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> November 2012 - 70 years since Operation Uranus, November 1942 - November 2012
Florin
Posted: November 28, 2012 05:05 am
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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.

This post has been edited by Florin on November 28, 2012 05:06 am
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MMM
  Posted: November 28, 2012 08:10 am
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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!
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Agarici
Posted: November 28, 2012 04:33 pm
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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.
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MMM
Posted: November 28, 2012 05:53 pm
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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!
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Florin
Posted: November 29, 2012 06:25 am
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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?

This post has been edited by Florin on November 29, 2012 06:28 am
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MMM
Posted: November 29, 2012 09:08 am
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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.

This post has been edited by MMM on December 02, 2012 06:10 pm
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dead-cat
Posted: December 03, 2012 09:48 pm
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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.
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MMM
Posted: December 05, 2012 08:27 pm
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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!

This post has been edited by MMM on December 05, 2012 08:27 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: December 05, 2012 10:04 pm
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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!
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Imperialist
Posted: December 06, 2012 12:39 pm
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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.
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Victor
Posted: December 06, 2012 04:13 pm
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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.

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aidan zea
Posted: December 08, 2012 09:45 pm
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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!
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Florin
Posted: December 09, 2012 01:09 am
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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."
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MMM
Posted: December 09, 2012 11:16 am
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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?
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Dénes
Posted: December 09, 2012 12:03 pm
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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.

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