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

German logistics and railroads

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

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    I would not call rational,when some one starts from the POV that the SU could/ had to be defeated by Germany in 1941. Probably rationalism is here yielding to bias,or that person has looked to much to Cold War propaganda movies .
     
  2. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    Even if the Germans out produced Germany in 1941 and 1942 in tanks, it was because the Soviets in 1941 were transitioning to the T34 and had not yet got production rolling and in 1942 the disruption of moving and loss of resources meant it was still getting started. Why is it so hard to accept that Germany was not capable of sustaining an offensive operation on the scale needed after reaching the Smolensk/ Dneiper line. But for the massive losses of Kiev Germany would not have been able to just march east in the South.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Also from Stahel (P 38) : Halder in his diary afetr a meeying with Hitler:


    1)"With Russia smashed,Britain's last hope would be shuttered..." :this is indicating the reason for Barbarossa.


    2)"Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian state can be shattered with one blow.Holding part of the country will not do."this is indicating that Hitler wanted to destroy the SU with one knock on the door .. This means a short campaign on the border . Why ? Because a long campaign east of the Dvina-Dnepr line was out of the question . Why ? 2 reasons :

    a)logistics would made a succesful campaign east of the Dvina-Dnepr line impossible :and,this happened in the OTL

    b ) even if the former was possible,it would mean that bitter fighting would continue after the summer,which would mean that,meanwhile the Germans would be faced by the millions of Soviet reservists (which occurred in the OTL)and that they would fail(which,if I am not wrong,also happened) .
     
  4. arca

    arca Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Croatia
    You are right.The war was probably inevitable,even though there was a difference in approach.Stalin was an oportunist who wanted his enemies fight one another, but wasn't so agressive and I'm not sure he would attack Germany in 42/43.Not because of his goodness of course,but because he was much more carefull.If he in some moment belived that Germany was very week he might have invaded.For Hitler on the other hand war in the east was his primal goal and war in the west was just a nuisance and preparation for his main goal (Hitler was astonished when allies declared war on him after attacking Poland because he belived, as demonstrated so far, that every agression pointing east(with USSR as ultimate goal) would be tolerated.Therefore yes for Hitler war was inevitable in 1941 when Soviets were most vulnerable.
    German lidership opted for 6-8 week war due to misjudgments,flawed intelligence and wishfull thinking and not because it was the only course of action.If they could assess real soviet capabilities IMHO they would fare much better if they started preparing for let's say 15 month war( as early as summer of 1940,when Hitler made his mind) and not waste army in desparate attempts such as Moscow.Until Stalingrad counter offensive Germans were absolutely superior in tactics both defensive and offensive, in training,in logistics,manouver,organisation of air force,combined arms operations and coordination,comunications, operatioinal level of manouver, you name it. They proved in 1942 they were able to defeat much more numerous enemies, only problem beeing constant lack of man and materiel. This could have been different if they saved probably more than half of million man by not attacking Moscow and exposing themselves for ensuing counter offensive, but instead waging defensive battles through the winter,preserving man and decimating attacking Soviets. Second, materiel input could have been significantly higher if they planned for 15 month war from the summer/autmn of 1940, insteas for 2 months with downsize of the army allready in plan.
     
  5. arca

    arca Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Croatia
    LJAd
    '1)"With Russia smashed,Britain's last hope would be shuttered..." :this is indicating the reason for Barbarossa.'


    This doesn't mean that Barbarossa was just tool for the main aim,conquest of Britain. Conquest of USSR was main goal and Britain was just in the way.Hitler didn't want war in the west in the first place and offered peace to Britain after France. That statement ment that British are so defiant because they must be counting on soviet help, and once this posibilitiy is gone they would make peace.He just wanted peace in the west and not conquest, that was for the east.


    '2)"Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian state can be shattered with one blow.Holding part of the country will not do."this is indicating that Hitler wanted to destroy the SU with one knock on the door .. This means a short campaign on the border . Why ? Because a long campaign east of the Dvina-Dnepr line was out of the question . Why ? 2 reasons : a)logistics would made a succesful campaign east of the Dvina-Dnepr line impossible :and,this happened in the OTL b ) even if the former was possible,it would mean that bitter fighting would continue after the summer,which would mean that,meanwhile the Germans would be faced by the millions of Soviet reservists (which occurred in the OTL)and that they would fail(which,if I am not wrong,also happened) .'


    One blow means one continuous campaign to completly defeat soviet state instead of prolonged war of attrition with no intention to abolish soviet fighting capacity, but instead with aim for just holding for example Ukraine,Belaruse and Baltic.This kind of prolonged war would lead to eventual defeat, espetialy because western front was still active. But one blow, if Germans were smarter (and had benefit of hind sight like we do), could also mean one calculated continuous effort that would last somewhat longer than 2 months (IMO 15 would do) with final result of complete destruction of soviet state or at least of it's ability to wage large scale industrial era war.
     
  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    This discussion is proving something of which I always was convinced : The Soviets won the war,but the Germans did write the history of the war .

    The Soviets are to blame : for 50 years,we only had crap from Soviet side :I tried to read the official history of the Great Patriotic War : it was unreadable .

    OTOH,we had during 50 years German falsifications ,starting with Halder and the Historical Division,later Panzerleader and Lost Victories .This indoctrination has been succesful :the lies of Halder,Guderian ,Manstein,the von Münchhausen stories of Carell,... have been enthusiastically swallowed in the West .If one ads the H CH followers,the picture is complete .

    After a few posts,every discussion about Barbarossa is boiling to the following :how could the Germans have won ? (implying :they had to win :their defeat was an anomaly,because :eek:ne German was better than 10 Soviets).

    And than,the usual arguments (=excuses) are appearing ::it was Adolf,the weather,LL,....If they had a better plan :eek:f course,they would win with a better plan,because one German is better than 10 Soviets,or,with better intelligence :if they had something as Bletchey Park,or:if they had better logistics:but,they were to stupid :eek:nly the US had good logistic,etc,etc...

    And the Soviet Army ? Reaction : what Soviet Army ?Only a bunch of inferior peasants,who were no part of the Western civilisation .The feeling of superiority never is far away .
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Well,the Germans would disagree with you : they planned to disband 50 divisions in august,an occupation army of 50 divisions would go to the AA line,and the other 50 divisions would return to the heimat .

    The Germans were convinced that they would have no chance at all to wage a succesful war in 1942,and,they were right :in 1941, 3.6 million Germans were unable to defeat 9 million Soviets,while in 1942,4 million Germans wer faced by 13 million Soviets .

    The results of a long two-front war would be mortal for the Germans . And,they were mortal .
     
  8. arca

    arca Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Croatia
    This is certanly not true in my case.All of my grandparents were Tito's partisans. If I could be accused of being bias it could only be for pro Soviet bias, as my avatar indicates ;) . This discussion is purely scientific and yes it is interesting to make some brain excersise abut what could happen (based on facts) and not just study what actually happened.
     
    Tamino likes this.
  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    But if we are ever to discuss what could happen then it belongs in the What if threads and not the general war type threads.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    And Germany was building more major naval vessels was it not? The above is a classic example of what is often called "Cherry picking". It does not constitute a solid logical argument.

    Let's see you are the proponent of an unproven and probably unprovable position and you accuse me of "hand waving". Then of course you come up with a straw man position. Why should I dignify your demands with a response?

    Obviously there were other factors taken into consideration at the time. Security was likely one and a very valid one.

    Is it possible that the Soviets could have been defeated by Germany in 1941? You say no but have yet to prove it. Certainly it was unlikely ans for your strawman about "had to" when will you learn that is a well known fallacy and weakens rather than strengthens your position.

    Not really. It does show however that you can't tell the difference between a fact and your opinion.

    ???? You really don't understand do you? Looking at what the Germans could have done vs what they did do that might have improved either their chances to win or their final position illustrates the flaws the German flaws. It shows where they failed and why. It has little to do (at least in most cases) with trying to prove German superiority. If the Germans had succeeded then it would be the other way around.

    Again with the straw man arguments. Do you really not understand what people are saying or do you not care?

    As soon as someone starts saying "could have" or "couldn't have" we are moving into what if territory. Whether it has gone far enough to move the thread is up to the mods.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    He is that indoctrinated that he can' see that he is indoctrinated.

    He still is talking about German flaws,where the German failed and why :it is the old Manstein,Guderian and Halder lie : we lost because someone (Adolf or an other) spoiled the whole thing :it is the old lie :the German defeat was an anomaly,normally they had to win .

    THIS IS WRONG :the Germans did not lose,the Soviets won .The German defeat had nothing to do with German flaws,nothing : victory or defeat did not depend on what the Germans should have done,or could have done,but,exclusively on what the Soviets could do,should do,would do .

    He still is continuing (and he never will stop) as if there was only one army in the East : the German army .

    The Red Army :totally absent .


    German flaws : this is the usual excuse to not be forced to admit that the Germans were defeated by the Soviets,not by their own flaws (which were mostly imaginary).

     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    From :the German campaign in Russia :planning and operations PP19/20


    "During the third phase of the wargame,it became evident that the German ground forces would hardly be sufficient strong to fan out across the tunnel-shaped Russian theater,if the Red Army was capable to offer continued resistance ".

    Here again it is very clear : if east of the Dnepr-Dvina line,the Red Army continued the fighting,it was over for the Germans .

    Could they prevent the Red Army to continue the war east of the D/D line ? NO,no.

    Victory or defeat in 1941 (and also later) did not depend on the Germans,but on the Russians .


    And,the whole blahblah about German flaws ,if there were no flaws,blahblah,is only the usual tric to not admit that victory/defeat did not depend on the Germans,but on the Soviets .
     
  13. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    There was one thing Stalin could have done that could have allowed the Germans a better chance to win and that was continue throwing his men away. Still the Germans mistake is in trying to do things they need they did not have the capacity to do. whether or not they could win is still debatable, but if they had worked within their capacities they could have done better
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    About Stalin : very simplified,the Soviets had 3 possibilities on 22 june 1941:

    1) go west and try to expel the Germans

    2)remain where they were

    3)retreat to the east


    They did choose the first option (as did France in 1914 and I expect the US would have done if they were invaded) and had big losses (but,later also):were the losses during the summer caused by Stalin who was throwing away his men,or by the fact that the Soviet army in the summer of 1941 was no good ? IMHO,it was only the usual Potemkin village :whole units fell apart when going west .


    The 2 other options had their benefits,..and their disadvantages :I am not convinced that 3 and 3 would be better than 1.

    options 2 /3 would have saved the Soviets 1 million men,and the Germans ..200000 men .
     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,503
    Likes Received:
    1,173
    Laddies, this is the Original Topic of the thread, lets mosey on back in that direction for awhile, OK? :2cents:
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    I have 2 comments and objections to the OP:

    1)The fact that the Germans did not capture the lines and trains intact,was not that important as has been claimed .


    2)About the claim that Hitler had neglected the rail system :

    a)If it is true,and this is questionable,the importance for Barbarossa was marginal :for the transport of coal in Germany,some 5000000 trains were needed in 1940,in 1943 almost the double,,while for Barbarossa,it would be some 50000 trains in 1942.And,coal was only a small part of the total transport of the German railways .

    b)The claim that Hitler neglected the railways is also questionable :in 1913,the railways transported some 190 million ton of coal,in 1940 some 200 million ton,in 1943 some 360 million ton .




    In 1940,the German railways had 26942 locs (of which 866 electric ),69267 waggons for passengers and 732827 goods-waggons.
     
  17. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    56
    Strawman.... LWD's argument is definately made up of reasonable and conventional wisdom. In a military sense, everyday life, sports, etc. people, militaries, teams, etc. all have bad days, bad games or bad campaigns. Ever watch a game (pick a sport) where the team is clearly unprepared, tired, out of sync and plays like crap? After the game is over sports writers dissect the game and point out all of the mistakes.
    It really is time for you to get off the high horse and stop accusing people, hunting phantom fanbois and throwing out strawman based counters. It's old, tired, not exactly a good look for you and counter-productive.
    The basic facts are undeniable: Both sides made a lot of mistakes, but we often focus on Axis mistakes because they lost and it's interesting to contemplate possible alternatives of which no one can rightfully claim to definitively know the outcome.
     
  18. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    56
    As the OP stated:
    "The first is the Germans just assumed they would capture the lines and trains intact. When that didn't happen the problem was not just converting the lines to the narrow gage, but Soviet engines were larger and had a longer range and so the Germans had also to build new stations for repair, coal and water. This need to build new stations is one of the reasons for the difficulty in transporting supplies. The second is Hitler had neglected the rail system and there was a shortage of engines and the track system needed major over hauling"

    As has been stated previously, the pre-campaign operational support plan only required limited support beyond Smolensk. Therefore the rail conversion was planned and executed at a rate that was adequate to support the operational plan's requirements. The fact that as the campaign wore on and the rail net proved incapable of fully supporting the Wehrmacht is academic to the flawed assumptions that the original support plan was based on. The details of the Soviet rail net were not of great importance because the Red Army would be destroyed west of the Dnieper, or so went the planning assumption.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Oh yes :?
    Prove that" no one can rightly claim to definitively know the outcome".
    All these possible alternatives are only the usual artifices to search desperately for a straw to make a German victory possible ,as "alternative versions of Barbarossa were possible" (post 254),or "Adolf could have put together a peace propposal that Britain would have had a hard time refusing (post 255).
    During the war,Goebbels blamed the winter,after the war Manstein and the others blamed Adolf,now,it is the railways/logistics.
    All these "Ifs" start from the conviction "Germany had to win" ,but some one spoiled everything,if only we were there ,we would have saved the situation,because,we, we have hindsight ,and,with hindsight,we would have crushed the Soviets ,using non existant armies .

    And : if one is saying : "we focus on Axis mistakes because they lost" he is starting from the POV that the Axis lost,BECAUSE they made mistakes,and,if they did not make mistake (always with hindsight) A,B,C, they would win .

    Thus: one is starting from the POV that the German loss in the East was an anomaly .
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    A shortage of engines does not prove that Adolf neglected the rail system .
    It only proves the tendency to make Adolf responsible for every shortcoming and to blame every shortcoming for the defeat .
     

Share This Page