Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

6th Army commander.

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by FramerT, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,570
    Likes Received:
    36
    This is'nt really a what-if, just would like one's opinion of "other" Commanders had they been in charge of 6th Army in Stalingrad.

    Guderian/Hoth/ Rommel / Kesselring /etc. Would Hitler had sacrificed a Guderian? Would a Rommel had dis-obeyed and pulled 6th Army out before it was too late?
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Interesting question. I would say that Hitler would not sacrifice his experienced and successful generals such as Rommel, Manstein, Rundstedt and so on. He did pull Rommel out of Afrika. As for Guderian, I would say the Hitler may have let him go.

    As for responses, Rommel probably would have pulled out as would Heinrici, Guderian or Manteuffel. Shroeder, Model, Rundstedt would have stayed. Hard to say though. The collapse of the Hungarian, Italian and Rumanian fronts caused the counteroffesive to be so quick that there may not have been a chance to perform an orderly withdrawal and may have resulted in a melee towards Rostov
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,060
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Hard to say a thing about Rommel. he had made the decision to pull back at Alamein and once he heard the Hitler order that his DAK men could only die in their trenches with honor he cancelled the retreat. So not sure if Rommel would order a retreat from Stalingrad.

    However Paulus never would have dared to go against Hitler´s wishes.And like we have read neither Manstein dared to order anything directly...

    I guess it would depend on how things would go after that. Häusser left Kharkov against orders but as the later phases went excellently Hitler could not put him in the court, really.

    I´d think Guderian, Hoth and Kesselring out of these would have come out and probably sacrificed their career as well. Some one might have lost his head as well but not Guderian, I think.

    One of the problems here is like PzJgr says that the 6th Army held a big number of Soviet troops stuck for some 2 1/2 months.
     
  4. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    459
    I am going to agree with Kai on this one.... this really is an interesting question...

    Rommel probably had a better chance of retreating then say Hoth or Paulus.
    But then Again Hitler himself was in a stage of denial as to what was really going on at Stalingrad he just couldnt imagine that the city had not fallen yet.
     
  5. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    223
    Until the Germans were surrounded there was not an officer in the Wehrmacht that would have pulled out. Remember that there was only a tiny strech of land between the Wehrmacht and the Volga. Against any other nation of the world the Germans would have been winning. But Ivan gave his life to let the Red Army organise the counterstroke.

    Of the mentioned German commanders I guess Guderian would have argued the most to attempt a breakout of the Kessel. This because he had moral courage and plenty of prestige. Guderian got the sack many times for his pursuit of his views. The least likly to do anything useful would be Rommel. He did not have the capabilities to command an Army, (as shown from 1942 untill his death) and would rather die than to be a falling star. Hoth I don't know, because I know to little of him. Manstein might have organised the Army differently and got all the way to the Volga. But I think that the Russians would have broken his flanks anyways.

    I have always perceived the forces to be too small for the job. As the logistics got streched the advantage of the germans faded. The real strength of the Wehrmacht was fighting in the open anyways.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,060
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Von Reichenau would have been an interesting one in Stalingrad. He was originally the commander of the 6th Army but died and Paulus replaced him. Nazi to the bone but also a very feared man.
     
  7. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Guderian is the only real possibility I see here pulling out prior to any direct order from der Fuehrer. However, as was the thesis of a paper I wrote in university, had there been another commander of 6th Army, such as those mentioned above, I think the situation at Stalingrad very well might have been much different. Paulus was inexperienced and unimaginative in my opinion and incorrect for the job from day one.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Now all we need to know is whether and where your paper is available online :D (please?)
     
  9. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Not at the moment, but I might see about making it so.
     
  10. SFRJ19

    SFRJ19 recruit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    It just seemed like it didn't matter to Hitler, he would have sacrificed anyone, probably even his family if it came to it. Soviets did a great job stopping the German 6th Army in Stalingrad overall.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Well, 6th Army almost defeated Chuikov's 64th, but then the Soviets were really letting them draw further and further along the lobster trap, feeding 64th drip by drip, while concentrating all the rest in the flanks.

    And welcome aboard SF!
     
  12. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    This is very true. I wonder if Chuikov was aware of his army being sacrificed to entice the Germans? I wonder how he felt if he was aware. Beevor's book does present some instances where Chuikov was emotional about what happened to his men but did not say whether or not he knew about the massive reserves being built up around him.
     
  13. alephh

    alephh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    I also think it's a question about what the commander in question would have done before and during the soviet attack:

    - Keep the armoured units intact and not commit them to the city filled with rubble.
    - Keep horses with the 6th Army, and thus enabling 6th Army to move without losing all the haevy equipment immediately.
    - Immediately commit the reserves (which later got ordered to each and every direction) Hitler had placed in the rear areas to counter any soviet attack against the axis forces securing the flank.


    _
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    I know that Gotthard Heinrici was mainly a "Defensive General" and would have been an interesting choice to command 6th Army @ Stalingrad. One thing remembered is that he never lost a battle (or one that i'm aware of at this time.)
     
  15. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    This is true of Heinrici. He had a knack of pulling back his troops right about the time the Russians would let loose their infamous pre-attack bombardments. Thus the Russians would waste their ammo on empty land.
     
  16. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855

    Exactly-and just like what happened at the Seelow Heights.
     
  17. tommy tater

    tommy tater Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    6
    but I think that we all are forgetting that the 6th army's organisation was excellent, even when surrounded in their cauldron & I must congratulate Paulus for that. If you read enemy at the gates by william craig you will get a different perspective of Paulus altogether I certainly did.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    What made 6th Army's "orginization" so "excellant"?
     
  19. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I never understood why the Germans wasted such a professional, veteran, and irreplaceable formation like the 6th Army in wasteful street fighting. They should have expended the Italian and Romanian formations into the city......
     
  20. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    451
    Just maybe the Italians and Romanians would have objected to this "cannon fodder" treatment :p.
    The Romanians had achieved their war objective (Bessarabia) and by mid 42 were already asking themselves what they were doing that deep into Russia.
    And anyway the Germans believed they could take Stalingrad so why leave the glory of capturing "Stalin's City" to an ally?
     

Share This Page