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"Son of Barbarossa" or "S.o.B." - a What-If where Barbarossa is made to work.


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#1 Marmat

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hi Slipdigit!

This is an old Barbarossa what-if vs. German Southern Campaign that I did up a few years ago. I was considering posting it under Alternative History for the good folks to have at - submitted for your approval as stipulated:

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I did this post up 10-12 years ago now, still agree with most of it, it's self explanatory:

The purpose of this post is to show that while "Barbarossa" was ultimately a failure, it was possible for Germany to defeat the Soviet Union in 1941, hence the title "Son of Barbarossa" or "S.o.B.".

It’s frequently postulated that a German southern strategy, coupled with a more severe U-Boat blockade, knocking Britain out of the war before attacking the USSR, would have, or at least could have resulted in German victory. The difficulties with politics, relying on too many other counties, which would not co-operate, conflicting sphere's of influence and allies, limited shipping space with no viable option to increase same, Italian army and navy inadequacies, not to mention the German need for raw materials, ULTRA and U-Boats that didn't exist, yet, and most importantly the will to do it, appear to be insurmountable in this scenario. On the other hand, if "Barbarossa" is tweaked, fine-tuned by adding things that actually occurred at an earlier or different time, or were within the realm of possibility, it can be made to work, with other bonuses to boot.
 
"S.o.B.".

"The German General Staff assumed that victory would be easy, and "Barbarossa" was poorly prepared compared to the 1940 Norwegian and French campaigns. There was little attempt to discover Soviet strength or the conditions in which the war would be fought. In short the plan was simply to attack the Red Army. It was without: a true strategic objective, fully rectified deficiencies discovered in France, adequate intelligence, a willingness to negotiate to accomplish limited goals, consideration for a coordinated attack by Japan in the east, and it was saddled with an unduly harsh and unnecessary "Lebensraum" occupation policy. Yet Germany almost succeeded. Given the overall political, economic, military and strategic realities of the time, which caused decisions to be made, the decision to attack the Soviets in 41 was sound, compared to any plan for action in the Med., which was not. Barbarrossa however was unsound also."
 
I've posted this before, on another board - now it's time to correct those errors:

"There was little attempt to discover Soviet strength or the conditions in which the war would be fought."

There are 2 primary problems encountered when dealing with German Intelligence in this period, one of which is the fact that the fractious, competitive nature of the various German Intelligence agencies, and lack of a central, high level committee (other than straight to Hitler) to evaluate their findings, displays a lack of intelligence on Germany's part. The 2nd is that intelligence was considered by the Wehrmacht to be less important than leadership, and that "men, fire and will" won battles - intelligence was subordinated under operations. That wasn't always the case, and it changed later in the war when Germany was on the defensive, and intelligence had to make up for military weakness.

Before and for Barbarossa, the Abwehr established "Stab Walli" outside of Warsaw, to direct secret ops. against the USSR. OKH relied on the 12th Branch, FHO or Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East), under Lt. Col. Eberhard Kinzel. Kinzel was responsible for gathering intelligence on the armies of Poland, Scandinavia, the lower Balkans, Africa, the Far East, the US, South and Central America, and the USSR. Sound like too much? It was, especially since Kinzel was by experience an infantry staff officer, not a specialist intelligence officer. He spoke some Polish, but no Russian. The result of Kinzel's work was that recon aircraft over the frontier, and limited reports from General Köstring, German Military Attaché in Moscow (largely unheeded, by his later account anyway), were the primary sources of intelligence for Barbarossa - the rest were largely guesses, false, and completely inadequate for attack in depth. German maps of June 1941 show many errors:

Soviet formations under the old organization of 1938-40, the new mechanized Corps under District command, not Army command as was the case, and the Germans had no knowledge of the "front of reserve armies", and did not realize that there was a secondary concentration of strategic dimensions involving formations moving from the East. Add this to what can be described at best as "fog" concerning tanks such as the T-34 and KV's, economic intelligence, industrial capacity, and the terrain, weather conditions and transport infrastructure, there's a rationale for the inadequate preparations and Staff work by OKH for Barbarossa. Yet the German General Staff, by its own account, in its heyday would require 5-10 yrs. of in depth intelligence preparation before any worthwhile operational planning could have started on any project, but in 1941 even the British had better intelligence on the Soviets than the Germans did.

 
That need not be the case, as it changed in time anyway. In Dec. 1941, 3rd Branch or Fremde Heere West assumed intelligence gathering on the US. Then in the spring of 1942, Kinzel was replaced by Col. Reinhard Gehlen. In short, he was outstanding in this role, becoming known as a "Spymaster's Spymaster", his work on the USSR was later used by the CIA, he remained in charge of West Germany's Intelligence until his retirement in 1968. In early-mid 1942 Gehlen reorganized FHO, moved the USSR to the forefront as the primary target, and also assumed control of the Abwehr's "Stab Walli". Soviet primacy, and a measure of centralization was thus achieved. Operational intelligence improved immensely, and accurately, to the point that Hitler did not even believe Gehlen's reports.

It begs to be asked if this had occurred one year earlier, whether or not Hitler would have even attacked the USSR. For my purpose he does, and does so in 1941 (if not 1939-40 if the info. was available then); if for no other reason than Stalin had planned to produce 5,500 T-34's in 1941, and that war with the Soviets was inevitable in Hitler's opinion. Where Kinzel is concerned, that slip in the tub resulted in a bad fall. Poor Kinzel broke his back, was unable to resume his duties and committed suicide (as he would in reality after the war), Gehlen taking over before Barbarossa to make a real difference, supported by OKH when before Hitler.

Nobody says this is easy but at this point the Germans had opportunity to hugely improve their intelligence, here are just 2 available sources:

Military - Before Hitler, there was close liaison between the German General Staff and the Red Army. In the late 20's and early 30's for example, German and Soviet officers, technicians and troops worked together testing tank prototypes and equipment at Kazan (also known as "Kama"), and aircraft at Lipetsk. Were there no friendships, or at least contacts made?

Civilian - the Germans had made inroads in the East in WW1. Later Soviet measures in the area included population dislocation, forced agrarian collectivization, and industrialization, the local peasantry bearing much of the burden, and the animosity. In short, the intelligence failings of Barbarossa can be overcome rather reticently, despite Hitler, OKH, Stalin's Purges, and Soviet Security, if there is a will to do so.

Remember, "Knowledge is Power".

"Consideration for a coordinated attack by Japan in the east":

Germany, aware of the Red Army's strengths and dispositions, requires Japan's assistance to at least tie up Soviet troops in the Far East, if not actively engage them, so that the risk of attack remains. A deal, of mutual benefit has to be worked out, for my purposes within the context of the times, and obviously there can be no Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact.
In 1936 the Japanese embarked on an audacious Synthetic Oil Programme to produce 14 million barrels/yr. by 1943. It was a dismal failure, by 1939 only 0.5% of the required synthetic oil was produced, a mere 1 million barrels were produced in 1943; Japan lacked the industrial expertise at this time, but not the resources or industrial capacity, to produce what was needed. Germany however did not lack expertise; their petro-chemical industry was a world leader. By comparison, in 1939 with unrestricted imports still available most of the year, Germany produced 2.2 million tons of synthetic oil; 5.7 million tons or 55% of the oil used by Germany in 1943 was home synthetic. Germany did provide Japan with the technical expertise for synthetic oil production, but that occurred in January 1945! By then it was of no use to anyone, both countries had lost their wars.

Co-incidentally, in 1936 Japan and Germany were negotiating what became the Anti-Comintern Pact (signed in Nov.). Hitler at that time had wanted a stronger commitment from the Japanese. A sharing of synthetic oil production expertise is put on the table - German expertise and equipment, for Japanese assistance against the USSR if required, or when called upon, not that difficult to fathom given that the Russians had been Japan's traditional enemy for some time - it was after all Soviet Russia, Hitler made no bones about the fact that war was inevitable between Soviet Russia and Germany - both nations were intensely anti-communist. A later, as yet unforeseen proviso after the defeat of France could be made for action (joint, not necessarily cooperative) against the British Empire; with Italy's partial entry into the Pact a year later it was largely seen as being Anti-British at that point at any rate. An economic deal, involving natural resources, wasn't without precedence either. Much of the USSR's hydroelectric infrastructure and equipment was of German design. Whether or not the Nomonhon Incident still takes place, is irrelevant. For my purposes it does; Germany wasn't drawn into it anyway and it merely caused more Soviet troops to be sent to the East, and Japan's intentions to be regarded with more suspicion.

The Japanese are kept in the picture when the Nazi-Soviet Pacts of 1939-40 are worked out, the Japanese-Soviet cease fire of Sept. 1939 still takes place. After the attack on Poland the Trans-Siberian Railway was used to facilitate trade between Germany and Japan with the Allied blockade in place; German industrial equipment and personnel, for Japanese tin, copper, and rice; from Manchukuo, Korea, and the Japanese main Is., rubber from the Dutch East Indies. The added benefit to Germany is that the synthetic oil production facilities would be built in the Manchukuo coal fields, where the Nissan Corp. was already administering the Manchukuo Heavy Industries Development Corp. In order to protect its petro-chemical industry from Soviet incursion, Japan by default is required to beef up military assets in Manchukuo anyway.

 
Japan also gains a great deal. Western control of Far East oil and embargoes become superfluous, for obvious reasons. The Japanese are able to hold off from initiating hostilities with the West until the issue is decided by Germany against the Soviets, while the Kwantung Army does what it takes to prevent the movement west, of Soviet military assets. The minimum being, threatening, or severing if required, the Trans-Siberian Railway, the only way of moving troops and equipment from the East in any volume (in any case this was greatly feared by the Soviets). Britain, France and the Dutch (France and the Netherlands already defeated by Germany in 1940) are next, within both Germany's and Japan's sphere of influences, which unlike Germany and Italy, do not impinge on each other; joint action may be proposed for Madagascar, with British trade interdiction by submarine by both as a minimum commitment. US participation in the war may be up to US discretion; there may not be need for a Pearl Harbor attack.

 
"Fully rectified deficiencies discovered in France"

I'll deal primarily with 1 tactical, and 1 logistical failure:

- German tank/antitank defences were found lacking when tackling heavily armoured tanks such as the Matildas, and Char 1 bis., resulting in tank losses. Intelligence would show that the T-34 and KV's would pose similar, if not more severe problems, especially if encountered in supporting numbers. Tank and AT capability must be increased to deal with this threat.

- Logistics, primarily involving transport. Despite the excellent French transportation infrastructure, fuel shortages, which were only made good by using captured stocks, as well as ammo. shortages, sometimes severe, were reported; distances in France paled compared to those before Moscow. OKH updated training manuals, stressing the need for proper logistical preparation, and servicing - but this was all at odds with Barbarossa. That cannot be the case. OKH must stress that logistics must not be overlooked, and that its written policy be adhered to.

Tanks, AT guns and SP AT guns:

This is not the problem that it appears to be. While those T-34's and KV's still have to be taken out, the German's had the tools already, they just didn't use them.
As historian Col. A.J. Barker states "It is ironic that the industries of the conquered nations could provide only limited assistance when they were finally harnessed to the German war effort, and very few of the thousands of captured vehicles were suitable for employment in the field." The implication in part involves German industry; there's more money to be made in building a new vehicle, than refurbishing or upgrading a captured one. Given Italy's government, bureaucracy, and industry it's easy to see why Ansaldo continued to produce its own inferior designs, despite the army's plea for Ansaldo produced Pz III's and IV's under licence. But Germany was not Italy, and some of those foreign upgraded, upgunned types were later modified and utilised - necessity is the mother of invention, but it wasn't enough, wasn't in time, and wasn't sent to the right places.
 

The German's committed the following tanks to Barbarossa by type:
180 Pz I,
746 Pz II (plus 85 IIFL),
187 Pz 35(t),
772 Pz 38(t) - both Czech designs,
965 Pz III,
439 Pz IV,
and 230 Command Tanks, plus 227 Rumanian tanks and a strategic reserve of about 450 tanks.

Of these, only the Pz III's and IV's were sufficiently armoured, and gunned to tackle Soviet armour, and some may even argue (I would) that they weren't even that at all. I'm not going to touch them, i.e. L/42 vs. KwK 39 L/60 5-cm on the Pz III, despite the fact that intelligence info. may dictate that R&D on more powerful guns be sped up, and more armour required.
Being phased out and by this time out of production, Germany produced approx. 1,800 Pz I, of which approx. 1,000 remained on inventory. Although obsolete, the Pz II was still in production, approx. 1,100 on inventory. Likewise the Czech 38(t) was still in production, about 1,170 would be produced.

Then we have the French. In many ways, French armour was superior to that of the Germans. The French built the following before their fall in 1940:
Char Léger Hotchkiss H-35, 400,
H-39, 1,000,
Renault R 35, 900,
SOMUA S-35, 400,

Naturally not all were seized - many were damaged or destroyed in combat, good only for spares, plus a number remained in the French colonies. Some of these vehicles made it to the East in one form or another under a variety of names, to make up for the loss of German tanks. Many more were used by occupying German forces in the West, being reclaimed and used by French forces after their return in 1944. They were well armoured, the major failure of French tanks was their one-man turrets, but they were available for Barbarossa and properly equipped with equipment such German radios, more could have been used in one form or another. Conditions in the East wouldn't have been any harder on French tanks than German, if they were properly maintained.

Most of the larger and slower, or smaller and lighter, seized French and British types (which I haven't mentioned), which arguably weren't suited to Blitzkrieg, could be retained for occupation forces, training etc. - the British weren't able to return to France any time soon after Dunkerque any way.
As far as AT capability, likewise by 1941, the German standard AT gun, the 3.7-cm Pak 35/36 was too light, the 8.8-cm Flak 18, 36, 37, not a Pak or dedicated AT weapon was bulky and on the heavy side, the capable 5-cm Pak 38 in service but in numbers too small, the even more capable 7.5-cm Pak 40 not yet ready (I'm not going to deal with turreted tank guns). The result was that by the fall of 1941, too many German tanks had been taken out to credibly maintain the offensive, by then in Russia proper. However that need not be the case because the Germans still had a range of capable weaponry in between at their disposal:

Low:
3.7-cm Pak 35/36 - traveling weight 970 lbs., shell weight .78 lbs., muzzle
velocity 2,495 ft./sec.

High:
8.8-cm Flak 18, 36, 37 - - traveling weight 15,126 lbs., shell weight 20.34 lbs.,
muzzle velocity 2,690 ft./sec.

Effective Intermediate:
5-cm Pak 38- traveling weight 2,341lbs., shell weight 4.54 lbs.,
muzzle velocity 2,460 ft./sec. (AT round)

First off, the Germans already had a pair of 47 mm AT guns at their disposal, which approached the Pak 38 in performance:

- The French Canon de 46 antichar SA mle 1937 (47 mm) (later 1937/1939 and 1939 models too)
travelling weight 2,403 lbs., shell weight 3.8 lbs., muzzle velocity 2,805 ft./sec.
This gun gave the Germans fits in 1940, they used it widely as the 4.7-cm Pak 141(f). Some later did find themselves atop French tanks in German service as Panzerjager. They were given a great deal of credit in knocking out British armour and stalling Op. Goodwood in 1944. They could/should have been sent East in 1941.

- The Czech Skoda 47-mm kanon P.U.V. vz 36 AT gun
travelling weight 1,334 lbs., shell weight 3.6 lbs., muzzle velocity 2,543 ft./sec.
This was one of the most potent AT guns of its day, renamed 4.7-cm Pak 36(t) in German service; later arming Panzerjager as well.

The German's had by this time seized a variety of light and medium artillery pieces which served in a variety of roles. As AT guns they fired heavy shells at relatively low muzzle velocities. These included the French Schneider Canon de 105 mle 1913, and the smaller Atelier Bourges Canon de 105 court mle 1935 B, the Czech Skoda 76.5-mm kanon vz 30 and 100-mm houfice vz 30, 100-mm houfice vz 14 and houfnice vz 14/19 (also seized from Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia), and the British Ordnance, Q.F., 25-pdr Mk I. Many found themselves in service against the Soviets, many more were incorporated in the Atlantic Wall. I'm not really all that concerned about their AT capability, but as a source of carriages, shields and spares. For example, when needed the British used the 25-pdr in the AT role in North Africa, its carriage was also used to mount 17-pdr. AT guns that were known as "Pheasants" - they were a successful compromise.

This next gun is key however; the ubiquitous French 75's. After the fall of France thousands (over 4,500) of them were seized and stockpiled in storerooms by German forces, not knowing what to do with them - more were seized from Poland and Greece. The updates were standard Canon de 75 modele 1897/33, renamed as the 7.5 cm FK 231(f) or more commonly as the 7.5-cm FK 97(f) in German service. They were light for the artillery role, but when confronted by the Soviet T-34's and KV's, French 75's were taken from those storerooms, adapted with strengthening bands around the barrel, fitted on 5-cm Pak 38 carriages, a muzzle brake was added to reduce recoil, and special AT ammo. was produced. These stopgap guns known as 7.5-cm Pak 97/38 (as differentiated from the 7.5-cm Pak 40 or the KwK 7.5's) were rushed East, and they were capable of defeating those Soviet tanks.

Germany also had access to AA guns, which could have been used much like their "88"s, or self-propelled:

1) The British Ordnance, QF, 3 in 20 cwt (3" or 76.2 mm) gun was still the standard AA gun for the BEF and was preferred by crews over the 3.7" because it was lighter, more mobile, simpler, and easier to use. The BEF left almost the Army's entire complement in France.
travelling weight 17,584 lbs. (on a nifty 4 wheel platform, outrigger feet attached, and it included ammo. lockers), shell weight 16 lbs., muzzle velocity 2,000 ft./sec.
Of those left in the UK, some 100 carriages were converted to rocket launching platforms, their barrels were mounted in Churchill tank chassis's as tank destroyers, and as late as 1944 there were plans to mount another 50 onto 17 pdr. carriages as AT guns.

2) The French had some 1,696, 40 mm (Bofors produced under licence in Poland) and 75 mm AA guns. The French series of 75-mm AA guns, some dating from WW1, had been updated to the Schneider Canon de 75mm contre aeronefs mle 17/34 standard. Amongst the most modern were Canon de 75mm contre aeronefs mle 1933, Canon de 75mm contre aeronefs mle 1932 and 1936. They were renamed 7.5-cm Flak M.33(f), 7.5-cm Flak M.17/34(f), 7.5-cm Flak M.1932(f) etc., in German service.
travelling weight 11,684 lbs., shell weight 14.2 lbs., muzzle velocity 2,297 ft./sec.

The Germans later had as many as 160 of the 7.5-cm Flak M.33(f) in service protecting the Reich. In 1941 RAF Bomber Command's performance was abysmal, those guns weren't needed there.

3) Lastly the Swedish Bofors 75-mm and 80-mm Model 1929 and 1930.
To avoid some of the conditions of Versailles, Krupp sent a team to work in Sweden in the 20's. Both Krupp and Bofors developed 75 mm. AA guns, the Krupp gun evolved into the "88" series (although there was also a WW1 progenitor), the Bofors 75-mm came out at about the same time. Loa and behold they both shared a number of features in common, the Bofors being simpler and easier to use - why the Chinese, and the Dutch (for the East Indies) bought them too.
travelling weight 9,259 lbs., shell weight 17.6 lbs., muzzle velocity 2,461 ft./sec.

These potent guns were also purchased by Finland, Hungary and Greece. The Greek guns fell into German hands, Germany having access and a willing partner in Sweden could have purchased more, or produced them at the Kongsberg Arsenal plant in Norway where they produced the Bofors 40 mm guns under licence as the 4-cm Flak 28 (Bofors), or Poland.
Note that these capable French, British and Swedish guns were all easier to move, and had lower profiles than the Flak "88"s.

The following is just a partial list of vehicle types and components already mentioned by gun, and the year they were developed:
4.7-cm Pak (Czech)
- Panzerjager I, Pz I, 1940
- Lorraine Schlepper (French), 1941
- Renault Schlepper, (R-35), 1943
- Panzerspahwagen, Panhard, 1942
 
 

I'm sure there are sources out there i.e. other than mine, which have stats. different than those I quoted. I'm sure they are generally correct, I'm not about to argue minor points. I am also well aware that travelling weight, shell weight, and muzzle velocity alone do not establish a sound AT weapon, and that there are many aspects, some of them intangible, which also go to make that determination. I use them in the general sense.

Transport:
The half million or so trucks that were in fact used for Barbarossa would be properly maintained for "S.o.B." (see above and below), allowing for much greater serviceability but even that isn't enough.

By the late 30's, the German military transport inventory included over 100 different vehicle types in service. The system was rationalized under General von Schell, Director of Motorization, to 30 vehicle types, by far the most numerous was the Schell "Typ S" 4X2, (Typ "A" was 4X4 - "A" for "Allured") which were basically commercial 4X2's with only superficial details to identify them as military vehicles. Conditions in the East, compared to France demanded 4X4 performance as a minimum, however 4X4's weren't stressed. From 1937-44, Opel produced some 70,000 of their capable "Blitz" 3 ton GP "Typ S" trucks, but only 25,000 "Typ A" trucks. Some 90,000 heavy duty 4X4's would've made a huge difference, likewise from other German manufacturers like Mercedes, and Borgward-Bussing, while truck and vehicle sources already under German control (see below) added to heavy haulage capacity, and made up the difference in 4X2 transport.

Add to this French half-tracks; the P 107 produced both by Unic and Citröen-Kégresse, the most numerous in an Army that used many, and many different types of half tracked vehicles. The design was sound; the US Army M3 Half-track track system was based on that of the French Kégresse track.
The German's renamed them the U 304(f), and they were treated exactly like the SdKfz 250, for towing artillery and AT guns, some later mounting AT guns on their hulls. Most were retained in France; many were taken over by French troops after the Invasions of France and put back into use. The capable Lorraine APC was also taken over for use by German forces and renamed the Lorraine Schlepper. Also the Panhard et Levassor Type 178, and Modéle 1935 armoured cars, known as the P 204(f) in German service (some later used in the East as anti-partisan). Again, these were encountered by the French in 1944 and taken over. The design was sound; Renault began building an up-gunned version again in Aug 1944. These half-tracks and
armoured cars were needed in the East in 1941, as personnel carriers, prime movers, for recon., even tank recovery, if for nothing else.

On top of this the BEF, a motorized formation left almost 90,000 vehicles in France after Dunkerque - the equivalent of more than the past 2 yrs. of military truck production in Germany i.e. 32,558 trucks manufactured for the military in 1939, 53,348 in 1940, 51,085 in 1941. Considering those of the French, plus Steyr of Austria, Tatra and Skoda of Czechoslovakia, and Botond of Hungary also built military Schell "Typ S" trucks, and a variety of "Typ A", 6X6 and 6X4's. For Barbarossa, the Germans had incorporated some of the vehicles seized in Poland, and conscripted from their own civilian population - they could have used more Austins and Renaults. Overall the 42 million French were a motorized society, having more vehicles pre-war on French roads than Germany (78 million) and Italy (43 million) combined - 2,269,000 vehicles vs. 1,656,000 + 372,000. Despite Autobahns and Autostrade, part of the problem for Germany was that Germans relied heavily on their excellent railway system; the Italian's on their merchant marine. I'm not talking about using every Parisian taxi, but there was a great deal of slack, compared to Germany and Italy, and French commercial vehicles in German military livery, would not be that dissimilar from those "Typ S" already in service. They have to be used, or available to follow the early breakthrough in 1941, not later.

It may be argued that there is a plethora of types, and subtypes, which amount to a logistics nightmare up above, the Germans did make use of a variety of captured equipment - nightmare not withstanding. Likewise, while it's true that many captured armaments, vehicles and components found themselves in various roles in the East later in the war, as I've shown, they were available in 1941, and not used.

Lastly, where transport is concerned are the railways:
This is actually more important, because the Ost-Heer never did have enough automotive transport to move its armour to the front; they relied on the rails because they had to.
It was well known that railway track laid in the USSR, Finland, Latvia and Estonia was 5' broadgage, compared to track in Germany, Rumania, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland which was Central European gauge - 4'8 1/2". Again, poor staff work allowed logistical problems to occur. The troops operating the railways or Eisenbahntruppe were inadequate to the task, and civilian railway personnel from the Reichsbahn were brought in that 1st winter, which helped a great deal. For "S.o.B." the Eisenbahntruppe have to be moved into Rumania with the first German troops to maximise their railway system. The Reichsbahn under Rail Transport Minister Dorpmüller has to be given authority over the Soviet railways as soon as seized, with the full support of Organization Todt, to the point that Hiwis are drafted for local labour, and projects in the West delayed. Track, sidings, turntables, repair shops and railway facilities including North/South lines must be converted, C.E. locomotives and rolling stock prepped for the more demanding service in the East, spares and proper fuel coal provided.

Fuel:

More, and more demanding vehicles, means a larger fuel requirement. Despite the campaigns in Scandinavia, the Low Countries and France, and the Battle
of Britain, Germany finished 1940 by adding to her fuel surplus:

Year End Military Stocks by Type - 1940, in ,000 Metric tons: aviation fuel (+102, to 613,), auto petrol/gasoline (+319, to 599,), and diesel (+146, to 296,) increased in 1940. Plus overall production increased in 1941:

Overall Annual German Production by Source in ,000 Metric Tons:

1940 - Home crude - 1,465, Home Synthetic, 3,348, Import, 2,075,
Total, 6,888, Used in Year, 5,856.

1941 - Home crude - 1,562, Home Synthetic, 4,116, Import, 2,807,
Total, 8,485, Used in Year, 7,305.

In short, despite Barbarossa and a decrease in military stocks, overall Germany showed a surplus of almost 1,200,000 metric tons of oil production at the end of 1941 - Germany was not without oil, more has to be directed for military use. What's of even more importance, before the opening of hostilities with the USSR, a major oil producer still an ally of sorts, and trading partner, further stock piling can still occur in 1940-41 i.e. before initiating "S.o.B.", to take control of those oil producing assets. Production of high quality, wide temperature variation engine and chassis lubricants must be stressed from those oil imports, as they are sometimes hard to produce from synthetic oil. This can be manufactured in Germany; should Stalin ask why? Because conditions in French and British Africa can be hard on engines (wink) - that's what Stalin wants to hear anyway.

"Saddled with an unduly harsh and unnecessary "Lebensraum" occupation policy"

I was going to deal with this first, but the more time you spend on it the less important it becomes. I had intended on Nazi Germany waging a political war over communism, using the anti-Stalin sympathy in the Ukraine and Byelorussia, and court nationalists and anti-Communists like Stepan Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko to set up independent states within the German sphere much like Slovakia. Also I'd intended on using Soviet prisoners to harvest Ukrainian wheat to keep the locals happy, before converting them against their former Soviets masters and using them en masse as per Vlasov's Russian Liberation Movement. First, whether or not all that can occur within a scenario involving Hitler is debatable, despite acting on accurate intelligence on the USSR. I mention this only in passing, I don't believe any of it is necessary for "S.o.B.".

I have no intention of being cold-hearted but ultimately neither Lebensraum, nor the Final Solution caused the Barbarossa assault to fail. The prolongation of their war against the Soviets brought their Lebensraum policy back to haunt the Germans, the persecution of Jewish scientists was partly responsible for ultimately giving the A-Bomb to the US, but by then Germany was out of the war. Neither was a problem in 1941, even less so for "S.o.B.", the quick knock out punch originally intended for Barbarossa. Later occupation may be a problem, but that isn't of "S.o.B."s concern. Partisan activity was relatively light, before the realities of German policy and occupation set in, even then Partisans often faced extinction at the hands of the Ukrainians. Some 50% of all partisans were party or Komsomol members ordered to stay behind, and were considered alien by the local rural populations (as were Red Army stragglers), which in many instances exterminated them. In any case, in this, the early phase of the German-Soviet war, partisans weren't yet trained in irregular warfare and the Wehrmacht found it relatively easy to wipe them out. Even as late as Feb. 1942 there were only about 20 Partisan attacks/month over the whole railway system under German occupation, compared to 730 later in Sept. - "S.o.B." should be completed long before the Partisans make themselves felt.

"a true strategic objective", "a willingness to negotiate to accomplish limited goals"

Stalin himself stated that 75% of the Soviet armament industry was concentrated in the area of Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev and that a 150 mile advance to the east of these areas "might" cripple the USSR. I'm not going to argue strategy here; Moscow vs. Leningrad, Kiev, Baku, the Urals themselves or all of the above. The object is to improve the Ost-Heer's ability to achieve those goals to outright defeat the USSR, and within 1941, early 1942 and/or have an alternative.

The alternative: "limited goals" is a negotiated settlement, using Bulgaria, perfectly suited as an intermediary. The minimum German requirement would be the terms negotiated in the Brest-Litovsk, Russo-German Peace Treaty of 1918, which the victors of the war in the West had declared void, but which German leaders prior to Hitler had aspired to, but Hitler had relinquished after the Polish campaign. Stalin would recognize a measure of legitimacy here (they'd been negotiated and accepted by Lenin), plus in July 1941 Stalin summoned Bulgarian envoy Stamenov and offered similar terms to Hitler, but the Bulgarians refused to make the overtures. If accepted, you have to wonder what the ensuing peace, or likely later continuation of hostilities would be like. In any case, "S.o.B." would be validated.

I know this is a best case scenario, with the benefit of retrospection. But in execution and planning Barbarossa had nothing in common with Overlord, yet it could be argued was an even larger, riskier endeavour. It can also be argued that the German General Staff was the best in the world; if Barbarossa doesn't resemble Overlord, then it should have, and certainly could have.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Slip,
Denis

 

#2 Slipdigit

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:09 PM

We sure can't disapprove this one.

Y'all have it.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#3 LJAd

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:05 PM

I have a lot of objections.
Let's start with the claim that the German intelligence was incapable,maybe,it is the opposite:the Soviet security services were very efficient .I also do not believe that the British knew more about the SU than the Germans .
I know that there was not much informations about the forces beyond the depth of 300 km,about the restructuring of the tank and mobile units,etc,but,had the British more informations ?
Second :the myth of the super spy Gehlen :at the beginning of november 1942,FHO was still believing tat the main Soviet attack would be launched against Army Group Centre.Btw :Gehlen was forced to quit(in disgrace),when it had become public knowledge that the Bundes Nachrichtendienst was full of Russian spies .
Btw :that Kinzel had no spy experience is irrelevant,Gehlen also was an outsider .
But,more fundamental : I object to the argument that the mistakes of the German intelligence were influencing the outcome of Barbarossa :IMHO,the mistakes of FHO were irrelevant .If the FHO had knew all about the Soviet strength (and their ability to mobilize and send to the front monthly ONE million men),what would change ?NOTHING:the German strength was a given ,and,this was dictating the planning of Barbarossa .There was no other plan possible .
IMHO,it is also questionable that 75 %of the Soviet armaments production was concentrated in Leningrad,Moscow,Kiewbecause ,in 1941,of the 4867 tanks and SP that were produced,only 1127 were produced in Moscow and Leningrad ,no at Kiew .(Source :RKKA on Armchair General(production of AFV's),saying that an advance of 150 miles east of Moscow could cripple the SU also is questionable,because the armaments industry of the Ural was located 800 miles east of Moscow.

#4 Marmat

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:19 PM

... a disclaimer!

This dates back to the 90's, at the time I used reputable sources, sources that most choosing to respond here would recognise. But you're not looking at a Doctorate Thesis, sources, notes ,bibliography attached, and cross referenced. I still own these sources, but after 12 years I sure as H*ll can't remember who, what, where, why, or how came from!!!! Therefore I'm not going to defend it otherwise it would resemble:

1 - "it is also questionable that 75 %of the Soviet armaments production was concentrated in Leningrad,Moscow,Kiew" - that was from a direct quote of Stalin, right or wrong.

2 - "mistakes of the German intelligence were influencing the outcome of Barbarossa" - I believe I said lack of, not mistakes.

3 - "I also do not believe that the British knew more about the SU than the Germans." - well, someone of note said that!

If I was to defend everything here, I would be down to response #3 way too often, and for that I apologise to all in advance - consider it a piece of fluff if you will.

Attached File  800px-75mm_m97-38_hameenlinna_1.jpg   172.91KB   6 downloads

Edited by Marmat, 27 November 2011 - 11:27 PM.
French 75 converted to 7.5-cm Pak 97/38


#5 Black6

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:31 PM

I object to the argument that the mistakes of the German intelligence were influencing the outcome of Barbarossa :IMHO,the mistakes of FHO were irrelevant .If the FHO had knew all about the Soviet strength (and their ability to mobilize and send to the front monthly ONE million men),what would change ?NOTHING:the German strength was a given ,and,this was dictating the planning of Barbarossa .There was no other plan possible


German available strangth may have been roughly a given for the June 1941 time frame, but the operational plan and strategic goals for Barbarossa could have certainly been changed in light of more accurate intelligence estimates. The estimates of Soviet strength, dispositions, resolve and force generation drove the operational plan, not German strength.

#6 LJAd

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 06:10 PM

No,what was the most important,was the German strength .
Barbarossa stated that the Red Army had to be defeated in a short campaign .Why? Because,if there was a long campaign Germany would become weakened,and the SU would become stronger.This was a given and could not be changed .The Germans failed in august.Why ? Because the SU was mobilizing faster(from 22 june on,and,not after 10 weeks) and bigger (one million men a month were sent to the front)than the Germans assumed .
If the Germans knew the truth,could they change the operational plan and the strategic goals,while AT THE SAME TIME conserving a chance to win in a short time (10 weeks) ? NO.
The facts were what they were :in the initial period,both had the same strength:2.7 million,but,while the Germans could add 0.9 million men,the SU would add more than 6 million.
Could the Germans triple their initial strength (add 5.4 million men ) as the Soviets could ? NO
Thus,without a miracle,Barbarossa was doomed .

#7 efestos

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:42 PM

I understand that this excellent post is about Barbarossa, but begins with the assumption of "knocking Britain out of the war" and that ...IMHO perhaps the proposal should go back to an earlier time: To knock GB out of the war should have had an adequate air-naval doctrine, which would include appropriate cooperation of LW and the Kriegsmarine ... and resources to achieve an effective blockade against GB. The pre-Nazi Germany should have made an agreement with Japan similar to that made with the USSR in the 20's to boost the development of naval warfare: The U-boats would have had better design, better manufacturing processes... like to assemble prefabricated sections of the U-boat, more crews ... would have improved the fight against convoys, air-sea cooperation, air attack and reconnaissance at sea. The torpedoes wouldn't have had fails.... Above all, Hitler should not have signed the Munich agreement to violate it few months later. Then was impossible a new agreement with GB.

Railroads: I guess that it was cheaper to change the width of eighty locomotives than the gauge of ten thousand miles of railway and all the soviet captured rolling stock. It was very easy in the cars. But impossible with the locomotives... Russian locomotives worked in the Russian winter, with Russian water and low quality coal. And booting from the border, the train would have followed the troops from the first day until the first bridge .. And the material and the engineers might have arrived there earlier.

Edited by efestos, 08 December 2011 - 11:47 PM.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” (George Orwell, 1984)

#8 Sloniksp

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:11 PM

German intel istimated that the Soviet Union would not be able to raise more than 250-300 divisions. Years earlier, however; Stalin issued a civilian decree in which a large part of the population would receive at least "boot-camp" training just in case (very similar to what Israel has today). It is with this "draft" that Russia was able to draw from what seemed an endless pool of reserves at an alarming rate even when Germany was achieving remarkable victories. There was simply no way for Germany to know a head of time that she would be facing an enemy which would raise 500 divisions....
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#9 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

On the hardware issue in 1940 when Fiat-Ansaldo signed the deal to license the Daimler-Benz DB.601 aircraft so it had good relations with the Mk III's producer and a historic example of licensing.
So as the scenario above points out if Hitler had a greater knowledge of what he faces in the USSR he would be more keen to improve the Italians in North Africa in order that he would have to deploy less German forces there and to prevent them from invading Greece.
So he could have offered the MkIII license to the Italians in 1940 as he did with the Panther in 1943.
This would suit the Italians with the P40 tank long behind its planned production date.
Alternately Hitler could have help solve the P40's engine issue early.
Either way we could see the early introduction of 3 Italian Armour Divisions in Libya in 1941 with better tanks that could tip the balance.
This would then allow in 1942 with Egypt captured the transfer of some armour to Russia.
2 well equipped Italian Armoured Divisions could make a big difference against the Soviet counter offensive around Stalingrad in 1942.

Alternately as Hitler originally intended Libya could be held with no offensive action (put some one other than Rommel in charge) with one German and One Italian Armoured Division which would allow an extra German Armoured Division to be deployed in Russia in 1941 as well as two Italian Armoured Divisions.

#10 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

Hitler could have also relaxed his attitude to Vichy France.
In May 1941 under the Protocols of Paris the French agreed to produce 600 Somua 40 self-propelled 75 mm guns for Italy and Germany.
However Hitler was reluctant to allow this production so it did not happen
These would have been of great use on the Eastern Front and or in North Africa.

#11 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

To some up then based on the scenario above.

Hitler persuades Mussolini not to attack Greece in October 1940.
Mussolini will instead attack Malta to gain Italy alternate glory.
Centauro Armoured Division can be deployed in full to Libya in late 1940 and may well save the Italian Tenth Army from destruction at Beda Fomn.
Hitler should send only the 5th Light Division under Von Thoma instead of Rommel to fight a holding action with Centauro.

Hitler should also inform Mussolini about his plans for the invasion of the USSR and request an Italian Expeditionary Force of 20 Divisions.
2 Armoured, 3 Cavalry and 17 Infantry.
This can be added to Army Group South.

The Mk III tank license should also be extended to Slovakia, Hungary, Finland and Romania.

Meanwhile Barbarossa should begin on May 15th 1941 even if the conditions are less than perfect with several rivers still overflown and ground conditions not ideal.
This tended to be the case for Army Group Centre and Army Group North in particular on the 22nd of June in actual history with the swollen river situation and wet ground.
However it did not hold up the advance as any river crossings were taken before being destroyed and the swimming Panzers played a very useful part.
This will allow a much longer good weather campaign season before the autumn rains hit.
With no heavy campaign in North Africa and no Balkan loses the Germans should be able to scrape together another 3 Panzer Divisions in 1941 and a huge amount of extra transport.

Hitler Should also attach the Slovaks and Hungarians to Army group North and use their Infantry to storm Leningrad.
With the Extra Armour Army Group South should be able to take Kiev with help from AGC.
AGC should then be able concentrate on Moscow.

Will this defeat the USSR in 1941?
I doubt it but it will help a great deal.

#12 lwd

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

... Mussolini will instead attack Malta to gain Italy alternate glory.

With what? And how happy will he be without a navy?

Centauro Armoured Division can be deployed in full to Libya in late 1940 and may well save the Italian Tenth Army from destruction at Beda Fomn.

Can it? There's a very good chance that the RN will have established control of the Med following the debacle at Malta.

Hitler should also inform Mussolini about his plans for the invasion of the USSR and request an Italian Expeditionary Force of 20 Divisions.
2 Armoured, 3 Cavalry and 17 Infantry.
This can be added to Army Group South.

Assuming the Italians go along with it after looseing North Africa and the better part of their navy.

The Mk III tank license should also be extended to Slovakia, Hungary, Finland and Romania.

And how long does it take them to be able to produce these vehicles?

Meanwhile Barbarossa should begin on May 15th 1941 even if the conditions are less than perfect with several rivers still overflown and ground conditions not ideal.
This tended to be the case for Army Group Centre and Army Group North in particular on the 22nd of June in actual history with the swollen river situation and wet ground.

Then conditions will be even worse for them and given the drying between May and June all along the front the Germans are likely to have problems with swollen rivers and mud. This is likely to slow them down even more than the Soviets do during the first several days. It will also allow the Soviets time to regroup and establish defensive positions.

However it did not hold up the advance as any river crossings were taken before being destroyed and the swimming Panzers played a very useful part.

Swimming panzers can cross rivers in full flood? Note if they are slowed much at all by the mud those river crossings that historically were not destroyed are likely to be.

This will allow a much longer good weather campaign season before the autumn rains hit.

But the first halt wasn't due to bad weather it was due to them running low on men and supplies. Nothing you've postulated above improves this situation.

With no heavy campaign in North Africa and no Balkan loses the Germans should be able to scrape together another 3 Panzer Divisions in 1941 and a huge amount of extra transport.

But while the trucks will be useful it doesn't address the main problem which was advancing the rail heads. It does burn additional fuel and create an even heavier load on the already overloaded log system though.

Hitler Should also attach the Slovaks and Hungarians to Army group North and use their Infantry to storm Leningrad.

So now he has even more infantry that has to try and catch up with the panzers. Infantry that historically wasn't as well motivated as the German infantry was. Then there's the question of when the Finns come in.

... Will this defeat the USSR in 1941?
I doubt it but it will help a great deal.

The question is whom will it help. There's a very good chance that you end up with North Africa in British hands by mid 41, the Med a British lake, Italy considering dropping out of the Axis, Germans bogged down well short of their historical positions, and the Finns sitting it out.

#13 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

In reply to the above.

Taking Malta was well within the historic options of the Italians right up to late 1942.
Indeed its what the British and Germans expected them to do when they entered the war.
Any Royal Navy attempted interference in daylight would have been suicide against massed Axis airpower.

Swimming panzers can cross rivers in full flood? Note if they are slowed much at all by the mud those river crossings that historically were not destroyed are likely to be.


Not only can they but they did.

I doubt the Hungarians or Slovaks would let anyone down.

They fought well in the war even faced with far superior Soviet equipment outside Stalingrad.
This will be far less of a problem in urban warfare.


But the first halt wasn't due to bad weather it was due to them running low on men and supplies. Nothing you've postulated above improves this situation.


And later great delays caused by the mud in October.
This will not happen with an earlier invasion.
They will have around a month of extra good weather.

#14 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

It will also allow the Soviets time to regroup and establish defensive positions.


At the head of Germanys supply lines with overwelming airsuperiority im sure that's just what the Germans would like.
More large pockets to be destroyed.

#15 lwd

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

[quote name='British-Empire']In reply to the above.

Taking Malta was well within the historic options of the Italians right up to late 1942.[/quote]
Options correct. How successful it would have been is another question. Italy was never really able to challenge Britain for sea control of the Med. Attacking Malta would have forced them to do so and forced them to use a huge quantity of oil, perhpas more than they had depending on when the attempt was made.
[quote]Any Royal Navy attempted interference in daylight would have been suicide against massed Axis airpower.[/quote]
Norway and Crete rather call this to question. What's more you've moved the LW to the East in this variant I believe, haven't you?

[quote]Not only can they but they did.[/quote]
Source please. I've seen rivers in full flood that I wouldn't want to take a boat across much less an armored vehicle.
[quote]I doubt the Hungarians or Slovaks would let anyone down.[/quote]
Your doubts are noted. However they don't really mean much without facts to back them. The language problem alone would have caused some friction. Then there's the question of transport, how much did these units have and what type? And where did they start out? How far can you move them ahead of time without setting off warning bells? If you have to move them a significant distance after the action starts there's another demand on your log system.
[/quote]And later great delays caused by the mud in October.
This will not happen with an earlier invasion.
They will have around a month of extra good weather.[/QUOTE]
But does it offset the delays introduced by the mobility problems due to the ground and river conditions in the first few months? If they start two months earlier but don't get as far and have to make their initial halt two months ealier as well then the Soviets have more time to gather forces and set up defences as well.

#16 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

Options correct. How successful it would have been is another question. Italy was never really able to challenge Britain for sea control of the Med. Attacking Malta would have forced them to do so and forced them to use a huge quantity of oil, perhpas more than they had depending on when the attempt was made.


The Italian Navy no more has to control the entire Mediterranean to take Malta than I have to control my street to beat up some one in my bedroom.

Norway and Crete rather call this to question. What's more you've moved the LW to the East in this variant I believe, haven't you?


Crete is a prime example of the disaster that awaits the Royal Navy caught in daylight near Axis airpower.

#17 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

[QUOTE]What's more you've moved the LW to the East in this variant I believe, haven't you?[/QUOTE]

No.

[QUOTE]
Source please. I've seen rivers in full flood that I wouldn't want to take a boat across much less an armored vehicle.[/QUOTE]

Will have a look for you

[QUOTE]Your doubts are noted. However they don't really mean much without facts to back them. The language problem alone would have caused some friction. Then there's the question of transport, how much did these units have and what type? And where did they start out? How far can you move them ahead of time without setting off warning bells? If you have to move them a significant distance after the action starts there's another demand on your log system.[/QUOTE]

Do you have no knowledge of the Hungarian fighting record in the USSR?

They will have around a month of extra good weather.[/QUOTE]
But does it offset the delays introduced by the mobility problems due to the ground and river conditions in the first few months? If they start two months earlier but don't get as far and have to make their initial halt two months ealier as well then the Soviets have more time to gather forces and set up defences as well.[/QUOTE]

First few months?
Was it wet in July too?

We are starting May 15th instead on June 22nd.

#18 lwd

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

No.

So you've commited only one division rather than the AK and prevented the Balkan war and yet you are still sending the historical LW force to the Med?

Do you have no knowledge of the Hungarian fighting record in the USSR?

Not in detail but the latest question wasn't about their fighting record it was about their mobility. The German infantry divisions fell behind the panzer divisions why would one not expect the minor axis allied divisions to do the same if not more so?

They will have around a month of extra good weather.

But does it offset the delays introduced by the mobility problems due to the ground and river conditions in the first few months? If they start two months earlier but don't get as far and have to make their initial halt two months ealier as well then the Soviets have more time to gather forces and set up defences as well.


First few months?
Was it wet in July too?

We are starting May 15th instead on June 22nd.

So part of may and part of June. The point is while the weather may be ok during that period the conditions that effect the forward movement of the German forces aren't. Furthermore if the initial push is slower the Soviets have more time to react and that will slow things even more. Your month of better weather looks like an illusion to me.

#19 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

So you've commited only one division rather than the AK and prevented the Balkan war and yet you are still sending the historical LW force to the Med?


As it was originally sent to defend Libya.

Not in detail but the latest question wasn't about their fighting record it was about their mobility. The German infantry divisions fell behind the panzer divisions why would one not expect the minor axis allied divisions to do the same if not more so?


So you are dropping your enquiry into Hungarian fighting abilities then?
I dont want the Infantry to keep up as I stated I wanted the extra Panzers to push on and take Leningrad on the bounce when they had the opportunity.

So part of may and part of June. The point is while the weather may be ok during that period the conditions that effect the forward movement of the German forces aren't. Furthermore if the initial push is slower the Soviets have more time to react and that will slow things even more. Your month of better weather looks like an illusion to me.


Even if you postpone 2 weeks it gives you nearly 4 weeks extra good weather campaign.
However I would be happy to go with May 15th still as any Soviet firming up of defenses will only mean more troops encircled.

#20 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

If course it was perfect weather for the German airforce from mid May onwards so I would not want to miss this advantage.

#21 lwd

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:26 PM

... So you are dropping your enquiry into Hungarian fighting abilities then?

I still suspect it was not up to the first rank German divisions but as you state city fighting tends to be a leveler. How they were equiped and what their supply priority was could have some impact though.

I dont want the Infantry to keep up as I stated I wanted the extra Panzers to push on and take Leningrad on the bounce when they had the opportunity.

Right, taking a major city with an armored force. Sounds like a good reciepe for looseing the armored force for little gain. Without adequate infantry armor is at a significant disadvantage in a city. You also need to make up your mind. Does the armored force do it or do the Hungarians?

Even if you postpone 2 weeks it gives you nearly 4 weeks extra good weather campaign.

If you include good conditions for making a rapid advance as part of the definition of good weather, no it doesn't.

However I would be happy to go with May 15th still as any Soviet firming up of defenses will only mean more troops encircled.

Or not. Even if it means more Soviets encircled initially if they fight longer and inflict more losses on the Germans the point will come sooner where the Germans are no longer able to incircle the Soviets.

#22 British-Empire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

Right, taking a major city with an armored force. Sounds like a good reciepe for looseing the armored force for little gain. Without adequate infantry armor is at a significant disadvantage in a city. You also need to make up your mind. Does the armored force do it or do the Hungarians?


As I said if the opportunity to take the city on the march comes along (as it did in real history) then the Panzers should take it.
If not the Hungarians and other can storm it later.

If you include good conditions for making a rapid advance as part of the definition of good weather, no it doesn't.


Firm ground and clear skys are good conditions.

Or not. Even if it means more Soviets encircled initially if they fight longer and inflict more losses on the Germans the point will come sooner where the Germans are no longer able to incircle the Soviets.


Yeah that point will come in 1943 not June 1941.

#23 lwd

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

....Firm ground and clear skys are good conditions.

But the ground wasn't "firm" in a good part of the region in May and even into June. There went your month.

Yeah that point will come in 1943 not June 1941.

I never said it would come in June of 41 but given your scenario we might start seeing cases of it in August or September.

#24 British-Empire

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

But the ground wasn't "firm" in a good part of the region in May and even into June. There went your month.


Well poor ground conditions did not hamper AGN or the German invasion of the Balkans.

I never said it would come in June of 41 but given your scenario we might start seeing cases of it in August or September.


Yes im sure after the 6 Gladiator fighters on Malta had broke the back of the Italian airforce in June 1940 the Italians would sued for peace.

#25 lwd

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

Well poor ground conditions did not hamper AGN

They didn't? Care to support this?

or the German invasion of the Balkans.

Were the ground conditions bad in the Balkans? Somewhat different topography and climate as well, no? On the otherhand it appears that ground conditions did indeed hamper them to some extent. From:
THE GERMAN CAMPAIGN IN THE BALKANS (SPRING 1941): PART II

...
Advance elements of this division were to be in line by 9 April. However, icy roads delayed the movement to such an extent that the tail elements did not reach their destination until 15 April.
...
the movements of all three divisions were hampered by heavy rains,
...
Meanwhile, the 5th Panzer Division became temporarily stalled along the poor roads near Pirot.
...
On 10 April cold winds and intermittent snowstorms hampered the movements of the advancing Germans, and flood waters interrupted the crossings at Maribor during the day.
...

I guess that's enough to make my point.

Yes im sure after the 6 Gladiator fighters on Malta had broke the back of the Italian airforce in June 1940 the Italians would sued for peace.

???? where did that come from.




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