. I say could because the glaring faults of Barbarossa would still have remained, early start or not.
January 8th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
A 50+ tonne Panther/Tiger would have been no good but a 25 tonne late-model Panzer IV might have made good sense. This tank was able to deal with the T34 and would have given the Imperial Japanese Army a much better chance to engage the Red Army, had they a need to do so. Plus it was light and maneuverable enough to deal with the terrain, virgin jungle aside.
Personally I believe that there was a very good reason why armoured forces were not widely deployed by any side in the Pacific campaigns and is that they were not suited to the environment.

As far as armoured requirements for the war with Russia I seriously doubt that Japan had any intention to go to war with the Russians in fact everything I read tells me that by mid-1945 the Japanese were hoping to use the Russians to negotiate a peace with the allies therefore from their point of view a larger tank was impractical.

Quote:
With hindsight the Germans should have left the Italians well alone. They contributed little in the the great scheme of things and hindered the Germans to the point where some believe they cost Germany WW2. I am referring to the Greece campaign which may have delayed the onset of Barbarossa. Those extra 6 weeks could have been decisive in Russia. I say could because the glaring faults of Barbarossa would still have remained, early start or not.
But this was the problem they couldn't leave the Italians well alone because it would have given the allies a direct path into Germany, my opinion is that the best thing the Germans could have done was send a couple of boy scouts and a heavily armoured bicycle to invade when they annexed Austria and just taken them out of the game altogether. Besides this would have given them a much larger navy as well.
January 8th, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
As far as armoured requirements for the war with Russia I seriously doubt that Japan had any intention to go to war with the Russians in fact everything I read tells me that by mid-1945 the Japanese were hoping to use the Russians to negotiate a peace with the allies therefore from their point of view a larger tank was impractical.
The Japanese wanted no part of the Red Army because they knew they did not have the armour or AT capability to deal with them on anything like an equal basis. Had they been given this equipment by Germany it may had instilled them with a greater sense of ambition and also may have made Stalin more uneasy about pulling away Siberian Divisions to the Moscow area in October 1941. This could have had a crucial impact on the Battle for Moscow and the war as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
But this was the problem they couldn't leave the Italians well alone because it would have given the allies a direct path into Germany, my opinion is that the best thing the Germans could have done was send a couple of boy scouts and a heavily armoured bicycle to invade when they annexed Austria and just taken them out of the game altogether. Besides this would have given them a much larger navy as well.
I don't mean just abandon Italy as clearly the country had to be brought on board. I am suggesting that Hitler and Germany might have had a more 'hands-on' role in Italian affairs that would prevent Il Duce running off and invading small countries, only for the Germans to have to bail them out. A bit like your suggestion but more, behind the scenes.
January 8th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
[quote=MontyB;390623] I think the only viable help the Japanese could have given was the continued threat to attack the Russians thus tying down Russian resources in the east, outside that they did attack British possessions in the east but much too late and there is almost no way they could have launched a direct assault on India without securing the other British possessions between Japan and India [quote]

The tripartite act was signed in September 1940 although in principle it could have been earlier. I am assuming what Germany or the axis (since I am obviously considering the wider picture) 'did wrong' was from early on in the war. Britain had shipping lanes to the Far East, these would seem very venerable to a Japanese offensive in 1940. If Japan would have been careful to leave US possessions alone it would have been difficult for the US to come in on Britain's side. This would have left Malaya then Ceylon to be occupied in 1940 (no point in occupying anything other than defendable ports) then the whole Suez route comes under threat and the whole Middle East falls in 1941.

[quote=MontyB;390623] As far as technology goes I am not sure there would have been any benefit in an armour exchange as a 50 ton tiger probably wouldn't have been effective in the jungles of SE Asia [quote]

I was assuming they were getting beaten up in Manchuria due to the lack of Armour and had aspirations for Asiatic Russia? The main problem would be transport so I suppose we are talking about technology transfer rather than tanks. The Tiger was probably far too late in the war and not much good anyway.

[quote=MontyB;390623] and the Germans really didn't need to be spending resources on a surface fleet that late in the war [quote]

Most of the 'work' would have had to have been finished before the US economy got on a war footing, say Mid 1943.
January 8th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
The tripartite act was signed in September 1940 although in principle it could have been earlier. I am assuming what Germany or the axis (since I am obviously considering the wider picture) 'did wrong' was from early on in the war. Britain had shipping lanes to the Far East, these would seem very venerable to a Japanese offensive in 1940. If Japan would have been careful to leave US possessions alone it would have been difficult for the US to come in on Britain's side. This would have left Malaya then Ceylon to be occupied in 1940 (no point in occupying anything other than defendable ports) then the whole Suez route comes under threat and the whole Middle East falls in 1941.
I think the biggest problem with the Tripartite pact was that it never required a commitment from any of the parties unless one of them was attacked which means that because the Axis were always the aggressors there was no requirement from any of the others to assist.

It is this that makes the German declaration of war on the USA rather odd especially since:
(a) It was the only nation they did declare war on.
(b) They were not required to declare war or assist as Japan was the aggressor.


Quote:
I was assuming they were getting beaten up in Manchuria due to the lack of Armour and had aspirations for Asiatic Russia? The main problem would be transport so I suppose we are talking about technology transfer rather than tanks. The Tiger was probably far too late in the war and not much good anyway.
The Tiger was operation in mid to late 1942 I don't consider that too late I just don't think the Japanese had a use for it as they were not planning to fight the Russians. However as Doppleganger has pointed out the Mark IV may have been a better overall option as tank for Japan.
 


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