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Scenario: No 1942 Eastern front summer offensive(Blau)

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by Aristo8089, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Aristo8089

    Aristo8089 New Member

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    After the end of 1941 after Barbarossa, most of the OKH and its generals advised a policy of bite and hold in the eastern front. What if Hitler was convinced to halt Moscow offensive when the mud season arrived and hold back from another large scale offensive in the eastern front and instead adopt a more cautious policy of bite and hold in the eastern front in 1942, i.e focusing on straightening the front line and focus on small rapid advances on more reachable targets such as Moscow, Crimea etc.(if they weren't already captured) while at the same time shifting resources for another offensive on the Western and Med fronts?

    How would this change in strategy contribute to the following chain of events?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Hitler would never go for it. Too impatient.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Russia too big--larger population ...it would just give the Russians more time to get more troops/logistics/vehicles to the front
    ...it would give the Russians more time/etc since the Germans would not be attacking with as much force
    etc
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    He could not stay on the defensive. The index of Russian war production, low in the first six months of war, was rising rapidly in 1942, faster than Germany's own. The Soviets had already shown a frightening ability to raise new formations from their vast population, and soon they would be able to equip them properly. The British and Americans were not going to sit still forever, and by the autumn they would launch major offensives in Africa. Hitler knew he was now facing the possibility of the kind of war he had hoped to avoid, an attritional struggle against three great industrial powers. Imperial Germany had been defeated in such a struggle in 1918. Hitler's only hope for 1942 was to try and get a quick decision against one of them as quickly as possible to weaken the coalition before it became too powerful, and the only one he had a chance to do that with was Russia. That was why he aimed at the Caucasus, to cut the oil supply which fueled the Soviet war machine and industry as well. With luck, the Soviet army could be drawn into a decisive battle to defend the oil, but even if that didn't happen the hope was that the Soviets would be so weakened by the loss of the Caucasus oil that they would fall back to the Urals and cease to be a major factor in the war. It was a slim chance, a risky one, but HiItler believed it was the only one he could take.
     
  5. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Also he couldn't simply shift the weight of his armed forces to Africa or the West. His armed forces were not well adapted for those theaters, and the whole German war machine would have had to be redesigned to wage a successful offensive war against the Anglo-Americans. The German Army was designed and equipped for short-range campaigns in central and western Europe. It had no major amphibious capacity and the only way to put Britain out would have been an invasion. That hope had been frustrated by the RAF in 1940, Britain was much stronger in 1942, and it could now count on American help. The Axis logistical structure was strained nearly to breaking point to sustain Rommel's relatively small force in Libya, and when the Germans moved reinforcements to Tunisia late in the year the logistic structure could not sustain them there. For Hitler, it was a offensive against Russia or nothing.
     

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