This thread started by someone who knows, through the benefit of hindsight, that the German attack on Russia was “stupid”. True, but the Germans did not know it at the time. Poor intelligence led the Germans to believe that they could quickly storm to Moscow and take it before the end of summer. Storming is a method, invented by Canadians as I have been told, where armies smash through or go around enemy emplacements and travel quickly to their objective. They do not stop. The Germans tried this in Russia and it worked fine until their forces reached Smolensk. Then the advance bogged down so much it was not possible to take the objective in time. Things napoleoned after that and they wound up losing the war.
You know it seemed like the allies were willing to give Hitler most of what he wanted to prevent war. He could have had his thousand year Reich but he was too greedy. They could have owned most of Europe and then because of their military might they could have influenced the rest of Europe to be absorbed into their empire without firing a shot.
One thing I would ask you to do is point out my errors. I am a civilian ‘computer guy’ and military speak is a second language. There is no substitute for experience and I do not have any but you do and I can learn from that. Other veterans have already taught me enough military speak so that I can at least converse intelligently but I still make misteaks.
The Reich was to rule them all including the U.S. War was probably inevitable. Germany had a very small army when they annexed the Sudentland but it grew dramatically by absorbing its enemies. Each time they defeated a country that country’s resources were used to grow the axis military. This is probably the only way they can build their armies since they have few of the needed resources in Germany. Iron and coal are not enough.
The axis powers had a good workable plan and it is really you Americans that screwed things up royally. Japan did not attack Pearl to bring America into the war. Japan couldn’t possibly prosecute a war for the continental United States. What Japan wanted was for the U.S. to capitulate, remain neutral, and keep sending oil. In a move that surprised the world the U.S. declared war despite the fact that they were completely dominated by Japan in the Pacific. There was this young Chester Nimitz guy in the U.S. Navy and he had the unorthodox idea that aircraft carriers could be used to form Battle[ship] groups. This concept raised a few eyebrows. I mean what is a four and half ton aircraft going to do to a forty-five thousand-ton battleship. [It winds up that aircraft can sink a battleship but it is still a radical concept] Anyway the U.S. did, with great risk, declare war and Nimitz was proven correct. Few people today understand how difficult it must have been to fight in the Pacific without the capital ships that were lost at Pearl. Somehow those crazy Americans managed to win and I am completely in awe of your victory.
If the U.S. had done the sensible thing and capitulated then Japan would have been free to attack Russia from the East and there is a good chance that the Soviet Union would have fallen. Then after absorbing their military resources the axis armies would be off to Alaska. At that point they can take the U.S. and Canada and only some of the Commonwealth would remain free but doomed to eventual absorption. I wonder if the Nazis are the pattern for the Borg on Star Trek.
Of course this is all meaningless speculation but it is an interesting brain exercise nonetheless.
And do the German losses cover all the forces employed during the campaign? Please don't take this as a leading question, I'm just seeking clarity. It's important to establish how the two sides conceptualized the campaign, in an overarching sense.There are actually no noteworthy discrepancies. If anything, the German definition is marginally more inclusive, as it represents the timeframe from June 21st to August 31st.
So, roughly 275,000 permanent losses? In exchange for 180,000 and the strategic advantage gleaned from the initial advance and the exploitation of its success, surely that should be seen as a notable victory, and a vindication for the Soviet way of war.However, there were roughly 15 000 stragglers that made it back to German lines which are likely not properly accounted for. Reference Hintze, Rückkämpfer etc.
No more point than me bringing up tactical force ratios during Barbarossa, Blau etc.I guess there is no point in bringing up the force ratios again, but suffice it to say, that in the light of these circumstances
Did you have a look at the map I posted recently in this section? You get a decent idea of the dispositions from various reports, studies and biographical works - but seeing it really offers a fresh perspective.
I suppose what I'm saying - without much directness - is that it cannot be the 'fault' of the Soviets that they were able to muster advantageous forces along their attack corridors. Is that (force concentration) not one of the most vital facets of the operational art? The Germans themselves just about perfected the method of garnering tactical superiority and turning it into operational success. Bagration was the inevitable promulgation of its evolutionary process in the Soviet system.
The first ten days represented an extraordinary success with minimal losses. The next thirty, on the other hand, represented a Soviet strategic exploitation with decidedly mixed results, as the German strategic disadvantage was slowly ameliorated. Drawing back once more to Barbarossa - if you'll indulge me - one cannot overlook the analogous relationship. Generally speaking, strong forces in breakthrough sectors overcoming poorly prepared and far smaller belligerent concentrations, then exploiting the initial success against gradually strengthening opposition until the forces involved invariably are unable to continue advancing meaningfully due to attrition and logistical concerns.the victory was an enormously costly one, and fails to strike me as particularly extraordinary
Yes, I know, I don't much like sweeping analogies of this sort, either. But the measuring stick for success has to be set somewhere. If the initial stages of Barbarossa constituted a very successful operation, then so must Bagration. Many of the parameters were similar. A strategically misdirected foe; favorable force concentrations (during Barbarossa the Germans did, for the most part, establish crushing superiorities against the Soviet concentrations arrayed along the border and its immediate environs); early success followed by eventual strategic frustration.
In any case, it's an interesting debate, to be sure - although I think we're both doing a little bit of nitpicking, as is our way, eh Indiana?
Of course I expect that you have more expertise than many of the so-called experts. Many of them are technically challenged civilian historians that mistakenly believe that the complete truth can be found in archival sources. Others do not really comprehend a subject but merely regurgitate what they have read. If their source is revisionist fiction then that is what they proclaim with zeal and absolute conviction.
The “world’s expert” on the Soviet military claims that the original KV with 85 mm gun had a Stalin turret and a modified version of that was fitted to the T-34 medium tank. The super-heavy Stalin turret was huge and could accommodate the giant 122mm gun. There is no way they fit that turret in any form on the little T-34 hull. The “expert” is simply wrong. The T-34 turret came from the KV-1S that was a lightened version of the KV heavy tank that was much lighter than the Stalin. The KV-1S turret was much smaller and lighter than the Stalin’s and is really the only candidate for fitting onto a T-34. It doesn’t seem that this “expert” has much real expertise.
There are also many “experts” in the east that will claim towed artillery and AT guns defeated the Germans near the Kursk salient in the middle of 1943. So far none of them have explained how these weapons could then be used offensively to chase the retreating armoured vehicles. Perhaps it is just me but it doesn’t look like they have much “expertise” either.
The last thing I want to read is more revisionist fiction from the “experts”.
Srsly.... I have never seen any evidence of T-34-85's in Kursk.
Also if you have not consulted with sources that reflect archival information, post '93, you are at a loss. I find many minor (and some major) adjustments been made by genuine historians after Yelstins opening of archives.
Last edited by RIPTIDE; 09-15-2009 at 12:47 AM.
You are giving us all a headache with your nonsense Murray. I ask you one simple, very easy question: why in god's name, would the Soviet Union, had masqueraded T-34/85 production if they had actually fought at Kursk? Why would they have no photographic evidence of the tanks at Kursk? WHY in gods name would actual soldiers memoirs (I suggest you read some, instead of w/e garbage you have been feasting on), generals memoirs, hell, factory plant managers memeoirs have NO mention of T-34s with 85mm guns at Kursk?
Also what is this nonsense of "many many" Su-152s at Kurks. Evidence please. Everything I have seen, points to here being a dozen or two of these impressive vehicles at various stages of the fighting.
No country’s archives are correct and complete. The German archives do not mention death camps or the murder of millions of innocent Soviet citizens under their jurisdiction. Does the absence of these records prove the events never happened? Rewriting history primarily using archival sources is idiotic and virtually guaranteed to corrupt history.
The most recent book I have based on Kursk says there were around 600 T-34s at Kursk but it does not mention the caliber of armament they were.
Last edited by cbiwv; 09-15-2009 at 11:17 AM.