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6th Army commander.


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#1 FramerT

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:54 PM

This is'nt really a what-if, just would like one's opinion of "other" Commanders had they been in charge of 6th Army in Stalingrad.

Guderian/Hoth/ Rommel / Kesselring /etc. Would Hitler had sacrificed a Guderian? Would a Rommel had dis-obeyed and pulled 6th Army out before it was too late?

#2 PzJgr

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 02:06 PM

Interesting question. I would say that Hitler would not sacrifice his experienced and successful generals such as Rommel, Manstein, Rundstedt and so on. He did pull Rommel out of Afrika. As for Guderian, I would say the Hitler may have let him go.

As for responses, Rommel probably would have pulled out as would Heinrici, Guderian or Manteuffel. Shroeder, Model, Rundstedt would have stayed. Hard to say though. The collapse of the Hungarian, Italian and Rumanian fronts caused the counteroffesive to be so quick that there may not have been a chance to perform an orderly withdrawal and may have resulted in a melee towards Rostov
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#3 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 11:36 AM

Hard to say a thing about Rommel. he had made the decision to pull back at Alamein and once he heard the Hitler order that his DAK men could only die in their trenches with honor he cancelled the retreat. So not sure if Rommel would order a retreat from Stalingrad.

However Paulus never would have dared to go against Hitler´s wishes.And like we have read neither Manstein dared to order anything directly...

I guess it would depend on how things would go after that. Häusser left Kharkov against orders but as the later phases went excellently Hitler could not put him in the court, really.

I´d think Guderian, Hoth and Kesselring out of these would have come out and probably sacrificed their career as well. Some one might have lost his head as well but not Guderian, I think.

One of the problems here is like PzJgr says that the 6th Army held a big number of Soviet troops stuck for some 2 1/2 months.
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#4 Sloniksp

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 05:14 PM

I am going to agree with Kai on this one.... this really is an interesting question...

Rommel probably had a better chance of retreating then say Hoth or Paulus.
But then Again Hitler himself was in a stage of denial as to what was really going on at Stalingrad he just couldnt imagine that the city had not fallen yet.
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


#5 Jaeger

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 10:56 AM

Until the Germans were surrounded there was not an officer in the Wehrmacht that would have pulled out. Remember that there was only a tiny strech of land between the Wehrmacht and the Volga. Against any other nation of the world the Germans would have been winning. But Ivan gave his life to let the Red Army organise the counterstroke.

Of the mentioned German commanders I guess Guderian would have argued the most to attempt a breakout of the Kessel. This because he had moral courage and plenty of prestige. Guderian got the sack many times for his pursuit of his views. The least likly to do anything useful would be Rommel. He did not have the capabilities to command an Army, (as shown from 1942 untill his death) and would rather die than to be a falling star. Hoth I don't know, because I know to little of him. Manstein might have organised the Army differently and got all the way to the Volga. But I think that the Russians would have broken his flanks anyways.

I have always perceived the forces to be too small for the job. As the logistics got streched the advantage of the germans faded. The real strength of the Wehrmacht was fighting in the open anyways.
'We march. The enemy is retreating in transport. We follow on foot.' Lt.Neil McCallum 5/7 Gordons 19th November 1942

#6 Kai-Petri

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 02:52 PM

Von Reichenau would have been an interesting one in Stalingrad. He was originally the commander of the 6th Army but died and Paulus replaced him. Nazi to the bone but also a very feared man.
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#7 Daniel Jones

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:52 AM

Guderian is the only real possibility I see here pulling out prior to any direct order from der Fuehrer. However, as was the thesis of a paper I wrote in university, had there been another commander of 6th Army, such as those mentioned above, I think the situation at Stalingrad very well might have been much different. Paulus was inexperienced and unimaginative in my opinion and incorrect for the job from day one.
Cheers,
Daniel

#8 Za Rodinu

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 11:46 AM

Now all we need to know is whether and where your paper is available online :D (please?)

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#9 Daniel Jones

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:30 AM

Not at the moment, but I might see about making it so.
Cheers,
Daniel

#10 SFRJ19

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 02:35 AM

It just seemed like it didn't matter to Hitler, he would have sacrificed anyone, probably even his family if it came to it. Soviets did a great job stopping the German 6th Army in Stalingrad overall.

#11 Za Rodinu

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 08:09 PM

Well, 6th Army almost defeated Chuikov's 64th, but then the Soviets were really letting them draw further and further along the lobster trap, feeding 64th drip by drip, while concentrating all the rest in the flanks.

And welcome aboard SF!

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#12 PzJgr

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 08:51 PM

Well, 6th Army almost defeated Chuikov's 64th, but then the Soviets were really letting them draw further and further along the lobster trap, feeding 64th drip by drip, while concentrating all the rest in the flanks.

And welcome aboard SF!


This is very true. I wonder if Chuikov was aware of his army being sacrificed to entice the Germans? I wonder how he felt if he was aware. Beevor's book does present some instances where Chuikov was emotional about what happened to his men but did not say whether or not he knew about the massive reserves being built up around him.
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#13 alephh

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:28 PM

I also think it's a question about what the commander in question would have done before and during the soviet attack:

- Keep the armoured units intact and not commit them to the city filled with rubble.
- Keep horses with the 6th Army, and thus enabling 6th Army to move without losing all the haevy equipment immediately.
- Immediately commit the reserves (which later got ordered to each and every direction) Hitler had placed in the rear areas to counter any soviet attack against the axis forces securing the flank.


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#14 C.Evans

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:00 PM

I know that Gotthard Heinrici was mainly a "Defensive General" and would have been an interesting choice to command 6th Army @ Stalingrad. One thing remembered is that he never lost a battle (or one that i'm aware of at this time.)
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#15 PzJgr

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:15 AM

This is true of Heinrici. He had a knack of pulling back his troops right about the time the Russians would let loose their infamous pre-attack bombardments. Thus the Russians would waste their ammo on empty land.
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#16 C.Evans

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

This is true of Heinrici. He had a knack of pulling back his troops right about the time the Russians would let loose their infamous pre-attack bombardments. Thus the Russians would waste their ammo on empty land.




Exactly-and just like what happened at the Seelow Heights.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#17 tommy tater

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:31 PM

but I think that we all are forgetting that the 6th army's organisation was excellent, even when surrounded in their cauldron & I must congratulate Paulus for that. If you read enemy at the gates by william craig you will get a different perspective of Paulus altogether I certainly did.

Edited by tommy tater, 03 January 2009 - 01:34 PM.


#18 Za Rodinu

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:28 PM

What made 6th Army's "orginization" so "excellant"?

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#19 Wolfy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:11 AM

I never understood why the Germans wasted such a professional, veteran, and irreplaceable formation like the 6th Army in wasteful street fighting. They should have expended the Italian and Romanian formations into the city......

#20 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 10:07 AM

Just maybe the Italians and Romanians would have objected to this "cannon fodder" treatment :P.
The Romanians had achieved their war objective (Bessarabia) and by mid 42 were already asking themselves what they were doing that deep into Russia.
And anyway the Germans believed they could take Stalingrad so why leave the glory of capturing "Stalin's City" to an ally?

#21 Wolfy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:45 PM

Just maybe the Italians and Romanians would have objected to this "cannon fodder" treatment :P.
The Romanians had achieved their war objective (Bessarabia) and by mid 42 were already asking themselves what they were doing that deep into Russia.
And anyway the Germans believed they could take Stalingrad so why leave the glory of capturing "Stalin's City" to an ally?


Certainly. But they needed powerful, professional grade offensive units with large motorized elements like the 6th Army for further assaults deep into Russia.

When the going started getting tough in Stalingrad, it would have make more sense to start withdrawing German units (after the breakthrough) and replace them with their Allied forces (and force them to fight to the death).

In any event, the Germans were never afraid to treat their allied civilian populations like crap..why stop now at such a critical moment?

#22 Za Rodinu

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:50 AM

What TOS said: "And anyway the Germans believed they could take Stalingrad so why leave the glory of capturing "Stalin's City" to an ally? "

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#23 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 01:02 AM

It really doesn't matter who is commanding 6th Army at Stalingrad. This unit was hosed right from the start. Most of its (and AGS) motorized vehicles were seconded to move supplies forward from Stalino, the furthest forward rail head available. At Stalingrad 6th Army was operating nearly 300 miles forward of the nearest rail line. The Luftwaffe was flying in critical supplies before the Soviet counteroffensive began.
The Panzer divisions assigned to AGS were initially in the best shape of any on the Eastern Front. They had two battalions of tanks versus one and a bit in those in AGC and AGN. There was a general shortage of motor transport and the army group was also short on horses.
In addition, only the lead assault units were up to about 90%+ strength. The rest of the group was at about 75% or worse. And, that is at the start of the offensive!
There was a general artillery shortage and most infantry divisions were operating 3 or 4 gun batteries versus the 6 gun batteries authorized on paper.
There were nowhere near enough railway engineers, or construction engineers (and as we have seen elsewhere on this board, they were poorly equipped) to ensure even a minimal level of road and railroad maintenance occured.
Half of AGS was also made up of Romanian, Hungarian, or Italian divisions generally of dubious quality.
So, I really doubt it matters who is running things. The Germans are doomed.
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#24 Tomcat

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

It really doesn't matter who is commanding 6th Army at Stalingrad. This unit was hosed right from the start. Most of its (and AGS) motorized vehicles were seconded to move supplies forward from Stalino, the furthest forward rail head available. At Stalingrad 6th Army was operating nearly 300 miles forward of the nearest rail line. The Luftwaffe was flying in critical supplies before the Soviet counteroffensive began.
The Panzer divisions assigned to AGS were initially in the best shape of any on the Eastern Front. They had two battalions of tanks versus one and a bit in those in AGC and AGN. There was a general shortage of motor transport and the army group was also short on horses.
In addition, only the lead assault units were up to about 90%+ strength. The rest of the group was at about 75% or worse. And, that is at the start of the offensive!
There was a general artillery shortage and most infantry divisions were operating 3 or 4 gun batteries versus the 6 gun batteries authorized on paper.
There were nowhere near enough railway engineers, or construction engineers (and as we have seen elsewhere on this board, they were poorly equipped) to ensure even a minimal level of road and railroad maintenance occured.
Half of AGS was also made up of Romanian, Hungarian, or Italian divisions generally of dubious quality.
So, I really doubt it matters who is running things. The Germans are doomed.



What? thats absurb, they still have there magical fairies.:D
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#25 Triple C

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:13 AM

The Germans could not extricate the Sixth Army if they tried after the encirclement. The Sixth was too tired, out of ammo and men. Had they tried, they would find the equavalent of two Panzer Corps and numerous infantry formations waiting for them. The Russians had more reserve at hand to contain a breakout.

Was Fredrick Paulus incompetent? One US Army officer's study of Stalingrad relates: Given Soviet defensive tactics at Stalingrad, could the Germans have won? Perhaps they could not have done any better than they did at the tactical level. If the Soviets intented to use tactical losses to gain time at the operational level of war, perhaps the German solution to this gambit lay at the operational level.

In any case, when the Stalingrad Operation began the Germans were doomed.




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