Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Kursk - What if ???

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Kursk - What if ???

    Yeah, yeah, yet another one.

    After studying Russian WWII 1943-45 tatics for a while it struck me what would happen if the German used Soviet tactics at Kursk?

    Scenario look like this:

    Deployment of blocking force at northern front. Northern front is a dummy front employing every soviet masking tactic there is. Models 9th army are actually displaced during well camouflaged night transports to positions behind Hoths 4th Pz army.

    Battle starts as normal but with the northern front attacked with heavy artillery, air and feint attacks with goals of occupying the first defensive lines. While Hoth goes for penetration and widening, Model acting as a reserve by-passes at a good moment and (assist in break trough if necceary) heads for the in-depth attack (with Elephants as flank protection against Soviet Tank reservs). Redeployment of units occurs after full penetration where Armies strike parallel to each other towards the northern blocking units with Hoth on the inside (toward kursk) and Model on the outside holding off any counterattacks by Soviet tank reserves.

    Comments?

    /Pappy
    "Charley Dont´t Surf."

  • #2
    Wouldn't have worked.

    The Soviets knew when and where and with what the Germans were going to strike. They prepared their defences accordingly. Had the Germans struck on a single front they would have simply met deeper defences with stronger reserves.

    Soviet operational art meant punching more holes in the line than the Germans could plug. Since the Red Army had far stronger reserves than the Germans had attackers, it would not have worked. The Red Army would simply have absorbed the attack and then struck elsehwere (Orel, for example) where the Germans (now) have no reserves. Then they strike south down along the Mius River while the Germans scramble north to Orel.

    On a tactical note,... Elephants on the flanks? Not a good idea. Flank guards need to be made up of the more tactically flexible units so they can quickly and deftly react to incursions. This is not an Elephant's forte,... it needs to be up front with plenty of infantry support taking part in the set piece assaults against Soviet entrenchments,... line by line.
    Last edited by The Purist; 09 Feb 12, 21:14.
    The Purist

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
      Wouldn't have worked.

      The Soviets knew when and where and with what the Germans were going to strike. They prepared their defences accordingly. Had the Germans struck on a single front they would have simply met deeper defences with stronger reserves.

      Soviet operational art meant punching more holes in the line than the Germans could plug. Since the Red Army had far stronger reserves than the Germans had attackers, it would not have worked. The Red Army would simply have absorbed the attack and then struck elsehwere (Orel, for example) where the Germans (now) have no reserves. Then they strike south down along the Mius River while the Germans scramble north to Orel.

      On a tactical note,... Elephants on the flanks? Not a good idea. Flank guards need to be made up of the more tactically flexible units so they can quickly and deftly react to incursions. This is not an Elephant's forte,... it needs to be up front with plenty of infantry support taking part in the set piece assaults against Soviet entrenchment,... line by line.
      Absolutely agree.

      The Soviets had a very reliable system that allowed the front lines to know within 6-7 hours of any change of orders coming from OKW HQ in Berlin and act accordingly.

      In many cases the Soviet Commanders on the front lines knew what the Germans were going to do before the Germans Commanders knew.
      Last edited by The Purist; 09 Feb 12, 21:14.

      Comment


      • #4
        Kursk Cancelled.....

        ..... Seeing as though Operation Citadel was widely anticipated by STAVKA and the defences of the region were strengthened accordingly, what if (and again, as with so many of these WWII 'what if Hitler did so and so' type questions it depends on Adolf being rational so it is probably a non starter anyway), the forces ranged against the Salient were directed elsewhere? What if von Manstein had been given free reign to choose how and where to deploy the forces that were to have been used at Kursk? What else could he have done with them? I think that is a more interesting question.

        Even if Citadel had been cancelled to be replaced with a more successful operation, ultimately it would have made little long term difference, Germany would still have lost the war.
        HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

        "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Political ramifications of Germany taking a passive roll on the Russian front would have been severe. The best wargame of that front I ever played had the entire Romanian Army withdrawing from Russia if there was no big offensive, among other penalties.

          Manstien argued against Kursk after all the delays, but he also argued that if it was going to be done, it had to be all-out. And by all out, meaning that failure would have ended the war that year.
          He wanted to take so much from the west that he would have had the equivalent of 4-6 more Mechanized Divisions and 20 more Infantry Divisions, pluss 2 Parachute Divisions prepped for an actual airborne operation.
          Manstien's Gambit would either have gained a huge win or collapsed the entire Axis war by the end of that year.
          Hitler chickened out.
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

          Comment


          • #6
            The political issue is a very real one and not just for the minor Axis allied governments. Both Turkey and Sweden gave Germany only qualified support depending on how well it was doing over all. Germany had taken the the strategic offensive every summer since the war started. To have sat back passively was to admit it no longer had the initiative and was now "reacting" to the Soviet moves. This would have effected the Romanian, Hungarians Finns as well as how Turkey and Sweden viewed their 'relationship' with Nazi Germany.

            The Nazi regime was also a dictatorship and every dictatorship in history has always had to show itself as a dynamic organisation, in control of its fate and the fate of those around it. To have settled for a passive defence is just another admission, this time to its people as well as its friends and enemies, that the tide has turned and its power had waned.

            Germany had to attack in 1943. There was no other option other than capitulation.
            Last edited by The Purist; 10 Feb 12, 20:00.
            The Purist

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Mannstein wanted a elastic defence to adsorb the Soviet offensive then use Germans superior (at that time) mobile units to cut off and encircle them.... Again as Purist has alluded too, this was not a option for Hilter, and that was that...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                The Political ramifications of Germany taking a passive roll on the Russian front would have been severe. The best wargame of that front I ever played had the entire Romanian Army withdrawing from Russia if there was no big offensive, among other penalties.

                Manstien argued against Kursk after all the delays, but he also argued that if it was going to be done, it had to be all-out. And by all out, meaning that failure would have ended the war that year.
                He wanted to take so much from the west that he would have had the equivalent of 4-6 more Mechanized Divisions and 20 more Infantry Divisions, pluss 2 Parachute Divisions prepped for an actual airborne operation.
                Manstien's Gambit would either have gained a huge win or collapsed the entire Axis war by the end of that year.
                Hitler chickened out.
                This is actually a MUCH more intresting basis for a WI. Do you have a clear idea of what was planned & with what resources?

                I'd be curious to know what would have happened had this been tried. How badly would the Russians have been hurt? Would they be hurt enough to change much about the rest of the war (I'm assuming Germany will still lose)? Would the German win a phyrric victory - losing much more than they could afford to for not enough gain? Would the Russians simply have absorbed the blow & then chewed up the Germans even worse than in OTL.

                Can folks who know detail about this chip in, my curiousity is piqued.
                Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                  The political issue is a very real one and not just for the minor Axis allied governments. Both Turkey and Sweden gave Germany only qualified support depending on how well it was doing over all. Germany had taken the the strategic offensive every summer since the war started. To have sat back passively was to admit it no longer had the initiative and was now "reacting" to the Soviet moves. This would have effected the Romanian, Hungarians Finns as well as how Turkey and Sweden viewed their 'relationship' with Nazi Germany.

                  The Nazi regime was also a dictatorship and every dictatorship in history has always had to show itself as a dynamic organisation, in control of its fate and the fate of those around it. To have settled for a passive defence is just another admission, this time to its people as well as its friends and enemies, that the tide has turned and its power had waned.

                  Germany had to attack in 1943. There was no other option other than capitulation.
                  Yes but Germany lost the initiative after Kursk anyway, so how important was it really that they launch an offensive?
                  A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                    This is actually a MUCH more intresting basis for a WI. Do you have a clear idea of what was planned & with what resources?

                    .
                    Yes, but in print form, just spent 15 minutes looking for it, it's around here somewhere.
                    I'll try again tomorrow.
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
                      Yes but Germany lost the initiative after Kursk anyway, so how important was it really that they launch an offensive?
                      What matters was the thinking of the German high command before the battle. They believed they would win and retain the initiative so hindsight views are not pertinent to the point.
                      The Purist

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Let's bring this WI down to something a bit more manageable.

                        On the southern face of the Kursk salient was deployed the 2nd SS Panzer Corps. They were making reasonable progress toward Prokorovka when Hitler temporarily suspended Operation Citadel. Von Manstein wished to keep attacking with this unit, believing they were close to a breakthrough.

                        Let's give von Manstein a free hand and he continues the attack. What happens?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He losses more tanks and men and is in a weaker position when the counterattack comes.
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                            Yes, but in print form, just spent 15 minutes looking for it, it's around here somewhere.
                            I'll try again tomorrow.
                            Cool. Love to hear some details.
                            Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The problem with the 20 infantry and 6 mech divisions is where do they come from? Manstein can come up with all sorts of plans but there are certainly limits to what the Germans could field. He was also disconnected/insulated from the challenges faced by OKW and the infighting between that body and OKH.

                              It was a near miracle to gather the forces they did for July 5th. Finding more without creating a totally unacceptable risk to either the west or south fronts.

                              A serious reality check would have to be conducted.
                              The Purist

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

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X