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Paulus tries to maintain a strong armored corps at Stalingrad

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  • #31
    Part of the inspiration from this thread came from reading about Manstein and his relationship with Hitler/OKW/OKH/Foreign Armies East during the soviet winter counteroffensive. It showed that the high command was amenable to arguments about reserves and placement, and force of personality and having the ability to convince others and maneuver the politics was just as important as field command.

    Granted, Paulus was only a top Army commander but not an army group FM. I have read in the past about the surreptitious disobedience of german generals who obeyed orders technically but not with its essence. They would try to manipulate the appearance of own intent (while masking their real strategy) while taking into account the perceived viewpoint of their strategic masters.


    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
    It may make sense but it ignores the reality that German tanks and assault guns provided very much needed firepower support to help shoot German infantry onto their objectives. The Germans launched a series of set piece co-ordinated attacks that could not have gaind the ground necessary except for the tanks playing their primary role as infantry support vehicles. Red Army machine guns could not do much to a tank, they could stop entire rifle companies lacking armoured support.

    The Red Army would have held much more ground and German losses would have been much heavier had the tabks 'sat it out' in the rear or the flanks. Offensive assets sitting idle is not the way to tip the balance when it appeared that the Red Army was on its last legs.

    Had the tanks sat it out the complaint would then have been:

    "Stalingrad would have fallen if only Paulus had supported the infantry assaults with armour. What good is a tank sitting around if not used on the attack? Paulus was a fool".

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    • #32
      Originally posted by von einem View Post
      Nonsense. Mobile divisions are wasted in an urban environment. You can always find enough infantry units to do the fighting in an environment most suited to them.
      And the main issue remains that it is better not to engage in bloody urban fighting if it can be avoided.
      It is not nonsense it is reality. If the Germans could have found enough infantry they would have. Do you honestly believe that Paulus would have looked at a perfectly good infantry corps and ignored it in favour of committing his panzer and motor infantry to support attacks in the city?

      Don't be obtuse. Regardless of whether it is better or not to commit mobile divisions to an urban fight is moot. Paulus had his orders - take the city. If the infantry could not manage the task without tanks then the tanks go in. The tanks will also take their infantry consorts if only because those infantry units are familiar with operating with tanks or the need for additional infantry is required.

      When the infantry cannot advance on their own and you have the tanks required to assist you send in the tanks. These are not pampered little princesses, they are front line combat troops in armoured combat vehicles, their primary role is to support infantry first before all other tasks - they do not exist for any other reason. You would understand this if you grasped the role of armour and its place on the battlefield.

      Rolling around the open ground is a luxury and only possible when the enemy's main resistance has been defeated and a coherent front is no longer possible. Then they can play 'gitty-up cowboy' and pretend they are cavalry.
      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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      • #33
        Particularly when a commander has worries about his flank he should keep his mobile divisions in reserve and certainly not use them in a type of combat they are not suited for.
        The taking of Stalingrad which was never a good ideal did not depend on the use of all the mobile reserves. Tanks generally only give direct fire support to the infantry that is part of the panzerdivision they operate in. Infantrydivisions have ther own means of direct support
        Last edited by tigerivan; 14 Sep 14, 12:29.

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