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Battle of Moscow is not really talked about, But yet Stalingrad is more talked about. Why?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Franz45, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. avd

    avd Member

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    meaning of the Kursk is no doubt but u must understand that it became posible only after Moscow Battle, Stalingrad and everything happend before it.
    And no one can say what would be if...
     
  2. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    If.....? :eh:
     
  3. Noreaster

    Noreaster Member

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    Not to mention the overall strategic objective of Barbarossa. This was a heated issue between Hitler and Halder. Hitler wanting the the aim to be the destruction of the Red Army in the field and Halder with a rush on Moscow. This of course brings up the issue of Kiev and Smolensk and the roles these battles played on Typhoon.......
     
  4. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I must say that I am quite surprised that several very informed rogues continue to pursue the logistics in Russia as the main reason for not capturing Moscow.

    I was under the impression that enough evidence had already been presented by the same men who served in Operation Typhoon to have all but debunked this myth. Most notoriously was that of Gotthard Heinrici who after WW2 wrote why Germany had failed in Russia prior to Typhoon.


    According to him: "the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier" were at the top. Logistics and weather were at the bottom which he listed as more on the lines of inconveniences.

    Yet for some reason the TRUE top reasons (which the Germans themselves claimed) continue to get pushed aside in order to make way for logistics.....

    Bizarre.
     
  5. Noreaster

    Noreaster Member

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    So I guess the tactical superiority of the Wehrmacht on the battlefield in 1941 which lasted till early 1943 accounts for naught? The quote you use from Gotthard Heinrici "the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier" does carry some weight but I can also quote several experts that will say the primary reason for the failed Typhoon was a lack of serviceable Panzers for this offensive. I can understand Heinrici making this comment in the post 1945 era given everything that took place after Typhoon but in this sense I think he is well off the mark given the situation in the fall of 1941.
     
  6. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    How does this affect the failure of Typhoon?
    So then do so.
    So then you claim the Germans did not underestimate the Soviet structure and Russian soldier in 1941? If that is your argument then you are most certainly mistaken. There is no question that the Germans completely underestimated how strong a resistance the Soviets would pose and settled on absurd estimations for the successful completion of Barbarossa. As a result we see inadequate preparations made for an attack plan simply too large for the Germans to handle. The Germans considered the Soviets nearly sub-human and incapable of stopping their advance. This idea instilled in the soldiers and generals an untrue belief of superiority. We see this hubris hurting the Germans again at Kursk when they employed a simplistic plan which essentially was based on the belief that their panzers would role over everything. Similar things happened during the Fall/Winter of 1941.

    Logistics certainly did play a role in the German defeat in Russia and in other parts of the war, there is no question about it. However, I think Slon is correct in reminding us that during the Russian campaign many of those logistical problems came about simply because of underestimating the opposition. That is poor preparation, the War Ordinance department not issuing winter clothes because the belief was the Russians would be done by winter, not already preparing their trains for the guage switch, and simply taking on more than they could handle. All coming from "the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier"
     
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  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with Sloniksp and Noreaster :cool::logistics were not determinant,nor the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian soldier :the aim of Barbarossa was to defeat the SU in a quick campaign (see Hitler's directive ) ,thus not in november 1941 .
    In september 1941 Barbarossa had already failed,the Germans were weakened and the Russians were stronger (from 2.7 million in june to 3.4 million in september ),and in december 1941 there were 2.6 million Germans facing 4.6 million Russians ,thus the chances of Typhoon were very small .
    About the winter clothing :the winter clothing was of course not issued in june :cool:,because the war had to be won before the winter .
    Hybris had nothing to do with Kursk,which was essentially a battle of infantry .
    Barbarossa was based on the rightly belief that the SU could only be defeated in a quick,short campaign,before it could mobilize its superior manpower ,but the Russians mobilised immediately (not as in 1914 )and send more than 3 million men to the front till september and thus in september Barbarossa had become already a war of attrition,which the Germand could not win .
     
  8. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    LJad,

    You seem to contradict yourself. You claim it was not underestimation but then what do you call it when you think the enemy will not be able to mobilize fast enough but then do? I also don't understand what you suggest the reason for the German failure was?
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The winter clothing issue is a perfect example of the failure of German engineering and logistics. The clothing was available and sitting in warehouses in Germany. The problem was that with the number of trains per day available and the condition and number of tracks it was a question of whether to ship winter clothes or food, fuel and, ammunition. Guess which the Germans chose.

    The Germans knew about the gaging problem. What they didn't know or bother to determine were the little things about the Soviet rail system. Things like the fact the Soviets often laid track on unstable beds that reduced both the capacity in weight and also the number of trains that could use a particular rail line per day.
    Since the Germans didn't have the means to manufacture or import ballast to build a proper bed, didn't have the manpower for it allocated, nor had the equipment to place it they simply had to regage the track and hope for the best.
    There were too few coaling and watering stations. Not enough sidings. Few double tracks.
    Then there were problems with ties being poor quality wood, rotten, etc. These had to be replaced. The Germans grossly underestimated the number of ties that would be required.
    To make matters worse, railway engineer units got a very low priority on troops and generally got inferior quality ones leaving them with a crummy workforce using mostly, if not entirely, hand tools to perform their tasks.
    Prior to the invasion the Germans had their railway troops engaged in greatly expanding the Polish rail system. The planners were concerned with two primary goals in this: Capacity East and in moving population for the concentration camps etc.
    So, the capacity in Poland was oddly distributed with much of the rail lines being worthless for support of the Russian campaign. As dependent as the Germans were on rail lines they should have been far better prepared to deal with these problems.
    The Germans knew they would be crossing numerous wide rivers. Yet they made no special provisions for crossing these.

    The Germans should have known the Soviet road system was non-existant. They could have prepared for that. They didn't.
     
  10. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    This from the German generals who were hardly the masters of logistics and engineering.
     
  11. cross of iron

    cross of iron Member

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    Can't agree more. That must be among the deadliest military mistakes ever made in history. Hitler knew he only had a few months to defeat Russia or face a war of attrition, yet he deliberately prolonged the campaign beyond its planned length by wiping out enemy forces that had already been tied up and are of no offensive value, therefore was not a threat. The Russians lose a few hundred thousand troops that they can easily replace within a matter of months; while Hitler lost time, something which he himself knew was of decisive importance. Basically, the Russians lost something they could afford to lose while Hitler lost something he couldn't afford to lose. He had the initiative , but he CHOSE to lose the freaking war. For that reason, Hitler was solely responsible for Germany's defeat.

    His reasoning behind prioritizing the Ukraine over Moscow was that so he could capture the resources in the region. That choice would be perfectly logical IF he was fighting a war of attrition. BUT, I thought the plan was to knock Russia out before winter. Now, why would he need the resources so urgently there and then if the war was supposed to be over before the end of 1941. Funny how he decided not to issue winter cloth because he was sure that the war would have been over by then, yet he was so knee to quickly capture the resources as if to prepare for a prolonged struggle.

    The Russian logistic system was probably no better than its German counterpart, but it didn't stop the soviet flag from being hanged on the Reichstag.

    The stubborn German resistance in the last years of the war, like the heroic Russian resistance in the first years of the war, only served to make the job harder for the enemy; it didn't change the outcome. War is won by having a good strategic plan and faithfully implementing it. Hitler's decisions made an already difficult goal, as outlined in his shitty plan, even more impossible to reach.

    Rommel once a commented on the Italian army as having good soldiers but bad generals. Germany had superb soldiers, brilliant generals, yet it lost the war because it also had the worst Chancellor in its history.
     
  12. Noreaster

    Noreaster Member

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    This is just off the cuff and I will provide even more info on Typhoon when I dig up my material but to sum it up briefly and to quote: “The primary reason Typhoon failed was serious German operational mistakes (mentioned in my first post), combined with a logistic system that was not up to the task. The critical operational mistakes were: 1) Hitler and OKH’s failure to weight the main effort to seize Moscow, in that they maintained simultaneous offensives in the other two army groups that deprived Army Group Center of vital reinforcements and supplies, 2) Guderian failed to seal off the Bryansk & Truchevsk Pockets, which allowed thousands of Soviet troops to escape to Tula, 3) the OKH’s dilution of the main effort by directing 9th Army and part of 3rd Panzer Army to advance northwards towards Kalinin and Second Army to advance towards Kursk, 4) von Kluge’s deliberate disobedience in not supporting the second phase of Typhoon, 5) von Bock’s removal of virtually all of 3rd Panzer Army’s infantry divisions in order to reinforce the operationally useless fighting around Kalinin, 6) Reinhardt’s failure to maintain an adequate mobile reserve to safeguard vulnerable left flank, 7) the diversion of Luftwaffe assets to other fronts just as Typhoon was approaching success deprived AGC of vital close air support (HUGE) and 8) von Bock’s operational plan for a double envelopment ignored the shortage of fuel, distances, and terrain involved and weather constraints. In essence, Typhoon was a flawed plan, and initially successful due to the gross ineptitude of the Red Army."-Forczyk

    “Although the Soviets like to claim they stopped the German offensive, the performance of the Red Army against Typhoon was weak. Despite the fact that the (Soviet) Western Front had established a fortified line with reserves, Army Group Center penetrated the Soviet front line at multiple points and encircled the bulk of the Western and Briansk Fronts in a week. Other then a few examples of small units putting g up stout resistance, most Soviet units ran away or collapsed in front of the Blitzkrieg. Boldin’s defense of Tula was the only major Soviet defensive success during Typhoon.” -Forczyk

    On the issue of winter clothing:"contrary to popular myth, Hitler had not forbidden the issue of winter clothing. However, due to the limited rail capacity of the lines going into occupied Russia, winter clothing was assigned a much lower priority than fuel or ammunition. Much of the clothing was stockpiled in Poland awaiting transport"-Forczyk

    To add to this logistic tragedy "The Army's head quatermaster, Major General Friedrich Paulus, conducted a wargame in December 1940 which demonstrated that logistic arrangements would collapse before the Germans reached the upper Dnepr. However as the date of the offensive (Barbarossa) drew nearer the famously profesional German planners fudged the logistic plan again and again"-Winchester

    To answer some questions:

    How does this affect the failure of Typhoon? It does as the Germans tried to bite off more then they could chew by trying to do too much instead of keeping Moscow as the prime objective. To answer about the quotes look above and I have tons of other stuff I'm just lazy. Do I claim that the Germans did not underestimate the Russian soldier in 1941? hmmm No, but given the poor performance of the Soviet Army in '41 it is only natural that they should feel superior outside of Nazi propaganda. As for the Soviets putting up heroic resistance well that is outlined above. The one key element that helped the Soviets during Typhoon was their ability to generate new-albeit untrained and poorly equipped- combat units. Most of these units would collapse rapidly when engaged. Outside of the operational errors by the Wehrmacht the piss poor logistical system is the next major factor in Typhoons failure. Yes, we can go back on how ill prepared AGC was for an operation such as Typhoon, or that the German army was ill equipped for a pro-longed war, or if Hitler would have redirected those Armies in occupied France guarding against a non-existent British threat in '41 to AGC but to credit Typhoons failure to
    "the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier were at the top & logistics and weather were at the bottom" is in my opinion way off the mark.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well,it was no underestimation due to hubris or sense of racial superiority ;the Germans knew there was very little chance to defeat the SU after september because 1)they would be weakened 2)the SU would mobilize its manpower .The Germans had only resources for a short campaign,thus they planned a short campaign .
    You could say it was wishfull thinking,this is not the same as underestimation :they could only win,if they defeated the SU before it was able to mobilize and the German intelligence had no information that the SU could mobilize immediately,thus ... If you were the chief of the German intelligence and you knew that the Russian mobilisation would have effect immediately,would you tell Hitler and say :cancel Barbarossa ,knowing that the principal reason for Barbarossa was,that it was the only possibility (in Hitler's mind ) to win the war ,the SU beying Britain's continental sword :the significance of your massage to Hitler would be :kill your self,Germany has lost the war .
    If Germany could not defeat the SU before september,it could not do it after september ,because the Red army became stronger and the Germans weaker :the mean reason for the German failure in 1941 was not operational mistakes,nor failure of logistics :it was simply the numerical superiority of the Red army,without this the SU would have lost ,this does not mean that the SU won the war because of numerical superiority .
    If Typhoon had succeeded (what I am doubting ),what would have been the result ? The Germans would have to stop ,because advancing to the A-A line was impossible due to the winter and there would have been a campaign in 1942 with very little chances for the Germans .
    About the logistics :I don't think the Germans underestimated the difficulties ,these were a fact,they knew of the problems of the railways,they knew of the rasputitza ,.......The allied advance in the west had to stop in september 1944 because of logistics,one can not say that the allied generals were incompetent and that they underestimated the problems,the same happened in the east :the problems were real and insoluble .
     
  14. Noreaster

    Noreaster Member

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    I don't agree see my above post.
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Every one is talking on :if the Germans had done this or that or else,but every one is forgetting that there were two parties :the Germans and the Russians and every month the Germans became weaker and the Russians stronger .
    About Typhoon :if the Germans had won, what was the result ?
    1) the fall of Moscow ? Very improbable
    2) the collapse of the SU ?Very improbable
    3) a further German advance to the east ? Absolutely not :the winter would prevent any German offensive .
    The result would be the same situation as happened :continuation of the war in 1942 .
    Thus the importance of the Battle of Moscow is much exagerated and in fact an invention of writers to sell their books ;) (the public loving stories about decisive battles,but there were none in WW II )
     
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  16. Noreaster

    Noreaster Member

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    Yes but when folks decide to write off German logistical problems & operational indecisiveness as not the major causes of Typhoons failure is just plain wrong. To credit Soviet defensive actions as the main reason for the failure of Typhoon is ludicrous. As stated in my post above the operational errors committed by the Wehrmacht during Typhoon were horrendous and when you couple in the poor logistical situation as I have outlined the drive on Moscow indeed looks impossible but for some to say that "the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier were at the top & logistics and weather were at the bottom" is , as I have mentioned before, way off the mark. It shows no understanding of what took place during the actual operation. To make this even more off the mark this individual bases this on some archaic quote from a German General in which we are not so sure what context this very quote was being used in? Given this line of thinking why even research the Eastern Front if we can sum it all up in the “the gross underestimation of the Soviet Structure and the Russian Soldier were at the top & logistics and weather were at the bottom’ argument? I mean technically speaking you could apply similar arguments to every combat operation in history.

    While you state that writers might say this and that to sell books I can not agree more because since the fall of the Soviet Union a good deal of the Soviet material released has shed new light on operations on the Eastern Front. One must also realize that a great deal of this information is tainted via Communist propaganda. It is funny that despite the release of all this info the vast majority of German sources still hold up to this day. I will answer more later as I’M in a rush….later
     
  17. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Well thank you.

    Can you list the reasons for the lack of serviceable Panzers from say July to November of 41'?

    Noreaster, are you aware that Gotthard Heinrici was in command of the German Fourth Army facing Moscow in January of 42'? Considering his personal experience, rank during Typhoon and after, his access to documents and "backroom talk with other high ranking generals" which the average German soldier did not have, I can not think of too many people more qualified than he to make such a analysis. Those that I can, say the thing.


    LJAd, this is precisely the point which Gotthard Heinrici was trying to make.


    Ha! :D

    I would also say that had the German war machine received the same opposition from the East as it received from the West than Moscow would have fallen by September regardless of the rail system. ;)

    The Germans never anticipated on confronting such a determined and stubborn adversary. The logistics and planning that went into the war were based on an enemy that the Germans never encountered. Had they came up against a foe which they envisioned, then the logistics would not have been a problem. The hundreds of thousands of casualties which the Germans suffered in the opening months of the war in Russia (more than they had ever suffered prior) were not due to the difference in width of Russian tracks ;)
     
  18. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Agreed. One must also credit the failure of Typhoon with German divisions being depleted by as much as 50%. Any takers on how the German divisions became depleted? :D
     
  19. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Edit: Well, I should have read that your comment is about TYPHOON. Post deleted.
     
  20. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Triple C, I think :D me too :D

    ??:eek::eek: aahh.:D

    I am still laughing my head off :D its all Sloniksp fault...:D

    Regards
    Kruska
     

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