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

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 May 2021 07:35

HistoryGeek2021 wrote:I see now looking back at the original post that your ATL posits an earlier point of departure:
Actually I've revised that view, now believe Germany probably could have done this with a mid-40 PoD. At some point I'll split the '42 ATL narrative into its own thread and state the view fully there. Too much flotsam in this thread to carry out structural narrative changes.

The earlier PoD would easily secure my previous +20-div ATL, which decides the Eastern Front perhaps in 1941.

I always try to write conservatively, becoming more aggressive with ATL projections as information comes in - or abandoning them if proven unwarranted.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:I would be curious as to how Germany could raise the necessary trucks (20,000 according to your original post), given...
That you (very nearly) phrase this as a direct question for discussion rather than a launching point for your next point is appreciated.

One easy fix flows directly from taking the SU more seriously: more ruthlessly pillage occupied and domestic economies for trucks. The Ostheer's truck park grew by >60% in the year after Barbarossa, with the absolute increase (~130k trucks) exceeding new production by 100% (see also). That implies at least 70k trucks taken from Europe, probably >100k given Barbarossa losses.

German domestic production soared while those trucks were being removed, as did German net imports of war material. So obviously the war industries (foreign and domestic) didn't need all their trucks.

The other route is my original one: more production. It's not necessary to the ATL any longer so I don't want to put in effort right now. Just quickly: USSBS Motor Vehicles report is clear that the industry had much excess capacity. USSBS report on Adam Opel (Europe's largest automaker prewar) says that most of its capacity went to the Ju-88 program in 1940.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:1940 was the nadir for German rubber supplies - would Germany have enough rubber to produce the necessary trucks?
Your USSBS stat is for natural rubber only; synthetic dominated the picture by 1941. Interesting that German natural stocks increased after '40 though - those few blockade runners had a big impact.

Our ATL-requisitioned trucks come with tires so this doesn't seem a big issue. But just in case, note what USSBS says about rubber shortages:
There is no evidence that the shortage of rubber
ever handicapped the Wehrmacht or essential
industries. There were restrictions on rubber
products for the civilian market; there were fears
of future shortages, which might handicap the
prosecution of the war; but as far as can be
determined actual shortages were never severe
enough to impair the fighting power of the Wehr
macht. It would have been necessary to reduce
production by 70–80 percent to have a direct
effect on the war effort.
Also note that Germany exported 15% of its synthetic rubber production in 1941.

This sounds a lot like British squealing about their domestic stocks in '42: shipping losses were pushing stocks below bureaucratic comfort but cushion existed before any real crisis would set in.

This seems especially true given that ATL truck delta is ~4% of European truck park (assuming 500k trucks) and probably <2% of European tire inventory (including cars etc.).
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:Müller notes that the decision making process for armaments production between the fall of France and the start of Barbarossa was a confused, bureaucratic mess, with the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe taking priority over the army in many areas.
Have you read GSWW v.6/1? I mean really read it, not just mined it for cites? I ask because it's a doorstop and just execrably boring as narrative. I'd bet money Tooze hasn't really read it, given some things he's said about it.

Muller's narrative about German decision making involves a lot more than mess. He is unambiguous that he believes the German state decided not to fully mobilize in '39-'41. There are complex reasons for this of course, doesn't change the conclusion.

The other striking thing about Muller's narrative is that Hitler could cut straight through all of this mess when he decided to: When he made army ammunition his #1 priority, Todt was assigned with extraordinary powers and artillery ammo output increased by ~50% in a few months.

Later in the war, when the Adolf Hitler Panzer Program became his priority, tank output nearly tripled (by weight) between January and May '43.

There were many axes of dysfunction in the war economy; this ATL doesn't need to peak into them to reorient ~0.3% of war spending or amplify its total by that amount.* Foreign labor (and truck) requisition is sufficient. As is leaning on industrialists not to waste workers, as was done later in the war (discussed towards the end this post).

So the ATL need only specify that Hitler orders the necessary production increases with attendant priorities, carrots, and sticks.

------------------------------------------
*please realize that I am aware that money doesn't literally make things but that money is useful accounting tool for comparing resource expenditure. A Tiger tank cost ~3x a PzIV because it embodied ~3x the resources. The "money isn't real" retort always has me hanging between giving an Econ 101 course and deleting my account.
--------------------------------------------
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:It seems then the real questions are:

(1) Why didn't Germany have a rational bureaucratic system in place for managing armaments production?
It should be clear that I reject the framing - specifically it's not a question that my ATL needs to answer. Other questions point out routes sufficient to provide the ATL delta without Mueller-time narratives on Nazi bureaucracy:

Why didn't Germany mobilize more foreign labor? They had excess plant capacity in every industry - really no debate about that.

Why didn't Germany pursue the numerous mobilization avenues in 1940-1 that it pursued later, such as (1) penalizing industrialists for not handing over labor excess to war production, (2) closing and consolidating inefficient firms, (3) forcing double-shift work at firms efficiently using labor. GSWW 6/1 discusses many of these, leadership's knowledge of their utility earlier, and their quick adoption after the 41-42 Winter Crisis.

Why was Germany still building autobahns in 1942? And some of Speer's shitty architecture at the same time?
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:(2) Why was Germany unaware of the military potential of the Soviet Union?
First answer: My counterfactual analysis seeks to prove that Hitler lost because he took the SU lightly. If that's true (it is), I don't need more to blow up most of WW2 military historiography and (this requires another step in ATL world) the warmongering rhetorical uses of WW2 in contemporary politics (a discussion barred by forum rules so let's not pursue it).

My point is more dramatic the more Hitler's appraisal of SU was contingent, however. If something intrinsic to Nazism or even to Hitler mandated the fatuous Barbarossa plan, contingency diminishes. So was Hitler close to realizing the enormity of his task? Clearly yes. Selected quotes from Hitler’s Great Gamble by James Ellman:
“In the final days before the invasion, Hitler
became increasingly nervous and troubled—pacing constantly and needing
sedatives to be able to sleep.”5
Laboring under these fears of failure, “when Göring sought to flatter
him before Barbarossa, asserting that his greatest triumph was at hand,
Hitler sharply rebuked his marshal: ‘It will be our toughest struggle yet—
by far the toughest. Why? Because for the first time we shall be fighting
an ideological enemy, and an ideological enemy of fanatical persistence
at that.’ At the Wolf ’s Lair, Hitler’s headquarters in East Prussia built
expressly for the invasion, he voiced unease to one of his secretaries about
what lay ahead: ‘We know absolutely nothing about Russia. It might turn
out to be a one big soap-bubble, or it might just as well turn out to be
something quite different.’”6 On June 20th he told his staff, “I feel as if I
am pushing open the door to a dark room never seen before without
knowing what lies behind the door.”7
Does Nazi racism make a fatuous Barbarossa inevitable? No: Hitler took Poland and Yugoslavia very seriously as military foes.

Is under-estimation of enemies intrinsic to the hubris of dictatorship? No: See Hitler vs. France, Stalin always, even the Kims back down from real wars.

So we're left with 20th Century history turning on the foibles of a particular man who made a particular bad decision. That's contingency at its apogee.

----------------------------

There are other factors that explain Barbarossa fatuity in the sense that, absent them, Hitler (as historically constituted) likely would have behaved differently:

The primary one is Halder not being absurdly incompetent during the planning period. I had a long discussion on this in another thread starting around here.

Halder talked sense into Hitler re November '39 France invasion; Hitler listened to his generals quite a bit - in many ways too much.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:(3) If Germany had been aware of the military potential of the Soviet Union, would they still have embarked on Operation Barbarossa?
Absolutely yes.

I'd argue it's the same as OTL: we need to kill this baby before it grows up and kills us.

Hitler could not afford a Soviet superpower as a neighbor while fighting the W.Allies (and he expected war with US, probably before Britain went down). That makes his rule - the very existence of the German people! (lol) - subject to Stalin's whim.

Hitler said OTL he'd go to the Urals if necessary. That's what was, in fact, necessary.

I have trouble even seeing the counterargument. Hitler accepts that he lives at Stalin's whim? Hitler commits seppuku so Britain makes peace and a united Europe can fight the SU? There was no way out but forward after September '39.

Even if one believes that Stalin would not have attacked later, one must also believe that Hitler believed so. That's an absurd position in the historical record; we can discuss if really necessary.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:(4) If Germany had efficiently allocated armaments production toward the army, how would the Soviet Union react?
If Hitler starts a public drive "melt the U-Boats for tank production" or something then I could see this argument.

But an ATL:OTL delta of 5 divisions amidst ~190 German divisions?

IIRC there's discussion in Glantz (Stumbling Colossus and/or Colossus Reborn) that projected Germany having 200 divisions and 10,000 tanks when it invaded [contemporaries had no idea how badly the German war economy was run, projected their own efficiency onto Germany]. If Stalin actually discovered that Germany was producing 300 tanks/month, he might have invaded first.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:The main reason Stalin gave for not mobilizing the Red Army in response to the OstHeer's buildup was that he believed Germany would never embark on a two-front war while still at war against Britain.
It's questionable how much more Stalin really could have done short of declaring war himself. SU's armaments output nearly matched Germany's in 1940 and probably exceeded it on June 22.

For RKKA to have had forward forces capable of stopping panzer groups on June 22 would have required something like twice the men and weapons, given how Blau went against ~2:1 odds. Anything short of that and it's just bigger PoW hauls.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 May 2021 08:09

There's a diplomatic axis of deception on Hitler's part that I haven't deeply explored, but that would have figured, had he taken SU seriously and/or had he perceived signs of Soviet buildup: Fake a deal.

OTL Molotov went to Berlin in November '40 with 3 main demands:
  • Free hand in Finland
  • Free hand in Turkey, with Germany to receive bases on the north shore of Dardanelles
  • Security guarantee to Bulgaria with Soviet bases
Hitler didn't bother responding but by spring '41 Stalin was so terrified that he'd probably have accepted the following deal:
  • Free hand in Finland
  • Free hand in Turkey (no German bases there)
  • Germany and SU reciprocally guarantee Bulgaria's borders, with neither stationing troops there
  • Soviet recognition of status quo in Eastern Europe
If Hitler offers that deal in March/April '41, probably Stalin is either invading Turkey/Finland on June 22 or has issued public ultimatums and moved troops towards those borders.

Either way, Turkey probably joins the war against SU - popular pressure to join Germany would be immense after the humiliation of Stalin's demands; Inonu likely caves in or is deposed. British-Soviet relations are further strained - probably open war against Britain if Stalin goes into Turkey. FDR probably can't get LL approval in '41 for SU.

Turkey's entry opens the Black Sea to Ostheer logistics in '41 after the a fraction of the Italian fleet secures it for Axis (what a boon to Italian morale and staying power). Ostheer/Turkey probably take Baku during winter '41-'42.

------------------------------

On the other side of the world, Japan is preparing its final occupation of French Indochina, which occurred in July 1941 and incited the US oil embargo.

ATL Hitler probably prefers an attack on Primoskiye and therefore pressures Japan not to move on FIC and perhaps not to sign a pact with Russia (by April '41 it's too late for leaks from Japan to make strategic difference). He offers military supplies over the Trans-Siberian as compensation once Japan and Germany beat SU. Absent the oil embargo, Japan has strategic freedom to chose the Northern Road.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Takao » 03 May 2021 12:23

Problems....

Hitler has nothing to pressure Japan with.

Empty German promises did not induce the Japanese to enter the war in 1939 or 1940. So how do empty German promises induce Japan to enter the war against the Soviets in 1941?

Or are these more PoDs, because Germany is clearly incapable of defeating the SU on it's own.

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 May 2021 15:24

1940 was the nadir for combined (natural and synthetic) rubber supplies:
German rubber supplies.png
It seems that one of the reasons rubber was not a major constraint is that the Germans attached a low priority to truck production, not just in 1940/41, but at least until Stalingrad, according to USSBS. The Wehrmacht relied on pilfering trucks from the civilian economy, which benefited from 750,000 captured trucks during Germany's initial conquests.

It seems then that Germany could have just taken the 20,000 trucks needed for 5 extra panzer divisions from the civilian sector. In fact, it seems Germany could have extensively motorized a much greater portion of the OstHeer by pilfering the civilian sector - so why didn't they? Your answer seems to be correct - they did not take the Soviet Union seriously as an opponent.

The notion of Hitler as a substitute for a competent bureaucracy is interesting, but isn't it placing too much burden on one person to figure out exactly what is needed and then making sure that it is implemented? The ammunition crisis of 39/40 is one thing, an obvious emergency that everyone in the military could agree on. But Hitler wasn's always able to get his way or even have his direct orders implemented. Müller notes that only half the metallurgical workers Hitler ordered released from the army in 1940 were in fact released. Hitler also correctly took other threats seriously - the United States and Great Britain. Hence the high priority he assigned in 1940/41 to the Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns. The problem is, how is one person supposed to figure out exactly what is needed in what balance and then force it through the chaotic German system of economic management?
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by History Learner » 04 May 2021 01:58

Takao wrote:
03 May 2021 12:23
Problems....

Hitler has nothing to pressure Japan with.

Empty German promises did not induce the Japanese to enter the war in 1939 or 1940. So how do empty German promises induce Japan to enter the war against the Soviets in 1941?

Or are these more PoDs, because Germany is clearly incapable of defeating the SU on it's own.
Largely because of the situation vis-a-vis the Soviet Union; in 1939 the Germans had been proposing an Anti-British Pact but then the border battles and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact happened, which led to a policy of Japanese neutrality to events in Europe as a result. By 1940, however, the collapse of France changed Japanese opinions a lot and war games/planning to strike into the South really accelerated. However, specifically as it pertains to the issue of bringing the Japanese into Barbarossa, their foreign minister-upon hearing of the invasion-advocated tearing up their recent agreement with the Soviets and striking North, ultimately resigning over the issue. The issue was Hitler did not take the Japanese into confidence on the matter because of concerns over intelligence leaks from Japan, which was somewhat accurate given Richard Sorge.

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

Post by History Learner » 04 May 2021 02:03

historygeek2021 wrote:
03 May 2021 05:06
(4) If Germany had efficiently allocated armaments production toward the army, how would the Soviet Union react? The Soviet Union's intelligence network was aware of German plans (even plans for the invasion). But Germany's high allocation of resources toward the war against Britain must have made an impression on Stalin. The main reason Stalin gave for not mobilizing the Red Army in response to the OstHeer's buildup was that he believed Germany would never embark on a two-front war while still at war against Britain. And given the high priority accorded to the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe, Stalin was in a sense correct. If Germany had much more blatantly allocated resources to the army, would Stalin have in turn hastened the mobilization of the Red Army? To avoid giving cause for a German invasion, Stalin likely would have ordered mobilization to take place inland, away from the border, with the result that the Soviets may have been able to mount a successful defense at the Stalin Line.
Top
Stalin was not off guarded and was mobilizing the Red Army as well as doing a concerted military buildup for the war. I highly encourage you to get a copy of Stalin's War by Sean McKeekin, which completely blows out of the water the Soviets were not preparing for war. Short of committing to Zhukov's proposed May 1941 pre-emptive offensive, Stalin did literally everything within the Russian ability to respond to the Germans, the issue just was the fact the Germans were the better force because the Soviets were too reliant on the hard aspects of what makes a military work (numbers, AVs, etc) over the soft factors. Indeed, a full mobilization of the Red Army at the border by May/June of 1941 would've resulted in the Germans achieving their goal of destroying the Red Army in the first 400 km.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2021 02:06

HistoryGeek2021 wrote:The notion of Hitler as a substitute for a competent bureaucracy is interesting, but isn't it placing too much burden on one person to figure out exactly what is needed and then making sure that it is implemented? ...The problem is, how is one person supposed to figure out exactly what is needed in what balance and then force it through the chaotic German system of economic management?
Had Hitler recognized that Ostkrieg would be a 2-summer campaign, I'd expect him to order a broad program for army enhancement backed up by at least some of the mobilization measures taken OTL when he realized the SU wasn't going down immediately (i.e. during the Winter Crisis 41-42). That program would involve, say, an RM 2bn enhancement to Heer armaments programs spread across maintaining high ammo production, increasing the mechanized forces, and providing increased armored support to the infantry armies (i.e. greater assault gun production).

You're right that such a broad order could not be managed by Hitler alone and there would be shortfalls here and there in the broad program - as there always were for Germany and for every WW2 combatant. Hitler would ensure that the ~RM 250mil part of the program for expanding the Schnelltruppen received highest priority, however, as he by then understood the centrality of these forces to German warfare.

I've written this ATL as describing (one version of) the minimal conditions for German victory but the likely benefits to Ostheer would probably far exceed my minimum. My ATL requires ~400 additional medium tanks, for example. It's feasible that Germany is producing that many per month by mid-41, meaning a few thousand more tanks in Barbarossa. More likely would be medium tank production around 250/month with resources diverted to ensure a massive buildup of ammo, assault guns, and other arms for Ostheer. And/or more resources for spare parts production.

Outside of my additional mechanized divisions and their ~RM 250mil cost, the benefits to Ostheer are harder to quantify but impossible to deny. Latter '41 saw a devastating decline in Heer ammo production to 29% of 1940 peak levels and 9% of 1944 peak.

Image

Having the Ostheer shoot 2x the shells as OTL in 1941 wouldn't have been very difficult (the logistical requirement, btw, would be ~6 trains a day). Combined with more assault guns for the infantry, we'd see significantly lower German bloody casualties and higher Soviet. The Kessels would be reduced significantly sooner.

In fact I suspect that an ATL relying only on 1943ish output of ammo and assault guns, plus better '41 rail logistics, would also result in German victory though probably not by the end of '42.
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:Hitler also correctly took other threats seriously - the United States and Great Britain. Hence the high priority he assigned in 1940/41 to the Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns.
He took the W.Allies too seriously between France and Barbarossa, IMO. There was no imminent existential threat from them in '41, yet for example he spent more on LW ammo than Heer. My ATL doesn't require tradeoffs against LW/KM production but there's much room to do so if necessary. The U-boats had spectacular success strategically hampering the W.Allies due to the shipping crisis but even giving the W.Allies a million more tons of shipping in '42 wouldn't enable them to intervene decisively in Europe before SU's defeat/incapacitation.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by History Learner » 04 May 2021 02:28

History Learner wrote:
02 May 2021 20:25
I don't disagree with your premise, my point is that I wonder if it can be done even easier than that presented. Would 12th Army conducting a pincer in support of the rest of AGS work out the same or close enough to your scenario, basically.
To elaborate more, I've been thinking of France fighting on in 1940 instead of surrendering, which allows the Germans to loot France more effectively and doesn't lead to the same thinking seen historically where they thought the war was over. Maybe with a combination of Italy staying neutral, so there is no Balkan Campaigns.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2021 02:32

History Learner wrote:The issue was Hitler did not take the Japanese into confidence on the matter because of concerns over intelligence leaks from Japan,
That didn't help matters but the deciding issue was the Allied oil embargo. The cabinet hadn't finally decided on north/south when it authorized the full occupation of French Indochina but, after the predictable response, Japan couldn't realistically afford to attack SU while cut off from oil.

Japanese participation isn't necessary in this ATL - most definitely not in '41. In ATL spring '42 I see Japan either attacking Primorskiye or announcing a full embargo on Allied-originating or -financed goods to Vladivostok. Combined with Germany shutting down the Arctic route by Spring '42 (likely earlier), LL is limited to the low-capacity Persian corridor and SU is truly hopeless.

As discussed in, e.g., GSWW v.6, Japan was ready to pursue a mideast-India strategy with Germany in '42 but Germany was not in a position to agree such a strategy. In this ATL, Hitler pressures Japan to close Vladivostok and can use the carrots of Trans-Siberian material plus mideast strategy (after SU's imminent defeat) to make it happen. In addition to ending the Eastern Front, this has profound consequences for Japan:

By Spring '42 Japan was strategically listless: The Army wanted to attack SU, many wanted the Mideast strategy in cooperation with Germany, Yamamoto wanted to keep overextending in the Pacific. Because SU's strength rendered the first two strategies non-viable, Japan disastrously chose the third.

In this ATL, Japan chooses at least to be prepared for war with the SU after announcing the Vladivostok blockade and its longer-term strategy is towards the MidEast. As a result, Yamamoto does not prevail in the contentious Spring '42 debates and is not authorized to do the Midway operation. Kido Butai remains intact until at some point the USN launches its own offensive in the Pacific.

When does the USN move? It's hard to imagine something like the Guadalcanal campaign not happening in '42 even absent Midway. That means the US stands still while the Axis overruns the world. So there's probably an ATL carrier battle in the SWPac where Japan is the counter-puncher instead of USN. That battle probably goes badly for USN, as IJN carrier operations and naval aviation were qualitatively better in '42.

Such a defeat would push back the timetable for US advance across Pacific by up to a year. It could feasibly produce cries to cut losses in a losing and futile European war and focus everything on defeating Japan.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by History Learner » 04 May 2021 02:38

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2021 02:32
That didn't help matters but the deciding issue was the Allied oil embargo. The cabinet hadn't finally decided on north/south when it authorized the full occupation of French Indochina but, after the predictable response, Japan couldn't realistically afford to attack SU while cut off from oil.
It's worth noting the foreign minister visit occurred in April, immediately before the Japanese and Soviets hammered out their differences and long before the decision to take southern French Indochina/Strike South was made. Had Hitler taken them into confidence then, the entire chain of events that forced Japan's hand into the Strike South could be derailed favorably for Strike North.
Such a defeat would push back the timetable for US advance across Pacific by up to a year. It could feasibly produce cries to cut losses in a losing and futile European war and focus everything on defeating Japan.
Don't even need that, because as late as August of 1942 JCS was presenting plans for a Pacific First strategy if it looked like the Germans were winning decisively in their 1942 Campaign/Case Blue.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2021 02:58

HistoryLearner wrote:Don't even need that, because as late as August of 1942 JCS was presenting plans for a Pacific First strategy if it looked like the Germans were winning decisively in their 1942 Campaign/Case Blue.
Right but I'm talking not about a strategic shift, I'm talking about US ending its European war completely in '42 or early '43 as a matter of law.

Why? Because unlike OTL August '42, in ATL fall '42 Germany is already invading the MidEast (from the Caucasus) and - because Germany mobilized earlier, lost less in Russia, and is much stronger - Germany has already taken Malta, reinforced Rommel, and can't be kicked out of North Africa except maybe with a massive US army.

In that condition, there is no option to encircle Germany in Europe while concentrating in the Pacific: US troops are needed to hold anything west of Delhi and north of the Sahara. And with a longer-term threat to Britain itself, US troops will be needed there as well absent peace with Germany.

So it would appear to US leaders that we couldn't beat Japan unless we stopped fighting in Europe.

And that appearance would be true: By the time USN is approaching the Marianas in ATL early '45, German assistance (planes, land weapons) could render those islands unassailable by carrier-based aircraft and OTL-like ground force levels. If you don't take the Marianas you can't force Japan to surrender even if you can beat her forces everywhere else.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by History Learner » 04 May 2021 03:06

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2021 02:58
HistoryLearner wrote:Don't even need that, because as late as August of 1942 JCS was presenting plans for a Pacific First strategy if it looked like the Germans were winning decisively in their 1942 Campaign/Case Blue.
Right but I'm talking not about a strategic shift, I'm talking about US ending its European war completely in '42 or early '43 as a matter of law.

Why? Because unlike OTL August '42, in ATL fall '42 Germany is already invading the MidEast (from the Caucasus) and - because Germany mobilized earlier, lost less in Russia, and is much stronger - Germany has already taken Malta, reinforced Rommel, and can't be kicked out of North Africa except maybe with a massive US army.

In that condition, there is no option to encircle Germany in Europe while concentrating in the Pacific: US troops are needed to hold anything west of Delhi and north of the Sahara. And with a longer-term threat to Britain itself, US troops will be needed there as well absent peace with Germany.

So it would appear to US leaders that we couldn't beat Japan unless we stopped fighting in Europe.

And that appearance would be true: By the time USN is approaching the Marianas in ATL early '45, German assistance (planes, land weapons) could render those islands unassailable by carrier-based aircraft and OTL-like ground force levels. If you don't take the Marianas you can't force Japan to surrender even if you can beat her forces everywhere else.
Oh, I'm mostly in agreement, I was just adding that in terms of how even the OTL situation was sufficient to provoke such planning by the U.S.

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 04 May 2021 03:25

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 May 2021 02:06

He took the W.Allies too seriously between France and Barbarossa, IMO. There was no imminent existential threat from them in '41, yet for example he spent more on LW ammo than Heer. My ATL doesn't require tradeoffs against LW/KM production but there's much room to do so if necessary.
Very interesting. It really is strange how little ammunition production was devoted to the army relative the Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns in 1941.
German ammunition spending 2.png
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... ammunition
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 May 2021 03:32

HistoryGeek2021 wrote:It really is strange
Makes perfect sense if you assume the world's largest army and country will be conquered in 6 weeks.
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by historygeek2021 » 04 May 2021 19:03

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 May 2021 07:35
HistoryGeek2021 wrote:I see now looking back at the original post that your ATL posits an earlier point of departure:
Actually I've revised that view, now believe Germany probably could have done this with a mid-40 PoD.
...


The other striking thing about Muller's narrative is that Hitler could cut straight through all of this mess when he decided to: When he made army ammunition his #1 priority, Todt was assigned with extraordinary powers and artillery ammo output increased by ~50% in a few months.

Later in the war, when the Adolf Hitler Panzer Program became his priority, tank output nearly tripled (by weight) between January and May '43.

In Tanks of Barbarossa by Boris Kavalerchik, page 56, the author states that on August 20, 1940, Hitler issued a special order switching production of Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks to a special priority level of importance. This is consistent with Müller's account in DRZW Volume 4. Nevertheless, Germany failed to produce close to enough Panzer III's and IV's to fully equip the 19 panzer divisions in the OTL OstHeer. There were only 979 Panzer III's and 444 Panzer IV's available at the start of Barbarossa.

So what exactly do you think needed to happen in the summer of 1940 for Germany to be able to equip 5 new panzer divisions by June 1941? What would the composition of these divisions and the OTL divisions be in terms of Panzer III's, IV's and the older/Czech tanks?

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