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If hitler began operation Barbarossa at his initial proposed date

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by .docholliday, Jan 13, 2008.

?

Could Hitler have succeded in destroying the Russian state in 1941 or at least reaching the Ural mou

  1. Yes, it could be realised

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    14 vote(s)
    40.0%
  3. Hitler captures mowcow but red army communications arn't shattered

    16 vote(s)
    45.7%
  4. Hitler captures Moscow, but Wehrmacht doesn't have the manpower to continue obilteration of Russia

    5 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I agree with Kai.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yes, that is true, I think, I recall we discussed this a couple of years ago. Later on I also found info that the summer 1941 was much warmer than in a long time and soon the rivers were lower than usual everywhere helping the Germans in their advance. ( unfortunately don´t have the book name with me now).
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Yes you are absolutely correct!
     
  4. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Rereading this thread I see one assumption is the onset of winter stopped the German advance. This was a secondary reason and the cold weather did aggravate the primary problem, but it was not the critical factor. The fundamental problem was the inability of the supply transport to keep up with the advance. The Wehrmacht was wholly dependant on the railroad for bulk supply. Horse and truck served to complete the supply delivery from the railheads, but only where the distance from the forward rail heads/depots to the combat battalions matched that specified in the Wehmachts logistics planning. As the armys outran the ends of the usable railroads the truck and horse transport were unable to make up the difference. Even after stripping the infantry divsions of their truck companys, stripping occupied Europe of transport vehicals, and taking some from German industry, there simply was not enough to keep up with the advance of the armys.

    This can be illustrated in the reports of the artillery commanders. In November when the weather was still acceptable, but when the Soviet reserves were fully engaged between Smolensk and Moscow there are universally reports from the artillery about ammunition shortages. Complaints abound about insuffcient quantities to meet the basic prescribed ammounts for attacking the various target types. This rapidly grows worse and at the begaining of December there are reports from artillery commanders of shortfalls of 60% or more for the prescibed units of fire for their attacks. Since the Germans were not by November fighting disorganized enemys with rapid manuvers, but assualting multiple layers of entrenched and prepared infantry/artillery with prepared local counter attack forces ammunition was essential to advancing. It is clear the Wehrmacht did not have the cannon ammo where it was needed. Setting the advance forward so this battle occur in October rather than late November does not resolve the ammo shortage. The railroads would not be rebuilt any faster, nor could the trucks and horses carry any more in October than in November.

    Starting the war on the USSR a month earlier, whatever the weather, simply means the Wehrmacht runs short of ammunition a month earlier as the advance past Smolensk progresses.

    Unrelated to the supply problem. The Wehrmacht had suffered a little over 800,000 casualties by 1 December from combat and disease. That is not insignificant and cannot be solved through the supply system or by a earlier advance.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    :clap: What Carl S said.
     
  6. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I agree with most of what you have said.


    Though I must say that the #1 problem which the Germans faced was the Russian soldier. Never before had the Germans faced such an adversary. The "Ivan" was willing to sacrifice much more then the Germans, while having less and was also a better shot then the Germans had hoped. Weather and supply lines were more of an inconvenience. ;)
     
  7. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    In any way you look at it the one main factor of the loss of direction and the eventual failure of Barbarossa was Hitler continual meddling and shifting the focus of the invasion, diversion of troops here and there and poor allies.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    General Gotthard Heinrici, the commander of the Germans Fourth Army's XXXXIII Army Corps at Moscow and by war's end, the Wehrmacht's premier defensive specialist, congently assessed the reasons for the Germans failure.

    Hitler's meddling in military affairs was not on the list of the top 7 reasons. ;)

    Politically, Hitler underestimated the inner stability of the Bolshevik system was his first reason. Followed by, Militarily, the Russian armed forces were suprisingly capable.
     
  9. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hey Sloniksp

    Thank you for the insight of General Gotthard Heinrici, i would be very interested in knowing his top 7, where can i get such information.

    Thank you.
     
  10. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Here you go, I actually posted them here in here before so I just copy and paste :D
    Oh and I believe #4 was what you might have been referring too ;)

    From "Before Stalingrad" - David Glantz


    General Gotthard Heinrici, commander of the German Fourth Army's XXXXII Arrmy Corps at Moscow and by wars end the Wehrmacht's premier defensive specialist, congently assessed the reason for the German failure even before the Red Army's Moscow counteroffensive began, stating:

    The goal set for the Eastern Campaing was not achieved. The enemy's armed forces were defeated, but the Russian state structure did not collapse. The threat of a two front war stood at the door. The attack on Russia did not prevent this from happening; on the contrary, it conjured up its possibility.

    The basis for this failure rested on the following:

    1. Politically, Hitler underestimated the inner stability or the Bolshevik system. It proved to be tenacious and consolidated. The spirit within the Russians to defend 'Mother Russia' was stronger than their rejection of the Communist dictatorship.

    2. Economically, Russia was also better established than Hitler was willing to admit.

    3. Militarily, the Russian armed forces were surprisingly capable. They often defended with a stubborn tenacity and they had an astounding ability to improvise, even in the technical arena. These qualities consistently made up for the inability of the senior Russian leadership.

    4. Most decisive was the operational decision of August 1941, which shifted the main emphasis of the operation from Army Groupe Centre to Army Group South and in part, to the north. This forfeited the best chance to conduct a decisive battle with the enemy during the direct attack on Moscow. I stress 'best chance ,' because there has been no evidence to the contrary.

    5. The motorized problem must also be considered. The German Army did not have the necessary motorized units and air transport formations or the required fuel reserves for a campaign in an area with the depth of Russia.

    6. The width and depth of Russia had a decisive significance.

    7. The Russian climate and terrain also complicated matters. The effect of the mud period was surprising in its significance. The coming of the Russian winter did not correspond with German expectations. And the difficulty of the terrain, with its wide marshes and impasssible regions, the great primeval-like forests complexes, the few good roads and the wide, unregulated river courses may not have stopped the offensive, but they did cause considerable delays.
     
  11. PactOfSteel

    PactOfSteel Dishonorably Discharged

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    it was the damn cold, if Hitler would have done it in the summer or at least the battle for Stalingrad was during the summer they would have won. Stalin had already signed a peace pact with Hitler, they were so close...
     
  12. Troglodyte

    Troglodyte Member

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    Offcouse it was the COLD!!!

    Everybody knows that russkie has antifreeze instead of the blood. Therefor not affected by cold.

    While German Übermensch took heavy casualties from cold.

    Suggestion - look into Winter War of 1939!
     
  13. PactOfSteel

    PactOfSteel Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hitler should have learned from Napoleon. I give the Soviets credit for the scorched earth policy, that was bad as*.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    ...and Napoleon conquered Moscow and did not win....Oops!
     
  15. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Please read the post above yours ;)
     
  16. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Yes I've seen Heinricis opinions. When I read the specifics given by the local commanders at the divsion (Raus) or battery (Sigfried Knappe or Werner Adamczyk) and others one universal thread runs through their accounts. Supplies were short or nonexistant. At the battery level both Adamczyk & Knappe describe firing missions from ammo directly off the supply trucks or wagons and inconsequential ammounts in the battery load from early November. Knappe remarked on the good fortune of his divsion (87th Infantry) to be operating close to the main railroad servicing Army Group Center. Unlike the infantry further away his divsion recived partial rations from the railhead and did little foraging for food.

    Raus in his account ascribes the inability of his Pz Divsion to make the final advance to Lenningrad directly to a lack of (in no particularl order) fuel, spare parts, ammuniiton, tank losses and infantry casualties in the motorized rifle battalions. These crippling shortages begain occuring in October and November, before the cold weather started.
     
  17. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    please deplete this post, mods....
     
  18. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Von Leeb, wrote to Hitler after taking Pushkin, that he could no longer advance as he had taken 60,000 casualties while receiving no reinforcements and at the same time coming head to head with the most fortified positions at the outskirts of the city.

    The catch is, that while the Red Army suffered way more casualties, the 60,000 German casualties was simply unheard off as the Germans never enticipated on loosing this much.
    These looses were atributed to the Russians not the weather or supply lines. ;)

    In the first 6 months of the war, Germany suffered 1 million casualties on the Easter Front. A staggering number for a war machine which has just walked through Europe at the same time only receiving about 200,000 replacements.
     
  19. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Thank You Sloniksp

    Good insight to the failure of Barbarossa, i'll look at these and have some responses to these.

    You are a God.:)
     
  20. PactOfSteel

    PactOfSteel Dishonorably Discharged

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    this answer starts at the beginning, Hitler should have built up his military might more before going to war with Poland/Europe. Defeating the Bolsheviks/Communism were the Nazis highest priorities but they had to ally with them at beginning or else they could have faced a two-front war, Hitler knew this and in the back of his head he was waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Saying this it confuses me still why he decided to forsake England a enemy that was no where near being defeated and were allied with us a sleeping giant, didn't he know that sooner or later they were going to invade France with superior forces? yes he had the beaches mined and built the bunkers ect... for a invasion but why not just finish off England? Yes it was a stalemate military wise, England was ready for a invasion from the Germans and they had a good navy. But Hitler wasn't counting on Englands harassment, they wouldn't leave him alone, he thought he could ally with them thats why Rudolf Hess flew over to negotiate, he realized they posed a grave threat to the Third Reich. Operation Sealion shouldn't have been post-poned, it should have been either re-planned or executed not delayed. Once England was removed then regather strength, build-up and finally invade the Soviets knowing you won't be fighting a two-front war. And yes Barbarossa should have began at that date, then the winter wouldn't have been has bad. Napoleon made the same mistake.
     

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