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  • #61
    Originally posted by walle View Post
    I saw this program some time ago in which it was mentioned that Germany and the Soviet Union exchanged experiences with tanks and tank designs. According to the program (can't recall the name, was some time ago) the Russians had the T-34 and KV-1 designs on the drawing board before the outbreak of the war.
    Ah, but which war? both designs stem from 1940.

    Had the Germans been more thorough and had they paid better attention they might have learnt about this and improved their tanks accordingly. Those they used going into Russia was outdated during the invasion of France...
    The failure of German intelligence was spectacular, in both meanings of the word. That's still an understatement.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
      Considering the Germans made pathetic use of the intelligence they had gathered in 1940-41, I can't see another year of doing the same will improve their understanding. Equally, earlier you rated the Germans as an 8 and the Red Army as a 3. This is a bit kind to the Wehrmacht. I'd give it a 6. An extra year allows the Red Army not only opportunities to improve technologically, but technically and logistically. The new defensive line would be closer to completion, more permanent airfields built, the lessons of the Winter War more fully assimilated. Realistically, 1941 was the least worst opportunity for Nazi Germany.
      Perhaps, but what I am highlighting is the training of personnel specifically. I mean that on all levels, personal training and then integration into each level (squad, platoon, company, battalion, regiment, etc). The situation in the Red Army of personnel training in 1941 prior to the German invasion was abysmal at all levels, yet the Soviets felt confident of their current status. That means no major changes going forward until the weaknesses get exposed by the Wehrmacht. There was no sense of urgency or particular emphasis on improving the situation, the status quo ruled the day and would until the bubble of 'everything is ok' was burst. Whatever metrics the Red Army was using to assess training were inadequate, as demonstrated by the Red Army's inability to effectively conduct mobile operations in June-Aug 1941. Considering it takes 6 months to properly train a single Infantry Soldier and years to properly train NCO's and Officers at their respective tasks, 12 months is not enough to expect any kind of significant progress in a system that is broken to begin with. Only real combat will accelerate the process to such a degree to make a major difference in a short amount of time.
      BTW- the arbitrary numbers I used earlier are relative. I would rate the Wehrmacht as an 8 out of 10 when compared to the Red Army as a 3, no other armies are considered. Ask yourself, was the Red Army even half as good as the Wehrmacht at combined arms mobile operations in June 1941??? When the Wehrmacht attacked they slightly outnumbered the Red Army in the theatre of operations, so take that into account with combat effectiveness and that is where I derived 8-3. If we accounted for the loss ratio of Barbarossa from June until Sep I thing the ratio would be even further apart.
      So regardless of new equipment, etc. the actual and real combat efficiency of the Red Army would not rise much in 12 months of peacetime training in a system that was unaware of its own inadequecy relative to its opponent.
      "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
      -Omar Bradley
      "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
      -Anonymous US Army logistician

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
        Ah, but which war? both designs stem from 1940.
        It was suggested that the designs of the T-34 and KV-1 were pre 1940, the exchange and experiences with tanks and tank designs between Germany and the Soviet Union took place before the war. Which meant that the design must have been pre 1940 for the Germans to have stood a chance of discovering them. Look I don't know, it was a long time ago I saw the program and I might have misunderstood the presenters.

        Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
        The failure of German intelligence was spectacular, in both meanings of the word. That's still an understatement.
        I think it would be safe to say that it was pure neglect even.

        --EDIT--
        Or maybe they referred to the failure of German intelligence gathering, this could perhaps sound more reasonable.
        Last edited by walle; 13 Jan 14, 11:16.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by walle View Post
          It was suggested that the designs of the T-34 and KV-1 were pre 1940, the exchange and experiences with tanks and tank designs between Germany and the Soviet Union took place before the war. Which meant that the design must have been pre 1940 for the Germans to have stood a chance of discovering them. Look I don't know, it was a long time ago I saw the program and I might have misunderstood the presenters.
          There was considerable clandestine cooperation prior to the Nazi era. After that the ideological differences made such projects near impossible. It's worth noting that the Germans were well aware of the deficiencies in their tank design and took steps to remedy them - short term by upgrading existing designs and longer term by implementing new designs like the Pzkw VI. The real problem was in tooling up the factories mass-producing the new
          designs in sufficient quantities.
          Signing out.

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          • #65
            Monty! Are you stalking me?



            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
            It's worth noting that the Germans were well aware of the deficiencies in their tank design
            I would think so, it must have become apparent during the French campaign.
            Last edited by walle; 13 Jan 14, 12:46.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by walle View Post
              Monty! Are you stalking me?
              Are you plaguing me?

              I would think so, it must have become apparent during the French campaign.
              If you look at the Panzer Truppen records issues had been identified during the Polish campaign and solutions worked on. The Tiger, for example, was the result of a need for a heavy breakthrough tank that was realised when fighting the Poles.
              Signing out.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by walle View Post
                It was suggested that the designs of the T-34 and KV-1 were pre 1940, the exchange and experiences with tanks and tank designs between Germany and the Soviet Union took place before the war. Which meant that the design must have been pre 1940 for the Germans to have stood a chance of discovering them. Look I don't know, it was a long time ago I saw the program and I might have misunderstood the presenters.
                This is yet another undying myth of Western Cold War propaganda which always pops up on historical forums. The cooperation ended in 1933 with Hitler's rise to power, and actually it was already on the wane by that time. Both sides had already received enough experience from each other, and that year the first Soviet mass-produced tank T-26 was introduced to the army.

                What is normally said by the propaganda guys is that "Stalin and Germans worked together on tank warfare", omitting the part it was not Hitler and the Nazis. Too bad you are following them unthinkingly.
                www.histours.ru

                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                  Perhaps, but what I am highlighting is the training of personnel specifically. I mean that on all levels, personal training and then integration into each level (squad, platoon, company, battalion, regiment, etc). The situation in the Red Army of personnel training in 1941 prior to the German invasion was abysmal at all levels, yet the Soviets felt confident of their current status. That means no major changes going forward until the weaknesses get exposed by the Wehrmacht. There was no sense of urgency or particular emphasis on improving the situation, the status quo ruled the day and would until the bubble of 'everything is ok' was burst. Whatever metrics the Red Army was using to assess training were inadequate, as demonstrated by the Red Army's inability to effectively conduct mobile operations in June-Aug 1941. Considering it takes 6 months to properly train a single Infantry Soldier and years to properly train NCO's and Officers at their respective tasks, 12 months is not enough to expect any kind of significant progress in a system that is broken to begin with. Only real combat will accelerate the process to such a degree to make a major difference in a short amount of time.
                  Actually, you are quite wrong here. There was a meeting of the major Soviet military commanders in Moscow in April 1940 where the results of the Winter War were discussed. A number of important conclusions and decisions was made, including the improvement of officer training, switching to production of tanks with thicker armour, introduction of semi-automatic rifles in the army, etc. The only reason Mosin 1890/1931 rifles were so prevalent in the Red Army was that SVT-40 was only entering serial production and few people were trained to handle it properly. Same applies to newer model of tanks, etc.
                  www.histours.ru

                  Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    That's what I've been saying all along. The Germans had a chance to take the city but blew it. They got distracted by other shiny objects and that gave the Russians just enough breathing room to establish a defensive line and then reinforce it.

                    That pretty much ended Germany's chances of taking the city.

                    Had they taken Leningrad though it could have been a major boost to their logistic position with AGN and AGC. Of course, they might well have blown that chance too...
                    I've already said above why it wasn't possible with the forces the Germans had at hand.

                    In the end of July Hitler ruled against sending Panzer Gruppe 3 from AGC to AGN in addition to Panzer Gruppe 4. Had PzGr3 been actually deployed to the north, it's possible that Leningrad would've been captured by September. However, in this case the Germans would be weakened in the center and they would definitely not be able to afford sending PzGr2 to the south in order to complete the Kiev encirclement. In addition to this they will have a much harder time repelling Soviet attacks around Smolensk.

                    Another option was to keep PzGr4 as part of AGN after September 16. However, in this case, like I've already said, having commited most of their armoured assets to street fighting in heavily urbanised areas with lots of canals, they would have a much harder time repulsing Kulik's offensive which started at the same time. However misdirected it was, it gave the Germans some trouble and made them scrap their plans on capturing one of the city's southern suburbs. They wanted to capture Kolpino in order to "tighten the noose" and shorten the siege line. Beside a plethora of other factors, German tanks finally came within the range of the naval artillery of the Baltic fleet. As for the consequence to other front, there would be no Vyazma encirclement for sure (which PzGr4 took part in), and Operation Typhoon would proceed at a much slower pace in general. Considering that the port in Leningrad would be rendered unserviceable until summer 1942, or at least it would not offer greater logistical capacity until than the existing overland routes, there's little gain for the Germans in attacking Leningrad and wasting their troops which could've been deployed elsewhere.
                    www.histours.ru

                    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                      Actually, you are quite wrong here. There was a meeting of the major Soviet military commanders in Moscow in April 1940 where the results of the Winter War were discussed. A number of important conclusions and decisions was made, including the improvement of officer training, switching to production of tanks with thicker armour, introduction of semi-automatic rifles in the army, etc. The only reason Mosin 1890/1931 rifles were so prevalent in the Red Army was that SVT-40 was only entering serial production and few people were trained to handle it properly. Same applies to newer model of tanks, etc.
                      Perhaps, but it would be odd... I'm an American officer of almost 20 years and have trained Soldiers for quite a while and spent a year in Afghanistan teaching theirs. Prior to Afghanistan I spent quite a bit of time studying Soviet methodology since today's senior Afghan officers were junior officers under the old Soviet backed Kabul regime. I stand steadfastly behind what I said and if you need further proof, look at the abysmal performance of the Red Army in Summer 1942 after a full year of combat experience, using new equipment and fighting a weakend Wehrmacht. However, it remains IMHO of course.
                      Rome wasn't built in a day and you can't change a zebra's stripes. I'm aware of the Red Army's ideas and implementation of change, but also aware of how long it takes to make a difference through a bureacratic system working with conscripts.
                      "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
                      -Omar Bradley
                      "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
                      -Anonymous US Army logistician

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                        Perhaps, but it would be odd... I'm an American officer of almost 20 years and have trained Soldiers for quite a while and spent a year in Afghanistan teaching theirs. Prior to Afghanistan I spent quite a bit of time studying Soviet methodology since today's senior Afghan officers were junior officers under the old Soviet backed Kabul regime. I stand steadfastly behind what I said and if you need further proof, look at the abysmal performance of the Red Army in Summer 1942 after a full year of combat experience, using new equipment and fighting a weakend Wehrmacht. However, it remains IMHO of course.
                        Well, I probably didn't make myself clear enough. You stated that no "major changes were going forward", and I addressed this particular statement. If you look into the "what the Red Army could've done better" thread, you will find that I would be actually in agreement with you concerning the "ingrained" or "cultural" factors. You can't improve the maintenance of your vehicles overnight, because it requires more than just orders, it's also about the attitude. Same is true in regard to other things. However, I think that certain reforms, partly prompted by the conclusions done after the Winter War were still underway when the Germans attacked. I believe they could've been a factor which could improve the Red Army's performance, albeit not a decisive one, of course. Now what we have to determine is the extent of it.

                        Check out the gist of Stalin's speech posted here: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=82700

                        and here is the link to the book with the minutes of Stalin's April 1940 meeting: http://stonebooks.com/archives/020210.shtml

                        Rome wasn't built in a day and you can't change a zebra's stripes.
                        I concur!
                        www.histours.ru

                        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                          Perhaps, but it would be odd... I'm an American officer of almost 20 years and have trained Soldiers for quite a while and spent a year in Afghanistan teaching theirs. Prior to Afghanistan I spent quite a bit of time studying Soviet methodology since today's senior Afghan officers were junior officers under the old Soviet backed Kabul regime. I stand steadfastly behind what I said and if you need further proof, look at the abysmal performance of the Red Army in Summer 1942 after a full year of combat experience, using new equipment and fighting a weakend Wehrmacht. However, it remains IMHO of course.
                          Rome wasn't built in a day and you can't change a zebra's stripes. I'm aware of the Red Army's ideas and implementation of change, but also aware of how long it takes to make a difference through a bureacratic system working with conscripts.
                          No easy task to teach peasantís the tactics of modern warfare and the gear they need time to acclimatize first.

                          Just look at the North Koreans when they were to pilot modern Jet fighters. It didnít turn out too well. It would be like putting Fred Flintstone in a Grand Prix car then expect the poor bastard to not only drive the car but to win the race. Not gonna happen. Need more practice first, and it's gonna be an expensive learning curve.
                          Last edited by walle; 13 Jan 14, 19:59.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                            I've already said above why it wasn't possible with the forces the Germans had at hand.

                            In the end of July Hitler ruled against sending Panzer Gruppe 3 from AGC to AGN in addition to Panzer Gruppe 4. Had PzGr3 been actually deployed to the north, it's possible that Leningrad would've been captured by September. However, in this case the Germans would be weakened in the center and they would definitely not be able to afford sending PzGr2 to the south in order to complete the Kiev encirclement. In addition to this they will have a much harder time repelling Soviet attacks around Smolensk.

                            Another option was to keep PzGr4 as part of AGN after September 16. However, in this case, like I've already said, having commited most of their armoured assets to street fighting in heavily urbanised areas with lots of canals, they would have a much harder time repulsing Kulik's offensive which started at the same time. However misdirected it was, it gave the Germans some trouble and made them scrap their plans on capturing one of the city's southern suburbs. They wanted to capture Kolpino in order to "tighten the noose" and shorten the siege line. Beside a plethora of other factors, German tanks finally came within the range of the naval artillery of the Baltic fleet. As for the consequence to other front, there would be no Vyazma encirclement for sure (which PzGr4 took part in), and Operation Typhoon would proceed at a much slower pace in general.
                            I think this post pretty much sums it up.
                            In 1941, the Germans could either attempt to capture Moscow, or Leningrad/Kiev, but not both. After Smolensk, if the Germans were committed to try to get to Moscow that year, their options before the start of Typhoon, would have been to try and capture either Leningrad or Kiev. Kiev was probably the better option.

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