by Huszar666 » 19 May 2022 21:04
So , I read the first half-a-dozen pages of this fantasy. Got a headache... i refuse to read through the rest.zD had a full allocation of IVs... Even if we assume, Hitler realises the need after March 1939, Germany would still need to build further 100-something Pz IVs and around 350 Pz 38/Pz IIIs, while having no common border with the SU and still not planning on a war till at least 1942.
The arrogant, self-righteous posturing and demeaning of everyone with a different opinion not withstanding, there are a lot of serious problems with the ATL.
1, Hitler realises early on that he needs more troops to defeat the SU. And that he needs exactly 10 further fast divisions. With the starting point of 1938 there are some problems.
a, in 1938 the CSR is still around and kicking, that the UK and France will surrender so easily and that Germany could appropriate the materiel for around two dozen tshech divisionions was by no way a forgone conclusion. Even WITH the booty from the CSR, the German Army had HUGE need for basically everything.
b, Reaching the SU means a war against Poland, since there is little chance Poland allying itself with Germany. If it does, Germany looses out a bit of war booty (so do the Rumanians, btw) but gain around 40 Divisions extra (and a starting base further in the East), which makes the demand for 10 extra fast Divisions redundant. If there is a war against Poland, there is a good chance the UK and France join the party (OTL, khmmm). Remember, we are in 1938, probably before München! If we assume, Hitler makes plans in the long term, he would realise war against Poland=war against UK+France. As long the UK sits on the other side of the Chanel, a good part of the Heer will be chained to the West. So, what would Germany need? 10 further fast division or landing craft and airplanes to make Seelöwe, kick the UK out of the war, get a shitload of booty, and around 20-25 infantry divisions freed in the West? This whole thing forgets that Hitler did not plan on a war before 1942 or 1943. Even IF he realises, that he would need 10 further fast divisions for the campaign in the East, AND could be sure, he is able to get a common border with the SU (from the perspective of 1938!!!) WITHOUT waging war against the UK+France - where he collected a shitload of booty! - the planning would be for 1942 or 1943 or even later, counting a campaign in the West. NOT the summer of 1941. A Hitler/OKW/OKH/Germany of 1938 or even Summer 1939 would not plan a war against the SU in Summer of 1941, since there was no common border and a war was "planned" for 1942 AT THE EARLIEST.
c, in 1938, Rumania was a stout ally of France and Hungary was a basically disarmed country and stoutly neutral. That didn't change much even in Summer of 1939, Fall of 1939, or Summer of 1940. Planning a flanking manouvre out of the territory of an ally of your enemy in 1938 (or 1939) is wishfull thinking at the best. If you couldn't lounch a flanking manouvre from Rumania in June 1941 because it is an ally of your enemy, you will not realise the need for further 10 fast divisions to invade a country you don't have a common border with, and you don't plan to have a war 1942 at the earliest to begin with, why do you need to build stuff for those 10 extra fast divisions?
2, complete disregard WHAT the German Army had at its disposal in "Summer" of 1938 - or in September 1939. Everything is from the point of view of June 1941.
a, From the "10" PzDiv in September 1939, the 4th and 5th and the 2nd and 3rd light were only raised in November 1938, the four motDiv (with THREE regiments/Division, NOT the 2 per Div in June 1941!) were motorised before 1938 thought. From the four SS mot Divisions (I count LSSAH as Div for this purpose) SS T was raised only in October 1939, SS V in April 1940 (from troops that participated in the Polish campaign), SS W in November 1940. Only LSSAH was extant in 1938 (or Summer 1939) as a Regiment. From the rest, the 11. Schützenbrigade was born in December 1939 (and was amalgated into the 11.PzD in August 1940), the Rgt Grossdeutschland in June 1939 and was motorised only in October 1939. So, from the point of view of "Summer 1938" the German Army had 5 (!) PzD, 4 motD, 1 Cavalry Division and one SS Rgt, with having 21 PzD, 10 motD, 1 KD, 3 full SS-motD, and 3 mot"Brigades" in June 1941 and realising that they needed 10 further fast divisions at that time is somewhat of a fantasy. That even leaves out that the 3rd, 14th and 18th motD were motorised only with captured French motor vehicles. Next to a bunch of Infantry Division.
b, the mainstay of panzers the German Army had at its disposal and production were... Pz Is and Pz IIs. The Pz IIIs were only extant in a low number (around 30-40 pieces of the Ausf A-D) with the final, production version, Ausf E only surfaceing in 1939, probably around April. The Pz IVs there were 72 pieces extant in October 1938 (Ausf A+B) with a further 140 Ausf C ordered (134 of them were completed till August 1939) See the respective Spielberger-books . According to Niehorster, there were exactly 78 Pz IIIs and 211 Pz IVs extant on 01.09.1939 (exluding command tanks). From the point of view of "Summer" 1938 you can not plan on having 780 Pz 35s and 38s (for that you need the TSR), 990 Pz IIIs and 450 Pz IVs (they are not even done with the trials) in the field, not even counting 1000 further tanks (knowing with WHAT the Germany started Barbarossa, probably around 300 would be Pz Is and IIs, to begin with). Since that many tanks were possible by the mobilisation and concentration after August 1939. If we project the peacetime Pz IV-building till August 1939 up to May 1941 we would have 281 further ones, for a total of 415 (including Ausf Cs), not counting losses against Poland and France. For the further 5 PzD you would need another 100-something. If we disregard the fact, that not even the extant PzD had a full allocation of IVs... Even if we assume, Hitler realises the need after March 1939, Germany would still need to build further 100-something Pz IVs and around 350 Pz 38/Pz IIIs, while having no common border with the SU and still not planning on a war till at least 1942.
3, A complete disregard of possible soviet countermeasures and how the whole campaign was planned (with the participation of whom). IF the 10 extra fast divisions were available and they were launched from Rumania. This is where we drift from What if into fantasy. Even if Germany worked since 1938/39 on creating further 10 fast divisions to have in June 1941 - disregarding not wanting to have a war on their hand till 1942 at the earliest, not having a common border with the SU, Rumania being an ally of their enemy at that time, and not even dreaming of having an OTL army by June 1941 in Summer of 1938 (or even 1939), surely the SU is stupid enough not to do anything, but letting itself surrounded somewehere between Winitsa and Tarnopol. The whole scenario disregards the fact that a Hungarian participation was not included in the planning, it was somewhat of an accident (bombing of Kassa), and even then the Fast Corps (let's say, around the strength of two divisions) started the advance very late in June or at the beginning of July (I don't remember exactly, but thereabouts). The soviets at that time were already retreating out of Galizia, that minimal pressure we were able to extert was not even enough to slow the retreat. IF there were a thrust from Rumania (honestly, I couldn't find a starting date for that, but knowing, the Rumanians took their time to attack the SU...) and the planning didn't include the Hungarians (as it were!), the 5th PzArmy would have to delegate its flank protection against an attack of the 12th and 18th Armies (plus this and that) to... Rumanians. To the mountain troops and cavalry of said nation. Could you please halp me out with the battle where Rumanian troops withstood the assault of Russians? I forgot which one it was. So, the 5th PzArmy should attack across the Dniester (isn't known to have many bridges and the neighborhood doesn't have many roads), the flank protection of Rumanians have no problem containing soviet attacks (since the Hungarian participation was NOT planned, one should plan of the 12th Army being free) and it is still possible to reach Shepetivka "early in July" (I assume around the 7th). That's around 250kms. 1st PzArmy managed less than 100km in the same time, without needing to cross a river, but OK.
4, A complete degeneration into fantasy, what the soviets would do. For some strange reason even the North-West Front would divert troops to the South - since miracelously "Three SU armies (6th, 12th, 26th) plus large reserves would be trapped." between Winitsa and Tarnopol. Barely a month later OTL the 6th and 12th were destroyed at Uman nonetheless, and it propted no shift from Northwest Front. Why an earlier Kessel (by one month at most) West of Winitsa would influence Northwest Front, I do not understand. Why "Army Group North likewise faces weaker opposition, retains all of PzGr4 (probably reinforced by the two reserve panzer divisions), and is therefore able to join the Finns on the Svir river by October at the latest, thereby closing the noose on Leningrad and most of Volkhov/Northwest Front" should do all this, I do not understand. HrG North had HUGE problems all the way up to the Wolchow, could not retain PzGr 4, because it was needed for the Moscow drive, as were the 2nd and 5th PzD (which in this fantasy for some reason even go to the North). The amassing of soviet troops in front of Moscow after August (and Leningrad about the same time) was not and would not be influenced by a defeat in Galizia or the Ukraine proper. Look at what the soviets did OTL in front of Moscow: whole stretches of frontline were left open just to close the approaches to Moscow. They had to rebuild the Southwestern Front after Kiew nonetheless, and still amassed a LOT in front of Moscow.
So, a Kessel in "early July" West of Winitsa would not influence HGr North whatsoever, and even HGr Mitte only marginally. Even if we assume, Hitler had a revelation in 1938/39 that he would need 10 further fast divisions in June 1941, to attack a country Germany had no common borders with at the time, out of the territory of an ally of his enemy, the attack having the prerequisite that a disarmed, neutral country would occupy the armies threatening the flanks of said attack, all while planning to have a war not earlier than 1942. And of course this will be the one other time, the Rumanians were able to secure a flank against a soviet attack (again, please help me out with the other cases where the Rumanians withstood soviet attacks).
I probably could raise a lot of other flags, but it's late and I have to pretend to work tomorrow.
The author of the thread probably realised his folly somewhere in the 40-odd pages (I refuse to read, i already got a serious headache) so he modified his starting point to May 1940. At least, in the last pages, that date was qouted most. And still wanted to sell his fantasy to the general population. Still disregarding, that Rumania wasn't in Germany's camp till at least August of 1940, so ANY attack out of Rumanian territory (the 5th PzArmy) was at best wishful thinking. Not even mentioning, that a campaign against the SU didn't even gained grounds till Molotow's visit and demands in November 1940.
Till Mid-September 1940 the main problem was, how to invade the UK (and get a shitload of booty, and free up 20-25 Divisions from the West). The attack against the SU was just a roundabout way to defeat the UK (Lebensraum being a distant wish at that time), so May-September (or November) was (or should have been) spent on defeating France and the UK, not thinking about how a 5th PzArmy could attack out of an enemy/neutral country, while another neutral country keeps the dangerous armies at bay.
All this fantasy makes one thing clear: the author does not have any clue about the political situation of 1938, 1939, 1940, does not have any clue, what the soviets did with their troops, from his question not so far ago he did not even make the effort to check where new armies and divisions were raised, what they did and what equipment they had.
So, themarksplan, I have read your opening post, I have commented on it in a detailed way, so please ignore me further.
Last edited by Huszar666 on 20 May 2022 06:09, edited 1 time in total.