Stalingrad

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Erwinn
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Erwinn » 02 Mar 2015 10:37

Instead of using those Italians, Romanians and Hungarians on the front, Germans should have used those forces as occupational troops, under a German commander. They should relocate their own divisions which are sitting on occuppation countries. I think it's better to have a Wehrmacht division on your flanks rather than having a unreliable lightly equipped army sized forces.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 02 Mar 2015 14:25

Erwinn wrote:Instead of using those Italians, Romanians and Hungarians on the front, Germans should have used those forces as occupational troops, under a German commander. They should relocate their own divisions which are sitting on occuppation countries. I think it's better to have a Wehrmacht division on your flanks rather than having a unreliable lightly equipped army sized forces.
?
What hypothetical arms would these hypothetical Wehrmacht forces be armed with and what hypothetical railways and hypothetical trucks would supply these hypothetical formations? What proof we have that these hypothetical formations armed with hypothetical weapons and led by hypothetical leaders would perform better than say the 8th Italian Army?

Barbarossa directive assigned Romanians support and occupation duties, and assigned Hungarians no duty (as it was not known whether Hungary would participate). How do you think Romanians and the Directive 21 unmentioned Hungarians ended up doing heavy lifting during Barbarossa?
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 02 Mar 2015 17:06

ljadw wrote:The SU could afford a rate of 7/1, Germany could not .

In 1941,Germany lost 831000 men,the SU 4.158.000:result :on 31 december 1941,Germany was weaker than on 22 june and the SU stronger .

In 1942,Germany lost 1.112.000 men,the SU 6.584.000;result : on 31 december 1942,the SU was stronger than on 31 december 1941 and Germany was weaker .

LW losses and losses by sickness,accidents (non combat losses) are not included .
Again you seem to misunderstand what I was aiming to.

The goal is not to inflict enough casualties on the Red Army to bleed it white, that won't happen with a 7:1 rate until somewhere around mid 1945 and in any case the USSR would be bankrupt well before that.

The goal is to save enough German troops from slaughter and enough equipment from damage and buy enough time for the Germans to reorganise their army in the east, build up troops to Barbarossa levels, fix the logistical nightmares they faced and ultimately finalise a strategy once and for all for the remainder of the war.

Based on casualty figures the Germans would have probably saved something like 20-30 divisional equivalents of combat troops (assuming a 50% combat troops ratio in a standard 12k German infantry division and 9 battalion division, a guestimate to be honest since I could never the actual ratio in 42) by June 43 giving them a higher troop concentration than in Barbarossa.

I might be wrong but this is my opinion and really hope someone corrects me.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 02 Mar 2015 17:13

ML59 wrote:
ChrisDR68 wrote:It's interesting to compare the correlation of forces in the east in June 1942.

According to Hyper War it's as follows:

Germany: 2.9 million men, 3300 panzers and 2750 aircraft (the Germans were also around 100,000 horses and 40,000 trucks down compared to a year earlier making the Ostheer less mobile than at the start of Barborossa). In addition you can add hundreds of thousands of Romanians, Italians, Hungarians and Finns to this list although most were of questionable value partly due to their lack of tanks and anti-tank guns.

Soviet Union: 5.6 million men, 6000 tanks and 2600 aircraft.

So on these figures the Germans were outnumbered 2:1 in troops and tanks although they had a slight advantage in aircraft.

Had the Germans concentrated two thirds of their mobile forces either side of Moscow could they have taken the city in a pincer attack during the campaigning season of 1942?
The data are incorrect. Axis forces on the eastern front were not less than 4.900.000:
Ostheer 2.900.000
AOK Norwegen 250.000
Finland 450.000
Romania 330.000
Italy 230.000
Hungary 225.000
Luftwaffe 400.000 (estimated)
WH Auxiliary 150.000 (estimated)

total 4.935.000

So, total strength actually increased compared to Barabarossa but German bayonet strength decreased by at least 15% and mobility was greatly reduced by losses in motor vehicles and reduced supply of fuel.

Not all the Axis were worthless; in the sub-arctic conditions in which they operated the Finns were perfectly capable troops, for example. However, in the open steppe along the Don and the Volga, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians were too lightly equipped with automatic weapons, medium artillery and anti-tank weapons to resist full scale offensive operation of the renewed RKKA. And this proved fatal.
Troops in Norway, Finland and a large number of the Ostheer itself were useless since they were not in the damn front to begin with.

I lost the Mueller-Hillebrand German casualties study which gives average troop levels per month and how many were actually up the front but I think the actual German strength was probably 2.1 million in combat units.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 02 Mar 2015 17:33

But you need all those bodies in all those support roles, and the ratios are misleading due to 2 factors:

1). The difference in efficiency of medical services - higher for the Soviets ( 8O), so a higher fraction of those losses returning to combat for the Soviets.

2). Not counting the Auxilliary losses, with which the Soviet loss ratio goes towards 3:1 (and maybe lower) instead of 5:1 or higher.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 02 Mar 2015 17:51

BDV wrote:But you need all those bodies in all those support roles, and the ratios are misleading due to 2 factors:

1). The difference in efficiency of medical services - higher for the Soviets ( 8O), so a higher fraction of those losses returning to combat for the Soviets.

2). Not counting the Auxilliary losses, with which the Soviet loss ratio goes towards 3:1 (and maybe lower) instead of 5:1 or higher.
But when we look at what Krivosheev calls "Irrecoverable Losses" which included wounded not fit to return to service ever a defensive strategy would achieve the loss ratio which will lead to the goals already stated, more German troops for future Operations.

And this is interesting about Soviet medical services. Can you elaborate?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 02 Mar 2015 18:41

I got into an argument with phylo roadking, and he argued pretty conclusively that German medical services were quite dismal. It came to some surprise as my grandfather 's life was saved by a German field surgeon.

There was also some numerical discussion on percentages of heavy wounded returned to service that pointed out to superior soviet performance in this respect.

Will dig up.

PS

This is the discussion.

Numerically, among the "heavily wounded" (wounds leading to at a minimum discharge from service) the German soldier had a death probability of 38%, while the "heavily wounded" Soviet soldier had a death probability of 26%.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2015 18:46

Why were they 'dismal' without getting into statistical legerdemain? Not having researched this topic, I was under the impression that the Soviets were poor in this area, with the Germans being better.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2015 18:52

As far as 42' goes, you are assuming that the Soviets will make faulty offensives with zero or low results (disasters) again, which they did not. Kharkov II was not a 'normal' soviet offensive- it was a disaster. If 6.AOK was not concentrated there in prelude of Blau, the axis success would have been much abated. The defense of the Crimea against 11.AOK was a disaster. eg. Kerch:~220,000+ POWs/dead for less than 4,000 axis losses. Wilhelm and Fredricus were pre-Blau set piece actions executed by 6.AOK.

You are also assuming that 11.AOK and 6.AOK will be available for successful, and highly damaging surgical set-piece operations, which would not be the case if their tactical units were spread across the eastern front to enhance defense.
AJFFM wrote:
Again, no where near the attrition rate AGN inflicted in its defensive battles of the Spring-Summer-Autumn of 42 on the Red army. The key word here is rate. 7:1 is way better than 3:1.

Cult Icon wrote: This kind of assumes that the RKKA will attack itself to death....They failed in their thrusts sometimes, but succeeded most of the time. in 44'.
AGN typically had the worst casualty ratio for the RKKA of the three AGs due to the nature of the terrain, drama of Leningrad, and other circumstances. It was however, the smallest of the three theaters. What stood out in 42' was the grave losses in AGC/AGS during the pre-Blau operations of spring/summer of 1942.

These '6:1' results along the Eastern Front were largely not from defensive battles, but offensive battles. Then there is the ATL political element- how does Hitler con his way out of attacking in the summer?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 02 Mar 2015 20:54

Cult Icon wrote:As far as 42' goes, you are assuming that the Soviets will make faulty offensives with zero or low results (disasters) again, which they did not. Kharkov II was not a 'normal' soviet offensive- it was a disaster. If 6.AOK was not concentrated there in prelude of Blau, the axis success would have been much abated. The defense of the Crimea against 11.AOK was a disaster. eg. Kerch:~220,000+ POWs/dead for less than 4,000 axis losses. Wilhelm and Fredricus were pre-Blau set piece actions executed by 6.AOK.

You are also assuming that 11.AOK and 6.AOK will be available for successful, and highly damaging surgical set-piece operations, which would not be the case if their tactical units were spread across the eastern front to enhance defense.
Kharkov II was the largest Soviet offensive Operation between Winter March 42 and December 42. It was conducted on AG level with 3 Soviet Fronts launching an offensive against a German AG. It was well prepared and nearly succeeded and there was nothing faulty about it. Basically it was decisively defeated in the field before the encirclement. The only fault was not recognising the danger of encirclement and not trying to break it.

And it was hardly the only strategic AG level offensive during 42 on either side of Winter. It was preceded and succeeded by multiple well prepared offensives against forces far weaker than AGS and nearly all ended with the same result, meagre gains or miserable defeats.

Which is why I said a German defensive strategy might work because the Red Army will always attack even if it knows it was not ready.



Cult Icon wrote:
AGN typically had the worst casualty ratio for the RKKA of the three AGs due to the nature of the terrain, drama of Leningrad, and other circumstances. It was however, the smallest of the three theaters. What stood out in 42' was the grave losses in AGC/AGS during the pre-Blau operations of spring/summer of 1942.

These '6:1' results along the Eastern Front were largely not from defensive battles, but offensive battles. Then there is the ATL political element- how does Hitler con his way out of attacking in the summer?
The pre-Balu losses the Germans took were largely due to the Winter Spring offensive of 42 when the front line was still fluid not to mention the isolated fortresses Hitler insisted they should be defended. Once firmly established German losses went down and Red Army went up.

The largest Losses of 42 were those incurred during Blau. Of the 1.12 million losses the Germans incurred during 42 (numbers from ljadw's post) more than 70% happened in the period between June 28th and Nov. 24th. The Red Army fought to the bitter end as Glantz showed in his Stalingrad Trilogy and that is what caused the majority of German casualties not defence.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ML59 » 02 Mar 2015 21:04

AJFFM wrote:
Troops in Norway, Finland and a large number of the Ostheer itself were useless since they were not in the damn front to begin with.

I lost the Mueller-Hillebrand German casualties study which gives average troop levels per month and how many were actually up the front but I think the actual German strength was probably 2.1 million in combat units.
The same is valid for the soviets, not all the troops in active fronts were actually deployed on the front line. And about Finland, German and Finnish troops overthere were not facing phantoms but nothing else than soviet troops, so, which is the point?
We can agree that to deploy a full Mountain Corps in the Arctic was probably a waste of resources, but then? It was nevertheless necessary for the soviets to counter such a threat and deploy troops to block the Axis even there, the end result doesn't change.

The reality is that the gigantic numerical superiority of the soviets over the Germans is largely a myth if you put into the calculation the right figures. Everything clearly collapsed out of any hope of recovery only during summer of 1944 with the defection of Romania, Finland and the partial collapse of Hungary. After that only logistic issue could slow down the soviet steamroller before it flattened all of Germany.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 02 Mar 2015 21:10

The German losses in 1942 were as follow :

First semester ( january-june) : 501000 103000 KIA/ 372000 WIA and 26000 MIA

Second semester ( july-december) : 618000 : 123000 KIA/469000 WIA and 26000 MIA,which is something as 56 % , not 70 %.

Besides,not all German losses happened in the south .

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2015 21:19

There was a special ability of the RKKA to respond to crisis and replace losses. They had an 8-figure reservist pool, and could field new armies and formations on the fly if crisis emerge. The Vyazama-Bryansk pockets (West Front, Reserve Front, Bryansk Front) were filled with substandard units and these quickly succumbed to envelopment. The pre-war formations were burned down in the battle of Minsk, Smolensk and its north/southern wing.


If there are no crisis, then they can train and develop these new formations properly.


This rapid lead time was an advantage not possessed by the Axis, who had to endure many months before they could field new forces.
ML59 wrote: The reality is that the gigantic numerical superiority of the soviets over the Germans is largely a myth if you put into the calculation the right figures. Everything clearly collapsed out of any hope of recovery only during summer of 1944 with the defection of Romania, Finland and the partial collapse of Hungary. After that only logistic issue could slow down the soviet steamroller before it flattened all of Germany.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 02 Mar 2015 22:18

Monthly 1942 losses of the army and WSS in the East

January : 87000

february : 87000

March : 100000

April : 60000

May : 80000

June : 86000

July : 96000

August : 160000


September : 132000

October : 69000


November : 47000


December : 85000

January-june : 500000

July- december : 589000

Source : WWII Stats.Com

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2015 22:50

Yes, your theory depends on the Soviets somehow wanting to attack themselves to death in the ATL.

Kharkov II's fate (encirclement) depended much on the presence of 6.AOK including fresh panzer forces with strong armor strength (~150 ish) like 16.Pz, 3.Pz and 23.Pz in the area. Like Mars, the Soviets attacked a hornet's nest.

The 6.AOK was concentrated there due to Blau, and it was going to perform the pre-Blau set-piece envelopment operations (Fredricus I/II, Wilhelm) and then Timoshenko attacked . Without Blau, the 6.AOK would likely not have been there.
AJFFM wrote:
Kharkov II was the largest Soviet offensive Operation between Winter March 42 and December 42. It was conducted on AG level with 3 Soviet Fronts launching an offensive against a German AG. It was well prepared and nearly succeeded and there was nothing faulty about it. Basically it was decisively defeated in the field before the encirclement. The only fault was not recognising the danger of encirclement and not trying to break it.

The largest Losses of 42 were those incurred during Blau. Of the 1.12 million losses the Germans incurred during 42 (numbers from ljadw's post) more than 70% happened in the period between June 28th and Nov. 24th. The Red Army fought to the bitter end as Glantz showed in his Stalingrad Trilogy and that is what caused the majority of German casualties not defence.
I find this doubtful.

The RKKA surrendered 380,000 persons and lost several thousand AFVs, mostly via abandonment by the time 6.AOK reached the Stalingrad suburbs. (Stalingrad trilogy). The land bridge in particular was very difficult to eliminate- eg. the Kotluban offensive I/II incurred some 130,000 casualties in Sept. Against Blau, many Soviet armies retreated and abandoned their supply bases and a lot of their heavy equipment, rendering their combat effectiveness low afterwards. These soviet formations, such as the ones populating 62.and 64.Army fought but fought inefficiently. It was also easy for LF-4 and FK-8 to kill soviets bunched up in the buildings of Stalingrad city. The Soviet defenders turned over every two weeks or so.

AGA- initially captured many soviet troops as well as they advanced into the Caucasus- the soviets took 247,000 permanent losses out of 511,000 casualties in the Caucasus. German casualties: 72,000, Romanian casualties : 45,000

Also, the taking of Vozoneth necessitated a lot of costly counteroffensives to suppress the axis incursion there and distract axis reserves.

What are soviet losses due to Blau? The issue here is that the Soviet losses in 1942 offensive were in fact very high. Indeed, German losses were very high in Stalingrad, but Soviet losses facing AGA/AGB were severe.
Last edited by Cult Icon on 03 Mar 2015 04:54, edited 3 times in total.

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