historygeek2021 wrote: ↑
29 Apr 2021 06:09
If you're going to include Panzer Group 4 in an attack on Moscow, I recommend starting a new thread, as it simply isn't contemplated in the ATL proposed in this thread. Please provide a timeline for when and how Hitler/Halder would make the decision to reroute Panzer Group 4 from Luga to Smolensk and how long this would take, etc. You'll also need to provide a timeline showing the whereabouts of Panzer Group 3's two corps if they aren't assisting AGN and attacking Velikiye Luki.
As it were, TMP has asked me for specifics on this so I will get to those in my response to him.
In the ATL proposed in this thread, the whereabouts of Panzer Group 3 are not specified. There is no way that Schmidt's XXXIX Panzer Corps could be dispatched to AGN in mid-August and participate in a drive east of Smolensk on September 1. Likewise, there is no way that Kuntzen's LVII Panzer Corps could attack Velikiye Luki on August 22 and be ready for a major offensive 10 days later. So, for purposes of the ATL in this thread, AGN does not receive an extra panzer corps from Panzer Group 3, nor does it have its flank at Velikiye Luki covered by Panzer Group 3, meaning it has to cover this flank with its own weak panzer formations and there is therefore no way that Leningrad falls in 1941 in this thread's ATL.
Your argument does not follow. If we are taking the position 4th PzGr stays with AGN, as of September 6th AGN had 35 Divisions to roughly 25 divisions for the Soviets; even if 4th PzGr is diverted to take Velikiye Luki, with its 3 panzer divisions and 2 motorized divisions, that still leaves 30 Divisions to 25 Soviet. Further, you have specified that no reserve armies are built on the Leningrad axis in September so how, exactly, do the Soviets defend both Leningrad directly and prevent a German advance on the Svir from September on? 4th PzGr can secure the flanks over the course of August and then launch what was IOTL the Tikhvin Offensive sometime in September.
Here you go
Please give a cite for this figure. I cannot recall ever reading that the Western and Reserve Fronts fielded 1,000 tanks against Army Group Center during the Battle of Vyazma.
, and there's also The Viaz'ma Catastrophe, 1941
which provides the following breakdown:
Western Front - 486 tanks
Reserve Front - 301
Briansk Front - 257 (259)
Total - 1,044
The Via'zma Catastrophe
Please give a cite for this, as the world's foremost English language expert on the Red Army in WW2, David Glantz, is of the view that the Soviet Western and Reserve Fronts did in fact substantially weaken themselves in their counterattacks against AGC in August and September, and that this left them weaker against Operation Typhoon on October 1.
by Lopukhovsky (Pg 75) it is stated that the fronts on the Western strategic axis received more than 193,000 replacements in the month of September.
The encirclements in 50th Army's sector (Bryansk) were due to the offensive by Guderian's Second Panzer Army. In this thread's ATL, Guderian's Second Panzer Group would be forming the southern pincer of the Vyazma encirclement, because, unlike the OTL, Panzer Group 4 is still at Luga/Leningrad. There are only 2 panzer groups participating in this ATL's Moscow offensive, not three as in the OTL.
And 50th Army was encircled and destroyed by 2nd Army under Weichs, not 2nd PzGr under Guderian:
According to Glant'z Barbarossa, 98,000 men escaped the Vyazma encirclement from 29th army and 33rd army. The below map is an attempt to show which Soviet armies would be damaged/destroyed in this ATL's initial offensive. Red indicates Soviet armies attacked by AGC, blue indicates Soviet armies attacked by AGS at Gornostaipol. An "X" indicates that the army is destroyed, and a slash indicates that it was severely damaged.
Okay, you're playing fast and loose here with terms and armies by taking escapees as representative of armies surviving despite having lost their headquarters, most of their troops and virtually all of their equipment; those are not armies ready for battle, but shattered survivors. You need to pick a standard here because shifting between citing 12 armies and then showing nuance on the matter of 29th and 33rd Armies is pretty clearly disingenuous on your part. If you wish to look at the manpower situation in particular, let's look at what they had as of October 1st:
Western Front - 545,000
Reserve Front - 478,000
Briansk Front - 225,000
Because there is no Briansk pocket outside of 50th Army, that saves just 3rd Army with 42,000 men and 13th Army with 45,000 men. In the first 2-3 weeks of October, Soviet losses were somewhere between 900,000 and 960,000 men; since we are assuming 3rd and 13th Armies survive, I think we can thus take the lower estimate of 900,000. In which case, the Soviets have only about 350,000 troops left even in this reduced scenario. This is why I said you need to pick a standard and stick with it.
By my count, this leaves 10 full or partial strength Soviet armies in AGC's sector that were deployed to that sector by the end of August in the OTL. The Soviets only fielded 3 new armies in September in the OTL. 2 of these went to Leningrad, which is not under threat in this ATL in September, so they would be sent to Moscow. Whether the 10th Army is deployed to Moscow depends on how well AGS is doing. But at a minimum, that leaves 12 Soviet armies for AGC to contend with after it has completed its initial encirclement at Vyazma in early September.
I honestly don't know what you're talking about because the Soviets raised five armies in September and none of them were 10th Army. To quote Glantz, who you seem to take as authoritative:
Specifically, as already shown, seven armies historically survived in October and the only real change here is that you've had 3rd and 13th survive as well, which is nine armies on paper. That would be an average strength of about 39,000 men per Army. The average army strengths must then be compared:
Briansk - 49,000 average
Western - 43,000 average
Reserve - 72,000 average
As you can see, Post ATL V-B, the remaining armies would be severely understrength compared to their previous averages.