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  • What if Stalin attacks first

    Most of you guys are familiar with the Book called Stalin's Missed Chance.
    June 22nd The soviets had considerbly more forces on the border than Germany. My question is what if they Attack. Berlin is not protected by vast amount of spaces.

    Anyone?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lionheart View Post
    Most of you guys are familiar with the Book called Stalin's Missed Chance.
    June 22nd The soviets had considerbly more forces on the border than Germany. My question is what if they Attack. Berlin is not protected by vast amount of spaces.

    Anyone?
    Hmmmm, given the lack of mobility in the artillery park and the poorly maintained nature of the armour I think any offensive would be destined to fail. On top of that the 'numbers game' for the forces stationed in the border areas only slightly favours the Red Army. Finally the army was undergoing a radical reorganisation, one that was destined to fail, and its officer corps was a bit of a curate's egg. Things wouldn't look too good in this scenario as far as I'm concerned.
    Signing out.

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    • #3
      could you see the soviets at least inflicting enough casualties to stop babarossa from happening

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      • #4
        Unlikely. The Russian formations were not fully mobilised, were short equipment and their logistics train was weak even before the shooting started. An attack would likely have been bloodily repulsed and the frontier forces battered even worse than the OTL due to their being outside their prepared positions. Army Group South was delayed by Soviet mechanised reserves carrying out a fairly well executed fighting withdrawal mixed with large counterattacks. Had these reserves instead been committed to an offensive they would have suffered at the better drilled German infantry defences and then dispatched by German armour of 1st Pz Group.
        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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        • #5
          Barbarossa could have succeeded. Had the Soviets exhausted themselves on German forces who could actually put up a cohesive defense, they would have been bloodily repulsed only to be encircled en mass. The Red Army will suffer far more casualties, especially captured, in the first month or so. The Germans will then had a wide open path to Smolensk, Kiev and Leningrad before the Soviets can put up any serious resistance. I see Leningrad falling and Typhoon just might succeed. Even if it doesn't I think Germany could win it in 1942.
          A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lionheart View Post
            could you see the soviets at least inflicting enough casualties to stop babarossa from happening
            Not really, the Red Army was at a low ebb whilst the Wehrmacht was at its apogee. If anything the staggering losses incurred by the Red Army in 1941 would have been higher in this scenario with less inflicted upon the Axis in return. In the OT it was the tenaciousness of the defending forces that gave the Germans such a headache, here the Soviet formations would be on the move, poorly coordinated and (probably) equally poorly motivated. It would be like 'Operation Compass' except on a gargantuan scale.
            Signing out.

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            • #7
              Hmmmm... this is a variant of the 'Red Army Alerted' scenario. Historically the books tell us Stalin refused to allow a alert order to be sent to the armed forces, despite clear indications of the impending German attack. As late as 21 June discrete inquiries from lower military commanders about the German build up were dismissed. The overall situation of the armies in the frontier districts was of only the border guard units in any sort of combat ready status. The armies on the frontiers had the bulk of their men in the barracks or camps, artillery & vehicles mostly in parks, ammunition secured in the depots, radios and code books stored away, and HQ staffs occupying their barracks or cantonment offices.

              The 'Alert' scenario assumes STAVKA issued orders during the previous week for the frontier armies to disperse to their war ready positions with artillery & vehicals camoflaged, HQ hidden in the woods of rural villiages field communications established, ammo distributed. About every observer of the attack in June either implies or baldly states that lacking suprise the German losses would have been larger & Red Army less in the initial weeks of June & July.

              What if the order had been given to attack? The result depends on how much preperation the Frontier Armies had before setting off, and how suprised the Germans might have been. Worst case for the Germans is if their lead regiments crowded up to the border are caught suprised by a massive Red Army artillery preperation just a day or two before their own assualt was to start. Thats unlikely but not impossible, & if so it would disrupt the overall German preperation and assualt.

              Best case for the Wehrmacht is to hastily reset their ground forces into a ambush, allowing the enemy assualt to roll forward into a set of traps. Historically thats what happened to the Soviet 10th Army between 22 & 30 June.

              The only trick here is the Red Air Force cannot be trapped the same way. Historically much of it was destroyed on the ground while grouped at the main air bases on 22-23 June. In any scenario where the Soviet military is alerted for war the AF will largely be dispersed across auxillary airfields, the AA defenses active, and much of it will be attacking. Losses will still be heavy, but In June 1941 if the Red AF loses two aircraft for each German that will leave the Reds with 1,200 aircraft & the Luftwaffe with 0.

              Historically, with everything going their way the German army suffered just over 400,000 casualties by August 30. Exactly how much larger their losses would be against a attacking Red Army is difficult to predict. Suprise can make a huge difference. Best case might be they have the same number of killed & wounded & destroy the same number of Red Army formations as historically from June through August. A more likely or median outcome would be losing another 150,000 casualties in the first 70 days, and seeing a portion of the Soviet frontier forces withdraw as their offensive stalls.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lionheart View Post
                Most of you guys are familiar with the Book called Stalin's Missed Chance.
                June 22nd The soviets had considerbly more forces on the border than Germany. My question is what if they Attack. Berlin is not protected by vast amount of spaces.

                Anyone?
                That exact scenario has been explored by "Viktor Suvorov" (a nom-de-plume, I think) in his book The Chief Culprit in which he postulates that the attack on the Soviet Union actually pre-empted a westward move by Stalin: and the reason why Barbarossa was immediately successful was that the Red Army was deployed not for defence, but for an offensive.
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                  That exact scenario has been explored by "Viktor Suvorov" (a nom-de-plume, I think) in his book The Chief Culprit in which he postulates that the attack on the Soviet Union actually pre-empted a westward move by Stalin: and the reason why Barbarossa was immediately successful was that the Red Army was deployed not for defence, but for an offensive.
                  One good advice : don't read this guy. It will be difficult to find something more stupid. I know it because I had read two of his books and his theories are just a illusion of an insane mind.
                  There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                  • #10
                    The German Army was not deployed for defense, they and their supplies were bunched up forward, Air bases crowded with planes and little was dug-in or even positioned to defend themselves, let alone strategic objectives.

                    I doubt they would have won the war that year, but a German offensive in 1941 would have been out of the question.
                    Unless....

                    Polesti.
                    Very near the border, lots of Soviet airborne troops available, only German Infantry and a single Stug Battalion in Romania at the time... its hard to see how the Red Army could have gone wrong.
                    Their best tank units are even in the right area.

                    How long could Germany go on without those oilfields?
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                      The German Army was not deployed for defense, they and their supplies were bunched up forward, Air bases crowded with planes and little was dug-in or even positioned to defend themselves, let alone strategic objectives.

                      I doubt they would have won the war that year, but a German offensive in 1941 would have been out of the question.
                      ...
                      Exo,

                      Every German set of eyes was focused on the eastern frontier. Reconnaissance flights were gathering information daily. Had the Red Army adopted a war footing, much less and offensive footing, it would have been spotted both on the ground and from the air. There was no hiding the attack in either direction and it was only Stalin's myopia that created the frontier fiasco in the OTL. The Germans would have made short work of any Red Army offensive and rebounded with their typical aggressive counter-offensives. As pointed out above, the Red Army is close to its nadir, the Wehrmacht its zenith.
                      The Purist

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                        ....

                        Polesti.
                        Very near the border, lots of Soviet airborne troops available, only German Infantry and a single Stug Battalion in Romania at the time... its hard to see how the Red Army could have gone wrong.
                        Their best tank units are even in the right area.

                        How long could Germany go on without those oilfields?
                        On the game board Rumania is only worth 15 Resource Points, not a crippling factor

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          Exo,

                          Every German set of eyes was focused on the eastern frontier. Reconnaissance flights were gathering information daily. Had the Red Army adopted a war footing, much less and offensive footing, it would have been spotted both on the ground and from the air. ...
                          I wonder what the German contigency plans were if the RKKA had emptied out the barracks and deployed either defensively or offensively. There must have been some documentation or refrence to those plans survive the war?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                            Exo,

                            Every German set of eyes was focused on the eastern frontier. Reconnaissance flights were gathering information daily. Had the Red Army adopted a war footing, much less and offensive footing, it would have been spotted both on the ground and from the air. There was no hiding the attack in either direction and it was only Stalin's myopia that created the frontier fiasco in the OTL. The Germans would have made short work of any Red Army offensive and rebounded with their typical aggressive counter-offensives. As pointed out above, the Red Army is close to its nadir, the Wehrmacht its zenith.
                            Indeed.

                            Let's assume that in May Stalin decides to strike first and starts massing armies for offense. Germany, seeing this, will definitely prepare to fight defensively. The Soviet armies would be easily shattered, and they would have been easy prey for huge encirclements. Most of the Red Army's large tank formations would have likely been destroyed and or captured, leaving the paths to Kiev, Smolensk and Leningrad open.
                            A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                            • #15
                              Here is an option. Hitler is aware that Stalin is going to launch an offensive, all the recon photos indicate this, also intel intercepts indicate this, so Hitler decides to allow the Soviets to strike first, but on German terms.

                              What happens is that in strategic locations the German front line is weakened that allows the Soviets to penetrate deep into the German lines but at a critical point that German front line snaps shut trapping several million Soviet troops, within a month over 4 million Soviet Troops are captured, whole Armies and Soviet Fronts are smashed and in July/August the whole Wehrmacht is unleased upon the battered remnant of the Soviet Armed forces, all the while the STAVKA is in panic mode trying to rebuild a shattered Army, and with that by September Leningrad and by October Moscow are quickly captured.

                              The following year Stalingrad is finally captured as well as the Caucasus oilfields.

                              Stalin is then shot.

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