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  • Moscow in 41?

    I did a search on this forum but could not find an answer. I found this link at another site:
    Hitler's Panzers East

    I apologise if this has been discussed before.

    Interesting thesis, I am of the opinion that Germany had slim chances to beat the USSR anyway, but if there was a possibility, taking Moscow was it. What I wish to know is what Russian historians think of this thesis?

  • #2
    Originally posted by joea
    I did a search on this forum but could not find an answer. I found this link at another site:
    Hitler's Panzers East

    I apologise if this has been discussed before.

    Interesting thesis, I am of the opinion that Germany had slim chances to beat the USSR anyway, but if there was a possibility, taking Moscow was it. What I wish to know is what Russian historians think of this thesis?
    I read the book some years ago, and vaguely remember not accepting the author's reasoning. I'll dig up my copy and see if I left any notes.

    Personally, I do not think Moscow was the key. The Soviets, themselves, assessed that the best way to take them down was to quickly take the Donbas industrial region. Consequently, you will see in the Red Army disposition the Southwest direction is heavily weighted against such a probability. As it turned out, the emphasis for the Leningrad and Moscow directions, allowed the soviets to relocate major defense factories from the Donbas area.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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    • #3
      However, Moscow was the hub, all railways passed through Moscow, the USSR was a very centralised state (unlike tsarist Russia for example) so the political effects might have been considerable. Would be interested in your notes R.N.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by joea
        However, Moscow was the hub, all railways passed through Moscow, the USSR was a very centralised state (unlike tsarist Russia for example) so the political effects might have been considerable. Would be interested in your notes R.N.
        Yes, that is what many discussioners forget. Should Moscow been captured, the whole logistics system would go down the drain. You can produce as much as you want, it wont do you any good if you cant transport it to the appropriate consumer.

        The results of the capture of Moscow would have been catastrophic. Soviet troops would remain without supplies and the command would have been in shambles. The symbolic meaning also musnt be ignored. The capture of Moscow would sink Soviet morale even lower.

        This makes the Soviet victory in front of Moscow so much more important. However, I still belive the Germans had a chance to win at Stalingrad. The problem was, Hitler neglected the main reason of his offensive (Caucas oilfields) for the city that bore Stalins name.
        "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tom Phoenix
          Yes, that is what many discussioners forget. Should Moscow been captured, the whole logistics system would go down the drain. You can produce as much as you want, it wont do you any good if you cant transport it to the appropriate consumer.

          The results of the capture of Moscow would have been catastrophic. Soviet troops would remain without supplies and the command would have been in shambles. The symbolic meaning also musnt be ignored. The capture of Moscow would sink Soviet morale even lower.

          This makes the Soviet victory in front of Moscow so much more important. However, I still belive the Germans had a chance to win at Stalingrad. The problem was, Hitler neglected the main reason of his offensive (Caucas oilfields) for the city that bore Stalins name.
          I think that is an overstatement. The Soviet leadership was prepared to evacuate Moscow, in fact, parts of the General Staff had begun to displace. Factories were starting to start up in the east and south. The war could have been sustained. The bulk of lend lease would come through the Iran corridor. I do not believe the loss of the primarily political center would have been fatal.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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          • #6
            There were many important points. Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Caucasus...

            Napoleon also believed that it was necessary only to capture Moscow. He had captured Moscow in 1812 but Russia continue to fight and Napoleon invasion failed.

            When Red Army had won Moscow Battle all the peoples of the World were informed that "Red Army had destroyed the myth of invincibility of German Army in the fields nearly Moscow". The people saw that it was possible to beat the Germans.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Andrey
              There were many important points. Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Caucasus...

              Napoleon also believed that it was necessary only to capture Moscow. He had captured Moscow in 1812 but Russia continue to fight and Napoleon invasion failed.

              When Red Army had won Moscow Battle all the peoples of the World were informed that "Red Army had destroyed the myth of invincibility of German Army in the fields nearly Moscow". The people saw that it was possible to beat the Germans.
              Yes beating the Germans was a big deal it seems.

              I would also have to agree with RN Armstrong. I had always heard that if the Germans took Moscow they probably would have won the war but more recently I have heard and read much more that says that might not have done the job.
              Check out our webpage for our NFL picks http://members.cox.net/mjohns59/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
                I think that is an overstatement. The Soviet leadership was prepared to evacuate Moscow, in fact, parts of the General Staff had begun to displace. Factories were starting to start up in the east and south. The war could have been sustained. The bulk of lend lease would come through the Iran corridor. I do not believe the loss of the primarily political center would have been fatal.
                Maybe your right about the command. But the supply system would still fail. And again the symbolic meaning.

                Also, most Lend-Lease material in 41/42 was sent through Northern Ports.

                Moscow was NOT the capital of Russia in 1812, neither was it the center of the railyway system. Not to mention warfare was a diffrent matter during Napoleon.
                "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom Phoenix

                  Also, most Lend-Lease material in 41/42 was sent through Northern Ports.
                  Not true. We went through this discussion on another thread. Northern ports was only a small percentage of what came through the southern Iranian corridor and east through Siberia from America.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom Phoenix
                    Moscow was NOT the capital of Russia in 1812, neither was it the center of the railyway system. Not to mention warfare was a diffrent matter during Napoleon.
                    Moscow is the ancient Russian capital. Yes, Peter the Great had transferred the capital in St. Petersburg in the beginning of the XVIII Century. But Moscow still was the symbol in XIX Century.

                    As I suppose Napoleon had to know what he was doing in 1812 when he went to Moscow and not to St. Petersburg.

                    Warfare... As I know (I am not an expert in that time) the main Russian weapon plants were in Tula in 1812, it is nearly Moscow. The territory in the Urals and to the east from the Urals was completely undeveloped.

                    In 1941...

                    It looks like you suppose it was impossible to carry cargo not coming to Moscow. I suppose it is incorrect. The Soviets had railways that could tranfter military cargo from the Urals, Siberia and Far East to the frontline by-passing Moscow.

                    The Soviets in 1941 didn't prepare to surrender in the case of the fall of Moscow, they prepared to fight in any case.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andrey
                      Moscow is the ancient Russian capital. Yes, Peter the Great had transferred the capital in St. Petersburg in the beginning of the XVIII Century. But Moscow still was the symbol in XIX Century.

                      As I suppose Napoleon had to know what he was doing in 1812 when he went to Moscow and not to St. Petersburg.

                      Warfare... As I know (I am not an expert in that time) the main Russian weapon plants were in Tula in 1812, it is nearly Moscow. The territory in the Urals and to the east from the Urals was completely undeveloped.

                      In 1941...

                      It looks like you suppose it was impossible to carry cargo not coming to Moscow. I suppose it is incorrect. The Soviets had railways that could tranfter military cargo from the Urals, Siberia and Far East to the frontline by-passing Moscow.

                      The Soviets in 1941 didn't prepare to surrender in the case of the fall of Moscow, they prepared to fight in any case.
                      I dont know why he went to Moscow. But I guess he was looking for a symbolic victory (being an old capital and all). I doubt he was planning to hit the factories in Tula (or at least I wouldnt think he wouldnt think of such a goal).

                      You have to remember that Russian railways were one-liner tracks. A few of them could not have completely substituted the central of the Soviet railways system. Also your forgetting that one of the two most important destinations of the trans-siberian railway was (and is).....Moscow.

                      I do not doubt the Soviet determination to fight. But their capability would have been much more limited with the loss of Moscow.

                      And Armstrong, yes we did have this discussion. I claimed the Northern ports received the most while you claimed the Far East received the most. Full Monty posted a link which proved us both wrong. It was Iran who received the most through the whole war. HOWEVER, the link also proved that in the years 1941 and 1942 (when the help was most needed) the greatest percentage of the supplies were sent to the Northern ports.
                      "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom Phoenix
                        And Armstrong, yes we did have this discussion. I claimed the Northern ports received the most while you claimed the Far East received the most. Full Monty posted a link which proved us both wrong. It was Iran who received the most through the whole war. HOWEVER, the link also proved that in the years 1941 and 1942 (when the help was most needed) the greatest percentage of the supplies were sent to the Northern ports.
                        Touche. My point is there was resilency and depth to the Soviet Union and a capability to carry on the war with the loss of Moscow. To claim the capture of Moscow would have knocked the Russians out of the war is to think like Hitler and the German leadership. They found the Russian bear much tougher.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tom Phoenix
                          You have to remember that Russian railways were one-liner tracks. A few of them could not have completely substituted the central of the Soviet railways system. Also your forgetting that one of the two most important destinations of the trans-siberian railway was (and is).....Moscow.
                          I live in Trans-Siberian Railway's City - :-)!!!

                          It is possible now to enter European Russia by-passing Moscow. The people from my city go by train in Caucasus and the coast of the Black Sea (to get rest) by-passing Moscow.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
                            Touche. My point is there was resilency and depth to the Soviet Union and a capability to carry on the war with the loss of Moscow. To claim the capture of Moscow would have knocked the Russians out of the war is to think like Hitler and the German leadership. They found the Russian bear much tougher.
                            Sorry, but no cigar. Determination can lead you a long way, but without the capability to supply such a large force you are going to lose for sure. However, I do agree that partisan activity would hinder the Third Reich well into the 50s and even the 60s. What can I say, Russians are determined folks

                            Let us repeat that....it is possible NOW. It has passed more then 60 years from the war and the Trans-Siberian railway has lived through many changes during that period. While im sure some railways did lead past Moscow, I seriously doubt it would have been sufficient to supply the whole Red Army.
                            "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                            • #15
                              I've been looking for a railroad map of russia, but haven't found almost anything...here's something however:
                              http://img473.imageshack.us/img473/1...summeroffe.jpg

                              Lose Moscow, lose pretty much everything.
                              Wisdom is personal

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