Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

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historygeek2021
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Re: Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

Post by historygeek2021 » 29 Apr 2021 23:59

History Learner wrote:
29 Apr 2021 22:57


I'm well aware that 4th PzGr would still be on the Luga, hence why I specified 2nd PzGr being shifted to the former's OTL position. The issue with 2nd Army is that nothing you are saying here excludes the possibility given 2nd Army was guarding AGC's flanks in August historically and still managed to achieve the Gomel salient and destroy Central Front. Why, specifically can they not repeat such? Can you substantiate your position here?
Second Army was assisted by the Second Panzer Group in August. That is why the Germans were able to take Gomel and encircle Soviet 13th and 21st Armies in August. Just as in October in the OTL, Second Army was in the middle of a force of 3 panzer groups striking east together toward Moscow. In this ATL, Second Army would be on its own providing screening protection between AGS and AGC in September.
You have to provide any evidence of this; if we are just citing the OTL situation, then you are being disingenuous concerning 2nd Army and Briansk Front in AGC's sector, given what historically occurred with 50th Army and prior performance by 2nd Army against Central Front. Since you are clearly able to examine the wider situation in the AGC sector, you need to be consistent in your argumentation concerning AGN's. Yes, AGN would be down a single Corps from 3rd PzGr but the Soviets would be down, in early September, three of their historical five armies. If you are taking the position that one German corps is equal to three Soviet armies, than you need to explain why Briansk Front-with three armies-survives despite the Germans having four more mobile divisions at the start of this alternate Typhoon compared to OTL-incidentally, also about a Corps.
Glantz shows the following Soviet forces in the Leningrad sector prior to the arrival of assistance from Panzer Group 3:

8th Army
11th Army
27th Army
23rd Army
48th Army
55th Army

Historically, AGN was unable to defeat these forces without assistance from Panzer Group 3.

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Re: Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

Post by History Learner » 30 Apr 2021 02:26

historygeek2021 wrote:
29 Apr 2021 23:59
Second Army was assisted by the Second Panzer Group in August. That is why the Germans were able to take Gomel and encircle Soviet 13th and 21st Armies in August. Just as in October in the OTL, Second Army was in the middle of a force of 3 panzer groups striking east together toward Moscow. In this ATL, Second Army would be on its own providing screening protection between AGS and AGC in September.
Except there wasn't three Panzer Groups in August attached to AGC in general nor around 2nd Army, same for October. Indeed, to repost the map from earlier:

Image

Can you please explain where the three Panzer Groups are to support 2nd Army in OTL? If we are taking the ATL situation, 2nd PzGr is probably in the position of 4th PzGr in this map while 2nd Army is in the same position as OTL, perhaps on a longer front. There's no real reason 2nd Army can't screen 3rd and 13th Armies while taking out 50th with support from 4th PzGr, given the deployment of the four division reserve TMP has outlined.
Glantz shows the following Soviet forces in the Leningrad sector prior to the arrival of assistance from Panzer Group 3:

8th Army
11th Army
27th Army
23rd Army
48th Army
55th Army
Glantz in what source? The map I've provided comes from When Titans Clashed and does not show several of those armies as being around Leningrad. Likewise, you've counted 55th Army which didn't even come online until September 1st, and which you've already earmarked as a reinforcement for the Moscow axis.
Historically, AGN was unable to defeat these forces without assistance from Panzer Group 3.
Not according to what I posted earlier:
As Schmidt’s units were being transported to Heeresgruppe Nord, a concentrated effort was finally under way to take Leningrad. Enough infantry divisions were now in position to support Panzergruppe 4’s flanks, but the objective had once again been changed. The differences between Hitler and the OKH were somewhat resolved in the new plan. Instead of assaulting Leningrad directly, the city was to be cut off, with the help of the Finns on the Karelian Isthmus, and the population would be left to starve to death or surrender.

Before von Manstein left for the south, his LVI Motorized Corps went into battle near Staraya Russa. The Soviet 34th Army bore the brunt of the attack and lost 12,000 men captured, along with 140 tanks and 240 artillery pieces captured or destroyed.

On August 24, General Georg-Hans Reinhardt’s XLI (motorized) Corps made it to Krasnogvardiesk, about 32 kilometers from Leningrad, before being stopped in fierce fighting with the Red Army’s 41st Rifle Corps. The same day, Schmidt’s XXXIX (motorized) Corps, now also controlling the 18th Motorized Division, prepared to move out and envelop Leningrad from the southeast.
XLI Corps had advanced to within 32 kilometers before Schmidt's Corps from 3rd PzGr had even gone into action. What, exactly, do you base your opinion on this issue?

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Re: Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

Post by historygeek2021 » 30 Apr 2021 02:53

Map 2 in Glantz's Barbarossa shows the deployment sectors of the Soviet armies in 1941:
Glantz Map 2.png
To reconcile this with Glantz's table in When Titans Clashed, note that where an army is treated as deployed on the first of the month in Titans, it appears as deployed in the previous month on Map 2.

We're going in circles on the German Second Army. I believe its successes were a consequence of the panzer formations helping it in the OTL. You believe it was capable of encircling and destroying Soviet armies on its own. I also have a hard time seeing it relocate the 200 km or so to the jumping off point for a September 1 Typhoon in just 10 or so days after cleaning up at Gomel.
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Re: Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

Post by historygeek2021 » 30 Apr 2021 22:33

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Apr 2021 20:01

OKH commits its reserve mechanized divisions (2 panzer, 1 motorized infantry) to AGS’s left wing, where they push Soviet 5th Army back over Dniepr – as in OTL – but now 6th Army is strong enough to develop its foothold into Kiev’s rear.
Note that in the OTL, the OKH committed its one reserve motorized infantry division to AGS in August. The proposed ATL would thus weaken AGS elsewhere in order to strengthen 6th Army.

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Re: Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 May 2021 02:00

historygeek2021 wrote:
30 Apr 2021 22:33
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
15 Apr 2021 20:01

OKH commits its reserve mechanized divisions (2 panzer, 1 motorized infantry) to AGS’s left wing, where they push Soviet 5th Army back over Dniepr – as in OTL – but now 6th Army is strong enough to develop its foothold into Kiev’s rear.
Note that in the OTL, the OKH committed its one reserve motorized infantry division to AGS in August. The proposed ATL would thus weaken AGS elsewhere in order to strengthen 6th Army.
Ach ja. I was thinking 60th Mot. was committed with the two panzer divs to AGC but it was in the Dnipro bridgehead and, per Lexikon der Wehrmacht, was moving with it (in reserve? My German isn't quite good enough) before then.

A couple options:

1. Scrap the ATL
2. Weaken the Dnipro bridgehead or elsewhere in AGS
3. Have Guderian send a mot div down the Dniepr-Desna corridor with AOK 2, deploying it on 2nd Army's right instead of left.
4. Gorno option missing a mot. div.

Of these, 3 seems most attractive. It implies a 15 mech div Vyazma however, which is still as strong as OTL including reserves - potentially stronger in initial power. We could compensate AGC by returning a division after Kiev/Vyazma for the Moscow push. That would still involve less road marching that ATL, as XXXIX MC isn't marching to Leningrad and back - a factor we haven't yet discussed so remains as an "ATL reserve" of unaccounted benefits.

Option 4 is arguably viable as well: so long as AGS consolidates and expands the Gornostaipol bridgehead by August 24 instead of being forced back by counterattack, 6th Army can be be over the Desna in greater-than-OTL strength by the OP's September 11 breakout day from the Desna bridgehead at Oster and from Kremenchug. PzGr1 would then be specified as taking more of the encirclement duties for the outer pocket east of 6th Army's Kiev Kessel. As discussed in the OP, it faced no threat to its outer wing OTL so this should be feasible.

Actually this discussion points up an entirely different approach to the ATL: Commit the reserve panzer divisions around Gomel in mid-August to collapse Central Front back to the Desna, which forces Soviet 5th Army's retreat and secures the Gornostaipol-Oster bridgeheads from the other direction. Also makes possible sending the mech divs from a Desna bridgehead farther northeast than Oster, such as around Chernigov where 2nd Army forced the Desna in early September OTL.

Either scheme is consistent with the thread meta-point:

Ostheer had multiple options for dealing with its inner flanks in September but because the generals were Moscow-obsessed and delusional about Soviet strength, and because Hitler was not a subtle thinker, Ostheer over-committed to the flanks and failed to analyze intermediate options. Similarly Moscow-obsessed and/or unsubtle, IMO, has been all subsequent discussion of Ostheer's options at this point.
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