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No Kursk ,No battle of Berlin in 45??????

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Machine Gun Nest 1985., Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    I was wodering if the battle of Kursk never happened the Germans would of been in a better shape and therefull much stronger.Would the Russians still get to Berlin in 45 or much later?
     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Well, if not in '45 then sometime very soon after. Kursk was the last time the Germans had the means to start a major offensive on their own, the last time they could have the initiative. It was all abou diminishing resources. In 1941 they started Barbarossa across the entire front. In 1942 they could manage an offensive on the Southern front only. In 1943 they were pinching a salient. Do I see a trend here? ;)

    In 1943 if the Germans refrained in the last minute to initiate Kursk and decide for something else, remember the Russians already had quite a large mass of troops ready to start a few major offensives on their own at the same time or in short succession, so if the large end-of-German-hopes was not to be called Kursk it would be called something else, and this still in 1943.
     
  3. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    How much stronger would Germany be if they didnt attack Kursk?

    When the Germans failed at Kursk didnt it open up a 100 mile hole in the German frontlines?
     
  4. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    The Soviets would have attacked, and given their strenghth probably would have punched a hole anywhere they chose.

    Of course the Wermacht would have patched up the hole, only for it to happen somewhere else. They may have been drawn into a similar battle of Attrition or maybe another "Stalingrad" and suffered heavier losses.

    And maybe Sicily would have drawn off the SS Corps and maybe other available reserves sooner.
     
  5. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    Im not sure but wasnt the Germans building a defence line near Germany called the Adolf hiler line or something like that is that true.?
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Kursk was far to be big for the Germans who were now on the defensive the actions of stripping the front line bare for this one operation was not a wise move at all. Back in March 43 Manstein then proposed a daring action for the summer nicknamed the "backhand blow", which was intended to outflank the Red Army into the Sea of Azov at Rostov. This would had been a better idea and a lot less costly.
     
  7. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    The front in Russia is too long to build a fortified line, and you can always build up an overwhelming force to punch through, especially given the typical Soviet care for casualties.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    MGN'85: Hitler was very reluctant to have defence lines built in the rear lest the Generals (as he said) have any retreat ideas, so I don't really see where that came from.

    I would venture to say that he himself knew what the Maginot line was for and how much it cost, but on the other hand he didn't have any objection to promote the Atlantic Wall...

    That man's skull contained quite a can of worms [​IMG]
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The big rivers form a defence line by themselves but even these Hitler managed to lose in Russia because the troops were not allowed to retreat in good order so the Red Army troops simply followed the Germans and often even bypassed them during the trip over the rivers. And once the Soviets had created several crossings the defensive circle was broken and retreat continued and the bunkers etc already done had to be abandonedalmost without any use. I´m not surprised several generals being rather tired of Hitler´s logic even if it worked in 1941-42 winter.
     
  10. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Regarding German defensive lines. In the campaign in NW Europe, the Germans were caught on the 'wrong side of the river', because they were not to retreat. A mile retreat behind a river barrier would have delayed the Allies. Retreat=Defetialism. Now that is a dangerous road to walk.
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I guess one of the not so many retreats accepted by Hitler was the operation Buffalo:

    During World War II the name Büffel Bewegung (Buffalo Movement in German) was given to a series of local retreats conducted by the German Army on the Army group Center area during the period 1-22 March 1943. This movement eliminated the Rzhev Salient and shortened the front by 230 kilometers, saving twenty-one divisions for use in the operation Zitadelle.
     
  12. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    Retreating might be considered as a cowardly move but when you are outnumbered outgunned and half frozen what would be a good thing to do.?
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Not to stick around. ;)

    For Germany on the Ost Front in 1943 launching mad operations like Kursk was real dumb. A massive waste of men and war materials that were needed in the withdraw back to Germany.
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Remember, this is the military, you do as you are ordered to, especially if your top poobah is a bloody-handed dictator. You have no choice in the matter.
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I just wonder how many German troops regarded there orders as clear madness in 1943. And yet those orders had to be followed, even how impossible they were to carry out. I suspect most of the troops felt they were not fighting for Hitler any more, they were trying to save Germany from the invassion from the east.
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Of course the Generals had a better view of the whole situation and the soldiers only knew what they saw at the front.I recall reading a couple of stories by soldiers who were fighting in Kursk and actually when they saw all the new tanks, ammo, planes etc their morale was getting rather high as well as belief in winning the battle if not war.This also took place before the Attack in Ardennes 1944.
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    interesting thread gents . . .

    really do not feel that Kursk was as important as what it is led to be believed over the many years and yet there seems to be an overproduction of texts regarding the same misunderstandings of this multi-faceted battle every year. For 2005 there were 3 published and in 2006 another 3 are due.

    The Germans actually were in a prime position to bust through the Soviet held hills in the sector of the W-SS Korps. With only few Tiger 1's destroyed 3rd SS as well as the other two W-SS units were poised to strike the remaining blows until der Führer decided elsewhere and that the Italien front needed the 1st SS, leaving the 2nd SS at the Mius and 3rd SS revitalizing itself. If you were to follow W-SS 2nd SS Das Reich you would see the attacks wholeheartedly defended in every conceivable way with mass destruction of Soviet armor units during August of 43.
    As to the Luftwaffe over Kursk it was a slug fest for the Luftwaffe, so many ground targets they could not miss.
    It was only in the winter of 43-44 January to March that the end of the Wehrmacht tide seemed apparent and that doubt would soon follow, that victory in the Ost was in the losing stages.

    Berlin was going to happen it was inevitable and the Landser in 1944 knew it, it was just when . . . .

    E ♫
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Hi Erich,

    If Kursk was not important I should like to ask what was, as Op. Zitadelle was the only major operation the Germans could set up for 1943.

    I am fully aware of the brilliant performance of the 2nd SS PzKorps, absolutely no doubt this was the outstanding formation in the field; however as one swallow does not the Spring make, one has to take the entire horizon into context.

    9th Army in the North simply could not overcome the Soviet defense so they were limited to a dozen kms advance and stopped there to be later hammered in by a Sov. offensive simultaneous with Prokhorovka.

    Magnificent though II SS PK was, the rest A.Grp. South formations were at least unable to sustain the same rates of advance, and I doubt one single PzKorps would be able to win the war by itself, especially as they were the tip of one pincer while the other pincer did not exist any longer and the other formations were lagging behind.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Za I fully understand your quandry but to me if not Kursk it would of happened elsewhere. The Soviets wanted to pull the might of the Wehrmacht armor out into the open for hoping that sheer weight of numbers could win the day for them. the Kursk salient is often called a complete Soviet victory, I see it as a waste of human life on both sides and almost a near draw, something Soviet sources still do not want to admit too and most probably even in this high tech time we live in records have been conviently lost. As for German lossess records true many are still being found little by little to form the basis of new titles I was mentioning. I do see though the feeling of the Med/Italien campaign weighing heavily on the German hierarchy so therfore resources had to be pulled from somewhere and the units on the Ost front were becoming thin which again the Soviets tried to take advantage of
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Erich, you remind me of Shakespeare: "A rose by any other name would smell the same". So if it weren't at Kursk it would be the same somewhere else, LOL

    Er, if I remember correctly originally who had the Kursk idea were the Jerrys, the Russians were the ones defending behind several fortified lines. This is not exactly pulling the Germans in the open.

    Of course it was a large waste of life, but so was the entire war.

    As for calling it a draw and not a Sov victory I can't agree. The victory conditions for the Germans were having both pincers penetrate and meet east of the city of Kursk, thereby pinching off a very large salient. Did this happen? No, clearly.

    The Russians' brief was to block this. Did they succeed? Yes.

    Moreover the Russians were shortly later and still within the context of this campaign able to throw two offensives north and south of the salient, which managed to push the Germans hundreds of kilometres back during the course of the following three months. I can't see how you can dismiss this a draw.
     

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