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Thread: WWII what-ifs

  1. #616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Not so fast
    Glantz isn't perfect. If you look at the captured equipment. Very few tanks were captured, not even that many guns/mortars given the sheer numbers of men that populated 43 different divisions. The Soviet forces at Kiev were not capable of offensive operations. Something Zhukov knew when he argued with Stalin to have them pull back across the Dniepr.

    The Soviet commander Budyonny, was a ludite when it came to mechanization and had no chance against the German commanders. The few tanks he started the war with were mostly lost in the Battles of Brody and Uman. By Kiev the entire SW Military District was mostly devoid of tanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Glantz isn't perfect. If you look at the captured equipment. Very few tanks were captured, not even that many guns/mortars given the sheer numbers of men that populated 43 different divisions. The Soviet forces at Kiev were not capable of offensive operations. Something Zhukov knew when he argued with Stalin to have them pull back across the Dniepr.
    But the Soviets would be mounting their defences within the streets and sewers of Moscow. There would be no room to maneuver because you have to take the city.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    But the Soviets would be mounting their defences within the streets and sewers of Moscow. There would be no room to maneuver because you have to take the city.
    They were not going to fortify Moscow with troops in the Ukraine. I was pointing out how Glantz, like many others is wring in thinking the SW Military District has any offensive punch left after Brody and Uman. Zhukov wanted to pull them back behind a major river to use terrain to do what soviet tanks could not- stop the panzers. Even if he had gotten his way, there was not enough rail and river transport to move the SW military district from the Ukraine to Moscow. Every train going East and barge going North was transporting industry.

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    Ok, I'm going to back up. Which German Army Group is going to march to Moscow? Which formations are going to bottle Leningrad and Kiev up?
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Ok, I'm going to back up. Which German Army Group is going to march to Moscow? Which formations are going to bottle Leningrad and Kiev up?
    I already asked about who is who and where.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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    Precisely I can't see this as being an easy op. Zhukov still had the Reserve Front which was destroyed out in the field 10 Oct but he could have easily fortified Moscow with those armies. In the meantime, both Leningrad and Kiev are serious threats to German LOCs now with an extended flank, Neither the troops in Leningrad nor Kiev had to march to Moscow, they just had to cut the LOCs now against a weakened Wehrmacht who had to divert troops and generals to Moscow.

    Put Chuikov in command of Moscow and he will buy more than enough time for the Siberian Armies to come forth.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Precisely I can't see this as being an easy op. Zhukov still had the Reserve Front which was destroyed out in the field 10 Oct but he could have easily fortified Moscow with those armies. In the meantime, both Leningrad and Kiev are serious threats to German LOCs now with an extended flank, Neither the troops in Leningrad nor Kiev had to march to Moscow, they just had to cut the LOCs now against a weakened Wehrmacht who had to divert troops and generals to Moscow.

    Put Chuikov in command of Moscow and he will buy more than enough time for the Siberian Armies to come forth.
    Zhukov falls out of favor when he argues with Stalin about withdrawing the SW Front back behind the Dneistr and abandoning Kiev and is given a minor frontline command where he redeems himself, but he is out of the planning loop in the period in question.

    Kiev is under the command of Budyony and isn't capable of offensive operations after the defeat at Uman. The best he can do is tie up a signfigant portion of Armygroup Mittes infantry divisions. In trade the Germans had 7 panzer, 5 infantry divisions (motorized), 2 infantry divisions and 1 cavalry division with 1000 tanks able to conduct offensive operations aimed at Moscow by mid-late August.


    In Leningrad, General Popov is surrounded by 8 Sept and is totally bottled up by Armygroup Nord. Vatutin is to their north, but his desperate counter attacks have failed, his forces are shattered and he has shot his bolt until he can rebuild.

    Chuikov, is in China advising CKS. Moscow is defended by Vasilevsky who while capable has serious problems. Moscow is defended by 3 different fronts, some of them shattered and while they have 1.2 million men on paper at the start, they lose half of them in the battle of Vyazma and Bryansk. There are no "siberian divisions". The ones sent west are actually mostly from the Urals. Only 2 actual Siberian divisions will actually fight around Moscow, most are bottled up in Leningrad or north of the city and shattered in the fierce fighting there. An earlier start to Typhoon means the defensive lines drawn up arounf Moscow are even weaker and less complete.

    The Soviets have begun a massive mobilization, but the new troops won't be ready until December and they are not located near Moscow in late August.

    If Operation Typhoon gets an early start, there is nothing the Soviets can do to keep the Germans out of the city. There is very little they can do to hold the city. Once the rail lines are cut, Moscow is virtually encircled.

  8. #623
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Zhukov falls out of favor when he argues with Stalin about withdrawing the SW Front back behind the Dneistr and abandoning Kiev and is given a minor frontline command where he redeems himself, but he is out of the planning loop in the period in question.
    Stalin being Stalin would recall Zhukov once he was proven correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Kiev is under the command of Budyony and isn't capable of offensive operations after the defeat at Uman. The best he can do is tie up a signfigant portion of Armygroup Mittes infantry divisions. In trade the Germans had 7 panzer, 5 infantry divisions (motorized), 2 infantry divisions and 1 cavalry division with 1000 tanks able to conduct offensive operations aimed at Moscow by mid-late August.
    And if Stalin orders Buydony to attack anyways? Stalin being Stalin. The trade off is he loses Kiev but saves Moscow.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Chuikov, is in China advising CKS.
    Train rides takes less than a month. Never mind flight.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    If Operation Typhoon gets an early start, there is nothing the Soviets can do to keep the Germans out of the city. There is very little they can do to hold the city. Once the rail lines are cut, Moscow is virtually encircled.
    But you can't expect the Soviets to do the same things if Germans do things different. For one, the Soviets would not have done Smolensk in order to relieve Kiev because Kiev does not need relieving (ie, they would be holding their own and then some and may even threaten German LOCs) and Moscow would be under direct immediate threat. That's 500,000+ men and 1000+ tanks that can be withdrawn into Moscow.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 10 Apr 16, at 18:30.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Stalin being Stalin would recall Zhukov once he was proven correct.
    Yup, but by then the major planning is done.

    And if Stalin orders Buydony to attack anyways? Stalin being Stalin. The trade off is he loses Kiev but saves Moscow.
    Kiev is over 600km from Smolensk which is the main German supply corridor.

    Train rides takes less than a month. Never mind flight.
    He was in semi-disgrace, which is why he was sent to Stalingrad, no big loss if he loses. The Finns beat his ass in the Winter War and he was sent to China. He doesn't get recalled until May 42.

    But you can't expect the Soviets to do the same things if Germans do things different. For one, the Soviets would not have done Smolensk in order to relieve Kiev because Kiev does not need relieving (ie, they would be holding their own and then some and may even threaten German LOCs) and Moscow would be under direct immediate threat. That's 500,000+ men and 1000+ tanks that can be withdrawn into Moscow.
    Sir, you've got your battles backwards, the last Soviet's went into the bag in the Smolensk Pocket on 5 Aug, Kiev didn't begin until 2 weeks later after the transit of the 2nd and 3rd panzergroups. The Soviet offensive at Smolensk wasn't to relieve anyone, it was a class counter-attack to try and seize the inititive and epic failure.

    You are right, I can't expect the Soviets to do the same thing, but certain things are almost pre-ordained. Commanders are where they are until the critical change in history. In this case the change is early August after Smolensk when Hitler gives into his generals and drives on Moscow. The Soviets have very little to stop them and very few options other than what they did. They might consider abandoning Leningrad and thus free up the forces under Vatutin, but this means they lose that important city. There is no way to move the SW Front to Moscow, even if Stalin could mentally bring himself to abandon the Ukraine. SW Front can't attack, not very far and damn sure wont make it far enough to threaten Armygroup Mitte two panzergruppen offensive on Moscow. The magnificent raising of armies is just getting under way and the new units are not armed or fully staffed yet. Everything the Soviets could risk bring west from the East until Sorge's communique in November is already committed or enroute. The commanders, good and bad are not sorted out yet so there is no reason or evidence to change up things yet. After Smolensk the Soviets have 1.2 million men, 1000 tanks, 7000 guns and 900 aircraft in Front of the Germans but they lack finished defense in depth lines and in real history half of them go in the bag. With even less time to prepare, re-organize shattered units and with less defensive works its unlikely to will achieve a better result in August/September than they do in October. Vatutin might be able to check them once, but his tactics exceed his forces ability at this stage of the war. While the T-34 was around, the most common Soviet tanks were horribly inferior to the German panzer III/IV and employed with much less tactical skill and elan.

    So what can the Soviets do different without the benefit of hindsight?

  10. #625
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    Zhukov advising CKS? Now, that's some nice twist.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Zhukov advising CKS? Now, that's some nice twist.
    Chuikov, not Zhukov

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Chuikov, not Zhukov
    Why would a commie general advise the enemy of the Chinese camarades?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Why would a commie general advise the enemy of the Chinese camarades?
    The Soviets and the Germans both supported the nationalist, even as they were on opposing sides in the Spanish Civil War. The Germans pulled out of China after the Tripartite Pact was signed and the divisions they trained died at Shanghai. The Soviets stuck around, though in decreasing importance as trainers and equipment suppliers as America entered the war.

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    The Soviets despised CKS because of the purges in late '20s. Even his son, who was studying in Moscow called him a traitor.

    Bottom line is no Soviet high ranking general is in China helping him. They are at home.
    Last edited by Doktor; 11 Apr 16, at 06:19.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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  15. #630
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    The Soviets despised CKS because of the purges in late '20s. Even his son, who was studying in Moscow called him a traitor.

    Bottom line is no Soviet high ranking general is in China helping him. They are at home.
    Dok, you are wrong, high ranking Soviet officers ARE in Nationalist China, look it up. Vasily Chuikov was sent there after the Finns beat his ass.

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