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What if the Germans Had MP44 (Stg 44) in 1941?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by akashd, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    The only advantage the Panther would have had is more then likely in the Battle for Moscow with the wider tracks allowing it to more easily move through the snow but other then that it would have been a drain unless the Wehrmacht was built around the concept of using such larger vehicles earlier on, Which would have had to have started no later then the mid 1930's
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    How many Panthers?? The problem for the panzer force in 1941 was that they were not even fully equipped with the then standard PzIIIs and IVs. 6 to 9 (sources vary) of the 17 panzer divisions which kicked off Barbarossa had three panzer battalions and the rest two. They should have 296 or 200 tanks respecively (96/battalion + 8 in panzer regiment HQ), total 3976-4264, about 3/4 PzIIIs and 1/4 PzIVs, roughly 3000 and 1000. In fact on June 22 there were 965 and 439; the rest of their strength were PzIs and IIs and Czech 35ts and 38ts. Even so there were not enough, around 3332 total.

    They were also short of items like armored halftracks; most of the panzer divisions' infantry, engineers, and reconnaissance units were truck-borne. There was little if any self-propelled artillery. The first thing they needed was to be up to strength in the vehicles and equipment they were supposed to have in 1941, and of course to have reserves and sufficient production to replace losses and equip new units. It also would have helped if all the PzIIIs had had the long-barreled 50mm gun. Something like Panthers would be icing on the cake.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Tiger was probably better for the Eastern Front especially early on. The Panther had a high velocity 75mm gun with a mediocre to poor HE round while the Tiger's 88 was good vs both tanks and soft targets. The thiner armor on the flanks of the Panther might have been tested more often in break throughs as well.

    Of course if you add more tanks, halftracks, and other vehicles then you are going to need a much better log system.
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    ....and a much higher standard of reliability from Tigers.. I suspect Barbarossa spearheaded by Tigers would have resulted in the Tiger fleet scattered from Brest Litovsk to Smolensk ;)

    On reflection the Germans didnlt need more or better AFVs they needed a better fleet of logistic vehicles. The Germans had limited industrial capacity turning out trucks. The German vehicle fleet had far too few motor vehicles and too many different types, which made repairs difficult. It may not be as sexy as the Panther or Tiger, but a big fleet of the "Deuce and a half" trucks might have been more important.
     
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  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    As always, logistics is a very valid point. It's easy to talk about Panthers, Tigers, and the like; but none of them are worth much if they can't be sustained in action.
     
  6. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Logistics should not really have been that big of a problem in the earlier months or even the first year of the war for Germany. The German war machine was built and designed for mechanized and mobile attacks meaning it functioned very well in attacks as long as the momentum continued, this can be seen through the invasions of France, and Yugoslavia and the constant encirclement of the defending forces utilizing fast deployment of armour, infantry and close air support. Therefore a fast lightning attack in the soviet union could have welded better results and victories if the Germans had the use of the STG or even heavier and faster tanks. Logistics would only have became an issue as the war progressed, this is evident in the actual events of ww2. The continued strain on German production and the logistical line and the need to replace everything lost through allied bombing and losses at the front, ultimately Germany never prepared for a lengthy war and this was ultimately its undoing. Unless German forces could smash the soviet forces in a single mighty blow which is just geographically impossible due to the size and scope of the soviet empire Germany was always setting its self up for a drawn out war, and ultimately its demise.
     
  7. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    Surely the German war machine was designed to be horse drawn, it was woefully badly mechanised or motorised and beyond a few Divisions of Panzers and Grenadiers it was reliant on the horse just as Bluchers or Bismarks armies were.
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Actually, it was designed around rail. The horses would only need to move supplies from the railheads to the front. That, of course, failed because of allied air superiority which steadily degraded rail movement throughout the war.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I suspect the failure east was not air superiority, but the massive atttrition of horses. In the west distances from railheads to the troops were shorter so the effect was less marked, but despite air superiority German troops in Italy operated efficiently for two years.

    Read a book recently about the only documented Italian losses inside the Stalingrad pocket, they were from a truck unit that had been diverted from supportting the Italian 8th Army to yhe German 6th Army, considering the two didn't even occupy contiguous sections of front it give a good idea of how far the Germans went to get resources to move up suplies those last critical miles, IIRC the railhead supporting the troops in stalingrad was still on the other side of the Don..

    As for the MP44 it could have made a difference at Stalingrad or Sebastopol where squal firepower was critical, Stalingrad was "touch and go" and the Soviet counterattacks would be severely hampered by higher German firepower,,
    Had the Germans succeded in taking the city before the buildup for the counterattack was completed the encirlement had a lot less chances of success and may well have degenerated int a Rzhev like bloodbath for the red army they could ill afford in 1942, the balance of strength was never as favourable to the axis as in 1942 and without retaking large amounts or recruiting ground the red army may be in big trouble.

    But if I had to "move forward" any weapon to have an effect it would be the "long" Pak40 AT gun and KwK 40 for the Pz IV, the lack of a weapon capable of effectively dealing with T 34s and especially KVs lead to a number of local setbacks that added up may well make a difference.

    The historical Panther in 1941 is absurd as it was influenced by the T34 but putting in production a Pz III or Panzer IV replacement is not, IIRC they were dropped as the KV and T34 showed they really needed a bigger step forward, one big what if is what would the Germans have come up with had they stuck with the original idea of a 35t tank of comming up with a 45t one, 10 more tonns are a big step up from the Pz IV,
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The fact that the Soviet rails were a different guage and there were a very limited number of them (I think less than a dozen main lines on the entire Eastern front) was a problem as soon as the Germans got more then a few hundred km from the border.
     
  11. DangerousBob

    DangerousBob New Member

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    The allies would have developed something if it became a problem. Through reverse engineering if necessary. But it defiantly would have helped.
     
  12. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The fuel guzzling and often unreliable Panther would possibly have done more harm than good, a 10% of long barrelled Pz IV in the force would probably have been enough to prevent the Red Army tankers from using the superior gun/armour combination of the KV to inflict some tactical reverses on the panzers.
     

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