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> Was the Soviet Union beatable?
C-2
Posted: December 16, 2004 07:51 pm
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What I never undestood was how did the Germans were convinced that they could win a war against the soviets!
For years they had been making tanks exercices in Ukraine...
The must knew how muddy was the spring and how cold was the winter,
Not to talk again about the distances!
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dragos
Posted: December 16, 2004 08:00 pm
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Maybe there was a belief that they could undermine the Soviet political authority and then the entire country would collapse, like in the First World War.
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Benoit Douville
Posted: December 16, 2004 08:54 pm
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It was the objective of the Germans to beat the Soviet Union in 1941. After the Battle of Moscow, it was clear that the War was lost on the Eastern Front even if they have gain a lot of territory with the 1942 summer offensive.

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Iamandi
Posted: December 17, 2004 06:46 am
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Excluding Luftwaffe, the problem with no radio on the russian tanks, poor quality of russian tankists... Tank-to-tank duels is not so easy to be a victory for germans - against 45 m.m. russian tank guns.

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Florin
Posted: December 17, 2004 08:02 pm
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QUOTE (Benoit Douville @ Dec 16 2004, 03:54 PM)
It was the objective of the Germans to beat the Soviet Union in 1941. After the Battle of Moscow, it was clear that the War was lost on the Eastern Front even if they have gain a lot of territory with the 1942 summer offensive.

Regards

On my behalf, I never understood why the Germans wasted their limited resources by keeping pressing Stalingrad. They already had artillery units at the shore of Volga, which successfully cut the traffic on the river. Conquering Stalingrad had no practical use.

And meanwhile the troops in Caucasus Mountains (my grandfather among them) had within their grasp the rich oil fields of Baku, but they lacked the resourses to conquer them. I am sure that the energy wasted at Stalingrad could turn the tide in Caucasus, if used there.

And with that Germany could get oil resources bigger than the Romanian ones, and much more important, right near frontline, and not thousands of kilometers away, like from Romania!

And Iran was a friendly state (friendly regarding Germany). Turkey, also, could change attitude once they would not see the Russians at their border.

So, briefly, the 3 worst mistakes ever made by the German leadership were:

1. Not sending tens of divisions in North Africa, in 1940, to wipe out the British up to the Indian Ocean, with the possibility of getting the Arabian petroleum. Instead of finishing with Great Britain, Germany created a new enemy by invading the neutral Soviet Union.

2. Not channeling resources toward Caucas Mountains in 1942. They wasted them instead at Stalingrad.

3. Not giving high priority to the project to create an atomic bomb, a target in their grasp even since September 1939, when a German commission concluded it is possible to obtain it. The leadership decided in September 1939 that is too much to spend the requested 24 million Reichmarks for the project, an amount which was about 2 percent from the American expenses. The atomic bomb matter is arguable, because it seems that one of Heisenberg's formulas stated that a Uranium core with 65 centimeter radius is needed. It was a mathematical mistake suggesting a core of uranium weighting 13 tons!

The Japanese also did their huge mistake when in addition to the British and Dutch colonies they attacked the neutral United States! Previously they were threatened with economic sanctions, indeed, but these would become pointless after conquering the rich British and Dutch colonies.

Arguably, the last moment when the war could be won was on June 6, 1944. But for sure the biggest and most clear chance was lost around the Caucasus Mountains, and in Transcaucasia in general.

So, regarding the original post of C-2, I would say that yes, there were some chances to win over that mess started on June 22, 1941.
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C-2
Posted: December 17, 2004 10:57 pm
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The Caukas wasn't a joy ride.
Rostok was taken and lost and the 4-th Panzer army could be cut off if the Volga Front wasn't secure.
Lets go back to the topic.
American army cannot hold on Irak with 21-th cent.tehnology.Irak is a fraction from the SU,and the climate is more then ideal for a campain.
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Victor
Posted: December 17, 2004 11:07 pm
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QUOTE (C-2 @ Dec 18 2004, 12:57 AM)
The Caukas wasn't a joy ride.
Rostok was taken and lost and the 4-th Panzer army could be cut off if the Volga Front wasn't secure.

You mean 1st Panzer Army. The 4th Panzer Army was at Stalingrad.
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Florin
Posted: December 18, 2004 12:04 am
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QUOTE (C-2 @ Dec 17 2004, 05:57 PM)
The Caukas wasn't a joy ride.
.............
Lets go back to the topic.
American army cannot hold on Irak with 21-th cent.tehnology. Irak is a fraction from the SU, and the climate is more then ideal for a campain.

OK, back to the topic...

So let us forget about Iraq and the U.S. Army with its 21st century weaponry.

During summer, the land is dry in the European side of the former Soviet Union.
This allowed fast advances of motorized units.

Considering that when the rains started in September, the German Army was not so far from Moskow, and had already encircled about 1 million Russians in the South, we have to remember that the original plan was to start Barbarossa in May 1941.

That one month delay, due to all that involvement in Operation "Maritza", proved to be essential in making the German army unable to defeat Soviet Union before the rain falls of September, or, if you like more, before the winter.

Anyway, this topic has a good point in being started. Hitler was always a gambler, and he succeeded at least 3 times before against all odds: once at Munchen, when he obtained even more than he hoped for in those negotiations with Chamberlain and Daladier. Then in the invasion of Norway, when Germany conquered that country even though the sea was controlled by the Allied fleet. Then in the invasion of Holland - Belgium - France.

I would say that the previous successes made the German leadership to lose the grasp with the reality. The spying activity of Germany regarding the strength of Soviet Union was very poor. They were confident that once they will invade, the common Russian folk would revolt against the system. They neglected the tightness of the Bolshevik control over all levels of the Soviet society. That Bolshevik system never collapsed, to the contrary of the German expectations.
I think this "anti-Communist" revolution, from inside the Soviet society, was the biggest dream of the Nazi leadership. And it was the illusion which eventually cost the Nazi regime everything. What I wrote in this last paragraph are not my own ideas, as you know.

Also we should not forget that Stalin asked for peace negotiations at least twice, in 1941...1942. He would be ready to accept very bad conditions for Soviet Union.
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C-2
Posted: December 18, 2004 07:30 am
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QUOTE (Victor @ Dec 17 2004, 11:07 PM)
QUOTE (C-2 @ Dec 18 2004, 12:57 AM)
The Caukas wasn't a joy ride.
Rostok was taken and lost and the 4-th Panzer army  could be cut off if the Volga Front wasn't secure.

You mean 1st Panzer Army. The 4th Panzer Army was at Stalingrad.

Victor,
Actualy the 4-th panzer army was stripped from most of her efectives and armor and sent to the direction of Rostok and the oil fields.
Only a very small part of the 4-th PA were encircled at Stalingrad.
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Victor
Posted: December 18, 2004 07:30 am
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The anti-Comunist revolt did not exist also because of the way Germany acted in the occupied territories in the East. Probably a different attitude towards the locals, especialy in the Ukraine, would have paid up.
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C-2
Posted: December 18, 2004 07:41 am
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Florin,
The Wermaht started the Russian campain as their former "colegs"from "The Grand Armee" of Napoleon-ON FOOT and by HORSES.
The motoraised units were very few.
You understand-Steyer,Mercedes and Opel are not Ford GM and Chrisler,
If you saw the last episode of Brothers in Arms.......
Do you have any Idea how does it tahes today,by a modern train to go from Bucharest to Moskow?
And from Moskow to Iakutsk for example?
The German suplies line were to strached for Leningrad and Moskow.Stalingrad was totaly out of reach.
The Russians were distroing the ultrastructure they had ,and no roads or rail roads were left.
And don't forget the important fact that the Russian railroad if diferent by dimentions to the "rest of the world"-a very complicated procedure even today, of changing all the train wheels-on a special disaigned train.Either the Germans change all Soviet Union rail road sistem ,ar loose enormos amount of time by changing wheels at the borders.
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Victor
Posted: December 18, 2004 08:07 am
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QUOTE (C-2 @ Dec 18 2004, 09:30 AM)
Victor,
Actualy the 4-th panzer army was stripped from most of her efectives and armor and sent to the direction of Rostok and the oil fields.
Only a very small part of the 4-th PA were encircled at Stalingrad.

Army Group A (which had the task of taking the Caucasus) was made up from the 1st Panzer Army and the 17th Army. The Romanian 3rd Army command had been moved to Stalingrad from the Caucasus in September 42.

Army Group B (which was fighting around Stalingrad) was made up of the 6th Army, the 4th Panzer Army, the 3rd and 4th Romanian Armies, the 8th Italian Army and the 2nd Hungarian Army.

These were two totally different panzer armies engaged on two different directions.
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C-2
Posted: December 18, 2004 09:41 pm
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Read my post again.
Evry child knows that at Stalingrad the 6-th army,Hitler largest ,was encircled.
The 4-th PA was sent south toward the oilfields.
If you want to put it this way,in Stalingrad were encircled also Romanians Italians Kroatians and even Russian volunters.If there were a few guys from the 4-th that's all right by me :roll:
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Victor
Posted: December 18, 2004 09:57 pm
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QUOTE (C-2 @ Dec 18 2004, 11:41 PM)
Read my post again.
Evry child knows that at Stalingrad the 6-th army,Hitler largest ,was encircled.
The 4-th PA was sent south toward the oilfields.
If you want to put it this way,in Stalingrad were encircled also Romanians Italians Kroatians and even Russian volunters.If there were a few guys from the 4-th that's all right by me :roll:

I think you are the one who should reread the previous posts. I never said that the 4th Panzer Army was encircled at Stalingrad (only one of its corps - the 4th Corps of general Erwin Jaenecke, the later CO of the 17th Army in Crimea - was caught in the encirclement by the way, hardly "a few guys"). I just said that it was part of Army Group B, deployed in the Stalingrad area and had absolutely nothing to do with the campaign in the Caucasus, where the 1st Panzer Army was located. The fighting went on at Stalingrad for several months before Operation Uranus commenced.
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C-2
Posted: December 18, 2004 10:38 pm
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So we undestand eah other...
Most of the 4-th PA wasn't in Stalingrad.
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