The promised full response to Huszar666
. We've covered some of the ground already so I'll just link/copy/summarize those points as appropriate.
First detail: ATL force delta.
From my other thread
(a summary/restatement/revision of this one), I'd argue Germany had a lot more room than adding 10 fast divs (5 new panzer, 5 Mot.Div's converted from ID's). But let's stick with the OP delta.
Aside from +10 fast divs (Fifth Panzer Group or "5PG"), I'd reinforce Romania from OKH reserves and occupied Europe. 7 divs join AGS in Romania as follows:
Let’s start from Askey’s list
of OKH reserve divisions as of June 22. He lists 10 ID’s total: 15, 52, 79, 86, 95, 112, 113, 125, 132, and 197. However, 95th ID is a security division of the 5th wave so let’s disregard it for now. OKH reserves hold 9 divisions that can be converted into mot. divs or that can reinforce 11A.
Besides those reserves, the West/Norway/Balkans held 10 infantry divisions of the good (non-stationary, non-security) waves: 46 ID (1st wave, Ob West), 69 ID (2nd wave, Norway), 73 ID (2nd wave, Balkans), 260 ID (4th wave, Ob West), three more in the Balkans – 164, 183, (7th wave), and 294 (8th wave), three more in Norway: 181, 196, 199 (7th wave).
By Askey’s list that’s 19 ID’s considered at least partially suitable for offensive operations.
In addition, I’ve identified at least 2 more ID’s that were not engaged in the first few days and could have been sent to 11A in Romania:
- 110 ID (12th wave) was assembling in AGC’s sector on June 22 and crossed the border only June 28th per OKH maps.
- 293 ID (8th wave) entered AGC’s sector in the SU only on June 27th to mop up bypassed units.
Besides these actually existing ID’s, Germany could have chosen a different force composition from the recruits pressed into the 13th-15th wave divisions (32 total), all of which were created after France’s fall for occupation duties during Barbarossa. During the first Winter Crisis and later, these divisions were combed for prime-age manpower to deploy as replacements for Ostheer. Germany did not need so many divisions – 60 ID’s in all – guarding Europe against incursions by the small British Army. The serious invasion threat to France or the Balkans was basically zero (that to Norway non-zero but still small and manageable by deployed forces). From the 41 security/static divisions deployed in the West, at least 4 fully-capable ID’s could have been formed. But that’s leave that aside for now because using ALL potentially-available ID’s isn’t necessary to my ATL.
- Convert 5 ID’s from OKH reserve into Mot.Div’s
- shift the remaining 4 good reserve divs to Romania
- move three ID's from Ob West/Norway/Balkans* to Romania as well.
*This does not mean that ID's recently deployed in Balkans have to march to Romania. Rather, Ob West/Norway divs could redeploy and Balkans divs could later replace them (resting/refitting there).
That makes 13 ID’s supporting 5th Panzer Army’s drive from Romania so far (7 new plus 11A's OTL 6 divs).
I would also use the 3 reserve fast divs on June 22nd (2,5 Pz, 60th mot.). Huszar and I discussed this upthread
. He thinks the divs needed extensive refitting after the Balkans campaigns, I argue that, because ATL production far exceeds the minimum for this ATL, the divisions can be given new production equipment while their old equipment is refitted elsewhere. Rubber implications are roughly neutral, as the old trucks can surrender tires to the new ones (either for direct transfer or via recycling into stocks).
Altogether, Ostheer has 26 divs (13 fast, 13 ID's) in Romania on June 22.
Aside: Converting/shifting reserve divisions will weaken AG's North/Center but not until July or later. By July, the effects of AGS's greater success are already felt by the other army groups: RKKA must reincarnate SWF after its destruction in Galicia and is therefore weaker than OTL in all sectors. RKKA probably commits 5 & 19 MC's against the Romania pincer, making AGC's Smolensk battle significantly easier/quicker.
Deployment and start date
June 22 for the German divisions, pushing out of Northern Romania, with the Romanian army staying static on the Prut until July 2 as in OTL. Huszar has argued that telling the Romanian generals earlier creates a security risk. I will take that point to avoid making my argument too "sunny" for my side. With 26 divs, AGS in Romania does not need allied flank protection.
Huszar also argues
that poor Romanian roads would prevent German units from reaching start lines by June 22, starting from OTL's June 12 deployment date. This argument assumes, IMJ, that Ostheer can't begin moving into northern Romania until Antonescu agrees to join Barbarossa (June 12 OTL). I can't accept that assumption because Antonescu welcomed German army units as insurance against Russia and training; he'd unlikely object to German units moving nearer the borders (better defense of Romanian territory). He'd probably suspect this meant Barbarossa was coming and would not object. As it had no implications for imminent Romanian offensive action, there's also no reason for him then to risk informing his (often Anglophilic) generals about plans to attack.
Points raised by Huszar666 I haven't so far addressed:
Huszar666 wrote: ↑
21 May 2022 21:26
the Hungarian Fast Corps plus odds and ends. Hungary was NOT included in the planning for different reasons, so building a plan on the participation of Hungary
We've discussed this some already. I don't particularly care whether the Hungarians join up on June 22. Let's assume they don't and it's like OTL for them.
Huszar66 wrote:2, that realisation occurs (according to the OP) sometimes 1938, or (as it transpired later on) shortly after May 1940
May 1940. 1938 PoD works too (works better) but it's not necessary.
Huszar66 wrote:3, despite this realisation already in sometimes 1938 or as late as May 1940, and the fact that Rumania was till August-September 1940 NOT a German ally, the Baltic states falling to the SU happened only in late summer 1940, and the planning in the OTL against the SU gained speed only after November 1940, it is seen as a given that the OTL Rumanian entry happens, Germany is able to invade the SU from the territory of Rumania, and it is realised that a 5th PzArmy is needed for this drive.
As promised, just a brief note on this strategic issue, as Huszar has agreed to talk operations.
The extra PzGr isn't based on predicted deployment, just as Sichelschnitt wasn't planned when Germany decided to have 10 PzDiv's by mid-'40. Rather, Hitler asks in mid-'40 "What is the strongest army Germany can create if we maximally mobilize?" Whereas in OTL he viewed 180-div army (20 PzDiv's) as clearly sufficient to defeat a weak SU, without asking whether a stronger force could have been created.
Very brief diversion: I don't need the Galician Kessel for "one more panzer group" to result in Ostsieg. For example: Germany adds 6 more fast divs in one panzer army to AGS in Poland ("5PG"), 4 more divs to Hoth's PG in AGC (99th Motorized Korps or "99MK"). 5PG enables AGS to destroy SWF in the Kiev battle by pushing over the Dniepr north of Kiev, along lines I discussed in another ATL
. 99MK enables Hoth to encircle parts of Northwest Front during the Battle of Minsk and to seal the encirclement of Smolensk a week earlier. Given our better ATL logistics and that AGS can handle its mission alone, AGC can launch Taifun in August with the full OTL PG's 2&3. It can detach 99MK to AGN to clean up its right flank south of Lake Ilmen; 99MK stays there to ensure link up with the Finns and the encirclement of Leningrad. Ostheer takes Leningrad, Moscow-Gorkiy, and pushes to the Don. That ATL goes little different from this one except for some strategic issues (ATL food capture in Ukraine, total losses in the East) that bear on 1942 and the pivot to the West.
Because I don't think this ATL and its Galician Kessel are the only path to Ostsieg from having 10 more fast divisions, it should be clear that I don't think there's any connection between a decision to add those divisions and foreknowledge that they'll be employed from Romania.
Huszar66 wrote:5, for some reason the UK is not invaded and defeated pre-Barbarossa, despite the SU being a larger threat, and no German ally opts out of Barbarossa for this larger threat.
Sealion!!??? And I'm the crazy one?
I don't think it's feasible (in 1940) but I'm sure you have arguments I haven't considered. For another thread.
Huszar66 wrote:6, The new 5th PzArmy is able to trap more SU troops earlier than in the OTL and manages to destroy even more soviet troops till autumn even faster. In such quantity, that it would allegedly even influence Hgr North.
The impact on HGN is indirect but straightforward: RKKA loses ~1mil more troops than OTL by July's end, which means it can't reinforce Leningrad's defense as in OTL. In addition, HGN has better logistics (as does entire Ostheer).
The logistical background is as I've summarized it here
and referenced in my summary thread: Ostheer logistics sucked only because the plan was for a short campaign. Vastly improved logistics would have been relatively cheap and well within Germany's resources.
Huszar66 wrote: 7, I probably missed the point, but obviously no further Luftwaffe reinfrorcement was earmarked for Rumania, leaving the only 160 level bombers, 160 fighters and what the Rumanians had to provide support for the whole grouping.
Let's assume no difference in LW total strength.
Aside: A Hitler with my mindset (Russia is strong) probably stops the Battle of Britain earlier, saving some LW losses. He wasn't deeply committed to it working anyways (nor to Sealion), so his willingness to lose hundreds of planes/pilots in advance of Barbarossa reflects his lack of concern for Soviet strength.
LW would probably redeploy assets towards Romania to correlate air/ground efforts a bit more. LW concentrated its efforts on VVS, not ground support, in the first week anyway, so the operational implications are slight. It means that the southern units of VVS lose more in the first days while the northern units lose less. Books like Bergstrom's Black Cross, Red Star
show that VVS lost little in the South, relative to North. Total VVS/LW losses should be about the same as OTL.
We've discussed the operational points you raised already in some detail. Summary (let me know if you disagree):
- We agree that 5PG reaching operational freedom north of the Dniestr around Day 5 is plausible.
- You argue that Soviet Motorized Corps counterattacks would prevent the trap closing in Galicia before SWF escapes, I argue that MC attacks barely slowed Ostheer's fast divisions. Schnelltruppen rapidly disengaged from such tank-tank battles (Dubno, Rassenai), leaving the infantry to fight them while the fast divs rushed on.
- You question whether 5PG could have advanced 34km/day to reach Shepetivka and link up with PG1 (the required advance rate after crossing the Dniestr on D+5). I argue that 34km/day is an easily achievable rate for Ostheer spearheads in 1941, as the spearheads of AG's N/C advanced ~60km/day during June.
- You argue that the ground for advance is not suitable for fast operations (did you argue this, or were you referring to deployment only?). I argue that the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive shows that massive mechanized forces traversed this ground rapidly during 1944. You respond - for reasons I don't quite understand but please explain - that Soviet movement is somehow different from German.
If I missed anything, please let me know.
TMP bookmark: details on Galicia battle and force composition