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Thread: WWII what-ifs

  1. #646
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    Zhukov persuaded Stalin to stay at the last minute. Stalin had a special train AND a special plane to get out.

    if the military situation looked even worse, can't imagine Zhukov advising the same.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #647
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Too put it mildly,Zhukov is much overated.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Stalin said he wasn't going, Moscow was his do or die.
    Politicians say lots of things. It don't make 'em true.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  4. #649
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    No doubt, while the Germans built in a pause in order to maintain overall effectiveness, the diversion to Kiev used up valuable petrol and supplies that could only be made up by not shipping other things like winter gear and most importantly they lost irreplaceable time. The Soviet response was disjointed, Stalin was preparing to die in his own bunker, the star commanders had not yet emerged into the right positions, or had been shunted to the side when they suggested something Stalin didn't want to hear. Had Germany not gone after Kiev, the Battle of Moscow and Operation Barbarossa et al would be refereed to as the single greatest battle/campaign victory of all time. Stalin might well be remembered as the one who took poison and shot himself (with Hitler dying in a nuclear fire around 1946-47).
    Again, not so fast, Glantz has a few points. The Soviet counter-strokes in August convinced Hitler to stick to his original plans of taking Kiev first, The Soviets maybe spent but Hitler had no way of knowing that.

    Also, in late August/early Sept, Stalin launched three fronts against the Germans in order to relieve Kiev. That's well after Hitler's decision to go after Kiev. These forces would have been available in defence had Stalin been forced on the defence instead of being squandered in trying to relieve Kiev. However, by and large, even when they were spent, the ferocity of these attacks convinced Hitler he could not leave such furious forces in his rear. Guderian was arguing for a departure from the original BARBAROSSA battle plans. He lacked the evidence to convince Hitler that he should have taken that bold move, especially when the Soviets kept attacking with despite all sense, unless they had strong forces.

    Also, a quick glance at the Moscow 1st Crack Army showed they were ready as of Nov, 41. They attacked on 1 Dec, 41. So, Stalin had reserves ready and waiting.
    Chimo

  5. #650
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Again, not so fast, Glantz has a few points. The Soviet counter-strokes in August convinced Hitler to stick to his original plans of taking Kiev first, The Soviets maybe spent but Hitler had no way of knowing that.

    Also, in late August/early Sept, Stalin launched three fronts against the Germans in order to relieve Kiev. That's well after Hitler's decision to go after Kiev. These forces would have been available in defence had Stalin been forced on the defence instead of being squandered in trying to relieve Kiev. However, by and large, even when they were spent, the ferocity of these attacks convinced Hitler he could not leave such furious forces in his rear. Guderian was arguing for a departure from the original BARBAROSSA battle plans. He lacked the evidence to convince Hitler that he should have taken that bold move, especially when the Soviets kept attacking with despite all sense, unless they had strong forces.
    The Soviets executed a general counter-offensive all along the front as part of a pre-war plan. It failed on an epic scale and had it run into the combined 3/4 panzergroups the result would have been similar to what would be seen in the spring of 42. It also used units the Germans had already accounted for

    Also, a quick glance at the Moscow 1st Crack Army showed they were ready as of Nov, 41. They attacked on 1 Dec, 41. So, Stalin had reserves ready and waiting.[/QUOTE]

    Sir, ready on Nov 1 does not equal ready on Sept 1. Like I state previously, these new divisions were smaller, had less equipment and far less training. Some were literally nothing more than militia.

  6. #651
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The Soviets executed a general counter-offensive all along the front as part of a pre-war plan. It failed on an epic scale and had it run into the combined 3/4 panzergroups the result would have been similar to what would be seen in the spring of 42. It also used units the Germans had already accounted for
    Jason, you're missing the point on this. The Soviets did what Hitler expected. They were NOT WEAKER than what Guderian wanted. ALL THE EVIDENCE WAS THAT HITLER'S BATTLE PLANS WERE WORKING! So, why the hell would Hitler weaken his own battle plans and give the advantage to Stalin? AGAIN, ALL FROM HITLER'S POINT OF VIEW ... and not from yours 50 years AFTER THE FACT.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sir, ready on Nov 1 does not equal ready on Sept 1. Like I state previously, these new divisions were smaller, had less equipment and far less training. Some were literally nothing more than militia.
    You are ignoring the previous that Stalin launched 2 counterstrokes with 200,000 men in late Aug/early Sep. Hitler allowed Stalin to launch these attacks by attacking Kiev. Where are these troops if they were not wasted? Stalin could not very well launched those two campaigns when Guderian was on the march!

    And the Red Army would be meeting Guderian exposed and not against dug in German AT guns. And Gernman Pz3s against T-34s?

    Again, you're ignoring the butterflies.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 20 Apr 16, at 05:40.
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    Even if the Germans take Moscow in Dec, 41. Here is another fact. German trains stops in Dec 41. Nothing Germany makes would travel into Moscow. The same is not true with Stalin. His armies launched attacks in Jan, 42. Guderian might take Moscow in 41 (at best stalemate) but no way in hell can he keep Moscow past Jan, 42.
    Chimo

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    hmm, thinking this through.

    assuming that Stalin survives and gets out of dodge, a bloody Stalingrad-like fight within Moscow would effectively make it useless as if the city was taken altogether.

    politically for the USSR there would be quite a bit of instability as Stalin is busy moving his government all the way out to Kuibyshev. the loss of the Moscow transport hub and tying up the Siberian divisions in street to street fighting would probably actually work in the Germans' favor for the short-term-- at least they're fighting defensively from shelter instead of freezing their arses out in the open.

    col, can you explain your reasoning regarding logistics? as far as I can tell, if German logistics could support an offensive that gets within 20 miles of Moscow, why wouldn't it be able to stretch out to a defensive fight within Moscow itself?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    In this scenario: 1.)Have the Germans captured the oil fields? 2.)Can they safely transport the oil to where it is needed and not take away from the existing logistics? 3.)Are the Germans still going to engage in eliminating the Jews and others they determine to be undesirable? Taking away men and resources. 4.)The additional territory gained is secured by more troops from where? or is the German troop strength stretched?
    Last edited by Dazed; 20 Apr 16, at 20:07.

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    Others have examined this in detail. Needless to say, the Moscow Train hub was not irreplaceable.

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=197949

    Nothing was stopping those 10 Reserve Armies coming up in Jan, 42.
    Chimo

  11. #656
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    col, can you explain your reasoning regarding logistics? as far as I can tell, if German logistics could support an offensive that gets within 20 miles of Moscow, why wouldn't it be able to stretch out to a defensive fight within Moscow itself?
    They didn't try to winter in Moscow with 10 armies coming down their throats. As it was, they were driven from Moscow with acceptable losses. That wouldn't be the case had they tried to winter there.

    Also, the engineering at Moscow was staggering. 250,000 civilians moved 3 million cubic metres of earth. I can't even begin to imagine just how thorough the prep work was. AT trenches and moats up the ying yang and ring after ring of defences
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 21 Apr 16, at 18:11.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    They didn't try to winter in Moscow with 10 armies coming down their throats. As it was, they were driven from Moscow with acceptable losses. That wouldn't be the case had they tried to winter there.
    Had they taken Moscow early with the effective destruction of the Mosow defenders in the early Autumn, those 10 armies were not much of a threat. A soviet army in 1941 was about the size of a German corps and Armygroup Mitte had 14 corps

    Also, the engineering at Moscow was staggering. 250,000 civilians moved 3 million cubic metres of earth. I can't even begin to imagine just how thorough the prep work was. AT trenches and moats up the ying yang and ring after ring of defences
    That was by October, its much less in late August and early September.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Had they taken Moscow early with the effective destruction of the Mosow defenders in the early Autumn, those 10 armies were not much of a threat. A soviet army in 1941 was about the size of a German corps and Armygroup Mitte had 14 corps
    They could not reach Moscow in Aug/Sept. They had 3 Fronts to get through first.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    That was by October, its much less in late August and early September.
    So, instead of area defence, it's point defence and the number of civilians is staggering. 250,000. Hell, 250,000 molotov cocktails hiding in alleyways and sewers is a freaking nightmare.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 26 Apr 16, at 17:25.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    They could not reach Moscow in Aug/Sept. They had 3 Fronts to get through first.
    2 of those fronts were shattered, this against 4 German Armies, 2 of them panzer groups. In September in real history, despite the best Soviet efforts, the best they got was 1:1 ratio, even with 800,000 extra re-enforcements they remained essentially 1:1 vs Armygroup Mitte into 1942. Given good weather, the panzers could and did cut through the Soviets when the Soviets enjoyed considerably better material odds. You keep discounting who is still making strategy- Timoshenko and Budyonny, not Zhukov.

    So, instead of area defence, it's point defence and the number of civilians is staggering. 250,000. Hell, 250,000 molotov cocktails hiding in alleyways and sewers is a freaking nightmare.
    Smolensk, Kiev, Bryansk, Brest-Livtosk, the Soviets were not really going in for house to house fighting in 41 and Soviet citizens were not armed, 10 militia divisions were created, but they got mauled, something like 50% losses in 3 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    2 of those fronts were shattered, this against 4 German Armies, 2 of them panzer groups. In September in real history, despite the best Soviet efforts, the best they got was 1:1 ratio, even with 800,000 extra re-enforcements they remained essentially 1:1 vs Armygroup Mitte into 1942. Given good weather, the panzers could and did cut through the Soviets when the Soviets enjoyed considerably better material odds.
    That's the point. The real history was that the Soviets wasted themselves on the attack. If the Germans moved in August, those fronts would have been forced into the defensive since they would not have time to organize an offense. Even if the Germans cut those fronts to shreds, they still would have wasted a month regrouping and rearming before moving onto Moscow. They would not have reached Moscow before they actually did in the OTL.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    You keep discounting who is still making strategy- Timoshenko and Budyonny, not Zhukov.
    Zhukov was back in command in Nov.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Smolensk, Kiev, Bryansk, Brest-Livtosk, the Soviets were not really going in for house to house fighting in 41 and Soviet citizens were not armed, 10 militia divisions were created, but they got mauled, something like 50% losses in 3 months.
    Because they were not forced to until now.
    Chimo

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