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Germany's strategic error? Barbarossa...

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  • #16
    Germany could have beat Russia until December 11, 1941. Despite the post war myths, the USSR was not an unbeatable colossus. The shortage of everything but blood by the end of 41 and the disruption of supply and production chains meant the USSR was dependent on Lend-Lease aid. Losing 1/4 of their aircraft, 1/10th of their tanks, 50% of their explosives, and almost all their best 4x4 trucks would have crippled the Red Army's offensive capacity. Likewise the diversion of German resources to the West helped even out the playing field in the East. Without a reasonable fear of invasion a large amount of German troops could have been shifted East, Italy would likely have remained in the war in a North African stalemate. In particular the loss of day time fighters to defend Germany now reversed by a one front war coupled with the loss of 1/4 of Soviet combat aircraft would have been a massive reversal over real history. Th real strategic blunder by Hitler was in declaring war on the US. He should have delayed as long as possible, even given up the Battle of the Atlantic if it would have bought him a year. His second biggest blunder was his fear of a volk uprising. He believed the stab in the back and kept production of consumer goods up for too long instead of shifting to a war time economy in 39, 40, 41, or even 42. Germany going full war time in 40 and not having to face in 3 directions at once would have given the troops in the east a lot more material and even fuel to work with.

    BF, gonna disagree with you. It doesn't matter how hard the Soviets trapped at Kiev fought, they were not blocking the way to Moscow, lacked the fuel, ammunition and vehicles to break out in good order and their strategic leadership was still focused on holding places rather than buying time. The diversion away from first Leningrad and then Moscow to chase after less valuable lower hanging fruit was all Hitler, not red army resistance. The Loss of Leningrad and Moscow would have forced a mass withdrawal in the center and north because there was no rail, road or river network to support them once those to places fell. Hard to see a mass counter attack coming out of the Gorky Reaches with no Moscow rail hub. At the very least the loss of all European Russia west of Gorky would have slowed the Soviets down by at last a year. If there is no Lend-Lease and no Moscow rail hub they are done.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

      Actual numbers....158 total with 28 Essex class Fleet carriers, 8 Independence class light carriers & 122 escort carriers (many were for RN/RCN service).

      Now let's do aircraft...the Japanese produced a little over 60,000 aircraft from 1938-45. The US produced over 89,000 aircraft....in 1944 alone.
      If anyone's interested here's a Youtube video that shows/charts US and Japanese naval construction rates across all classes from Day 1 of the Pacific War until its conclusion. (I suggest turning up the viewing speed and turning off the Music)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ag2x3CS9M
      Last edited by Monash; 04 Nov 20,, 00:58.
      If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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      • #18
        June 25, 1940 the Germans are in the same place as they were in 1918. They now occupy all of France, Russia is still out of the war, British Navy can still blockade the the Germans. The German economy is not heading in the right direction. On the sea German ASW is not even close to the Allies ASW capabilities. Russia could supply fuel. Germany will not be able to import what it needs.

        Going into Russia up until about 1943 the Germans are still making gains. The Russians had collapsed in WW1, faltered in the Russian Civil War, paid an enormous price in Finland. In the beginning of the campaign the Russian losses were catastrophic. The Allies Military and civilian leadership except for FDR considered the Russians finished. The only part of the German Military that was realistic in it's goals and capabilities was the the German logistics Corp. They promised and delivered on a 700 to 800 kilometer thrust and they delivered. Russia is to Germany as China is to Japan, Too large to supply and conquer. To quote Buffalo Bills legendary coach Marv Levy. "The Germans can't win on the road."

        Dr. Robert Cintino gave a great talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNDhswF1GKk&t=13s

        Also a great book but a tough read The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West
        Last edited by Dazed; 05 Jan 21,, 02:07. Reason: Left out an important part.

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        • #19
          And as a Pats fan....the corollary is Marv Levy can't win a Super Bowl!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
            And as a Pats fan....the corollary is Marv Levy can't win a Super Bowl!
            A Bills fan will tell you they only lost 4 Super Bowls not 5,

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Dazed View Post

              A Bills fan will tell you they only lost 4 Super Bowls not 5,
              To lose 5 they have to get to 5.....
              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
              Mark Twain

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                To lose 5 they have to get to 5.....
                The 49ers won their first 5 the last 2 well..

                I am as old as the Pats, First 19 years of life spent in MA. Son of season ticket holders. Never seen a quarterback take a beating like Jim Plunkett. Back to topic/

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dazed View Post

                  The 49ers won their first 5 the last 2 well..

                  I am as old as the Pats, First 19 years of life spent in MA. Son of season ticket holders. Never seen a quarterback take a beating like Jim Plunkett. Back to topic/
                  I'm older than them!!!!
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

                    Yep. They needed America out by the end of 1942 or it was all over. If the US goes wobbly and agrees to a negotiated peace with Japan returning US possessions and Japan keeping what it has then Japan wins. Britain isn't going to be in a position to do much for years and China can only play defence.
                    But Pearl Harbor prevented the US being out in 42. Had Japan acted conventionally with a declaration of war, and ana ttack on the Phillipines they may have gotten the decisive engagement they wanted. By damaging the battleline they forced the US to adopt a defensive posture and write off the Philippines. Had the combined US/Japanese fleets met in a Jutland style battle in say Feb 42, the bulk of the USN likely would have been sunk in deep water. Losing say battleships and 3 carriers in deep water blocks US offensive action till at least 44. Enough time for diplomats to work since there would not have been the rage factor.

                    LIke Germany with Russia, Japan seriously underestimated US toughness & willingess to fight. Oops.
                    Japan knew we would fight, their whole pre-war strategy the Kentai Kessen was based on our willingness to suck up losses as we doggedly tried to cross the pacific to relieve the Philippines. Its why Japanese destroyers and cruisers carried so many torpedo weapons, why they developed low light optics and drilled incessantly for a night battle. What they did off Savo Island is what they had planned to do to the entire US fleet. Yamamoto's gambit skuppered their entire doctrine.

                    I read somewhere that Japan built less than 20 aircraft carriers from 1941-45. The US built something like 120. Hard to take on that sort of power in a stand up fight.
                    We built more Essex carriers IIRC than Japan built carriers of all types. Also our carrier designs got better, after Taiho, Japan downsized their aspirations to the Unryu class.

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                    • #25
                      Bigfella's point above was something I should have addressed earlier because it's always perplexed. Yamamoto himself (couldn't find an official reference BTW ) apparently cautioned the Japanese High Command that his plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor, if it succeeded would only guarantee Japan naval dominance in the Western Pacific region for a year or so, after which America's industrial capacity and manpower advantages would turn inevitably start to turn the balance back the other way and that a long war would lead to an American victory.

                      Yet I have never found any historical references that, having fore-filled all their immediate strategic priorities (i.e securing their oil supplies etc) that the Japanese leadership even contemplated for a moment opening talks for an armistice, let alone actively sounded out the Allies about such a possibility. Its like they were struck down by the worlds most severe case of collective amnesia AND victory fever at the same time. The guy who who made their 'victory' possible tells them they have 12 months and that a long war is a losing war and what happens? Nothing.
                      If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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                      • #26
                        Monash, thier pre-war conceptions of what woukd be a winning posistion got scrambeled to hell and gone when a B25 flew over the imperial palace. Midway and tge Akytians were at least partly an effort to create a bigger safe zone for the Home Islands.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          Monash, thier pre-war conceptions of what woukd be a winning posistion got scrambeled to hell and gone when a B25 flew over the imperial palace. Midway and tge Akytians were at least partly an effort to create a bigger safe zone for the Home Islands.

                          Possibly but continuing military operations with the intention of securing your gains and putting more pressure on the enemy after proposing an armistice is pretty much SOP. You might not go full tilt but you certainly act to consolidate your gains. In fact until such time as your opponent formally agrees to (or at least shows signs of seriously considering) your proposal you more or less obliged to maintain military pressure. Slacking off after opening negotiations hands the initiative over to the enemy and only encourages them to keep looking for viable military options.

                          And I said I can't find any record of Japans wartime government even considering an approach to the Allied powers while they still held most of the cards in the western pacific in late 42/ early 43. It just staggers me that they could have ignored such an obvious warning (obvious to me anyway) from the the architect of their opening gambit. I would have expected the navy at least to start ticking days off in the calendar from the moment the first bombs fell on Pearl.
                          Last edited by Monash; 02 Aug 21,, 02:43.
                          If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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