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WorldWar2.ro Forum > Eastern Front (1941-1944) > November 2012 - 70 years since Operation Uranus


Posted by: Florin November 28, 2012 05:05 am
Hi everybody,

I wanted to start this topic on November 22 : 70 years since the encirclement of the Axis troops around Stalingrad, but I got carried away with other problems and I forgot.
We have to remember all military personnel dead, missing, injured or prisoners around Stalingrad and the Don Bend (from all countries involved), and the pain caused to their families by their ill fate.

Posted by: MMM November 28, 2012 08:10 am
Yeah, 70 years since the biggest "debacle", which was almost announced! "Chronicle of a Death Foretold"... Anyone looking on a military map could've seen it coming!

Posted by: Agarici November 28, 2012 04:33 pm
That’s true, MMM. My great-uncle, who was on the frontline at Don as a reservist, told me that he and his fellow officers looked on the map and everybody, in their discussion at the mess hall, thought and said that an attack from those directions was to be expected.

Posted by: MMM November 28, 2012 05:53 pm
QUOTE (Agarici @ November 28, 2012 07:33 pm)
That’s true, MMM. My great-uncle, who was on the frontline at Don as a reservist, told me that he and his fellow officers looked on the map and everybody, in their discussion at the mess hall, thought and said that an attack from those directions was to be expected.

Especially since, as a "bonus" for the Soviet woould-be attackers, the vulnerable areas were held by weaker troops - sorry for the Romanian Army there, but the level of anti-tank weapons and armour was much lower than the German standards - and even then (as it was discussed alreadx on this forum), the front wouldn't have resisted.
But that's water under the bridge, by now - and since there aren't bridges over the Volga (the inferior course, clearly!), tough luck!

Posted by: Florin November 29, 2012 06:25 am
The way I see it, in 1942 Germany already diverted important resources (raw materials, research and labor, manufacturing equipment, transportation and electric power) into various "secret weapons" programs, instead of increasing the output of conventional equipment, and offer a part of it to her allies.
The question is... how many additional 75 mm anti-tank guns would be enough to make a difference over the fronlines stretching over hundreds of kilometers?

Posted by: MMM November 29, 2012 09:08 am
QUOTE (Florin @ November 29, 2012 09:25 am)
how many additional 75 mm anti-tank guns would be enough to make a difference over the fronlines stretching over hundreds of kilometers?

Actually, those guns had also to be manned and supplied with ammo; afterwards we can discuss about the number of guns per front kilometer in deffensive operations.
The Romanian army lacked also a supply system which could operate on such long distances and had to depend on the Germans for that.

Posted by: dead-cat December 03, 2012 09:48 pm
to hold such a front in an effective manner would require an "elastic defence" like Manstein demonstrated in early '43, however this would necessitate large formations of highly mobile units, which were in short supply everywhere.

Posted by: MMM December 05, 2012 08:27 pm
QUOTE (dead-cat @ December 04, 2012 12:48 am)
to hold such a front in an effective manner would require an "elastic defence" like Manstein demonstrated in early '43, however this would necessitate large formations of highly mobile units, which were in short supply everywhere.

And not even in 1943 was Manstein allowed to entirely apply his theories; in 1942 there was no chance for that!

Posted by: ANDREAS December 05, 2012 10:04 pm
If we summarize the major causes of the greatest military defeat of Romanian Army ever (I am not sure but I guess taking into account the losses recorded in one single battle) I think we need to mention first the political causes: the Leader (Antonescu) commitment to Hitler without ensuring that conditions set by him and accepted by the Fuhrer will be respected, his belief in German victory, his hope that he would make Hitler to return Northern Transylvania to Romania this way, a.o. and second the military causes: lack of support and even neglect of the needs of the Romanian Army troops from their German Allies, the exposure to a very wide front of the Romanian troops, far beyond their ability to maintain that line, shortages of equipment especially heavy weapons, antitank guns, armour, motorized vehicles, air support, deficiencies in supply, lack of motivation by the troops, poor relationships between the officers, NCOs and the troops a.o. I think that other causes can be listed but the main, as much as I read, are the above mentioned! Please feel free to add those you think were important too!

Posted by: Imperialist December 06, 2012 12:39 pm
QUOTE (ANDREAS @ December 05, 2012 10:04 pm)
If we summarize the major causes of the greatest military defeat of Romanian Army ever (I am not sure but I guess taking into account the losses recorded in one single battle)

I think this deserves a separate thread, because in my opinion the biggest military defeat (not from the point of view of the losses but of planning, operations and outcome) for Romania was in 1916.

Posted by: Victor December 06, 2012 04:13 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 06, 2012 02:39 pm)
I think this deserves a separate thread, because in my opinion the biggest military defeat (not from the point of view of the losses but of planning, operations and outcome) for Romania was in 1916.

You are correct. Also in terms of personnel losses I am pretty sure that 1916 is on top, but we can discuss it in a new topic.


Posted by: aidan zea December 08, 2012 09:45 pm
QUOTE
Especially since, as a "bonus" for the Soviet woould-be attackers, the vulnerable areas were held by weaker troops - sorry for the Romanian Army there, but the level of anti-tank weapons and armour was much lower than the German standards - and even then (as it was discussed alreadx on this forum), the front wouldn't have resisted.

As it turns out that the plan for the operation Uranus was prepared by Stavka long before the arrival of Romanian troops at the Don bend and in the Kalmuks steppe it would have been interesting what would have happened if the Germans would have been in place of Romanians there... would their resistance have lasted longer or even be able to stop the Soviet onslaught? I personally don't think so!

Posted by: Florin December 09, 2012 01:09 am
QUOTE (aidan zea @ December 08, 2012 04:45 pm)
QUOTE
Especially since, as a "bonus" for the Soviet woould-be attackers, the vulnerable areas were held by weaker troops - sorry for the Romanian Army there, but the level of anti-tank weapons and armour was much lower than the German standards - and even then (as it was discussed alreadx on this forum), the front wouldn't have resisted.

As it turns out that the plan for the operation Uranus was prepared by Stavka long before the arrival of Romanian troops at the Don bend and in the Kalmuks steppe it would have been interesting what would have happened if the Germans would have been in place of Romanians there... would their resistance have lasted longer or even be able to stop the Soviet onslaught? I personally don't think so!

That's very interesting, "aidan zea". At least for me...
Also, as my personal opinion, Andreas succeeded to "summarize the major causes" of the Romanian defeat in a short text.

My grandfather, who was far from being "high rank", had a very simple way to see the situation of the Axis, starting with 1942. He told me: "There were enough troops to spread them along the frontline, but almost always there were no rear troops behind, so usually when the Soviets succeeded to break the front, there was nothing in the rear to stop them."

Posted by: MMM December 09, 2012 11:16 am
QUOTE (aidan zea @ December 09, 2012 12:45 am)
QUOTE
Especially since, as a "bonus" for the Soviet woould-be attackers, the vulnerable areas were held by weaker troops - sorry for the Romanian Army there, but the level of anti-tank weapons and armour was much lower than the German standards - and even then (as it was discussed alreadx on this forum), the front wouldn't have resisted.

As it turns out that the plan for the operation Uranus was prepared by Stavka long before the arrival of Romanian troops at the Don bend and in the Kalmuks steppe it would have been interesting what would have happened if the Germans would have been in place of Romanians there... would their resistance have lasted longer or even be able to stop the Soviet onslaught? I personally don't think so!

Was that so? And it is just a coincidence the fact that the entire three allied expeditionary forces (Romanian, Italian, Hungarian) were attacked and all but wiped out? Was it just a lucky strike for Stavka?

Posted by: Dénes December 09, 2012 12:03 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 09, 2012 05:16 pm)
Was that so? And it is just a coincidence the fact that the entire three allied expeditionary forces (Romanian, Italian, Hungarian) were attacked and all but wiped out?

They were all attacked, indeed, but not at the same time. For example, the Hungarians were crushed in a mid-January offensive.

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: MMM December 09, 2012 02:08 pm
I know that, but wasn't it part of the "Grand Plan"? The Soviet Winter Offensive...

Posted by: Taz1 December 09, 2012 08:37 pm
The Stalingrad campain was part of a much larger soviet plan make by the soviets in order to give a decive blow to german army in Russia. Another important component of the plan was Operation Mars wich ended in a severe defeat for the russian army.

Posted by: aidan zea December 09, 2012 10:44 pm
Although it contradicts my previous statement on Soviet planning who does not takes into account the presence of Romanian Army at the Don bend, it is possible that the source quoted below is more trustworthy then mine (from a book about Stalingrad):
http://www.flamesofwar.com/Default.aspx?tabid=112&art_id=1658&kb_cat_id=34
And a short intersting film: http://youtu.be/QruAJUjnNYk

Posted by: PaulC December 11, 2012 07:56 am
QUOTE (Taz1 @ December 09, 2012 10:37 pm)
The Stalingrad campain was part of a much larger soviet plan make by the soviets in order to give a decive blow to german army in Russia. Another important component of the plan was Operation Mars wich ended in a severe defeat for the russian army.

That only reinforces the previous point : when the Germans were attacked ( Mars ) they handed the Red Army a catastrophic defeat. When German allies were attacked, they crumbled ( Stalingrad ) giving a massive victory to the Red Army.

Posted by: dragos December 11, 2012 08:52 am
In operation Mars the Soviets attacked a well prepared position of German field fortifications, strong-points and AT gun emplacements with proper coverage.

"During the spring and summer of 1942 the Germans strengthened the Rzhev salient and eliminated Russian forces that had gained a foothold west of the Vyazma-Rzhev rail line. The salient gradually became one of the strongest defense lines the Germans had built in Russia."
Source: http://www.allworldwars.com/Small-Unit-Actions-During-German-Campaign-in-Russia.html

The deployment of Romanian troops at Stalingrad by the German command was in an opposite situation: inadequate field works, poor terrain coverage, poor supply, poor AT capability, so the blame is not to be placed on Romanian Army.

Posted by: Dénes December 11, 2012 09:07 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 02:52 pm)
...so the blame is not to be placed on Romanian Army.

I would reword this statement: "so the blame is not to be placed entirely on Romanian Army" (and, for the sake of the balance, this is valid for the Hungarian or Italian armies, too, also deployed in the same area).

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: dragos December 11, 2012 09:31 am
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Posted by: MMM December 11, 2012 10:18 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 12:31 pm)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Also because the very conception of the huge flanks operation was a German idea...

Posted by: Dénes December 11, 2012 10:43 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 03:31 pm)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Did they ignore the warnings because of carelessness or ignorance, or they did not have the means to tackle the situation?

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: MMM December 11, 2012 05:09 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 11, 2012 01:43 pm)
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 03:31 pm)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Did they ignore the warnings because of carelessness or ignorance, or they did not have the means to tackle the situation?

Gen. Dénes

Well, if they were warned (and they were), one cannot talk about ignorance. Either carelesness or the simple fact that "the barrel was empty" prevented a better defence in the area. Actually, the only thing that could have been succesful would have been a couple of armoured divisions, real ones, not the 22-nd Panzer or 1-st Romanian Armoured, which failed miserably... But we're talking now with the benefit of hindsight, whereas the Germans had the benefit of being led by "Grosses Feldherr Alles Zeitung"... tongue.gif

Posted by: dragos December 11, 2012 06:29 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 11, 2012 12:43 pm)
Did they ignore the warnings because of carelessness or ignorance, or they did not have the means to tackle the situation?

Gen. Dénes

In September and October 1942, the Romanian High Command and the commander of the 3rd Army contacted many times the "B" Army Group and OKH by written reports and meetings with Maximillian von Weichs (commander of "B" Army Group) and Friederich Paulus, requesting the liquidation of the Soviet bridgehead south of Don (70 km wide and 25 km deep), in a joint German - Romanian operation. von Paulus agreed but OKH didn't approve the execution on the grounds of impossibility of diverting armor and aircraft in the area. Nor the promises made by the Germans to improve the situation of Romanian troops with materiel were respected, as more and more resources were being diverted inside Stalingrad and the Romanian needs were always seen as second priority.

Starting with the latter half of October 1942, Romanian air reconnaissance was made daily, along the communications lines and over the bridgeheads south and west of the Don river. The reconnaissance reports pointed several movements of troops from NE to SW, concentration of troops in intermediate areas and on the directions of the future offensive, the deployment of fresh forces into the bridgeheads. Till November 12, the Romanian aviation identified in the field the Command of the "South-Western" Front, the 51st Guard, the 5th Tank, 21st, 65th Armies and several other big units.

From OKH order of operations Nr. 420817/42 (14 October 1942): "The Russian himself is seriously weakened by the recent battles, and will not in winter 1942-43 be able to deploy as many forces as in the previous winter."

A report of 12 November stated that "an attack against Romanian 3rd Army must be expected soon" but attributed to it only the limited aim of cutting the railroad to Stalingrad.

So it appears German high command severely underestimated the Soviet capabilities and in the same time it diverted all available resources from the area into the city of Stalingrad.

Posted by: PaulC December 14, 2012 07:12 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 11:31 am)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Warnings ?

The Romanian army flooded the Wehrmacht with warnings that the Soviets will strike in the next 24-48h. They did so all along October and early Nov. Each and every time nothing happened. Basically, they discredited their intelligence and their reputation.
That's why the Germans started to ignore them.

When it was to be serious, nobody believed the "yet another Romanian warning after dozens of false ones". Sad but true.

Posted by: dragos December 14, 2012 08:13 am
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 14, 2012 09:12 am)
The Romanian army flooded the Wehrmacht with warnings that the Soviets will strike in the next 24-48h. They did so all along October and early Nov. Each and every time nothing happened. Basically, they discredited their intelligence and their reputation.

This is the first time I hear they discredited their intelligence and their reputation. Not even the Germans claimed that. I wonder what other spiteful remarks do you have in store.

If there was a poor field intelligence, all evidences seems to point somewhere else. The Romanian intelligence correctly anticipated that the Soviets were concentrating for an attack. You seem to have no clue of the realities in the field back then and you are treating the subject with astonishing superficiality.

I wonder what research did you do before coming up with stupid remarks like this. Have you talked to veterans who fought at Don's Bend? Have you made any research at the archives? I mean something more than searching the internet and Suvorov books.

Next time try to present some sources if you are going to make "edgy" remarks like this. More sources, less garbage.

Posted by: PaulC December 14, 2012 01:13 pm
QUOTE (dragos @ December 14, 2012 10:13 am)
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 14, 2012 09:12 am)
The Romanian army flooded the Wehrmacht with warnings that the Soviets will strike in the next 24-48h. They did so all along October and early Nov. Each and every time nothing happened. Basically, they discredited their intelligence and their reputation.

This is the first time I hear they discredited their intelligence and their reputation. Not even the Germans claimed that. I wonder what other spiteful remarks do you have in store.

If there was a poor field intelligence, all evidences seems to point somewhere else. The Romanian intelligence correctly anticipated that the Soviets were concentrating for an attack. You seem to have no clue of the realities in the field back then and you are treating the subject with astonishing superficiality.

I wonder what research did you do before coming up with stupid remarks like this. Have you talked to veterans who fought at Don's Bend? Have you made any research at the archives? I mean something more than searching the internet and Suvorov books.

Next time try to present some sources if you are going to make "edgy" remarks like this. More sources, less garbage.

As always, a little knowledge is dangerous thing. I suggest you check this warning thing in Anthony Beevor's book Stalingrad, page 235-240 and is also mentioned across the line in serious literature regarding the battle.

As for your other cheap insults, I'll pass. You've proven once again to serious forum members how little you know about the overall picture regarding ww2. As an advice : before jumping on others, do a fact check for yourself. Google is your friend, would help avoid embarrassing outbursts.


Posted by: dragos December 14, 2012 06:06 pm
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 14, 2012 03:13 pm)
...Anthony Beevor's book Stalingrad, page 235-240 ...

That's a step in the right direction. Please continue posting sources.

Now, I have the Romanian edition of the book and there is nothing about Romanian Army at those pages, but I found what you refer at pages 324-325.

There says that on 7 November, the German liaison officer reported that the 3rd Romanian Army is expecting a Soviet attack on 8 November at Kletskaya-Raspopinskaya. It says that Romanians were usually expecting an attack in the next 24 hours, and when it didn't happen especially on Revolution Day, it started to have the unwanted cry wolf effect.

Immediately after that it says that General von Richtofen took those warning seriously and in his own journal he was asking himself when the attack would occur.

Nowhere says that Romanian intelligence was discredited, and you pick out parts out of context to put the Romanian Army in a bad light.

Posted by: ANDREAS December 15, 2012 11:15 am
QUOTE
Warnings ?
The Romanian army flooded the Wehrmacht with warnings that the Soviets will strike in the next 24-48h. They did so all along October and early Nov. Each and every time nothing happened. Basically, they discredited their intelligence and their reputation.
That's why the Germans started to ignore them.
When it was to be serious, nobody believed the "yet another Romanian warning after dozens of false ones". Sad but true.


The multiple alarms you are talking about PaulC, were warnings about a progressive concentration of soviet forces and heavy weapons in the Kletskaya area, after the failed attempt to convice the German Command to undertake an operation designed to eliminate the soviet bridgehead south (west) of Don river. It's well known that from this bridgehead (and not only from this one!) the Soviet offensive started! It's at least a nonsense to speak about discredit of the romanian intelligence, since well prepared (detalied) reports from Abwehrgruppe B (the intelligence department of Army Group B ) to the famous (later, after the war) Reinhard Gehlen (from Fremde Heere Ost - Foreign Armies East the German military intelligence organization who was dealing with information gathering about the Soviet Military) were talking about the same thing (from october 1942), as romanian reports did! I don't know from where you extract such conclusions but they are far from reality...

Posted by: Agarici December 16, 2012 05:29 pm
QUOTE (Agarici @ November 28, 2012 04:33 pm)
That’s true, MMM. My great-uncle, who was on the frontline at Don as a reservist, told me that he and his fellow officers looked on the map and everybody, in their discussion at the mess hall, thought and said that an attack from those directions was to be expected.


OFF-TOPIC:

Could knowing the name, the civilian occupation and the city of belonging (and the fact that he was at the Don's bend) be of any help in identifying my great-uncle's unit? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance. Sorry for the off-topic.

Posted by: Florin December 17, 2012 05:28 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 11, 2012 05:43 am)
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 03:31 pm)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Did they ignore the warnings because of carelessness or ignorance, or they did not have the means to tackle the situation?

Gen. Dénes

My opinion: The Germans wrongly allocated / distributed their available means.
I understand that the frontline was very long, the distance for supply transportation was huge, but that obsession of Hitler with the city of Stalingrad was very costly to everyone - including his own army. They should remain outside the city and bomb the vessels crossing Volga River. The Germans had huge self-propelled siege mortars ("Karl") - why did they waste the lives of their soldiers?
And yes, I have to write about it... Hitler in those days was very, very optimistic about everything regarding Stalingrad because his doctors kept him on drugs. As they say in America, he was "high".

Posted by: PaulC December 18, 2012 09:07 am
I agree that they shouldn't have entered the city. It made no sense. What made sense was to capture the Caucasus region.

As a what if - I wonder what would have happened if they had made a line on the Volga down to Astrakhan and trying to cut off the Caucasus from the Soviet Union. It would have left the soviets without oil.
Imagine a line - Voronej - Don River - Stalingrad- Volga-Astrakhan-Baku.


Posted by: ocoleanui December 18, 2012 09:33 am
Very good article :

http://adevarul.ro/cultura/istorie/stalingrad-catastrofa-reputatia-ofiterimii-romane-1_50b127df7c42d5a663a2ea34/index.html

Posted by: ANDREAS December 18, 2012 05:58 pm
QUOTE
Very good article :
http://adevarul.ro/cultura/istorie/staling...ea34/index.html


From my point of view, though I will not deny that the compilation of points of view is not bad (as the book written by Antony Beevor is not a bad one!), she does not examines the essential cause of the disaster! Sure that the focus on the real situation of the Romanian Army with the necessary deficiencies, who I do not believe that are invented, is welcomed, but not here is the problem! To talk about disappointment assumes essentially the trust that you had before, fact that is not true if we speak about the way the Germans looked at the Romanian Army in 1941-1942!

Posted by: Victor December 18, 2012 06:31 pm
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 14, 2012 09:12 am)
QUOTE (dragos @ December 11, 2012 11:31 am)
Since the Germans were aware of the situation of the Romanian Army and they ignored all the pleas and warnings of Romanian generals (including the request to liquidate the Soviet bridgeheads over the Don when the conditions were favorable), I'd say German Command bear full responsibility.

Warnings ?

The Romanian army flooded the Wehrmacht with warnings that the Soviets will strike in the next 24-48h. They did so all along October and early Nov. Each and every time nothing happened. Basically, they discredited their intelligence and their reputation.
That's why the Germans started to ignore them.

When it was to be serious, nobody believed the "yet another Romanian warning after dozens of false ones". Sad but true.

The 3rd Army was actually attacked many times from September to 19 November 1942. On the front of the 13th Infantry Division were recorded 32 Soviet assaults, resulting in the loss of 115 officers and 3,648 soldiers. The 14th Infantry Division was attacked 17 times and lost 98 officers and 2,163 soldiers in the two preceding months of fighting. Needless to add that these were the two units that suffered the brunt of the Soviet offensive.

Posted by: MMM December 18, 2012 06:56 pm
QUOTE (Victor @ December 18, 2012 09:31 pm)

The 3rd Army was actually attacked many times from September to 19 November 1942. On the front of the 13th Infantry Division were recorded 32 Soviet assaults, resulting in the loss of 115 officers and 3,648 soldiers. The 14th Infantry Division was attacked 17 times and lost 98 officers and 2,163 soldiers in the two preceding months of fighting. Needless to add that these were the two units that suffered the brunt of the Soviet offensive.

Yes, Victor, but those were considered "raids" (incursiuni) by the Wehrmacht; not without reason... Somehow the truth is between the two "sides" of the story: the Romanians were neither "the boy who cried WOLF", nor "ignorant" to Soviet intentions.

Posted by: Imperialist December 18, 2012 07:53 pm
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 18, 2012 09:07 am)
I agree that they shouldn't have entered the city. It made no sense. What made sense was to capture the Caucasus region.

Leaving the city unconquered would have meant leaving a bridgehead for the Soviets. The city had to be taken in order to eliminate the Soviet Army's use of it.

Posted by: MMM December 18, 2012 08:36 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 18, 2012 10:53 pm)
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 18, 2012 09:07 am)
I agree that they shouldn't have entered the city. It made no sense. What made sense was to capture the Caucasus region.

Leaving the city unconquered would have meant leaving a bridgehead for the Soviets. The city had to be taken in order to eliminate the Soviet Army's use of it.

... and that's a huge thorn in most of the theories that say "Stalingrad should've been just passed"! Stalingrad, with its huge tank factory, with its role as port-city on the Volga, not the least with its symbolic name, was a "must" for an attack in that particular region! The mistake - IMHO - was that the Germans didn't cross the Volga north and south of it, surrounding it! But they didn't have the manpower to do that whilst maintaining pressure on Caucasus as well, so we're back to square one! sad.gif

Posted by: dragos December 18, 2012 08:58 pm
CODE
SSI
FRONTUL DE EST
STUDIU
rezumativ al informatiilor referitoare la operatiile armatei sovietice, în ofensiva
întreprinsa în perioada de iarna (cu începere de la 19 noiembrie 1942,
în sectoarele armatelor române
(Date informative din surse proprii)
A. GENERALITATI
I. ACTIUNI PREMERGATOARE OFENSIVEI SOVIETICE
Ofensiva sovietica din iarna anului 1942/1943 a fost o operatiune de o deosebita
dezvoltare.
Desi conceputa în cel mai mare secret, totusi, pregatirile ei au fost cunoscute cu un
apreciabil timp înainte de declansare, gratie informatiunilor obtinute si care au fost tot mai
concrete anuntând iminenta ei.
Primele informatiuni, obtinute catre începutul lunii octombrie 1942 – confirmate
apoi tot mai precis – arata ca scopul ofensivei armatei sovietice este spargerea frontului
în sectorul DONULUI si ajungerea la ROSTOV, pentru a izola astfel armatele aliate
din CAUCAZ de cele din Cotul DONULUI.
Aceasta operatiune urma sa fie conjugata cu altele pornite de la STALINGRAD si
Sud STALINGRAD.
În vederea realizarii – cu cele mai mari sanse de reusita – a acestei operatiuni,
Comandamentul superior sovietic a început din vreme, intense pregatiri pentru a obtine în
cel mai scurt timp, cât mai importante rezultate tactice si strategice.
Concomitent cu concretizarea pregatirilor materiale – în vederea declansarii
ofensivei – Comandamentul Suprem a mai luat si o serie de masuri de ordin propagandistic
– pentru sustinerea moralului – atât al trupelor luptatoare, cât si al populatiei.
Astfel, în tot cursul lunilor septembrie si octombrie, „Directia Politica a Armatei
Rosii”, a cautat sa tina cât mai ridicat moralul luptatorilor si, în special, pe cel al
aparatorilor STALINGRADULUI.
Ordinul nr. 4 din 1 septembrie 1942, semnat „Sovietul Suprem”, dupa ce releva
importanta apararii STALINGRADULUI, spune: „apararea STALINGRADULUI are o
importanta hotarâtoare pentru întreg frontul sovietic, nici un pas înapoi”; „totul
pentru STALINGRAD si marea Patrie”. În acest mod cauta sa tina sus moralul
luptatorilor pentru a apara STALINGRADUL, care în ofensiva ce fusese proiectata, urma
sa formeze un puternic cap de pod – alaturi de cel de la Sud de Don si Sud de
STALINGRAD, baze bune de plecare pentru ofensiva de iarna.
Activitatea întreprinsa în acest timp pentru mentinerea moralului, nu se duce
numai în rândurile armatei.
Se lucreaza intens si concomitent si asupra moralului populatiei din teritoriile
cucerite de trupele Axei si în special asupra celor din regiunea cotului DONULUI.
În afara de un mare numar de spioni, care împânzise acum teritoriul – ramas
neevacuat – care tin populatia într-o stare de teroare si de neliniste, avioanele sovietice
lanseaza continuu manifeste prin care se îndeamna ca:
- populatia sa treaca la acte de terorism si sabotaj;
- barbatii mobilizati sa treaca DONUL, izolati sau în grupuri, intrând în rândurile
armatei rosii, unde nu vor suferi pedeapsa etc.
În acelasi timp, autoritatile militare sovietice procedeaza la evacuarea partiala a
populatiei civile de pe malul stâng al DONULUI.
Aceste pregatiri de ordin propagandistic, moral sau de siguranta, mergeau paralel
cu cele propriu-zis militare.
Ocuparea malului de Sud al DONULUI în zona Kletskaia – Sirotinskaia – cu mult
înainte de declansarea ofensivei – denota preexistenta unui plan general de operatii,
conceput înca de la sfârsitul verii si care întrevede importanta lui, în desfasurarea
operatiunii proiectate.
Aceasta ocupare a malului de Sud al DONULUI, putea fi interpretata la acea vreme:
- fie ca o pregatire în vederea unor bune cantonamente de iarna, cunoscând ca la
Nord de Don (pe malul stâng) lipsa de cantonamente este notorie (stepa);
- fie ca sa serveasca de o buna baza de plecare, în vederea unei viitoare ofensive
sovietice.
Informatiunile de mai târziu au venit sa confirme ipoteza a doua.
De altfel, în legatura cu pregatirile materiale în vederea ofensivei, informatiuni
provenite din sursa de prizonieri si dezertori, aratau ca planul acestei actiuni prevazute a se
declansa în cursul lunii noiembrie 1942 fusese elaborat de MOSCOVA, cu mult înainte si
studiat si aprobat apoi de specialisti anglo-americani.
Prin aceste actiuni proiectate se spera a se obtine rezultate decisive cât mai repede,
odata pornita ofensiva.
Aceasta operatiune, urma sa se declanseze la o data cât mai apropiata de la data
terminarii concentrarii trupelor, a aprovizionarilor si a reparatiei podurilor necesare trecerii
DONULUI.
În cadrul acestei ofensive generale, actiunii din cotul DONULUI, Sovietele îi
acordau o importanta deosebita.
*
* *
Informatiunile despre pregatirea ofensivei sovietice devin tot mai precise catre
jumatatea a doua a lunii octombrie 1942.
Se confirma datele referitoare la aducerea pe frontul european de unitati din
Extremul Orient8.
Astfel, Divizia „Drapelul Rosu9” din BLAGOV-ESCENSK (Extremul Orient)
sosise în cursul lunii august 1942 în regiunea Nord DON.
Transporturile trupelor spre frontul european se face în cel mai mare secret.
La trecerea lor prin centre populate, vagoanele se închid.
Astfel, la CITA (unde exista un consulat japonez), soldatii nu aveau voie sa iasa
deloc din vagoane, pentru a nu se divulga directia si felul transporturilor.
Preparativele în vederea declansarii ofensivei (aducerile de trupe si materiale) se
face paralel atât în sectorul din Cotul DONULUI cât si la STALINGRAD si Sud
STALINGRAD.
Ele devin la sfârsitul lunii octombrie 1942, foarte intense.
Informatiuni tot mai persistente avute la data de 30 octombrie 1942 vin sa precizeze
acum, chiar si data începerii ofensivei, care va fi în primele zile ale lunii noiembrie (la 7
noiembrie), cu ocazia sarbatoririi aniversarii a 25 de ani de la revolutie (1917)10.
Paralel cu aceste informatiuni tot mai exacte asupra certitudinii ofensivei si
precizarea ei în timp, noi date, provenite din alte surse si sectoare ale frontului, arata ca ea
va fi simultana fie pe tot frontul de Sud, fie urmata imediat de una asupra Stalingradului si
Sud Stalingrad.
În acest scop afluxurile de mari efective de trupe si bogate materiale de lupta,
continua cu febrilitate în ambele sectoare11 înca de la începutul lunii octombrie, astfel:
În jur de STALINGRAD (în tot cursul lunii octombrie si noiembrie, coloane mari
de Infanterie si camioane circa 40 000 oameni) au fost vazute trecând Volga la Svetlai Jar
(30 km Sud-Est Stalingrad), precum si la Solondnichi (40 km Est Svetlai-Jar) îndreptându-se
spre Stalingrad.
Aceste trupe ar fi venite din Celiabinsk si Omsk (resturile Armatei 25 din Extremul
Orient).
Trecerea lor peste Volga se executa numai în timpul noptii, ziua neobservându-se
nici o miscare. Dupa trecere ele se deplasau pe soseaua ce duce spre Krasnoarmeisk (circa
18 km Sud Stalingrad).
Trupele observate erau contingente tinere.
Alte informatiuni mai precizau ca se asteapta în acelasi sector sosirea a înca trei
Divizii si a unor unitati de tancuri grele „K.V”.
În afara de aducerea de M.U. s-au luat masuri sa se completeze si efectivele
existente în front precum si armamentul lor.
Toate informatiunile primite concorda ca aceste trupe ce sunt trecute la Vest de
Volga, sunt destinate ofensivei generale sovietice ce ar începe la 7 noiembrie 1942 (ziua
aniversarii revolutiei), la care va lua parte si aproximativ 3 000 care de lupta12).
Concomitent cu trecerile de trupe la Vest de Volga, pe malul de Est al fluviului se
executa lucrari de organizarea terenului, santuri si cazemate, precum si câmpuri de mine.
Odata cu aducerea acestor noi trupe – în vederea operatiunilor proiectate, a început
si schimbari de unitati13, care a continuat în tot decursul lunii octombrie si începutul lui
noiembrie – precum si deplasari14 de trupe dintr-un sector în altul.
În plus, activitatea aviatiei inamice s-a accentuat în mod deosebit, atât ziua cât si noaptea.
Noi concentrari de forte se semnaleaza în acelasi timp si în partea de Sud a
Stalingradului (zona caii ferate) si în regiunea Zaza15.
În regiunea Zaza-Semkin se executa concentrari de numeroase trupe (circa trei
Brigazi), iar la Est de aceasta zona se semnaleaza miscari de trupe si care de lupta16.
De asemeni, au mai sosit de curând si noi trupe siberiene.
În regiunea Donului (Cotul Donului).
Si în regiunea Donului, ca si în aceea a Stalingradului, s-au observat în aceiasi
perioada de timp, masari de trupe – în special Infanterie, Artilerie si Care, precum si o vie
activitatea a aviatiei inamice.
În sectorul Donului (Raspopinskaia – Kletskaia) sosesc mereu unitati sovietice de
infanterie, artilerie si tancuri.
Informatiuni verificate precizeaza ca fiecare regiment de infanterie din linia I-a din
aceasta zona a fost întarit cu 1 regiment, artilerie precum si numeros material anticar.
Densitatea trupelor pe front este acum foarte mare.
Astfel, în sectorul aratat mai sus (3 km Est Raspopinskaia) – 3 Km Est Kletskaia –
pe o adâncime de circa 15 km se aflau concentrate la data de 4 noiembrie17:
- 12 regimente infanterie;
- 6 regimente artilerie;
- 1 Brigada (a 5-a) anticar;
- 1 Divizie cavalerie (cu 4 regimente);
- circa 100 care de lupta.
Alte informatiuni semnaleaza sosirea de noi forte sovietice. Astfel, s-au identificat
sosirea de unitati formate recent si care pâna la data de 6 noiembrie 1942 nu luasera parte
la razboi18 formate din infanterie, artilerie si tancuri.
*
* *
Aceste unitati au fost aduse în cursul lunii octombrie 1942 din regiunea Cikalov
(Sud Urali), unde s-au mai organizat si alte unitati. Efectivul fiecarui regiment astfel
format se ridica la circa 2 000 oameni si erau compuse din elemente noi mobilizate ca:
- barbati peste 46 de ani;
- condamnati;
- recuperabilii diferitelor spitale19.
Ansamblul informatiunilor primite din diferite surse, spre sfârsitul lunii octombrie
1942, duc la concluzia ca proiectata ofensiva se va produce în prima decada a lunii
noiembrie 194220, imediat dupa ameliorarea situatiei la Stalingrad – pentru care s-au luat
masurile necesare. Imediat ce aceasta situatie se va realiza, se va trece la ofensiva, fie întâi
pe frontul de la Sud Stalingrad în scopul de a pune stapânire pe pozitii mai bune care vor
servi ca baza pentru operatiuni ofensive în stil mai mare ce vor avea loc într-un alt sector
mai sensibil, fie în Cotul Donului pentru a sparge frontul si înainta spre Rostov dupa care,
vor actiona si fortele de la Sud Stalingrad, concomitent cu un atac Nord Stalingrad spre a
despresura orasul.
În aceasta actiune – precizeaza informatiunile – rolul principal îl vor avea aviatia si
unitatile blindate, care ar si fost pregatite în vederea acestei ofensive.
Datele informative primite în prima decada a lunii noiembrie 1942, arata ca
dispozitivul ofensiv sovietic era aproape realizat, declansarea actiunii fiind în functie de:
- conditiunile atmosferice favorabile pe care le astepta sa fie cât mai propice în
realizarea surprizei (ceata, ninsoare etc.).
- completarea informatiunilor asupra dispozitivului fortelor române si a
posibilitatilor de reactiune (rezerve tactice si strategice).
*
* *
Se pare însa ca ofensiva nu s-a dezlantuit în prima decada a lunii noiembrie atât
din cauza ca preparativele nu fusesera gata, cât si din cauza pierderilor suferite în urma
actiuni întreprinse de aviatia germano-româna la Nord de DON catre sfârsitul lui
octombrie si începutul lui noiembrie 1942.
*
* *
CONLUZIUNI
Rezumând faptele antemergatoare declansarii ofensivei sovietice – începuta la 19
noiembrie 1942 în Cotul Donului si urmata de aceea de la Sud de Stalingrad si apoi Nord
Stalingrad – reiese clar ca înca cu mult înainte (circa 3 luni de zile), Înaltul Comandament
Sovietic elaborase planul unei ofensive care sa aiba rezultate maxime, prin spargerea
frontului si cucerirea Rostovului, ca prim obiectiv strategic, izolând astfel armatele din
aceasta zona de cele din Caucaz.
Termenul începerii ofensivei era limitat între 7 si 12 noiembrie 1942.
Acest termen nu a putut fi respectat deoarece informatiunile obtinute ulterior lui,
aratau drept cauze:
- o întârziere în echiparea frontului (artileria si carele de lupta nu sosisera toate
în sectoarele respective, fapt ce ducea la situatia ca nu se putea declansa ofensiva în
rezultate maxime);
- datele informative relative la dispozitivul nostru în adâncime (în special
punctul privitor la rezervele tactice si strategice) nu era bine cunoscut înca;
- conditiunile atmosferice nu erau din cele mai prielnice realizarii surprinderii tactice.
De altfel, data precisa a declansarii ofensivei nu mai prezenta importanta deosebita
pentru noi, atâta vreme cât înca cu mult înainte se ajunsese la preciziune asupra
intentiunilor ofensive ale Sovietelor, în care scop afluxurile de trupe si materiale de razboi
erau în ultima vreme tot mai vizibile si mai intense.
Daca elaborarea planului a putut fi tinuta secreta o oarecare vreme, imediat când
primele pregatiri materiale au început sa ia forma concreta, intentiunile ofensive de iarna
ale sovietelor se precizau tot mai iminente, si ca sector de actiune, si ca idei operative
tactico-strategice.
Amânarea ei de la data propusa, având drept cauze, cele aratate mai sus, nu au mai
putut forma o problema de o prea mare importanta pentru Comandamentul Sovietic, care
stabilise totul în amânunt pentru un rezultat pe care îl scontau mai mare.
*
* *
Începerea ofensivei s-a facut în Cotul Donului în dimineata de 19 noiembrie 1942,
orele 5, pe o ceata deasa si dupa o prealabila pregatire de artilerie, de circa doua ore.
B. PLANUL DE OPERATIE AL ARMATEI SOVIETICE ÎN OFENSIVA DE
IARNA (19 NOIEMBRIE 1942)
SCOPUL OFENSIVEI
Ofensiva proiectata de soviete avea drept scop principal si imediat, separarea
armatelor de pe DON de cele din Caucaz având ca prim obiectiv strategic ocuparea
ROSTOVULUI21.
Aceasta operatiune aparea ca primordiala Înaltului Comandament Sovietic,
deoarece prin pastrarea actualului front de catre germani, ce avea un flanc sprijinit pe capul
de pod de la Voronej, iar cu celalalt pe Stalingrad, se mentinea pericolul unei bune baze de
plecare în vederea unei ofensive germane de primavara – de mari proportii – care ar fi vizat
ducerea grosului fortelor în susul Volgai, la Est de Moscova în directia Gorki, cazând
astfel pe caile de comunicatii ale armatelor sovietice si obligându-le desigur la o batalie cu
frontul rasturnat.
Ca rezultate imediate ale ofensivei sovietice se realiza:
- degajarea Stalingradului si nimicirea fortelor germane aflate acolo – daca nu se
vor retrage la timp;
- distrugerea armatelor române, aflate în Cotul Donului si la Sud de Stalingrad
si scoaterea lor definitiv din lupta, impunând astfel guvernului român, încheierea unei
eventuale paci separate;
- usurarea situatiei trupelor din Caucaz, prin eventuala deplasare a fortelor
germane si aliate de pe acest front spre a nu fi taiate de bazele lor. Pentru realizarea acestor
scopuri, planul general de operatii prevedea:
a. Initial
Atac cu fortele de pe Don în directia generala Sud, iar cu fortele de la Sud de
Stalingrad, initial spre Vest pentru a face jonctiunea cu fortele de pe Don, în regiunea
Kalaci, realizându-se astfel încercuirea trupelor germano-române de pe frontul Stalingrad.
b. Ulterior
Continuarea atacului spre Sud-Vest în directiunea Proletarskaia-Salsk-Rostov,
pentru a izola fortele aliate din Caucaz.
*
* *
C. TOTALUL PROBABIL AL FORTELOR SOVIETICE DIN FATA
ARMATELOR ROMÂNE CARE SE GASEAU ÎN DISPOZITIV LA DECLANSAREA
OFENSIVEI (Schita nr. 1).
La declansarea ofensivei de iarna, fortele sovietice aflate pe front au fot cu
aproximatie urmatoarele (Schita anexa nr. 1).
1. Pe frontul Donului (în fata Armatei III si parte din Armata 6 Blindata germana)
se gaseau:
- Armata 65 cu 9 Divizii infanterie si anume:
- Divizia 4 Garda; - Divizia 23; - Divizia 24; - Divizia 27 Garda; - Divizia 40
Garda; - Divizia 252; - Divizia 258; - Divizia 304; - Divizia 328.
- Armata 21 cu 7 Divizii infanterie si anume:
- Divizia 63; - Divizia 76; - Divizia 96; - Divizia 277; - Divizia 293; - Divizia 297;
- Divizia 333.
- Armata 5 Blindata cu 13 Divizii infanterie si anume:
- Divizia 14 Garda; - Divizia 47 Garda; - Divizia 111; - Divizia 119; - Divizia 124;
- Divizia 132; - Divizia 149; - Divizia 150; - Divizia 162; - Divizia 197; - Divizia 203;
- Divizia 278; - Divizia 346.
- Corpul 16 Blindat* cu 5 Brigazi si anume:
- Brigada 8; - Brigada 64; - Brigada 91; - Brigada 121; - Brigada 148; - Brigada 148.
- Corpul 3 Cavalerie Garda* cu 3 Divizii si anume:
- Divizia 5 Motorizata; - Divizia 6 Motorizata; - Divizia 32 Cavalerie.
- Corpul 8 Cavalerie* cu 5 Divizii si anume:
- Divizia 13; - - Divizia 21; - Divizia 55; - Divizia 75; - Divizia 112.
- Corpul 1 Blindat
- Corpul 26 Blindat (cu un total de 12 Brigazi blindate, din care se cunosc):
- Brigada 8 Garda; - Brigada 19; - Brigada 89; - Brigada 117; - Brigada 157;
- Brigada 174; - Brigada 177; - Brigada 187; - Brigada 14 Motorizata; - Brigada 6 Distrugere.
Deci un total de:
3 Armate (65, 21 si 5 blindate având în compunerea lor urmatoarele M.U.:
- 2 Corpuri Cavalerie (3 Garda si 8); cu un total de 8 Divizii (din care 2 Motorizate);
- 29 Divizii infanterie;
- 18 Brigazi blindate din care una de distrugere;
- 1 Brigada infanterie motorizata.
TOTAL:
- 37 Divizii infanterie si cavalerie;
- 18 Brigazi blindate si distrugere;
- 1 Brigada motorizata.
ADICA: 56 mari unitati pe Don, în fata Armatei III româna si în parte în fata
Armatei 6 Blindata germana.
2. Pe frontul Armatei 4 române (în regiunea Sud Stalingrad – Mali – Derbeti),
se gaseau:
Armata 64 având:
- 5 Divizii infanterie si anume:
- Divizia 29; - Divizia 36 Garda; - Divizia 126; - Divizia 131; - Divizia 422.
- 2 Brigazi infanterie si anume:
- Brigada 94; - Brigada 96.
- 2 Brigazi blindate anume:
- Brigada 155; - Brigada 235.
Armata 57 din care se cunosc:
- Divizia 38 Infanterie; - Divizia 169; - Brigada 61 motorizata; - Brigada 102 blindata;
- Unitati apartinând sectoarelor întarite (batalioane de mitraliere si artilerie).
Armata 51 din care se cunosc:
- Divizia 91; - Divizia 302.
Corpul 4 Cavalerie având 3 Divizii:
- Divizia 61; - Divizia 81; - Divizia 115.
8 Brigazi blindate apartinând probabil Corpurilor 4 si 13 blindat.
La începutul ofensivei se gaseau în aceasta regiunea (la Vest de Volga) circa:
- 8 Divizii Infanterie;
- 8 Brigazi blindate (apartinând probabil Corpului 4 blindat si 13 blindat);
- 3 Divizii de cavalerie (Corpul 4 Cavalerie).
TOTAL: 17 Mari Unitati.
AVIATIA
Atât pe frontul Donului cât si în zona Stalingrad se gaseau:
- 3 Armate aeriene.
- Armata 8 Aeriana la ???22 din a carei organizare faceau parte mai multe Divizii
de aviatie printre care si Divizia 102 Aviatie.
- Armata 16 Aeriana la Kamâsin (circa 170 km N.N. Est Stalingrad), cu:
- Divizia 271 Aviatie; - Divizia 205 Aviatie; - Divizia 227 Aviatie.
În organizarea acestei Armate intra probabil si Corpul 1 Aviatie.
- Armata ???23 Aeriana la Kalaci (circa 200 km S.E. Voronej).
Organizarea acestei armate nu se cunoaste.
3. În Caucaz.
La declansarea ofensivei de pe Don, pe acest teatru de operatiuni se gasea:
a. În regiunea Novorossiisk-Tuapse:
- Armata 47, având 3 Divizii si anume:
- Divizia 216; - Divizia 30 Infanterie Garda; - Divizia 8.
- Armata 56, din care se cunoaste:
- Divizia 339 Infanterie; - 3 Brigazi Infanterie (din care 2 Brigazi Infanterie marina).
b. În regiunea Ordjonikidze:
În sectorul Diviziei 2 V.M. si a unitatilor vecine se aflau:
- Resturi din:
- Divizia 351; - Divizia 295; - Divizia 24; - Brigada 2 blindata; - 6 Brigazi (circa)
infanterie si anume: - Brigada 5; - Brigada 10; - Brigada 34; - Brigada 39; - Brigada 64; -
Brigada 155.
Pe tot frontul din Caucaz a actionat si Armata 5 Aeriana
*
* *
În afara de fortele existente pe frontul Donului si Sud Stalingrad, majoritatea unitatilor
au fost aduse din interiorul URSS si numai o mica parte din alte sectoare de lupta.
În general Marile Unitati au venit cu armamentul complet si doar câteva unitati
l-au primit pe zona de concentrare.
D. DESFASURAREA OFENSIVEI
Faza I-a între 19 noiembrie – 15 decembrie 1942 (Schitele nr. 2, 3, 4 si 5).
1. Generalitati
Cu câteva zile înainte de începerea ofensivei activitatea Marilor Unitati Sovietice
s-a manifestat prin:
- incursiuni duse în diferite puncte ale frontului cu unitati care uneori au atins
valoarea unui regiment (de obicei 1-2 batalioane);
- bombardamente de artilerie si aviatie, executate asupra posturilor de comanda
si cantonamentelor ocupate de trupele amice si asupra cailor de comunicatie.
2. Scopul ofensivei de pe Don si Sud Stalingrad (aratat mai sus) adica:
Ideea operativa generala.
Initial.
Atac cu fortele de pe Don în directia generala Sud, iar cu cele de la Sud
Stalingrad, initial spre Vest, pentru a face jonctiunea cu fortele de pe Don, în regiunea
Kalaci (realizând astfel încercuirea trupelor româno-germane din regiunea Stalingrad).
Ulterior.
Atac în directia Rostov pentru a separa trupele din Caucaz de cele de la Nord de
linia Stalingrad – Rostov.
3. Ofensiva de pe Don de la 19 noiembrie la 24 noiembrie 1942 (în fata Armatei a
III-a) (Schita nr. 2 si 5):
Ideea operativa speciala.
Initial.
Atac de ruptura pe frontul Ielansky – Kletskaia, realizat cu o masa de care de lupta
(Armata 5 Blindata si Corpul 8 Cavalerie) actionând pe trei coloane paralele, de-a lungul vailor:
Tucan, Tarita si Sud Kletskaia, cu directia generala, zona din jurul localitatii Pierelazovski.
Dupa ruperea frontului, unitatile blindate (cu infanterie purtata chiar pe care)
urmate de unitati de cavalerie motorizata si infanterie, au largit spartura atingând catre 24
noiembrie 1942 râul Cyr.
Ulterior.
Atac catre Sud-Est – în directia Kalaci – cu parti din unitatile blindate care ocupasera
în regiunea Kletskaia – pentru a face jonctiunea cu unitatile care operând din regiunea Sud
Stalingrad – prin Zeti – se îndepartau în directia generala Nord-Vest, spre Kalaci.
4. Ofensiva de la Sud Stalingrad – de la 19 noiembrie la 12 decembrie 1942
(în fata Armatei a IV-a)
Ideea operativa speciala.
Initial.
- Degajarea Stalingradului.
- Distrugerea armatei române de la Sud de Stalingrad.
Ulterior.
Atac cu o parte din forte în directia Plodovitoie – Abganerovo, apoi spre N-V
în directia Zeti – Kalaci, pentru a face jonctiunea cu fortele ce operau la Est de Kletskaia.
Restul fortelor urma sa faca fata unui atac de flanc probabil, dat de catre trupele
româno-germane din Stepa Calmuca.
Pentru realizarea acestui plan, fortele sovietice din fata Armatei a IV-a române au
actionat printr-un atac de ruptura pe doua directiuni;
- Tundutovo – Tinguta – Abganerovo;
- Zaza – Plodovitoje – Abganerovo.
Atacul s-a realizat ca si pe frontul Donului, cu care de lupta însotite de cavalerie.
Coloana mecanizata care actiona în zona Tundutovo – Tunguta, s-a dirijat catre
Kalaci prin Zeti, participând astfel la jonctiunea cu fortele sovietice ce ajunsesera în zona
Kletskaia, la Kalaci.
*
* *
Prin operatiunile initiale ale fortelor sovietice atât a celor de pe Don cât si de la
Sud de Stalingrad, s-a cautat a se obtine în general:
- ruperea pozitiei de rezistenta;
- anihilarea armamentului anticar;
- distrugerea sau scoaterea din lupta a artileriei;
- paralizarea actiunii de Comandament si împiedicarea functionarii legaturilor prin
bombardarea si atacul posturilor de comanda.
În Caucaz.
În timpul Fazei I-a a ofensivei sovietice de pe Don si Sud Stalingrad, în Caucaz au
fost lupte cu caracter local.
*
* *
Operatiunile Fazei I-a a ofensivei sovietice s-a soldat catre 15 decembrie 1942 cu
urmatoarele rezultate:
a. Fortele sovietice care au actionat la Sud de Don au ajuns pe râul Cyr, aducând
în acelasi timp noi întariri si executând numeroase atacuri.
În acelasi timp, la Nord de Don, în zona Jelenskaia – Vesenskaia se concentra o
noua Armata, cu care mai târziu, catre data de 20 decembrie 1942, împreuna cu cele aflate
pe frontul Cyr, s-a continuat ofensiva pe directia Millerovo si apoi spre Sud-Vest,
conjugata cu actiunea fortelor de la Sud Stalingrad.
b. Fortele sovietice care au actionat din regiunea Sud Stalingrad.
Imediat ce s-a facut jonctiunea de la Kalaci (în vederea încercuirii Stalingradului),
majoritatea fortelor au continuat ofensiva catre Sud-Vest, în lungul caii ferate Stalingrad –
Salsk, cu rezultate variabile, ajungând catre 15 decembrie 1942, pe linia Kotelnikovo –
Pimen – Ciorni – Obilnoje.
Faza I-a a ofensivei sovietice se termina catre data de 15 decembrie 1942 când
fortele lor ajung pe aliniamentul: râul Cyr – Don – Obilnoje (schita nr. 4).
Faza a II-a de la 15 decembrie 1942 la 1 ianuarie 1943 (schita nr. 2).
Concomitent cu ajungerea fortelor sovietice pe linia: râul Cyr – Don – Obilnoje, se
produce ofensiva sovietica în sectorul ocupat de armata italiana si care avea drept obiectiv
interceptarea caii ferate Voronej – Rostov.
În acest scop s-a actionat cu directia de atac Boguciar, interceptându-se calea ferata
de mai sus, în punctul Kotelnikovo, presând în acelasi timp si în directia Millerovo.
360
Vol. II: Succese si esecuri (1.I.1942 – 30.VI.1943)
Aceasta actiune a fortelor sovietice, care reusisera sa depaseasca chiar calea ferata
Voronej – Millerovo, a obligat fortele româno-germane aflate pe râul Cyr sa se replieze
catre Sud-Vest (pe Donet).
Aceasta operatiune a dat posibilitate fortelor sovietice ce actionasera pe Don, ca
împreuna cu cele de la Sud Stalingrad, ce ajunsesera pe linia Kotelnicovo – Pimen – Ciorni
– Obilnoje, sa reia înaintarea spre Rostov.
Contra ofensiva germano-româna întreprinsa pâna catre 15 decembrie 1942, pentru
despresurarea Stalingradului, nu a reusit. Inamicul reia atacul cu noi forte si mase de care
de lupta. Atacul este dirijat spre Sud-Vest, în lungul caii ferate Stalingrad – Salsk, reusind
sa atinga, catre finele lunii decembrie 1942 si începutul lunii ianuarie 1943, râul Sal.
La finele acestor operatiuni, fortele armatei române au fost retrase în linia a II-a a
fontului, pentru refacere.
În Caucaz.
a. În regiunea Ordjonikidze.
Ca urmare a rezultatelor obtinute în timpul fazei a II-a a ofensivei sovietice, fortele
germano-române (Divizia 2 V.M.) ce se gaseau în regiunea Ordjonikidze, au fost obligate
sa se replieze catre Nord-Vest, cu directia generala Rostov.
Divizia 2 V.M. care executa aceasta repliere a reusit adeseori sa rupa contactul cu
inamicul.
b. În regiunea Novorosiisk – Tuapse.
În aceasta faza, fortele sovietice au continuat cu aducerea de materiale (în special
care) în vederea conjugarii efortului cu cel al fortelor ajunse aproape de Rostov.
*
* *
Pe acest front fortele sovietice au actionat în general cu unitati de infanterie
sprijinite de artilerie, aruncatoare si aviatie.
Luptele din Caucaz care continua si dupa scoaterea Armatei III si IV române de pe
front, sunt caracterizate prin atacuri date de trupe proaspete sprijinite de care de lupta.
Aceste operatiuni au drept scop ruperea frontului si lichidarea Capului de pod de la Cuban.
La aceasta operatiune concura si fortele aflate în zona Rostov care actioneaza în lungul
litoralului de Est a Marii de Azov, cum si fortele grupate în regiunea Sud Ghelendjik prin
debarcari (executate la începutul lunii februarie 1943) la Vest de Novorossiisk.
Din modul cum a fost pregatita si s-a desfasurat ofensiva sovietica din iarna
1942/1943 în sectorul Armatelor române, se pot desprinde urmatoarele concluziuni:
1. Ofensiva a fost conceputa si pregatita (moral si material) cu multa grija, cu
mult înainte de declansarea ei.
2. Ofensiva a fost bazata pe întrebuintari de mari mase de unitati blindate ce
urmau sa fie sprijinite de aviatie. Ea a fost precedata printr-o intensa activitate de aviatie care a
actionat asupra posturilor de comanda si spatelui trupelor noastre, în scopul de a dezorganiza
transmisiunile si transporturile, cum si pentru a influenta asupra moralului apararii.
3. A utilizat la maximum conditiunile meteorologice, când apararea nu putea sa
actioneze în special prin aviatie si materialul anticar.
4. S-au precizat cu anticipatie, amplasamentele artileriei si a mijloacelor anticar
ale apararii, în care scop s-au executat numeroase incursiuni, recunoasteri aeriene si s-a
facut uz de multi spioni.
5. Ofensiva a fost dezlantuita în urma unei scurte si puternice pregatiri de artilerie si
aruncatoare, dupa care au intrat în actiune unitatile blindate.
6. Ofensiva a putut sa fie realizata datorita masurilor luate pentru: completarea
efectivelor de M.U. aflate pe front, aducere de mari rezerve si instruirea speciala a
echipajele unitatilor blindate.
În vederea ofensivei proiectata s-a facut uz de:
- aducerea unor mari contingente de asiatici care au completat efectivele
unitatilor operative;
- înlocuirea barbatilor din întreprinderile industriale, de la diferite formatiuni si
servicii auxiliare, de la unitatile A.A., etc. prin femei; disponibilul astfel realizat s-a
încadrat în unitatile operative;
- aducerea unor Mari Unitati din Asia Medie (Corpul 4 Cavalerie de pe frontiera
Afganistanului) si Siberia (Parti din Armata 25, Divizia „Drapelul Rosu”) etc.
- pregatirea speciala a echipajelor Carelor de lupta formate în majoritate din
tineretul luat în special din întreprinderile industriale, tineret încadrat cu fanatism doctrinei
comuniste.
Fata de modul cum s-a desfasurat ofensiva la care a concurat aproape toate armele,
este de observat ca numai aviatia nu si-a putut desfasura în mod complet posibilitatile
pentru sprijinirea unitatilor terestre, marginindu-se numai la o activitate foarte redusa din
cauza conditiunilor meteorologice complet neprielnice ei.
E. CONCLUZIUNI ASUPRA:
1. PREGATIREA PROFESIONALA A UNITATILOR SOVIETICE
Din felul cum au decurs operatiunile se pot trage urmatoarele concluziuni asupra
pregatirii profesionale a unitatilor sovietice.
a. INFANTERIA
Trupa.
Unitatile de infanterie par sa fi fost în general slab instruite, cu posibilitati proprii
reduse, actionând numai când au fost sprijinite de artilerie si în special de blindate.
Când au actionat independent de acestea, nu au mai avut un spirit ofensiv prea
accentuat.
Ofiterii.
Comandantii micilor unitati, slab pregatiti ca urmare a provenientei lor si a scurtei
durate a stagiului facut în diferite scoli. (Majoritatea recent promovati din grade inferioare,
fara nici o cultura).
Ofiterii mai mari în grad si cei de cariera, mai bine pregatiti si cu posibilitati de a
mentine disciplina si moralul.
b. ARTILERIA.
Trupa.
O pregatire tehnica mai îngrijita cu o trupa mai bine instruita si disciplinata.
Ofiterii.
Bine pregatiti.
c. CAVALERIA.
Trupa.
A dovedit o buna pregatire si un spirit ofensiv destul de dezvoltat. Au atacat chiar
executând sarje (în regiunea Vest lacurile Zaza).
Ofiterii.
Cu o buna pregatire profesionala si cu moral ridicat.
d. BLINDATELE.
Pregatirea personalului unitatilor blindate a fost facuta cu multa grija înca cu mult
înainte de actuala ofensiva. El a fost recrutat în conditiuni speciale si din specialisti (fosti
tractoristi, mecanici, din întreprinderile industriale etc.).
Personalul era în majoritate format din tineri cu un moral ridicat (în mare parte
comsomolisti). La buna lor pregatire profesionala si în special pentru a actiona noaptea si
în orice conditiuni atmosferice, s-a insistat mult, prin aplicatiile facute în câmpurile de
instructie. Aici li s-a demonstrat încrederea ce trebuie sa aiba si în material, prin
experientele facute asupra rezistentei blindajului carului.
e. AVIATIA.
Date complete asupra pregatirii profesionale a unitatilor de aviatie care au activat
pe frontul armatelor române în timpul acestei ofensive, lipsesc. Aceasta se explica prin
faptul ca aviatia nu a putut actiona din cauza timpului nefavorabil.
Totusi din redusa sa activitate s-a dedus ca personalul este destul de bine pregatit si
hotarât în actiune.
Nu pregeta în actiunile unde sunt folosite armele de bord (au actionat la înaltimi de
50 metri din cauza cetii) când au conlucrat la actiunea infanteriei si carelor, vizând însa
mai mult realizarea unui efect moral.
2. DOTAREA CU ARMAMENT DE TOT FELUL.
Aceasta ofensiva a fost caracterizata printr-o mare abundenta de material.
Unitatile de orice arma, participante la actiune au fost dotate cu mijloace bogate, în
vederea unei cât mai bune îndepliniri a misiunii ce le reveneau.
Astfel la unitatile de infanterie si cavalerie s-a remarcat un mare numar de arme
automate, pusti anticar si aruncatoare de toate calibrele.
Arme speciale nu au fost observate.
Unitatile de artilerie au avut în folosinta:
- tunuri de 76 mm;
- tunuri si obuziere de 122 mm;
- obuziere de 155 mm;
- aruncatoare de 120 mm;
- aruncatoare „Katiusa”;
- tunuri anticar de calibru mijlociu încadrate în regimente anticar.
Parte din materialul folosit a fost motorizat, parte tractat si restul hipo.
Unitatile de care au avut în dotarea lor:
- care grele „K.V.” de 52 sau 44 tone sau de provenienta engleza de 40-45 tone;
- care mijlocii T. 34 de 25 tone;
- care usoare T. 70 de 9,2 tone.
3. METODA DE LUPTA A DIFERITELOR ARME
1. Unitatile blindate.
Corpurile blindate se pare ca au luptat initial la ruperea frontului pe Regimente si
Brigazi. Ele au fost întrebuintate pe directiile principale de atac, pe esaloane25, în strânsa
legatura cu unitatile de artilerie si infanterie. Aveau misiunea de a rupe sistemul defensiv al
adversarului, a distruge sau anihila artileria anticar si divizionare si de a ajunge pe linia
posturilor de comanda spre a dezorganiza actiunea de Comandament.
Unitatile de care, date în sprijinul infanteriei (care de cele mai multe ori a
transportat-o) avea misiunea de a distruge infanteria inamica si a înlatura din calea
infanteriei proprii, blindatele inamice.
În general, unitatile blindate nu au angajat lupta „car contra car” decât în cazul
unei superioritati absolute a unitatii de care proprii sau în teren favorabil. Acele care de
lupta ce erau dotate cu o viteza mare, nu actionau de front ci numai de flanc si spate.
Dupa ruperea frontului, Corpurile Blindate (Corpul 16, 1, 26) au fost întrebuintate
pentru exploatarea succesului si distrugerea infanteriei inamice, pe anumite directii. În cazul
întâlnirii carelor adverse si numai când au avut superioritate, Corpurile Blindate au intrat în
actiune cu totalitatea mijloacelor anticar proprii, iar cu o parte din blindate au manevrat
pentru a desparti unitatile de care inamice, de infanterie însotitoare; astfel, au mers pe
directie la obiectivul fixat. Unitatile blindate au actionat întotdeauna prin surprindere,
ascunzându-si cu grija orice miscare.
2. Unitatile motorizate, au fost folosite în general dupa ruperea frontului de catre
unitatile blindate, precum:
- ocuparea si pastrarea terenului cucerit;
- ocuparea unor puncte importante si mentinerea lor pâna la sosirea grosului;
- siguranta flancurilor;
- ocuparea punctelor obligate de trecere;
- acoperirea zonelor de regrupare a fortelor proprii;
- urmarirea, numai dupa ce infanteria propriu-zisa se afla pe linia artileriei inamice.
3. INFANTERIA.
A respectat în totul dispozitiunile ordinului nr. 306 din 8 octombrie 1942 al
Comisariatului Apararii URSS (anexat în copie), prin care:
- unitatile de infanterie (care nu au urmat carele de lupta) au atacat într-un dispozitiv
aproape liniar, fara a avea o adâncime mare, utilizând însa totalitatea mijloacelor de foc;
- rezervele infanteriei au fost plasate pe directiile de efort, înlocuind la momentul
oportun, unitatile greu încercate;
- unitatile de infanterie au fost dotate cu numeros material automat, aruncatoare26
si armament anticar (în special pusti anticar).
4. ARTILERIA.
Întreaga artilerie Divizionara a marilor unitati din rezerva – chiar de la începutul
ofensivei – a fost plasata cât mai înainte si în zonele stabilite pentru efortul principal.
Artileria a sprijinit atacul carelor si al infanteriei prin bombardamente masive pâna
la limita maxima a bataii materialului.
5. CAVALERIA.
A actionat în strânsa legatura cu carele de lupta, exploatând succesul în adâncime
si lateral, pentru a disocia sistemul de aparare inamic si a produce panica.
Adeseori a luptat mult si pe jos.
4. CARACTERISTICILE ARMELOR ÎNTREBUINTATE DE SOVIETE ÎN
CURSUL ACESTEI OFENSIVE
ARMAMENT DE INFANTERIE
[…]
5. DOTAREA CU AVIATIE; CARACTERISTICILE MATERIALULUI;
METODE DE LUPTA
a. Materialul folosit de cele trei Armate aeriene care fusese destinate a concura la
ofensiva din 19 noiembrie 1942, a fost:
- avioane I.A.K. 1;
- avioane M.I.G. 1 si M.I.G. 3;
- avioane L.A.G.G. 3 si L.A.G.G. 5;
- avioane I. 16 (Rata); II. 1534; I. 180;
- avioane americane.
Metoda de lupta.
La începutul acestei ofensive, din cauza conditiilor meteorologice complet
nefavorabile – aviatia sovietica n-a putut sa coopereze cu armele terestre, asa era prevazut
în planul initial (în special în colaborarea cu carele a actionat sporadic – în sectoare lipsite
de aparare A.A. prin arme de bord – cautând astfel a obtine mai mult efecte morale).
Ulterior, când conditiunile atmosferice au permis, activitatea aviatiei a sporit
folosind urmatoarele metode de lupta:
a. Aviatia de vânatoare.
Formatiunile aviatiei de vânatoare, s-au ferit sa angajeze lupta atunci când erau în
inferioritate numerica; când însa aceasta superioritate era evidenta (cel putin 12 avioane),
atunci ea devenea agresiva cautând sa obtina surpriza prin atac executat de la mare
înaltime, utilizând norii si soarele în spate.
În angajare, formatiunile de avioane de vânatoare sovietice, se formau în doua
grupuri (prin scindare) atacând pe directiuni.
În general aviatia de vânatoare sovietica nu a atacat bombardierele inamice când
acestea se gaseau în formatiuni strânse.
b. Aviatia de bombardament.
A atacat atât ziua cât si noaptea cu avioane izolate.
În general atacurile de zi au fost executate de la mari altitudini, iar noaptea, sub
1 500 metri.
6. SISTEME DE APROVIZIONARI.
Pâna la declansarea ofensivei sovietice, aprovizionarea trupelor aflate pe pozitii
s-a facut prin exploatari locale, completate prin aduceri din înapoi în special pentru: zahar,
tutun, carburanti si munitiuni.
Administratia militara a ridicat de la populatia locala din zona frontului si din
spatele acestuia aproape toate alimentele existente, considerându-le drept impozit în natura
pe anul 1944.
Transporturile de aprovizionari s-au facut cu calea ferata prelungita cu transporturi
auto pâna în imediata apropiere a frontului.
Dupa declansarea ofensivei sovietice si în decursul ei, aprovizionarea trupelor s-a
bazat, de asemeni, pe exploatari locale, completata cu capturi de razboi din depozitele
româno-germane si aduceri din înapoi în special pentru carburanti si munitiuni.
În acest din urma scop, s-a facut uz de transporturi pe calea ferata, prelungita prin
transporturi auto.


Source: Jurnalul Maresalului Ion Antonescu - vol. II, Gh. Buzatu, Stela Cheptea, Marusia Cîrstea, Corneliu M. Lungu

Posted by: Florin December 19, 2012 04:51 am
QUOTE (MMM @ December 18, 2012 03:36 pm)
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 18, 2012 10:53 pm)
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 18, 2012 09:07 am)
I agree that they shouldn't have entered the city. It made no sense. What made sense was to capture the Caucasus region.

Leaving the city unconquered would have meant leaving a bridgehead for the Soviets. The city had to be taken in order to eliminate the Soviet Army's use of it.

... and that's a huge thorn in most of the theories that say "Stalingrad should've been just passed"! Stalingrad, with its huge tank factory, with its role as port-city on the Volga, not the least with its symbolic name, was a "must" for an attack in that particular region! The mistake - IMHO - was that the Germans didn't cross the Volga north and south of it, surrounding it! ....

MMM, I think the Germans did the big mistake to not use the equipment they already had!
I previously noticed this in my own reply to Gen. Dénes.
The German industry manufactured 6 "Karl" between November 1940 and August 1941. So they were ready!
I understand, the huge "Dora" was too cumbersome to be sent to the end of the world, and also "Dora" needed two railroads in parallel, because it was running on both. But "Karl" was self-propelled, with tracks. Slowly, slowly, in few weeks the 6 machines would be near Stalingrad.
I simply do not understand why Hitler and OKW sacrificed the lives of so many good men in stupid street fights, instead of using the 6 "Karl" in the same time and blast the . . . . out of that city.

Posted by: dragos December 19, 2012 08:18 am
I don't see the usefulness of siege artillery at Stalingrad. They were useful for blasting away fortifications but in a huge city like Stalingrad what would they achieve? Couldn't prevent concentration of infantry inside the city and they were vulnerable to counterattacks.

Posted by: Dénes December 19, 2012 08:51 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 19, 2012 02:58 am)
[CODE]SSI
FRONTUL DE EST
STUDIU

English, please! laugh.gif

P.S. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
The question, as it's always with intelligence sources, is how much of it was actually true.

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: MMM December 19, 2012 01:11 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 19, 2012 11:51 am)
how much of it was actually true.

Gen. Dénes

Ahem... right! Actually, how much of it is actually taken into consideration by the proper authorities... which seems to NOT have been the case with Wehrmacht in 1941-1942!

Posted by: PaulC December 19, 2012 01:25 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 18, 2012 10:36 pm)
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 18, 2012 10:53 pm)
QUOTE (PaulC @ December 18, 2012 09:07 am)
I agree that they shouldn't have entered the city. It made no sense. What made sense was to capture the Caucasus region.

Leaving the city unconquered would have meant leaving a bridgehead for the Soviets. The city had to be taken in order to eliminate the Soviet Army's use of it.

... and that's a huge thorn in most of the theories that say "Stalingrad should've been just passed"! Stalingrad, with its huge tank factory, with its role as port-city on the Volga, not the least with its symbolic name, was a "must" for an attack in that particular region! The mistake - IMHO - was that the Germans didn't cross the Volga north and south of it, surrounding it! But they didn't have the manpower to do that whilst maintaining pressure on Caucasus as well, so we're back to square one! sad.gif



Let's go back to the original plan : the Wehrmacht intended to conquer the Caucasus in 1942 for its oil fields with the flank on the Volga, nothing about conquering Stalingrad. That was the plan embodied in Directive 41.

Hitler later made the huge mistake of splitting the forces, aiming to take both the Caucasus and Stalingrad and in the end getting fixated on Stalingrad, depleting forces heading for the Caucasus of mobile units.

What I'm proposing was for them to stick to the original plan. The capture of Stalingrad wasn't deemed necessary and I fully agree. Artillery and aviation could annihilate any production of weapons in the city and prevent the soviets from using the Volga as a transport route.

90% of the oil that supplied the Soviet Union went through the Caspian Sea on the Volga and then was distributed west and east of the Urals. With the Volga blocked, the Soviet Union would have been paralyzed.

Secondly, by concentrating more mobile units in the south, they could have probably conquered the Caucasus given the anti-soviet insurgencies going on there.

Posted by: dragos December 19, 2012 05:28 pm
Having the goal of reaching as far as Baku, IMO Stalingrad needed to be secured. It could have served as a base for launching an attack towards Rostov, threatening to trap all the German armies in Caucasus. The plan without securing Stalingrad was feasible only in the scenario the Red Army was collapsing and not able to launch any more major offensives.

Posted by: Taz1 December 19, 2012 09:07 pm
In many of the articles regarding Stalingrad it is said that the Stalingrad defeat was the single most important victory of the red army in the east that they more or less won the war with Germany there but the even after the dezaster in Stalingrad german army was far from being defeted and the rusian army far from Berlin. German army totally lost the war in Russia only in sumer of 1944 . So expresion the day that change the war or world ( the begining of the russian Stalingrad ofensive ) it is not qiute exact.

Posted by: MMM December 19, 2012 09:46 pm
QUOTE (dragos @ December 19, 2012 08:28 pm)
Having the goal of reaching as far as Baku, IMO Stalingrad needed to be secured. It could have served as a base for launching an attack towards Rostov, threatening to trap all the German armies in Caucasus. The plan without securing Stalingrad was feasible only in the scenario the Red Army was collapsing and not able to launch any more major offensives.

... and securing without actually occupying it would have meant quite a lot of troops! I'm somehow glad that given the Romanian performances at Odessa, the Wehrmacht hadn't allotted the task of besieging Stalingrad to us! tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif
Back on topic: Taz, the expression is correct, because it destroyed a myth: the myth of Wehrmacht's invincibility and of the Red Army's incapacity of sustaining a victorious offensive! And those facts were obvious there and then, for all the sides involved.

Posted by: PaulC December 20, 2012 08:55 am
QUOTE (dragos @ December 19, 2012 07:28 pm)
Having the goal of reaching as far as Baku, IMO Stalingrad needed to be secured. It could have served as a base for launching an attack towards Rostov, threatening to trap all the German armies in Caucasus. The plan without securing Stalingrad was feasible only in the scenario the Red Army was collapsing and not able to launch any more major offensives.

They did not trap Army Group A even with the disaster at Stalingrad. The 6th army had to means to conduct a serious defense on the Don-Stalingrad-Volga line. I believe the original plan was sound. That would have left the 4th Panzer able to help Army Group A.

Secondly, if the real push was in the Caucasus, I'd expect the German army to conquer the major ports and be supplied from Constanta by ship. A much better alternative than the roadless south Russia.

QUOTE
Führer Headquarters
April 5, 1942 
14 copies

  Directive No. 41

"Summer Campaign of 1942"

The winter battle in Russia is nearing its end. Thanks to the unequaled courage
and self-sacrificing devotion of our soldiers on the Eastern front, German arms
have achieved a great defensive success.

The enemy has suffered severe losses in men and material. In an effort to
exploit what appeared to him to be early successes, he. has expended during
the winter the bulk of reserves intended for later operations.

As soon as the weather aud the state of the terrain allows, we must seize the
initiative again, and through the superiority of German leadership and th
e German soldier force our will upon the enemy.

Our aim is to wipe out the entire defense potential remaining to the Soviets,
and to cut them off, as far as possible, from their most important centers of
war industry.

All available forces, German and allied, will be employed in this task. At the
same time, the security of occupied territories in Western and Northern Europe,
especially along the coast, will be ensured in all circumstances.

I. General Plan

In pursuit of the original plan for the Eastern campaign, the armies of the
Central sector will stand fast, those in the North will capture Leningrad and
link up with the Finns, while those on the southern flank will break through
into the Caucasus.

In view of conditions prevailing at the end of winter, the availability of troops
and resources, and transport problems, these aims can be achieved only
one at a time.

First, therefore, all available forces will be concentrated on the main operations
in the Southern sector, with the aim of destroying the enemy before the Don,
in order to secure the Caucasian oilfields and the passes through the Caucasus
mountains themselves.

The final encirclement of Leningrad and the occupation of Ingermanland may be
undertaken as soon as conditions in that area permit, or sufficient forces can
be made available from other theaters.

II. Conduct of Operations

A. The first task of the Army and Luftwaffe, when the period of thaw with its
muddy ground conditions is over, will be to establish the preliminary conditions
for carrying out our main operation.

This calls for mopping-up and consolidation on the whole Eastern front and in
the rear areas so that the greatest possible forces may be released for the
main operation. The other sectors of the front must be able to meet any attack
with the smallest possible expenditure of manpower.

Wherever, for this purpose, offensive operations with limited objectives are to
be carried out, in accordance with my orders, every effort will be made to
ensure that all available forces of the Army and Luftwaffe are ready to go into
action in overwhelming strength, in order to achieve rapid and decisive success.
Only thus shall we be able, even before the beginning of the big spring offensive,
to make our troops confident in the certainty of victory, and to instil into the
enemy a sense of his own hopeless inferiority.

B. The next task will be a mopping-up operation in the Kerch peninsulaun,
the Crimea and the capture of Sevastopol the Luftwaffe, and later the Navy,
will have the task of preparing these operations, and hindering enemy supply
traffic in the Black Sea and the Kerch Straits as energetically as possible.

In the Southern area, the enemy forces which have broken through on both
sides of Izyum (note :near Kharkov) will be cut off along the course of the
Donets river and destroyed.

Final decision concerning the mopping-up still necessary in the Central and
Northern sectors of the Eastern front must await conclusion of the present
fighting and of the muddy season. The necessary forces, however, must be
provided, as soon as the situation allows, by thinning out front-line troops.

C. The Main Operation on the Eastern Front

The purpose is, as already stated, to occupy the Caucasus front by decisively
attacking and destroying Russian forces stationed in the Voronezh area to the
south, west, or north of the Don. Because of the manner in which the available
formations must be brought up, this operation can be carried out in a series of
consecutive, but coordinated and complementary, attacks. Therefore these
attacks must be so synchronized from north to south that each individual
offensive is carried out by the largest possible concentration of army, and
particularly of air, forces which can be assured at the decisive points.

Experience has sufficiently shown that the Russians are not very vulnerable to
operational encircling movements. It is therefore of decisive importance that,
as in the double battle of Vyazma-Bryansk, individual breaches of the front
should take the form of close pincer movements.

We must avoid closing the pincers too late, thus giving the enemy the
possibility of avoiding destruction.

It must not happen that, by advancing too quickly and too far, armored and
motorized formations lose connection with the infantry following them; or
that they lose the opportunity of supporting the hard-pressed, forward-fighting
infantry by direct attacks on the rear of the encircled Russian armies.

Therefore, apart from the main object of the operation, in each individual
case, we must be absolutely sure to annihilate the enemy by the method of
attack and by the direction of the forces used.

The general operation will begin with an overall attack and, if possible, a
breakthrough from the area south of Orel in the direction of Voronezh.
Of the two armored and motorized formations forming the pincers, the
northern will be in greater strength than the southern. The object of this
breakthrough is the capture of Voronezh itself. While certain infantry divisions
will immediately establish a strong defensive front between the Orel area,
from which the attack will be launched, and Voronezh, armored and motorized
formations are to continue the attack south from Voronezh, with their left
flank on the River Don, in support of a second breakthrough to take place
towards the east, from the general area of Kharkov. Here too the primary
objective is not simply to break the Russian front but, in cooperation with
the motorized forces thrusting down the Don, to destroy the enemy armies.

The third attack in the course of these operations will be so conducted that
formations thrusting down the Don can link up in the Stalingrad area with forces
advancing from the Taganrog Artelnovsk area between the lower waters of the
Don and Voroshilovgrad across the Donets to the east. These forces should
finally establish contact with the armored forces advancing on Stalingrad.

Should opportunities arise during these operations, particularly by the
capture of undemolished bridges, to establish bridgeheads to the east or
south of the Don, advantage will be taken of them, In any event, every effort
will be made to reach Stalingrad itself, or at least to bring the city under fire
from heavy artillery so that it may no longer be of any use as an industrial or
communications center.

It would be particularly desirable if we could secure either undamaged bridges
in Rostov itself or other bridgeheads south of the Don for later operations.

In order to prevent large numbers of Russian forces north of the Don from
escaping southwards across the river, it is important that the right flank of our
forces advancing east from the Taganrog area should be strengthened by
armored and motorized troops. These will, if necessary, be formed from
improvised units.

According to the progress made in these attacks, we must not only provide
strong protection for the north-east flank of the operation; we must
immediately set about establishing positions along the Don. In this matter,
anti-tank defenses are especially important. These positions will from the first
be prepared with a view to their eventual occupation in winter, for which they
will be fully equipped.

In the first instance, units of our allies will he used to hold the Don front, which
will become longer and longer as the attack proceeds. German forces will
provide a strong supporting force between Orel and the Don, and in the
Stalingrad strip. For the rest, individual German divisions will also remain
available as reserves behind the Don front.

Allied troops will be mainly disposed so that the Hungarians are farthest north,
then the Italians, and the Rumanians furthest to the southeast.

D. The swift progress of the movements across the Don to the south, in order
to attain the operational objectives, is essential, in consideration of the season.

III. Luftwaffe

Apart from giving direct support to the Army, the task of the Air Force will be
to cover the deployment of forces in the Army Group South area by
strengthening air defences. This applies particularly to railway bridges
across the Dnieper.

If enemy forces are seen to be concentrating, the principal roads and railways
serving the concentration area will be brought under continuous attack wel
l in the enemy's rear. A first priority will be the destruction of railway bridges
across the Don.

At the opening of operations, the enemy Air Force and its ground organization
in the theater of operations will be attacked and destroyed by a concentrated
effort of all available forces.

The possibility of a hasty transfer of Luftwaffe units to the Central and Northern
fronts must be born in mind, and the necessary ground organization for this
maintained as far as possible.

IV. Navy

In the Black Sea it is the principal duty of the Navy, in so far as our combat
and escort forces and our tonnage allow, to assist in supplying the Army and
Luftwaffe by sea.

Because the battle potential of the Russian Black Sea fleet is still unbroken it is
particularly important that the light naval forces to be moved to the Black Sea
should be ready for action there as soon as possible.

The Baltic will be protected by blockading Russian naval forces in the inner
waters of the Gulf of Finland.

V. My basic order to ensure secrecy is once again to be brought to the attention
of all staffs concerned in these preparations. In this connection the attitude
to be adopted to our allies will be laid down in special instructions.

VI. The preparations planned by the various branches of the Armed Forces,
and their timetables, will be notified to me through the High Command of the
Armed Forces.

Signed: ADOLF HITLER

Posted by: Taz1 December 20, 2012 09:49 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 19, 2012 09:46 pm)
QUOTE (dragos @ December 19, 2012 08:28 pm)
Having the goal of reaching as far as Baku, IMO Stalingrad needed to be secured. It could have served as a base for launching an attack towards Rostov, threatening to trap all the German armies in Caucasus. The plan without securing Stalingrad was feasible only in the scenario the Red Army was collapsing and not able to launch any more major offensives.

... and securing without actually occupying it would have meant quite a lot of troops! I'm somehow glad that given the Romanian performances at Odessa, the Wehrmacht hadn't allotted the task of besieging Stalingrad to us! tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif
Back on topic: Taz, the expression is correct, because it destroyed a myth: the myth of Wehrmacht's invincibility and of the Red Army's incapacity of sustaining a victorious offensive! And those facts were obvious there and then, for all the sides involved.

The german army invincibility mith was destroed in 1941 at the gates of Moscow.Regarding Stalingrad the conquest was a must from all poit of view economic, militar, propaganda. The plan put on paper at the begining of the 1942 was one thing and the situation on the field was another thing. One of the german hope was to surond to trap large concentrations of soviet troops and destroed like 1941 but with some exceptions this was never done the russian had lerned their lessons and conserv their forces chosen to resist in strongholds like stalingrad all so with the ideea in mind of a later contraofensive. A german general said about one of the aspects of the german advans in Russia in 1942 ,, Befor me me no enemy and behind me no rezerve".

Posted by: Imperialist January 04, 2013 10:31 am
QUOTE (Taz1 @ December 20, 2012 09:49 pm)
The german army invincibility mith was destroed in 1941 at the gates of Moscow.

We can say that now, in 2013, but at that time it wasn't so. At the time the myth survived into 1942 too.

Posted by: cainele_franctiror January 04, 2013 11:06 am
last issue of Military History Review (Romanian) has articles about Stalingrad Battle

http://www.mapn.ro/diepa/ispaim/files/rim_5-6_2012.pdf

Posted by: ANDREAS January 04, 2013 01:47 pm
Thank you! Interesting articles indeed!

Posted by: MMM January 04, 2013 03:28 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ January 04, 2013 01:31 pm)
QUOTE (Taz1 @ December 20, 2012 09:49 pm)
The german army invincibility mith was destroed in 1941 at the gates of Moscow.

We can say that now, in 2013, but at that time it wasn't so. At the time the myth survived into 1942 too.

However, the "myth" of defeating every enemy did shatter!

Posted by: Imperialist January 04, 2013 04:38 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ January 04, 2013 03:28 pm)
QUOTE (Imperialist @ January 04, 2013 01:31 pm)
QUOTE (Taz1 @ December 20, 2012 09:49 pm)
The german army invincibility mith was destroed in 1941 at the gates of Moscow.

We can say that now, in 2013, but at that time it wasn't so. At the time the myth survived into 1942 too.

However, the "myth" of defeating every enemy did shatter!


Indeed. Although Britain was still undefeated. I think it's more accurate to say that the myth of the blitzkrieg was the one that died in 1941, but at the time many were expecting the German Army to prevail in 1942 after "General Winter" was about to stop supporting the Soviets.

Posted by: ANDREAS January 04, 2013 04:57 pm
QUOTE
However, the "myth" of defeating every enemy did shatter!

No doubt about this, I agree, and even say that consequences of withdrawal of Wechrmacht forces from Moscow were long-ranged! I have in mind the fact that Hitler became obsessed with the idea of ​​preventing the withdrawal of its forces with the famous "Haltebefehl" (Stop command) from 16.12.1941, in which he forbade any backward movement without the explicit permission, fearing that the whole front could fall apart. He demanded of the battered troops "fanatical resistance", as several times during the battle of Stalingrad. The consequences were therefore long term...

Posted by: MMM January 05, 2013 09:51 am
QUOTE (ANDREAS @ January 04, 2013 07:57 pm)
the famous "Haltebefehl"

Well, then it worked, preventing a withdrawal with hundreds of kilometers...
Perhaps just a lucky strike, one of the last...
Other consequences were (IMO) the "end of resistance" among the Wehrmacht's generals.

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