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

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  • ljadw
    replied
    This is an unsupported claim : the wild theories about the results of the success of Blau are only theories:there is no proof that the capture of the oil fields of the Caucasus would have hurt the SU that much that it would have collapsed;the German experts of Economic Affairs had already warned against great expectations .

    The only yhing we know is that a succesful Blau would have hurt the SU .

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
    What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

    Would it have put the European Axis Powers (that predominantly being Germany and Italy) in a war-winning position? Or would it have merely prolonged their defeat?
    If Case Blue had succeeded, it would have meant an event occurring off the scale. Perhaps Stalin was assassinated by a German parachute/glider team, and a civil war has started. Perhaps the Tunguska event was 34 years later and a little further west, say over Moscow.

    If Case Blue had succeeded the Soviet armed forces would have needed to have been in some type of mess greater than would have been historically possible.

    That being so, we see A-bombs going off on Berlin in August 45.

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    The supply flow to the Caucasus was in fact bad for both the Soviets and the Axis. The Soviets encountered many of the same difficulties supplying their troops there and the supply flow was better on the Axis side until Dec 1942.

    What would happen would be a gigantic front line, with axis units thinly spread out and thinly supplied. So obviously there is initiative for STAVKA here to launch offensives. The voronezh and Stalingrad Axis were most important, but the most heavily defended.

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  • Hanov
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    First, let me remind you, in case you forgot it, that the full title is "Reichsfuehrer-SS" - a thoroughly unsavory title, held by Heinrich Himmler.
    (...)
    You are not crazy but you do seem badly misinformed, and I also suggest you change user name.
    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hanov
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    Fine. Himmler was the Reichsführer, he was a Nazi, he was a bad guy and a loser, and I have seen no evidence that he was brave. Lots in common. All in all, not a calling card I'm happy to see.
    The choice of name is definitely either idiotic or a hefty statement...

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
    At the end of the day Hitler made a big strategic mistake in not knocking out the UK [or at least attempting to], BEFORE taking on the Soviet Union.
    I'm not so sure that would have worked, either.

    The short scenario is the impossible one - Seelöwe.

    The long scenario is an air and most importantly naval siege. If Britain wins that, Germany has failed.
    If Britain seems on the verge of losing that, the USA will be sending more cargo ships with their own flag, and more USN warships. The U-Boote will sink more of both, until, regardless of the obvious Pearl Harbor event, the US public is fed up with that. And they also increasingly wanted to help Britain, no matter the risk. So you have the USA coming to the rescue of the British.

    Meanwhile, the Soviets close the taps of all that oil, foodstuffs, manganese, Far Eastern natural rubber and whatnot, because the Germans aren't paying their bills. They also complete the overhaul of their cadres and the reform of their mobile forces, the reconstruction of the broder fortifications, and crank out T-34s and new aircraft.


    The clincher to the Third Reich's doom being the USA joining in.

    All what if scenarios other than altering that main scenario would perhaps delay the inevitable, but that is all.

    Maybe if Hitler had been nicer to his Jewish physicists and spent out on some nukes first? But then again I suspect it would have just propelled British and US efforts in that regard.
    Then he would need an immense mining effort in the Protectorate, and immense refining plants somewhere, which would hardly go unnoticed. Those can be targeted by the SBC, but more importantly, the German electric power network can be targeted. At the top of production, the fissile material for the Manhattan Project was getting 10% of all electricity produced in the whole USA.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Hanov View Post
    I agree but let me nitpick. The photo is Maximilian Schell playing Hauptmann Stransky in the movie "Cross of Iron" directed by Sam Peckinpah. Stransky is the loser bad guy. An overambitious Captain who turns out to be a coward Nazi...
    Fine. Himmler was the Reichsführer, he was a Nazi, he was a bad guy and a loser, and I have seen no evidence that he was brave. Lots in common. All in all, not a calling card I'm happy to see.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hanov
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    First, let me remind you, in case you forgot it, that the full title is "Reichsfuehrer-SS" - a thoroughly unsavory title, held by Heinrich Himmler. It doesn't help you that you accompany it with a photo of a WWII German soldier and with a first post that is a Nazi-win scenario.
    I agree but let me nitpick. The photo is Maximilian Schell playing Hauptmann Stransky in the movie "Cross of Iron" directed by Sam Peckinpah. Stransky is the loser bad guy. An overambitious Captain who turns out to be a coward Nazi...

    Leave a comment:


  • Wooden Wonder
    replied
    At the end of the day Hitler made a big strategic mistake in not knocking out the UK [or at least attempting to], BEFORE taking on the Soviet Union. The clincher to the Third Reich's doom being the USA joining in.

    All what if scenarios other than altering that main scenario would perhaps delay the inevitable, but that is all.

    Maybe if Hitler had been nicer to his Jewish physicists and spent out on some nukes first? But then again I suspect it would have just propelled British and US efforts in that regard.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hanov
    replied
    Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
    What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?
    If everything would have turned out as planned:
    1. The Wehrmacht would have seized Voronesh (Blau I)
    2. The Wehrmacht would have enveloped large enemy formations after marching south along the Don in combination with a push from the Charkov area (Blau II)
    3. The Wehrmacht would have interrupted the Soviet supply lines via the Volga (Blau III)
    Further, if one looks at Weisung 41 the Germans would have taken Leningrad and the Krim peninsula.

    Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
    Would it have put the European Axis Powers (that predominantly being Germany and Italy) in a war-winning position? Or would it have merely prolonged their defeat?
    This would not have put the Axis in a war winning position. Even if the Germans could have defended their gains throughout 1942 and 1943. Even if this would have lead to a defeat/collapse of the Soviet Union what i doubt. The suffering would probably have been prolongued for a certain time. Maybe the nukes would have been dropped (as originally planned) on Germany. But in the end the Allies would have prevailed.
    Last edited by Hanov; 17 Apr 15, 04:18.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Reichsfuehrer View Post
    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 . . .
    First, let me remind you, in case you forgot it, that the full title is "Reichsfuehrer-SS" - a thoroughly unsavory title, held by Heinrich Himmler. It doesn't help you that you accompany it with a photo of a WWII German soldier and with a first post that is a Nazi-win scenario.


    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.
    I don't know if I would make much distinction between psychology and propaganda. That said:

    One, psychologically, the Germans basically ran roughshod over the Russians leading up to, and throughout most of, Operation Blau.
    You seem not to be considering the Soviet winter offensive of 1941-1942. The Germans were pushed back up to some 250 kms, lost immense amounts of men and materiel, and Hitler was so underwhelmed that he removed Von Brauchitsch. You don't sack the commander in chief for having successfully "run roughshod" over the enemy.

    I have read that retreating Russians actually gave away their weapons, they were so terrorised by the thought of fighting Germans.
    There were morale failures, by some of the Soviet units (not "Russian"). Others did not fail. And where did you read that? To whom were the weapons given?

    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.
    Yes, the Soviets lost up to 2 million men (including WIAs) in Fall Blau. Then again the Germans lost up to one million.

    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.
    No. The aura was long gone, and Stalingrad was not the first defeat. By the time Stalingrad finally fell, Rommel was being booted all along the North African coast, the Soviets had already demonstrated that if the Germans could win in the summer, they would be pushed back in winter, and the Battle of Britain had already been won.

    None of these defeats was remotely on the scale of Stalingrad, but you are talking perceptions here. The perception already was that the Germans could be and had been defeated, repeatedly.

    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.
    Huh, Kursk was a defensive Soviet victory, you know. The Germans were losing the initiative (look at the dates of their opening offensives in good weather - later and later as you move from 1941 to 1942 to 1943), but they were on the offensive one more time. The Soviets stopped them cold in their tracks.

    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.
    You are not crazy but you do seem badly misinformed, and I also suggest you change user name.
    Last edited by Michele; 17 Apr 15, 09:41.

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    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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  • grishnak
    replied
    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.

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  • Reichsfuehrer
    replied
    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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  • WarMachine
    replied
    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)?

    Leave a comment:

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