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German logistics and railroads

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

  1. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Yes things go wrong, but if the work and concepts of the plan are sound then adjustments can be made to achieve the goals. The Germans made too many mistakes in their assumptions for the plan to work.
     
  2. arca

    arca Member

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    I didn't say Nazis had a good chance to win, but if they did no mistakes they might.. You mentioned intelligence.If Nazis knew to a greater degree what they were up against they could have prepared for a longer conflict instead of making plans for decrease of land armies or ignoring hardvare develompment for land army in some crucial areas like anti tank guns (standard antitank weapon in most German units in 1941 was Pak 36 which was usless against new soviet tanks, and there was no real effort to adress this problem until the winter because they believed in quick victory.) Instead, if they knew it was imposible to defeat USSR in 2 months, they would make at least some transformation to war economy. Instead thay had no choice, they had to win because they weren't prepared for a long war and threw themselves for Moscow, playing right into Soviet hands. If Nazis preserved the army by not going for Moscow in 1941(or even better stopping after Vyazma and Briansk encirclements), IMO there is very little Soviets could have done by spring to prepare themselfs to stop the Wermacht when it is in full suply and during fair weather.(as demonstrated in 1942). Many factors were unfavourable that autmn for advance on Moscow - fatigue of man and materiel, supply lines streched to the limits and more, weather and maybe crucial, lack of that magic Blitzkrieg ingredient, air superiority.(because of improvised runways,bad logistics and worse weather). Of course that all would be irrelevant if there wasn't for heroic soviet ressistance totally unexpected in it's ferocity by the Nazis especially after so many devasteting defeats.So the lunge for Moscow in that time was one thing not to be done. All this could have been forseen to a greater degree.
    You also mentioned Germany could never match Soviet production after 22 june.Of course couse they didn't even try! But don't get me wrong it was not at all easy for Hitler to make such a decision( transition to war economy) in 1941 for political reasons. He was also a politician and his support an power arose from promises/and deliveries to German people of quick victories, good life and dominion over 'lower' people and not prospects for long and precarious war, life of hunger, duble shifts and abandnment of any comfort in life (the life Soviet citizens had, but endured it willingly faced with evil of Nazism and destruction of their nation). But when panic set in afetr Stalingrad and Hitler finaly opted for war economy results were quick and efficient(for example tank production almost trippled in 1943 compared to 1942 and almost quadrippled in 1944, and we are talking about much more costly and complex tank models,despite loss of resources in the east and strategic bombing campaign.) Therefore they were capable of great industrial output if only there was political will and more percise inteligense about enemy capabilities.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    We continue to disagree.

    The Germans did not prepare for a long war,because they were convinced that they could not afford a long war and that they could not defeat the SU in a long war . And,history did not put them in the wrong .

    The exemple of the PAK 37 is not convincing,because

    1)Most tanks were not eliminated by PAK

    2)there were only few of the modern Soviet tanks available

    3)While the Germans lost in 1941 3276 PAK 37,the Soviets lost 13405 tanks.


    About the claim that Germany had no war economy in 1941,Tooze would disagree with you , and,it is not because they produced in 1944 18956 tanks,that they could build the same number in 1941

    About Typhoon : it is a well-known myth that the German losses were higher in the autumn than in the summer,while it was the opposite:
    june :41000
    july :167000
    august:195000
    september :140000
    october:115000
    november :87000

    There was nothing to preserve on 1 october :the Ostheer was already broken .
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the results of the German war economy : Todt did the preparatory work,which was essential,and Speer reaped the fruits and claimed it was all his work .
     
  5. arca

    arca Member

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    Hi LJAd. We tend to disagree a lot, I remember our discussions a few years ago :)
    Here we go again ;)

    'The Germans did not prepare for a long war,because they were convinced that they could not afford a long war and that they could not defeat the SU in a long war .'

    They shouldn't opt for attrition war of course, but that doesn't mean that it was necessary to win in two months or nothing and to leave no posibility for any plan B scenario.

    'The exemple of the PAK 37 is not convincing,because
    1)Most tanks were not eliminated by PAK
    2)there were only few of the modern Soviet tanks available
    3)While the Germans lost in 1941 3276 PAK 37,the Soviets lost 13405 tanks.'

    This is all true (tank losses were much hier in fact) but that wasn't my point. My point was, and this is just one tiny example, they needed a better AT gun and did nothing about it for quite a few months because of misleading assesment of quick victory and irrelevance of improvments in many aspects.

    ' and,it is not because they produced in 1944 18956 tanks,that they could build the same number in 1941'

    Again true.But again it doesn't mean that it would be the same to do nothing or very little, falsly expecting 8 weeks of war or to do your best and gear economy for war.As mentioned earlier this would be very hard to pull in that time for political reasons and wrong assesments.

    'About Typhoon : it is a well-known myth that the German losses were higher in the autumn than in the summer,while it was the opposite:
    june :41000
    july :167000
    august:195000
    september :140000
    october:115000
    november :87000'

    It is not just mere personel loses in october and november that's important.Much more important is adverse operational and strategic situation this effort put wermacht in, resulting in great losses in soviet counter offensive in man and espetially materiel and loss of strategic initiative. Glantz claims that from 11th september 1941 to 7 th march 1942 german forces in the east diminished for more than 800 000 man, wich is compareble to other sources.

    'There was nothing to preserve on 1 october :the Ostheer was already broken .'

    I don't think that Timoshenko,Malinovsky,Moskalenko,Rotmistrov,Kozlov any many others who were on the receiving end of german summer campaign of 42 would agree with you.
    Furthermore, I think it's clear what kind of disaster would befall on Red army if they attacked this 'broken german army' in defensive stance,if it was few houndreds thousand man stronger and not completely exposed and out of suply. Which is probably exactly what Soviets would have done if Germans stoped before Moscow.
     
  6. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Part of the issue is also that the generals all say we did everything right it was all Hitlers fault. The better intelligence could have helped the Germans prepare. For example if the generals had not decided there were no more Soviet divisions then what they knew of and prepared for more units, they may have been more ready for the battles around Smolensk and the Dneiper. The main problem is the Germans like in WW1 made no provisions for their timetable falling behind and they were unable to adjust when it did fall behind.
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I hesitate to get into this thread, but I'm reading Glantz on Barbarossa, and I came across several reasons for Germany's defeat in Russia.
    A) German intelligence was faulty. They did not, or could not, account for Russian replenishment of their divisions, even if the troops were inexperienced.
    B) The Russians were able to relocate their industry eastward more quickly than the Germans anticipated, and much that remained behind was sabotaged and unusable.
    C) Russian counterattacks, while generally ineffective (at least early on), delayed the Germans long enough that they were unable to meet their objectives.
    D) The Germans hunkered down to allow supplies and troops to catch up, giving the Russians sorely needed time to train the new troops. The failure to exploit their gains was significant.
    E) German generals were convinced they had won and did not understand that the Russians were larger than they expected. When Russia did not sue for peace, they came to understand that Hitler's idea of the Russians falling apart when the door was kicked in was wrong.

    There are other reasons, but this is what I have gleaned so far. Many of the shortfalls mentioned above also need to be considered. The different RR gauges and slower movement of German troops come to mind.

    Carry on. The argument is interesting.
     
  8. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    If I might offer my understanding of Barbarossa.

    I think your points about the Germans not having prepared for a long war might not be as crucial as you see them. If I am not totally mistaken, a huge part of Barbarossa from the perspective of the WM generals was quite actually because they had no means to prepare for such a long war. Jerry and Ivan both would have known that they had to destroy each-other eventually (that tends to happen with polar opposite ideologies), so it had to come down as to who could kill the other first. That the Germans invaded while seemingly barely prepared for a long fight is perfectly logical from their point. It was either attack first, or bide their time until Stalin attacks in 1942 or 1943 with a vastly superior force. The point was, they had to fight eventually.

    Sure AH had his bit about living space in the east, but the way the operation played out was that the Germans did very well to tear the forces the red army had in proximity to the border to shreds, to where the army they fought later that year was like a completely new force. They did underestimate the resolve of the populace and the ability to rebuild their industrial base in the underdeveloped east for sure, but the way they conducted themselves at the beginning was exactly in line with a country that knew it had to destroy the soviets there and then and trust that their limited resource base could outlast the resistance of the industrial giant they just invaded.

    Just my 0.02
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people argue as if Barbarossa was happening in a vacuum(forgetting that there was the war against Britain/US) and as (in 1941) Barbarossa was the big war for the Germans (which it wasn't: it was only a plan B,an emergency measure).

    Whatever : the POV of Berlin was that Germany could not afford a long 2 front war : as in 1942,the US would intervene and together with the UK would take the offensive,victory in 1942 in the East would be impossible : every man stationed outside the east would weaken the Ostheer,and,every man stationed in the east ,would hinder the war against the west .

    Thus,IMHO, Typhoon was not an unwise decision : the chance of success was abysmal small, but ,to remain defensive,would have no chance to finish the war .

    Other point :In 1942,the SU would be stronger than in 1941(and was stronger) and,the Ostheer : not) : in 1941,3.6 million Germans fought against 9 million Soviets,and failed, while in 1942, the chances for 4 million Germans to win again 13 million Soviets were inexistant . Even a statu quo would be very bad for the Germans .: Germany could not afford to commit 3 million men in the East .
    For 1941,the plans for the East were :after the defeat of the Red Army and thus (following Berlin) the collaps of the SU,50 divisions would go by railway to the AA line, 50 would be disbanded,and the other 50 (the "good ones") would return as quick as possible to the Heimat .And than,if Britain did not give up,the LW and KM should try to finish,as quickly as possible,to finish Britain .

    If the war in the east continued in 1942,this would not be possible .
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1) the East was not underdevelopped

    2)the withdrawal of the industry to the east and its rebuilding there has become a big myth,and the myth is increasing every year : most of the industry in the west was destroyed or abandoned .
     
  11. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Is it? I thought much of the rapid industrial construction in cities like Chelyabinsk, Omsk and Novosibirsk was built from cannibalized factories?
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    32000 plants were lost and only 1500 were evacuated,and,notwithstanding,the Soviets were in Berlin.


    This is indicating

    1)That the 32000 lost were only a small part of the total

    2)That the 1500 who were evacuated were only a very small part of the total

    3)That the Soviet industrial mobilization was carried by the remainder,who were mostly situated in the centre of the European part of Russia (RSFSR)


    In 1939,the gross-production (in rubles) of the large-scale industry by region was as following (source is : the economic transformation of the SU 13/45 P 301

    RSSFR : 74.1 %

    Centre : 39.3 %
    North and NW: 13.8

    South-East : 9.4

    Ural and WestSiberia :8.8

    East Siberia and Far East : 2.8

    Ukraine : 17.4

    Belorussia:1.8

    Caucasus: 3.5

    Central Asia and Kazakhstan : 5.8

    The industrial center of the SU was the center ,north and northwest of the RSFSR,and,this was not lost;what was lost ,and what was evacuated was not decisive .
     
  13. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Hello Uriel!
    In my modest opinion, I don't know for sure, there was a combination of both: some facilities were relocated but some existed before. It would be virtually impossible enterprise to erect an industry of that scale on the "green grass" of Sebiria.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You keep saying this but it is clearly wrong. They didn't have to attack the Soviets. Not attacking them might have resulted in a similar ending but at least with hindsight it may well have been a better plan. A serious peace proposal was also an option. Furthermore alternate versions of Barbarossa or if you prefer a different plan were possible.

    Sources please. In any case a wargame cannot rule out a victorious long campaign it can simply suggest that some such campaigns will likely fail.

    Sources please. From all I have read at least some of the German high command, indeed much of it expected a victory.

    That sounds an awfully lot like the same thinking the Germans exibited. By the way it's not a fact it's your opinion and a very debateable one at that.

    Looking at the GDP's in Wages of Destruction table 17 I find your assessment somewhat defficient. Let's take a look at say the top 4 GDPs among the axis and allies in 1941:
    US 1,094, Germany 412, USSR 359, Britain 346. Looks to me like the German economy is stronger than the Soviet one at that point and while the US may be considered an "industrial giant" the other three are so close together calling one of them so and not the others is hardly supportable.

    Sources please. You keep saying this but have never produced any evidence that it is correct.
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Sigh,sigh : I will give again sources and proofs,although you will stick to your H CH bias .

    1) The reason for Barbarossa : Germany was in a dead end (Source :Christian Gerlach :Operative Planungen für den Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion P1 : Das deutsche Reich geriet militärisch in eine Sackgasse).
    Peace proposals ? You are joking ,of course. No one would make peace with Hitler .

    2)The long war :

    Halder : we must destroy the Red Army without pose over the Dnepr-Dvina line (Halder's war diary II,259)

    Adolf to Halder:time will,in general,work against us if we do not use it effectively .(Halder's diary I P 806)

    Halder again :the daunting scope of commitments against Europe suggest a LIMITATION of the operations in the east to the first operational objective( the Dnepr-Dvina line),starting from there,one could attempt envelopping operations,but,in the endless expanse of space,THIS WOULD HAVE NO PROSPECT OF SUCCESS.

    Source : Halder's diary II P 198 date : 27/11/1940 quoted in "Operation Barbarossa and Germany's defeat in the East P 76"

    Halder is saying here very clearly : if the war was not won west of the Dnepr-Dvina line,it could not be won eastwards ,in other words:if the war was not won in a short campaign,it could not be won in a long campaign .

    Adolf again (and agreeing with Halder) :The most important objective is not allowing the Red Army an orderly withdrawal (5/12/1940)

    Source : Stahel again on P 62.

    3) the chance of success of Barbarossa was very small :all was depending on the Soviets

    Would they go west to expel the Germans ? If not :it was over ,that's why a very relieved Halder wrote in his diary : the Soviets accept the battle .

    How quickly could they send their reserves to the front ? Id they could send them faster than the Germans could kill them;it was over .


    4) No army could defeat the SU :Van Crefeld ( P 152) :it was generally believed that the Soviets would have to be defeated within the first 500 km,IF THEY WERE TO BE DEFEATED AT ALL .

    The Germans had the strongest army in the world in 1941,they tried to defeat the SU and ...FAILED . Logical conclusion : no one else could do what the Germans could not .


    5) Germany was no industrial giant : GDP 's are irrelevant to prove that Germany was an industrial giant :what counts,is not the steel,coal,etc production ,but the production of tanks,artillery,aircraft,etc .The SU outproduced Germany,and was thus stronger than Germany .


    BTW : I totally refute the figures of Tooze : there is NO WAY to compare the GDP of the US,the UK,Germany,the SU :any conversion of rubles,RM,pounds in $ of 1990 is a laughable waste of time .And, I am not surprised that the original culprit was Harrison .
     
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  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Start off with an insult. Smart move.


    There's an old saying. If you find yourself in a hole that you will have a hard time getting out of the first thing to do is to stop digging. Germany had that option. Hitler didn't want to exercise it but it was there. Likewise he could have put together a peace proposal that Britain would have had a hard time refusing. Again he didn't want to but it was there.

    Neither of these two really prove the necessity of a short campaign.

    These do suggest Halder thought a short war was a necessity. The questions of course are when these lines were written and how widely the opinion was held.


    Again when was this written? Also how "generally" are we talking about? It should be pointed out that they did indeed defeat the Soviets in the first 500 km they simply didn't get them to give in.


    Your assumption holds some validity if we restrict it to 1941 but even then there is the possiblity of superior plans.


    Garbage. Industrial strength is a lot more than just the production of things you consider important. By the way it's a cop out to put the "etc." in there. Indeed steel production is proably the best indicator of industrial strength in the 20th century.


    Actually you are a long way from refuting them. Now the specfic figures in that table GDP wise may have some problems but there are ways to normalize them.

    All considered I'm still waiting for proof that the USSR was an "industrial giant" and that all others excepting the US were second rate. Indeed all the numbers I've seen point to the USSR in 1941 being top tier along with Germany and Britain.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    If one always is saying :furthermore alternative versions of Barbarossa or if you prefer,a different plan,were possible . Without giving one,one is arguing on the H CH level .

    The same for :Your assumption has some validity if we restrict to 1941 (why should we restrict to 1950 ?),but,even then,there is the possibility of superior plans .

    Give us some exemples of better plans,please .

    And,in last resort,decision will depend ,NOT on superior plans,but on superior forces .

    About the GDP : the SU was outproducing Germany,Germany failed in its war against Britain . Thus,the GDP can not be used to prove that Germany was stronger than the SU,or that it was stronger than Britain .



    Last point : already after a month (before 25 july) Hitler collapsed :notwithstanding the mask of optimism (one kick on the door) and the mask of fanaticism(niemals kapitulieren),he was faced by reality : already before 25 july 1941,Barbarossa had failed,and there was no more chance to defeat the SU . The outcome was very clear : the Soviets in Berlin .

    Operative planungen der Wehrmacht für den Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion .

    von Bock on 25 july 1941 after a meeting with Keitel:

    1)The Führer hopes that Japan will intervene,but this hope seems not to fulfil.

    2)But, a quick collaps of the SU is necessary,because we can't conquer the SU .

    3)The Führer is anxious : he is asking :how much time do I have to finish the SU,and how much time do I need .

    Why was Adolf hoping on a Japanese intervention ? Japan going from Wladivostok to the Urals to save Germany (haha):Adolf was like the man falling from the WTC ,searching for a kord,not finding one,and concluding :a straw will be sufficient, it has to be

    Why was aquick collaps of the SU necessary ? Because the Germans could not conquer the SU til the Urals .Which means :the only chance was to defeat the Red Army on the border,and hoping that this would be enough ,that the resul would be that the whole rotten structure would collaps . ONE kick on the door : it had to be enough,because,more than one kick was impossible .

    Adolf was anxious (Adolf ,my goodness): how much time do I need to eliminate the SU,how much time do I have ?

    That's contradicting the traditional picture of the optimistic,arrogant man we always receive ,the man who allegedly said : now,it's the turn of the Jews,the communists,the Slaves : I will exterminate them,I will have my Lebensraum ,and other Mein Kampf blahblah .

    No,it is the picture of the man,who knew,after the British decision at the end of june 1940 to continue the war,that he was spiraling down,irrevocably. Unless, unless he would try a new go all out,a new Va-Banque :if it failed,the Soviets would be in Berlin,if it succeeded,maybe,Britain would give up .
    Also,the man who knew that if Barbarossa did not succeed in july (= if the Soviet state did not collaps in july),it was over .

    Germany was to weak,and the SU was to strong,to be able to win by military means (no superior plans:those were only goid enough for the bus): only the arrival of the Deus ex Machina could force the decision :the Politbureau boys killing each other,followed by a civil war .


    All the rest is the desperate attempt (since 1945) by a lot of people looking how Germany could have won:their starting POV is : Germany had to win (they were civilised,except Adolf),the Soviets were untermenschen.

    And,damn :Germany lost .How is this possible ? It can't be :after all,Germany was an industrial giant,and, a lot of other excuses. Where are the culprits ? Adolf,the weather,the railways,........

    And,how can we reconstruct history,how can we have a victorious Germany?
    Let's imagine this Wolkenkukucksheim,or an other one .
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Why? You say that there was no possiblity of a better plan prove it. Whether or not I can produce such a plan is irrelevant.

    Unless your defintion of a superior force is "one that wins" there are quite a few examples where this is simply not accurate.


    The USSR was outproducing Germany in 1941? Sources please. The second sentence on your part is what is known as a "straw man". No one claimed that German GDP made it stronger than Britain or the SU. The reason it was brought up is your statement that the USSR and US were industry wise head and shoulders above everyone else in 1941. Looking at not just GDP but such things as steel production it's quite clear that you are a long way from proving that. Trying to throw a straw man into the mix doesn't help your position at all.



    Not really. Certainly not to anyone back then.

    Quoteing seems to be messing up at this point so I'll continue in another post.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    When was this published and was it from written sources or a memory?

    Obvioulsy a Japanese intervention would help Germany. How important he though ti was is far from clear from your quote.

    Obvioulsy conquering all of even the European part of the USSR would have been a real stretch for Germany. Conquering the whole of the USSR was beyond the Heer. Thus they hoped for a collapse. Historically by the way the Germans did kick more than once. It still wasn't sufficient though.

    It's clear that he was nervouse once the British not only failed to surrender but he realized he had no means to force them to. He had also hoped the Soviets would collapse so things were no longer going according to plan. That didn't mean Germany had lost. In any case it was certainly not over at that point. Certainly there were a huge number of alternative endings as well only a few of which ended with the Soviets in Berlin.

    Back to confusing your opinion with fact, oh wait you never stopped, sorry. I am rather confused about what you mean by "goid enough for the bus".

    This is contemptable. There has been a lot of valid historical work that disagrees with you. Implying that such historians are Nazis is well beneath the standards of this board.

    These are not much better if it is at all. Guess that happens when you try to discuss history rationally with someone who has made a religion of it.
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Two exemples that the SU was outproducing Germany in 1941:

    Tanks :6402 to 3623 for Germany

    Aircraft :15735 for 12401 for Germany .


    For the rest : you are continuing with the hand-wave argument : Certainly,there were a huge (haha) alternative endings .

    As ?

    "Obviously a Japanese intervention would help Germany ": one of your bests . That's why Adolf ordered in Weisung 24: not a word about Barbarossa to Japan . Stupid Adolf,probably ?
     

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