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Was the Barbarossa plan altered from Hitlers original concept?

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  • #16
    I'm pretty sure the wintergear was there, it just got stuck in the warehouses because all logistical capacity (which was nowhere near enough) was used for ammo, food and other required supplies.
    Wisdom is personal

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    • #17
      Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

      Thank You. Stalin's purges in the 1930's ensured a tight grip on his government. He had his people, and none of them were invulnerable, in the key places of government. I think the chance of the SU falling apart were very slim. They would have gone collectively down in defeat. Look at the Soviet human sacrifices endured to derail the German invasion--Leningrad held, Moscow held, and Kirponos died at Kiev.
      I tend to agree. I think if something was going to happen it would have been in the first 3 or 4 weeks, after that it was too late. And in those early days things were so messed up and the sub leadership so cowed that the moment was lost. I have a book ‘inside the court of the red tzar’ that shows the terror Stalin held over everyone. Even his closest allies were paralysed in case their calls became a treason trial. His favourite game was to kill or send a wife to the gulag while keeping the man close. Even as he lay dying no one was brave enough to enter for sometime in case he was just sleeping off a hangover or some such. And even then no one wanted to be the one to call a doctor in case he recovered and shot them for some imaginary plot.
      I think that it is a sad thing that the part of the SU in WW2 is so so lost in the west. They broke the German war machine. They bled Germany dry. And they did it with an overseer that didn’t care about them before, during, or after.
      Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

      That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Rojik View Post

        I tend to agree. I think if something was going to happen it would have been in the first 3 or 4 weeks, after that it was too late. And in those early days things were so messed up and the sub leadership so cowed that the moment was lost. I have a book ‘inside the court of the red tzar’ that shows the terror Stalin held over everyone. Even his closest allies were paralysed in case their calls became a treason trial. His favourite game was to kill or send a wife to the gulag while keeping the man close. Even as he lay dying no one was brave enough to enter for sometime in case he was just sleeping off a hangover or some such. And even then no one wanted to be the one to call a doctor in case he recovered and shot them for some imaginary plot.
        I think that it is a sad thing that the part of the SU in WW2 is so so lost in the west. They broke the German war machine. They bled Germany dry. And they did it with an overseer that didn’t care about them before, during, or after.
        Stalin was shooting failed commanders in the early weeks, until Zhukov talked him out it--saved Konev. One of Zhukov's daughters told Otto Chaney (Zhukov biographer) that her father kept a suitcase packed for a midnight arrest in the late 1930's. Beria tried throughout the war to get Zhukov (even when the ink was still wet on the surrender documents), but Stalin needed him (until in post-war Zhukov was getting too much credit for the victory and was banished to a remote Military District)..
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #19
          For starters, I have my doubts that Hitler had an "original concept" of his own, in the grand operational sense of the thing. A strategic idea, maybe. The execution, no.
          Michele

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          • #20
            Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post

            Moscow was more than just a political and symbolic prize. It was also a major economic / production center and a major rail and road hub.

            Whether the fall of Moscow would have resulted in the surrender of the USSR will be debated forever.
            The surrender of the SU would have resulted in the fall of Moscow .

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Karri View Post
              I'm pretty sure the wintergear was there, it just got stuck in the warehouses because all logistical capacity (which was nowhere near enough) was used for ammo, food and other required supplies.
              I remember reading (somewhere) that the winter gear was being sent forward but that it kept getting sidetracked by RAMF who wanted to stay warm. Thus the only thing that made it forward was ammo. etc. since the afore named RAMF were more than happy to have them fighting anywhere but near themselves.
              Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Tsar View Post

                I remember reading (somewhere) that the winter gear was being sent forward but that it kept getting sidetracked by RAMF who wanted to stay warm. Thus the only thing that made it forward was ammo. etc. since the afore named RAMF were more than happy to have them fighting anywhere but near themselves.
                And I also read accounts of how the German populace offered up winter clothing for the soldiers, but the effort was too late after the hardest part of a cold winter (Source for the second point: Raus in Panzer Operations).
                Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 21 May 20, 14:07.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                • #23
                  Should make us wonder how a complete victory would have gone. Were they going to have to strip the Russians of their winter uniforms in order to survive?
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Tsar View Post

                    I remember reading (somewhere) that the winter gear was being sent forward but that it kept getting sidetracked by RAMF who wanted to stay warm. Thus the only thing that made it forward was ammo. etc. since the afore named RAMF were more than happy to have them fighting anywhere but near themselves.
                    The winter gear was ready to be transported to the East at the end of October : Operation Bogen : 371 trains with 10000 wagons, but due to the heavy fighting,everything was delayed and the transports could start only in December,with big difficulties due to the weather .Operation Bogen could have been possible at the end of October,if Typhoon had been successful .
                    Source : Geschichtsforum de. :winterkleidung oder munition .

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Should make us wonder how a complete victory would have gone. Were they going to have to strip the Russians of their winter uniforms in order to survive?
                      Yes : they stripped the civilians of their winter clothing till the the trains with winter clothing were arriving .

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                        In my internet searches, I came across a site with an historian that claims that Franz Halder, in the planning stages for Barbarossa, altered the concept of the entire plan by transferring units slated for Armee Group South, and ordering them to be deployed instead to Armee Group Center.

                        Hitler's original planning concept was, apparently, to have the majority of the mobile units deployed with the Southern arm of the invasion, and to have them push deep into the Soviet Union, past Rostov, and into the Don and beyond during the first campaigning season.
                        Halder not only altered this plan, but argued forcefully for the objective of MOSCOW, rather than Rostov on Don, as the principle objective of the 1941 thrust,..<snip>...
                        Generally this is correct but there are some caveats.

                        As David Stahel points out in his first two volumes "Barbarossa" and "Kiev 1941" the biggest argument between Hitler and his generals came in late July and August over what to do once supplies caught up to AG Centre. All the German generals were thinking in terms of 1940 and 'bewegungskrieg", claiming that Moscow's fall would bring about the fall of the USSR. Unfortunately, the USSR was not France and while the fall of Moscow would have been serious, neither Stalin nor the STAVKA had any intentions of capitulating had the city fallen.

                        Where Hitler was right was in pointing out that the war in the east was about resources, particularly food and oil. It was Hitler's entire reason for wanting to move east in the first place. His economic policies were centred around self-sufficiency for the Reich and removing the reliance on foreign trade. Unfortunately, this meant the only way Germany could reduce its need to trade in order to feed its population and meet its resource needs (everything except , maybe, coal) was to expand and take these resources. The only place Germany could do this was by moving east and occupying the Ukraine and the Caucasus. Tie this together with his racial views towards Slavs and Jews and you get Lebensraum and the "Hunger Plan".

                        The Soviet Union was to be destroyed and the new eastern territories were to be colonised by Germany while the remaining Slavs would provide the slave labour forces for the new German towns and cities in the east. Feeding the 'native' Slav population would be a secondary concern with only enough food being allotted to keep the work force alive. No provisions were to be made for the surplus population - they would leave, or starve to death.

                        Germany was already facing food shortage in 1941 (civilian rations were already being reduced) and the added need to feed occupied Europe only made the growing crisis worse. The blockade also had the Nazi economic departments warning that Germany would start to run out of oil by September as early as August had begun recommending that, should the campaign continue, the Wehmacht would need to "de-modernize" - reduce the number of mobile formations in the army.

                        Both Stalin and the STAVKA also believed that to defeat the USSR the Germans would have to take the Ukraine and the Caucasus and they deployed the Red Army accordingly (the strongest forces were deployed south of the Pripyet Marshes), protecting the resource and manufacturing centres in the Ukraine, Don Bass and the gateway to oilfields. We do know that had Moscow actually fallen, the regime planned to continue the fight. By August the most critical manufacturing centres had already been evacuated east along with their workforce.

                        We know from both Glantz & House, David Stahel, Alexander Hill and others that the German mobile formation had been constantly delayed by fuel shortages as early as the second half of July, following closure of the Minsk pocket. In the south, where Soviet General Kirponos was conducting a much more skillful fighting retreat, the Germans were far behind their schedule. The decision to turn south at the end of August was aimed at two objectives - destroy the Soviet Southwestern Front and to conquer the Ukraine.

                        Right decisions, if not the right reasons.




                        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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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Tsar View Post

                          I remember reading (somewhere) that the winter gear was being sent forward but that it kept getting sidetracked by RAMF who wanted to stay warm. Thus the only thing that made it forward was ammo. etc. since the afore named RAMF were more than happy to have them fighting anywhere but near themselves.
                          It wasn't the echelon, it was simply a lack of transportation capacity - rail and truck.

                          The Wehrmacht had only planned to provide winter clothing for 45 divisions by winter - that was the planned garrison force for the conquered territory. It was only in September that it finally struck home that the Wehrmacht would be facing a winter campaign and that winter clothing would be needed for upwards of 200 divisions. By then the logistics network was so fouled up that priority was given to ammunition and fuel with backlogs at transportation hubs. Add to the problems with the trains the fact that the German truck fleet was reduced by 60% and more in places and the supply situation for even ammunition and fuel soon became impossible.
                          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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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            For starters, I have my doubts that Hitler had an "original concept" of his own, in the grand operational sense of the thing. A strategic idea, maybe. The execution, no.
                            Indeed. Hitler wanted the territory but like his generals, he badly underestimated the Soviet Unions capacity to resist. What we have learned over the past 15 years or so is that even as early as mid-August, the opportunity to defeat the USSR, if it ever existed, had already slipped through the fingers of the Ostheer.
                            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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                            • #29
                              Let me get this right then....

                              If the window of opportunity was small...VERY SMALL.....
                              And if the invasion was launched resulting from a gigantic overestimation of werhmacht capabilities, (and a corresponding underestimation of Russian political strength)

                              What, in the name of all things holy, what could have caused that hubris to begin with?

                              Answer: The quick surrender of the entire country of France..

                              THERFORE: The quick surrender of France SAVED EUROPE!

                              What was that about "cheese eating surrender monkeys?"

                              Hang your head in shame Matt Groening!

                              Just remember a piece of German Army slang for Hitler...GROFAZ.(short for Grossderfeltheerallezieten.."The Greatest Military Leader of All Time"

                              It might have originated with Keitel, but the Army picked it up, and did not use it sarcastically until the Russian invasion was clearly not going to succeed.
                              The SS weren't the only fanatics in Germany.
                              Hitler believed it too, and Goebbels propaganda service did nothing to sway the German people away from this view, until the bad news from Stalingrad made it obvious to all.

                              Thank you FRANCE! Stalinj wasn't going to be on our side any other way.


                              Further, what was the principle reason for the speed of the French collapse of their government?

                              And the short answer to that comes with one word....VERDUN

                              So, Erich von Falkeenhayn's much ridivuled concept was proven to be correct after all. Frances leadership and military had, after all, responded to Verdun in exactly the manner that he predicted.

                              Many people have derided Falkenhayn, but the state of France and French military thought had been catastrophically undermined by Falkenhayn's "mincer"

                              French defeat came, even if it was fully 20 odd years after "The Mill on the Meuse" ha ground to a halt.

                              Take a bow Erich von Falkenhayn....
                              Last edited by Drusus Nero; 23 May 20, 02:09.
                              My Articles, ALMOST LIVE, exclusive to The Armchair!

                              Soviet Submarines in WW2....The Mythology of Shiloh....(Edited) Both Sides of the Warsaw Ghetto
                              GULAG Glossary....Who Really Killed The Red Baron?....Pearl Harbor At 75
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                              • #30
                                Furthermore, take a bow PURIST for post #26....well done sir!

                                Proving once again that the Staff and members of this forum are experts, with some of the best opinions and sourcing on the internet.

                                Take another bow, PURIST! (storms of applause!!!!!!)
                                Last edited by Drusus Nero; 23 May 20, 01:38.
                                My Articles, ALMOST LIVE, exclusive to The Armchair!

                                Soviet Submarines in WW2....The Mythology of Shiloh....(Edited) Both Sides of the Warsaw Ghetto
                                GULAG Glossary....Who Really Killed The Red Baron?....Pearl Harbor At 75
                                Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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