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Old 12-29-2009, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
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Originally Posted by GatorDude View Post
Perhaps, we wouldn't stop them until huge battles near Kansas City.
I would let them have the Missouri side.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Lives were what the USSR had in the greatest quantity. They spent them because that was what they had. Seldom could individual Soviet units match up to German ones in terms of discipline and education, but they could overwhelm them with sheer numbers.

It isn't that the Soviets were no good at war or their equipment was massively inferior, it was the quality of the troops themselves. Undertrained, underfed, underequipped, and undereducated, especially the troops recruited from the far Eastern parts of the USSR, they could not match the Germans for being able to execute complex manuevers or taking the initiative when no officers were around. Further, they were handicapped by each unit having a commisar attached to make sure that no one became politically incorrect in any manner. In choices where either the politics must suffer, or the military efficiency must suffer, the latter always did the suffering. Stalin played Zhukov and Konev against one another, causing them both to throw away hundreds of thousands of lives in the race to be the first into Berlin. THey were not careful with the lives of their troops because their was no political reward for bringing home the highest percentage of your soldiers. (After the German surrender, when Ike met Zhukov, Ike mentioned the new equipment that the west had developed for detecting mines. Zhukov countered that the fastest way to clear a mine field was to march a battalion through it.)

Suffering is what the Soviet troops were best at, extraordinary powers of endurance in all weathers and conditions. Theirs was a fatalism with which most went into combat thinking himself a deadman. They were aware that being captured meant a delay in their death, not the prevention of it, thus they fought like demons to the last when cut off in small units.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I agree with what GS said, although commisars were I believe withdrawn from combat units in October 31, 1942. Russian soldiers were reluctant to take individual action without orders from their officers, which reflected both their history and culture as much as education. Commonly their officers themselves were poorly trained or educated. That led to simple tactics such as human waves and thus higher casualities. There is an old joke from the period that once an officer gave an order it was carried out until one of three things happened. The order was achieved, they were dead, or the officer came back to change the order.

The very fact that they were willing to take such incredible casualities and survive such incredible harships to achieve their goals eventually demoralized the German army, which contributed to their defeat. It might be noted that the Russians excelled at urban warfare, much more so its been argued than Germans. For whatever reason, they actually were better at adapting new techniques and tactics than the Germans in that area.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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The USSR was the ONLY nation that was face to face with the German army from JUN 41 to MAY 45.

That was almost four years of non-stop battlefield fighting. No other nation in the war had even close to that much "face time" with the German Army.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
The USSR was the ONLY nation that was face to face with the German army from JUN 41 to MAY 45.
The commonwealth army was fighting the Germans during that entire period as well, first in N Africa, then in Italy, then in NWE. They were the only ones fighting the Germans from August 40 to June 1941.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
The commonwealth army was fighting the Germans during that entire period as well, first in N Africa, then in Italy, then in NWE. They were the only ones fighting the Germans from August 40 to June 1941.
Not quite true. The Greeks fought and defeated the first Axis invasion of their nation which began in October of 1940. When the Italians had finished making a botch of the assault, the Germans sent in the varsiety on April 6th of 1941. The Greeks fought back but they and the allied British troops were overcome in two weeks.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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True and the Yugoslavs fought briefly as well. But I meant fought continuously during this period, and both the Greeks and Yugoslave regular military fought only for a short period. Actually the Yugoslav royal army turned in one of the worse performances of the war.

There is an interesting phenomeon about WWII. From Nov 1939 to April 1940 there was very little real fighting. Then from July 1940 through July 1941 there were only fairly low level conflicts in Africa and the Balkans on land. The German army in particular except the few divisions in Africa and the brief operations in the Balkans, essentially did not fight at all from July 40 to July 41.

It was a strange pause in the war.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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The German Army that invaded Russia in 1941 was very advanced in several way's compared to the Soviets, but not vastly superior. The Germans enjoyed advantages in tactics, organization, leadership from the non coms on up, as well as communication. Had Hitler not invaded Yugoslavia after the pro soviet coup, her would have had an additional 100,000 men to use in operation Barbarossa.

The Russians used the same tactics against the Germans that they had used against past invaders, trade men territory for time. While axis supply lines were stretched, and troops were siphoned off for occupation and extermination duty, the Soviets kept building tanks and planes in factories that had been moved out of reach of the short range Luftwaffe. The same problem which arguable cost the Luftwaffe the battle of Britain.

The Germans were very shortsighted in their planning, no winter clothing was provided, Lubrication oil needed to keep tanks and artillery functioning in freezing weather were not provided. And as previously stated the April invasion of Yugoslavia delayed the invasion of Russia and siphoned off large amounts of men and material.

The Soviets heavily fortified the Cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad and just at the moment the first German mechanized units were in sight of Moscow, the winter of 1941 set in.

In addition, the Soviet Armies in the European theatre were not the elite of the Soviet military. The army in Siberia was better trained, equiped, and led. When Japan did not declare war on the Soviet Union following the German invasion, and with the entry of the U.S. after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Stalin had the luxury of new sources of supply through Murmansk as well as not having to fear a Japanese attack on the far east.

Stalin initially transfered siberian divisions with T34c tanks which were superior to most German tanks and much less complicated to produce. The Soviets launched an offensive in winter of 41 with troops used to and equiped for winter fighting. The Germans managed to hold on to most of their previous advance, but their aura of invincibility was broken.

During the summer of 42 the German offensive turned from Moscow to the south and became too ambitious. They planned to attack and secure the Don and Volga rivers then move into the oil rich Caucuses, but instead Hitler ordered they be taken simultaneously. This stretched resources to the limit and eventually led to the defeat at Stalingrad.

While the eastern front sapped the manpower of both nations, as the Soviets eventually started reclaiming territory they were able to draft the occupants, many eager for revenge into their ranks.

Germany never developed a strategic bomber capable of attacking the Soviet factories in the Urals, while German factories were coming under increased bombing from the US and Britain.

With North Africa, the Balkans, Italy and eventually the invasion of France stretching their recourses to the limit, Germany was ground into total submission by superior industrial output.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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[quote=Big bull;12285265]
Quote:
The German Army that invaded Russia in 1941 was very advanced in several way's compared to the Soviets, but not vastly superior. The Germans enjoyed advantages in tactics, organization, leadership from the non coms on up, as well as communication.
They were signficantly supperior in infantry fire power, training, and in technological features such as radios for their tanks, which are commonly ignored in histories but critical in battle.

Quote:
Had Hitler not invaded Yugoslavia after the pro soviet coup, her would have had an additional 100,000 men to use in operation Barbarossa.
Far more important they would have had six weeks of additional good weather to complete the campaign.

Quote:
The Russians used the same tactics against the Germans that they had used against past invaders, trade men territory for time.
Actually they didn't. They launched major, disasterous, counterattacks which were a major reason the fared so disasterously in the early months. Only then did they trade space for time, because they had little choice.

Quote:
While axis supply lines were stretched, and troops were siphoned off for occupation and extermination duty, the Soviets kept building tanks and planes in factories that had been moved out of reach of the short range Luftwaffe. The same problem which arguable cost the Luftwaffe the battle of Britain.
Relatively few troops were used to support extermination operations in 41. The Luftwaffe lost because it got overwhelmed by numbers primarily. It was never seen as a strategic bomber force, but a tactical extension of the army. That is why it had few heavy, long range bombers (actually it had no heavy long range bombers at all).

Quote:
The Germans were very shortsighted in their planning, no winter clothing was provided,
They thought the war would be over in six weeks. Their operational objectives included gorki far to the east of the russian capital. Among other mistakes they badly underestimated Russian manpower, a point stressed by Halder later.

Quote:
Lubrication oil needed to keep tanks and artillery functioning in freezing weather were not provided.
It did not exist in 1941. No one in Western Europe was prepared for a Russian winter when temperatures can fall to negative -30 C. Even worse for the Germans their artificial fuel and rubbers desiningrated in these conditions, ruining tanks.

Quote:
And as previously stated the April invasion of Yugoslavia delayed the invasion of Russia and siphoned off large amounts of men and material.
Only the delay really mattered.

Quote:
The Soviets heavily fortified the Cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad and just at the moment the first German mechanized units were in sight of Moscow, the winter of 1941 set in.
Only Moscow, and to a more limited extent Leningrad had heavy fortifications. Indeed Stalingrad lacked heavy fortifications as late as August 42. German bombers and ad hoc operations by soviet infantry not formally prepared fortifications were present in that city.

Quote:
In addition, the Soviet Armies in the European theatre were not the elite of the Soviet military. The army in Siberia was better trained, equiped, and led.
Because Stalin saw Japan not Germany as the greater threat. I am not sure the Siberians, who were fierce soldiers, were better equiped except for winter warfare. When they went into battle they had not lost their equipment of course as had many Russian formations by then.

Quote:
When Japan did not declare war on the Soviet Union following the German invasion, and with the entry of the U.S. after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Stalin had the luxury of new sources of supply through Murmansk as well as not having to fear a Japanese attack on the far east.
True

Quote:
Stalin initially transfered siberian divisions with T34c tanks which were superior to most German tanks and much less complicated to produce. The Soviets launched an offensive in winter of 41 with troops used to and equiped for winter fighting. The Germans managed to hold on to most of their previous advance, but their aura of invincibility was broken.
The terrible winter, being far from their supply lines, and heavy losses played a key role. I dont think the siberians had large numbers of T-34 or KV tanks - and the T34 M41 they had lacked functioning radios, a huge disadvantage in combat.

Quote:
During the summer of 42 the German offensive turned from Moscow to the south and became too ambitious. They planned to attack and secure the Don and Volga rivers then move into the oil rich Caucuses, but instead Hitler ordered they be taken simultaneously. This stretched resources to the limit and eventually led to the defeat at Stalingrad.
The initial goals of plan Blue were much less gradiose. After the initial German successes Hitler changed the plan, making it broader. The result was that the fourth tank army, for example, was sent across the 6th army's path blocking it from moving for key days (it was later sent back an amazing blunder overall).

Quote:
While the eastern front sapped the manpower of both nations, as the Soviets eventually started reclaiming territory they were able to draft the occupants, many eager for revenge into their ranks.
While that is true the soviet population never occupied by the Germans, particularly in Asia, vastly outnumbered the Germans. And huge partisan groups had already mobilized before being drafted into the Russian army.

Quote:
Germany never developed a strategic bomber capable of attacking the Soviet factories in the Urals, while German factories were coming under increased bombing from the US and Britain.
They never developed a strategic bomber capable of bombing England. Unless one counts the condor (which I think had four engines) the Germans had no four engine bomber in the war. Nor did they ever attempt a strategic bombing campaign. The 1940 operations in England were more aimed at tactically defeating the RAF and terrorising the public than attacking factories. The Germans never thought of the war that way, the Luftwaffe remained primarily a tool to support the army.

Quote:
With North Africa, the Balkans, Italy and eventually the invasion of France stretching their recourses to the limit, Germany was ground into total submission by superior industrial output.
And a series of mistakes by Hitler.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:59 PM
 
59 posts, read 113,992 times
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The Germans had bombers capable of reaching factories and bases throughout britain, what they did not have, just as the Allies did not have until the P-51 was a long range fighter capable of tangling with Spitfires and Hurricanes, the Me109 when on escort could not linger and dogfight more than 10 min over Southern England, they used drop tanks in limited numbers after the Battle of Britain but never fully implemented the tactic, it could have made a huge difference in the air war.

Russia was another matter, the Luftwaffe had complete air supremacy in Russia well into 1943. It was the range restrictions which prevented attacking Soviet industry.
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