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Why did Operation Barbarossa fail ?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by KiwiTT, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's ignoring the spring "mud season"
    Dig in where?
    They most emphatically were not. And that's with the historical operations. You are throwing in more troops and a higher optempo.
     
  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    Completely agree with LWD. The logistical tail was just not coping. The slow rate of converting the Russian rail gauge to the German one meant that there was only a very limited number of major railheads available to supply the Army Groups, and these were miles (and I'm talking of 100's of miles rather than 10's) from the furthest advance reached meaning that the great distance from railhead to front line had to be traversed by wheeled/horse drawn transport - transport that was at breaking point due to lack of maintenance, strain of continuous operations, weather, enemy actions etc. In the run-up to Op Typhoon the Army Groups, especially AG Center, just wasn't receiving the amount of supplies it required due to this logistical 'over-reach' and lack of railheads nearer to the center of operations.

    Source: War Without Garlands by Robert Kershaw.
     
  3. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    Quite happy to learn otherwise but please provide your source for this.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  5. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    As this report shows logistical demands were vastly over estimated.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol6no4/pdf/v06i4a07p.pdf

    No serious problems in supply happened till December.
     
  6. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Operation Barbarossa was put back from its initial date of May 15th by Hitler at the end of the March which would make it impossible for the May weather to be a factor.
    The only factor was the Balkan campaign.
     
  7. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    I shall see if I can find the weather reports of the time.
     
  8. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    everyone here seems to have covered all the reasons, but the most important reason it failed was, of course, the mind of Adolph Hitler. Most senior German officers had fought in World War 1, some having fought the Russians on the eastern front (there was an ostfront back then too.) and almost every German officer in the German high command advised Hitler against attacking Russian, up to Herman Goerring himself (second in power only to Hitler).

    Starting in September 1939 the world had seen a stunning and unprecedented series of German victories in one campaign after another - Poland, France, Norway, Greece, everywhere Germany attacked on the continent they were triumphant. Hitler was aware of Germany's limitations but he was also aware of the danger Stalin and the communists posed to his 3rd Reich.

    Despite all the white-washing of history and Russia being our ally later in the war etc., the fact is that the Soviet Russians undertook military aggression against neighboring countries surpassed only by Hitler's. The Russians attacked Poland from the east at the same time Hitler attacked from the west. The soviets also attacked Finland unprovoked, in winter 1940, and had designs on Latvia, lithuania and estonia. Molotov, the arrogant, overbearing and obtuse Soviet foreign minister, (after which the gasoline bottle weapon was named) made the matter even worse by making impossible demands of resources and territory of Hitler almost from the start of the German-soviet pact.

    Hitler took all this as not only an insult, but a dire threat...moreover German intelligence had uncovered solid evidence that Stalin was preparing to attack German FIRST, and even specified the year (1943). Put all these facts together and that is the reason for the attack. The reason it FAILED was due to Hitler's foolish underestimation of Soviet capabilities, American lend-lease, and the fact that the US entered the war earlier then Hitler was prepared for. Combine that with the American development of the atomic bomb, and it is clear in hindsight that Germany had lost the war as soon as the US entered on the allied side.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You've posted it before however it's not what you seem to think it was. Note that the quotes from Halder show that there were log problems. Furthermore the reports primary purpose was to examan the methodology and conclusions of the a 20 year old study. Simply put this document is far from defintive and far from justifying your position.
     
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  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the logistic demands :eek:ne could argue the opposite:that they were underestimated .
    H.Schustereit in "Va Banque" gives a lot of proofs;some exemples :
    For tanks and Assault Guns (P 91 ):
    june and july :losses :590 replacements :91
    august :losses :627 replacements : 9

    For trucks and cars(P 95 ):
    june and july :losses 11699 replacements :2357
     
  11. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Did you think the Nazis expected no loses?
    None of these loses stopped the advance either.
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The question was not about losses ,but about the logistic demands !!!
    And the fact is that the replacements were insufficient!
    These losses stopped the advance in august :the Germans were that weakened and the Soviets that strenghtened,that the Germans were unable to advance further (the German losses in august were nearly 200000 men),in fact ,one can argue that Barbarossa failed already on 1 september:the Russian army was not defeated,it was stronger than in june,the Germans were weakening every day,and there was almost no more chance to win the war in 1941 and this was not caused by Marita,neither by the weather or the delay of Barbarossa till june,but by the Soviets beying able to mobilise millions from the first day on .
     
  13. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    The loses didn’t stop any advance.
    The advance continued on to December 5th.
    You should really know these things if you want a serious discussion about world war 2.
    Just like you did not know that Greece was in the Balkans and that Germany invaded Greece through Yugoslavia you have made another inaccurate statement from a position of ignorance here.

    Here is a map to help you.

    File:Eastern Front 1941-06 to 1941-12.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    You will notice the Germans actually captured more land after August 1941 than they did before that date.
    Not bad for an army you insist was already defeated and had logistic failure.
    How did they do it was it magic?
     
  14. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    They may still have been advancing at that time, but for every mile they got deeper into Russia, the front expanded, meaning there lines were thinning out, there losses were not helping this at all. While the Russians had the men to deal with such problems the Germans did not and it was only a matter of time until the Germans hit a point that there lines were too thinned, there logistics system became over extended, and over pressured by Russian bombings, partisans and weather. So eventually the Germans would stop and there was nothing they could do about it with men all around Europe and not Russia.
     
  15. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Although the Soviet forces preferred their own weapon, the other donations provided the Soviet Union with a high proportion not only of its war-industrial requirements but also of its means to fight. 'Just imagine', Nikita Khrushchev later remarked, 'how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without [American transport] them.' ; at the end of the war, the Soviet forces held 665,000 motor vehicles, of which 427,000 were Western, most of them American and a high proportion the magnificent 2 1/2 ton Dodge trucks, which effectively carried everything the Red Army needed in the field. American infustry also supplied 13 million Soviet Soldiers with their winter boots, American agriculture 5 million tons of food, sufficient to provide each Soviet soldier with half a pound of concentrated rations every day of the war. The American railroad industry supplied 2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight carriages and 540,000 tons of rails, with which the Russains laid a greater length of line than they had builty between 1928 and 1939. American supplies of high-grade petroleum were essentially to Russian production of aviation fuel, while three-quarters of Soviet consumption of copper in 1941-4 came from American sources.
    Wartime Russia survived and fought on American aid.
    -John Keegan, The Second World War
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    How much did that help to win the war in the end by gaining probably militarily useless ground,truly? Except that it looks nice on the map. The Germans also lost so much of their army that in the summer 1942 they had enough force to open an offensive in one Army group sector only, the Army Group South. No simultaneous attacks in Moscow or leningrad sectors. I think that tells quite alot of the state of the Wehrmacht after winter 41-42.
     
  17. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    All of the following is taken from The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat by Michael Jones (ISBN: 978-0-7195-6952-4) and illustrates the logisitical failure in October & November.

    (Pg 79) Joseph Goebbels sent a report to the German press in late October/early November...
    "Necessary winter clothing for the troops - furs, driving coats and warm underwear - is lying in railway depots ready to be delivered. Distribution is being rendered difficult by the transport situation and delays are unavoidable."

    (Pg 87) Hans Meier-Welcker was on the staff of 251st Infantry Division (9th Army, AG Centre) in late October...
    "We are facing a growing supply crisis, which is affecting not only my division but the whole Army Corps. Rail links are inadequate, and the roads have been impassable to motor vehicles for several weeks, we have received scant supplies of fuel, ammunition and food. We have had to rely on what the troops and horses can carry forward. The supply situation is undermining the attacking potential of the entire Army Corps."

    (Pg 70) Generalfeldmarschall von Bock, Commanding Officer AG Centre , in October...
    "It is truely incredible. Even the supposedly first-class roads are practically impassable. Repairing them - and also the bridges that the Russians have blown up - is so hindered by the mud that the task is impossible. Even if a single supply truck gets through the men consider this an achievement."

    (Pg 71) The German 78th Infantry division was struggling through the mud in support of the offensive. On 22nd October the troops pushed on towards Mozhaisk in worsening weather. The condition of the motor highway was now so bad that the majority of motor vehicles could no longer use it. During the afternoon the divisional HQ sent out the following message: 'Highway completely congested. Do not attempt further progress- halt and find quarters, then report the status of battalions. Wait for a new order - do not try to send out messengers.' The supply situation, in particular the shortage of fuel, was growing serious. Trucks that had been despatched to Smolensk days ago had not returned...the horses which had not received hay or oats for days, chewed on tree bark, snapped at the straw on the roofs of huts sank down, exhausted, in the mud. Food trucks were also stuck fast and no food was getting through to the men.

    The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat: Amazon.co.uk: Michael Jones: Books
     
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  18. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    I would beg to differ:
    Source:
    PART FIVE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CAMPAIGNS IN THE BALKANS AND

    To form an unbiased opinion of the true relationship between the campaigns in the Balkans and the invasion of Russia is far from easy. German military authors state that the diversion in the Balkans had hardly any influence on the course of the subsequent campaign, since Germany's casualties were relatively low and the expenditure of materiel and supplies insignificant. They agree that the invasion of Russia might have started three weeks earlier if there had been no Balkan campaigns. This delay of three weeks might appear of decisive importance considering that the sudden start of severe winter weather turned the tide when the Germans stood in front of Moscow. To them the validity of this theory seems at least doubtful considering the fact that the German offensive in Russia in 1941 collapsed because of the conflict over the strategic concepts that broke out between Hitler and the Army High Command in the summer of that year. That controversy over the strategy to be adopted after the initial successes had been achieved cost the German Army several precious weeks. Additional time and a lot of manpower were wasted by Hitler's insistence on making Leningrad and the Ukraine his principal objectives until he finally Greed to a drive on Moscow before the outbreak of winter. The three creeks lost by the execution of the Balkan operations therefore seem of minor significance.
     
  19. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    And if you want a serious discussion about WW2 then you should know that arrogant statements like that arent going to move the thread forward.
     
  20. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Now, now lets play nice children.
     

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