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  • Barbarossa 1942

    I got this idea (forgive me if its been done before) after reading the posts on the 'Guderian drives straight for Moscow' thread.

    Before I start, let me put in a caveat for this scenario: By some fluke (perhaps Eva Braun wore those nice stilettos he bought her for Christmas the day before von Brauchitsch and Jodel cautiously broached the subject and he is still in a good mood), Hitler is open to rational debate

    Ok then.

    Thanks to the goings on in the Balkans, North Afrika and the Mediterranean, the OKH and OKW suggest postponing Barbarossa until the following year to allow the attack to start in April / May. To almost universal surprise within Germany's armed forces, Hitler agrees (after much squeaking).

    So, Barbarossa commences Tuesday April 21st 1942.

    Germany now has more time to reach Moscow (or wherever) before General Winter throws in his lot with the Soviets and the Russians remain blissfully ignorant of the true state of their armed forces and their unreadiness for war for a few more months, but on the upside they are pretty much totally deployed as opposed to only partly so in the original T/L.

    Does it make any difference to the Germans IF their best bet for victory in the East (or something like it) is the fall of Moscow and the liquidation of the Soviet hierarchy trapped within its walls within the first months of the conflict?

    Just to cloud the waters a little more, Pearl Harbour still takes place in December '41 but the Fuhrer doesn't get caught up in the moment (perhaps one of Dr Morell's calming enemas has the desired effect), and he doesn't declare war on America - the President has to do that himself to bring the United States into the war.

    What happens next, does any of this extra wriggle room give Germany the single 'one shot only chance' of knocking the USSR out of the war or will it all still go horribly wrong (but take longer - or not) depending on the worms that escape out of this new can of circumstances?
    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
    Wasn't April still a muddy period?

    A delay of a year would mean the Red Army had completed its reorganization and had time to more fully integrate the T-34s and KVs.
    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
      Things go far worse from the get go 1941 or never

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      • #4
        Barbarossa 1942

        A Country Too Far.
        Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
          Wasn't April still a muddy period?

          A delay of a year would mean the Red Army had completed its reorganization and had time to more fully integrate the T-34s and KVs.
          The date was plucked out of thin air. Call it May 1st 1942, have in coincide with the May Day parade in Moscow.

          As for the new types of Soviet tanks, going from the posts mentioned in the 'Guderian goes to Moscow' thread, sure they might well have had new tanks and equipment but they would still have been blissfully ignorant of the shortcomings of their training and tactics, the sort of things that only costly experience could teach.

          I'm not saying a delay to allow more time for the Germans to strike before the onset of winter would give 'em the edge, rather I'm just trying to juggle the variables, see if they would have made any difference for Germany. I don't think they would, but the one thing the Third Reich's fanboys are always bleating about is the supposed delay in launching Barbarossa caused by the need to bail Il Duce out and slap down the Balkans. Who better to address this conundrum than the massed brains of Arm Chair General?
          Last edited by Dogsbody67; 12 Mar 14, 09:38.
          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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          • #6
            Things that the Red army of 1942 will have that the Red Army of 1941 did not:

            1) time to complete the western fortifications
            2) time to build and complete the necessary airfields
            3) one full year of training
            4) one full year of officer and NCO graduates
            5) one full year of T34 and KV production
            6) one full year of truck, tractor, gun, radio etc production
            7) time to get the 4 reserve armies that were deploying in the second echelon fully deployed.
            8) the enjoyment of watching all the commonwealth equipment that would have been otherwise sent to them via lend lease being used to absolutely hammer the Axis in Africa

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
              ...
              8) the enjoyment of watching all the commonwealth equipment that would have been otherwise sent to them via lend lease being used to absolutely hammer the Axis in Africa
              One of the little trivia factoids of WWII is the Brits inquired in early 1941 as to purchasing some Red Army tanks for their ground forces in the Middle East & Africa. Discussions went slowly on this subject, & the war intervened, but one can speculate if any T34, KV-1, ect.. might have reached Egypt sometime in 1941 or early 1942?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                One of the little trivia factoids of WWII is the Brits inquired in early 1941 as to purchasing some Red Army tanks for their ground forces in the Middle East & Africa. Discussions went slowly on this subject, & the war intervened, but one can speculate if any T34, KV-1, ect.. might have reached Egypt sometime in 1941 or early 1942?
                I don't know enough about Soviet armour, but I think that would make a good 'what if?' from someone who does - what effect would the presence of decent numbers of T34/76s and or KV1's have on the battlefields of North Africa? Would they even have been suitable?
                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                  Things that the Red army of 1942 will have that the Red Army of 1941 did not:

                  1) time to complete the western fortifications
                  2) time to build and complete the necessary airfields
                  3) one full year of training
                  4) one full year of officer and NCO graduates
                  5) one full year of T34 and KV production
                  6) one full year of truck, tractor, gun, radio etc production
                  7) time to get the 4 reserve armies that were deploying in the second echelon fully deployed.
                  8) the enjoyment of watching all the commonwealth equipment that would have been otherwise sent to them via lend lease being used to absolutely hammer the Axis in Africa
                  Would fortifications near the western border be much of a handicap to the Germans who had already disposed of the Maginot Line and Eben Emael in 1940? Likewise the extra airfields, would they just be more convenient shooting galleries for the Luftwaffe to straffe in the opening moves of the offensive? The experience German armed forces had accrued prior to Barbarossa stood them in good stead until the Soviets put their own hard won lessons into practice.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
                    Would fortifications near the western border be much of a handicap to the Germans who had already disposed of the Maginot Line and Eben Emael in 1940?
                    The problem is that due to the element of surprise these fortifications were heavily understaffed. In many places the bunkers had barely a platoon to cover their flanks or no protection at all! On the other hand, the bunkers of the Kiev Fortified Region fought on for weeks, and the Luga Line practically saved Leningrad from an early capture, holding off the Germans for 3 crucial weeks.

                    Likewise the extra airfields, would they just be more convenient shooting galleries for the Luftwaffe to straffe in the opening moves of the offensive? The experience German armed forces had accrued prior to Barbarossa stood them in good stead until the Soviets put their own hard won lessons into practice.
                    This is a big unknown - would enough airfields have been constructed during this time, or the Soviet ledership still wouldn't have realised the backup airfields were vital for the defense. Simple logic suggests that they should've built more, but it doesn't always work, especially in Russia
                    www.histours.ru

                    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                    • #11
                      At least it gives the Soviets 12 extra months to recover from Stalin's purge of the military.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                        This is a big unknown - would enough airfields have been constructed during this time, or the Soviet ledership still wouldn't have realised the backup airfields were vital for the defense. Simple logic suggests that they should've built more, but it doesn't always work, especially in Russia
                        Stumbling Collossus by Glantz makes it clear that the Soviets wanted more airfields and more dispersion but did not have time to build them. This resulted in overcrowding of the initial bases which lead to very high losses to the preliminary luftwaffe strikes.

                        It also describes how very few pilots had much flying time on the new models.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                          Wasn't April still a muddy period?

                          A delay of a year would mean the Red Army had completed its reorganization and had time to more fully integrate the T-34s and KVs.
                          That depends on the year. A dry winter allows a start south of the Pripet in April.
                          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                          • #14
                            I was looking at what the Germans could have done with a year extra of prep time.

                            1) retire the obsolete tanks from front line service (PzI PzII and Pz35t) and replace them with new PZIII builds with the short 50mm gun.

                            The PzIII with the long 50mm and the PzIV with the long 75mm would be available in similar numbers to 1942.

                            2) convert a number of motorized divisions to panzer divisions depending on tank production

                            3) save a small fuel reserve of around 1 million tons of fuel (assuming they don't use it in the Med).

                            4) Expand the truck fleet with a year's extra production (less wear out especially of the captured vehicles)

                            5) Stockpile an extra year's worth of ammunition (same for the Soviets though)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                              I was looking at what the Germans could have done with a year extra of prep time.

                              1) retire the obsolete tanks from front line service (PzI PzII and Pz35t) and replace them with new PZIII builds with the short 50mm gun.

                              The PzIII with the long 50mm and the PzIV with the long 75mm would be available in similar numbers to 1942.

                              2) convert a number of motorized divisions to panzer divisions depending on tank production

                              3) save a small fuel reserve of around 1 million tons of fuel (assuming they don't use it in the Med).

                              4) Expand the truck fleet with a year's extra production (less wear out especially of the captured vehicles)

                              5) Stockpile an extra year's worth of ammunition (same for the Soviets though)
                              So all things considered, do you think Germany would have been able to capture Moscow & knock Russia out of the war if they give themselves more time and improve their amed forces in the manner you suggest, baring in mind that they are still essentially gambling all on one roll of the dice (whether they know it or not)?
                              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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