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What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by ljadw View Post
    We also don't know how much the SU was depending on oil,and how much on the oil of the Caucasus

    1940 : oil production : 32.2 million ton Caucasus : 27 million: the rest : 5.2 million

    1945: oil production :19.5 million: Caucasus : 13 million ton:the rest : 6.5 million

    1945 : Soviet flag on the Reichstag
    This touches on one of the weaknesses in oil obssesed history fans thinking. German industry derived how much of its energy from where? Maybe these threads should be about how the coal supply Europe could have been better used?

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    • #17
      Here is the thread on what I was talking about;

      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=84785

      Its from a few years ago, but it covers the idea pretty well.
      And I was not talking about the capture of the main Allied sources of oil, bit it's denial to them.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
        Lend-Lease that was shipped to the Persian Gulf, as far as I know, went by way of the Caucasus to the Soviet Union.
        Had the Germans, through some miracle, been able to hold the Caucasus region, LL supplies from the PG would most likely have been unable to reach it's intended end-user.
        There is a map in "Britain's War Machine" by Edgerton that shows the lend lease rail line going through Tehran and then up the east side of the Caspian sea thus avoiding the Caucasus region entirely. More German success in Case Blue is unlikely to affect lend lease at all. Also don't forget the LL that was going to the Northern and Far eastern ports.


        People should note that the Soviet Union's non Caucasus oil production is still larger than the entire European Axis. It is around 5 million tons versus 4 million for the European Axis.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
          There is a map in "Britain's War Machine" by Edgerton that shows the lend lease rail line going through Tehran and then up the east side of the Caspian sea thus avoiding the Caucasus region entirely. More German success in Case Blue is unlikely to affect lend lease at all.

          I wasn't aware of that.
          I had thought all the Persian Gulf LL went up through the Caucasus.
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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          • #20
            Some of it was shipped across the Caspian, iirc.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
              Some of it was shipped across the Caspian, iirc.
              Here is an interesting link that describes the development of the "Persian Corridor":

              http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_09.htm

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

              A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
                Here is an interesting link that describes the development of the "Persian Corridor":

                http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_09.htm

                Regards
                Scott Fraser
                The wiki article on the Persian Corridor is quite informative too. It mentions some transshipping across the Caspian to either Baku or Makhachkala.

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                • #23
                  It is almost certain that if the Axis military forces had occupied Baku they would have found its oil fields, like those historically at Maykop, mostly destroyed.

                  Does anyone know roughly how long it would have taken for these oil fields to have been brought back up to full capacity and how long it would have taken for an efficient and sufficient delivering of that oil back to Germany and occupied Europe?

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                  • #24
                    There's a lot of mechanical and logistical issues debated, but the political and human are being ignored.

                    If Case Blue succeeded:

                    1) What would the impact be on the morale and strength of the Red Army

                    and 2) How would its success affected Stalin's grip on power?
                    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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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
                      It is almost certain that if the Axis military forces had occupied Baku they would have found its oil fields, like those historically at Maykop, mostly destroyed.

                      Does anyone know roughly how long it would have taken for these oil fields to have been brought back up to full capacity and how long it would have taken for an efficient and sufficient delivering of that oil back to Germany and occupied Europe?
                      To return to operational activity - months to years. The Germans never succeeded in getting anything worthwhile out of the much smaller Maikop field. As for sending oil back to Germany - not knowing what the Germans lacked, such as tanker cars, and whether they can maintain the railway from Baku west (and convert it to European standard gauge), more years.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
                        It is almost certain that if the Axis military forces had occupied Baku they would have found its oil fields, like those historically at Maykop, mostly destroyed.

                        Does anyone know roughly how long it would have taken for these oil fields to have been brought back up to full capacity and how long it would have taken for an efficient and sufficient delivering of that oil back to Germany and occupied Europe?
                        This has been discussed before. Consider that it took the most experienced and best-equipped specialists in the world two years to extinguish the fires left after the Iraqis abandoned Kuwait. Now step back sixty years in terms of equipment and experience, and give the job to amateurs who really had no clue how they were supposed to accomplish the task. Two years is optimistic, especially considering that throughout the period, the Germans would be harassed by Partisans and probable air attacks by the VVS and possibly from RAF forces based in Iran.

                        They will also have to refine the crude. The Soviet refineries are wreckage. The crude will either have to be shipped across Transcaucasia to the Black Sea and onward to Romania, where there is capacity (until it is bombed to smithereens), or else new refineries will have to be built.

                        Transportation is another problem. There are no tank cars or locomotives left, so the Germans must provide them. The pipeline to Batumi has been dismantled and hauled away, so rail transport is the only option. There is no tanker fleet to transport the oil from Batumi across the Black Sea. The railway net to Germany is totally inadequate for the task, so it will need to be rebuilt with the mainlines twinned and regauged, or else Germany will have to build a fleet of shallow-draft transports that can get up the Danube.

                        With highest priority and without interference from the Allies, I think three years is still hopelessly optimistic. Five years is more realistic, which means 1947 in the overall scheme of things. Nazi Germany is never going to last that long.

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

                        A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                        • #27
                          What is your opinion on the conclusion made by Robert Citino in his book 'Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942' that the outcome of Operation Case Blue (that being a failure and/or a defeat) was not inevitable and that success (being the occupation of Stalingrad and the Caucasus including the oil fields of Baku) with the Wehrmacht's superiority in tactical and in cases operational skill making up for its weaknesses in man power, vehicle strength and quantity of supplies (especially ammunition and fuel)?

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                          • #28
                            MY DISCLAIMER: First of all, I am not a military expert, nor a historian, so pardon me if I get this "all wrong," but in my opinion . . .

                            If Operation Blau had succeeded, Germany would have won the war.

                            Why? There are three factors all of you are overlooking. First, the psychological effect. Second, the effect on Soviet men and materiel. And third, the political, or propaganda, effect.

                            One, psychologically, the Germans basically ran roughshod over the Russians leading up to, and throughout most of, Operation Blau. The Russians, seeing the build-up of forces for Blau, made two large pre-emptive strikes-- and both were repulsed by the Germans. This was a huge blow to the Russians. And then, during the first part of Blau, the Germans destroyed everything the Russians sent against them. This was devastating to Russian morale. I have read that retreating Russians actually gave away their weapons, they were so terrorised by the thought of fighting Germans.

                            Two, the Russians lost hundreds of thousands of men and all their tanks and equipment trying to stop Blau. Some will say the Russians could absorb such losses, but I'm sorry, you can't keep shrugging off losses of 500,000 men forever, no matter how big a nation you are.

                            Third, and this is the critical one. Forget oil. Forget how long it would take to get the oil flowing again. When you ask "What if Fall Blau succeeded?" what you are really asking is "What if Stalingrad had been taken by the Germans?" If the Germans had succeeded in taking Stalingrad, that means that one of the major turning points of the war NO LONGER EXISTS. That means that the world perceives Germany as an UNSTOPPABLE JUGGERNAUT. Because Stalingrad was the first real defeat the Nazis suffered. Without it, their aura of invincibility is intact. And it might just mean Stalin is weakened, and the Russians stay on the defensive the rest of the war. No Kursk, no turning point in their favor, just continued retreat.

                            At that point, the American public, seeing how Russia is unable to stop the Nazis, decides not to invade Europe. Okay, tell me I'm crazy, but without Stalingrad, without Kursk, without the pressure provided by the Russians, how eager would the U.S. be to take on Nazi Germany? Not very, in my opinion.
                            Last edited by Reichsfuehrer; 16 Apr 15, 20:59.

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                            • #29
                              Taking Stalingrad and the southern oil fields still leaves the Soviet forces used for the 42/43 winter offensive intact with more Germans further south at the end of an even more tenuous supply line.Victory could have hurt more than the otl defeat at Stalingrad.
                              Wack tac mac hey.
                              Regards.
                              Grishnak.

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                              • #30
                                It isn't a "war winning strategy." It is a victory for the Allies delaying strategy.

                                Germany would still be defeated in North Africa losing about a quarter million men as POW's etc. Alamein occurs concurrently with Stalingrad and the German-Italian retreat into Tunisia still occurs. Torch and the US landings in North Africa still occur in November just as the potential for winning at Stalingrad would occur.
                                Germany won't be able to change that outcome so defeat in North Africa occurs as a result.

                                Japan is still defeated by the US.

                                The USSR isn't going to be completely overrun and will require the Germans to keep a massive army in the East. Likewise, the continued war by Britain and the US will require massive expenditures on fortifications and troops in the West. This also won't impact the Strategic bombing campaign particularly. It will still be slowing turning Germany into rubble.

                                If we assume that a win here lengthens the war by say a year, all that means is Germany gets nuked, repeatedly.

                                The Germans still lose.

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