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  • #46
    Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
    Yes you did and i misread that, my mistake.

    Ok lets assume that Leningrad falls, then what?

    The way i see it, with St Petersberg now incorporated into Finland this frees up the 16th and 18th Armies, where would these Armies go?

    Would they be sent south to aide Army Group Centre as soon as possible or would they be rested and refitted and then sent south?
    The capture of Leningrad would not have freed up the German XVI Army, as it was deployed in the Lake Ilmen sector in contact with ACG. The forces which would have been freed with the fall of Leningrad (and presumably the elimination of the Oranienbaum "pocket") would have been part of the German XVIII Army, as a large portion of it was already engaged on the Volkhov/Sinyavino front, as well as the Finnish forces north of Leningrad. Thus, the fall of Leningrad would not have led to any large concentration of German forces for offensive operations in the north. It would, however, have opened up the use of a major port for German supplies, the full use of the XVIII Army for establishing a strong defensive line along the entire Volkhov, and the release of Finnish forces for further operations in the Karelia aimed at cutting the Murmansk railway. The main strategic benefit, however, would be that the German XVIII Army would no longer have been in the precarious position of having its forces stretched along a front line which denied it any real operational reserves in case of concerted Soviet attacks.

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    • #47
      Interesting discussion, chaps. I had often wondered if there were an effective German strategy and hence operational plan for 1942. I appreciate that we have far better information than was available to OKW / OKH but I had always felt that Leningrad should have been dealt with one way or another before further extending combat and support formations Eastward.

      Is there a realistic potential of moving 1st Pz. and other forces up to Leningrad in the same way that the 4th was moved to AGS and playing out the summer battles of '42 in the North? My thinking is:

      1) Izyum contained and closed
      2) Line Vitebsk-Demyansk cleared
      3) Sevastopol taken
      4) Volkhov line retaken as a 'far stop' while Karelian Istmus seized to cut off the re-supply road.

      It does not 'win' the war in 1942 (and therefore, arguably, is useless in strategic terms) but it offers the political prize of taking Leningrad and Sevastopol, significantly reduces the chances of a Soviet coup de main like Uranus and plays in to German tactical and operation strengths by keeping supply lines relatively short.

      If it went roughly according to plan - and that is obviously a huge 'if' - the Ostfront is left a tidier place with the probability of a good exchange rate for the Germans, limited likelihood of a catastrophe and no far-flung salients to maintain. German forces control the Crimea, are not far from Rostov and have a pretty secure strategic left anchor-point. They have not won, but look better placed to try for the south in 1943 while Stalin has to contend with the loss of the Soviet second city, the Crimea and - probably - another very difficult summer

      Thoughts?
      History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

      Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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      • #48
        Originally posted by skoblin View Post
        The capture of Leningrad would not have freed up the German XVI Army, as it was deployed in the Lake Ilmen sector in contact with ACG. The forces which would have been freed with the fall of Leningrad (and presumably the elimination of the Oranienbaum "pocket") would have been part of the German XVIII Army, as a large portion of it was already engaged on the Volkhov/Sinyavino front, as well as the Finnish forces north of Leningrad. Thus, the fall of Leningrad would not have led to any large concentration of German forces for offensive operations in the north. It would, however, have opened up the use of a major port for German supplies, the full use of the XVIII Army for establishing a strong defensive line along the entire Volkhov, and the release of Finnish forces for further operations in the Karelia aimed at cutting the Murmansk railway. The main strategic benefit, however, would be that the German XVIII Army would no longer have been in the precarious position of having its forces stretched along a front line which denied it any real operational reserves in case of concerted Soviet attacks.
        I've added a rep for this, and it makes perfect sense.

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