Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Stalin listens to his advisors 1941-1942

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Stalin listens to his advisors 1941-1942

    After the initial successful counter-offensive in front of Moscow during the winter of 1941-1942, Stalin decided to assume a general counter-offensive instead of pursuing the destruction of Army Group Center as argued by Zhukov and others. The question: what if Stalin had concentrated his reserves on Army Group Center - and specifically the Rzhev-Vyasma salient. Was there a possibility of a successful encirclement of the German forces in this area, or would it have failed? How would this have played out?


  • #2
    This is a good question, and I honestly don't know.

    I suspect that the Germans would have come out better for it. Reason: almost all the pre-Barbarossa equipment was lost by early 42 and the all important Lend-Lease was just really starting to have effect. Also the dude who commanded AGC was an old school Prussian with a monocle no less and that guy wasn't afraid to challenge the Fuehrer. In December of 41 he asked Hitler point blank: 'who commands the army, you or I?' That took balls, and Hitler was heard to say something about the guy scared the crap out of him.

    Less ancedonately, Army Group Center focus would drain away stresses in the German line. If I were Manstein, this would be a great time to tell the Fuhrer that this would be the time to counter the counter attack, either by bolstering AGC or doing a counter sweep, not unlike Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. And since Hitler liked the idea of attacking, I just might get it. Concentrating forces by the RKKA leaves open the possibility of flank, encirclement and a whole lotta dead Russkies.

    Just saying.
    Last edited by Wolery; 06 Sep 09, 18:43.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

    Comment


    • #3
      Since the switch to general offensive diluted the striking power of the Red Army, a concentrated offensive could have only made German problems worse in the middle. Army Group Centre would have been driven back further and the Germans forced to stripped the other sectors of the front to prevent a collapse before Smolensk. Whether the Germans could have stopped the offensive before AGC was destroyed is arguable but a success (recapture of Smolensk/Vitebsk region) would have forced at least AGN to step backwards. SInce the Germans were effectively immobile that winter it would have meant an even larger loss of equipment.

      In the end, by the time the spring thaw came it would have found the main strength of both sides concentrated between Minsk and Smolensk with a very interesting summer of '42. A ruined AGC would probably have a strategic defensive by the Germans as they tried to parry the Red Army attacks in the spring and summer.

      <Wolery,... Manstein was only an army commander at this time and he was down in the Crimea watching over the seige of Sevatapol. He did not have the influence he was to have later on in early '43>
      The Purist

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        <Wolery,... Manstein was only an army commander at this time and he was down in the Crimea watching over the seige of Sevatapol. He did not have the influence he was to have later on in early '43>
        I did not know that. Seriously, I thought Manstein was already an influence due to his planning the 40 French campaign.
        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wolery View Post
          I did not know that. Seriously, I thought Manstein was already an influence due to his planning the 40 French campaign.
          Manstein's influence over the 1940 planning process came at a price, as a number of senior members of the general staff resented his meddling. When Barbarossa began he was merely a corps commander in Army Group North.

          Comment


          • #6
            In early 1940 Manstein was up for posting to an infantry corps which befitted his training and career path. In short, he was due for corps command and was given it (an ifantry corps in the French campaign). Contrary to popular belief he was not shuffled out of the way for upsetting his superiors in the high command. In fact, by the time Manstein was able to present his idea to Hitler, Halder had already begun to shift panzer divisions into the Ardennes. At the same time Hitler himself, independently, was also speaking in the same terms (Ardennes and Sedan).

            Manstein's ideas were incorporated into the overall German plan which continued to evolve throughout the late winter and spring of 1940. However, it is erroneous to suggest that the German attack was Manstein's version (he was not involved as he had departed Rundstedt's HQ for his new command). It is just another one of those myths from WWII that still clings to life.

            In 1941 he was given a pz corps for Barbarossa in AG North and later tranferred to command 11th Army in the Crimea.

            See the following thread, posts 2 - 4, for a history of Plan Yellow

            http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ht=France+1940
            Last edited by The Purist; 07 Sep 09, 00:15.
            The Purist

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

            Comment


            • #7
              To amplify what Gerry wrote; for the early December 1939 wargame at Zossen Halder directed three plans be tested. The first was to place the schwerpunkt or primary mass of manuver with Army Group B on the central Belgian plain, the second plan placed the weight in the Ardennes, & the third option was to make a general advance with the schwerpunkt to be determined as the campaign developed. Of the three plans the third failed completely in the wargame. The first led to a eventual stalemate in Belgium, the second showed some promise in that stalemate occured later rather than sooner.

              It was during preperation for this wargame when Manstien contrived a meeting with Guderian and questioned him about how a 'panzer corps' might be used in such a situation.

              No decision was made after the early December wargame at Zossen. Halder favored the possibilties in weighting the attack through the Ardennes, but continued to listen to arguments for central Belgium. Hitler went back and forth in his discussions with the commanders, switching his preference. After his January meeting with Manstien, a routine luncheon meeting with all newly appointed corps commanders, Hitler went back to Halder claiming Mansteins ideas as his own.

              Subsequent wargames directed by Halder, and other map exercises within the AG A staff refined the original December concept into the Sickle Cut plan. In response to lessons learned from these map exercises, and arguments from Guderian Halder approved the gradual shifting of the armored divisions from AG B to AG A. The Sickle Cut operation did not emerge into its final form until after the March 1940 wargame tested it.
              Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 06 Sep 09, 23:03.

              Comment


              • #8
                But Halder was a sworn enemy of Manstein since 1935 when the office of deputy chief staf was given to Manstein and not to Halder who had more seniority;when Fritsch had to resign,Manstein was chased from the general staf to become a divisional commander ,and in 1940 the same happened:from chief of staf of von Rundstedt ,he was transferred to the east of Germany to become commander of a reserve corps that was engaged only in june .

                Comment


                • #9
                  The German supply line was overlong and tenuous. They did not have the logistical capacity to support a large counter-offensive at this time. In reality, they were spread too thin and had insufficient supplies to hold the territory they already occupied. The destruction of AGC would have split the German forces and threatened huge encirclements of precious men and material the Germans could not afford to lose. The Germans would have had to drastically shorten their lines just to prevent total collapse in the East.

                  Of course, this assumes the Russians could have taken advantage of their own success. Their supply lines were also questionable. But, they had at least three times the forces the Germans thought they had at the time and any breakthrough could have been turned into a rout by a competent commander with sufficient supply and mechanized transport. Army Group North was especially vulnerable to being completely cut off and lost.

                  I think Zhukov was right and the Russians lost a golden opportunity when Stalin demurred.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Stalin listens to his advisors 1941-1942.....

                    ..... and then has them shot in another purge after they have defeated the Germans, as he thinks they are a threat to him and are getting beyond themselves.
                    HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

                    "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ljadw
                      But Halder was a sworn enemy of Manstein since 1935 when the office of deputy chief staf was given to Manstein and not to Halder who had more seniority;when Fritsch had to resign,Manstein was chased from the general staf to become a divisional commander ,and in 1940 the same happened:from chief of staf of von Rundstedt ,he was transferred to the east of Germany to become commander of a reserve corps that was engaged only in june .
                      Incorrect. Manstein was due a corps command and was so assigned. He had already been passed over for corps command in the past and his continued retention as a staff officer without command experience was seen as potentially damaging to his career. That Halder and Manstein may not have been best of friends is irrelevant. There is no conspiracy against Manstein in the German high command.

                      That Manstein felt he was entitled to special treatment in also irrelevant. He was soldier and had to follow his orders, officers junior to him had been assigned corps commands and he was at risk of being left behind. Besides, 38 Corps performed very well in the second phase of the French campaign and, to put it bluntly, his role in the planning for the entire German campaign was not required.
                      The Purist

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

                      Comment

                      Latest Topics

                      Collapse

                      Working...
                      X