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German logistics and railroads

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by steverodgers801, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I did misunderstand. However a couple of points.
    1) Barbarossa as it was historically concieved had little chance of success. How much is argueable and how apparent it would have been to the Germans is another question.
    2) Better intel implies that Barbarossa is modified at some point. These modifications would have a good chance of improving the outcome for the Germans. Whether or not a win becomes possible is an open question. I suspect it is still not likely but that's just a guess.
     
  2. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Considering the Germans had no intel about Soviet troops beyond the border areas and this was a failure through out the war, I would have to say the intel overall was a failure. The main question about modifying the plan is what could the Germans had modified? They had to win the war in one summer and this was simply out of the question.
     
  3. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    The study entittled "The German Campaign in Russia Planning and Oprtations 1940-1942" (Dept. Of US Army, 1955) states that in July 1940 Hitler asked Von Baruchitsch to prepare plans for invasion of Russia.

    OKH CinC: Brauchitsch
    C. of Staff: Halder
    C. Intelligence: Tippelskirch
    Eastern Intelligence: Kinzel
    Supply and administration: Müller (replaced by Wagner in Oct. 1940)

    The assumptions for their homework is shown below as an OCR-ed copy. Please note that some objectives have changed untill 1941.

    Who could be held responsible for the failure of logistics?

     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Did they? I don't think so based on what they knew at the time. Of course looking back on it's not clear that they would win even if they defeated the Soviets in that one summer.
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The one summer is what they set for them selves because they knew they did not have the means to fight a long term war.
     
  6. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    There is no indication at that time that the Soviets could either, known facts until that time actually pointed to the opposite.
     
  7. Black6

    Black6 Member

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  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Did they? I can certainly see them setting such goals because it would have been beneficial. Long wars are costly. That doesn't mean they couldn't fight one. Indeed they did.
     
  9. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    On 21 July, after discussing tlie invasion of England with his mili-tary advisers, Hitler asked Field Marshai Walter von Brauchitsch, the Commander in Chief of the Army, to study the Russian problem and submit plans for a campaign against the Soviet Union. In regard to the latter the f ollowing was mentioned:

    1. The concentration of attack forces would take 4 to 6 weeks.

    2. The military objective would be to defeat the Russian Army or at least to seize so much Russian territory that the armaments plants in eastern Germany, particularly those in Berlin and Upper Silesia, and the Romanian oil fields would be beyond the ränge of Russian air attacks. At the same time the German ground forces would have to advance far enough to bring important production centers of Euro­pean Russia within striking distance of the Luftwaffe.

    1. The political aims would include the creation of an independent Ukraine and a confederation of Baltic States under German domi-nation.

    2. The Army would need approximately 80-100 combat divisions; the Soviet Union had some 50-75 good Russian divisions in Europe. If the campaign against Russia was launched that autumn, some of the German air power committed against Britain would have to be transferred to the East.
    This clearly demonstrates the doctrinal planning process and the errors made;

    -Intel indicates that the Red Army has a strength of 50-75 division equivalents
    -The operational plan is formulated to conduct a rapid battle of annihilation to eliminate these forces
    -The logistical support plan is constructed to support the advance and level of major combat as outlined in the operational plan.
    -The military-industrial complex of Germany is geared to meet these demands in the context of other plans that will be put into action based upon the expected results of this operation (Luftwaffe bombers and ships for the Kriegsmarine, downsize the Army).

    Its interesting to note that German Intel was fairly accurate on the Red Army in 1940, it was the secret mobilization/creep up to war and strategic realignment that was undetected.
     
  10. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    half accurate, the number of divisions and the ability to raise them was awful through out the war.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Saying:

    a)The military-industrial complex of Germany is geared to meet this demands


    Downsize the Army


    =a contradiction in terminis

    And,at the same time,Hitler ordered to make preparations for an army of 180 divisions .

    The whole thing is that in july, there was no decision to attack the SU.
     
  12. Black6

    Black6 Member

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  13. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    Mods.... is someone "tweaking" this site for improvements? The post function is NOT working properly
     
  14. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    "Saying:
    a)The military-industrial complex of Germany is geared to meet this demands
    Downsize the Army
    =a contradiction in terminis
    And,at the same time,Hitler ordered to make preparations for an army of 180 divisions .
    The whole thing is that in july, there was no decision to attack the SU."



    There is no contradiction... The military-industrial complex met the demand
    of the Barbarossa plan while also moving on to meet the demands asked of it
    by other theatres. The plan was to downsize the army after Barbarossa,
    therefore there was no depth to the army's supply stocks or plan for long
    term support on the scale tha would later be required.

    If the Barbarossa plan would have had different supply requirements, the
    decisions for the allocation of production for the military-industrial
    complex would have conversely changed to meet the demand (long term if
    necessary).
     
  15. arca

    arca Member

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    There are some very interesting questions and discusions mentioned above.
    -There is a question of German inteligence accuracy and deccision making prior to Barbarossa based on those reports. IMO most important factor here was that Hitler WANTED to attack USSR. This was one of his fundamental goals,expressed in written form almost 20 years prior to war in mein kampf, repeated many times.He wanted the food to make sure the Allies wouldn't starve Gemany to submission like in WW I ,he wanted raw materials, without wich he couldn't sustain a long term military industrial complex, or a prolonged war, oil beeing top priority (Hitler was obsessed with oil). He also wanted to belatedly create german colonial empire, with enough space to breed and farm and build, which would finaly transform Germany to first class world power. This teritory was also in the east, lebensraum which he promised to German people. Another thing was that Hitler was very uncomfortable having powerfull ideological enemy as a neighbour and wanted to eliminate this potential threat sooner or later. He evaluated all inteligence and made strategic decisions with this paradigm always in his mind. When the war games showed that Barbarossa is unsustainable because of logistics( at least in its whole-to advance to borders of Asia), he chose to disregard this. He instead choose to belive that intire rotten sistem will colapse as soon as he kicked in..This belief was also probably the result of self deception and whishfull thinking, choosing to take into consideration only reports that were talking about dissent and backward aspects of soviet society but ignoring reports about powerfull rebuilded industrial base and armament industry( Nazi representatives were in 1940 or 41 shown new enormous aviation factories as attempt to discourage German invasion), ignoring powerfull and succesfull soviet indoctrination and tight control of its cityzens, and above all choosing not to consider russian regular reaction to any foreign invasion demonstrated countless times in history - unification, mobilisation of all available resources and fierce fighting with no surrender. Hitler also beleived reports about size of soviet army that were also very missleading , even when Nazi representatives in USSR questiones these estimates and reported seeing enormous numbers of tanks, aircraft and other weapons on parades or similar occasions.(all this was revealed on purpose to deflect the Germans). Hitler in most cases acted on instinct with his agression and willingness to gamble also influencing deciding process. All the data and reports were usualy there just to justify his decisions, or if they couldn't to be ignored. Even so Hitler had good instinct on many occasions.In fact if there was any good time to strike USSR it was then. Western and southern flanks were cleared and Red army cought at a worst possible moment - in the process of reforming and total disarray. In conclusion intelligence was flawed to considerable degree, mostly when talking about soviet weakness(most notably about potential of soviet state to create new units), but adding to this German lidership choose to ignore estimates that warned about german weaknesses and those that spoke about soviet strenght.
    -Several authors in discussion above mentioned that Nazis couldn't won in the east or that only chance was to win the war in the summer.IMO Nazis could have won but there wasn't much spase for mistake.Furthermore I belive it was impossible to win in jusr 2 months, but that wictory was possible in 1942. Fundamental thing was they just couldn't afford battles/operations where they lost substantial number of man (and equipment) like Moscow. Saving their army relatively intact was much more important than finishing the war before winter.If they stopped after Vyazma, as soon as first problems accured with autmn mud, what could Soviets have done in few ensuing months that would change the situation from the roots and turn the tables. As we saw from hindsight Germans had entire year of total operational, tactical and mobility/manouverability superiority over the Soviets ahead of them at that time. Soviet factories were in the midst of resetelment and wouldn't turn out huge quantities of equipment for at least 9-12 months. If they stopped no harm could happen to them.Any soviet counter offensive to prepared german defences was doomed to faliure for at least year and the half from that time,so such attempts were welcome, as they would made future german offensive easier. In spring they would take Moscow and distroy probably million man defending it with relative ease probably comparable to Blau I/II. Luftwaffe would have full logistical suport (so needed in Typhoon) from airports built during the winter and dominate the skies once more, while breaking through,exploatation in deapth, encircling and destroying the enemy would work once again like a charm because Red army was in spring still triing to defend intire front evenly in linear formation. Two months should be more than enough for this, so in july last mission to win the war would remain - Donbas and the Caucasus. This goal would be IMO atteinable this time,since majority of the army would be destroied at Moscow and major transport,production and mobilization centar would be lost. After controling Moscow,Donbas and 80% of USSR oil production, Soviets would lose means to fight on. In conclusion, the army that can beat, outmanouvre,encircle,destroy (basicaly whatever it wants) the enemy, this army is by far the bigest asset and musn't be secrificed not for time nor some political succeses, resources, enemy capital or even distruction of enemy army(because it is replacable). Not realising this cost them the war.
     
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  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with everything .

    ONE exemple : intelligence : better intelligence would have changed nothing : the Ostheer would still be as strong/ weak as it was in reality,and the Red Army as much .

    An other one : IMMEDIATELY after 22 june,the Soviet war production was expanding,on a scale,Germany never could match .
     
  17. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The point is not that the Germans could have won with better intelligence it is pointing out that the Germans had plans for a quick victory even though they knew those plans were based on unreasonable intelligence and assumptions.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This is irrelevant ,because,very simplified

    1) Barbarossa was a given (they were in a dead end,and there was no alternative)

    2) A victorious long campaign was out of the question(this was confirmed by the wargames)

    3)Thus,it would be a quick campaign(although they knew the chances were small)

    If they had known that the chances were inexistant,it still would had been the original plan .
     
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  19. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    I agree both with arca and LJAD even though their views differ, superficially.

    In the planning of Barbarossa

    1. there was no plan B and
    2. responsibility for the failure wasn't on the Führer's side. It was the German militarry ellite which conceived this failed plan.

    I still cannot understand how that could have happened; were the Germans simply in the state of an euphoria after the easy victory over France or the German ellite really beleived in their superiority?

    If you just sum their available resources they fall too short to win in any case. The former sentence is written with hindsight.
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    It is not because the plan failed that the plan was wrong: all plans were domed to fail .The fact is that no WWII army could defeat the SU ,especially not the WM,because,,in contrast with what a lot of people are thinking : Germany was no industrial giant in WWII..There were only 2 of them :the US and the SU .All the others played in the second,third,....division .
     
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