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  • No Kursk

    I'm really getting the Eastern Front bit between my teeth! (what is the point of exploring stuff you flatter yourself you know a fair bit about when you can pick the brains of Experten on subjects upon which you know less?)

    Guderian somehow convinces Hitler that Citadel is a bad idea:

    "It is a matter of profound indifference to the world whether we hold Kursk or not. I repeat my question. Why do we want to attack in the East at all this year?"

    Hitler famously replied that whenever he thought about the attack his stomach turned over. Adolf ponders the coming offensive and in early June in an uncharacteristic about face, cancels it.

    What are Germany's options now on the Eastern Front (or elsewhere for that matter)?

    Ultimate defeat is still a racing certainty for Germany but that said, what are the 'what if's' in this scenario?
    HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

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

  • #2
    With the un-squandered German armored reserve, the Soviet offensives in 1943 are going to face a lot higher losses.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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    • #3
      Less progress for the Soviet counteroffensives and offensives of 1943.

      The Mius river front holds until the fall of 1943 (instead of falling in August 1943)
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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      • #4
        Another corps in reserve that might be sent to reinforce the Italian front in late 1943?

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        • #5
          Afaics,Zeitzler and most other generals were the driving force of Zitadelle,with the non unreasonable argument that a big Soviet summer offensive could be expected,that the Ostheer could not hold the front without reinforcements, but that OTOH one could expect an allied landing in Italy and that Italy would collaps,unless the reserves needed in the East were sent to Italy .

          The solution they proposed was to launch a preventive attack in the East,eliminate the Soviet mobile forces,and than move the committed reserves to Italy .
          Last edited by ljadw; 06 Dec 13, 14:25.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            Afaics,Zeitzler and most other generals were the driving force of Zitadelle,with the non unreasonable argument that a big Soviet summer offensive could be expected,that the Ostheer could not hold the front without reinforcements, but that OTOH one could expect an allied landing in Italy and that Italy would collaps,unless the reserves needed in the East were sent to Italy .

            The solution they proposed was to launch a preventive attack in the East,eliminate the Soviet mobile forces,and than move the committed reserves to Italy .
            As you say, the one time when Hitler listens to the majority opinion of his professional officer corps and they get it horribly wrong, and in so doing they reinforce his lack of regard for their judgement pitted against his percieved expertise.
            HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
              Afaics,Zeitzler and most other generals were the driving force of Zitadelle,with the non unreasonable argument that a big Soviet summer offensive could be expected,that the Ostheer could not hold the front without reinforcements, but that OTOH one could expect an allied landing in Italy and that Italy would collaps,unless the reserves needed in the East were sent to Italy .

              The solution they proposed was to launch a preventive attack in the East,eliminate the Soviet mobile forces,and than move the committed reserves to Italy .
              And in the result if it worked the Germans could have expected to destroy up to 3 maybe 4 Soviet Fronts in one massive pincer, shorten their lines of defense and putting the entire Soviet Summer offensive into wrack and ruin and delaying it a further 12 months.

              Not only that but considering the Materiel gains, those tanks, guns, fuel etc and not forget those Soviet troops that would be put to work in labour camps, it would be to good of an opprtunity to pass.

              Unfortunately the Soviets knew where, when, whom and how many and the minute of the German offensive, the Soviets had the plans of Citadel in their hot little hands.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                And in the result if it worked the Germans could have expected to destroy up to 3 maybe 4 Soviet Fronts in one massive pincer, shorten their lines of defense and putting the entire Soviet Summer offensive into wrack and ruin and delaying it a further 12 months.

                Not only that but considering the Materiel gains, those tanks, guns, fuel etc and not forget those Soviet troops that would be put to work in labour camps, it would be to good of an opprtunity to pass.

                Unfortunately the Soviets knew where, when, whom and how many and the minute of the German offensive, the Soviets had the plans of Citadel in their hot little hands.
                Well, the German plan stuck out like a dog's ...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                  Well, the German plan stuck out like a dog's ...
                  Exactly mate - it was so obvious what German intentions were that even the dumbest of opponents could have been in no doubt where the German storm was going to break, hence Guderian's badgering of Hitler. There had to be a better way to spend the armoured reserves so dilligently built up by Guderian, Speer and others.
                  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


                  • #10
                    This question about the strategic obviousness of Citadel is answered in Glantz's book on the subject.

                    In short, they had an arrogant attitude. In their mind they were replaying Barbarossa 1941 and Fall Blau: the more Soviet reserves that were there, the better to encircle and destroy them. They did not anticipate their difficulties.
                    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                      This question about the strategic obviousness of Citadel is answered in Glantz's book on the subject.

                      In short, they had an arrogant attitude. In their mind they were replaying Barbarossa 1941 and Fall Blau: the more Soviet reserves that were there, the better to encircle and destroy them. They did not anticipate their difficulties.
                      And more importantly the Germans didn't expect that the Soviets had Operation Citadel in their hot little hands down to last detail.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                        And more importantly the Germans didn't expect that the Soviets had Operation Citadel in their hot little hands down to last detail.

                        They did not : that's only the usual postwar invention to excuse the failure of Zitadelle : there was a traitor .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                          They did not : that's only the usual postwar invention to excuse the failure of Zitadelle : there was a traitor .
                          The Nazi fanbois are ostensibly sore their heroes lost the war.
                          www.histours.ru

                          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
                            Exactly mate - it was so obvious what German intentions were that even the dumbest of opponents could have been in no doubt where the German storm was going to break, hence Guderian's badgering of Hitler. There had to be a better way to spend the armoured reserves so dilligently built up by Guderian, Speer and others.
                            Well, no. If neither side launches a large strike at the other and they just stand pat, the Red Army gets proportionally stronger, as it has time to train, refit, and acquire all the goodies it needs to do a really good strike. The one problem the Axis had on the Eastern Front was not enough manpower. If there is no great offensive, then there is the usual attrition, and that tends to benefit the Red Army.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                              Well, no. If neither side launches a large strike at the other and they just stand pat, the Red Army gets proportionally stronger, as it has time to train, refit, and acquire all the goodies it needs to do a really good strike. The one problem the Axis had on the Eastern Front was not enough manpower. If there is no great offensive, then there is the usual attrition, and that tends to benefit the Red Army.
                              Hehe, here the Golden Rule N1 for ATLs on the Eastern Front comes into play:

                              "Never ever think of what the Red Army might do to counter the different German moves, cause it's gonna act like all its actions were scripted"

                              Partly this rule was formulated and got firmly embedded in the heads of because of the "German memoir" problem, where the beaten generals followed the same "logic", partly because they secretly want their heroes to win - at least in a fantasy timeline.
                              www.histours.ru

                              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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