Stalingrad

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

Post by AJFFM » 04 Mar 2015 22:10

Actually Krivosheev does breakdown irrecoverable losses (only non-combat deaths) if you read deep into his book (especially the Original Russian as I am told) based on sickness, accidents, and actual combat losses.

Table 69 of the English translation gives a nice breakdown by quarter and according to it non-combat irrecoverable losses . Total non-combat losses are 542k men half of them in 41. For 42 the total non-combat irrecoverable losses are 150k men.

While I agree with you 41 data on the Soviet side and 45 data on the German side at totally unreliable in the period that matters to my argument (1942) the probability of error is tiny and within acceptable statistical margin of error.

Also we are not comparing apples and lemons if there is a statistical correlation behind the casualty figures for two opposing forces in different scenarios.

Of course let us not forget this argument is based on rough numbers, only reliable tabulated battalion level losses plus replacement troops and a stable frame of reference can give a real answer, a proper statistical win-loss analysis. That would be an interesting field of study.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 04 Mar 2015 22:25

It is only interesting as far as an amusing intellectual exercise goes. It is not actually an argument unless somehow someone can prove with decision analysis that the Soviets will want to attack themselves to death and somehow the Germans can pull off a "Barbarossa II' in 1943. This would most certainly require AGC and AGS being refitted and retrained Barbarossa-style.

You also need to prove that sufficient German divisions will still be capable of offensive operations, and not the typical 1-6 battalion "division" immobilized on the Eastern front. The Infantry divisions needed a full set of equipment and horses, along with 9 battalions to be viable in serious offensive operations.
AJFFM wrote: Of course let us not forget this argument is based on rough numbers, only reliable tabulated battalion level losses plus replacement troops and a stable frame of reference can give a real answer, a proper statistical win-loss analysis. That would be an interesting field of study.
Of interest to me is the attack of Balck's 48th PzK against the more advanced 2.UKF in Nov. 1943- his PzK was essentially a Panzergruppe, but he initiated offensive operations without a supporting infantry army. The lack of an assault- capable infantry army did his operations in, and he failed to get any serious encirclements. At this point, the German infantry arm was burned out and only defense capable.

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BDV
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 05 Mar 2015 14:12

Cult Icon wrote:Of interest to me is the attack of Balck's 48th PzK against the more advanced 2.UKF in Nov. 1943- his PzK was essentially a Panzergruppe, but he initiated offensive operations without a supporting infantry army. The lack of an assault- capable infantry army did his operations in, and he failed to get any serious encirclements. At this point, the German infantry arm was burned out and only defense capable.
OTOH, in the aftermath of a "grindalicious" 1942 there could be 5-6 infantry armies available for attack in 1943 (2 Romanian, 1 Hungarian, 1 Italian and 1 Baltic, and possibly one Ukraino-Galician), which in OTL did amply prove their mettle in combat (Sevastopol, and the October Soviet offensive for the Romanian 3rd and 4th, 8th Italian's historical stand, the Uman pocket for the Honvédség; basically the entirety of AGS offensives in 1941).

Significant German expenditure would be required to bring them up to 1943 standard, and the effort has to start as early as possible (ideally 1941, but January 1942 could possibly cut it). That, and patience.
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Alixanther » 05 Mar 2015 20:20

BDV wrote:
Significant German expenditure would be required to bring them up to 1943 standard, and the effort has to start as early as possible (ideally 1941, but January 1942 could possibly cut it). That, and patience.
There's no way they could have brought up the level of Axis' allies to that of German '43 offensive level. Even if they'd somehow manage to bring the equipment, there is still the problem of training.
I could (approximately) quote Hitler on the subject of infantry: "There's no reason to take into account the infantry divisions (for an attack); last year the only successful attacks were carried on by PanzerGrenadiers. We cannot rely anymore on the effectiveness of infantry; they get stuck into the snow and there they stay."
And that is about the German infantry!
Other Axis infantry troops were even less prepared for combat effectiveness. They could manage to hold a line, however do not expect them to breach through dogged Soviet defenses. They did it in '41, when Soviet command was pants and, while they succeeded, they took heavy losses. Antonescu expanded the military on the expense of troop quality. There were elite groups - like the mountain and cavalry brigades, or the (only) Tank division - but the mainstay of the Romanian military were peasant infantrymen. Little military training, although they were accustomed to hardships in life and the morale was pretty high.

They could instead strip German divisions of AT and artillery defensive means and put these allied Axis troops to defend German sectors. German infantry released that way could reinforce various battlegroups which were low on infantry count.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Erwinn » 06 Mar 2015 08:32

That's why I didn't quite get it.

There were security divisions, anti partisan divisions, occupational forces who were suntanning on France. Couldn't they distribute this duties with a mix of German-Ally troops to get more Germans to the front? For France maybe it's not possible for else where, I mean it's a lot of manpower wasted.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Alixanther » 06 Mar 2015 16:00

Erwinn wrote:That's why I didn't quite get it.

There were security divisions, anti partisan divisions, occupational forces who were suntanning on France. Couldn't they distribute this duties with a mix of German-Ally troops to get more Germans to the front? For France maybe it's not possible for else where, I mean it's a lot of manpower wasted.
Those "suntanning" divisions were either recovering from combat or non-combatant personnel. You could guard some foreign cities using out-of-shape old men, but you cannot bring them deep into Soviet territory. "You know nothing, Jon Snow". :)

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 06 Mar 2015 17:18

Alixanther wrote:
BDV wrote:
Significant German expenditure would be required to bring them up to 1943 standard, and the effort has to start as early as possible (ideally 1941, but January 1942 could possibly cut it). That, and patience.
There's no way they could have brought up the level of Axis' allies to that of German '43 offensive level. Even if they'd somehow manage to bring the equipment, there is still the problem of training.
Yes they could, if they actually put their minds to it. The Nazi leadership simply didn't trust their allies who had divergent goals (especially Hungary and Romania). Nor did they even try to make use of the enthusiastic support of ethnic minorities who fought well in the latter parts of the war.

ChrisDR68
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ChrisDR68 » 07 Mar 2015 12:35

This is the strategy I think the Germans should have followed in 1942:

In June 1942 the Germans had around 3300 panzers on the Eastern Front. Allocate about 66% of them to the strategic summer offensive which is 2180 in number. Gunther Von Kluge's Army Group Centre is given 40% of these panzers (which gives him 870) leaving Feder Von Bock's Army Group South with the remaining 1310.

The bulk of the Luftwaffe's strength is concentrated with these two army groups (around 40% each which would given them 1100 aircraft per army group) leaving Army Group North with 15% and the southern region the remaining 5%.

On May 7th 1942 the front line in the central part of the eastern front is like this:

Image

Phase 1:
Von Bock reacts to the Soviet offensive at Kharkov as in the otl with much of the armour he has assembled racing south and with heavy assistance from the Luftwaffe surrounds and defeats their attack capturing 250,000 Soviet troops in the process.

Phase 2:
Von Kluge divides his armour up into two main groupings centered on Demyansk and Rzhev at the neck of the huge salient jutting into the German lines. He launches an all-out concetric offensive (similar to Kursk) on 28th June aimed at cutting off all the Soviet forces within it.

Phase 3:
With Kluge's operation in full swing the Soviets start moving a number of their reserve formations north in order to counteract it. With the front line thus weakened in front of him Von Bock launches his offensive south of Moscow on 9th July in the Orel sector with his axis of advance just south of Tula.

Phase 4:
With two powerful German offensives taking place simultaneously the Soviets are forced allocate their reserves piecemeal thus lessening their effectiveness. The pincers close on the Rzhev salient 3 weeks after Kluge's offensive had begun on the 18th July trapping some 320,000 Soviet troops and 600 tanks within it. 10 days later they are forced to surrender.

Phase 5:
At the same time as Kluge is reducing the Rzhev salient Von Bock is making good progress against stiff resistance south of Moscow and at the end of July his forces reach Kalomna. Bock's forces manage several medium sized encirclements of Soviet formations (totalling 230,000 prisoners and 500 tanks destroyed) thus weakening the forces the Soviets can put up against him.

Phase 6
Once his forces have been reorganised Von Kluge launches his forces from the Rzhev region in the direction of the gap between Kalinn and Moscow itself on 10th August. His forces make steady progress against fierce resistance heavily assisted by the Luftwaffe in the air.

Phase 7
By this time Von Bock's army group is now south east of Moscow and begins to swing northwards to act as the southern pincer of the German offensive. On 22nd August the pincers meet east of Moscow. The Soviet capital is now surrounded with substantial Red Army forces trapped west of the city and within it.

Phase 8
It takes almost a month to reduce the Soviet forces trapped in the Moscow pocket but on 15th September the last Red Army units surrender. In total 800,000 Soviet soldiers are taken prisoner and over 2000 tanks are either destroyed or captured. Hitler hails this as the decisive moment in his war in the east and church bells ring throughout Germany for 3 days in celebration.

Phase 9
Von Bock's powerful AGS launches an offensive in a southern direction towards Vorenezh 10 days after phase 8 is complete in order to straighten out his front line so his troops are not in as vulnerable a salient as they were when the battle of Moscow was raging. This takes a number of Soviet armies by surprise as the German axis of advance slices behind their positions. They reach the Soviet city by the second week of October taking a further 290,000 Soviets prisoner just before the rasputitsa starts during the Russian autumn and dig in for the winter.

Phase 10
Von Kluge also launches limited attacks for the same reason but they are not as extensive as in the south due to the difficult terrain north of Moscow and the fact that his forces are now seriously depleted after near constant action between June and October. Nevertheless AGC take 110,000 prisoners during these operations. Kluge's forces also dig in before the season of mud begins although AGN is in a slight salient. The German high command consider this a reasonable risk to take ahead of the winter of 1942/43.

In total Soviet losses are 1 million killed, 2 million prisoners and 3800 tanks lost. German losses are also enormous (300,000 kia, 100,000 pow's and 1200 panzers destroyed). The Germans are now arguably in a much more favourable strategic position on the eastern front in October 1942 than in comparison with the original timeline.


mezsat2
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by mezsat2 » 01 Jul 2020 10:48

There's only one logical path to German victory here. The 1st and 4th panzer race ahead to cut off Russian 62 and 64 army's path of retreat. 6th army polishes them off. Panzerarmees blast straight into undefended Stalingrad August 42. Festung is handed over to allied forces for garrison duty. 6th army + Hungarians man the long flanks with heavy AA batteries/panzer.

Manstein crosses Kerch to hookup with 9th Army at Rostov and then rendezvous with tanks pouring down the Black Sea coast and the Volga. Strategically, it's still a colossal failure because Stalin would have completely destroyed all the petroleum producing infrastructure. Whatever he might miss, British bombers from Persia would finish off. Russians are actively developing new fields in Siberia and receiving oil from American and Britain, anyway. Inevitable fail.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by mezsat2 » 03 Jul 2020 11:13

I tried to edit the above, but could not. 17th army was at Rostov, not 9th.

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