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The Caucasus July 1942- Jan 1943

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  • Cult Icon
    started a topic The Caucasus July 1942- Jan 1943

    The Caucasus July 1942- Jan 1943

    This thread is about the military aspects of the campaign in the Caucasus, which cost 628,000 casualties combined.

    It has been neglected compared to Stalingrad even though it was the original primary goal of the summer 1942 offensive.

  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Off topic but discussing mountain divisions I have ordered the following book and it too received a great review at Stone&Stone: http://books.stonebooks.com/reviews/171015.shtml

    Covers the failure of the German 6th Mountain Division at Litza during Operation Barbarossa.

    I also pre-ordered "At Wars Summit" and received a free copy (not in full) to my Kindle.
    Last edited by Kurt Knispel; 16 Aug 18, 18:45.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    http://books.stonebooks.com/reviews/180805.shtml

    Review of the new book- notes the emphasis on the Red Army's mountain units.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    There were a few mountain divisions. 1st Mountain Division Gebirgs was a Wehrmacht division which, as stated above consisted of mostly Bavarians/Austrians and this is the division which was deployed in the Caucuses. The other 2 were the 6th SS Gebirgs Division Nord and the 7th SS Gebirgs Division Prince Eugen. 6th SS Nord was predominately deployed in Norway:

    http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nati...-division-nord

    7th SS Prince Eugen was predominately deployed in the Balkans:

    http://www.axishistory.com/books/119...on-prinz-eugen

    There is a lot of literature available on the Prince Eugen Division but not as much on the others.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    what is not commonly known is that the mountain divisions were converted from low- number German infantry divisions starting from 2nd Infantry division.
    Huh?
    AFAIK the 2. Infanterie Division was a motorized infantry division until the end of 1940, when it became the 12. Panzerdivision, not a Gebirgsdivision.
    AFAIK, the Gebirgsdivisionen were
    - established before the war as such, or
    - converted before the war from Austrian infantry divisions (and given the small size of the Austrian army, of course these were "low-numbered", but they weren't German divisions to start with), or
    - established during the war by enlarging mountain regiments and/or adding to them other less-than-divisional units (usually regiments), or
    - established during the war by converting high-numbered infantry divisions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Another new book on my wish list: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1472828348...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Originally posted by Darren Marshall View Post

    The two links doesnt works :-(
    Here ya go: https://www.amazon.com/Few-Returned-...s=few+returned


    https://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Ste...3AK7HKEJKVW3PD






    Leave a comment:


  • Darren Marshall
    replied
    Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

    Indeed Darren, and they suffered greatly. If you have not read this book already I highly recommend it: https://www.amazon.com/Few-Returned-...sian-1942-1943

    Quote from the Amazon blurb:



    I also recommend this book:[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]

    https://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Ste...aign-1942-1943
    The two links doesnt works :-(

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    The German mountain divisions were also used in the artic circle 1942-1944. Their training and equipment make them suitable for places with extremely cold weather conditions and broken terrain.

    what is not commonly known is that the mountain divisions were converted from low- number German infantry divisions starting from 2nd Infantry division.

    Leave a comment:


  • Artyom_A
    replied
    Originally posted by Darren Marshall View Post
    Absurd to call in Russia the Alpini Corps and let them fought in the plains of the Don!!
    German "mountain" divisions in steppes of Ukraine or swamps near Leningrad don't make you surprised? Looks like the brief campaign in the Caucasus was the only instance on the EF when two of them fought in the type of terrain they were meant for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    [QUOTE=Cult Icon;n5054102]

    Yes, Stalingrad was not the priority target- it was the Caucasus. This was a major blunder as the Germans ended up expending more resources for the Stalingrad region.

    From reading Stalingrad Trilogy, however, the Soviets were strong enough to contest the Axis lines of communication with major offensives so there would be battles to cut off the spearhead. However, it would be battles that the Wehrmacht at the time could more easily win (mobile defense/counteroffensive) and inflict high losses.

    To continue, Glantz released "Operation Don", which is a tome about the Soviet pursuit and Axis retreat from the Caucasus.


    I believe they could have succeeded in taking the oil fields with the whole of AGS attacking. Holding on to them is another thing entirely though. This would have been near impossible I think. Unless we go down the rabbit hole of "what if" as in "what if" the Germans did not need to bail out the Italians in North Africa freeing up a corps with Rommel leading it into Russia?

    I read part one the trilogy To The Gates of Stalingrad and was able to get through it but will probably re-read it before I move on to part 2. I am still having problems with Glantzs' style of "lossless" historical writing as compared to compressed "lossy" used by most other military historical authors. His narrative (or lack of?) is difficult for me.

    My use of computer file formats as a comparison is not to confuse just to clarify. When ripping a music file from a CD to your PC you can use a variety of formats most popular is 192 kbps which compresses the music so it take up less space on your hard drive but in return quality of sound is compromised. I always rip in FLAC format (lossless) which is 450-900 kbps and retains the original CD quality. Glantzs' writing style is most definitely "lossless" as he leaves nothing out!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post


    On another note I wonder if Hitler would or could have (if it was feasible with logistics support), not divide Army Group South into 2 separate groups A and B, with A wheeling south towards the Caucuses and B east toward Stalingrad, but instead sent the whole of AGS towards the Caucuses and the much needed oil fields. Maybe leaving just 1 corps near the key routes into the Caucuses as a "rear guard" force to protect against supply routes and a Soviet advance (which surely the Soviets would have done to try and cut off supply and isolate the AGS.
    Yes, Stalingrad was not the priority target- it was the Caucasus. This was a major blunder as the Germans ended up expending more resources for the Stalingrad region.

    From reading Stalingrad Trilogy, however, the Soviets were strong enough to contest the Axis lines of communication with major offensives so there would be battles to cut off the spearhead. However, it would be battles that the Wehrmacht at the time could more easily win (mobile defense/counteroffensive) and inflict high losses.

    To continue, Glantz released "Operation Don", which is a tome about the Soviet pursuit and Axis retreat from the Caucasus.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Hi Kurt,

    I have the digital copy. It looks good and focuses on tactical and operational aspects.

    With Unit histories, the 5.SS Wiking played a major role (Unit history: European Volunteers). As did 3.Panzer and 23.Panzer (Unit histories can be consulted here as well).

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Originally posted by Darren Marshall View Post

    Absurd to call in Russia the Alpini Corps and let them fought in the plains of the Don!!
    Indeed Darren, and they suffered greatly. If you have not read this book already I highly recommend it: https://www.amazon.com/Few-Returned-...sian-1942-1943

    Quote from the Amazon blurb:

    Why is it that Corti's book, which was first published in 1947, continues after fifty years to be reprinted in Italy? Because, as Mario Apollonio of the University of Milan said, when the book first appeared: "It is a chronicle . . . but it is much more than that: behind the physical reality, there is the truth" about man at his most tragic hour. Apollonio adds: "The power of the writing immediately transforms the document into drama"; the result is a "novel-poem-drama-history." The philosopher Benedetto Croce found in Corti's book "the not infrequent gleam of human goodness and nobility."
    Few Returned
    is a classic of war literature that succeeds in bringing home the full hatefulness of war.


    I also recommend this book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Ste...aign-1942-1943

    Leave a comment:


  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    This thread is about the military aspects of the campaign in the Caucasus, which cost 628,000 casualties combined.

    It has been neglected compared to Stalingrad even though it was the original primary goal of the summer 1942 offensive.
    I never saw this thread until now. I see you started it 3 years ago. Great topic but I guess it went unnoticed. I have At Wars Summit on my Amazon U.S. wish list for a few months now it still says available for pre order. Did you get yours someplace else? The Free Corps Walloon played a small part in the Caucuses during Fall Blue. Interesting quote here:

    During Fall Blau offensive into the Caucasus , the Walloons were positioned to guard the supply lines of the assault, seeing little action. In early August, the Walloons were called upon to clear a small village. During this battle, Degrelle was awarded the Iron Cross second class. In late August, the Battalion was pulled out of action and posted to flank security. During this time it came into contact with Felix Steiner's SS-Division
    Wiking
    . Degrelle and Steiner got along well, and Degrelle was impressed by the ethos of the Waffen-SS . In December, Degrelle was ordered to Berlin to coordinate the formation of a second Walloon Battalion, but Degrelle had already decided to take his Walloons to the Waffen-SS.
    See:
    http://www.waffen-ss.no/28.SS-Freiwi...0Wallonien.htm

    On another note I wonder if Hitler would or could have (if it was feasible with logistics support), not divide Army Group South into 2 separate groups A and B, with A wheeling south towards the Caucuses and B east toward Stalingrad, but instead sent the whole of AGS towards the Caucuses and the much needed oil fields. Maybe leaving just 1 corps near the key routes into the Caucuses as a "rear guard" force to protect against supply routes and a Soviet advance (which surely the Soviets would have done to try and cut off supply and isolate the AGS.




    Leave a comment:

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