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  • Stretching Barbarossa

    All right, hope I've done my homework right on this one. Here's the deal. The Damnable book is going forward, but there's one major sticking point in the internal chronology of my AH WWII. In mine the Germans attack the Soviet Union on June 22,1940, because believe it or not in RL this is the date Soviet troops marched into the Baltics and set up rigged elections to annex those countries. Historically Hitler could do nothing to capitalize on this because operations in France were wrapping up. I've heard he was real unhappy about Stalin taking Lithuania which was supposed to be part of the German sphere in the secret protocols of the M-R Pact.

    But because in my story the Germans overran France late 39, the Germans are in a position to intervene, AGAIN catching Stalin with his pants down because he thinks the Germans are aiming for Sealion. Therefore, the Germans come into Eastern Europe as the savior of Europe from Communism, specifically the small, wealthy and quite democratic Republic of Livonia (the Baltic states, minus Memel, which stayed German). Also too Finland barely survived the winter war and Romania was bullied too.

    The attachment I included are the political boundaries of 1940. The gray areas are Germany, it's occupied territories and allies, except Italy, which is brown. The Italians are losing BADLY to the British in North Africa and they've been all but driven out of Syria, and the only help Hitler has sent is the three division Afrika Korps under Rommel. Now my problem is that I have the 40 invasion and a 42 Case Blue. So it seems I have to stretch Barbarossa into two years, and I'm not sure how to do it.

    My Germany has strengths ours didn't:
    1. Near total war footing from September 1939

    2. Streamlined production for military trucks (that is the Germans don't have to steal anything with an engine for the logistics of Army Group Center AND they don't have the spare parts problem, at least not as bad)

    3. Three Air Cav divisions with Dragon helicopters (helicopters are very big in this WWII, even though most of them are piston driven).

    4. Germany has an alliance with Petainist France (Operation Catapult led to war), and Petain has promised 20 divisions for the east. Livonia offers eight divisions including two 'George Washington' divisions of American volunteers that had signed up to fight in Finland.

    5. Germany has no manpower draining needs for occupation troops in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, and almost none in France. The Balkans are under Italian foot for the time being. I'm not sure how many troops that frees up, but it's probably not chump change.

    6. The Soviet Union has had almost no time to make effective reforms after the Winter War. I would think this would REALLY hurt, given the ineptness of the Red Army a year later in reforms in OTL.

    7. Though it will be found wanting later, the Germans have the worlds largest synthetic fuel complex on earth. By 42 there will be cause for concern, but not at the moment.

    8. The German population, seeing the Wehrmacht throwing the Red Army out of Livonia (and taking Leningrad shortly thereafter), will see the Eastern Front as just and necessary right up to the end of the war.

    But the Germans would also suffer in some ways:
    1. Not necessarily enough time to take in all the lessons of the French campaign seven months earlier

    2. Even with full tilt war footing, Germany will come into a 1940 Barbarossa with less equipment, and any lags in comparison to Soviet weaponry will probably be worse (although there will be no T-34s until fall and none in numbers until 1941).

    3. The Germans in my story understand VERY well, Hitler on down that Russia cannot be conquered in one campaign season. And they're not even going to try. There probably will be a Typhoon in 1941, but not in 1940. In this way the Germans may shoot themselves in the foot and not fully exploit their ability to crush the Red Army at nearly every tactical engagement. This would be adequate to explain my thrust, but again, not sure.

    Again thoughts are appreciated. If I'm over-insuring this (like it doesn't make sense internally that the Germans are going to lose) tell me, if there's stuff I'm not thinking of, please point it out. Thank you
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Wolery; 29 Jun 10, 09:00.
    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

  • #2
    I like your ideas !
    My concern is the strength of panzerwaffe in your TL, which was grew considerably from July 1940 to June 1941.

    And the state of luftwaffe, will there be a battle of britain in your TL ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nastle View Post
      I like your ideas !
      My concern is the strength of panzerwaffe in your TL, which was grew considerably from July 1940 to June 1941.

      And the state of luftwaffe, will there be a battle of britain in your TL ?
      Well, Hitler has some logistics know how running guns to German insurgents when the French occupation of the Rhineland went REAL bad. So he understands that Sealion is impossible as long as the RL can cut the supply lines and was hoping the Italians would overrun the Middle East in short order. Besides there's no way to invade until May weather anyways. Hitler's solution is to bottle up Britain by U-boats and then take as much of her Empire as possible and wait for Churchill to fall. There is a Battle of Britain between December 39 and April 40, but it's mostly for show. The Germans do not take any substantial risks to the Luftwaffe, just bombing the airfields and emasculating RAF fighter command. In that world there is no Blitz, because Hitler wants his air force killing Soviet soldiers. As I said, all German officials understand that the war in the East will be the fight of their generation. It will be long and difficult and bloody, but better in Russia than eastern Germany.
      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


      • #4
        Besides there's no way to invade until May weather anyways. Hitler's solution is to bottle up Britain by U-boats and then take as much of her Empire as possible and wait for Churchill to fall
        .

        there are 39 uboats operational in the OTL during this time, hardly a force to blockade the british isles

        There is a Battle of Britain between December 39 and April 40, but it's mostly for show. The Germans do not take any substantial risks to the Luftwaffe, just bombing the airfields and emasculating RAF fighter command
        .
        Even that would deplete the strength of luftwaffe substantially, as contrary to popular myth luftwaffe was outnumbered by RAF in the summer of 1940.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nastle View Post
          .

          there are 39 uboats operational in the OTL during this time, hardly a force to blockade the british isles

          .
          Even that would deplete the strength of luftwaffe substantially, as contrary to popular myth luftwaffe was outnumbered by RAF in the summer of 1940.
          I'm aware of both. And so is Hitler (he'll go real stupid as the war goes on, I can't have a Holocaust, and be true to the bastard without it). The psychological effect is what Hitler is aiming at. He believes there's a chance to bully Britian into peace, and it should be taken. My hero kinda defined the thrust of Babarosa, and he beleives that the only things that can ultimately defeat the Reich are a British bloackade and war with America. Becker is no fool, he's seen River Rouge and he knows damn well what American industry is capable of. But any lifting of the blockade will dramaitcally lessen the costs of production, and allow the Reich to buy all the oil it needs. Thus one has to risk at least a little to be in the poker game. Hitler is more concerned with the bombers than the fighters, as he sees the role of the Luftwaffe is ground pounding, the fighters there to protect the bombers.
          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


          • #6
            Well, perhaps I should narrow the focus of this a little. What would be a logical plan of attack in the first year of war with the Soviet Union where the Germans concede there is no hope of easy or quick victory? Maybe the ambitious side of that considering the hammering they gave the French. And Assuming the Germans got their first campaign goals, what would the second wave? If possible I'd like Barbarossa, Barbarossa II, and Case Blue to be evermore aggressive hammer blows into the Soviet Union.

            And besides that, I'd like an assessment of how the Brits might fight in the ME, facing the DAK and some parts of the Italian Army in Africa and the bulk of the Italian army trying to hold the hillsides of Anatolia. The Kurds are fairly complacent, the Turks are ready to rebel, because many were relocated to central Anatolia after the destruction of Turkey (the coasts and western third are entire Greek).

            Any thoughts?
            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


            • #7
              Well, perhaps I should narrow the focus of this a little. What would be a logical plan of attack in the first year of war with the Soviet Union where the Germans concede there is no hope of easy or quick victory? Maybe the ambitious side of that considering the hammering they gave the French. And Assuming the Germans got their first campaign goals, what would the second wave? If possible I'd like Barbarossa, Barbarossa II, and Case Blue to be evermore aggressive hammer blows into the Soviet Union
              .
              The key I think is to get the ukranians and other minorities living in USSR on your side.Encourage local partisan groups to present germans as liberators rather than just another invader.



              And besides that, I'd like an assessment of how the Brits might fight in the ME, facing the DAK and some parts of the Italian Army in Africa and the bulk of the Italian army trying to hold the hillsides of Anatolia.
              logistics will not permit italians and germans to maintain such forces in ME or even africa.British empire has that capability and I dont see any other outcome other than the complete defeat of the axis.unless italians and germans challenge the RN

              The Kurds are fairly complacent, the Turks are ready to rebel, because many were relocated to central Anatolia after the destruction of Turkey (the coasts and western third are entire Greek).
              How are they entirely greek ? have the greeks won the war of 1919-22 in your timeline ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nastle View Post
                .
                The key I think is to get the ukranians and other minorities living in USSR on your side.Encourage local partisan groups to present germans as liberators rather than just another invader.
                I'd think that'd be a war winner, but it's against Hitler's vision. I want a smarter Hitler, but the boneheaded moves against the Ukrainians is what makes Hitler Hitler.




                Originally posted by nastle View Post
                logistics will not permit italians and germans to maintain such forces in ME or even africa.British empire has that capability and I dont see any other outcome other than the complete defeat of the axis.unless italians and germans challenge the RN
                Well the RN will be challenged by the Italian Navy and what's left of the French fleet, but the Italians capture Malta on day one. The logistics of North Africa are supplemented by this and the fact that the territory the Italians have is Vandala, as in the Vandal Kingdom which survived the Byzantines and conquest by the Arabs. Vandala is as developed, pound for pound as Sicily. Plus the Italians do have an overland supply route through Anatolia and this is where the bulk of the Italian Army is. British Middle Eastern Command is quite a bit bigger too. In the end Rommel will lead the charge to Basra and ME command will be destroyed at the end of 1941.

                I'm of the opinion that Rommel could take the Suez with his supply base in Tripoli, without all of these complications. I'm through arguing the point though. Getting rid of Malta should be sufficient.


                Originally posted by nastle View Post
                How are they entirely greek ? have the greeks won the war of 1919-22 in your timeline ?
                It's complicated. Essentially, the Italians liberate an Anatolia that was never heavily Turkified beyond the Rum Sultanate in the reign of Manuel I. And the Turkification that did happen was reversed by Italian policies in the 20s. It has to do with the politics of the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The Greek state does not exist; instead the Italians have been clawing their way up to Constantinople from the Peloponnese since the beginning of the 18th century. This process actually kept the Albanians from becoming Muslims. Then WWI came and the Italians finally destroyed the Turkish state, slaughtering the Muslims of Constantinople in revenge for the burning of Smyrna.
                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


                • #9
                  Wolery did you make the attached GIF or did you take it from somewhere? If you made it, what program did you use?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I made the map with mspaint. The template is from a site called Lord Sanders map repository. There's a lot of interchangeable world maps, perfect for creating AH maps for whatever timeline you are working on presently.

                    EDIT: This is the link:
                    http://www.lordsander.net/maps4.htm
                    Last edited by Wolery; 03 Jul 10, 10:04.
                    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


                    • #11
                      What the Germans needed in Russia wasn't a better tank, or the helicopter or, for that matter alot greater manpower. What they needed first and foremost were dump trucks and bulldozers.
                      That is to say they needed the sort of engineering equipment the US Army had in 1944. When a single US combat engineer battalion combined with a single equipment company worth of heavy construction machinery has more mechanized constrution equipment than a whole German Army does there is a problem.
                      The Germans cannot repair the rail system in a timely manner. They cannot erect communications systems in anything close to the needed time. They cannot build roads, let alone decent ones. Their capacity to rebuild or build bridges by comparison with the US is nothing short of pathetic. If the US had to bridge a major river they could have a combat bridge across... under fire.... in under a day. They managed that dozens of times on the Rhine. They could also do it with one bridging battalion of less than 900 men in it.
                      More permanent bridges might take a week or two using about the same manpower. The Germans would require several days and twice the men for a combat bridge and, a more permanent structure would require three or four times the manpower and a month or more to complete.
                      With good engineering machinery the Germans could have repaired the rail system to full capacity quickly and efficently. This would have cut down on wastage and ensured the troops had proper supplies. WIth engineers that could build and maintain decent roads... even graded smooth dirt ones... the wear and tear on motor vehicles would have dropped precipitiously. This would have also raised the convoy speed of such vehicles. Adding gravel plants and such to make paved roads would have been a huge bonus particularly in the muddy season.

                      As but one example I recall of the utility of being able to quickly build roads:

                      The 36th ID late in the war was faced with a strong German blocking positon on one of their roads of advance. The division decided rather than fight through the road block to just bulldoze a new temporary road around it. This took them several hours to complete but once done they outflanked the position and forced the Germans to withdraw without a major fight.

                      Look at the ALCAN or Ledo roads or, the B-29 bases in the Pacific. Those are engineering feats the whole of Orgainzation Todt couldn't have managed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Gardner! That's a brilliant insight. A much stronger engineering corps would be a supremely logical thing to have, especially in a long reaching Barbarossa.

                        May I ask, if we go back to Hitler's assent to the Chancellor's office, what could be done in this vein? What would be limiting factors. And any resources if you have them. I still need the Germans to 'lose' initiative on the Eastern Front after Kursk, but that wouldn't necessarily be all that hard.

                        I truly appreciate the help gentleman.
                        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


                        • #13
                          It would require that the German civilian construction industry willingly adopt such equipment well before the war started. As it was, there were manufacturers of such equipment but, they mostly made small numbers of it and it remained almost entirely unused in the industry.

                          Hanomag for example was making both tracked and wheeled tractors among other German manufacturers but these existed in only small numbers. Both Ford and Opel (GM) built dump truck bodies for their truck lines but these were rarely purchased. Much construction machinery remained horse drawn or was simply ancient like steam rollers...literally steam rollers....

                          I have never seen or been able to find a single photo of a bulldozer in Wehrmacht use for example. That is just how rare construction machinery is in the German military. Compounding this what tractor production was occuring in Germany tapered off to nothing in 1941 and ended entirely by the end of 1942.

                          The Eisenbahnbautruppen (railway construction troops) could have easily been assisted by specialist trains that included cranes, dump cars for ballast, water cars, shop cars and, other specialist equipment all mounted on a train or trains assigned to units.

                          Having sand and gravel plants that were portable would help too. The US for example set one up on Ohama beach less than 72 hours after the first landings to provide materials for road beds and concrete. This was in anticipation of the need for this material to make the Mulberry harbor work ashore.

                          In Russia the Wehrmacht should have had the rail troops provided with stocks of new ties and other repair materials as it was unlikely that just converting the rail gauge would be all that needed doing.

                          Additional saw mills along with things like tents and a wide variety of other equipment would have helped too.

                          This is what a single US CB (SeeBee) battalion had at their disposal:

                          A battalion of 32 officers and 1073 men were provided with the following equipment in a standard battalion:

                          264 16 sq ft tents
                          21 17 x 20 ft tents
                          26 16 x 50 ft tents
                          69 20 x 48 ft quonset huts
                          3 40 x 100 ft quonset huts
                          8 water purification units (10,000 gpd)
                          Canvas tanks for water storage
                          2 x 500 gpm fire fighting pumps + hand held extinguishers
                          8 x 15 Kw generators
                          1 x 50 ckt telephone switchboard + telephones
                          1 x public address system
                          1 FM radio set with 60 mi range (as required)
                          1 x 3/4 ton ambulance
                          18 jeeps
                          4 3/4 ton weapons carriers
                          1 2 1/2 ton truck with 750 gal water tank
                          4 1 1/2 ton trucks
                          4 2 1/2 ton trucks
                          32 2 1/2 ton dump trucks
                          1 2 1/2 ton truck oilfield body (for moving heavy equipment and parts)
                          1 4 ton truck.
                          20 trailers
                          1 fifth wheel 2 1/2 ton truck tractor combo
                          2 .25 yd 6 ton crawler cranes
                          3 .75 yd 13 ton crawler cranes
                          1 1.5 yd 30 ton crawler crane
                          All have clamshell and dragline buckets and the 13 ton units have backhoe attachments
                          8 class 1 tractors (Caterpillar)
                          4 class 2 tractors (Caterpillar)
                          4 class 3 tractors (Caterpillar)
                          2 class 4 tractors (Caterpillar)
                          All have either a bulldozer or angledozer attachment
                          4 8 - 10 cu yd earth mover trailers (for use with the tractors)
                          4 12 -15 cy yd earth mover trailers
                          8 pneumatic rock hammers
                          1 8 ton road roller
                          1 12 ton road roller
                          1 3 tooth trenching machine
                          3 road graders w/ 12 ft blade
                          2 5 ton cargo cranes
                          1 7 cu ft cement mixer
                          1 14 cu ft cement mixer
                          4 portable 3000 gpm pumps
                          Supplies for immediate use included:
                          1000 bags of cement
                          328,000 BF of lumber
                          2800 feet of steel shapes
                          10,850 pounds of rebar
                          14,000 fasteners
                          65,400 feet of wire rope
                          120 oxygen cylinders
                          2550 lbs of welding rod.

                          They were expected to build their own semi-permanent camp using the tents for temporary shelter and then start on whatever construction projects they had assigned. The large Class 1 crawlers are typically of the size of a Cat D9 or larger. These vehicles could have pulled a panzer out of mud up to the top of the tracks and were easily capable of pushing something like a Tiger tank out of a road that it blocked.

                          For road building had the Germans had anything equivalent they could have graded dirt roads smooth, provided proper drainage and, then coated the road with gravel to form a reasonable all-weather base. This might have reduced wastage of supply trucks as much as 60 to 75%. Fewer trucks breaking down and wearing out means production can more readily keep up with losses. Losses due to abandoned equipment that could not be recovered would also be greatly reduced.

                          Compare this to the historical where a well equipped German military construction battlion would be limited to a compressor or two, a few pneumatic tools like jack hammers, a few chain saws, a cement mixer or two and, maybe a crane. Other than that everything was done by hand. Shovels and wheelbarrows or maybe horse drawn wagons to move materials.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nastle View Post
                            .

                            there are 39 uboats operational in the OTL during this time, hardly a force to blockade the british isles

                            .
                            Even that would deplete the strength of luftwaffe substantially, as contrary to popular myth luftwaffe was outnumbered by RAF in the summer of 1940.
                            Not so.

                            See Appendix V: The Royal Air Force 1939-1945
                            Volume 1: The Fight at Odds.
                            http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/U...K-RAF-I-V.html
                            APPENDIX V
                            First-line Aircraft—British, German and Italian Air Forces
                            DATE R.A.F.(n1) GERMAN(n4) ITALIAN
                            30th September 1938 1,982 3,307
                            3rd September 1939 1,911(n 2) 4,131
                            1st August 1940 2,913(n3) 4,549 1,529(note 5)(June)

                            The above table is difficult to "cut & paste" easily. The source tabulates the data much better.
                            Last edited by At ease; 04 Jul 10, 09:45.
                            "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                            "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                            "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                            — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ^Whats your source ?

                              Also bear in mind when RAF count their number they list only the operational fighter planes.When they count luftwaffe's planes they count bomber/fighters/twins/stukas and the TOTAL number of planes not just the operational.

                              Comment

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