At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Paul Lakowski
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Paul Lakowski » 16 Jun 2020 23:00

part 2

Examples of operations
First period of the war
German planning for the invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940 had to tackle two major issues — the operation being launched from outside the borders of Germany and that two decisive battles were going to be fought, one of which was beyond the range of motor vehicles to support from mobilization depots. The first issue was dealt with by a huge upgrade of the Polish railway network through the Otto program.53 This would allow a steady buildup of infantry divisions and supply depots on the border and then a last-minute, rapid mobilization of the armored units just before the launch of the invasion. The second issue was dealt with by mobilizing heavy lorry/trailer combinations from the civilian sector, largely the Reichsbahn (and its haulage company Schenker) and the Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps (National Socialist Transport Corps, or NSKK) to provide additional columns to the existing three regiments of the Grosstransportraum (GTR). The GTR would support the initial decisive battles fought in the border area, while the Eisenbahnpioniere would re-establish the railways in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland with a double-track line of at least 24 train pairs a day for each Heeresgruppe. A Versorgungsbezirk (Supply District)54 would be established at a depth of 400 km, in the case of Heeresgruppe Mitte at Minsk, which would be built up by moving the depots forward from the Polish border by railway. The GTR would support the armies for the second decisive battle around Smolensk from the Supply District at Minsk over a distance of 400 km.

The GTR was raised from 19,000 to 60,000 tonnes capacity for the operation, which represented 9 million tonne-km55 while the demand for 102 infantry and 33 motorized divisions was 32,000 tonnes a day,56 which would indicate that the lorries could support the army up to 300 km from the depots. The 24 trains a day for each Heeresgruppe represented 32,000 tonnes of supplies, which confirms these figures; however, this represented only fuel, ammunition, and limited food/fodder, making no allowance for replacement men, horses, or equipment. Later in the war, a Heeresgruppe would require 75 trains a day simply for ‘normal’ operations, while heavy fighting could raise this to over 100 trains.
By the conclusion of the Smolensk battle in early August, it is clear that the supply situation was under strain, and despite over a month’s pause in operations, there were insufficient supplies to carry the units forward to Moscow. The underlying problem was clearly identified by General Halder on 3 August 1941 57 as being the Eisenbahntruppen conflict of interest, between building low-capacity lines quickly behind the advancing armies or building high-capacity lines capable of supporting Generalquartiermeister Wagner in his objective of building up a Supply District behind each Heerengruppe.

The Eisenbahnpioniere had been rapidly changing the gauge and undertaking basic repairs of bridges but were not repairing signaling or telephone communications or restoring the engine depots because they were focused on keeping within seven days58 of the advancing armies. These tasks were being left to the FED and the HBD, who did not possess sufficient equipment to build this infrastructure nor an organizational structure to manage the work.59 In the operational files of Heerengruppe Mitte, there are three maps60 showing the progress of the re-gauging of the main double-track line from Brest:

On 3 July 1941, it ran to Baranocwicze with an unloading point there, and it was drivable on Union gauge with a further unloading point at Minsk. By 31 July 1941, unloading was happening at Orscha, with a second Union gauge track from the border through Lida as far as an unloading point at Polozk, while on 28 August a Standard gauge track was unloading at Smolensk with the second Union line from Lida unloading at Vitebsk. General des Eisenbahnpioniere Otto Willi reported on 8 August 1941 that 16,148 km of track had its gauge converted, of which 4,414 km was in the Heerengruppe Mitte area. With the distance from Terespol on the Polish border to Moscow being 1,070 km, there was sufficient Standard gauge track converted to support the advance using German railway stock.

In order to improve traffic flow, the military railway headquarters Etra-Ost was upgraded to Wehrmachttransportleitung Ost and a further headquarters added in September as Betriebsleitung Ost (later GVD Osten) under an experienced railway manager, Ministerialdirigent Dr. Ing. Joseph Muller. However, the lack of experience was showing: It took the Bv.T.O. Heeresgruppe Mitte (Transport Officer) until August to realize that in order to make his daily target of 24 trains a day, they would have to be unloaded at the end of their journey.63 The Ostheer was breaking all of Hermann Haupt’s rules of 75 years earlier and paying the price.

The crisis came during the winter: With few covered locomotive depots, the German engines fell out of service and by February 1942, at least 70 percent were inoperative,64 and traffic ground to a standstill. The constant flow of engines eastwards had started to affect the wider German economy, and on 15 January 1942 this prompted Hitler to act.65 The Heer lost control of the railways, and the RVM and Organisation Todt stepped in to rebuild the railways with the Ostbau 42 program. However, friction between the military and railwaymen had been rising all winter, and in April the Gestapo arrested two senior operations managers from the HBD, Oberbahnrat Landenberger and Hahn, who were sent to a concentration camp.

In the dark days of 1941, there remains one significant Soviet victory, and it was won by the NKPS over the Ostheer. Due to the size of the country, in Russia mobility at the operational level could only be provided by railways, and by denying it to the Wehrmacht and using it effectively itself, the NKPS ensured that the Soviet Union would survive the onslaught. Once it had recovered from the initial shock of invasion, the railwaymen set about evacuating the motive power before it fell into the hands of the Germans: In total they lost around 2,000 locomotives, many of which were unserviceable, out of a total fleet of 24,20066 (1938). At Odessa, a floating dock was filled with track and locomotives driven into it before the dock was towed out to sea, while few of the German’s encirclements contained much rolling stock. The Soviets would lose around 40 percent of their network while losing 15 percent of the motive power, which meant that for the rest of the war they would have an abundance, especially as the wartime economy required less traffic, due to a switch to freight away from passenger traffic. This allowed the simultaneous evacuation of the great cities by millions of Soviet citizens and the war industries’ move to the Urals. However, the key factor in keeping the Soviet Union fighting was its ability to raise new divisions, and this was only possible if the NKPS could gather up the men from the farthest reaches of the Union, deliver them to the depots and then onto the front; at the same time in late 1941, it was transporting the Far Eastern armies to the west. At a time when the German Ostheer was withering away from a lack of replacements, the NKPS was moving millions of men for the Red Army in the other direction, over a network that the Germans were dismissing as old-fashioned and ramshackled.

The German Army may have brought many of its troubles on its own head, by trying to run the railways itself, but the NKPS and Railway Brigades made much of the captured network unusable by its own demolitions. Bridges were a target, and the Soviets had their own track-destroying machines introduced in the Great War, but their principal means were the destruction of equipment at depots and engine sheds. A destroyed depot denied 100 km of track, and the lack of water supplies, engineering equipment, and covered facilities would be largely responsible for the German locomotives put out of action during the coming winter.

Traffic
The fundamental problem facing the occupying Ostheer during its time in Russia was that everything it needed, apart from food and fodder, had to come from Germany, and it simply lacked the railway transport in order to carry this. Each Heeresgruppe required 75 trains a day, the economy required trains to move materials toward the Reich, the occupied population required substantial train traffic as the northern zone was a food deficit area, and the railways themselves imported good-quality coal and finished products from home. The economic traffic for Quarter IV 1942 was: into Russia 557,192 tonnes, within Russia 2,400,980 tonnes, and into Germany 1,471,808 tonnes, with 613,900 head of cattle,67 which is approximately 14 trains a day into Russia, 58 trains moving within Russia, and 36 trains heading toward Germany. In January 1943, the traffic crossing the border into GVD Osten per day was 76 trains HBD Nord, 87 HBD Mitte, 67 HBD Süd, plus nine trains crossing from Romania to Odessa plus 81 trains carrying coal, construction materials, and equipment for the railway.68 This would indicate that the railways were only just meeting minimum demand, with little extra capacity — for instance, when the 305 Infanterie Division was moved from France in May 1942, ‘the bulk of the division’s motorized units drove all the way from Germany… . The vehicles would not reach Kharkov for another fortnight’.69

Traffic was researched extensively post-war by Oberreichsbahnrat Eugen Kreidler, who interviewed former railway officials from the Reichsbahn, Gedob, and GVD Osten to obtain as complete a picture as possible. He reported that the seven tracks in the Gedob area carried 210 Wehrmacht and 21 freight trains daily plus in RBD Königsberg (East Prussia) approximately 110 trains on two tracks. The traffic crossed between Gedob and the Eastern territories on nine border crossings with another two crossings for RBD Königsberg with a target of 100–170 train pairs for 1941, 200 for 1942, and rising to 240 for 1943 onwards. The average number of border crossings was 47.5 train pairs daily for the last four weeks of 1941, 108 for 1942, and for the first 20 weeks of 1943 there were 124. The extensive work carried out during the Ostbau programs made the railway more resilient to bad weather and flooding, as the daily variation in 1942 was between 35 and 144 train pairs daily, and for 1943 it was only between 103 and 147. This traffic comprised two-thirds Wehrmacht trains, one-fifth coal and one-seventh freight trains — for instance, on 2 November 1942, a fairly typical day, the trains crossing from the Gedob to the East were 108 Wehrmacht and 53 service trains. The border crossing points carried different amounts of traffic, with 25 percent Terespol (Warsaw–Minsk), 17 percent Malkinia (Warsaw–Vilnius), 16 percent Brody (Lemberg–Kiev), 15 percent Podwoloczysha (Lemberg–Odessa), and the other five carried small amounts except for Platerow (Warsaw–Lida), which would grow in importance during 1943.70
Further down the line in the area of Heeresgruppe Sud for April 1942, during the buildup for the Stalingrad campaign, the traffic was 3,139 trains (105 daily), including 220 Munition (seven), 123 Fuel (four), 395 Rations (13), 1,050 various Supplies (35), 619 Troop transports (21), 111 Luftwaffe transports (four), and 621 Railway supplies (21). This gave the 189 trains for Heeresgruppe units, 209 for AOK6, 239 for Pz.AOK.1, 187 for AOK.17, 306 for AOK.11, 34 for AOK.2, 473 different receivers, 619 troop transports, and 262 trains for the Luftwaffe.71 While this sounds impressive, the reality was that on a typical day 104 trains were reaching Kasatin, 64 Dnepropetrowsk, and only 34 at Stalino, so sufficient railway capacity was 600 km from the front line, and the armies were receiving a trickle of supplies.

When the Soviet Union was attacked, it had major industrial centers in Moscow, Leningrad, the Donetz Basin, and the Urals and lost the use of two of these, the Donetz Basin and Leningrad by the end of 1941, as well as the agricultural surpluses of the Ukraine. This saw gross industrial output fall from 138.5 billion rubles at 1926 prices to 103.0 between 1940 and 1942 or a fall of 33 percent, which was compensated for by the growth of the Eastern output from 22.7 to 52.2 billion rubles in the same period.72 From the point of view of the railways, the shifting of 20 percent of the whole economy 1,000 km eastwards, the loss of another third and around 40 percent of the railway network was a huge change to absorb. The work in 1940 was 415,000 tonne-km and in 1942 it was 228,000 (reduction of 46 percent); the length of haul rose from 700 km to 786 km, and the daily car loadings fell from 97,852 to 42,670 (reduction of 57 percent) matched by an increase in wagon-running time from 7.37 to 16.86 days. However, the shock to the industrial economy was greater than might first appear, as a portion of this freight transport was military, and Hunter estimates the daily car loadings at 2,600 in 1940, rising to 12,100 in 1942, rising again to 13,500 in 1943, and 16,900 in 1944, which represented 28 percent to 30 percent of the overall freight loadings. In broad terms this was equivalent to 223,850 tonnes of military freight or 373 military trains (of 120 axles and 650 tonnes net) and does not account for troop movements, which are not recorded directly but come under the ‘Other freight’ category.73 The economic daily car loadings at 30,570 represent 565,545 tonnes or another 510 freight trains (of 120 axles and 1,100 tonnes net). Even with the incomplete data, it is clear that the NKPS was providing considerably more railway capacity than the Germans overall and several multiples more in military traffic.


But while the Soviets had the larger railway capacity, this was not sufficient for every need, and they limited the demand in a number of ways. There are few instances of major Soviet units of size being moved across the front; perhaps the largest was the concentration for Operation Bagration with 2nd Guards and 51st Armies coming from the Crimea and 5th Guards Tank Army (only two Tank Corps) from the Ukraine. The typical Red Army movement was to send entire units from the Center to a Front and then to leave the thinned-out units there at the end of the operation. When reactivating a Front for operations, replacements and new equipment would be dispatched to fill out existing units, and this was a more efficient way of using the available railway space than moving entire combat-effective units across the front, which was standard German practice, most notably the move of 11. Armee from the Crimea to Leningrad in late 1942 or the constant movements of elite units such as Grossdeutchland and Panzer Divisions.

Second period of the war
When the Ostheer launched its summer campaign in the last days of June, Oberquartiermeister Wagner had already stated that only one Heeresgruppe could be supported for the forthcoming operation by the existing railway network.74 The root of the problem lay in the low-capacity rail network across the Polish Gap, the poor quality of re-gauged lines by the Eisenbahnpioniere, and the small size of the HBD and FED. Only three months was allowed between the end of the Winter Crisis 1941/1942 and the start of the campaign for the efforts of the RVM to repair the railways; the main bridge over the Dneipr at Kiev was re-opened in March, but most lines were only running at 24 train pairs a day, whereas Soviet lines through occupied Poland had been running at 30 train pairs a day. The Ostbau programs aimed to repair the engine depots and raise the track capacity of main lines from 24 to 36 train pairs daily.75 Nor did the planning of the operation set capture of railways as an objective, as the main railway route ran from Kiev to Rostow through the high-capacity lines of the Donetz Basin with only a secondary route running from Kiev to Lgow to Charkow, across the Donetz river to Lichaja, crossing the Donetz for a second time before heading to Stalingrad.

The initial advance followed the secondary route in an effort to encircle the Red Army at Rostov, leaving the Railway Brigades plenty of time to completely destroy the railway facilities in the Donetz Basin and to blow up the railway bridge over the Don, which was not re-opened until October, with a 1200 m long ‘Kohn St 52’ bridge. Three Eisenbahnpioniere Regiments and a host of independent companies plus the Organisation Todt and Reichsbahn engineering trains were deployed to repair the railways, and they planned 2,000 km of track to be operated by the FED. The advance was 600 km long and beyond the capability of the Grosstransportraum(lorries of 20,000-tonne capacity) to support from the original start line; this was followed by another advance to the Caucasus, another 400 km from Rostov to Maikop and beyond.

This created a transport situation in August where the railways at Charkow were isolated from the main advance by seven destroyed bridges over the Donets river and the entire advance of both 6. Armee at Stalingrad and the Heeresgruppe in the Caucasus were supported by a single repaired track running from Stalino to Rostow, crossing the Don on a makeshift bridge and the main line running onto the Caucasus while the branch line via Salsk supported Stalingrad. In addition a considerable backlog built up at the border of the Government General caused by heavy military traffic and delays in customs clearance for economic traffic going toward Germany. Around 40–50 trains76 a day were traveling beyond Kiev, but only 24 trains a day were able to cross the Don to support the operational armies, which caused delays from fuel shortages. The situation eased a little on 20 September 1942 when a branch line opened from Stalino to Lichaja, crossing the Donets at Belaya Kalitwa on a 270 m ‘double-tracked RW bridge’ as far as Chir carrying around nine–12 trains a day; however, destroyed bridges still required goods to be trans-shipped onto lorries and then onto Union rolling stock for the passage into Stalingrad. For instance, on the 20 October the number of trains arriving was AOK.6 – 12, Hungarian AOK.2 – seven, Italian AOK.8 – four, and AOK.2 – eight. With only 12 trains arriving daily (5,400 tonnes), the supply situation grew so tight in the city that 6. Armee sent its horses to the rear at Rostov to reduce demand, but this act effectively immobilized the army for the winter.


If the German situation was tight, then for the defenders of the city, it was disastrous. Three railway lines ran into Stalingrad; from the northwest a single-track line to Povorino–Moscow was cut by the German advance and not usable beyond Ilowlja, and the lines to the west and south were both German controlled. On the east bank of the Volga, the Saratov–Urbach–Astrakhan line carried 19 train pairs a day with a Front Regulating Station at Baskunchak, but this was 140 km from the city with a branch line to the Volga Ferry port, which was completed in September 1942 but only carried eight trains when the demand was for 10. The city and the South Eastern Front both had military roads linking them to Baskunchak, but motor transport was in short supply, and Stalingrad Front only had 2,500 lorries, while Don Front had 3,600 and South-West Front had 3,197 lorries in total. The Don and South-West Fronts could draw supplies down three railway lines running through Saratov, Balatov (10 trains), and Povorino (36 trains), and had Military Roads to connect these to the frontline.

A trickle of this traffic could find its way into the city by going to Kamyshin and transferring to Volga shipping; however; these routes from the north were under artillery fire and air attack. The effort to improve the railways and repair the damage from bombing involved no less than six железнодорожной бригады (Railway Brigades) plus an NKPS управление военно-восстановительных и заградительных работ (Directorate of Military Recovery and Obstruction Works or UVVR) with 46th and 15th Railway Brigades working on the east bank extending the railway toward the city.
While the Germans were dealing with a damaged railway, the Soviets had been forced out of the main network area and were having to use secondary lines, so their efforts were directed toward upgrading them to meet the extra demand. Some work had already been completed earlier in the year as part of a new route to supply oil, including a new line up the western shore of the Caspian Sea. The key Soviet advantage lay in their superior operating skills, which allowed them to deliver 63,251 operational and 13,749 supply wagons to the Stalingrad Front between 23 July and 18 November, which is approximately 15 trains a day (9,750 tonnes). The engines moved at slow speeds, which allowed them to be driven with basic signaling (in some cases using soldiers with flags) with small intervals between trains and a high density of trains on the line. Tracks could be used in a circular manner, with loaded trains coming down on good track and lighter, unloaded trains returning on poor track. The surfeit of rolling stock allowed them to deliver loads and not return the wagons, pushing them off the track or onto branch lines or the street of Astrakhan, which were lined with wagons that had been pushed onto the tramlines. Portable unloading ramps were used to lengthen station platforms, and trains would often unload troops and lighter equipment up to 20 km away from the station so that there was no delay in unloading heavy equipment when the train arrived in the station. Similarly, the large number of workers allowed maintenance teams to camp out along the line to immediately repair air raid damage or damaged trains using piles of materials dumped beside the tracks. These measures were supported by Locomotive Columns of up to 500–600 engines, which the NKPS could deploy to boost the motive power of a region; the key advantage of these was that they were self-contained units that carried their own engineering support, portable water pumps, and other equipment to increase the capacity of local locomotive depots. Given that FED 3 and 5 had 440 and 314 locomotives respectively,80 the Soviet increase in motive power was considerable.


Where the NKPS was failing was in the speed of reconstruction of destroyed railway lines and particularly in bridge re-building, a factor that delayed further exploitation of the initial counter offensive. The truck fleet was at a low level (195,618 trucks, 21,107 tractors, and 781,759 horses with the field armies), and supplies of foreign-built trucks had yet to arrive at the front. As Alexander Werth drove through the rear of the offensive, he described it as ‘Horses, horses and still more horses … pulling guns and gun carriages and large covered wagons; and hundreds of lorries with their headlights full on’.81 However, when the South-West Front launched its counter-offensive Little Saturn, its jumping-off point was 140 km beyond the railhead, and the lorries had been unable to fully equip the units to their full supply allocation. Despite this, the offensive covered 200 km in six days and ended up 340 km beyond the railhead. The NKPS would instigate further militarization of the railways during 1943, particularly to improve its rate of reconstruction so that it was able to keep pace with the rate of advance of Combined Arms Armies.

Third period of the war
It is axiomatic that extreme examples of logistics provide the greatest insight to its inner workings, and the Vistula-Oder Strategic Offensive is a classic example. Originally based on the same parameters as the Belorussian Strategic Offensive, with an offensive advancing 350 km at a rate of 15 km a day for Combined Arms Armies, 35 km a day for a Tank Army, supported by a supply fleet of 5,500 lorries for the 1st Belorussian Front and a rapidly repaired railway network,82 the initial objective was to capture Lodz, with a distant objective of Posen 350 km away. However, the actual offensive saw a much longer advance of 550 km at double the rate at 25 km a day for Combined Arms Armies, 80 km a day for Tank Armies, through bad weather that limited daily lorry journeys to little more than 100 km. The 1st Belorussian Front had a slightly larger supply fleet at 7,000 lorries,83 but the offensive was launched out of two narrow bridgeheads across the major obstacle of the Vistula river, which separated the Soviet armies from the repaired railway network behind them.
The more rapid advance was limited by fuel, as little ammunition was expended in the breakthrough and ample food supplies were captured in the rear of the German armies. The 2nd Guards Tank Army started the operation with 2.3 zapravka(refills) diesel, 3.3 gasoline, 3.2 KB-70, and had a consumption of 4.8 diesel, 6.6 gasoline, and 7.4 KB-70. (At 353 tonnes for 1.0 zapravka of diesel, 511 tons gasoline, and 48 tons KB-70, one refill weighed 983 tons, allowing for lubricants.) This indicates that the Tank Army carried 2,850 tons of fuel on its vehicles and had delivered a further 2,770 tons during the operation.84 Normal consumption was 0.2–0.34 zapravka a day but reached 0.4–0.5 with the higher rates of advance so the Tank Army could advance for between seven and 14 days and might cover 400 km. The 76th Separate Motor Transport Regiment was attached to the Army with 600 lorries (1,450 tons) and tankers (366 tons) (77 percent of establishment) and was too small to support the Tank Army when it reached the Oder, so additional lorries were used from unit transport — but more importantly, a railway service using captured enemy equipment delivered 300 tons daily (at least 85 percent of daily usage) by shuttling between the Vistula and Poznan before the bridge was re-opened.
The key to the campaign was the limited number of bridges over the Vistula: In the 1st Belorussian Front’s area, the two bridges at Warsaw serviced the route Brest Litovsk–Siedlce–Warsaw–Poznan, which had a capacity of 72 train pairs daily85 when operated by the Germans, or the one at Deblin served the Brest Litovsk–Deblin–Prague route (72 train pairs) with a single-track branch line to Lodz–Poznan (36 train pairs). With two of the five arches in the river, it was decided to build a replacement a 510 m bridge, which should have taken 20 days but in fact opened on Day 9 (22 January) of the operation when the advance had covered 260 km and delivered 8–10 trains with 30–40 wagons each (4,500 tons). The work was carried out by the 5th Railway Brigade of UVVR-2 while the 1st Guards Railway Brigade repaired the Warsaw bridge, which re-opened on the Day 16 (29 January).86 These impressive results were due to the increasing mechanization of the Railway Brigades with extra cranes, diesel pile drivers, and power tools. Even with the railways open, there was a crisis in supply once fighting began on the Oder with the increased demand for ammunition — for example, the 2nd Guards Tank Army carried 3.2 Боекомплект (unit of fire), and just one weighed 2,370 tons.87 It is hard to see that the offensive could have been sustained past Posen without the railways, as they were providing the bulk of the daily fuel supplies to that point, and the trucks were barely able to supply the frontline units between Posen and the Oder.

Conclusion
Railways were the heart of the Russo-German War because they provided the vital link between the economic and manpower capacity of the home country and the forces in the field, and in a country as large as the Soviet Union, they provided the operational level movement needed by the military forces. Geography and terrain defined the layout of the railway network, and the size of forces and the large distances involved meant that railways were the only practical option to support military operations. So inevitably offensive directions followed the railway tracks as much as the terrain.

The STAVKA and GKO realized this, militarized the railways, and put them at the heart of their operations, matching their operations to the available railway capacity. Credit must also be given to the NKPS, who in the period 1930–1938 created a world-class railway by re-writing the rule book and utilizing a low-capital approach to deliver high-traffic capacity. When combined with the organizational ability of the Rear to channel combat materiel directly to the point of decision, this produced a powerful weapon for STAVKA. The increasing range and tempo of Soviet offensives as the war progressed from the second to the third period of war was driven by the increased ability of the UVVR to restore railways, particularly bridges, after the initial breakthrough, and a virtuous circle was created whereby more rapid offensives led to reduced German railway destruction, quicker resumption of Soviet railway supply, and hence deeper penetrations.+railway
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Ружичасти Слон
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 17 Jun 2020 16:51

Paul Lakowski wrote:
16 Jun 2020 22:31
Paul Lakowski wrote:
14 Jun 2020 18:28


On the other hand if the Wehrmacht controls the key railway hubs & networks, this slows and frustrates the soviet strategic offence and counterattacks .

that was an intuitive effort to steer the discussion ecactly in the direction you seem to be heading?

If so do you know the answer to any of your questions?

Because we in the west have little or no information on this subject, only implied results, perhaps borne out by final results...maybe?
I was not want discuss to go any direction except historical accurate and true. That was be why i ask for you to give evidences and datas for your wave on hand.

Many times on topic on forum on internet and on books i was read people what was write for biggest problems on Soviets when Germany army capture railway hub and network. Nobody was give evidences or datas. They was wave on hand like you.

Much often they was write about this on context of imaginations storys for Germany army for to win war when capture Moscow.

Maybe one day i will to read somebody who will to write some evidences and datas and not only write wave on hand and think everybody must to believe.

Germany army was capture much railway hubs and networks in 1941. What you think was implied result on Soviet red army?

It is historical true for Soviet red army to start many counter attacks in August 1941. and before.
It is historical true for Germany army to capture and control much important railway hubs and networks in Belarossiya.
It is historical true all Soviet red army counter attacks in august 1941. and before was fail to stop Germany army and win war.

But it is most wrong for to decide Soviet red army counter attacks in august 1941. was fail because Germany army was capture and control railway hubs and networks until you was have evidences and datas.

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AbollonPolweder
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by AbollonPolweder » 17 Jun 2020 19:26

Paul Lakowski wrote:
16 Jun 2020 22:50
part 1
///
No doubt Khrulev’s background as a Bolshevik factory organizer in St. Petersburg, where he met Voroshilov, his Civil War service as a political commissar in the 1st Cavalry Army, and his long service in the Intendant’s service counted despite being purged in 1937. So on 1 August 1941 GKO Secret Order No.0257 formed the Main Directorate of the Rear of the Red Army and ‘Headquarters of the Rear’ at Fronts and Armies, which provided for a small central staff to coordinate the activities of seven existing, independent directorates concerned with supply, transport, and medical care. The success of the Rear came from its monopoly of transport through центральное управление военных сообщений ВОСО КА (Central Directorate of Military Communications Red Army VOSO) so that even organizations outside of its control, such as the Main Artillery Directorate GAU, had to operate through it. The effectiveness of this approach was enhanced on 25 March 1942 when Khrulev replaced Kaganovich as Narkom of the NKPS, and at that point in German terms, Khrulev combined the roles of Gercke, Wagner, Dorpmüller, and aspects of Speer’s economic brief.
///
Let's look at the supply of the Red Army until August 1941:
РАСПОРЯЖЕНИЕ ПО ТЫЛУ ШТАБА ЮГО-ЗАПАДНОГО ФРОНТА
20 июля 1941 г.
Бровары
Совершенно секретно
Командующим 5, 6, 12, 26 армий

По данным, получаемым от армий, войсковые части имеют низкую обеспеченность боеприпасами, горючим и продовольствием.
Направляемые армиям поезда с материальными средствами не разыскиваются, а прибывшие поезда на армейские станции снабжения своевременно армиями не разгружаются и не подвозятся к войскам.
Командующий войсками фронта приказал:
Организовать тыл полков, дивизий, корпусов, заставить войсковые тылы работать и полностью обеспечивать войсковые части.
Ответственность за подвоз материальных средств на станции снабжения или станции выгрузки к войскам возложить на командование корпусов и дивизий.
Потребовать от них, чтобы автотранспорт не распыляли. За счет сокращения тыловых частей и подразделений создать автороты или автобатальоны и убавлять ими централизованно.
Предупредить начальников родов войск и служб войсковых соединений, что за бездеятельность по материальному обеспечению войск они будут преданы суду.
Зам. Начальника штаба ЮЗФ
генерал-майор ТРУТКО
ЦАМО СССР. Ф. 229. Оп. 178. Д. 21. Л. 10
"According to data received from the armies, military units have a low supply of ammunition, fuel and food.
Trains sent to the armies with materiel are not wanted, and arriving trains at army supply stations are not unloaded in time and are not transported to the troops. ..."
There was "low supply" and mess. The same thing was in October and November.
You can verify this by looking at the documents on this site:
http://rkka.ru/docs/spv/SPV5.htm "Трагедия тыла" ( The tragedy of rear)
On the militarization of railways. Railways in the USSR were militarized in 1943:
УКАЗ
от 15 апреля 1943 года
О введении военного положения на всех железных дорогах
"On the declaration of martial law on all railways"
https://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%A3%D ... 0%B0%D1%85
I would like to clarify that Khrulev headed the NKPS for only one year.
https://sites.google.com/site/krieg1941undnarod/
Better to lose with a clever than with a fool to find

Paul Lakowski
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Paul Lakowski » 17 Jun 2020 20:44

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
17 Jun 2020 16:51
Paul Lakowski wrote:
16 Jun 2020 22:31
Paul Lakowski wrote:
14 Jun 2020 18:28


On the other hand if the Wehrmacht controls the key railway hubs & networks, this slows and frustrates the soviet strategic offence and counterattacks .

that was an intuitive effort to steer the discussion ecactly in the direction you seem to be heading?

If so do you know the answer to any of your questions?

Because we in the west have little or no information on this subject, only implied results, perhaps borne out by final results...maybe?
I was not want discuss to go any direction except historical accurate and true. That was be why i ask for you to give evidences and datas for your wave on hand.

Many times on topic on forum on internet and on books i was read people what was write for biggest problems on Soviets when Germany army capture railway hub and network. Nobody was give evidences or datas. They was wave on hand like you.

Much often they was write about this on context of imaginations storys for Germany army for to win war when capture Moscow.

Maybe one day i will to read somebody who will to write some evidences and datas and not only write wave on hand and think everybody must to believe.

Germany army was capture much railway hubs and networks in 1941. What you think was implied result on Soviet red army?

It is historical true for Soviet red army to start many counter attacks in August 1941. and before.
It is historical true for Germany army to capture and control much important railway hubs and networks in Belarossiya.
It is historical true all Soviet red army counter attacks in august 1941. and before was fail to stop Germany army and win war.

But it is most wrong for to decide Soviet red army counter attacks in august 1941. was fail because Germany army was capture and control railway hubs and networks until you was have evidences and datas.

Thank you very much for your explanation on the topic at hand. There is a GREAT LACK OF DETAIL & RESEARCH in most history. David Glantz made this point back in the 1990s in "the fourth symposium of war" [1987 = 33 years ago!!] , which was at my university library . Ever since then I struggle to find any new worthwhile data in new histories about a period of time that will soon be 100 YEARS OLD! I'm not disparaging Glantz, I just hoping by now there would be a dozen more David Glantz ?

To that end I got NIGEL ASKEY volumes on "Operation Barbarossa" last year. While these have immense amount of data packed , it is attempt to build a simulation and most of the narrative is short on details. In any event Askey data suggests the Germans had twice the delivery capacity of the RED ARMY due to German superiority in motorization [ both in numbers & cargo capacity]. Its a compelling case but the counter argument brought up is the more efficient use of railway network used by the Soviets.

Ружичасти Слон
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 18 Jun 2020 16:01

Paul Lakowski wrote:
17 Jun 2020 20:44


Thank you very much for your explanation on the topic at hand. There is a GREAT LACK OF DETAIL & RESEARCH in most history. David Glantz made this point back in the 1990s in "the fourth symposium of war" [1987 = 33 years ago!!] , which was at my university library . Ever since then I struggle to find any new worthwhile data in new histories about a period of time that will soon be 100 YEARS OLD! I'm not disparaging Glantz, I just hoping by now there would be a dozen more David Glantz ?

To that end I got NIGEL ASKEY volumes on "Operation Barbarossa" last year. While these have immense amount of data packed , it is attempt to build a simulation and most of the narrative is short on details. In any event Askey data suggests the Germans had twice the delivery capacity of the RED ARMY due to German superiority in motorization [ both in numbers & cargo capacity]. Its a compelling case but the counter argument brought up is the more efficient use of railway network used by the Soviets.
I not understand what is problem for you.

When you was not read book on your language what not was write exact what you want not mean datas and informations not exist. Not mean you not can to find and read self.

Datas about Soviet railways on 1941. is not new for 2020. Davie was use literatures what was made much years ago. Some was on Russian some was on English.

Since much years anybody can to read much datas and informations from original documents on internet. And much books especial Russian books can to find on internet. Original archives and libraries was be open much longer to.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Paul Lakowski » 18 Jun 2020 18:21

in order to judge effectiveness - all aspects/details [tonnage delivered] have to be overlaid with units /timing .

AbollonPolweder shows some samples of transport effectiveness, but to be fair terms like " low supply" & " not wanted", need to be clarified along with units effected by supply?

How much did it effect Russian combat performance ?

Which units etc etc . Details! details! details!

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 19 Jun 2020 13:23

Paul Lakowski wrote:
18 Jun 2020 18:21
in order to judge effectiveness - all aspects/details [tonnage delivered] have to be overlaid with units /timing .
Correct. And much other things to.

But mostest often peoples was write judgements and was make claims what they was think other peoples must to believe on no evidences no datas and no informations. Only waves on hand.

Skysoldier80
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Skysoldier80 » 19 Jun 2020 16:01

I would say when they gave up on Taking England Out. They should have not attacked Russia until England was neutralized. Next, I would have attacked Russia and went straight to Moscow instead of first tryi BF to capture the oils fields. Finally I would have not gotten involved with supporting the Italians in North Africa. They should have went straight through Spain and taken Gibraltar instead of focusing on Crete. Many mistakes; Obviously a good think.

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AbollonPolweder
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by AbollonPolweder » 19 Jun 2020 20:02

Paul Lakowski wrote:
18 Jun 2020 18:21
in order to judge effectiveness - all aspects/details [tonnage delivered] have to be overlaid with units /timing .

AbollonPolweder shows some samples of transport effectiveness, but to be fair terms like " low supply" & " not wanted", need to be clarified along with units effected by supply?

How much did it effect Russian combat performance ?

Which units etc etc . Details! details! details!
I get the impression that I’ve read similar lines somewhere. :milwink:
Of course, on the basis of one episode, a general conclusion cannot be drawn. But I hope you provide some documents, and then I will try to add. Thus we will move on to a more specific, “practical” discussion and leave the “theoretical” part to Mr. H. G. W. Davie.
We must try to find out how often the German and Soviet infantrymen, artillerymen, or tankers in August-September 1941 found themselves without ammunition, fuel, and food. Only by such a comparative "quantitative" method can we determine whose system was more efficient.
Maybe I should also explain the quantitative difference between the German and Russian issues?
I gave a link to a site with one and a half dozen of front-level documents. Here on my site you can see an army-level document.
https://sites.google.com/site/krieg1941 ... prilozenia
Of course, the documents that I posted are very few. But I hope you add. Or is my hope not destined to come true? :(
https://sites.google.com/site/krieg1941undnarod/
Better to lose with a clever than with a fool to find

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by mezsat2 » 21 Jun 2020 17:38

Skysoldier80 wrote:
19 Jun 2020 16:01
I would say when they gave up on Taking England Out. They should have not attacked Russia until England was neutralized. Next, I would have attacked Russia and went straight to Moscow instead of first tryi BF to capture the oils fields. Finally I would have not gotten involved with supporting the Italians in North Africa. They should have went straight through Spain and taken Gibraltar instead of focusing on Crete. Many mistakes; Obviously a good think.
I believe the exact opposite. After Dunkirk, Hitler could unilaterally sign a peace treaty with Britain. That is, no air attacks, no U-Boats, nothing. Sure, Churchill could still carry out a few night air attacks (which the Germans would classify immediately as acts of terrorism, since they would not be at war with Britain). Once Hitler is striking full-bore against the USSR, it's quite unlikely the Brits would support Stalin and Communism over Hitler for an extended period of time. As the poster mentions, Germany should have just stayed out of N. Africa. Italy would fall to the British- so what? They're going nowhere past the Alps under any circumstances. Hitler was so damned obssessed with the Rumanian air fields, but remember, it was US bombers, not British bombers hitting at Ploesti. Bomber Command would have be virtually annihilated in similar forays.

Deeply divided, and lukewarm on another war in Europe, anyway, the United States would DEFINITELY not have supported involvement in the conflict under those conditions. Churchill would have been voted out in a year or two and Hitler may very well have achieved his Eurasion Empire.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ChrisDR68 » 23 Jun 2020 13:19

Skysoldier80 wrote:
19 Jun 2020 16:01
I would say when they gave up on Taking England Out. They should have not attacked Russia until England was neutralized.
Germany had no way of taking the UK out. Trying to starve the British into submission by way of a u-boat campaign hadn't worked in 1917 and it was unlikely to work again for the same reasons. Invading Britain was not a realistic option due to the weakness of the Kriegsmarine and the strength of the Royal Navy.
I believe the exact opposite. After Dunkirk, Hitler could unilaterally sign a peace treaty with Britain. That is, no air attacks, no U-Boats, nothing. Sure, Churchill could still carry out a few night air attacks (which the Germans would classify immediately as acts of terrorism, since they would not be at war with Britain).
That was Hitler's only realistic option with regards to the UK. His main aim should have been to avoid war with the US at all costs. Hard to see the US Congress voting in favour of a declaration of war on Germany with no invasion threat to the UK and no u-boat campaign sinking American ships.
Once Hitler is striking full-bore against the USSR, it's quite unlikely the Brits would support Stalin and Communism over Hitler for an extended period of time. Germany should have just stayed out of N. Africa.
North Africa offered intriguing possibilities for the Axis. Once Rommel had been sent there in February 1941 all he probably needed in order to break the British Army in the region was an additional panzer and an additional motorised division. Occupying Alexandria, cutting the Suez Canal and entering the middle east would have been serious developments for Britain.

The Royal Navy would have found it increasingly difficult to operate in the Mediterranean, Turkey would likely have been under immense pressure to join the Axis (a traditional German ally) with German troops in Greece and in Palestine and although the oilfields in the region were underdeveloped, they were extracting significant quantities of oil by 1941. A commodity Hitler was desperate for. With enough oil the Italian navy would have been a significant threat to the Royal Navy.
Deeply divided, and lukewarm on another war in Europe, anyway, the United States would DEFINITELY not have supported involvement in the conflict under those conditions. Churchill would have been voted out in a year or two and Hitler may very well have achieved his Eurasion Empire.
To answer the question posed by this thread, I would say Germany lost WW2 due to the decisions Hitler made between the fall of France in June 1940 and the invasion of the USSR in June 1941.

No u-boat campaign in the Atlantic, a modified Mediterranean strategy aimed at removing the British Army from North Africa, cutting the Suez Canal to Allied shipping and occupying much of the middle east by the end of 1941. This would have transformed the strategic situation in Germany's favour.

Then launch Barbarossa in May 1942 with the additional possibility of attacking the Caucasus from the south with the huge oilfields at Baku (which supplied around 60% of the USSR's oil) just across the border.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by WCM2020 » 18 Jul 2020 22:44

It is obvious to a military history novice like me that Germany lost the war the day it invaded the USSR, in June of '41.
But I think the implications of Hitler's decision to go to war with the United States in December of that year are far heavier on the ultimate outcome. Because it formally and finally brought to bear the full power of the "Arsenal of Democracy" on the war in Europe.
However, a provocative case can be made that Germany lost the moment that Japan decided not to invade the USSR.
Because that allowed Stalin to bring his reserves standing watch in the far east to the front lines of the fight with German forces. Those tough Siberian reserves helped to stall and then stop and then turn the tide.

Max Payload
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Max Payload » 19 Jul 2020 09:42

WCM2020 wrote:
18 Jul 2020 22:44
... a provocative case can be made that Germany lost the moment that Japan decided not to invade the USSR.
Because that allowed Stalin to bring his reserves standing watch in the far east to the front lines of the fight with German forces. Those tough Siberian reserves helped to stall and then stop and then turn the tide.
It could be argued that almost every resource available to the Red Army on the Moscow axis in November made a significant contribution to the the subsequent AGC retreat in December but the impact of the Siberian divisions can be overstated. Here is a link to one earlier discussion on the topic (diverted from this thread in fact):
viewtopic.php?f=79&t=201812

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 19 Jul 2020 18:29

Germany was not stopped by the Siberian divisions but by the units of European Russia ,the region west of the Urals where 80 % of the Soviet population was living .

WCM2020
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by WCM2020 » 22 Jul 2020 18:36

I learn something new everytime I post my perspective. Thanks for the responses.

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