If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Nov 2019 15:54

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Nov 2019 15:50
Glantz work usually reads like a Soviet prosa.
Not this particular series, it's well researched from both sides. roughly 1/3 German, 2/3rd Soviet POV

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Nov 2019 16:02

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Nov 2019 15:16
Attacker and defender both utilize the protective properties of walls, which for instance can deflect or absorb bullets.
Besides airpower,
The German/Soviet direct fire support inside Stalingrad was less than adequate in terms of calibers: T-34, Stug 75mm and Pz III/IV composed the armored support with heavy use of manhandled guns and infantry guns for direct fire.

There were tactical solutions to this (122mm, 150mm guns or higher to collapse buildings with direct fire and help shoot infantry into the target) and urban warfare troop training drills to maximize results. There was a close-combat school being used by the German army to prep infantry before commitment into the city. "express" heavy Assault guns (a proto-Brummbar- equipped in 244 Stug bt) were quickly designed and shipped to support later attacks in Stalingrad. In the late war, the Soviets later used their heavy tanks and heavy assault guns with special infantry/engineer teams to systematically clear blocks. The US army did the same in Aachen with their mediums and super-heavy guns.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Stiltzkin » 12 Nov 2019 16:09

The German/Soviet direct fire support inside Stalingrad was less than adequate in terms of calibers: T-34, Stug 75mm and Pz III/IV composed the armored support with heavy use of manhandled guns and infantry guns for direct fire.
This is only the armored support, mortars and IGs were the other component. Besides, the Soviets were actually quite competent in the field of direct fire.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Nov 2019 16:18

The primary direct fire cannon (mounted in AFV or towed) used in Stalingrad was the 76mm or smaller (the Soviet destroyer arms were not so highly developed back then with the heavy AFVs). The Soviet weaponry in the battle of Berlin was much superior.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Stiltzkin » 12 Nov 2019 16:27

The Soviet weaponry in the battle of Berlin was much superior
Yes and? The Wehrmacht was broken by 80/120 mm mortars and 76mm field guns, which inflicted the vast majority of Axis casualties. Furthermore, the soldiers in 45 must have been worse if their weaponry improved, considering their daily casualties during offensive action were equal or higher.

Field howitzer's can be utilized as well, concentration may be a bigger issue:
Image
There were tactical solutions to this (122mm, 150mm guns or higher to collapse buildings with direct fire and help shoot infantry into the target) and urban warfare troop training drills to maximize results. There was a close-combat school being used by the German army to prep infantry before commitment into the city. "express" heavy Assault guns (a proto-Brummbar- equipped in 244 Stug bt) were quickly designed and shipped to support later attacks in Stalingrad. In the late war, the Soviets later used their heavy tanks and heavy assault guns with special infantry/engineer teams to systematically clear blocks. The US army did the same in Aachen with their mediums and super-heavy guns.
Yes, this is correct.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Duncan_M » 12 Nov 2019 20:13

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Nov 2019 15:16
Not at all. Look up the TDI study.
Want to study something? Read the US Army's FM 3.06, Urban Operations, 2006. In it they cover not only doctrine and tactics, but assidui also history, to include not only WW2 but every major modern war in the 20th-21st century to use as lessons learned.

Just google it, there are tons of choices for free download.

Its not tainted writing by academics trying to win arguments by cherry picking data. Its as honest as possible because it was written to save the lives of troops by educating them before they had to learn it by the hard way, as they had after numerous years of major urban operations in Iraq, when units were craving more info to help them succeed before they deployed.
The Allies were able to take a high amount of German POWs in urbanized areas.
You or whomever you got your info are manipulating data if you're attempting to play off low morale units surrendering, mostly Germans, because of Festung Platz and lack of hope.

For the most basic statistical proof that urban terrain favor the defender look up force ratio composition recommended before even contemplating such operations. There is a reason that its generally a bit higher or MUCH higher than regular offensive ops, ranging between 4:1 to 10:1.

If defenders decide to defend tenaciously there is basically no better terrain to do it, outside maybe hedgerow country. You really need to read that manual...
Cities are like fortifications, they amplify defensive capabilities (especially for insurgents, civilian casualties create a big problem), but are static and usually attacked by a superior force, so the defender is sitting ducks, while on the other hand, the attacker's advance rate is lowered.
First, urban areas aren't just cities, they encompass even small villages, larger towns, cities, and even mega cities.

No, defenses in urban areas usually aren't static. Minus suicidal/martyr forces conducting a defense, and even those positions are staged in depth (see Fallujah 04, Mosul 2017, Raqqa 2018). Most urban defensive plans call for great depth.

For example, a squad might have a few bunkered position in a stout house, use them to shoot up the enemy, get them to deploy, get them to start maneuvering, attrit them with other squads hidden in other positions when the enemy enter their kill zones, then when the attackers finally get close the defenders pull back to the next position to repeat, tenaciously defending and counterattacking extremely important terrain (like Pavlov's House).

In this scenario, escape routes are often hidden from view and often protected by direct fire. Its not unheard of to have hidden tunnels built between buildings even in other blocks just to allow troop movement completely masked from indirect fire too, which means you can call in a multi battalion artillery curtain barrage to try to cordon off escaoe/egress routes and it does not a single bit of good.

The attackers advance is delayed because their expending ammo and manpower at higher rates they can supply. Its because they get bogged down and stop making progress. Its because entire units get decimated and the general advance is stopped until a new unit can be fed into the meat grinder.
It is not the city which stopped the Wehrmacht, or else Kharkov and Orel would have posed a significantly greater hurdle.
Kharkov did pose a great hurdle to retake it in early 1943 the II SS Panzer Korps were absolutely mauled in their efforts to retake it. Massive casualties, especially among the infantry, and they lost most of their armor.

Cities hekd tenaciously aren't impossible to take, they're costly in manpower and supplies, which is why in maneuver warfare, rule #1 is don't fight in them unless you can't bypass them (which isn't always possible).
Attacker and defender both utilize the protective properties of walls, which for instance can deflect or absorb bullets.
Attackers, because they are moving, have to leave safety of whatever they had for cover to move forward, where they advance into the unknown. At that point, until they physically clear it, its not safe. And even then, its still not safe because you might be sitting in a house rigged with a fuel air explosive ready to blow...

In front of their last safe position are open streets and alleys that are kill zones, havens of snipers and machine gunners, as well as getting hit by mortars targeting intersections, defilade serving as assembly areas, etc. And often times, for sake of speed or lack of other means, the attacking forces are advancing into those kill zones.

Getting off the streets involves clearing houses that are often occupied by dug in enemy. Lots of fun there...

Also mines. Mines EVERYWHERE. Why is rubbling 7rban areas dangerous? It makes, among other things, hiding booby traps ridiculously easy. A grenade and some string is all that's needed and you can deny "cover" to the enemy. A legit mine disappears until someone triggers it. Not only does it attrit the enemy, it also gives the defender some warning, sound of explosion, that someone is moving around in front of them.
On the other hand, bombers completely flatline buildings
No, bombs don't completely flatten buildings. This is true of the typical 250-500 kg bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe, and even 2,000 lb JDAM bombs dropped nowadays. They damage them, severely often, destroy them as functional structures, but it usually takes the better part of a half dozen or more direct hits with 2,000 lb bombs to level one large stoutly buily building (I've been inside danger close watching this happen in real life).

Stalingrad, which suffered a serious bombing raid before and during the campaign, was hardly flattened. But it was rubbled, which gave a significant advantage to the defenders in establishing fighting positions, hiding booby traps, and blocking possible avenues of advance or at least making them more difficult, essentially creating snaggle foot obstacles.

Go to hardware store. Dump about a dozen bricks willy nilly in front of you. Time yourself running across it, as fast as possible, then compare when its just clean floor.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Nov 2019 20:58

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Nov 2019 16:27
The Soviet weaponry in the battle of Berlin was much superior
Yes and?
That photograph appears to be that of the famous Grain elevator.

Just emphasizing the general tactical development and issues/recommendations noted in reports- in general there was a need for heavy/superheavy cannons, preferably encased in armor and closely supported by infantry/combat engineers. The medium guns did not have sufficient firepower for efficient effects against infantry in buildings and in general to destroy the building. IIRC Soviet reports noted that 3 x 152mm rounds were sufficient to collapse a house.

In Stalingrad, both sides took a lot of armor losses (mines, AT fire, handheld methods, getting stuck, etc.) which resulted in AFVs being routinely pulled out of attack routes and repaired over and over again.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Stiltzkin » 13 Nov 2019 03:49

Want to study something? Read the US Army's FM 3.06, Urban Operations, 2006. In it they cover not only doctrine and tactics, but assidui also history, to include not only WW2 but every major modern war in the 20th-21st century to use as lessons learned.
I am familiar with it, I cannot see how this contradicts my statements (and I doubt that many of the manuals that were written for and by the US Army were actually composed by individuals who set a foot outside of their office). We are not talking about the tactical details of MOUT/house clearing here. Urban fighting can be ferocious, no doubt, but the US Army would have suffered significantly greater casualties fighting a regular army in the field. The nature of the conflicts in the middle east is defined by the disparity of both belligerents, it is somewhat of an extreme example. The insurgents or rebels are forced to fight in such a fashion, due to the lack of greater firepower. The US is actually a good example, with a high emphasize on air power, the goal is to press infantry casualties down.
Its not tainted writing by academics trying to win arguments by cherry picking data.
I doubt that this is the case, I would argue that it is formulated and based on the general laws of war. An infantryman might have a different perspective than a member of the Staff.
For the most basic statistical proof that urban terrain favor the defender look up force ratio composition recommended before even contemplating such operations. There is a reason that its generally a bit higher or MUCH higher than regular offensive ops, ranging between 4:1 to 10:1.
Lower force ratios do not necessarily result in failure, but they may be able to concentrate such a force because cities form a big rally point and solid structures cannot maneuver.

Lets look at some data on urban and non-urban fighting (divisional, Kharkov and Kursk)
http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2018 ... ii-part-2/

Urban/non-urban
Attacker Ger
Avg. Str: 17,080/27,083
Avg. Cas: 86/276
Avg. Cas/day: 86/206
Avg. % Loss/day: 0.49/1.00
Wgt % Loss/day: 0.50/0.76

Attacker Sov
Avg. Str: 17,001/27,044
Avg. Cas: 371/761
Avg. Cas/day: 371/653
Avg. % Loss/day: 1.95/2.39
Wgt % Loss/day: 2.18/2.41
If defenders decide to defend tenaciously there is basically no better terrain to do it, outside maybe hedgerow country. You really need to read that manual...
Yes that might be the preferred environment for insurgents, though the 6th Army suffered greater casualties in the operations prior to Stalingrad, at least until the Soviets launched a multifront offensive. The Soviets decided to defend Stalingrad, because they were forced to defend it, not because they chose to. The failed summer offensives left a gaping wound in the South Western fronts.
First, urban areas aren't just cities, they encompass even small villages, larger towns, cities, and even mega cities.
Yes, the structure influences the force multiplier, e.g. concrete will provide better cover than a hut.
No, defenses in urban areas usually aren't static. Minus suicidal/martyr forces conducting a defense, and even those positions are staged in depth (see Fallujah 04, Mosul 2017, Raqqa 2018). Most urban defensive plans call for great depth.
Defensive installations are static, unless they are mobile fighting platforms, then they are not defensive installations anymore if they move out of their position. The Maginot-line could not move. There can be multiple layers of defense (e.g. Bloody Ridge), so that forces abandon the first line to mount the second line.
Mosul and Raqqa do not refute my statements, the US did not suffer greater daily casualties fighting in Raqqa and Mosul than in the Korean or the Second World War.
The attackers advance is delayed because their expending ammo and manpower at higher rates they can supply.
Well it is correct, the defender has multiple advantages that allow him to impose high attrition, i.e. a small force can inflict higher casualties, but that does not have to result in excessive losses. If that was the case, then the Soviets should have imposed an enormous rate of attrition on the advancing Germans, the last quarter of 1942 marked an anticlimax, producing one of the greatest differences in the casualty exchange ratio in the entire war.
I do not argue against this, mainly that the image of Stalingrad is engraved into peoples heads through subpar literature and movies, just like the image of dashing tanks at Kursk. Attackers seem to have lower DCRs than defenders (historical data) on the divisional level. On the battalion or platoon level, there is greater variety. It depends on who attacks and who defends. Decelerated advance rates and casualties over time.
For example, a squad might have a few bunkered position in a stout house, use them to shoot up the enemy, get them to deploy, get them to start maneuvering, attrit them with other squads hidden in other positions when the enemy enter their kill zones, then when the attackers finally get close the defenders pull back to the next position to repeat, tenaciously defending and counterattacking extremely important terrain (like Pavlov's House).
Wasn't Pavlovs house mainly shelled and most of the heroic stories made up? This would not imply greater losses, just potentially.
In this scenario, escape routes are often hidden from view and often protected by direct fire. Its not unheard of to have hidden tunnels built between buildings even in other blocks just to allow troop movement completely masked from indirect fire too, which means you can call in a multi battalion artillery curtain barrage to try to cordon off escaoe/egress routes and it does not a single bit of good.
Yes, which is a very special case, but I was not speaking about a particular case.
Kharkov did pose a great hurdle to retake it in early 1943 the II SS Panzer Korps were absolutely mauled in their efforts to retake it. Massive casualties, especially among the infantry, and they lost most of their armor.
Actually they were able to take the town back with a notably low munitions expenditure, one of the lowest during the entire year, relative to the operations that were conducted in 1943.

Lets compare:
Kharkov recapture (12th to 28th Feb 1943): 6 Divisions, 16 Days, 29 trainloads. 75 tons per Division, per day. That is 1/5th of a first supply. :wink:
Zitadelle, opening phase (5th to 14th July 1943): 37 Divisions, 9 days, 110 trainloads
Stalingrad, offensive action (1st September to 30th October 1942), 20 Divisions, 60 days, 85 trainloads. That is on avg. 1/10 of the first supply for a Division. Peak was the 44th fighting day, with ~1,300 tons expended, peak during Zitadelle: 7,691 tons.

------------------------

That photograph appears to be that of the famous Grain elevator.
Yes this is the Grain Elevator.
IIRC Soviet reports noted that 3 x 152mm rounds were sufficient to collapse a house.
I remember stumbling across German combat reports that mentioned the risks of resting in a house, since 76mm fire was sufficient to inflict heavy casualties on the sleeping soldiers, when fired on the houses which were chosen as a resting place during the night.
In Stalingrad, both sides took a lot of armor losses (mines, AT fire, handheld methods, getting stuck, etc.) which resulted in AFVs being routinely pulled out of attack routes and repaired over and over again.
It is not an environment in which tank crews want to find themselves in, but the overall tank losses seem to be higher in the field. I assume a lot of German armour ended up in the pocket and fell into Soviet hands, especially the AFVs in the depots.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Yuri » 13 Nov 2019 14:03

Stiltzkin wrote:
12 Nov 2019 15:50
Glantz's work is superficial. Armageddon in Stalingrad and the supplementary volume is a very long tome with day to day details.
Glantz work usually reads like a Soviet prosa.

Anyway, I think the best example is Grozny. The Russians bombarded the city and left no stone unturned, targeting primarily hospitals and schools (penetrative bombing) to break the defenders morale. Airpower lowers casualties.
You forgot to mention the special Russian bombs for kindergartens, maternity hospitals and weddings, not to mention the gas cylinders with chlorine and a little bottle of Premier Jour from Nina Ricci.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by BDV » 13 Nov 2019 14:22

Stiltzkin wrote:The Russians bombarded the city and left no stone unturned, targeting primarily hospitals and schools (penetrative bombing) to break the defenders morale.
Ye oldiye B! B! B! (Boche Baby Bayoneteering). Listen, if one has the mainstream megaphone, what better than putting it to use, LoL (see Madame Secretary of State Albright's quip on having the best military).

But it serves to show why an attacker may not want to broadcast the destruction of a city if it was not defended; ergo selection bias.
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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by dgfred » 10 Jan 2020 16:06

Bombing the city was fine... maybe just encircle it, bomb into oblivion, then don't try to take the city. Make the rail/river movement impossible for the Russians.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Aida1 » 11 Jan 2020 09:49

dgfred wrote:
10 Jan 2020 16:06
Bombing the city was fine... maybe just encircle it, bomb into oblivion, then don't try to take the city. Make the rail/river movement impossible for the Russians.
Exactly. There was no imperative reason to take the city. Soaked up too many resources to do that.

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Aida1 » 11 Jan 2020 09:57

Duncan_M wrote:
12 Nov 2019 20:13


Kharkov did pose a great hurdle to retake it in early 1943 the II SS Panzer Korps were absolutely mauled in their efforts to retake it. Massive casualties, especially among the infantry, and they lost most of their armor.

This is an exaggerated statement. II SS Pz corps was supposed to move around the city it but the corps was certainly not mauled in recapturing it. It was actually mostly the LAH which did the attack(Die Leibstandarte III Lehmann pp180-194).Das Reich was pulled out of the fighting in Charkov on the orders of PzAOK 4(Das Reich IV O.Weidinger pp 98-112).Totenkopf was not in the city at all.
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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Aida1 » 11 Jan 2020 10:22

Stiltzkin wrote:
13 Nov 2019 03:49

Lets compare:
Kharkov recapture (12th to 28th Feb 1943): 6 Divisions, 16 Days, 29 trainloads. 75 tons per Division, per day. That is 1/5th of a first supply. :wink:
The recapture by II SS Pz corps was from 11-15 march 1943 (Die Leibstandarte III Lehmann pp180-194 and Das Reich IV O.Weidinger pp 98-112).

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Re: If the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed Stalingrad...

Post by Stiltzkin » 11 Jan 2020 16:16

The recapture by II SS Pz corps was from 11-15 march 1943 (Die Leibstandarte III Lehmann pp180-194 and Das Reich IV O.Weidinger pp 98-112
The operations near Kharkov started on the 19th February, with the approach being a week earlier. This munition consumption probably does not solely refer to their action, but I will correct it to: 3rd Battle of Kharkov.
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