71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:46 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:One of the rationales to the drive southward was to secure the oil fields there. Of course a secure source of oil was a long term imperative.

The Germans had a lot irons in the fire at that point. The Afrika Korps, the campaigns in the east, all the while the western Allies were building up with supplies and war materials traversing the Atlantic. This is where they ultimately needed to put more effort into.


There was I think a better option for gaining oil supplies than just diving into the Caucasus. While the Aftika Korps failed to notice why the desert wells were so frequently contaminated with unrefined oil (the Libyan oilfields!).
When Germany cajoled Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria into the Axis in 1940/41 they missed a trick by not also roping in Turkey as well. German pentration of Turkey gives the Reich access to Iraq. Iran and to the south Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The advantage is not only securing the Middle East oil supplies but also the opportunity for the Waffen SS to recruit sufficient Arab troops into several new SS panzer divisions...
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:39 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:The Stalingrad encirclement and the failure of the Germans to extracate themselves from the situation is another example of Goering's bad leadership, or at least a failure of Goering to confront Hitler with reality. Goering boasted that the Luftwaffe could keep the 6th Army supplied so there was no urgent need to breakout when they still possibly could. This concept was seazed upon by Hitler who could not stand the very idea of retreat. Of course the Luftwaffe could not begin to supply the 6th Army.


Goering was a complete military liability to the Third Riech.

In any other air force the misdirection of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain would have resulted in the resignation or sacking of Goering.

I find it quite ironic in that Hitler was good at firing, even executing military commanders who incurred his displeasure, yet the one commander who should have been fired remained fireproof right up until mid-April 1945....
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:49 pm

alecsandros wrote:However, my impression is that even so, the 6th Army would have beaten the russians off eventualy, if it weren't for the heavy supplies the USA and UK sent to the Russians during summer-autumn of 1942.


To an extent, yes. But had the Roumanian Army been properly equipped with decent tanks and heavy artillery they could have helped the sixth Army defeat Operation Uranus altogether.

Also, the shyness of Japan to press the russians in the east meant the Red Army had a continuous stream of reinforcements coming from the eastern steppes. [the Red Army lost over 1 million soldiers at Stalingrad. Despite this, they had another million troops fighting during Operation Uranus...]


The Japanese Army was absolutely against attacking the USSR with the USA in the war, because even General Tojo had to recognise that Japan had no chance of taking on the Russians as well as the Americans plus the British and Chinese.
Also Hitler was opposed to Japan intervening in his war, his Directive ''Co-operation with Japan'' issued in 1941 made this very clear.

In short: my thought is that the 6th Army lost because of inadequate manpower and equipment. Even with perfect Luftwaffe support, it was just a matter of more time before capitulation. The russians were to many and fielded to much equipment...


Think Guderian and his book, Achtung Panzer. They lost because they were deprived of MOBILITY.
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:55 pm

Byron Angel wrote:..... We are moving a little far afield from the "official" topic of the thread, but IMHO the USSR loses its war without the support of Lend-Lease. The amount of goods and raw materials delivered to the USSR between late 1941 and 1945 were unbelievably prodigious.


Agreed on both counts

Hoping St Nicholas has been as good to you this year as Santa Roosevelt was to Stalin for four Christmases in a row.


The Soviet Union would have collapsed long before 1990 had it not been propped up by various unwitting US Administrations, think for example of the Vodka Cola deal Nixon did with Brechnev. It was Reagan who won the Cold War, with his own version of Star Wars.
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby alecsandros » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:17 pm

@RF
Agreed on most asepcts.
I would add 2 small coments:
1) the Romanian army at Stalingrad was underequipped with tanks and AT guns. They made several requests to the Germans to provide them with the necessary equipment, knowing all to well that the danger of a mass tank assault was severe. Of course, the Germans barely had enough tanks and guns for their own, so the requests remained unanswered...
2) Clearly Japan could not have hoped to tackle the russians, Americans, Chinese, etc, all at hte same time.
However, when Barbarossa was launched in summer 1941, a help from Japan would have been excellent for the german armies (this meant NO Pearl Harbor, which would have helped in 2 ways: first, by keeping pressure on the east on the soviets, and second, by prolonging USA's entry in the war, thus prolonging Torch...)

No penetrations of the russian territories were required: simply to put pressure on the east, and force the soviets to mantain large amounts of troops there. 1... And of course, the situation of the Stalingrad front would have been different 1 year later...

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:45 am

..... Japan's very careful behavior with respect to the USSR during WW2 was a direct result of the summer 1939 Nomonhan incident and the consequent battle of Khalkin Gol, wherein Soviet forces under General Zhukov totally routed the Japanese army. After this campaign, both sides agreed to a state of mutual non-aggression: the Japanese because they were well and truly tied up in China and not anxious for a second beating, the Soviets because they had imminently unfolding plans for Poland and wished to keep options open in case any opportunities were to arise in Europe.

Japanese circumspection was of such a degree that, when Lend-Lease shipments started to flow to the USSR from the USA late in 1941, Japan permitted regular merchant traffic from the US West coast to Vladivostock to pass untouched throughout the balance of the war.

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby alecsandros » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:11 pm

... I know...
That verifies once again that Germany lost at Stalingrad because her allies (Japan and Italy) did not help to much... On the contrary...

Again, an all out assault on the eastern borders of the soviets was not required: simply keeping pressure on them would have been enough...as it was though, Japan permitted the russians to concentrate on the western front with all their power...

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:00 pm

alecsandros wrote:... I know...
That verifies once again that Germany lost at Stalingrad because her allies (Japan and Italy) did not help to much... On the contrary...

Again, an all out assault on the eastern borders of the soviets was not required: simply keeping pressure on them would have been enough...as it was though, Japan permitted the russians to concentrate on the western front with all their power...



..... I think the answer can be found in the idea that Japan and Germany were merely allies of convenience and coincidence and not of any real mutual conviction. On that basis, Japan first and foremost saw to its own interests and ambitions.

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby alecsandros » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:39 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote:... I know...
That verifies once again that Germany lost at Stalingrad because her allies (Japan and Italy) did not help to much... On the contrary...

Again, an all out assault on the eastern borders of the soviets was not required: simply keeping pressure on them would have been enough...as it was though, Japan permitted the russians to concentrate on the western front with all their power...



..... I think the answer can be found in the idea that Japan and Germany were merely allies of convenience and coincidence and not of any real mutual conviction. On that basis, Japan first and foremost saw to its own interests and ambitions.

B


Indeed. I think the Japanese were overconfident of their military strength and started a hopeless war with the USA.
As a corrolary to the above discussions: how on Earth could the Japanese imagine they could defeat the largest global industrial power , if they couldn't defeat the far more primitive soviets... ?

PS: A happy New Year to everybody on the Forum,
Wish you all the best in 2014

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:10 pm

alecsandros wrote: Indeed. I think the Japanese were overconfident of their military strength and started a hopeless war with the USA.
As a corrolary to the above discussions: how on Earth could the Japanese imagine they could defeat the largest global industrial power , if they couldn't defeat the far more primitive soviets... ?

PS: A happy New Year to everybody on the Forum,
Wish you all the best in 2014



..... A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you and yours as well, Alecsandros.

Re Japan - I don't think that everyone in Japanese leadership circles was necessarily infected with such irrational over-confidence, but (a) Roosevelt had so tightened the economic screws upon Japan as to leave them little choice in a domestic political sense, and (b) the Japanese experience in the Russo-Japanese War, where they had indeed succeeded in defeating what they perceived to have been a major power, must also have colored their thinking.

At least that is my take on it.

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:41 pm

alecsandros wrote::
1) the Romanian army at Stalingrad was underequipped with tanks and AT guns. They made several requests to the Germans to provide them with the necessary equipment, knowing all to well that the danger of a mass tank assault was severe. Of course, the Germans barely had enough tanks and guns for their own, so the requests remained unanswered...


I think there is rather more to it than that.

Romania's problem in WW2, like in WW1, is that it went war without having any heavy industry or domestic armaments industry necessary for conducting total war. So it couldn't create an indigenous armoured force with mobile troops and artillery. The Germans I would suggest failed to answer Romanian requests for German heavy weapons deliberately because possession of modern weapons gave the Romanians a degree of independence and freedom of action whereas in the German scheme of things Romania was an Axis puppet state, like Croatia or Slovakia. The Germans did help the Hungarians to create a Hungarian armoured division, but Hungary was closer to Germany and under much tighter German control than countries like Romania or Finland.
Romania was the fourth largest Axis country by population and size of Army. A modern industrialised Romania could have played a much more significant role - but Hitler would not have allowed that.
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:50 pm

Byron Angel wrote:..... I think the answer can be found in the idea that Japan and Germany were merely allies of convenience and coincidence and not of any real mutual conviction. On that basis, Japan first and foremost saw to its own interests and ambitions.
B


I think it was deeper than that. The IJA completely distrusted the Germans and while the IJN was prepared to co-operate in the spirit of the Tripartite Pact the IJA was absolutely opposed to any German involvement or influence in the far east. Witness their treatment of German nationals and servicemen who lived in or arrived on Japanese controlled territory.

The IJA viewed Germany and Italy purely as a European second theatre to their war with the US; the only instance of any Japanese grand strategy in WW2. They had their own man as ambassador in Berlin and the IJA diplomatic traffic during December 1941/January 1942 made the role of General Oshima very clear - to make sure Germany declared war on the USA without any commitment on the part of the Japanese to help the Germans.
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby RF » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:01 pm

Byron Angel wrote:Re Japan - I don't think that everyone in Japanese leadership circles was necessarily infected with such irrational over-confidence, but (a) Roosevelt had so tightened the economic screws upon Japan as to leave them little choice in a domestic political sense, and (b) the Japanese experience in the Russo-Japanese War, where they had indeed succeeded in defeating what they perceived to have been a major power, must also have colored their thinking.


I think this is absolutely right.

I would add in c) Hitler lied to Japanese Foriegn Minister Matsouka when he visited Berlin in April 1941 to ask the Germans for their view on the proposed non-aggression pact between Japan and the USSR. The Finns and Romanians had already been told about Barbarossa - but there was no briefing for the Japanese. Hitler approved the non-aggression pact proposal and said Germany planned no hostile move on the USSR.
On 22 June 1941 the IJA took the launch of Barbarossa and the fact that Japan had been kept in the dark as an insult to Japanese honour - very important in Japan.
So the Japanese witheld from the Germans any mention of attacking the USA, so the PH attack came as a total surprise to the Germans. But Oshima did his job - prompting Hitler to declare war on the USA....
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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby alecsandros » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:48 pm

RF wrote:On 22 June 1941 the IJA took the launch of Barbarossa and the fact that Japan had been kept in the dark as an insult to Japanese honour - very important in Japan.

... Still let's not forget that in June 1941 the Japanese strategy for securing South-East Asia were prettly clear, and the Pearl Harbor attack already studied in-depth (since Fev 1941).

So it was of little consequence if they were announced or not of Barbarossa.

Japan played an autistic role, thinking herself to be capable of taking on the entire Allied forces in the Pacific, and without offering nor demaning any kind of help of any sort from their theoretical Axis allies.

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Re: 71 years from Operation Winter Storm

Postby alecsandros » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:10 pm

RF wrote:The Germans I would suggest failed to answer Romanian requests for German heavy weapons deliberately because possession of modern weapons gave the Romanians a degree of independence and freedom of action whereas in the German scheme of things Romania was an Axis puppet state, like Croatia or Slovakia.

... Perhaps, but on the Stalingrad front I know there were shortages of AT and AA guns even for the German divisions, not to mention shortages in tanks.
So it's difficult to lay blame on Von Paulus 6th Army for not providing equipment to the Romanian 4th Army...

Romania appears to have fought all her wars while living in the past.

During the 1877/78 Independence War, Romanian troops were prepared (and equipped) to fight as in 1820.
During the First World WAr, Romanian divisions were properly equipped to fight a 1880-1890s war
During the Second World War, the army was equipped and prepared to fight the First World War.

and so on and so forth...


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