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Could operation `Winterstorm`succeed?

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  • Could operation `Winterstorm`succeed?

    I`ve read in the book of general Raus, commander of the 6th panzerdivision that they were ordered to withdraw when they were on the brink of breaking through to 6th army at Stalingrad. It stated that all Russian reserves between them and the pocket were eliminated and over 7000 trucks and supplies stood ready to go to 6th army. What`s your opinion on that; was it true and do you think they could have reached 6th army (35 km) or was it bragging?

  • #2
    If they'd got through, it'd just have meant more Germans for the Russians to have captured +/- killed.

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    • #3
      The statement of Raus is nonsens :the 7000 trucks existed in his imagination only;the relief forces never could hold till 6th army was evacuated .The 35 km is also very questionable .

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      • #4
        4th Panzer Army got within 35km or so with its advance units, but was a spent force by that time. Without a viable effort even attempted by 6th Army to reach them from the inside this operation wasn't going to succeed. I never heard of 7k trucks being available either, perhaps thats how many they actually needed? Operation Winter Tempest needed 2 more Panzer divisions to succeed, they were in the planning but never materialized in time. I'd be curious about whether Hitler would allow 6th Army to escape through a corridor or if he would try and push supplies in to try and hold the city.
        "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
        -Omar Bradley
        "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
        -Anonymous US Army logistician

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        • #5
          Considering Hitler proclaimed the "6th Army still will be in place come Easter" (or similar words) I suspect that a successful break in would have resulted in the Germans trying reestablish the Don front. About all this woul have accomplished was a "Super-Stalingrad" when the Red Army reached Rostov after destroying the Italians and Hungarians.
          The Purist

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LWDXL View Post
            I`ve read in the book of general Raus, commander of the 6th panzerdivision that they were ordered to withdraw when they were on the brink of breaking through to 6th army at Stalingrad. It stated that all Russian reserves between them and the pocket were eliminated and over 7000 trucks and supplies stood ready to go to 6th army. What`s your opinion on that; was it true and do you think they could have reached 6th army (35 km) or was it bragging?
            It was possible but it needed sixth army to attack towards the relief force and sixth army never made the attempt.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
              The statement of Raus is nonsens :the 7000 trucks existed in his imagination only;the relief forces never could hold till 6th army was evacuated .The 35 km is also very questionable .
              Raus does not speak of 7000 trucks and supplies and trucks had certainly been made ready. He mentions that an anvance of 33 kilometers was ordered by Hoth to be executed on the morning of christmas Eve. 6 th army would also have to cover part of the distance to the relief force which was 48 kilometers away at that time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                4th Panzer Army got within 35km or so with its advance units, but was a spent force by that time. Without a viable effort even attempted by 6th Army to reach them from the inside this operation wasn't going to succeed. I never heard of 7k trucks being available either, perhaps thats how many they actually needed? Operation Winter Tempest needed 2 more Panzer divisions to succeed, they were in the planning but never materialized in time. I'd be curious about whether Hitler would allow 6th Army to escape through a corridor or if he would try and push supplies in to try and hold the city.
                If sixth army attacked towards the relief force and a corridor was established, Stalingrad was inevitably going to fall because the effort to reach the relief force and holding onto Stalingrad at the same time were not compatible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                  Considering Hitler proclaimed the "6th Army still will be in place come Easter" (or similar words) I suspect that a successful break in would have resulted in the Germans trying reestablish the Don front. About all this woul have accomplished was a "Super-Stalingrad" when the Red Army reached Rostov after destroying the Italians and Hungarians.
                  Reestablishing the original front had already become an illusion.

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                  • #10
                    35 km taking into account typical advance rates would be a week's worth of fighting if the Russians had stuff in their path.
                    A single panzer division couldn't have held a corridor open to allow anything through in any case.

                    So, Raus is talking smack.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      35 km taking into account typical advance rates would be a week's worth of fighting if the Russians had stuff in their path.
                      A single panzer division couldn't have held a corridor open to allow anything through in any case.

                      So, Raus is talking smack.
                      Raus made a statement about a situation he experienced and may be supposed to know what he was talking about.
                      A lot of heavy fighting had already been done and sixth army was supposed to also attack towards the relief force.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stug43 View Post
                        Raus made a statement about a situation he experienced and may be supposed to know what he was talking about.
                        A lot of heavy fighting had already been done and sixth army was supposed to also attack towards the relief force.
                        Considering they'd been ordered by Manstein to sit tight and not try to break out, one must assume that the relief force was going to do all the work. The other problem was that the 6th Army had very little fuel and no mobile reserves. Breaking in to get them out would have resulted in more forces being trapped.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                          Considering they'd been ordered by Manstein to sit tight and not try to break out, one must assume that the relief force was going to do all the work. The other problem was that the 6th Army had very little fuel and no mobile reserves. Breaking in to get them out would have resulted in more forces being trapped.
                          Sixth army was ordered by Manstein on 19 december 1942 to attack towards the relief force. Paulus felt unable to execute that order.

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                          • #14
                            I don't remember precisely what Senger und Etterling said about the units engaged and the timing of events. But i remember that after the initial success of the last assault on another line (rivers)..., after another line, the pressure of russians was so heavy that it was impossible to hold. Never he said that it was possible to do something : they did not have the power to keep the offensive rolling on... so the russians were able to restablish and strike back. Also the situation was bad at their flancks.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stug43 View Post
                              Sixth army was ordered by Manstein on 19 december 1942 to attack towards the relief force. Paulus felt unable to execute that order.
                              Correct. The weather was deteriorating, and 6th Army had insufficient fuel. The Red Army attack on the Tatsinskaya airfield caused enough disruption and damage to stymie German relief efforts for several days.

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