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What if USSR didn't receive the land lease help?

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  • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    "The problem with Hill, aside from the falseness of his assumptions stated above, is that he's looking at an important, but hardly decisive, part of a larger battle which is again only a part of a campaign which is in its turn, only a part of the War in the East. He then concludes that because the Soviets don't mention the contribution of British supplied armour to this battle they must be underplaying its significance. That they may not have been suitable for operations in a deep Russian Winter and, indeed, they may not have been combat ready seems to pass him by. As I think you imply, he's trying to counter a perceived imbalance by producing an imbalanced piece of his own."
    Yep. And that is pretty much what I meant, when I said "...it invites the reader to form an exaggerated idea of the British contribution, in relative terms, vis-a-vis the overall picture."

    Reading my post again, I am definitely trying to be gentle but still get the message across. If that puts part of the fence in my nether regions, I'll live with the temporary discomfort.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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    • Since I mentioned I would post this if I found it....this is from M. Kolomiets and I. Moshchanskiy, Tanki Lend-Liza [Lend Lease Tanks], Eksprint, 2000, Moscow. p. 17.

      As already mentioned in the preceding chapters, the first foreign-built (British) combat vehicles appeared in the Soviet forces on the eve of the December counter-offensive of our forces at Moscow. During this, only a small portion of the 145 Matilda and 216 Valentine tanks and 330 Universal carriers were utilized. Thus, on the Western Front on 01.01.1942, foreign tanks were present in the 146th (two T-34s, ten T-60s, four British Mk IIIs), 23rd (one T-34, five British Mk. IIIs), 20th (one T-34, one T-26, one T-60, two British Mk. IIIs, one BA-20) tank brigades, which operated with the forces of the 16th, 49th and 3rd Armies, as well as the 112th Tank Division (one KV, eight T-26s, six British Mk. IIIs), attached to the 50th Army. On the North-Western Front, the 170th and 171st Tank Battalions also fought, while equipped with British-built equipment.
      The 170th Tank Battalion (10 T-60s, British 13 Mk. IIIs) was attached to the 3rd Shock Army, while the 171st Tank Battalion (10 T-60s, 12 British Mk. IIs and 9 Mk. IIIs) was attached to the 4th Shock Army, which was transferred to the Kalinin Front at the end of February. The Universal armoured carrier was of course present in all three fronts, but quantitative information regarding their use is lacking. Typically, the Mk. I armoured carriers were distributed among the reconnaissance companies of the tank brigades (among which were those equipped with only Soviet vehicles) on the basis of 2 or 3 vehicles per brigade.
      Thus, during the course of the Battle for Moscow, only a small portion of the vehicles which had been delivered were made use of (in several formations and units of the three central fronts) and the percentage of inotanki [foreign tanks] employed was no more than 2% of the general complement of combat vehicles of these fronts.
      These figures diverge significantly from the the thrust of Alexander Hill's article. The discrepancy may lay in the fact that whereas Hill cites December figures, Moshchanskiy and Kolomiets cite January data. However, the latter two authors also supply a table of British tanks in Soviet formations on December 20, 1941:

      136th Independent Tank Battalion (5th Army) - 5 Mk. IIs - (all under repair)
      1st Guards Motorised Rifle Division (33rd Army) - 1 Mk. II and 1 Mk. III (under repair)
      23rd Tank Brigade (49th Army) - 2 Mk. IIs and 19 Mk. IIIs
      131st Independent Tank Brigade (50th Army) - 18 Mk. IIIs (8 under repair)

      This means that on December 20, 1941, 46 British tanks were employed on the Moscow sector, whereas on January 1, 1942, this number had increased to 51 tanks.

      Hill, however, claims that at the end of November there were only 205 heavy and medium Soviet-built tanks in front of Moscow. At the same time, he states that 30-40% of the heavy and medium tank park available to Soviet forces on this same sector were British-built. This would mean roughly in excess of 70 British-built tanks in Soviet units on December, 1st. Strange, considering that both Moshchanskiy and Baryartinskiy have only 1 Soviet front line formation having British tanks on that date and possessing no more than 12 in number, with several of them broken down. It does not help that Hill merely states "available statistics" and "researchers estimate" without showing those statistics or naming those researchers. Nor does he provide any concrete breakdown of numbers within the units he specifies.

      Comment


      • Can anyone speculate knowledgably about why the British tanks seem to have been spread piecemeal through a number of units?

        As deployed it looks as if this would have created an unnecessary logistical burden. I would think that having one or two formations convert completely to British armour would have streamlined support and taken best advantage of what was likely limited training.

        Mind you, I know squat about tanks
        Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by skoblin View Post
          Since I mentioned I would post this if I found it....this is from M. Kolomiets and I. Moshchanskiy, Tanki Lend-Liza [Lend Lease Tanks], Eksprint, 2000, Moscow. p. 17.

          These figures diverge significantly from the the thrust of Alexander Hill's article. The discrepancy may lay in the fact that whereas Hill cites December figures, Moshchanskiy and Kolomiets cite January data. However, the latter two authors also supply a table of British tanks in Soviet formations on December 20, 1941:

          136th Independent Tank Battalion (5th Army) - 5 Mk. IIs - (all under repair)
          1st Guards Motorised Rifle Division (33rd Army) - 1 Mk. II and 1 Mk. III (under repair)
          23rd Tank Brigade (49th Army) - 2 Mk. IIs and 19 Mk. IIIs
          131st Independent Tank Brigade (50th Army) - 18 Mk. IIIs (8 under repair)

          This means that on December 20, 1941, 46 British tanks were employed on the Moscow sector, whereas on January 1, 1942, this number had increased to 51 tanks.

          Hill, however, claims that at the end of November there were only 205 heavy and medium Soviet-built tanks in front of Moscow. At the same time, he states that 30-40% of the heavy and medium tank park available to Soviet forces on this same sector were British-built. This would mean roughly in excess of 70 British-built tanks in Soviet units on December, 1st. Strange, considering that both Moshchanskiy and Baryartinskiy have only 1 Soviet front line formation having British tanks on that date and possessing no more than 12 in number, with several of them broken down. It does not help that Hill merely states "available statistics" and "researchers estimate" without showing those statistics or naming those researchers. Nor does he provide any concrete breakdown of numbers within the units he specifies.
          About the numbers of heavy and medium Soviet tanks:Amvas in his website RKKA gives the followingn 1 december 1941:212 heavy and 322 medium tanks in the operational forces;I think we can assume they were all concentrated in front of Moscow .Cheers

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            About the numbers of heavy and medium Soviet tanks:Amvas in his website RKKA gives the followingn 1 december 1941:212 heavy and 322 medium tanks in the operational forces;I think we can assume they were all concentrated in front of Moscow .Cheers
            I'm not sure, ljadw, that one can make the assumption that all of the Soviet heavy and medium tanks were concentrated in front of Moscow. When the German Tikhvin operation began on the Volkhov Front in mid-October, the Soviets had two tank brigades - the 16th and 122nd Tank Brigades [54th Army] - and one tank battalion - the 199th Independent Tank Battalion [4th Army] - employed on defense. I do not have the figures for the complement of heavy and medium tanks in these formations, but one would have to presume that some were present. These forces were subsequently reinforced by the 60th Tank Division [mostly light tanks], the 46th Tank Brigade, and the 128th Independent Tank Battalion.
            On the southern front near Rostov at around the same time, the Soviets had 5 tank brigades employed. Again, one would have to presume the presence of some Soviet medium and heavy tanks among this mix as well. This does not include independent tank formations which may have been present on other fronts as well - Leningrad, Khar'kov, etc.
            Last edited by Skoblin; 25 Sep 09, 16:39.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
              Can anyone speculate knowledgably about why the British tanks seem to have been spread piecemeal through a number of units?
              Well I can speculate! I suspect that given the situation the tanks were fed in to front line units as soon as they arrived rather than waiting until enough were available to equip an entire formation. Once the pressure on the Red Army had eased the more sensible option of equipping whole units with foreign tanks was taken up .... I think.
              Signing out.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                Well I can speculate! I suspect that given the situation the tanks were fed in to front line units as soon as they arrived rather than waiting until enough were available to equip an entire formation. Once the pressure on the Red Army had eased the more sensible option of equipping whole units with foreign tanks was taken up .... I think.
                Sounds right to me.
                The pressure was so great (both from the Germans and from Stalin) that tanks could have been driven straight from the Railhead to the Brigade HQ, and from there to the front.

                More-over, it could have been effective. By then, most of the German tanks were done for and their AT-guns were frozen solid. Even a "Brigade" of a dozen mixed tanks could have had a serious effect in a Corps-sized area of operations.
                Whats more, what matter if none of them came back? There were more tanks where those came from.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by skoblin View Post
                  I'm not sure, ljadw, that one can make the assumption that all of the Soviet heavy and medium tanks were concentrated in front of Moscow. When the German Tikhvin operation began on the Volkhov Front in mid-October, the Soviets had two tank brigades - the 16th and 122nd Tank Brigades [54th Army] - and one tank battalion - the 199th Independent Tank Battalion [4th Army] - employed on defense. I do not have the figures for the complement of heavy and medium tanks in these formations, but one would have to presume that some were present. These forces were subsequently reinforced by the 60th Tank Division [mostly light tanks], the 46th Tank Brigade, and the 128th Independent Tank Battalion.
                  On the southern front near Rostov at around the same time, the Soviets had 5 tank brigades employed. Again, one would have to presume the presence of some Soviet medium and heavy tanks among this mix as well. This does not include independent tank formations which may have been present on other fronts as well - Leningrad, Khar'kov, etc.
                  Skoblin:thank you for your information. My assumption was:The Moscow front beying the most important(Typhoon ),I was thinking that the Red Army should have concentrated her tanks in this area for the counter-offensive . A logical decision ? Was the dispersing the tanks not a -big ?-fault ? Was this not violating the Schwerpunktstrategy ? Cheers .

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                    Skoblin:thank you for your information. My assumption was:The Moscow front beying the most important(Typhoon ),I was thinking that the Red Army should have concentrated her tanks in this area for the counter-offensive . A logical decision ? Was the dispersing the tanks not a -big ?-fault ? Was this not violating the Schwerpunktstrategy ? Cheers .
                    The Soviet strategy in late 1941 focused on three major fronts - Leningrad, Moscow and the South-West. Although Moscow was indeed treated as the most threatened sector, Stavka also realized the dangers involved in the successful isolation of Leningrad as well as a German breakthrough to the Caucasus. Units, formations and entire armies were routinely transferred to counter what was considered the most important threat at any given moment. Thus, when the Volkhov Front was quiet, forces were switched from the Volkhov to Moscow. Later, when the Germans appeared to be on the brink of a successful breakthrough at Tikhvin in order to link up with the Finns, Soviet forces were transferred again from those originally destined for Moscow, such as the full-strength 60th Tank Division. In this sense, the Soviets did indeed violate the Schwehrpunktstrategie in favour of a more fluid use of resources. In the event, one must consider the Soviet strategy sound as the constant switching and transferring of forces either to meet a dangerous threat on one sector or to launch diversionary attacks on others ultimately achieved all three major Soviet goals in late 1941: prevent the isolation of Leningrad, defend Moscow and hang on to Rostov.
                    An earlier successful use of this strategy occurred in August 1941, when the German forces, poised to exploit their breakthrough on the Luga front, outside of Moscow, had to suddenly detach an entire panzer corps to Staraya Russa, south of Lake Ilmen, as a result of a sudden attack by the Soviet 34th Army in what was considered a secondary sector by the Germans. Schwehrpunktstrategie would have dictated that the Soviets send these forces to the Leningrad front or entrench them in front of Moscow, but the ultimate turn of events proved the Soviet planners correct.

                    Comment


                    • Article of interest

                      Dear All,
                      The attached article may be of interest and clarify some points I've made elsewhere.
                      Alexander Hill
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by komBat View Post
                        Dear All,
                        The attached article may be of interest and clarify some points I've made elsewhere.
                        Alexander Hill
                        Well thank you for sharing that. The issue I have, as has also been expressed elsewhere by others, is that by using the Soviet figures for heavy and medium tanks the British supplied tanks have to be included using the Soviet designations. Thus the Valentines have to be included in the total for 'light' not 'medium and heavy' tanks, something that skews the statistics a little.
                        Signing out.

                        Comment

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