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When did Germany lose the war?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by David Scott, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Anzac,you have still not given one proof for your claim that Moscow was saved by general mud (claim,ironically supported by ...Magenheimer:cool: ),all you have is a questionable statement by Tooze that on 8 october,the front of AGC was transformed in a quagmire ,nothing about the weather of the following days .(the description by Kershaw also is irrelevant,because, it is not dated :it happened when? It lasted how long ?)
    On the Russian strength:you only have the letter of Zhukow (of which date in october?) about the 90000 men,and nothing about the evolution of the following days
    On the German strength :you have NOTHING , you also are forgetting the distance from Briansk to Moscow :380 km.
    About Magenheimer :the fact that he is supporting the these of a Soviet preventive attack (on which I disagree), is irrelevant for the discussion if Moscow was saved by general mud .
    Mud or no mud,the Germans were advancing to Moscow;it took them 5 weeks to cover a distance of 38O km .
    It's on you to prove that they could do this much quicker without the mud,that they could capture without the mud .
    Last point :to say that the Germans ended at Moscow with the Rasputitza AND the minus 35 C of the blizzards , is of course nonsens :it is the Rasputitza,OR the minus 35 C,both is impossible .
    And about the minus 35C :I like to have some proof.
    On the AHF (Early and Harsh Winter ? thread),are available (for the Kalinin Front =NW of Moscow)the official temperatures for october(starting on 21 october),november and december):there is nothing about minus 35 .The source is giving :
    Before 4 november,temperature was above zero with rains,snow would melt down
    Strong freezing started on 11 november .
     
  2. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    This is all conjecture. The point that was made to you, on several occasions-which you are obfuscating with all this-is that the Germans would have fared better had they taken all the resources and effort used in building a useless surface fleet and used them to build submarines. The tonnage of the surface fleet built/laid down prior to September of '39 was about 374,000 tons, the equivalent of 486 Type VII U-boats @ 770 tons apiece.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    And,the point that I am making is, that your assumption, that the Germans could have taken the resources used to build a surface fleet, to build submarines, is WRONG .
    No Bismarck does NOT result in 50 submarines more .
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About general Winter,called by Anzac to assist general Mud as an excuse for the german failure in october/november 1941(no wintergear,minus 35 C):
    The questionable claim of no wintergear ,is irrelevant,because not important:we are discussing the préwinter period.
    The minus 35 C claim :I remain sceptical .
    Whatever,the following points are from the late Military History Forum (Outstanding performance of Soviet Armies) and mentioned by Andy W.
    Reinhard Klaus(Die Wende vor Moskau,pp180):It is clear without doubt, that the German Eastern Army was not stopped by the coldness, but even before the cold, because the catastrophic shape of her troops, because of the breakdown of logistics, and foremost because of the continuous resistance by the russian troops on the entire front of all 3 Army Groups .
    Quartermaster Wagner to Halder(23 november 1941):we are at the end of our personal and material power .
    Also from the MHC:A very important factor was the ability of the Western Front to recreate the front along the Mozhaysk line. :the Vyazma pocket was closed on 7 october,but not sealed .
    It is my conviction that,while the mud was delaying the Germans AND the Russians,it only was a minor,even negligible factor in the German failure during the autumn of 1941.The mud was delaying the Germans a few days,but it did not stop them:in the period between the end of Vyazma/Briansk and the end of november,the Germans advanced some 380 km ,as the crow flies(an average of 10 km a day,but in reality much more),but they were stopped by THE RED ARMY.
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Btw:I can advice all interested persons to read the concerning thread on The Military History Channell,and, especially, the interventions by Andy W.
     
  6. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    OK. I agree to disagree with you on this point.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    While it's by no means certain it is a possiblity. The end of summer halt was a planned logistics halt from what I've read. The end of autumn halt was due to a combination of things but the resistance of the Red Army was probably the most important.

    Actually a very strong argument can be made that it was. Furthemore if Germany speeded up the production of Uboats most produced prewar would still be type II's.
    Looking back on it with 20:20 hindsight you are perhaps correct but not necessarily. The German surface fleet certainly tied up large parts of the RN early in the war and without it Norway couldn't have happened. Devoteing more resources to raiders, subs, and planes might indeed have helped although I'm not sure that's the correct word to use if it ends up that several postwar German cities don't need street lights.
     
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  8. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Didn't you post earlier that this guy Magenheimer said the weather was tolerable, now are you saying he says the mud saved Moscow, which is it?
    Doesn't seem a reliable source.

    'During the last three weeks of October adverse weather conditions with heavy rain, snow showers, damp and penetrating mists made movement almost impossible on two days out of three (Clark Barbarossa).

    And as you say you've read Erickson, you must remember the number of time's he mentions the Germans trying to move forward through 'the sea of mud'
    And don't forget Kershaw.

    Not sure what German strength has to do with being slowed by the mud, and the numbers are pretty well known, but here are some figures, & of course they vary on who you read [which is one of the reasons I 'try' not to throw numbers around like confetti]

    For Typhoon the Germans had 3 infantry armies, 9th,4th & 2nd, 3 panzer armies, Hoth 3rd, Guderian 2nd, Hoepner 4th, with 14 panzer, 9 motorized, all up some 84 divisions with strong air support.

    The Sovs had some 77 divisions waiting for them.

    And i'm a little perplexed on why you put up the distance from Briansk to Moscow :380 km. because Guderian didn't reach Moscow, he headed to Tula, just 249 km from Bryansk & was still in the general area when the Soviets counter attacked on Dec. 5th.

    Compare that to Guderian traveling over 900 km [as the crow flies,in good weather] when he traveled to Kiev & back to Briansk while 'also' taking part in the destruction of 6 Soviet armies of some one million men along the way between Aug. 25 & Oct.10.

    The bulk of the German army moved on Moscow from Vyasma, 214 km.


    Extremely lame nit picking. Obviously It ment rasputista followed by Winter.


    Starts on page 16, check the map on page 17.
    http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you June 2009.pdf

    Early October major German offensives were launched toward Vyazma and Bryansk 250 km southwest of Moscow. On the third day a complete break-through was accomplished, and the road to Moscow appeared wide open. Weather forecasts were, however, unfavourable and the figures for German vehicle breakdown disquietingly high. During the last three weeks of October adverse weather conditions with heavy rain, snow showers, damp and penetrating mists made movement almost impossible on two days out of three (Clark 1995).

    The German army had no conception of mud as it exists in European Russia. Hitler and the OKW still believed that the mud could be conquered by brute force, an idea that lead to serious losses of vehicles and equipment. Motor vehicles broke down with clutch or engine trouble. Horses became exhausted and collapsed. Few Panzers was still operational. Large-scale operations quickly became impossible. The muddy October season 1941 probably was more severe than any other muddy season experienced during the whole German-Russian conflict in World War II (Raus 2003). Presumably the extreme mud period 10-25 October 1941 contributed as much as the following unusual cold winter to the failure of Operation Barbarossa.

    A sudden frost in late October cemented one of the German 6th Panzer Division's crippled panzer columns in frozen mud, and it never again moved (Raus 2003). For the still operational units, however, the frost once again made mobile operations possible, and the German Army resumed the advance towards Moscow. Blizzards and the increasing cold, however, made the conditions for the ordinary German line divisions verging on the impossible. Many of the German soldiers were without any clothing to supplement their uniforms except denim combat overalls. The impact of the cold was intensified by the complete absence of shelter; the ground was impossible hard to dig, and most of the buildings had been destroyed in the fighting or burned by the retreating Russians. The engines of the German Panzers and other vehicles have to be run more or less continuously, in order to protect them from freezing. The state of the German fuel supplies rapidly became wretched.
    Map showing the deviation of the average surface air temperature December 1941, compared to average conditions 1930-1939. Russia and Siberia was exposed to very low temperatures, compared to the meteorological planning horizon for Operation Barbarossa (1930-1939). At the same time, UK, USA and huge areas of Canada enjoyed above average temperatures. Data source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

    Hard Russian resistance and the cold winter finally brought Operation Barbarossa to a halt in the vicinity of Moscow, early December 1941. On 2 December 1941, the German 5th Panzer Division had penetrated to within 14 km from Moscow and 24 km from Kremlin, standing at the villages Dmitrov and Jokroma shortly north of the city (Raus 2003). At that time the Wehrmacht was still not equipped for winter warfare. Just like in Napoleon's campaign, frostbite and disease now caused more casualties than combat. Some of the German divisions were now at only fifty percent strength. The bitter cold also caused severe problems for their guns and equipment, and weather conditions grounded the Luftwaffe, to make a difficult supply situation worse.
    The Austrian General Raus, who was rapidly earning himself a reputation as one of the German army's foremost tacticians of armoured warfare, recorded the daily mean temperature near Moscow during the first part of December 1941 as follows (Raus 2003): 1 December -7oC, 2 December -6oC, 3 December -9oC, 4 December -36oC, 5 December -37oC, 6 December -37oC, 7 December -6oC, 8 December -8oC.


    Later in December temperatures again fell to no less than -45oC, and General Raus's 6th Panzer Division reported moderate and severe frostbite cases at the rate of 800 per day. The lowest temperature reported during the entire Russian campaign was -53oC, measured northwest of Moscow on 26 January (Raus 2003).
    There is no reason to distrust this information on air temperatures. Contrary to common belief, German panzer divisions were not made up by panzer regiments only, but also integrated a suite of other type of units like infantry regiments, motorcycle battalions and artillery regiments. And any artillery regiment would be accompanied by meteorological units, which by balloons and other means measured temperature and wind from ground level to several kilometres altitude, to enable calculation of correct firing data. The trajectory of long-range artillery grenades would easily take them 5-6 km into the troposphere, or higher. So, in all likelihood, the information on air temperatures was measured by people with meteorological training, using proper equipment. Also Russel (1980) concludes that December 1941 was unusually cold.

    The German equipment started to fail when the temperature dropped to -20oC (Ziemke 1987). At that temperature the ordinary recoil fluid used by the artillery and anti-tank weapons started to freeze, as did the lubricating oil on small arms and machine guns. This proved disastrous when the Germans had to repel ferocious counter-attacks by Russian infantry. Often only hand grenades would work. Vehicle, aircraft and even locomotive engines became extraordinary difficult to start. Tank turrets would not turn, and truck and tank engines had to be kept running constantly, which meant that a tank which did not move at all still consumed as much fuel in two days as a tank operating in battle normally did in one. In contrast, the Soviet T-34 tank, first encountered in June 1941, but only now beginning to appear in large numbers, had a compressed-air starter which could turn and start the engine even in the coldest weather (Bellamy 2007). In addition, its very wide tracks spread its weight so that it could roll over ditches and depressions holding 1.5 m of snow.

    Just when the sudden temperature drop early December 1941 was beginning to take its toll among the German soldiers still in need of proper winter equipment, the Red Army 5 December launched a massive counterattack on the Moscow front with fresh divisions just arrived from Siberia. The Wehrmacht was pushed back from Moscow. Also the operations near Leningrad further to the northwest were severely affected by the extraordinary cold conditions. Hitler himself for the first time expressed the opinion that it perhaps would be impossible to defeat the USSR (Clark 1995). Never again would the German Wehrmacht be able to take the offensive along the entire eastern front.
    It is unclear whether, as was the case with the D-Day landings in France in June 1944, Russian meteorologists were directly involved in the decision of when the Russian counteroffensive should be launched. According to German Intelligence gathered afterwards in 1942, Marshal Timoshenko had reportedly said that the Russians should go over to the attack when the first days of cold had broken the backbone of the German Army. Marshal Zhukov supposedly added that he expected the start and subsequent course of the offensive to depend on freezing off German equipment (Bellamy 2007). Russian meteorologists at that time were among the world leaders in long-range weather forecasting, and it is very likely that the Russian High Command (the Stavka) understood to make use of this meteorological knowledge. At least, from a meteorological point of view, the timing of the Russian counter-offensive at Moscow was perfect.


    And the effect of the Rasputitsa on German logistics from a local poster...





    But as Glantz suggests, even 'if' Moscow falls, the Soviets would raise more armies & take it back again.
    So invade Russia at you peril, because you only have a narrow window of good weather to do it in, or least have decent winter gear.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the temperatures mentioned by Raus (which I know) :you can't use these (DECEMBER!) temperatures in a discussion about the failure of Typhoon,because,on 23 november,the QMG,Wagner,wote :"We are at the end of our human and material resources";that means:eek:n 23 november,it was over,Typhoon had failed .Thus,the december temperatures are irrelevant .
    About the distance Briansk-Moscow :38O km.The point is that AGC(of which Guderian only was a part) had to go to Moscow(and even farther),that the bulk was starting from Wiasma,is irrelevant,because,without the units starting from Briansk,Typhoon would fail :the whole operation was depending 1)on the units who started from the farthest point2)on the speed of the slowest division,batallion .It is the same with a convoy :the speed of a convoy was depending on the speed of the slowest ship .
    About the German strength:I know that AGC had some 77 divisions,but,these figures as such are meaningless.The question is :how many of these divisions were operational,and when ? Fuel? Ammunition ?
    On 16 october,AGC (with 14 PZD)had 1217 tanks,Guderian had 248 operational tanks,Hoth 259,on 23 november (remember the quote of Wagner)Guderian had only 38 operational tanks,Hoth 77).
    There also is the following :the Wiasma pocket was closed on 7 october,but not sealed;Viazma was captured on 13 october,Mozhaisk and Maloyaroslavets on 18 october .That is implying that AGC was not ready on 8 october to start Typhoon bis,thus that the quote by Tooze that on 8 october,the front of AGC was a quagmire of mud,is irrelevant .
    Thus,saying that the Rasputitza was preventing on 8 october the advance of the Germans,is ,IMHO,wrong,because, on that date, the battles of Briansk/Wiazma were still going on .
     
  10. AlexReal

    AlexReal recruit

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    When Germans started to kill Jews, Gypsies, Russians, they lose the war.
    To kill civilians was so hard to them, and they asked help Ukrainian SS, Estonian SS, Hungarian SS and others. They killed about 15 million civilians in USSR.
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Good rational/reasoned post as I have come to expect from you. Love the glow in the dark German city image, very witty way to make a valid point.
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About Magenheimer,he is saying the following (and his oints are not contradictory)
    1)The week after 7 october brought again tolerable weather conditions for military operations
    2)If the Germans had started earlier,thus having more good weather,they had a chance to capture Moscow :an attack date for Typhoon between 20 and 24 september would have offered the possibility of destroying the Soviet forces opposing AGC,and of capturing Moscow before the autumn rains and the arrival of reinforcements from the Far East .A time span of between 7 and 10 days was wanting for a victorious conclusion of the campaign in the east .
    I disagree with his point two :
    a)attacking earlier would mean :not going south to Kiew
    b) the Germans had plenty of good weather in the summer and there was no victorious conclusion of the campaign in the east .
    c)the reinforcements from the Gar East only had a minor role in the autumn fighting (they formed some 10 % of the Soviet strength)
    d)essentially:the fact that AGC eliminated the opposing Soviet Forces in Briansk/Wyazma, does not mean that afterwards the same AGC could advance unchallengedly to Moscow,and was prevented to do this by the Rasputitza .
    After the battles of Wyazma/Briansk,AGC was already very weakened,the Soviets already strengthened,and the distance (for the units who were the farthest situated = Guderian) was enormous :the 2PzGr was still south of Kursk .
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I would go for Kharkov 1942 in Russia for these two reasons...

    Yes it was another victory for the German Army in Russia but here are my views. First Stalin woke up at long last and started to take in to account he could not expel the Germans from Russia and he could not run the war his way. So he stepped aside and started to listen to his Generals. The withdraw to Stalingrad fooled Hitler in to thinking at last Russia was on the way out. Wrong, they were learning how to fight.

    The second reason we now witness Hitler do the opposite my taking full control and Operation Blue was just madness! He suffered a set back in the winter of 41/42 but was still well entrenched in Russia. The drive to Stalingrad over stretched the Germans and the 6th Army paid the price.


    In the West Battle of Britain...

    Hitler lost at this Battle meant Sea Lion was in the end cancelled which gave the Allies the jumping off for the build up and Invasion of Normandy. Not forgetting Hitler declares war on America.
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Not only, there are (on post 208) a lot of questionable and wrong facts from Climate 4 you,but,one can even doubt the seriousnes,reliability of that source (better fit for the History Channel).
    Some exemples :
    The unusual cold contributed to the failure of Barbarossa :this is nonsens (raised to a square)
    a) on 23 november,Wagner (QMG) wrote the following :we are at the end of our human and material resources. This means :it is over.Thus,the unusual cold had to happen before 23 november .
    b) was there any unusual cold before 23 november ? Climate 4 you,of course is giving no proofs (as to expected).But I have (from the AHF )the official Soviet weather observations(for the daily LOWEST temperatures) for the Kaliningrad front (NW of Moscow),and,these are :
    11 november :-15 C
    12 :-15
    13:-22
    14:-16
    15:-10
    16:-10
    17:-9
    18:-12
    19:-8
    20:-9
    21:-7
    22:-6
    23:-5
    24:-7
    25:-9
    26:-16
    27:-13
    28:-11
    29:-6
    30:-3
    This is an average of -10 for the lowest temperatures. Is this unusual ?As Climate 4 you is giving no proofs,we savely can ignore this claim.
    Was this contributing to the failure of Barbarossa ? As Climate 4 you is giving no proofs,we can safely ignore this claim .
    An other one:the T34 appeared in december in large numbers :what is "in large numbers" ? On 1 decemberthe Soviet front units had 322 T 34 on a total of 1958(= some 16 %).Saying that 322 T 34 on a front from Leningrad to Rostov,is a large number,is, IMHO, qyestionable .
    The last one :(the old sh.t about the Siberian divisions) :eek:n 5 december,the Russians counterattacked with fresh (SIC) divisions , just (RESIC) arrived from Siberia (RERESIC).
    The truth is that on 1 december,the operational Soviet forces (Stavka reserve included) counted 4.564.000 men,and that the Siberian forces who participated on the counterattack against AGC, formed only 10 % of the forces committed .
    A detailed list of these Siberian divisions is available on the AHF .
     
  15. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Fine, then you can argue that it was IMPOSSIBLE. I disagree that it was IMPOSSIBLE.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What is your starting point? If we are to discuss it in detail we need a starting point. Certainly it was impossible in 39, and 38, and 37. How far back do you want to go? I'd assume we have to start some time after Hitler was in control of things.
     
  17. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Where are the extra shipyards to build this number to come from, the skilled tradesmen to build them, the massive amounts of copper and rubber used in building submarines, and the training resources to train the crews ?????
    There is also the fact that if the German navy doesn't have a surface fleet, the British can put all their resources into building escort vessels, and scale down their own major warship production.
     
  18. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    December 1941.
    With the failure of the German forces to defeat the Soviet Union in a short campaign, and the entry of the USA into the war it was only a matter of time when they would lose, not if.

    ps: The original German plan for the defeat of the Soviet Union called for the destruction of the Soviet Army within 400 miles of the border, if the Soviet Army was still functioning after the German forces had advanced that far, the planners were fully aware that logistic constraints would probably mean that the German forces would be unable to complete the destruction of organised Soviet resistance and that it would therefore mean a long campaign, which they would eventually lose.
     
  19. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    June 22, 1941.
     
  20. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    You cited my original argument, which was 5 years, say from '34 on (Although the Germans had already decided to rebuild the Kreigsmarine in '33, even befor the Nazis took power.). If they would have taken the resources used to build their surface fleet it could have been done. That's my argument, no matter how unlikely it was not impossible. Realistically I realize they would not have built the 500 as they wouldn't have seen the need, nor known how effective they would have been. And yes, they would not all have been Type VIIs, but a good many could have been as the first Type VIIs were built in '35.
     

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