Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

Moderator: sniper1shot

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:26 am

lwd wrote: Of course it has to do with more forces. If the opposition has little or nothing to threaten your flanks then you don't need to commit much force to secruing them. If they have massive forces on your flank then you need to commit more forces there. As the flank lengthens so does the area that the opposition can attack thus requireing even more forces. A temporary success that takes down the main log channel for a month or two can be critical. As for getting themselves out of trouble indeed sometimes they can but there are a number of well known examples where they failed to do so as well.
The red army was in no position to do this. If it had been, it could already have threatened the eastern flank of PGR 2 when it went south. No, echeloning in depth and flank protection by the advancing infantry armies was enough.
Last edited by julian on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:37 am

The first quote from manuscript P 190 by Alfred Toppe should already have clarified this and more will come. Army trucks take the supplies from the railheads or the points where non-organic truck units offload ,to the army dumps and divisional trucks take supplies from the army dumps to the divisions. In addition, the Panzergroups can have an 'overnight bag' behind them which allows them to move even further away from railheads.
Last edited by julian on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:50 am

lwd wrote: But would it be fixed if the offense starts in August? or would the problem get worse?
Concerning the number of trains daily arriving in the area of AGC ,Toppe gives an average of 22,7(10.215 tons) trains a day in august and 26(11.700 tons) in september. Not much difference and the work done on the railroads would not be influenced by an advance to Moscow starting a month earlier.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:24 am

Foreign military studies 1945-1954 Manuscript P 190 continued

"b. Means of transportation

1. The railways

The capacity of the Russian railways depended on the amount of the existing trackage and on the availability of equipment and of station and yard facilities, which could not be judged according to Central European standards. The fact alone that there was not enough Russian rolling stock available made it necessary to convert the tracks from wide to standard gauge. Only by these speedily applied measures was it possible to move the supply trains from the zone of interior to their final destination without the time-consuming transshipment at the border, which would have caused much delay. The daily average of rail shipments into the Army Group Center area , was as follows:

July 24 trains 10.700 tons

August 22,7 trains 10.215 tons

September 26 trains 11.700 tons

(No records could be found for the months October - December 1941

With the coming of winter and the growing activity of partisans, the capacity decreased steadily, reaching its lowest point in December 1941 and January 1942.

2. Truck transport

a) According to T/E , the organic truck load capacity available to different types of units was as follows:

infantry divisions 90 tons(plus 180 tons of horse drawn capacity) infantry corps 30 tons motorized divisions 240 tons panzer (or motorized corps) corps 60 tons

panzer divisions 360 tons

Panzer and motorized divisions and corps have an additional 50 tons of POL transport capacity

b) Depending on the number and types of divisions to be supplied and their tactical missions, the armies were allocated a varying number of non-organic truck columns . At the time the various armies became operational , their non-organic truck transport was as follows:

Fourth army 4440 tons 22nd june

Ninth army 2970 tons 22 june

Second army 1645 tons beginning of july

Second Panzer Group 5000 tons 22 june

Third panzer group 3240 tons 22 june

Fourth Panzer Group 3320 tons beginning of September

c) Army High Command allocated to the Supply Field Agency of Army Group Center a heavy transport capacity of 25000 tons; during the summer of 1941 this amount was increased by approximately 5000 tons

C. Supply phase lines (22 June- 31 December 1941)

22 June During the initial phase of the military operations the supply proceeded without difficulty

25 June Army depots were moved forward to the line Oboz Lesna(north of)-Lida-Alytus. As the distance from the depots to the two supply sub-districts increased it became necessary , especially for the armored formations , to establish new depots in the Minsk-Molodeczno area. Suitable locations were

found on 30 june, and immediately afterwards the depots were setup .

15 july By mid-july the new base section was enlarged and other depots were installed further east at Bobruisk , Borissov, Lepel, and Polotsk and consolidated in the “Dnjepr supply district”.

The establishment of this supply district extended the operational radius of the infantry divisions up to Smolensk , and that of the armored formations as far as Moscow. To reach these objectives however, the daily tonnage moved by rail would have had to
average 6.300 tons and that trucked by heavy transports 30.700 tons.However, these requirements could not be met.
15 July On 15 july the combat forces were carrying on an average 75 percent of their basic load, sufficient POL to travel 120 miles, and seven days rations. The second and ninth army depots were almost empty. On the other hand, the Dnjepr supply district had in storage ammunition for approximately five days of combat, POL for a movement of about 25 miles and half a day's rations for about half a days rations for all units in the Army Group area.The flow of supplies was steady but slow.By the establishment of the Dnjepr district and the conversion of tracks to standard gauge greater quantities of supplies could be shipped directly to the supply depots.It was now possible to shift the base area, a measure that had meanwhile become urgently imperative.In view of the overall situation ,the plans for future operations, and the condition of the road and rail net, the following plans were adopted to assure a normal flow of supply:
1) Efficiently operationg depots had to be moved forward
along the Army Group's main axis of advance in the direction of Moscow via Smolensk. To implement this
policy the Orsha depot was established on 22 july and the Smolensk depot on 2 august.
2) On the southern wing the depots were established along the axis Slutsk-Roagachev . First the Bobruisk depot was set up, then the one at Mogilev
3) Along the northern wing , where road and rail communications were particularly defective, the Polotsk depot was initially the principal supply point.The Nevel and Vitebsk depots were subsequently established further to the east and southeast.

10 August : The heavy truck transport - since 4 august no longer employed for hauling supplies from Sub-districts 1 and 2 -was capable of covering a total distance of about 250 miles, which was roughly the milieage between the railheads and Moscow.
During the months of August and September the Dnjepr supply district was further expanded so that it developed into an efficient base section.The depots were distributed over an area of approximately 250 miles.The supplies stored in this area were needed to feed the autumn offensive. By the beginning of august the Dnjepr Supply District depots contained , POL for 45 miles, and four days rations.
The two Panzer Groups had the following at their disposal:
1) Second Panzer Group - 50 percent the basic load of ammunition , POL for about 155 miles and four days rations;
2) Third Panzer Group - 133 percent of the basic load of ammunition , POL for about 110 miles , and fourteen days rations.
By mid august the over-all supply of ammunition for the entire Army Group was increased to 133 percent of the basic load.
September : The Gomel and Roslavl depots , which were closest to the front , were given priority for supplies arriving within the Army Group area. At the same time every effort was made to expand the Smolensk supply district.
10 September : On 10 september , the armies , including the Panzer Groups , had at their disposal , on the average, more than 75 percent of the basic load of ammunition and four consumption units of POL , good for a distance of approximately 185 miles.
The Army Group Center average, including GHQ units and reserves , was 133 percent of the basic load of ammunition and one consumption unit of POL, ennough to cover of approximately 45 miles."

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:31 am

manuscript P 190 p 115

" II. Logistics

The organisation and methods of the German supply system proved entirely satisfactorily for the far-reaching offensive in Russia.The forte of the logistical organisation lay in the centralised control of motor transport, the concentration of vital supllies at the point of main effort, and in the fact that general staff officers held all key positions in the German army's supply system down to and including division level.Because of the latter circonstance the closest relationship existed between operations and supply officers. According to German concept "supply was the servant of operations". The predominant problem was: " what can supply do to enable the field commander to accomplish his mission ? To put the question the other way would limit the tactical commander's freedom of action from the very outset. This does not mean that German operations were conducted without regard for the capabilities of the supply system ; the equilibrium between the highest obtainable objectives and the providing of all the supplies essential to sustain the combat effort was established by general staff officers who were both trained tacticians and logisticians. " :D

lwd
Enthusiast
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by lwd » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:16 am

Interesting but of course the authors might have felt disinclined to state they had messed up might they? And other sources state just the opposite. For instance:
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/ ... 24_2/4.htm
In Strategy For Defeat, William Murray states that the superficial attention that the OKH (German Army General Staff) and OKW (Armed Forces High Command) paid to the logistics of sustaining the Wehrmacht inside Russia was one of the most glaring defects of the pre-invasion strategy.3 The German Army entered into the campaign with full confidence of total victory within months. Because of this falsely engendered belief, there had been no forethought, no proper planning to equip the armed forces with modern strategic weapons, winter clothing, ammunition and therefore they faced a whole host of logistical problems.4

Logistics planning was overly optimistic and totally unrealistic and planning factors were often determined by capability rather than actual requirements. For example, although the number of armoured divisions available for "Operation Barbarossa" had more than doubled from 15 in May 1940 to 32 in June 1941, the number of vehicles had only increased by a third from 2574 to 3332.

Similarly, full wartime production was not in effect before the invasion. For a campaign of such magnitude, German factories were operating on a single shift basis and the under-utilisation of German industrial capacity resulted in shortfalls in essential combat materials. Production consistently lagged behind consumption. The Germans had been involved militarily in Norway, Belgium, France and the Balkans prior to the invasion of Soviet Union, resulting in major equipment shortfalls and damages. For a force which depended on machines for its offensive capability and its survival as none had depended to the same extent before, these were crippling defects. Many of the deficiencies had been foreseen and, as often as not, side-stepped or ignored on grounds of economy or because Hitler and many of his commanders had deluded themselves into believing the war would be won long before winter took its toll.

Transport assets within a theatre are major factors in campaign planning, both tactical and logistical. Being a key element in logistics, it can severely restrict operations. In Sinews of War, James Huston has highlighted that in a theatre of operation, a single authority, identical with the command authority should be responsible for logistics.6 This is again precisely what the German logistics system lacked - unity of command. The transportation responsibilities were split between the Chief of Transport (rail and inland waterways) and the Quartermaster-General (motor transport). This made an already bad situation worse. The German motor vehicle production could replace neither normal wear and tear nor keep up with combat losses.
...
By August 1941, the motorised supply system was exhausted. Ammunition and fuel, both of which were previously under-estimated were in limited supply. The reason was because the planning requirements were inaccurately based on the transportation capability rather operational consumption. Commanders were unable to exploit tactical advantage because of severe shortages of fuel and ammunition and as such resupply could not keep pace with advances. Tactical operations were curtailed for weeks waiting for resupply from the rear.

Food was another essential commodity that was in critical short supply. It was never an important priority to Hitler. When in late 1941, Hitler was told of the shortage in transport and that the system was only able to supply the armies in the field with one of the most urgent priorities and to choose between warm clothing, food and ammunition, Hitler chose ammunition. Shortfalls in the ration resupply system resulted in 'slaughter' platoons being formed within divisions as an expedient measure. Commanders in the field relied on foraging local livestock to feed the soldiers and this continued until such time when shortages resulted in troops eating their units' horses.
...
By October 1941, Hitler's lines of communication stretched from 800 km initially to about 1600 km eventually. As the invasion advanced, the lines of communication became unmanageable and unable to satisfy continuing logistics demands. Front line units were soon operating on a hand-to-mouth existence. Stretched to its limit, the state of the German supply lines created a logistical nightmare. Conditions rapidly became sub-human, supply systems failed and it was more a question of surviving than of fighting.
http://www.history.com/topics/operation-barbarossa
In Barbarossa's opening month, German armies bit deep into Soviet territory; panzer armies encircled large Soviet forces at Minsk and Smolensk, while armored spearheads reached two-thirds of the distance to Moscow and Leningrad. But already German logistics were unraveling, while a series of Soviet counterattacks stalled the advance. In September the Germans got enough supplies forward to renew their drives ...
http://books.google.com/books?id=ORrHrP ... cs&f=false
In the second paragraph of the Conclusion section states: "Logistics were a limiting factor even from its earliest days."
Then there's
http://www.vectorsite.net/twsnow_04.html#m3
Talking about the end of July it states:
Even ignoring combat losses and damage, maintaining such a huge operation, particularly in the primitive field conditions in the Soviet Union, meant a lot of wear and tear, and an increasing degree of simple exhaustion. Furthermore, although the original German plan had suggested that supply problems could be reduced by "living off the land", the Soviets were becoming increasingly efficient at ensuring that all that was left on the land were cinders and ashes, increasing ever more strained German logistical requirements and effort.
http://junebarbarossa.devhub.com/blog/6 ... logistics/
... all warnings were ignored that came from the OKH top logistics officer, General Eduard Wagner. He dutifully reported that the supply system could only support a maximum penetration of 500 km, and even then logistical pauses would be required
...
http://www.stonefortconsulting.com/2012 ... 1941-1945/
Very shortly, German operations in Russia were severely constrained by logistical challenges. Strategic, operational and tactical maneuvers were directly and adversely affected by shortfalls in German logistical plans and execution. German supply lines extended nearly 800 miles, and once within Russia, were extremely vulnerable to an active and aggressive Soviet partisan movement that frequently harassed, interfered with and interrupted the German logistical and transportation routes. In large part, German failure in Russia, and German defeat in World War II, can be attributed to a failure of logistics in Operation Barbarossa.
There's also:
http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncp/f/Castano,%20Vincent.pdf
Many of the German generals, including Rundstedt, Kleist, Blumentritt and Manstein, cited factors ranging from logistical/strategic problems, weather and Hitler himself. What is important to remember is that these generals blamed everyone but themselves when stating why the invasion failed.
Note the "logistical problems" and it goes on to state:
Field Marshal Ewald von Kleist pointed to the weather, Russian strategy and the Russian ability to produce reserves. .... Russia also lacked railways, we were unable to bring up supplies to our advancing troops.
...
General Gunther Blumentritt endorsed Kleist's view, except for the point about the Russians yielding ground. "00 the Moscow route", Blumentritt stated, "the principalJine of advance, they repeatedly held on long enough to be encircled, The badness of the roads became our worst handicap, Faulty intel1igence had underestimated Soviet strength, The restoration of railway traffic became delayed by the change of gauge beyond the Russian frontier. The supply problem in the Russian campaign became a very serious problem, complicated by local conditions.
...
It goes on to state this gem which may be relevant to the source you listed:
A majority of the testimonies given by these high ranking officers were given for self-serving interests. First hand accounts are not always accurate, especially when there is nobody to contradict these people.
Then there's this:
By the third week of July the combat strength of the Panzer and motorized divisions had fallen to about 60 % of normal in Army Group Center. In some of the Panzer divisions of Army Group South it dropped to 40%. Early in July, Halder calculated that by the end of the month only 431 tanks would be available from the OKH reserve and current production to replace those destroyed or broken down out of the original total of 3350. But to make matters worse, Hitler gave orders that new tanks should be kept in Germany for equipping fresh Panzer divisions for use in the offensives planned for 1942 in the Middle East.
and
The greatest flaw in the preparations for Barbarossa was logistical in nature. German planners calculated that after an advance of 600 kilometers, movement forward would have to halt for a considerable period of time to allow for resupply and the establishment of new forward supply dumps. However, German troops crossed the frontier with only a basic load of ammunition. Given the rapid advance of German forces, ammunition and fuel were in desperately short supply from Barbarossa's earliest days. German troops had to obtain food and fodder from the Russian and Ukrainian peasants, further damaging relations with conquered popUlation. Finally, the whole resupply effort depended on the repair of Soviet raiJroads, particularly the Smolensk-to-Brest Litovsk Jine. But since railroad tracks were generally secured well after the roads, repair work began only after considerable delays. As a result, railroad troops were given the lowest priority in the German army. 49
By the end of July, German operations came to a grinding halt. The lead elements, the panzer and motorized infantry divisions, ran out of fuel and ammunition. Restrictions had to be put on the number of shells that artillery units could fire. On the primitive roads with their heat, dust, and deep glutinous mud when it rained, the German logistic system began to fall apart. By July 11, after just nineteen days, 25 % of German supply vehicles permanently broke down. The panzer divisions could not repair damaged tanks and other vehicles because parts could not get through. The panzer and motorized infantry divisions became dangerously exposed as a result. Soviet reserve forces arrived in increasing numbers. These counterattacks exacerbated the dangerous German shortage of ammunition. In tum, the need for ammunition placed a further ~1rain on the diminishing number of supply vehicles, which drastically curtailed the Germans' ability to supply fuel to the front.
I could continue but I think the point is made.

ljadw
Supporter
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:46 pm

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by ljadw » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:29 pm

Murray is wrong

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:45 am

lwd wrote:Interesting but of course the authors might have felt disinclined to state they had messed up might they? And other sources state just the opposite. For instance:
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/ ... 24_2/4.htm
In Strategy For Defeat, William Murray states that the superficial attention that the OKH (German Army General Staff) and OKW (Armed Forces High Command) paid to the logistics of sustaining the Wehrmacht inside Russia was one of the most glaring defects of the pre-invasion strategy.3 The German Army entered into the campaign with full confidence of total victory within months. Because of this falsely engendered belief, there had been no forethought, no proper planning to equip the armed forces with modern strategic weapons, winter clothing, ammunition and therefore they faced a whole host of logistical problems.4

Logistics planning was overly optimistic and totally unrealistic and planning factors were often determined by capability rather than actual requirements. For example, although the number of armoured divisions available for "Operation Barbarossa" had more than doubled from 15 in May 1940 to 32 in June 1941, the number of vehicles had only increased by a third from 2574 to 3332.

Similarly, full wartime production was not in effect before the invasion. For a campaign of such magnitude, German factories were operating on a single shift basis and the under-utilisation of German industrial capacity resulted in shortfalls in essential combat materials. Production consistently lagged behind consumption. The Germans had been involved militarily in Norway, Belgium, France and the Balkans prior to the invasion of Soviet Union, resulting in major equipment shortfalls and damages. For a force which depended on machines for its offensive capability and its survival as none had depended to the same extent before, these were crippling defects. Many of the deficiencies had been foreseen and, as often as not, side-stepped or ignored on grounds of economy or because Hitler and many of his commanders had deluded themselves into believing the war would be won long before winter took its toll.

Transport assets within a theatre are major factors in campaign planning, both tactical and logistical. Being a key element in logistics, it can severely restrict operations. In Sinews of War, James Huston has highlighted that in a theatre of operation, a single authority, identical with the command authority should be responsible for logistics.6 This is again precisely what the German logistics system lacked - unity of command. The transportation responsibilities were split between the Chief of Transport (rail and inland waterways) and the Quartermaster-General (motor transport). This made an already bad situation worse. The German motor vehicle production could replace neither normal wear and tear nor keep up with combat losses.
...
By August 1941, the motorised supply system was exhausted. Ammunition and fuel, both of which were previously under-estimated were in limited supply. The reason was because the planning requirements were inaccurately based on the transportation capability rather operational consumption. Commanders were unable to exploit tactical advantage because of severe shortages of fuel and ammunition and as such resupply could not keep pace with advances. Tactical operations were curtailed for weeks waiting for resupply from the rear.

Food was another essential commodity that was in critical short supply. It was never an important priority to Hitler. When in late 1941, Hitler was told of the shortage in transport and that the system was only able to supply the armies in the field with one of the most urgent priorities and to choose between warm clothing, food and ammunition, Hitler chose ammunition. Shortfalls in the ration resupply system resulted in 'slaughter' platoons being formed within divisions as an expedient measure. Commanders in the field relied on foraging local livestock to feed the soldiers and this continued until such time when shortages resulted in troops eating their units' horses.
...
By October 1941, Hitler's lines of communication stretched from 800 km initially to about 1600 km eventually. As the invasion advanced, the lines of communication became unmanageable and unable to satisfy continuing logistics demands. Front line units were soon operating on a hand-to-mouth existence. Stretched to its limit, the state of the German supply lines created a logistical nightmare. Conditions rapidly became sub-human, supply systems failed and it was more a question of surviving than of fighting.
http://www.history.com/topics/operation-barbarossa
In Barbarossa's opening month, German armies bit deep into Soviet territory; panzer armies encircled large Soviet forces at Minsk and Smolensk, while armored spearheads reached two-thirds of the distance to Moscow and Leningrad. But already German logistics were unraveling, while a series of Soviet counterattacks stalled the advance. In September the Germans got enough supplies forward to renew their drives ...
http://books.google.com/books?id=ORrHrP ... cs&f=false
In the second paragraph of the Conclusion section states: "Logistics were a limiting factor even from its earliest days."
Then there's
http://www.vectorsite.net/twsnow_04.html#m3
Talking about the end of July it states:
Even ignoring combat losses and damage, maintaining such a huge operation, particularly in the primitive field conditions in the Soviet Union, meant a lot of wear and tear, and an increasing degree of simple exhaustion. Furthermore, although the original German plan had suggested that supply problems could be reduced by "living off the land", the Soviets were becoming increasingly efficient at ensuring that all that was left on the land were cinders and ashes, increasing ever more strained German logistical requirements and effort.
http://junebarbarossa.devhub.com/blog/6 ... logistics/
... all warnings were ignored that came from the OKH top logistics officer, General Eduard Wagner. He dutifully reported that the supply system could only support a maximum penetration of 500 km, and even then logistical pauses would be required
...
http://www.stonefortconsulting.com/2012 ... 1941-1945/
Very shortly, German operations in Russia were severely constrained by logistical challenges. Strategic, operational and tactical maneuvers were directly and adversely affected by shortfalls in German logistical plans and execution. German supply lines extended nearly 800 miles, and once within Russia, were extremely vulnerable to an active and aggressive Soviet partisan movement that frequently harassed, interfered with and interrupted the German logistical and transportation routes. In large part, German failure in Russia, and German defeat in World War II, can be attributed to a failure of logistics in Operation Barbarossa.
There's also:
http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncp/f/Castano,%20Vincent.pdf
Many of the German generals, including Rundstedt, Kleist, Blumentritt and Manstein, cited factors ranging from logistical/strategic problems, weather and Hitler himself. What is important to remember is that these generals blamed everyone but themselves when stating why the invasion failed.
Note the "logistical problems" and it goes on to state:
Field Marshal Ewald von Kleist pointed to the weather, Russian strategy and the Russian ability to produce reserves. .... Russia also lacked railways, we were unable to bring up supplies to our advancing troops.
...
General Gunther Blumentritt endorsed Kleist's view, except for the point about the Russians yielding ground. "00 the Moscow route", Blumentritt stated, "the principalJine of advance, they repeatedly held on long enough to be encircled, The badness of the roads became our worst handicap, Faulty intel1igence had underestimated Soviet strength, The restoration of railway traffic became delayed by the change of gauge beyond the Russian frontier. The supply problem in the Russian campaign became a very serious problem, complicated by local conditions.
...
It goes on to state this gem which may be relevant to the source you listed:
A majority of the testimonies given by these high ranking officers were given for self-serving interests. First hand accounts are not always accurate, especially when there is nobody to contradict these people.
Then there's this:
By the third week of July the combat strength of the Panzer and motorized divisions had fallen to about 60 % of normal in Army Group Center. In some of the Panzer divisions of Army Group South it dropped to 40%. Early in July, Halder calculated that by the end of the month only 431 tanks would be available from the OKH reserve and current production to replace those destroyed or broken down out of the original total of 3350. But to make matters worse, Hitler gave orders that new tanks should be kept in Germany for equipping fresh Panzer divisions for use in the offensives planned for 1942 in the Middle East.
and
The greatest flaw in the preparations for Barbarossa was logistical in nature. German planners calculated that after an advance of 600 kilometers, movement forward would have to halt for a considerable period of time to allow for resupply and the establishment of new forward supply dumps. However, German troops crossed the frontier with only a basic load of ammunition. Given the rapid advance of German forces, ammunition and fuel were in desperately short supply from Barbarossa's earliest days. German troops had to obtain food and fodder from the Russian and Ukrainian peasants, further damaging relations with conquered popUlation. Finally, the whole resupply effort depended on the repair of Soviet raiJroads, particularly the Smolensk-to-Brest Litovsk Jine. But since railroad tracks were generally secured well after the roads, repair work began only after considerable delays. As a result, railroad troops were given the lowest priority in the German army. 49
By the end of July, German operations came to a grinding halt. The lead elements, the panzer and motorized infantry divisions, ran out of fuel and ammunition. Restrictions had to be put on the number of shells that artillery units could fire. On the primitive roads with their heat, dust, and deep glutinous mud when it rained, the German logistic system began to fall apart. By July 11, after just nineteen days, 25 % of German supply vehicles permanently broke down. The panzer divisions could not repair damaged tanks and other vehicles because parts could not get through. The panzer and motorized infantry divisions became dangerously exposed as a result. Soviet reserve forces arrived in increasing numbers. These counterattacks exacerbated the dangerous German shortage of ammunition. In tum, the need for ammunition placed a further ~1rain on the diminishing number of supply vehicles, which drastically curtailed the Germans' ability to supply fuel to the front.
I could continue but I think the point is made.
A whole hodgepodge of exaggerated statements. Toppes report which is based on a mass of documentation and Donats study paint a different picture with lots of statistical data. .
There were no more than the normal logistical issues caused by an advance in depth which is the picture you find in many unit histories.
It has also to be mentioned that the decision not to put the german economy on a war economy footing yet was a political one.
It was certainly necessary to win quick as any prolonged war could only end to the disadvantage of Germany.Given what happened in 1939 and 1940 it is not surprising that the high command would be confident of the possibility of a achieving this.
Perfect hindsight is too easy.

lwd
Enthusiast
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by lwd » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:25 am

julian wrote: A whole hodgepodge of exaggerated statements.
Indeed it points to a pretty strong consensus that there were signifcant logistics problems during Barbarossa which is counter to your positoin.
There were no more than the normal logistical issues caused by an advance in depth which is the picture you find in many unit histories.
Possibly although you have yet to prove this and just how relevant it is to your position.
It has also to be mentioned that the decision not to put the german economy on a war economy footing yet was a political one.
There is some debate as to whether or not Germany was on a war economy. In any case it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
It was certainly necessary to win quick as any prolonged war could only end to the disadvantage of Germany.
Was it? I've seen a number of people state this but have yet to see a convincing argument. Certainly it was desireable from the German POV to win quickly but fighting on two fronts at all was a disadvantage to Germany as well.
Given what happened in 1939 and 1940 it is not surprising that the high command would be confident of the possibility of a achieving this.
Indeed especially in light of the faulty intel the Germans possessed. Not all the high command seem to have been all that confident though.
Perfect hindsight is too easy.
Is it? I've seen some very lengthy well debated topics where even with the use of all the historical data we now have the resolution is far from clear.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:38 am

lwd wrote:
julian wrote: A whole hodgepodge of exaggerated statements.
Indeed it points to a pretty strong consensus that there were signifcant logistics problems during Barbarossa which is counter to your positoin.
No, you just randomly put together a number of statements which suit you.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:41 am

lwd wrote:
julian wrote:
There were no more than the normal logistical issues caused by an advance in depth which is the picture you find in many unit histories.
Possibly although you have yet to prove this and just how relevant it is to your position.

Not possibly. There were the obvious issues inherent to any deep advance. Certainly no trace of any prohibitive ones at the stage we are talking about.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:43 am

lwd wrote:
julian wrote:
It was certainly necessary to win quick as any prolonged war could only end to the disadvantage of Germany.
Was it? I've seen a number of people state this but have yet to see a convincing argument. Certainly it was desireable from the German POV to win quickly but fighting on two fronts at all was a disadvantage to Germany as well.
Anybody that would state that Germany would gain by a prolonged war of attrition would not be making sense.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by julian » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:45 am

lwd wrote: Is it? I've seen some very lengthy well debated topics where even with the use of all the historical data we now have the resolution is far from clear.
Knowing what happend is always going to influence the secondguessing.

lwd
Enthusiast
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by lwd » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:05 am

julian wrote:
lwd wrote:
julian wrote: A whole hodgepodge of exaggerated statements.
Indeed it points to a pretty strong consensus that there were signifcant logistics problems during Barbarossa which is counter to your positoin.
No, you just randomly put together a number of statements which suit you.
Had I looked up a large number of sites there might have been some validity to that suggestion but the quotes I posted were the majority of the ones that I found in a quick search.
julian wrote:
lwd wrote:
julian wrote:
There were no more than the normal logistical issues caused by an advance in depth which is the picture you find in many unit histories.

Possibly although you have yet to prove this and just how relevant it is to your position.
Not possibly. There were the obvious issues inherent to any deep advance. Certainly no trace of any prohibitive ones at the stage we are talking about.
Yes "possibly". While you may say "Certainly no trace of any prohibitive ones" the vast majority of reliable sources that I've found suggest otherwise.
julian wrote: ... Anybody that would state that Germany would gain by a prolonged war of attrition would not be making sense.
Such superlatives are most often wrong. This one is not one of the exceptions. Whether or not Germany would gain would depend on how you define the term as well as things like exchange rations, territory held, how long "prolonged" is etc. Stating your opinions as if they are facts does not make them so.
julian wrote:
lwd wrote: Is it? I've seen some very lengthy well debated topics where even with the use of all the historical data we now have the resolution is far from clear.
Knowing what happend is always going to influence the secondguessing.
Influence it certainly but your position is that of certainty where using the available evidence strong counter arguments have been made, now that's not to say that a case can't be made for you position but it is far from certain as you seem to think.

User avatar
Osterhase
Supporter
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 12:24 pm
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: Which city should hitler have gone for on the russian front?

Post by Osterhase » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:44 am

From the standpoint of the 18 August Wehrmacht/OKH plan the Germans thought themselves in a good position. In both reality and hindsight that estimate and opinion were both proven absolutely incorrect. The Wehrmacht as it stood in mid-August was not capable of defeating the USSR no matter what historical decisions you try and debate. The Wehrmacht forces deployed for Barbarossa did not possess the military strength to inflict enough damage to the USSR so as to facilitate its collapse given the time frame it had to work with.
On 30 October the US and UK gave the Soviets the pledge of unlimited support in the form of Lend Lease and promised military action to alleviate pressure. On Dec. 7 the US entered the war and a few days later declared war on Germany directly giving the Soviets further confidence in ultimate victory. So even if the Wehrmacht somehow takes Moscow, end game will still ultimately happen in Berlin with an Allied victory.
The planning parameters for Barbarossa were flawed such that the plan was destined to fail regardless of the quality of its execution. The force structure, personnel replacements, logistical support plan and strategic economic planning underlying all of it were all inadequate due to flawed planning assumptions regarding the Soviets.
Knowing what happend is always going to influence the secondguessing
Regardless of the Kiev or Moscow decision the US/UK-CW will support the Soviets (militarily, economically and politically which has a huge effect on morale) and the US will enter the war, thus the Soviets do not surrender even if Moscow falls in 1941. If the decision is Moscow its unclear if the Germans could take it and also unclear if that operation would hurt the Soviets more than the Kiev debacle. Either way, the Soviets aren't that much worse off going into 1942 even if Moscow falls. The main factories, economic assets, population, etc. are all still out of reach of the Wehrmacht, the Red Army will still outnumber the Germans (and will still grow). The main effect is on command and control as well as the rail net, both of which will be temporary albeit substantial problems.

Post Reply