If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalemate?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 00:14

stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:10
wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:50
The problem with the linear defense is you are weak everywhere and strong nowhere.
While your enemy could concentrate in a few places and overwhelm you with ease.
During my military training, they hammered this into us: defense is the last resort in war, if have to do it you're probably dead anyway.

The Poles tried that during the Polish-Soviet War (using former German fortifications) and it didn't work, at all.
That is why pulling back to a shorter line + strong positions allows you to form reserves so once a break-in does occur the reserves clean up the penetration or at least contain it. The value of fortified positions is that they cost a LOT to achieve a break-in and then even more to try to turn that into a breakthrough assuming there aren't sufficient reserves to stop them.

Poland was vastly weaker than the Germans relative to the Soviets, so that is a horrible example. Even the much stronger Poles of 1939 got ROFL stomped vs. the Germans, who then went on to stomp the Soviets in 1941 extremely badly. Were it not for Hitler's mistakes and Soviet strategic depth they would have been defeated. In 1943 especially given that there was no line worth the name on the Dnieper anyway and they still checked Soviet penetration for several months had they really had a prepared line and pulled back in time to avoid units being overrun in the treat of September it would have been reasonable to hold indefinitely.
Which mistakes on Hitler's part in his campaign against the Soviets?

BTW, here's an underlooked factor in Poland's 1939 loss to Germany: The fact that Poland had to defend a 1,500 kilometer frontier against Germany. In other words, there was plenty of available room for Germany to break out somewhere. Poland (or at least the Soviet Union's Polish puppets) learned this lesson after the end of World War II, which is why they insisted on a much shorter Polish-German border in the form of the Oder-Neisse Line.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 00:21

The Poles used your tactics (at least that was the plan) in the defense. Large cavalry units delivering soldiers with the best weapons there were in front of the successful penetrations.
If the enemy is seven times wealthier than you shorter borders won't save you.
Last edited by wm on 12 Nov 2021 00:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 12 Nov 2021 00:23

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
Which mistakes on Hitler's part in his campaign against the Soviets?
A lot, but the cardinal one was not going after Moscow in August 1941.
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
BTW, here's an underlooked factor in Poland's 1939 loss to Germany: The fact that Poland had to defend a 1,500 kilometer frontier against Germany. In other words, there was plenty of available room for Germany to break out somewhere. Poland (or at least the Soviet Union's Polish puppets) learned this lesson after the end of World War II, which is why they insisted on a much shorter Polish-German border in the form of the Oder-Neisse Line.
The bigger part of it was Poland was quite poor and the German army had much more firepower. Ellis' "Brute Force" makes a decent point that the biggest factor in the German victory that quickly, other than Soviet intervention, was the much greater firepower a German infantry division had relative to a Polish one. Well, that and airpower and Panzer divisions.

I'm sure the length of the border didn't help, but the line the Poles planned on defending was quite a bit shorter than the 1500km frontier.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 00:30

stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:23
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
Which mistakes on Hitler's part in his campaign against the Soviets?
A lot, but the cardinal one was not going after Moscow in August 1941.
That would not have created a giant German salient?
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
BTW, here's an underlooked factor in Poland's 1939 loss to Germany: The fact that Poland had to defend a 1,500 kilometer frontier against Germany. In other words, there was plenty of available room for Germany to break out somewhere. Poland (or at least the Soviet Union's Polish puppets) learned this lesson after the end of World War II, which is why they insisted on a much shorter Polish-German border in the form of the Oder-Neisse Line.
The bigger part of it was Poland was quite poor and the German army had much more firepower. Ellis' "Brute Force" makes a decent point that the biggest factor in the German victory that quickly, other than Soviet intervention, was the much greater firepower a German infantry division had relative to a Polish one. Well, that and airpower and Panzer divisions.

I'm sure the length of the border didn't help, but the line the Poles planned on defending was quite a bit shorter than the 1500km frontier.
Interesting. Thank you. Do you know what the planned Polish defensive line was?

Also, the Germans had air superiority in 1940 in the West as well, correct? Especially in France during the Battle of France, I mean?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 00:31

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:21
The Poles used your tactics (at least that was the plan) in the defense. Large cavalry units delivering soldiers with the best weapons there were in front of the successful penetrations.
If the enemy is seven times wealthier than you shorter borders won't save you.
But the Poles also had a powerful ally in the Soviet Union, so much shorter borders + a powerful Soviet ally combined to help the Poles. And of course the West likely wouldn't tolerate any German revanchism that was achieved through force in the post-WWII years and decades either unless it was the Communist bloc who started WWIII.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 12 Nov 2021 00:57

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:30
stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:23
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
Which mistakes on Hitler's part in his campaign against the Soviets?
A lot, but the cardinal one was not going after Moscow in August 1941.
That would not have created a giant German salient?
Doesn't matter if the flanking forces cannot attack.
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:30
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
BTW, here's an underlooked factor in Poland's 1939 loss to Germany: The fact that Poland had to defend a 1,500 kilometer frontier against Germany. In other words, there was plenty of available room for Germany to break out somewhere. Poland (or at least the Soviet Union's Polish puppets) learned this lesson after the end of World War II, which is why they insisted on a much shorter Polish-German border in the form of the Oder-Neisse Line.
The bigger part of it was Poland was quite poor and the German army had much more firepower. Ellis' "Brute Force" makes a decent point that the biggest factor in the German victory that quickly, other than Soviet intervention, was the much greater firepower a German infantry division had relative to a Polish one. Well, that and airpower and Panzer divisions.

I'm sure the length of the border didn't help, but the line the Poles planned on defending was quite a bit shorter than the 1500km frontier.
Interesting. Thank you. Do you know what the planned Polish defensive line was?

Also, the Germans had air superiority in 1940 in the West as well, correct? Especially in France during the Battle of France, I mean?
Yes to the air superiority.
Polish defense plan:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_West

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 01:00

The point is shorter borders, even today's borders wouldn't save Poland in 1939.

And the Soviet Union was the post-war Polish enemy, not post-war Germany.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:14

stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:57
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:30
stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:23
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
Which mistakes on Hitler's part in his campaign against the Soviets?
A lot, but the cardinal one was not going after Moscow in August 1941.
That would not have created a giant German salient?
Doesn't matter if the flanking forces cannot attack.
Thanks!
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:30
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:14
BTW, here's an underlooked factor in Poland's 1939 loss to Germany: The fact that Poland had to defend a 1,500 kilometer frontier against Germany. In other words, there was plenty of available room for Germany to break out somewhere. Poland (or at least the Soviet Union's Polish puppets) learned this lesson after the end of World War II, which is why they insisted on a much shorter Polish-German border in the form of the Oder-Neisse Line.
The bigger part of it was Poland was quite poor and the German army had much more firepower. Ellis' "Brute Force" makes a decent point that the biggest factor in the German victory that quickly, other than Soviet intervention, was the much greater firepower a German infantry division had relative to a Polish one. Well, that and airpower and Panzer divisions.

I'm sure the length of the border didn't help, but the line the Poles planned on defending was quite a bit shorter than the 1500km frontier.
Interesting. Thank you. Do you know what the planned Polish defensive line was?

Also, the Germans had air superiority in 1940 in the West as well, correct? Especially in France during the Battle of France, I mean?
Yes to the air superiority.
Just how crucial was this to France's 1940 fall? As in, if the French have better defenders at Sedan in 1940, do the Germans still win the Battle of France due to their air superiority, albeit with much more casualties?
Thanks!

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:15

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:00
The point is shorter borders, even today's borders wouldn't save Poland in 1939.

And the Soviet Union was the post-war Polish enemy, not post-war Germany.
Both Germany and the Soviet Union were enemies of interwar Poland. Please remember that even Weimar Germany waged a decade-long trade war--ironically ended by Hitler--in an unsuccessful attempt to bully Poland to agree to territorial revision:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German%E2 ... ustoms_war

While war was not discussed in Weimar Germany, it's also worth noting that Weimar Germany was considerably weaker than Nazi Germany was.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 12 Nov 2021 01:18

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:14
Just how crucial was this to France's 1940 fall? As in, if the French have better defenders at Sedan in 1940, do the Germans still win the Battle of France due to their air superiority, albeit with much more casualties?
Extremely so. Air superiority wins wars. I don't think the Germans could have won in 1940 without air superiority.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 01:20

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:15
While war was not discussed in Weimar Germany, it's also worth noting that Weimar Germany was considerably weaker than Nazi Germany was.
That's why it was in response to "the Poles also had a powerful ally in the Soviet Union", i.e., post-war.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:21

stg 44 wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:18
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:14
Just how crucial was this to France's 1940 fall? As in, if the French have better defenders at Sedan in 1940, do the Germans still win the Battle of France due to their air superiority, albeit with much more casualties?
Extremely so. Air superiority wins wars. I don't think the Germans could have won in 1940 without air superiority.
But could they have won with air superiority but with much stronger French defenses at Sedan?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:22

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:20
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:15
While war was not discussed in Weimar Germany, it's also worth noting that Weimar Germany was considerably weaker than Nazi Germany was.
That's why it was in response to "the Poles also had a powerful ally in the Soviet Union", i.e., post-war.
But the post-WWII Soviet Union was not Poland's enemy--at least not nominally speaking. It helped Poland preserve its territorial integrity, after all, even if it did shove Communism down Poland's throat for almost half a century.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 01:32

Poland was 20 percent smaller post-war. What about that territorial integrity?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:35

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2021 01:32
Poland was 20 percent smaller post-war. What about that territorial integrity?
The territories that Poland lost were primarily populated by non-Poles. And Poland got a lot of living space in the West as compensation.

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