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Under what condition could the Germans have forced a stalemate in the east after Stalingrad

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by Ironcross, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    This is what I think:

    After Stalingrad

    1. Gradually withdraw to Belorussia and Rumania to shorten the front and the supply line.

    2. Cancel all tank development and production in favor of SP artillery, AT artillery, and AA artillery. Tanks are only good at offensive roles, AT artillery and SP artillery are good at defensive roles and can be produced much fast and much cheaper.

    3. Cancel all navel programs and production. Germany can't afford to waste another drop of oil on pointless naval build up.

    4. Produce a large amount of bicycles to enable all troops to have tactical mobility. That way troops can be somewhat mobile without wasting gas.

    5. Large scale tank vs. tank engagements must be avoided at all cost. Germany can't afford to trade tanks with the Russians through tank engagements.

    6. Form mobile divisions from SP artillery and existing tanks with the purpose of filling gaps and checking breakthroughs before infantry arrives.

    7. Produce a large amount of trucks to enable some troops to have the strategic mobility to work with the mobile divisions.

    8. Cancel all air force programs and productions in favor of AA artillery.

    9. Cancel all “miracle weapon” programs and productions.

    Could this have forced a stalemate? What else could have been helpful?
     
    Za Rodinu and GrossBorn like this.
  2. GrossBorn

    GrossBorn Member

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    Maybe this thread won't get locked...I think it is a good question.
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Why will this thread survive when the other one didn't?
     
  4. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I think that this thread has potential as a backround is presented along with detail.

    Not so sure that cancelling Luftwaffe production would have benefited the Reich.

    Also wouldnt a retreat to a defensive position after Stalingrad would have been a sign of weakness which the Red Army would have exploited? Not to mention an admission of defeat in the East?
     
  5. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    Luftwaffe was useless after the tide had turned, why waste material, manpower, and gas for it when every drop of oil counted?

    A sign of weakness? That's a really good point. Had the Russians appeared stronger than they did before the battle of Stalingrad, Hitler would have thought twice before making the decision to take Stalingrad. It would have benefited the Germans greatly had they appeared weaker than they were. I can only imagin how bitter that "exploitation" would have been. Wouldn't you agree?

    Admission of defeat? That goes with the "weakness" argument.
     
  6. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Why? Because who ever rules the skies rules the land, thats why. If you have no or little ari force and the enemy has a strong Airforce then the enemy will roll over you with there air superiority. A great example was the D-Day landings, the Germans were not able to move reinforcements, supplies or fill in gaps effectively so they lost. Now why would the East be any different from Normandy? How would you harass the enemy without your airforce, how could you stop them from doing all what I have stated above?

    It would be sucidal to end Luftwaffe for the Germans, the war would have ened faster.

    Canceling Kriegsmarine efforts should have done much earlier, the Germans never had any chance at challenging the UK and should never had tried.

    Tanks are not just good at offensive roles, but in defensive as well, especially as a mobile reserve. Eg. The King Tiger was a great defensive tank, now what happened when that was used in an offensive operation.

    You need tanks to counter other tanks, especially when they breakthrough your lines, your SP guns would work but will not win the battle by themselves over and over again.

    The miracle weapons were the only hope for the Germans at this stage of the war.

    More SP guns and Artillery would be useless, why? Because the Germans man power problem. WHere are they going to find the men to man all these new found formations you are talking about, as well as reinforce the Infantry Divisions. I suppose all the would be Luftwaffe recruits would be available now, which means more allied bombing raids, which means higher casualites, which means more reinforcements. As well as the more of the Industiral raids, the more damage to the industrial, the less that is recieved by the front lines, including these 'new' division being formed. Not to mention the more allied bombers which are surviving the raids because there is even less Luftwaffe interference to interfere with the raids.

    All I can say is that If you were in charge, the war would have ended even faster.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen O

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    mmm, bikes, on Russian "roads", they'd be pushing them most of the time.
     
  8. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    I think it would've been a tremendous slap in the face to both the 6th Army and German soldiers itself. Hitler had just let 250,000 troops freeze and starve 'holding' at Stalingrad and then retreat?

    Germany could never, ever hold line as long as the Russian front after Stalingrad. "Bagration" ring a bell? So, why the Germans are digging in, the Russians are mass producing T-34s, Yaks, bombers, etc.
    You stop producing German fighters and they stand even less of a chance. Granted, troop levels may increase as more and more ME-109 pilots[with no new planes to fly]can be retrained as infantry. Goering would also be out of a job.
    So now, the Brits, Ameis and Russians all have a free hand in the air to bomb and strafe as they seem fit. Material "saved" by cutting off the Luftwaffe would be offset by the amount of anti-aircraft guns & shells they'd now have to have to protect themselves.
    I pity all those troops on their new bicycles.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I'm not real sure why I am responding on a what -if but here goes.......

    the problem is the non commuique and workings of the Luftwaffe with the Kriegsmarine, had they been useful in forming a cohessive and resilient formation and closed up the Soviet ports then all hell would of broken loose, so much for that nice little thing called "lend-ease" as it never would of happened. And whomever with the remark/comment after the tide turned the Luftwaffe was useless is just plain silly.......
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I don't wish to pick on anyone, so if I take part with my usual truculence, please understand this is only for argument's sake :)

     
  11. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    1. It won't work? Please offer some explanation. I was talking about a shortened East Front with well equipped infantry (massive numbers of ATA & AAA) and good mobile reserves in the beginning of 1943. You seemed to be talking about the skeleton German force that existed after the Battle of Kursk.

    2. SP artillery + motorized infantry can't do the job? You do know that the cost of a Panther/Tiger = 4 Stugs, right? That means instead of, say, 500 Panthers, you now have 2000 Stugs.

    3. Yes, everything that has anything to do with the navy must be cancelled

    4. Are you sure? The Japanese and the Finns used Bicycle Infantry with success. Bicycle infantry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    5. Not sure what you meant

    6. A breakthrough must be contained before you can counter attack. You know that.

    7. That's why the Navy and Air Force programs and productions have to be cancelled.

    8. Who said anything about defending everything? Just defend important industrial sites and troop concentrations. I don't think that would be a problem without the Air Force and the Navy draining all the resources.
     
  12. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Za actually I had not forgotten, the Pacific was also going to be used in corellation with the U-booten and the Luftwaffe, something little covered and little discussed, but tiw as mentioned more than once, but again I point out the fact the two organizations had such high hopes and dreams for themselves their pride never broke down enough to favor an existance which would of put Allied shipping anywhere under real threat.
     
  13. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I can see right now that this is going to turn into a merri-go-round.

    Ok so they build 2000 StuG's in this short time you are refering to? I doubt that, and again where are all these mobile reserve's coming from? Many would be already being used to counter attack enemy attacks, because the best defensive is an offensive, You are talking about a capablitily the Germans would not be capable of.

    Za, I agree with what you have said, I meant use the King tigers in a defensive role because of the offensive flaws and use the more fleixable tanks for the mobile reserve.:)
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    "Into the breach once more!" - The Bard

    Of course it wouldn't work. There was no skeleton force after Kursk, German losses weren't so crippling during that battle. IInd SS-PzKorps was able to be moved away for Italy and the Mius river and still be able to give the Russians a good drubbing there! Problem was that the Red Army had already learnt how to amass large counter-attack forces in a 2nd echelon way back from the battle line undetected. They had the knack for the surprise large-scale offensives, as shown in the Moscow Dec'41, Stalingrad, Kursk and countless other later counter-ofensives. So if you just sit still you can expect a massive several-front Soviet offensive at unexpected place and time, just like Destruction of Army Group Centre, aka Op. Bagration, June 44.

    I see, it's a matter of terminology. StuGs for me are not SP artillery, artillery are indirect fire weapons. Yes, that might be a lower cost possibility to keep a mobile force.

    U-Booten and S-Booten too?

    This has no relation to the massive scale of use you envisage. You'd need to prduce millions of bycicles every year just to keep numbers. And as pointed out, bycicles are useless in the Rasputitsa, so what would you do with them while the season lasted? Where would you store them so as not to be an encumbrance and how would you redistribute them when needed? I foresee a nightmare!

    Manstein was master at manoeuvre, his back-hand was made famous for the way he retreated in front of the Soviet Kharkov offensive after Stalingrad, waiting for them to over-extend themselves and then snip off the penetration. Read something!

    I know it doesn't. Re-read above. Have you gone French or what? :D

    That's alright if you want to amputate one of your feet before a race.

    The German cities were defended by massive amounts of AAA. They all burned to the ground. The Navy was all mothballed except for the U-Booten which were diverting an enourmous amount of Allied resources for themselves, just that made them useful beyond measure.

    How can you supply an effective submarine and aerial force thousands of miles away from home, Erich? I am aware for a time U-Booten were operating out of Penang, in Sumatra but that wasn't cost-effective. But yes, the parochial command attitudes did cost the Germans a lot for creating much unnecessary and counter-productive friction.

    Do you mean using the KTs as semi-mobile strongpoints? You'd be better off using Nashorns, they cost less and use the same gun ;) Strongpoints can be simply gone round.
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Even if I agree or not, it's a pleasure seeing you think :) Pos. Rep. on the way!
     
  16. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    Thanks Za, for taking the time to reply. I don't know if all of your information is correct or not, but if they are, then i guess i need to do some more reading. Maybe I will challenge you with another what-if in five years. Right now, I am too busy with all the homework to really look into anything.
    Thanks again.
     
  17. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I'll go on a limb here and give my two cents worth.
    From the way your what if is designed, it only concentrates on Germany against the Soviet Union when we all know that Germany is fighting a two-front war. That is the fatal flaw of your premise.
    Okay, if the things you suggested were done then the Allies in the West would have free romp on Western Europe on their way to Germany. End result, a faster defeat for Germany.
    Still, it's good that you gave your scenario a background to form a basis for discussion.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    John, of course my info is correct, are you doubting the accumulated body of knowledge of the entire Poliburo? :D

    Look, I'm not here to clobber you or anyone, we are all here to talk and exchange ideas, to learn. So it is no sense at all "coming back in 5 years", you should came back next week with more questions, if not tomorrow or today even!

    It's a pleasure talking to you!

    FalconJun, I don't really see how you reach those conclusions...
     
  19. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Good idea I had forgotten about those beasts, they certainly would be more cost effective as well as probably more reliable..:)
     
  20. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Well, as I said I was going on a limb. Anyway, it seemed to me that some of the suggestions in this what if might have a chance of at least prolonging the war in the East but at the expense of the war in the West.
    But if premise no. 8 was carried out, the Allies would have a much easier time in Western Europe because they would've enjoyed air superiority.
    And with air superiority comes the ability to hit targets with near impunity.
    I guess that was a real shaky limb that I was on, right?
     

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