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What if Germany had PzKw V Panthers and PzKW VI Tigers on June 22, 1941

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  • What if Germany had PzKw V Panthers and PzKW VI Tigers on June 22, 1941

    Had these tanks been in German possession and fully operational during the inital stages of Operation Barbarrossa (especially the Panther in large numbers), would this have affected the outcome?
    As it was, the Panzerabteilung/truppen encircled entire Army Groups of the Red Army and drove to the gates of Moscow by October. Would the added qualities of the Panther (used for pentration deep into rear areas) and Tiger (used as an Infantry support tank) aided in success for the Heer?
    Peace is Our Profession

  • #2
    The Germans just run out of gasoline/ammunition sooner. They don't get as far. Panthers and tigers use more fuel/ammo because they are bigger.

    The outcome of the campaign was decided by logistics not combat equipment. This has been pointed out so many times before.

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    • #3
      I'd also ask what you mean by "operational", in that the one they have at Bovington suffered a major mechanical breakdown a few months ago when they tried to drive it back to the museum from the repair shop. 60+ years and the thing is STILL mechanically unreliable.

      Just as an aside though, it was not just the logistics, but the weather that stopped the Axis forces. If they'd not got diverted in the Balkans / Greece and not dithered over their targets then the outcome might indeed have been different.

      Also if Hitler had allowed the rail link from Murmansk to be cut, rather than the fixation on capturing the port itself, then the Russians would have been cut off at the knees and could never have mounted a sustained defence.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by moddy
        ...Just as an aside though, it was not just the logistics, but the weather that stopped the Axis forces. If they'd not got diverted in the Balkans / Greece and not dithered over their targets then the outcome might indeed have been different.
        Ummm,...no, that's not true. The spring rains and thaw came late in the spring of 1941 and the rivers in northern and central Poland were still in flood state throughout May. The fields had not dried enough to support major operations until mid June. In short, the Balkan diversion had little effect on the start of Barbarossa as all the troops diverted from AG South were back in position well before the revised June 22nd start date.

        It is not possible to point the finger at the autumn rains that came in late September or from mid-October onwards either. The amounts of rain and was less than the average recorded in previous years and the cold weather that followed was not as cold as normal. It was, in fact, a fairly mild Russian autumn.

        One of the Germans biggest flaw was logistics. They were not very good at it and had not prepared themselves for the requirements of Russia. Between operational errors, a bad plan, too few troops, strong enemy resistance and poor logistics the German assault failed.

        Originally posted by moddy
        ...Also if Hitler had allowed the rail link from Murmansk to be cut, rather than the fixation on capturing the port itself, then the Russians would have been cut off at the knees and could never have mounted a sustained defence.
        Mehhhh,...most of the LL supplies came from other routes and the Murmansk routes was closed for long stretches of time anyway. If the Germans had cut the rail line it would not have meant a major disaster for the Russians (most of the supplies came from 1943 onwards). They also had Archangelsk to use until the port froze.
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by Schwerepunkt View Post
          Had these tanks been in German possession and fully operational during the inital stages of Operation Barbarrossa (especially the Panther in large numbers), would this have affected the outcome?
          Nope,...the Russians would have had the IS-2, IS-2m and IS-3 and would have shot the PZ V and Pz VIs to pieces. The resulting counterattack by Red Army tank forces using the doctrine of Deep Battle would have carried Soviet tank troops to the gates of Paris by Christmas, thus liberating Europe from the yoke of Nazism and sparing the world the calamity of a full blown world war.

          Sound silly?
          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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          • #6
            The idea of Stalin's Red Army at Paris is not funny. WW2 would have become WW2 1/2 or WW3 from the moment they crossed the Rhine. It is interesting to think what would have happened if conflict had broken out in May 45 between the Allies and Russians.
            Peace is Our Profession

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Schwerepunkt View Post
              The idea of Stalin's Red Army at Paris is not funny. WW2 would have become WW2 1/2 or WW3 from the moment they crossed the Rhine. It is interesting to think what would have happened if conflict had broken out in May 45 between the Allies and Russians.
              Well,...better Stalin than Hitler.

              It would be a crushing allied defeat at the hands of the Red Army's technical, operational and numerical superiority. There were too few Pershing and Centurion tanks to balance against the IS-2, -2m and IS-3, the T34/85 was arguably better than the Sherman M4a3e8 and the Red Air Force would have denied air superiority to the allies. Within two or three weeks the Russian tankers would be bathing their feet in the English Channel while the remnants of the allied armies were destroyed in a number of pockets between the Elbe, Rhine and Meuse.

              Good thing the Russians were on our side and remained within their zones of occupation after the victory over the most evil regime of the modern age.
              Last edited by The Purist; 19 Oct 07, 13:59.
              The Purist

              Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE]
                Originally posted by moddy View Post
                I'd also ask what you mean by "operational", in that the one they have at Bovington suffered a major mechanical breakdown a few months ago when they tried to drive it back to the museum from the repair shop. 60+ years and the thing is STILL mechanically unreliable.

                Missing the German mechanics

                HP
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #9
                  What I meant was what I said, fully operational. No breakdowns, capable of assuming offensive action with the panzertruppen with Guderian, etc. as the spearheads of the panzers.
                  Tigers would have been infantry support for suppressing cut off strongpoints.
                  True enough, German logistics were a great failure and Tigers especially were fuel eaters.
                  However, even if the Soviets had IS11, IS 111, SU100, etc., I think the Germans would have had a qualitative edge. If the Soviets had tried their own offensive techinques, the Germans would have rounded them up after cutting them off.
                  A bad German miscue was not to have come up through Iran into the South of Russia. Grabbing Iranian oil fields and thrusting from the south, the Soviets would have had to split their forces. This, though assumes the success of Operation Orient in which the Med is conquered and becomes an Axis lake, with supplies and replacements shipped without opposition.
                  I placed this idea to get a response and I thank you for your efforts. Obviously, Germanyw was doomed from the start with Operation Barbarossa just as Japan was doomed the minute the first bomb fell on Pearl Harbor.
                  Peace is Our Profession

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Schwerepunkt;
                    ...A bad German miscue was not to have come up through Iran into the South of Russia. Grabbing Iranian oil fields and thrusting from the south, the Soviets would have had to split their forces. This, though assumes the success of Operation Orient in which the Med is conquered and becomes an Axis lake, with supplies and replacements shipped without opposition....
                    That would be the key wouldn't it,...the success of a Mediterranean strategy. However, Germany could not do both Barbarossa and the Mediterranean in 1941-42 so the Iran gambit is a non-starter. Alexandria to Tehran is further than Berlin to Moscow and the rail infrastructure would not support a large enough army to make the difference. Further, any axis drive into the middle east would have to leave more divisions securing the southern flank against the British that few troops would be available in Iraq (where another British army would be waiting).

                    In short, a Mediterranean strategy likely means no Barbarossa at all. The Axis resources are just too few for such grand moves.

                    But,...as there were no Panther or Tiger tanks to bog down the German drive the Germans are free to do their best in the actual timeline.
                    The Purist

                    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Warning: Thread Drift...

                      Schwerepunkt said:
                      A bad German miscue was not to have come up through Iran into the South of Russia. Grabbing Iranian oil fields and thrusting from the south, the Soviets would have had to split their forces. This, though assumes the success of Operation Orient in which the Med is conquered and becomes an Axis lake, with supplies and replacements shipped without opposition.
                      The idea that the historical logistic system employed by the axis forces could support the "Mediterranean Strategy" is tenuous, at best.

                      The redeployment of the entire Wehrmacht (Luftwaffe, Heer, Kriegsmarine) to the theatre, in combination with all the military might of Fascist Italy still does not guarantee that they'll be able to wrest control of the sea lanes from the Royal Navy and get ashore en masse in North Africa. Don't forget that if the Kriegsmarine redeploy's from the North Sea/ Baltic area, there's going to be a corresponding move made by the RN's Home Fleet as well!
                      If they can get across, how do we propose to supply this force? (Remember, we're not just talking about guns and butter here; we're also talking about engineering supplies to build a logistical system that's capable of supporting this massive force. This means ongoing deliveries of thousands of tonnes of rail, and sleepers, and locomotives, and carriages, and concrete, and timber, and fodder for horses, and the horses themselves (that are going to have a real rough time in the desert). Or instead of the horses, are we going to ship all those captured trucks across the Med? ...and then try to keep them running... (which was historically proven to be a nightmare during Barbarossa, even when the logistical system was land based, and infinitely better)...
                      Fueling and arming fleets for sustained combat operations is also a very costly business. The Italians have no fuel reserves to speak of; they're living hand to mouth. Getting around that whole Franco problem (in regards to Gibraltar) will be a diplomatic nightmare as well; at best, this will require huge concessions on the part of Hitler (more resources that he can't really spare). Availability of a sufficient merchant marine capability (especially oil tankers) in the theatre must also be closely examined.

                      I've already seen this done as a "what if" on another alt history forum.

                      The author attempted to sidestep these realities and was quickly eviscerated by a few knowledgeable people with facts and figures that they had readily at hand...

                      Food for thought.

                      Cheers, Ron
                      48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                      __________________________________________________ __________________

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        Well,...better Stalin than Hitler.

                        It would be a crushing allied defeat at the hands of the Red Army's technical, operational and numerical superiority. There were too few Pershing and Centurion tanks to balance against the IS-2, -2m and IS-3, the T34/85 was arguably better than the Sherman M4a3e8 and the Red Air Force would have denied air superiority to the allies. Within two or three weeks the Russian tankers would be bathing their feet in the English Channel while the remnants of the allied armies were destroyed in a number of pockets between the Elbe, Rhine and Meuse.

                        Good thing the Russians were on our side and remained within their zones of occupation after the victory over the most evil regime of the modern age.
                        I disagree with your info on the Red Air Force vs. Allied Air Force. Sorry to say, the P47s and P51s & Spitfires in 1945 FAR outclasses the Yak 9 the Soviets had as their primary Fighter. The IL2 was slow and well armored, but still could be brought down. The US Air Force, and Bomber Command would have had a field day on the logistics train the Russians needed to suplly their Armies.

                        The US AT capabilities were FAR improved upon by 1945. 1800 M10/M36 AT SP guns were in theater at the time. The British Firefly and US SHerman HVSS M4 Series would have matched well to the T34/85 (slow turret and still bad optics beyond 1000m).

                        Not as many ISU/SU 122/152s as thought to be around. Yes the JS2 was there, but in less numbers than thought. AMVAS has the figures on his site. BTW, the Russians had bigger ideas in the Far EAst.
                        Kevin Kenneally
                        Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                        Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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                        • #13
                          The allied airforce would have had some technical advantages over the Red air force but they would not have defeated it in one day and that is the critical point. If the allies take two-four weeks to defeat the 20,000 Russia a/c the allies lose, the Russians will be over the Rhine.

                          Besides, the Russian air force will also be playing hell with allies lines of communication, striking allied airfields, artillery concentrations and so on. With 12.5 million troops, 18,000+ tank and SP guns and over 100,000 artillery tubes, the Red Army is not going to be stopped with the forces under Eisenhower's command (ie; 50% of the Sherman tanks still mounted 75mm guns, only 310 Pershing tanks in theatre, too few M36, the US 76mm barely able to handle the T-34,...and so on). Further, the British and Canadian armies were spent forces (no depth and no reserves) and holding the most critical sector of the front, a breakthrough on the North German Plain ends up with T-34s on the Rhine in a week or ten days. The US army is in better shape but also too thin on the ground (spread from Saxony to the Alps) ...the list goes on.

                          I agree with you on one thing though,...it's a good thing Stalin had plans in the east and that he lived up to his agreement to strike Japan 3 months after Germany's surrender.
                          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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                          • #14
                            Not as if logistics or lack of could stop the Red Army



                            What would we be looking at? upto 5,000 tons of bombs every night? Uninterceptable, unstoppable.

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                            • #15
                              The Red Army offensive would, in a similar manner to their offensives in June, July and August of 1944, be self sustaining for the distance of 400-500 km (the Elbe to Paris/the Channel). Like in Russia, Poland and Romania, the infrastructure is rebuild while army is rolling foward with the contents of the army echelons. Blowing up the Elbe bridges would not have an effect until The Red Army came to a halt on the channel and needed to begin to refit. By then we've lost.

                              There is no time for an infrastruce campaign nor for one of gaining air superiority, its win or lose in the first week or ten days. If the allies did not begin to stop the Red Army by then they never would.
                              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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