One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

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Eugen Pinak
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Eugen Pinak » 10 May 2020 13:52

Paul Lakowski wrote:
09 May 2020 16:59
Eugen Pinak wrote:
09 May 2020 12:28
Paul Lakowski wrote:
07 May 2020 02:55
To free up all this motorization in each division [222 truck;63 car & 182 M/C] should require 388 more wagons and 86 karts [2 horse] plus 103 mounted horsemen [Officers/Kavalry].
First you have to find horses and wagons - and only then you can start to remove motor vehicles from the units. And no - cavalrymen doesn't grow on trees either.
They had plenty of those, its just a 'shell game' at that level. If you have studied the Wehrmacht you know that few divisions followed actual TOE.
"Plenty" - it's for the Facebook. What sources claim German army in 1941 had hundred of thousands of extra horses and wagons?

Paul Lakowski
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Paul Lakowski » 10 May 2020 23:27

Eugen Pinak wrote:
10 May 2020 13:52
Paul Lakowski wrote:
09 May 2020 16:59
Eugen Pinak wrote:
09 May 2020 12:28
Paul Lakowski wrote:
07 May 2020 02:55
To free up all this motorization in each division [222 truck;63 car & 182 M/C] should require 388 more wagons and 86 karts [2 horse] plus 103 mounted horsemen [Officers/Kavalry].
First you have to find horses and wagons - and only then you can start to remove motor vehicles from the units. And no - cavalrymen doesn't grow on trees either.
They had plenty of those, its just a 'shell game' at that level. If you have studied the Wehrmacht you know that few divisions followed actual TOE.
"Plenty" - it's for the Facebook. What sources claim German army in 1941 had hundred of thousands of extra horses and wagons?
I don't have facebook.

There is NO need for extra they already have all the horse and wagons they need, they just need to rearrange these divisions FROM THE VERY BEGINNIG. In other-words all infantry divisions from early 1930s on ,would start out as WAGON divisions and every second division would evolve with motorization.

ljadw
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 11 May 2020 16:57

Paul Lakowski wrote:
10 May 2020 23:27
Eugen Pinak wrote:
10 May 2020 13:52
Paul Lakowski wrote:
09 May 2020 16:59
Eugen Pinak wrote:
09 May 2020 12:28
Paul Lakowski wrote:
07 May 2020 02:55
To free up all this motorization in each division [222 truck;63 car & 182 M/C] should require 388 more wagons and 86 karts [2 horse] plus 103 mounted horsemen [Officers/Kavalry].
First you have to find horses and wagons - and only then you can start to remove motor vehicles from the units. And no - cavalrymen doesn't grow on trees either.
They had plenty of those, its just a 'shell game' at that level. If you have studied the Wehrmacht you know that few divisions followed actual TOE.
"Plenty" - it's for the Facebook. What sources claim German army in 1941 had hundred of thousands of extra horses and wagons?
I don't have facebook.

In other-words all infantry divisions from early 1930s on ,would start out as WAGON divisions and every second division would evolve with motorization.
And,how would they win against Poland, against France, against the USSR with wagon divisions ?
The possible ,and unlikely, benefit of more wagon and motorized divisions would not outweigh the certain advantages of having less mobile infantry divisions .
If Guderian would have 5 additional motorized divisions and Kluge minus 10 mobile infantry divisions, this would not help Guderian ,as the ID from Kluge would not be able to help the motorized divisions of Guderian .
Besides,more motorized divisions would imply that these would be more concentrated, which is very questionable , as more motorized divisions would need more road capacity and more trains .
Last point : giving a division more wheeled transport does not transform this division in a motorized division .
And, I forgot almost the principal objection to your proposal : WHY would Germany need more divisions with wheeled transport for Barbarossa ?
You are falling for the Blitzkrieg myth : east of the DD line,the geographical situation was the worst possible for a Blitzkrieg .
More motorization would not transform a failed Barbarossa in a successful Barbarossa .It was not a question of more trucks .

Richard Anderson
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 May 2020 17:50

Paul Lakowski wrote:
10 May 2020 23:27
There is NO need for extra they already have all the horse and wagons they need, they just need to rearrange these divisions FROM THE VERY BEGINNIG. In other-words all infantry divisions from early 1930s on ,would start out as WAGON divisions and every second division would evolve with motorization.
Okay, let's see how that works out...

At the mobilization on 1 September 1939, the Heer had:

6 Panzer Division - 8,400 LKW, 3,360 PKW, 7,800 K
4 leichte Division - 5,600 LKW, 2,400 PKW, 4,400 K
5 Infanterie Division (mot) - 8,500 LKW, 5,000 PKW, 6,500 K
94 Infanterie - 47,000 LKW, 38,800 PKW, 47,000 K
3 Gebirgs Division - c. 1,000 LKW, 800 PKW, 1,000K

So we de-motorize all the infantrie and Gebirgs divisionen, yielding c. 48,000 LKW, 39,600 PKW, and 48,000 K. Each infantry division then requires 1,200 LKW, 600 PKW, and 800 K to motorize it. So enough LKW for 40 divisions, enough PKW for 66 divisions, and enough Kräder for 60 divisions.

So sure, you can "easily" motorize 40 more infantry divisions, leaving 57 divisions with horses and enough PKW and Kräder to function (even nominally horse-drawn units had messengers via motorcycle and of course senior officers need vehicles). Not quite every other division, but okay.

The only problem? You need around 96,000 additional bespannte Fahrzeuge and at least a quarter-million horses. So instead of 885,000 horses called to the colors you increase that initial demand by 20% to over 1.1 million. Where do they come from? Well, sure, the Reich has 3.8 million anyway, so an extra quarter-million means nothing...right? Except they come from the farms. And the 1.4-million on German small farms (under10 hectares) could not be efficiently motorized...and the tractor production is needed for the military...but they did require a team of horses. Then there were the 400,000-odd "large" farms up to 20 hectares, which could be motorized...but again the tractor production is going to the military, right? So a lot of those horses needed to stay on the farm.

All in all, its possible - theoretically - but impractical given the actual constraints faced by the Wehrmacht and the Nazi leadership obsession to maintain food security during wartime.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 May 2020 03:02

Eugen Pinak wrote:
10 May 2020 13:52
"Plenty" - it's for the Facebook. What sources claim German army in 1941 had hundred of thousands of extra horses and wagons?
Then you have to consider that horses and wagons are slower and can operate less hours a day than motor vehicles meaning that the division, even with the same load capacity, is more limited to the distance from a rail head that it can operate resulting in reduced mobility. It also means that some things like the division's 15 cm guns in the artillery regiment have to go as they are almost impossible to tow with a horse team. It weighs nearly 7 tons in travel condition.

While I suppose it would be possible under good conditions, the one tow vehicle would have to be replaced by like 8 to 10 horses. This would reduce the mobility of the battery considerably limiting its ability to displace in a fluid situation.

So, German infantry divisions now have a much bigger issue keeping up with the advance of the mechanized units, creating the real issue that the later could be cut off from the former more easily.

More horses also means more fodder and other foodstuffs for them. Grazing isn't going to work with military horses. That puts an additional strain on the rail system in terms of volume taking more train space carrying food for the horses forward, and then more space in the available wagons hauling it from the rail head to the unit locations.

So, the conversion to an all-horse unit isn't so simple as replacing the capacity of the trucks with capacity of the wagons. It will take more wagons than trucks in terms of capacity to service an all-horse unit.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 13 May 2020 23:24

German infantry divisions of the good waves - i.e. nearly all of those committed to Barbarossa - should really be considered partially motorized divisions.

What the "all horse" proposal fails to understand is the reason for this configuration.

Decisive combat elements were motorized - including anti-tank, pionier (combat engineer), and reconnaissance units. Motorized AT allowed the ability to fight against tank forces on an even tactical basis defensively. The Dubno-Brody "tank" battle, for instance, was largely won by German infantry divisions. Motorized reconaissance and combat engineers greatly enhanced offensive capability.

Trucks likewise greatly enhanced logistics, especially in a pinch.

These logistical and tactical combat advantages explain a lot of why the Ostheer was able to beat the Red Army in '41 despite lacking numerical superiority. The headline stats in which the Red Army was superior, such as numbers of tanks, ignores the fact that Ostheer had 200,000 more trucks.

Later in the war the mobility balance swung towards the Red Army, thanks largely to Lend Lease.

The evolution of relative truck strength over the course of the war is one of the hidden factors that conceal the qualitative decline of the Red Army, relative to Ostheer, after '41 (another factor is ammunition). The '41 Red Army was decently-trained and inflicted casualties on the Heer at a rate slightly better than the Wallies did in '40, despite glaring logistical issues and terrible operational/strategic choices. Had the Red Army possessed its '44 numerical strength and OTL tactical quality in June '41, Stalin might have taken Berlin in '41 (definitely by '42).

Eugen Pinak
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Eugen Pinak » 16 May 2020 16:36

Paul Lakowski wrote:
10 May 2020 23:27
Eugen Pinak wrote:
10 May 2020 13:52
Paul Lakowski wrote:
09 May 2020 16:59
Eugen Pinak wrote:
09 May 2020 12:28
Paul Lakowski wrote:
07 May 2020 02:55
To free up all this motorization in each division [222 truck;63 car & 182 M/C] should require 388 more wagons and 86 karts [2 horse] plus 103 mounted horsemen [Officers/Kavalry].
First you have to find horses and wagons - and only then you can start to remove motor vehicles from the units. And no - cavalrymen doesn't grow on trees either.
They had plenty of those, its just a 'shell game' at that level. If you have studied the Wehrmacht you know that few divisions followed actual TOE.
"Plenty" - it's for the Facebook. What sources claim German army in 1941 had hundred of thousands of extra horses and wagons?
I don't have facebook.

There is NO need for extra they already have all the horse and wagons they need, they just need to rearrange these divisions FROM THE VERY BEGINNIG. In other-words all infantry divisions from early 1930s on ,would start out as WAGON divisions and every second division would evolve with motorization.
I see -you just don't understand the details of logistic work during WW II. Fortunately, other forum members already pointed numerous flaws in your plan. Can hardly add more.

Eugen Pinak
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Eugen Pinak » 16 May 2020 16:39

T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 May 2020 03:02
So, the conversion to an all-horse unit isn't so simple as replacing the capacity of the trucks with capacity of the wagons. It will take more wagons than trucks in terms of capacity to service an all-horse unit.
Yes. More vehicles, more men, more food, longer and less controllable and more vulnerable unit columns, et cetera.

Paul Lakowski
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Paul Lakowski » 03 Jul 2020 04:09

nothing is simple but many things are worth it.

All German Infantry division infantry & artillery regiments/battalions were already 100% -horse-wagon/kart/ bicycle/kav by 1941 with few if any wheeled vehicles , but signals and hospital/veterinary did benefit from some vehicles. The actual combat performance of these divisions was only A weak reflection of the wheel/horse balance. The bulk of all combat effectiveness was determined by the balance of friendly and enemy forces /tons of supplies in battle. [ troops/ guns/ vehicles AFV and training etc etc].That was the larger picture.

Their is a point in the dilution of forces that their are NO HARD AND FAST RULES....just a sliding capability. For example only 1/5 of all German motor vehicles were deployed in the actual field forces of the Wehrmacht [ie the GHQ/ARMY Grp/ ARMY/KORPs /DIVISIONS etc] . The rest was divided between "rear area supply" and the actual "war economy/civil economy"...which BTW had thousands of horse/wagons along with the millions of motor vehicles of its own.

At the start of the war Germany had 4 million vehicles and at the end IN 1945 it was something like 180,000 vehicles. No one can pin point at what point this erosion resulted in defeat...it looks like it had more to do with STRATEGIC fuel supplies than if a 6 battalion infantry divisions had 400 vehicles in 1944 or a 9 battalion infantry division had 850 motor vehicles in 1941 or a 1940 division had 930 motor vehicles. None of these infantry divisions could never match the mobility of the 6 battalion motorized divisions with 2050 motor vehicles plus 1300 motorcycles.

All the extra motorization of the divisional battalions of these infantry divisions -achieved only minor transitory tactical success and sacrificed the major decisive attacks that only mechanized Korp's ATTACKS could provide. Towed ATG exchanged losses with tanks on a one for one bases in Russia , while even the expediency of the same ATG simplistically mounted on a obsolete Pz-I/II chassis , exchanged at 6:1 against same Russian tanks of that era . Its likely had the Germans just removed the wheels/split trails of these ATG and mount them directly on the back of their own towing semi tractors, they would have approached the success of the Panzer Jagger I / MARDER II etc.

Wehrmacht ruthlessly commandeer what ever motor transports they needed to make up short falls and it looks like the Soviets did exactly the same. Both sides had huge horse wagon parks [the soviet horse numbers were higher than German numbers], but the soviet were still more ruthless than the Wehrmacht.It just took them years to relearn how to fight tactical-operational-strategic warfare. The Wehrmacht needed to do the same , but it was too little to late.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2020 11:35

Upthread I posted a rough estimate of equipment cost for a panzer division: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&start=45#p2216965

Big oops - I added a "0" to the costs of trucks and tanks in that post, causing total divisional cost to be ~5x greater than it should have been.

Here's a better estimate taken from the 1941 Panzer Division TOE in Nigel Askey's Operation Barbarossa

Image

(prices in RM)

The yellow items are basically guesses by me (anyone have better info?).

The unit cost figures come from Wikipedia and/or Sturmvogel. Many of them are for 1944, however. That's impacted by inflation but also by German production rationalization later in the war. As most of the Panzer division's cost is in trucks, halftracks, and armored cars, and as the Germans achieved little in rationalizing this kind of production, it's probably a decent estimate. Open to revisions/comments.

This only makes more emphatic what I've written throughout my threads: land warfare was relatively cheap in WW2; Germany wouldn't have much problem arming a slightly-stronger Barbarossa force.

Ammunition production would have exceeded equipment cost, as it always did. But Germany was producing more ammunition in May 1940 than May 1941 and adjusting for a slightly-stronger Barbarossa would have been relatively easy (and prudent).

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Jul 2020 03:16

Upthread I've discussed the famine constraint on Soviet endurance:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2019 05:55

During 1942, in fact, the SU reached levels of war mobilization (proportion of soldiers and military workers) that was unsustainable and which caused, among other things, food shortages and resulting famine and famine-induced disease. The SU was forced, during 1942, to order "reverse mobilization" of troops/workers back to the farms. SHF p.151. Over 1942-1943, the proportion of war workers and soldiers dropped from 47% to 35%. See Exhibit A.
When I've made this point elsewhere, some have suggested that the US could relieve Soviet famine via increased LL food shipments.

This ignores the ability and willingness of the U.S. to share its food and the constraints on American food supply in WW2. As I'm often compelled to remind folks, a fundamental myth on the History Channel and AHF is that American resources were basically limitless. From the War Production Board's notes of March 2, 1943:
Mr. Wickard referred to his memorandum on the equipment needs of the food program (Doc. 203) and emphasized that the gravity of the food situation cannot be overstated.
The number of persons working on farms is at the lowest level in the 19 years monthly records have been kept, ag gregating nearly a million less than during the 1935-39 period. In spite of every effort to halt the movement of skilled farm workers into other activ ities, agriculture will continue to suffer a critical labor shortage with a consequent impairment of food production.
The point isn't that American food production declined - it didn't - it's that demand increased (soldiers and factory workers are hungry) and that any further demand increase (such as Soviet famine relief) would have come from American bellies. Would Americans have gone hungry to feed the Soviets? Seems doubtful.

This is all the more true given the long time-horizon of food production: As discussed in the WPB minutes - and as should be clear to common sense - food production depends on labor/seed/capital allocations at the time of planting and only bear fruit at harvest. So an early '43 famine in the SU would draw on the '42 harvest, which would draw on early '42 planting decisions, which would depend largely on late-'41 capital/labor decisions. In short there'd be no way for the U.S. to alleviate emergency mass famine in the SU except by stripping its own cupboards.

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