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Enormous counter-offensive in Russia 1942.

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by Friedrich, Jul 24, 2002.

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  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    In autumn-winter 1942. There were plans for enormous counter offensive which had the task of destroying the Wehrmacht with three tactic operations which will make an strategic operation and therefore victory. First, colonel general Vasilievski should surround and destroy the VI German army at Stalingrad with operation “Little Saturn”. After doing this, “Saturn” should focus an attack on Rostov to trap and destroy Army Sub-group A in the Caucasus. At the same time of “Little Saturn”, marshal Zhúkov should launch operation “Mars” in Moscow area, surround and destroy the German IX army. After “Mars” and “Saturn”, “Jupiter” will come, to encircle and destroy Army Group Centre. The key of this was the Maskirovka. Let the Germans know that they were not going to attack and if they did that they did not know where, how and how strong the attack would be. We know what happened with “Little Saturn”. The Germans did know about the bad and vulnerable position of the VI army but the flanks were not reinforced because our intelligence had made clear (thanks to the Maskirovka) that the real attack was going to happen in Moscow, so IX army was reinforced instead of the VI. Once “Little Saturn” was launched we did not realise about the real danger because the Maskirovka had made us believe that it was a weak attack… That operation was supposed to destroy an army of 90.000 men, not 350.000. It went far better than planned. But, thanks to Von Manstein’s skills and strong positions, “Saturn” could not be launched and Army sub-group A was retired from the Caucasus relatively untouched. And, in Moscow, even if the Maskirovka disguised the strength of the attack, “Mars” was a total failure because the attack happened in the very place where was expected.

    Then, what do you think? Imagine that "Saturn" and "Mars" had succeded. Could "Jupiter" have been launched? What would have happened then?
     
  2. dasreich

    dasreich Member

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    Army group center would have pulled back and not let itself get encircled. Had those operations succeded. the war would have been at least a year shorter. Then assuming Jupiter succeded, were talking about basically a collapse of the entire front. Germany might have been willing to settle a peace with the soviets. If not, then perhaps a massive Russian surge west called "Neptune" might have occurred. Either way, the war would be long over by '45.
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I agree with Das Reich with the exception of Germany sueing for peace with the Russians. That would never have been allowed by Hitler. Also, could the Russians mass enough resources to implement Jupiter? That is a lot of resources needed.
     
  4. dasreich

    dasreich Member

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    With Hitler in control, true...but I think a disaster that bad would give rise to many asassination attempts on Hitler. 3 Army Groups destroyed within short time of one another could cause mutinies and what not in the military. Perhaps similar to what happened in 1918.
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Hallo, gentlemen! Thanks for responding.

    We would have to consider that Heeresuntergruppe " in the Caucasus meant 450.000 men and Heeresgruppe "Mitte" meant 600.000 men. Beside, the attack on Rostov meant the anhilation of Heeresuntergruppe "B". The only remaining forces in the entire 2.200 kilometres front would have been Heeresgruppe "Nord" and like 50.000 of Heeresgruppe "Süd" at Kursk area... Jupiter meant the anhilation of 1.800.000 German troops!!! The war would have ended in 1943.

    But a very important factor, as PzJgr says is: Was the Red Army of 1942 so strong to commit that ambitious plan? I do not think so. The Soviet industry still needed time to become 100% strong, like the industry of 1945, by example. But still it was huge and it could have been made. The only thing remaining was the lack of experience. The Red Army still needed a Kursk, Khárkov to adquire the addecuate experience and knowledge. But let's suposse that the 1942 Red Army is as experienced as 1945 Red Army... Then Berlin would have fallen even before the Afrika Korps...
     
  6. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Along the same lines as PzJgr's point, I don't think the red army would have been able to complete Jupiter had they been able to attempt it. I think they could have amassed enough tanks and men, but not things like gas and food. We have seen that in 41-43, the russians a few times over-extended themselves on operations. I think Jupiter would have done massive damage to the german army, but the russian attack would have been slowed and eventually stopped due to logistics. An offensive that big would require HUGE quantities of things like gas, food, ammo, replacements, etc. The lack of a strong logistics system would have definetely hurt the russians.
    But nonetheless, Jupiter would have certainly shortened the war probably by a least a year...
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Well, indeed, as I said, nor the Soviet industry or army were ready for such an ambitiuos plan... Thank God it did not happen...
     
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