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  • Originally posted by Javaman View Post
    I would think that striking earlier would have been better, assuming that less ventured on the attack would work out better in the event of failure thus setting up Manstein's idea of the backhand strategy for mid-late summer.
    Manstein's backhand strategy only works when the enemy outruns the logistic support and is too weak to continue. The other disadvantage is you have to able to scape together sufficient mobile forces from reserves to actually carry it out. Until you know where the main blow is actually falling, where do you park the reserves?

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    • ^

      Good point about the Soviets. The victory looks less brilliant when one realizes how exhausted and amalangated Mobile Group Popov was. The losses suffered by the german mobile reserves were very high, which showed what a close-run thing it was.
      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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      • Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
        I've just been re-reading the section of Alan Clark's book Barbarossa that deals with Kursk. I wonder what if any effect it would have had on the battle if Germany had not delayed the operation to wait for additional Panthers and Ferdinands? Would striking earlier and so robbing the Soviets of additional time to prepare their formidable defences have been to Germany's advantage?
        I'm skeptical. The delay did not just allow time for Panthers and Elefants but it also allowed for more reguar tanks, Tigers, infantry, guns, aircraft, ammunition, spare parts and all the other tools required. The Germans got as far as they did because of the strength they accumulated and the revised tactics they employed. Since they would not have been able to employ "blitzkrieg" (for want of a better word) in May or July, and had to relyy on frontal assaults to breach each belt, the wait was probably wise.

        A few more miles gained here or there would not have changed the end result
        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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