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Barbarossa Derailed

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  • #61
    Those interested in this thread please read the following:

    Operation Barbarossa and Operation Typhoon were failures. Although the Germans drove 1200 kilometers east into Soviet territory, took 1 million POW, and another million KIA and MIA in 5 major operational victories at Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev, Vyaz'ma and Briansk they did not achieve their ultimate strategic goal of defeating the Red Army by destroying totally their ability to wage war and make them surrender.

    Now that I got that out of the way for the pesky ljadw I plan on adding more to the thread. I will continue with my narrative of Barbarossa, Typhoon, and will get into the Soviet late fall/winter counteroffensive Operation Mars at some point.
    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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    • #62
      Encircling and destroying 8 Soviet armies in the first half of October was a failure, because the aim of Typhoon was not to encircle and defeat 8 Soviet armies .The aim was the collaps of the Soviet regime,as it did not collaps after the loss of 8 armies, the elimination of these 8 armies was a failure .

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      • #63
        Meh. I think we need to be a little careful casting judgement on military operations. Their objectives are set by human beings and are often colored by optimism and politics.

        Take Iwo Jima, for example: Victory was never in doubt. But I believe the original plan called for 1 week to take the island. It took 5x as long, with horrendous casualties. And the long term value of Iwo Jima was questionable. Yet no one would dare call that campaign a failure.

        If you want to call Barbarossa a failure, there's a much easier way to do it. If Germany had won the war in the east in 1942 or 1943, no one would be wasting any time arguing about Barbarossa. Instead, Barbarossa would've been seen by history as the opening campaign that broke the Soviet Unions back. Barbarossa was a failure because Germany ultimately lost the war.

        When you get down to it, using their own objectives, Germany never had a successful, large scale offensive in the east. This makes the argument kinda uninteresting.

        Categorizing campaigns into success/failure feels good as it feeds human needs for nice, simple answers. It's also often unnecessary. It's sufficient to say that Barbarossa resulted in many tactical successes on both sides but ultimately it did not resolve the larger picture.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by DingBat View Post
          Meh. I think we need to be a little careful casting judgement on military operations. Their objectives are set by human beings and are often colored by optimism and politics.

          Take Iwo Jima, for example: Victory was never in doubt. But I believe the original plan called for 1 week to take the island. It took 5x as long, with horrendous casualties. And the long term value of Iwo Jima was questionable. Yet no one would dare call that campaign a failure.

          If you want to call Barbarossa a failure, there's a much easier way to do it. If Germany had won the war in the east in 1942 or 1943, no one would be wasting any time arguing about Barbarossa. Instead, Barbarossa would've been seen by history as the opening campaign that broke the Soviet Unions back. Barbarossa was a failure because Germany ultimately lost the war.

          When you get down to it, using their own objectives, Germany never had a successful, large scale offensive in the east. This makes the argument kinda uninteresting.

          Categorizing campaigns into success/failure feels good as it feeds human needs for nice, simple answers. It's also often unnecessary. It's sufficient to say that Barbarossa resulted in many tactical successes on both sides but ultimately it did not resolve the larger picture.
          "That raises a very good question. I recall reading , from somewhere, that the German General staff wanted to hold off Babarossa until 1945-
          The German Baby Boom hadn't really started until 1925, and a large new crop of 17-20 year olds would be available , along with a new generation of heavy tanks. Along with a host of other good reasons...

          For some reason, the Panzer corps were leary about pitting their panzer twos and 38T's against Soviet Kv -1's....

          Was this true, or more post war _" it wasn't MY fault' hagio?
          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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          • #65
            Originally posted by marktwain View Post

            "That raises a very good question. I recall reading , from somewhere, that the German General staff wanted to hold off Babarossa until 1945-
            The German Baby Boom hadn't really started until 1925, and a large new crop of 17-20 year olds would be available , along with a new generation of heavy tanks. Along with a host of other good reasons...

            For some reason, the Panzer corps were leary about pitting their panzer twos and 38T's against Soviet Kv -1's....

            Was this true, or more post war _" it wasn't MY fault' hagio?
            Well, iirc, the general staff didn't even want to kick off ANY offensive action until the mid-40s. Hitler even nominally agreed with that, he just didn't believe that the western allies would go to the wall over Poland.

            I would tend to attribute their reluctance wrt to Barbarossa to a combination of:
            - Natural caution
            - An appreciation that the old, 100k Reichswehr was less than half a decade behind them
            - An appreciation that Russia was not Poland or France
            - Experience in the kinds of wear and tear a campaign like France could inflict on the armored and mechanized units
            - Concerns about logistics and the kind of effort needed to keep a Panzer Division moving
            - Experience from those officers that had first hand experience of Russia and the Red Army
            - An understanding of the issues in the German production of aircraft and armor
            - An understanding of the shallowness of German reserves of critical war stocks, especially fuel

            There was a lot to be concerned about. Unfortunately (for the General Staff) the overwhelming success of Poland, France, and Yugoslavia severely undermined their ability to argue those concerns with Hitler.

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            • #66
              Thanks Dingbat and marktwain for contributing.

              I agree that you could just view Operation Barbarossa/Typhoon through a vacuum and call it one massive operational failure but I don't see it that way.

              I, along with many historians, David Glantz among them, view it as a strategic failure. The many German military operational successes - and they were successes - meant nothing in the long run because strategically the Germans never had a chance.

              I do not agree that Barbarossa/Typhoon, because they were failures, need not be studied and talked about. Its military history. Should we burn every military history book ever written because there was a loser?

              Should Glantz not wasted years of his life researching and writing and just write one page books with 2 words like "Barbarossa Failed"?

              Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by DingBat View Post

                Well, iirc, the general staff didn't even want to kick off ANY offensive action until the mid-40s. Hitler even nominally agreed with that, he just didn't believe that the western allies would go to the wall over Poland.

                I would tend to attribute their reluctance wrt to Barbarossa to a combination of:
                - Natural caution
                - An appreciation that the old, 100k Reichswehr was less than half a decade behind them
                - An appreciation that Russia was not Poland or France
                - Experience in the kinds of wear and tear a campaign like France could inflict on the armored and mechanized units
                - Concerns about logistics and the kind of effort needed to keep a Panzer Division moving
                - Experience from those officers that had first hand experience of Russia and the Red Army
                - An understanding of the issues in the German production of aircraft and armor
                - An understanding of the shallowness of German reserves of critical war stocks, especially fuel

                There was a lot to be concerned about. Unfortunately (for the General Staff) the overwhelming success of Poland, France, and Yugoslavia severely undermined their ability to argue those concerns with Hitler.
                The presence of Hermann Goering in 1941 caN'T BE UNDERESTIMATED.
                Der Hermann had been persuaded that Poland had a massive underground pool of oil that the Poles were just too dense to find.
                The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                  Thanks Dingbat and marktwain for contributing.

                  I agree that you could just view Operation Barbarossa/Typhoon through a vacuum and call it one massive operational failure but I don't see it that way.

                  I, along with many historians, David Glantz among them, view it as a strategic failure. The many German military operational successes - and they were successes - meant nothing in the long run because strategically the Germans never had a chance.

                  I do not agree that Barbarossa/Typhoon, because they were failures, need not be studied and talked about. Its military history. Should we burn every military history book ever written because there was a loser?

                  Should Glantz not wasted years of his life researching and writing and just write one page books with 2 words like "Barbarossa Failed"?
                  I'm doing a quick re-read of Glantz's Barabrossa Derailed looking for the use and experience of the first ten experimental Katyusha batteries (from Jul '41 to Aug/Sep '41). What caught my eye is Glantz's use of body of archival records in the Messages/Reports/Telephone calls among Stavka, Fronts and Armies. This body of sources Glantz first used his "Forgotten Battles of the German-Soviet War" which I also going through for the use of first ten Katyusha batteries. Both book series focused on the commanders, but particularly in the actions when the Timoshenko's Western Front and Konev's 19th Army "derail" Army Group Center momentum in August. I wanted to hear more about the Chief of Staffs and Operations Officers role in shaping the reports, estimates, and courses of actions for the commanders, much like what the Red Army General Staff did for Stalin.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                    I'm doing a quick re-read of Glantz's Barabrossa Derailed looking for the use and experience of the first ten experimental Katyusha batteries (from Jul '41 to Aug/Sep '41). What caught my eye is Glantz's use of body of archival records in the Messages/Reports/Telephone calls among Stavka, Fronts and Armies. This body of sources Glantz first used his "Forgotten Battles of the German-Soviet War" which I also going through for the use of first ten Katyusha batteries. Both book series focused on the commanders, but particularly in the actions when the Timoshenko's Western Front and Konev's 19th Army "derail" Army Group Center momentum in August. I wanted to hear more about the Chief of Staffs and Operations Officers role in shaping the reports, estimates, and courses of actions for the commanders, much like what the Red Army General Staff did for Stalin.
                    Steven Zaloga's book "Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of WWII" [1984] gives the following information:


                    The multiple rocket launchers were top secret in the beginning of World War II. A special unit of the NKVD troops was raised to operate them. On July 14, 1941, an experimental artillery battery of seven launchers was first used in battle at Orsha in the Vitebsk region of Belarus, under the command of Captain Ivan Flyorov destroying a concentration of German troops with tanks, armored vehicles and trucks at the marketplace, causing massive German Army casualties and its retreat from the town in panic. Following the success, the Red Army organized new guards mortar batteries for the support of infantry divisions. A battery's complement was standardized at four launchers. They remained under NKVD control until German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers became common later in the war.


                    On August 8, 1941, Stalin ordered the formation of eight special Guards mortar regiments under the direct control of Reserve of the Supreme High Command - RVGK. Each regiment comprised three battalions of three batteries totaling 36 BM - 13 or BM - 8 launchers. Independent Guards mortar battalions were also formed, comprising 12 launchers in three batteries of four. By the end of 1941, there were 8 regiments, 35 independent battalions, and two independent batteries in service, fielding a total of 554 launchers.

                    I am in the process of searching for the incident at Vitebsk in Glantz' "Barbarossa Derailed".
                    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                    • #70
                      Perusing through V1 of "Barbarossa Derailed" for a while now. Glantz does not mention the incident involving Katyusha multiple rocket launchers on 14 July at Vitebsk. The narrative continues his pattern of Timoshenko's orders given to the Soviet Western Front army commanders for each individual day followed by a report of the army commanders on how their mission orders fared. I think the place to start would be the orders of battle and tables of organization and equipment for the 2 Soviet armies directly opposite the elements of Hoth's 3rd Panzer Group which captured Vitebsk on 11 - 12 July, which were the 19th and 20th armies. Each of these armies corps and divisions/brigades TO&E may be listed in the 3rd volume of "Barbarossa Derailed" which I do not have a copy of.

                      Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        It is hard to believe that not one book is available which contains a detailed technical and operational history of Soviet MLR's during WWII. I have been searching the web in vain. There is a 48 page publication that covers all of the Soviet MLR's from WWII up to the present so that does not sound good to me.

                        https://www.amazon.com/Katyusha-Mult...s&sr=8-1-fkmr2
                        Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                          It is hard to believe that not one book is available which contains a detailed technical and operational history of Soviet MLR's during WWII. I have been searching the web in vain. There is a 48 page publication that covers all of the Soviet MLR's from WWII up to the present so that does not sound good to me.

                          https://www.amazon.com/Katyusha-Mult...s&sr=8-1-fkmr2
                          Agree, that's why I have been researching and drafting such a book for several years. I have sources in Red Army General Staff Studies , memoirs, and recent Russian historians works with good archival material. I am well beyond anything in English. Farther than just force structure, launcher systems and well-known actions, I will show how they fought their units in different types of operations down to how they managed the rockets' elliptical dispersion patterns and other technical aspects to conform to tactical targets. Hope to have a completed draft in about a year.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                          • #73
                            PS I have the book, it is thin gruel.
                            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                              It is hard to believe that not one book is available which contains a detailed technical and operational history of Soviet MLR's during WWII. I have been searching the web in vain. There is a 48 page publication that covers all of the Soviet MLR's from WWII up to the present so that does not sound good to me.

                              https://www.amazon.com/Katyusha-Mult...s&sr=8-1-fkmr2
                              Searching books is not always a good idea. Better to check for articles on websites and blogs. Difficult to do however if you don't know Russian.
                              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                                Encircling and destroying 8 Soviet armies in the first half of October was a failure, because the aim of Typhoon was not to encircle and defeat 8 Soviet armies .The aim was the collaps of the Soviet regime,as it did not collaps after the loss of 8 armies, the elimination of these 8 armies was a failure .
                                Stalin was never going to surrender. He was willing to fight on until every last person in his empire had been killed, and then he would run or hide. Destroying those armies simply prolonged the war. Barbarossa did turn out to be a failure, but not from that action.
                                How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                                Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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