Stalingrad

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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doogal
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by doogal » 26 Feb 2015 13:54

ljadw wrote:The whole concept of Blau was to defeat ddefinitively the SU at the start of the campaign
If this was the main point then it was a miserable failure:
German insistence on using the same operational tactics in the belief that they could encircle and destroy enough soviet forces to support such a concept with one AG, when they couldn't do it with three defies belief (admittedly the theatre was smaller-but all they did was enlarge it so the one AG could not cope) . There misconception of actual soviet strength compared to the instances of German superiority on some axis of advance is also pretty out there.
And after not defeating them at the start of the campaign,(even if the Soviets were withdrawing)the over stretching of all the formations involved, the stripping of other fronts for an operation which held a miniscule chance of strategic success is dumbfounding.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 26 Feb 2015 16:10

What surprises me about Blau is how they did not organize their armor into 2 panzergruppes. At least this gave them some capability to create big encirclements. Instead they split up their armor and deployed them into scattered directions.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ChrisDR68 » 26 Feb 2015 18:35

ljadw wrote:It is very improbable that,if they arrived at Astrachan,they could prevent the transport of the oil to the Soviet hinterland
Do you mean you think the Soviets would have been able to transport the oil by ship via the Caspian Sea?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 26 Feb 2015 18:56

It is possible (I think it has been discussed earlier) .

Sturmvogel gives the following figures :

in 1940 66.7 million of tons of oil were transported

pipelines : 7.9 million = 11.1 %

Railways : 29.5 million = 44.5 %

River : 9.7 million = 15 %

Sea : 19.6 million = 29 %

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 26 Feb 2015 19:00

Also from Sturmvogel :
Major Pipelines:

Baku-Batumi

Makchachkala -Armavir-Tuapse

Groznyy-Armavir-rostov-Trudovaya

Kraznovodsk-Ashkhabad in Turkmenistan

Gureyev-Orsk in Turkmenistan

distances :

1: 980 km

2 :855 km

3 :1000 km

4 :by air only : 513 km

5 :1200 km

steverodgers801
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by steverodgers801 » 26 Feb 2015 23:06

Hitler most certainly wanted the oil, the Luftwaffe was having issues training pilots, there was a shortage of oil for tanks, Italy needed oil.
Taking astrakhan does not get Germany oil.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by steverodgers801 » 26 Feb 2015 23:10

Elastic defense only works if there are enough troops to cover the whole front. Unlike WW1 Germany did not have the troops to cover the whole front and unless they accurately predicted where the attacks would come from the Soviets could simply attack where they wanted. The Germans consistently failed in predicting the location and size of soviet attacks

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 27 Feb 2015 08:11

steverodgers801 wrote:Hitler most certainly wanted the oil, the Luftwaffe was having issues training pilots, there was a shortage of oil for tanks, Italy needed oil.
Taking astrakhan does not get Germany oil.
1) It would take several years before limited amounts of oil could arrive in Germany

2)Hitler said : I need the oil of the Caucasus,otherwise I must stop the war : he did not get the oil ,but did not stop the war : thus a fallacy

3)The shortage of trained pilots was not (only) caused by oil shortage :more oil would not solve the problem .

4)The Germans reached the Wolga and Alameib WITHOUT the oil of the Caucasus :there is no proof at all that with the oil of the Caucasus they would advance further .

5)There is no correlation between Germany's military situation and the quantities of available oil .

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Erwinn » 27 Feb 2015 08:38

It is known fact that Germans had oil shortages during Blau and had to stop several times while advancing, so... It's not a well made statement about oil problems of the Wehrmacht.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ChrisDR68 » 27 Feb 2015 15:06

ljadw wrote:It is possible (I think it has been discussed earlier) .

Sturmvogel gives the following figures :

in 1940 66.7 million of tons of oil were transported

pipelines : 7.9 million = 11.1 %

Railways : 29.5 million = 44.5 %

River : 9.7 million = 15 %

Sea : 19.6 million = 29 %
So with the land bridge cut off it is probably reasonable to suppose the supply of Caucasian oil would have been drastically reduced (perhaps by as much as two thirds) even if most of the region remained in Soviet hands as 1943 began.

Any idea how much oil the Soviet Union used during 1943?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 27 Feb 2015 16:32

ChrisDR68 wrote:
ljadw wrote:It is possible (I think it has been discussed earlier) .

Sturmvogel gives the following figures :

in 1940 66.7 million of tons of oil were transported

pipelines : 7.9 million = 11.1 %

Railways : 29.5 million = 44.5 %

River : 9.7 million = 15 %

Sea : 19.6 million = 29 %
So with the land bridge cut off it is probably reasonable to suppose the supply of Caucasian oil would have been drastically reduced (perhaps by as much as two thirds) even if most of the region remained in Soviet hands as 1943 began.

Any idea how much oil the Soviet Union used during 1943?
I am very curious about the amount of oil was used in 1943:as far as I know (and I have searched a long time) there is NO such figure,the only thing we have are oil production figures,something which is totally different :whatever,the different sources all are giving oil production figures for the war which are LOWER than the prewar figures .

That's why a reducting of the Caucasian oil supply should not be used as an argument :during the war,the Caucasus oil production was down to 50 %,this without the cutting of of the land bridge,and this did not prevent the SU to parade in Berlin .Thus,why should a reduction by two thirds be catastrophic ?

Production of Baku/Grozny/Maikop in 1940: 26.6 million ton. In 1945 : 13.13 million ton . If the Caucasus supply had fallen to some 9 million,would the SU have given up ?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 27 Feb 2015 17:41

Isn't the issue just as much 'supplying' the oil? (eg. logistics infrastructure). The summer offensive was constructed in phases due to limited capacity.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 27 Feb 2015 18:00

steverodgers801 wrote:Elastic defense only works if there are enough troops to cover the whole front. Unlike WW1 Germany did not have the troops to cover the whole front and unless they accurately predicted where the attacks would come from the Soviets could simply attack where they wanted. The Germans consistently failed in predicting the location and size of soviet attacks
True enough. However mobility and and air force were a force multiplier in WWII so you could do more with less. In WWI having 1 division per Km of front didn't help the Germans in Operation Michael against British redoubts nor having a similar ratio help the Red Army in Operation Mars in WWII.

The key to German success in the defence of Rzhev in Operation Mars and the defeat of Red Army attempts in the Leningrad area as well as Kharkov was the timely insertion of reserves and a willingness to bend the line when resistance reach breaking point. This is what the Germans needed in 42 while they build up for a Barbarossa style offensive in 43.

Unfortunately for the Germans by 43 they were damaged in the eastern front beyond salvation (just compare the troops slated for Blau with the troops slated for Kursk) and the fighting withdrawal to the Dnieper did not dent the Red Army's ability to regenerate was forced instead of being part of a strategy. Elastic defence then became just a stop gap because it was never going to be conducted on a strategic level (that is a full German retreat behind the Dnieper rather than fighting Kursk which could have worked).

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ChrisDR68 » 27 Feb 2015 21:03

doogal wrote:And what may I ask do they do when they arrive.
The would have a southern Flank along a mountain range and develop an even more extensive flank along the Volga , how exactly would they hold there positions, committing the bulk of their armour could have been disastrous lodged on the edge of the Caspian sea. The soviets would have sabotaged every oil terminal and well, and the Heer would be in an exceedingly risky position: Its a wonder they did not let the Germans push further so that they could hang themselves:
I'm with you actually. Attacking in the south stretches the Ostheer extremely thinly and they were already stretched thinly when Blue opened on June 28th.

Here's a quote from Hyper War from page 298:

The main German strategic interest had always been confined essentially to one question: Where would the Soviet forces have to stand and accept a fight to the finish? Most of the generals had thought that it would be in the Moscow region. Hitler had believed it would be in the south, the Ukraine and the Caucasus. In 1941, the Germans had tried both, had run out of time and had not proved--or disproved--the validity of either view. Late in the campaign, in November, the OKH contention, as put by Halder, still had been:

The oil region [of the Caucasus] is not essential to the Soviet conduct of the war, so his defense there will be passive, that is, to deny us the oil, not to preserve his own existence.

Moscow is the central point of all Russian life. It is also the western terminus of the land bridge between European and Asiatic Russia and has decisive operational import for Soviet offensive plans.

Hitler, on the other hand, was more than ever certain, after the Moscow offensive failed, that he had been right all along. As the gist of a talk with Hitler in March 1942, Goebbels recorded:

The Fuehrer had a plan that was bound to lead to victory.

The Fuehrer had no intention whatever of going to Moscow. He wanted to cut off the Caucasus and thereby strike the Soviet system at its most vulnerable point. But Brauchitsch and his general staff knew better.


I'm with the generals on this crucial issue. The Ostheer may have been too weak to attack Moscow (it's difficult to be certain on that either way) in 1942 but it was a better choice than to attack the Caucasus imo and gave the Germans the chance of destroying a large portion of the Red Army while they were still superior in mobile warfare.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by steverodgers801 » 27 Feb 2015 23:31

In 1942, Germany did not have the needed mobility to defend the way their doctrine called for.

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