Discussion:
WI Britain Joined Germany In WW1
(too old to reply)
Les
2004-04-01 20:36:18 UTC
Permalink
"Stefan Diekmann" <***@gmx.net> wrote in message news:<4069eb98$0$20987$***@newscene.com>...

(stuff deleted)
Corruption is a problem that has nothing to do with mobilization.
It does when it is hidden in the mobilization figures. Acquiring
copper earmarked for military use when it is really used for brass and
ornaments for Goering's latest palace is rather problematic.
A
mobilized economy can be corrupt, just like one that isn't. Fighting
corruption is very different from mobilizing the economy. Of course both
effect the war production, no question, yet they're two unrelated factors.
The more corrupt the adminisration gets, the worse it becomes over the
long run, particularly in a political system that does not allow for
easy detection and correction of corrupt behavior.

(stuff deleted)
Speer cites the difficulty he had to convince Hitler to authorize
cutting back tank production in favor of spare parts for their
existing tanks. More tanks looked good from a paper standpoint, but
tank parts were far easier to send to the front lines, and could
actually allow the Germans to operate more tanks in the battlefield
when and where it mattered.
I fail to see what that has to do with mobilizing.
We're talking about the scenario of Germany invading the USSR, and
what they'd likely do if they had more materials at hand. I'm
pointing out that the nature of Hitler's Germany was apt to
misallocate their additional resources due to a combination of
logistical ignorance, preferance for military toys, and general
corruption, all of which were rife in the 3rd Reich.
You're talking about
rationalizing here.
No, I'm talking about Nazi Germany's lack of foresight concerning
logistical matters, along with the rampant confusion and corruption in
their administration.
<snip>
With another 100,000 Italian
soldiers and the DAK at Stalingrad,
Just a second, the Germans were stretched beyond their sustainable
limit at Stalingrad already. How can we add another 100 000 troops at
such a distance?
By diverting resources freed up in the West to logistics
Mussolini was no more concerned with logistics than Hitler was. Check
the difficulties the Italians had in supplying their forces in North
Africa. There is also the matter of Italian equipment. Somehow the
prospect of an Italian tank dueling with a Soviet T-34 does not strike
me as being fair to the Italians.
and allowing them
to supply more troops at the front better than OTL.
How does the RM transport supplies and troops over land? They cannot
supply an offensive into Southern Russian ports until the ports are in
German hands, and the Germans cannot take the ports from land unless
they have sufficient logistics. It's a Catch-22.
<snip>
Sending ten thousand to build a factory to
construct more rail equipment would have been even better.
This violates the premise of Barbarossa: knock out the USSR in one
season. It also violates the Nazi prefrence to allocate labor to
small shops in politically correct ridings.
Nope, neither.
Please cite a source indicating that Barbarossa did not intend to
knock out the USSR before winter. If so, please explain the sudden
German scramble for winter equipment (including the step of accepting
women's coats) once it became obvious Russia would still fight. Also
explain why some German generals did not issue the winter supplies
they had to the troops, giving the reason they did not want to
demoralize their men into thinking it would be a long war.
You're going to need the railroads even if Russia has surrendered.
If Russia has surrendered, building an efficient, high-capacity
railroad network is not nearly as urgent a priority as garrison
requirements are significantly less than those required for an army in
combat.
What use
is a country when you can't get anywhere? You're going to have to build the
railroads sooner or later anyway.
These are the same planners who were trying to reach Moscow from mid
Poland at the rate of a horse-drawn cart.
And once it becomes clear you can't supply
those troops at the front,
...like OTL, when the troops started dying by the hundreds of
thousands? That's when the Germans realized they needed a better
supply line.
you might as well let them do something useful.
The troops in question are at the front, in order for them to do
anything useful they'll need supplies and equipment, and they can't
get the supplies and equipment to improve the logistical structure
because the logistic structure can't deliver enough supplies and
equipment to the front to do this.
As to the second, there are quite a few huge companies in Germany getting
lots of orders and many quasi national companies.
Yep, but since there was no drive for standardization, the large
companies simply retooled their factories, churned out the requested
number of parts required, then retooled for the next request for
different components. Hitler and the Gauleteirs wanted as much small
business production and assembly as possible, and didn't bother with
standardization until the war bogged down into a war of attrition.
<snip>
Since there's no fighting with Britain,
KM will be able to provide more logistic support,
You know, the maps I have handy at the moment seem to indicate the sea
lanes end a few thousand miles before Moscow.
Strange, my show Leningrad quite a bit closer than that.
Oh, so you want to land supplies and equipment directly into a
Soviet-held zone in order to supply an offensive against Leningrad?
That certainly is a bold move.
And even if you
only supply AG-North through the Baltic ports,
...then the Soviets thank the Germans kindly as they are the ones in
control of the ports. AG North ends up going nowhere.
that'll free up the land
routes for AG-Center, while AG-South gets a signifficant part of its
resources through ports there.
In order to get to the southern ports, Germany will have to take them
via land, and then be able to get Turkish permission to ship through
the Dardenelles. At this point we have the classic Catch-22: The
Germans need to take the ports for the supplies, but won't have the
supplies to do it until they take the ports.

(stuff deleted)

BTW, your ATL still has the same problems as the Germans had OTL: lack
of any strategic focus. First you want the Germans to take Moscow,
but still take Leningrad (something they failed to do OTL), and then
take Stalingrad (so successful they lost Army Group South). Switching
of objectives was one of the problems that doomed Barbarossa.

(stuff deleted)
Germany did pretty well
OTL.
Really? In six years of war, Germany changed from being the #1
continental power to being torn in half. I'd hate to see how you'd
rank doing badly.
LOL
Okay, how do you rank power?
The above subject was in terms of "doing well." I consider a nation
that made a sequence of decisions that all point to national suicide
not to have done well.
War potential? Then Germany would be #3, after
US and USSR, according to Kennedy.
By 1945, Germany had -- at best -- the 5th largest war potential in
Germany, after the USSR, the US, the UK, Canada, France, and probably
any other sizeable armed force occupying what was left of the country.
Army size? Then it's clearly the USSR.
You mean, the one Germany has invaded, and is probably not taken by
surprise in this (highly improbable) ATL?
Germany had a temporary advantage she used damn well.
The plan which assumed knocking out Moscow would end effective Soviet
resistance (see how well it worked for Napolean). It assumed an army
that mostly traveled at the speed of a horse drawn cart could make it
from mid-Poland to Moscow before winter arrived, and which relied on
strategic bombing of areas east of Moscow to keep the Soviets down
(pity Germany didn't have any real strategic bombers). The plan
failed to account for vehicle wear and tear, the strain of a long and
wide front on the existing logistics, and the fact there were at least
twice as many Soviet soldiers facing them than the Germans had
immediately expected.

The plan that ultimately placed the USSR on the Allied side, and
guaranteed a war of attrition.
And it was Hitler who
managed to create this advantage in the first place.
...and also keep his forces standing fast at the long end of an
overstressed logistical infrastructure to fight a prolonged and
largely unplanned war of attrition against a numerically superior foe.
To add to the fun, he also switched objectives depending on
short-term opportunities.
Also, I don't see how being militarily defeated proofs the innate
self-destructive nature of Hitler's government.
Let's see: Nazi Germany risked and initiated a major war simply to
crush the non-threat of Poland, then attacked the USSR in hopes that
the bulk of it's horse-cart army reaches Moscow before winter *while
the UK is still in the war,* then declares war against the US while
both the UK and USSR are still very much in the fight.

Looks like self-destructive behaviour to me, even without Hitler's
scorched-earth directives.
It was a direct result of
racism, and nothing more.
More like the result of racism, high-risk gambling mistaken for
ingenious planning, and willful ignorance.

(stuff deleted)
Indeed, Germany is so short on coal that it keeps trading it away during the
war.
Germany also traded oil to Italy. That didn't mean they had copious
amounts of it.
Heard of the deals with Sweden, perhaps?
Useful, but not sufficient.
As for railroad conversion, that went pretty well. The problem was that
Soviet supply stations were about twice as far apart as German rail
equipment required, and the temperatures. This means that useing the rails
is actually harder than you suggested,
So in other words, the rail conversion went pretty well despite the
fact it went badly.
but I can't see why the problem
couldn't be solved with all the resources freed up.
You mean the extra resources Hitler and Mussolini have converted into
tanks and troops and placed in the front line? Hitler was as likely
to discard soldiers in favor of engineers and construction crews as he
was to convert to Judaism.
And without all the fuel send to North Africa, Italy (Italian Navy ran
largely on German supplied oil), or used in the BOB, there are much larger
reserves available.
...which Hitler and Mussolini would use as front line troops, which
end up putting even more stress on the logistical network.
And without bombing of Rumania, no need to supply large
fighter formations against the bombers, no sub campaign in the Atlantic, and
such, there'll be more available for the East Front, too.
...which are bottlenecked due to Germany's shortage of trucks and
proper railway apparatus, while the strain on them is increased due to
the larger number of combat troops fighting on the front line.
I'm not sure, but even the Soviet
state can collapse.
Unfortunately when under direct attack, a highly centralized economic
and political system can work wonders, particularly when the
leadership involved is aware of the cost of losing.
Yeah, but soldiers still need food and weapons.
The Germans realized this the hard way.
And without foreign supply
the Soviets will have to decide between millions (more than OTL) starving in
42 and reducing their army.
That depends on what the UK/US humanitarian organizations may do if
Soviet propaganda shows the German ravages of war (in particular the
wonderful POW pens they set up for the Soviets).
And they can't win in 42.
They don't have to. Germany is the one pinning everything on the
quick knock-out strategy.
So in 43 they're going
to have to wage war with the consequence of that choice. At the same time
the Germans are better of than OTL, giving them an even better attrition
rate and higher numbers.
Not at the front. The Germans can field better reinforcements, but
the bulk of their initial forces are going through a meatgrinder.
In hindsight, the best way to crush the USSR was to contain it, and
force it to an economic/technological race that causes the overly
centralized economy to collapse under its own weight.
I doubt that strategy would allow Germany to win... :-)
It worked well enough for NATO, of which West Germany was a member,
and with far fewer casualties to boot.

(stuff deleted)
...which is useless unless it can be manufactured into the equipment
and supplies and shipped to the battlefront in timely and sufficient
quantities.
Well, shipping tungsten AT ammo instead of steel ammo would've been quite
beneficial, without any change necessary to the logistic system.
Not when the harder ammo wears out the cannons sooner, which again
stresses the already inadequate logistics system when they have to
ship more cannons, or perhaps the entire tank (the spectre of
non-standardization rears its head again).

(stuff deleted)
But Germany does have a lot of additional fuel in this TL,
thanks to no fighting in the West/Africa.
...and will be using it to field more front line tanks, which means an
even greater strain when they outrun their logistical support.
And don't discard the willingness of some groups to take risks.
...like the risk of overextending the bulk of Germany's invasion force
so that hundreds of thousands of soldiers freeze to death when a
severe winter hits them and your supply lines? That seems pretty
risky to me.
I'm not discarding the willingness of the Germans to take risks.
Quite the contrary, I'm pointing out the consequences of the risks.
Well, you can take sentences completely out of context. I was talking about
financial risk that privat investors would take.
OK, please list the private UK/US investers who invested in Japan's
initial offensives against the Chinese, even when the UK/US were
officiallly neutral with Japan. Please list the US investers who
flocked to buy German bonds when Germany blitzed Poland and most of
Europe.

Winning battles doesn't guarantee foreign investment, particularly for
an Axis power.
Germany
could still get huge credits, especially as long as it looks like
they're
winning. How much? I'd guess at least another 10% of GDP.
Why would the UK be willing to Lend-Lease the equivalent of 10% of
German GDP to further a war the Germans initially seem to be winning
without outside help? Of course, once Germans start dropping like
flies, the question Britons are going to ask is "why bankroll someone
who's bogging down?"
Ever heard of credit? Interest?
Yep, but I've never heard of the US giving any credit to Germany after
their invasion of Western Europe. Simply winning isn't enough to
encourage foreign credit, even from neutral nations.
Who is talking about LL?
Hey, if you are having the UK/US trade with a Nazi Germany invading
the USSR, you might as well have them supply Lend-Lease with them.
Both concepts are laughably unlikely.
It's simple for
profit credit I'm talking about. Germany didn't have any problem to get some
before the War,
That is like saying "he didn't get jailed before he stole that car,
why should he get jailed after he stole it?"

Just for your information, the US imposed a moral embargo on Germany
after it invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. It also imposed an
embargo on the USSR for invading Finland, but lifted it in favor of
Lend-Lease after Germany invaded it.
and as long as she's winning, she won't have many problems
getting additional credits.
Wrong.
As for bankrolling a winning invader, you might want to review how the
world viewed Japan's invasion of China to see how much support they
might give an invader, even one who looked to be winning.
Hey, it's not me that proposed the UK allies with Germany POD. I'm just
running with it.
There is a difference between running with an idea and following it
off a cliff. The idea was improbable since the beginning. Adding
more improbable changes doesn't make it any more likely.

(stuff deleted, regarding what would happen if Germany conquered the
USSR)
Germany's still the second largest economy of the World by a large margine.
By the end of 1945 OTL, the US economy was larger than the rest of the
world combined. Germany's policies of racial genocide, combined with
an increasingly paranoid ruler, along with institutionalized slavery
are not conductive to Germany maintaining any lead in technology or
productive efficiency.
So, we have abandoned the Holocaust in this ATL? Not that I mind ATLs
where millions don't get needlessly butchered, but that seems to be
yet another significant change in addition to several significant and
highly improbable changes.
Not at all. What does that have to do with skilled manpower?
The fact was that a lot of that skilled manpower was being fed into
ovens for a variety of politically correct reasons (being Jewish was
the main one, but the Nazis didn't stop there), and the ones that were
not getting gassed were slotted for permanent menial slave labor (ie:
no reading abilities, and no ability to count past 10, among other
such restrictions). That does not promise to bode well for a large
body of skilled workers.

Of course, the Nazi habit of placing incompetants in official
positions and keeping vaguely defined ministries in conflict with each
other (to ensure the superior's own position) is going to make this
all a wonder of efficiency.
Ever heard of
the Wirtschaftswunder?
Was that the SS sponsored training program?

The one whose graduates were referred to as "wilfully ignorant, highly
arrogant, and ultimately useless?" When it came to anything not
related to Nazi ideology?
Most of the skilled people learned what they were
doing during WWII.
Not as a result of any Nazi education or training agenda.
Indeed if there's any destinctive German advantage in
WWII, it is the very good training of her industrial workforce. Best
training in the world.
which spectacularly resulted in the production of German tanks which
could only be repaired in the factory, and nonstandardized parts for
most of their motorized equipment. Wonderful for waging a war of
attrition over a long, stressed supply line.
If you mean the additional slaves for the Reich, you're going to be
disappointed. Slaves are not nearly as efficient as paid workers in
an industrial economy, let alone quality work.
I know. Germany would still be the second largest industrial country
(population wise).
You are aware that Hitler wasn't going to stop the death camps even
when/if he finished with the Jews? Hitler expressed a desire to kill
every Pole alive, and his actions with the Russians are not
encouraging of any cessation of genocide in either the short or long
run.
Even if you're only counting real Germans.
Which wouldn't be all that far off, in the unlikely assumption Hitler
establishes his fantasy empire.
And there are
quite a few none-Germans happily collaborating and being just as productive
as Germans.
...until they find themselves escorted into delousing chambers, or
subject to the education limitations of the Third Reich.
Even more once peace is established (and the others will be
quickly gassed then, causing a population boom among Germans as they
resettle the freed up land).
...and then revert to an agrarian society of Hitler's and Himmler's
fantasy about. Of course, this is going to be a hammer blow to
industrial production, assuming large numbers of Germans do become
farmers.

(stuff deleted)
Probably. That could in part explain why the logistics were so bad.
You do know the Nazis grabbed trucks from all over occupied Europe in
order to supply their Barbarossa operation? Of course, having all
those nonstandard parts produced quite a few headaches once the trucks
started breaking down.
It was still the best thing they could do,
No, it was symptom of a problem the Nazis and German high command
didn't recognize until it was too late to correct it, and even then it
was doubtful they realized just where and how badly they went wrong.
and yes, I'm well aware of that.
They took everything from everywhere, if they thought it useful, and most
often put it to good use.
Yes, the railway system devoted to gassing the Jews while Germany's
front line troops were getting overwhelmed is a shining example of a
system put to good use.
As such it seems that
he was at least reasonably aware of some of the problems.
Yep, and would approve any measure that would build more trucks and
allocate more men to logistical support. Then the German General
Staff would want more men/tanks/aircraft for their immediate
operations, and Hitler would approve that. Suddenly the
quartermasters discover their promised staff and equipment haven't
arrived, or worse yet, they have all the steel for their trucks, but
Goering had taken the rubber needed for their tires for the use of
Luftwaffe landing wheels.
Well, lucky them. The British ships bringing truck tires are just coming in.
Let's just let the ASB wings flutter and have this shipment arrive,
courtesy of the British.

Guess what? The tires won't fit 90% of the trucks the Germans
confiscated from the rest of Europe.
The interest of 10% will be a bitch to repay, and they won't sell rubber,
but only finished tires, but the shortage is gone.
Only on paper, and the tires that do get shipped are not likely to
fit.
Hitler made some stupid decisions, true, but some very good ones, too.
One of Hitler's problems was that his stupid decisions massively
outweighed his good ones. Another was that most of his "very good
ones" came about chiefly due to luck, which he promptly mistook for
genius on his part.
Well, I put much more blame on the corrupt system and the not all that
brilliant Generals of the Wehrmacht.
Whom do you think set up that corrupt system? Hint: his first name is
Adolf. Still think he wasn't self-destructive?

(stuff deleted regarding Hitler's lack of logistical awareness,
tendency to cause administrative confusion, and unwillingness to set
priorities)
And what every head of state should do.
I hope for your nation's sake you never gain political office.
The detail work should be done by
the military,
Yes, and they should have the proper intelligence to do it. However,
Hitler added his own fun angle by requiring that all intelligence
should first report to him, allowing him to parcel it out as he saw
fit. It was useful in winning arguments and getting people to agree
to his idea, but it was a poor way of getting a full set of possible
options, not to mention correcting a poor plan.
who should then present coherent plans. That's their job. And
they were the expert. And they fucked up at least as bad as Hitler.
For all of their faults, the German General staff did have
reservations about going to war against the US, UK, and USSR all at
once. From the accounts I have read, they would not have taken such
risks as annexing the Ruhr, Austria, or Czechslovakia either, and most
likely would have balked at invading Poland. In short, a Germany run
by the German General staff would not have initiated World War II as
we know it in the first place. That at least to me makes them far
better national leaders than Hitler.
Can you
fault a man for taking bad advice if it's offered by those who should be
experts?
I can, when the same man has selectively doled out intelligence (not
to mention lies) that point to his predetermined course of action to
those same experts. Expecting any expert to make an accurate decision
based on biased and incorrect assumptions is foolhardy. If Hitler can
take the credit for Guederian's plan against France, he can take the
plan for the disastrous invasion of the USSR.

(stuff deleted)
Stalin was told by both his military commanders and the British that Germany
would attack. He didn't believe them and forbid them from making
preparations, because he feared what Germany would do to the USSR, should
war break out.
Stalin's belief was partially due to the fact that Germany was already
engaged in a war against the UK. His paranioa prompted him to
disbelieve that reports from the British and his subordinates were a
plot to get him to go to war against Germany (which was a goal of
British foreign policy).
Stalin choose to be caught be surprise in fear, I can't see
him choosing differently.
He is far likely to choose differently when faced with a Germany not
at war against anyone else.
<snip>
Meanwhile Germany is
importing US rail equipment with credit from other nations and banks
(and
not a little Jewish gold).
OK, so the Germans are continuing the Holocaust! That ought to get
international support!
Of course. Everyone knew what was happening to the Jews in Germany during
the war,
Enough reports got through to get a few people concerned. Genocide of
that magnitude was just as hard to cover up as Stalin's starvation of
the Ukrainians. The fact the Jews (along with anyone else suspected
of being less than enthusiastic about the regime) were being rounded
up in concentration camps was reported widely.
yet it only was reported in the press once the camps were actually
liberated.
The fact the camps existed was beyond doubt. The fact that horrible
things happened inside was beyond doubt. The fact that the Nazis had
an assembly-line system of murder in place sounded was too improbable
to believe (particularly at a time when they were losing on every
front).
No bomber attacks to stop the flow of Jews, to destroy the gas
chambers, nothing.
Area bombing camps where the target population was overwhelmingly
unwilling supporters of the regime doesn't strike me as a good idea.
Anti-Semitism wasn't a German invention, it was pretty much the norm. They
took it further than anyone else, but as long as they keep it quiet so that
other nations can claim plausible deniability it won't be a factor. Sorry to
burst your bubble.
It will be. Stalin couldn't conceal the results of his enforced
Famines and concentration camps, and he was in a far better position
to suppress unfavorable reports. Somehow the notion that Hitler could
murder millions of Jews without any of their relatives outside Germany
discovering anything, strikes me as to be less likely than the UK/US
being neutral against Hitler, which is in turn much less than the
likelihood of being favorable to Hitler. The Holocaust itself may not
be enough to make a neutral country declare war against Germany, but
it would be enough to start sanctions and embargoes.
BTW, Germany had already
looted--ahem--confiscated all the assets from their conquered nations
for their own internal squanderings.
A lot, yes. But if they can trade openly on the world market they'll get
much better prices for them.
Not in the face of sanctions. Stalin couldn't keep his policies
secret, and Germany has far more informal ties to the outside world
than Russia.

(stuff regarding US rail shipments deleted)
And the East front
will be there for quite some time.
It is good to see you admit the Soviets will not be knocked out
according to the German schedule.
In this new situation the attrition war in the East clearly favors
Germany.
...until the reality of logistics intrudes.
Just what I meant. Because unless you assume Germany always fucks everything
up
I didn't assume they would foul up everything. I point out that the
OTL Germany fouled up their logistical structure, along with their
political administration.
(how the hell did they do so well OTL if that's true?)
They didn't. In six years Germany went from being the #1 nation in
mainland Europe to being "West Germany" and "East Germany" for the
next few decades. In terms of national survival, they were outlived
by the more sanely run model of Communist efficiency known as the
Soviet Union! Think about it.
they'll be a lot
better of. While the Soviets (lacking LL) will be a lot worse of. Just my
point.
Stefan
Your point assumes that the Nazi Germans will suddenly realize the
importance of keeping their logistical act together and gear to fight
a long, prolonged war against the USSR over vast expanses of scorched
earth, while simultaneously diverting logistical support so they can
murder large numbers of people, all the while getting necessary goods
on credit from a benevolently neutral UK and US who would never accept
the notion of German concentration and death camps.

In addition to this, they repeat the initial "drive for Moscow", the
the Kiev encirclement, then the drive to the Caucasus, then the attack
to take Stalingrad, with sea-borne logistical support arriving at
ports the Germans don't have the logistical support to take by land.
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-02 08:49:38 UTC
Permalink
(stuff deleted)
Post by Les
A
mobilized economy can be corrupt, just like one that isn't. Fighting
corruption is very different from mobilizing the economy. Of course both
effect the war production, no question, yet they're two unrelated factors.
The more corrupt the adminisration gets, the worse it becomes over the
long run, particularly in a political system that does not allow for
easy detection and correction of corrupt behavior.
Is there anyone who doubts that? I don't think so.
Post by Les
No, I'm talking about Nazi Germany's lack of foresight concerning
logistical matters, along with the rampant confusion and corruption in
their administration.
Well, I think we can agree on that, too. I'm just not agreing about how
complete this neglect of logistics was. They DID get very far into the USSR
after all.
And without war in the West, there are free logistic resources that can be
add, without any change in production.
Post by Les
<snip>
With another 100,000 Italian
soldiers and the DAK at Stalingrad,
Just a second, the Germans were stretched beyond their sustainable
limit at Stalingrad already. How can we add another 100 000 troops at
such a distance?
By diverting resources freed up in the West to logistics
Mussolini was no more concerned with logistics than Hitler was. Check
the difficulties the Italians had in supplying their forces in North
Africa.
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel. He took all
their trucks to supply the German forces (which off course did wonders to
Italian moral, too). Simply using all the trucks used in North Africa would
measurably improve the supply situation.
Post by Les
There is also the matter of Italian equipment. Somehow the
prospect of an Italian tank dueling with a Soviet T-34 does not strike
me as being fair to the Italians.
I don't doubt it. But that's no different from the other Axis forces.
Post by Les
and allowing them
to supply more troops at the front better than OTL.
How does the RM transport supplies and troops over land? They cannot
supply an offensive into Southern Russian ports until the ports are in
German hands, and the Germans cannot take the ports from land unless
they have sufficient logistics. It's a Catch-22.
Not really. If you have an interest in capturing the ports quickly, you can
have them long before you reach Stalingrad. At least all on the North Coast
of the Black Sea. Beside, here I was talking mostly about the land transport
that could be added to the East. The Corps in NA had a lot more trucks than
any Corps on the East Front.
Post by Les
<snip>
Sending ten thousand to build a factory to
construct more rail equipment would have been even better.
This violates the premise of Barbarossa: knock out the USSR in one
season. It also violates the Nazi prefrence to allocate labor to
small shops in politically correct ridings.
Nope, neither.
<snip useless interruption of my answer>
Post by Les
You're going to need the railroads even if Russia has surrendered.
<snip another one>
Post by Les
What use
is a country when you can't get anywhere? You're going to have to build the
railroads sooner or later anyway.
These are the same planners who were trying to reach Moscow from mid
Poland at the rate of a horse-drawn cart.
And the same ones who ordered signifficant improvements made in the Polish
infrastructure as soon as the country had surrendered.
Post by Les
And once it becomes clear you can't supply
those troops at the front,
...like OTL, when the troops started dying by the hundreds of
thousands? That's when the Germans realized they needed a better
supply line.
Yeah, but this time they have a lot less commitments.
Post by Les
you might as well let them do something useful.
The troops in question are at the front, in order for them to do
anything useful they'll need supplies and equipment, and they can't
get the supplies and equipment to improve the logistical structure
because the logistic structure can't deliver enough supplies and
equipment to the front to do this.
If you assume that Germans are totally incompetent, this may be true. But if
that is the case, how did they get as far as they did?
Germany did set asside signifficant resources for logistics OTL, they
proofed overwhelmed. With signifficant more resources, and less distractions
during planning, there's no reason to assume they couldn't at least
partially correct this.
Post by Les
As to the second, there are quite a few huge companies in Germany getting
lots of orders and many quasi national companies.
Yep, but since there was no drive for standardization, the large
companies simply retooled their factories, churned out the requested
number of parts required, then retooled for the next request for
different components. Hitler and the Gauleteirs wanted as much small
business production and assembly as possible, and didn't bother with
standardization until the war bogged down into a war of attrition.
I think you're mixing some things up here. Yes, there was a strong
resistance to it, but it didn't come from the government, it came from the
industry itself. There are several good books explaining just why the German
economy ran this way. Just a few notes to that here:
Germans disliked assembly lines; they valued individual skill and wanted one
craftsman to do as much of a product as possible.

The second largest factor wasn't the Nazis either, it was the Wehrmacht.
They wanted the design upgraded every few minutes. And not the political
appointees, but the professional soldiers.

Against this combination it is very surprising that the governemnt could
change the system later on.
Post by Les
<snip>
Since there's no fighting with Britain,
KM will be able to provide more logistic support,
You know, the maps I have handy at the moment seem to indicate the sea
lanes end a few thousand miles before Moscow.
Strange, my show Leningrad quite a bit closer than that.
Oh, so you want to land supplies and equipment directly into a
Soviet-held zone in order to supply an offensive against Leningrad?
That certainly is a bold move.
<Rolls eyes> Look at the Baltik Coast. There are many major and minor ports.
Leningrad is the final one, and with the increased logistic supply of AGN
Leningrad may well fall in 41.
Post by Les
And even if you
only supply AG-North through the Baltic ports,
...then the Soviets thank the Germans kindly as they are the ones in
control of the ports. AG North ends up going nowhere.
Look at a map. By the end of 41 all but one Baltik port was under German
control.
Post by Les
that'll free up the land
routes for AG-Center, while AG-South gets a signifficant part of its
resources through ports there.
In order to get to the southern ports, Germany will have to take them
via land, and then be able to get Turkish permission to ship through
the Dardenelles. At this point we have the classic Catch-22: The
Germans need to take the ports for the supplies, but won't have the
supplies to do it until they take the ports.
They did take the ports OTL. Why can't they do so again, with more resources
available. You know I like to discuss things, but you're getting childish.
Read some history books and look at what ports did fall and at what time.
That brings up two other question:
1: Why should the Turks not allow German supplies to pass? At least until
Barbarossa they've the legitimation of transporting equipment to Romania.
Afterwards you have Germany slaughtering the Soviets with every other power
favouring Germany, including the Turks. They were deadly affraid of the
Soviets and Communism; with no Allies in this war, they'll at least allow
unarmed ships to pass.
2: Why would they need land transport? There's no British Navy in the way;
they can ship from German ports there directly.
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
BTW, your ATL still has the same problems as the Germans had OTL: lack
of any strategic focus. First you want the Germans to take Moscow,
but still take Leningrad (something they failed to do OTL), and then
take Stalingrad (so successful they lost Army Group South). Switching
of objectives was one of the problems that doomed Barbarossa.
That's the problem many have; they see objective as some point on the map.
The strategic objective should always be to encircle and destroy enemy
forces, whereever possible. Germany did that in large and small scale pretty
successfully.
As for accomplishing more that OTL, that's what nations tend to do if they
throw more resources at a problem.
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
Germany did pretty well
OTL.
Really? In six years of war, Germany changed from being the #1
continental power to being torn in half. I'd hate to see how you'd
rank doing badly.
LOL
Okay, how do you rank power?
The above subject was in terms of "doing well." I consider a nation
that made a sequence of decisions that all point to national suicide
not to have done well.
Doesn't answer the question.
Post by Les
War potential? Then Germany would be #3, after
US and USSR, according to Kennedy.
By 1945, Germany had -- at best -- the 5th largest war potential in
Germany, after the USSR, the US, the UK, Canada, France, and probably
any other sizeable armed force occupying what was left of the country.
Yeah. So what? You said something about Germany being No#1 power. She never
was, took on a bigger power, and after a hard fight, lost.
Post by Les
Army size? Then it's clearly the USSR.
You mean, the one Germany has invaded, and is probably not taken by
surprise in this (highly improbable) ATL?
Yeah, that's why they lost. They took on the No#1 power in Europe. As for
surprise, I answered that already, but again; Germany didn't take Stalin by
surprise, be was informed from all sides about the attack.
Post by Les
Germany had a temporary advantage she used damn well.
The plan which assumed knocking out Moscow would end effective Soviet
resistance (see how well it worked for Napolean). It assumed an army
that mostly traveled at the speed of a horse drawn cart could make it
from mid-Poland to Moscow before winter arrived, and which relied on
strategic bombing of areas east of Moscow to keep the Soviets down
(pity Germany didn't have any real strategic bombers). The plan
failed to account for vehicle wear and tear, the strain of a long and
wide front on the existing logistics, and the fact there were at least
twice as many Soviet soldiers facing them than the Germans had
immediately expected.
The plan that ultimately placed the USSR on the Allied side, and
guaranteed a war of attrition.
Of course Germany used it's advantage first to unite most of Europe under
it's control, something not done in centuries. Then They manage to drive the
biggest military power back so far that they'd have collapsed, had it not
been for LL. So yeah, they did damn well against their enemies; a lot better
than they should have done.
Post by Les
And it was Hitler who
managed to create this advantage in the first place.
...and also keep his forces standing fast at the long end of an
overstressed logistical infrastructure to fight a prolonged and
largely unplanned war of attrition against a numerically superior foe.
To add to the fun, he also switched objectives depending on
short-term opportunities.
Are you unable to understand what I wrote, or simply unwilling to discuss
objectively?
Post by Les
Also, I don't see how being militarily defeated proofs the innate
self-destructive nature of Hitler's government.
<snip interruption of answer>
Post by Les
It was a direct result of
racism, and nothing more.
More like the result of racism, high-risk gambling mistaken for
ingenious planning, and willful ignorance.
Agreed. But quite a lot of that can be blamed on the military. Why blame
Hitler for that?

<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
Post by Les
In hindsight, the best way to crush the USSR was to contain it, and
force it to an economic/technological race that causes the overly
centralized economy to collapse under its own weight.
I doubt that strategy would allow Germany to win... :-)
It worked well enough for NATO, of which West Germany was a member,
and with far fewer casualties to boot.
Haven't you just complained about the corruption in Germany?
Beside, how large a part did the losses Germany inflicted in WWII play in
the collapse. Without WWII, how many more years would the Cold War continue?
40? 80?
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
...which is useless unless it can be manufactured into the equipment
and supplies and shipped to the battlefront in timely and sufficient
quantities.
Well, shipping tungsten AT ammo instead of steel ammo would've been quite
beneficial, without any change necessary to the logistic system.
Not when the harder ammo wears out the cannons sooner, which again
stresses the already inadequate logistics system when they have to
ship more cannons, or perhaps the entire tank (the spectre of
non-standardization rears its head again).
Do you have a source for this?

<snip>
Post by Les
Germany
could still get huge credits, especially as long as it looks like
they're
winning. How much? I'd guess at least another 10% of GDP.
Why would the UK be willing to Lend-Lease the equivalent of 10% of
German GDP to further a war the Germans initially seem to be winning
without outside help? Of course, once Germans start dropping like
flies, the question Britons are going to ask is "why bankroll someone
who's bogging down?"
Ever heard of credit? Interest?
Yep, but I've never heard of the US giving any credit to Germany after
their invasion of Western Europe. Simply winning isn't enough to
encourage foreign credit, even from neutral nations.
Again, I'm NOT talking about national govenments, I'm talking about private
rich individuals that want to make a lot of money. With Britain at least
friendly in this TL, will any government stop them?

<snip>
Post by Les
It's simple for
profit credit I'm talking about. Germany didn't have any problem to get some
before the War,
That is like saying "he didn't get jailed before he stole that car,
why should he get jailed after he stole it?"
Just for your information, the US imposed a moral embargo on Germany
after it invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. It also imposed an
embargo on the USSR for invading Finland, but lifted it in favor of
Lend-Lease after Germany invaded it.
Wrong. The US Neutrality Act of 37, IIRC, forbid the US to trade with any
power at war. This included Britain and France in 39. Afterwards they
changed their laws to allow the Allies to pay cash and pick the goods up in
port. Actually the Germans were allowed to do that, too. But the RN kinda
didn't like that... Yes, that means in 40 the US was willing to sell to
Germany!

<snip>
Post by Les
Indeed if there's any destinctive German advantage in
WWII, it is the very good training of her industrial workforce. Best
training in the world.
which spectacularly resulted in the production of German tanks which
could only be repaired in the factory, and nonstandardized parts for
most of their motorized equipment. Wonderful for waging a war of
attrition over a long, stressed supply line.
Yes, that's the downside of such a well trained workforce. Germany usually
had products of very high quality and technical expertise, but never enough.
The expert craftsman resisting mass production in favor of individual
skill...

<snip>
Post by Les
Probably. That could in part explain why the logistics were so bad.
You do know the Nazis grabbed trucks from all over occupied Europe in
order to supply their Barbarossa operation? Of course, having all
those nonstandard parts produced quite a few headaches once the trucks
started breaking down.
It was still the best thing they could do,
No, it was symptom of a problem the Nazis and German high command
didn't recognize until it was too late to correct it, and even then it
was doubtful they realized just where and how badly they went wrong.
Wrong. It's a more fundamental problem with German labor and philosophy. The
Nazis actually managed to bring Germany out of that trap.

<snip questioning of the POD>
Post by Les
Hitler made some stupid decisions, true, but some very good ones, too.
One of Hitler's problems was that his stupid decisions massively
outweighed his good ones. Another was that most of his "very good
ones" came about chiefly due to luck, which he promptly mistook for
genius on his part.
Well, I put much more blame on the corrupt system and the not all that
brilliant Generals of the Wehrmacht.
Whom do you think set up that corrupt system? Hint: his first name is
Adolf. Still think he wasn't self-destructive?
The corruptive System was there before Hitler got to power. He made it a bit
worse in some areas, but you're vastly underestimating the corruption that
existed before. Nothing exposes corruption like a war...

<snip>
Post by Les
And what every head of state should do.
I hope for your nation's sake you never gain political office.
You think a HOS should plan the logistics of a military campaign?!?!?!?

<snip>
Post by Les
Of course. Everyone knew what was happening to the Jews in Germany during
the war,
Enough reports got through to get a few people concerned. Genocide of
that magnitude was just as hard to cover up as Stalin's starvation of
the Ukrainians. The fact the Jews (along with anyone else suspected
of being less than enthusiastic about the regime) were being rounded
up in concentration camps was reported widely.
yet it only was reported in the press once the camps were actually
liberated.
The fact the camps existed was beyond doubt. The fact that horrible
things happened inside was beyond doubt. The fact that the Nazis had
an assembly-line system of murder in place sounded was too improbable
to believe (particularly at a time when they were losing on every
front).
Yes, and how would that change in this TL? Only that the camps would never
be liberated and as such the government could cover up until some time after
the war ended.

<snip>
Post by Les
Your point assumes that the Nazi Germans will suddenly realize the
importance of keeping their logistical act together and gear to fight
a long, prolonged war against the USSR over vast expanses of scorched
earth, while simultaneously diverting logistical support so they can
murder large numbers of people, all the while getting necessary goods
on credit from a benevolently neutral UK and US who would never accept
the notion of German concentration and death camps.
No, I'm assuming the German staff to expect to need the same amount of
soldiers in the East as OTL and find that they've a lot more on hand and
then to suggest to Hitler that they be used to imrpove the railway so that
German settlers could be moved East faster and easier.
And I'm thinking that the reports of Death Camps will be discounted as
Soviet Propaganda during the war; they'd accept the existance of the camps,
but even the US had camps during the war. Many people would understand that
during the war sympathizers of the enemy have to be kept somewhere save.
In short I'm assuming that based on their racistic view of the Soviets and
the need to execute the Holocaust the Germans will make good decisions.
About the same order of quality as those they did OTL. (And note, that if
they'd knocked out the Soviets, they'd be seen as having made damn good
decisions now)

Stefan
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2004-04-03 11:15:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Actually the Germans were allowed to do that, too. But the RN kinda
didn't like that... Yes, that means in 40 the US was willing to
sell to Germany!
The fact that goods had to be conveyed in a merchant ship registered
to the nation buying them not that of a neutral country obviously
favoured Britain and France. The German merchant marine had been
reduced to a few blockade runners by the time Cash and Carry was
passed.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Les
2004-04-06 16:47:29 UTC
Permalink
(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm just not agreing about how
complete this neglect of logistics was. They DID get very far into the USSR
after all.
...so did Napolean, with similar results. Well, at least Napolean
actually took Moscow (or the burned shell thereof) for a while.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And without war in the West, there are free logistic resources that can be
add, without any change in production.
How? What logistical resources could be diverted from the West? The
forces garrisoning France were mainly static, with either locally
repaired or already existing logistical lines in place.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Check
the difficulties the Italians had in supplying their forces in North
Africa.
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel.
Yes, a German General who neglected logistical considerations in favor
of short-term opportunities, overextended himself, lost out in a
slugging match, and ended the campaign in retreat.

How does this make him any different from the rest of Hitler's General
Staff?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
He took all
their trucks to supply the German forces (which off course did wonders to
Italian moral, too). Simply using all the trucks used in North Africa would
measurably improve the supply situation.
The ones that proved inadquate to supply the Afrika Korps in a land
line a fraction of the distance to Stalingrad? The ones that you want
to supply 100 000 *more* troops to fight at the front lines?

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If you have an interest in capturing the ports quickly, you can
have them long before you reach Stalingrad.
From where? A land based offensive that cannot be supplied until you
capture the ports first? Even this assumes the Soviets are
accomodating enough to leave the ports intact so the Germans can use
them.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Beside, here I was talking mostly about the land transport
that could be added to the East. The Corps in NA had a lot more trucks than
any Corps on the East Front.
...and will be transporting 100 000 more troops over a far longer
distance.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
These are the same planners who were trying to reach Moscow from mid
Poland at the rate of a horse-drawn cart.
And the same ones who ordered signifficant improvements made in the Polish
infrastructure as soon as the country had surrendered.
Right, *after the country had surrendered* and *for their occupied
part of Poland*! They tried the same trick against the USSR of
putting infrastructure maintenance on a back-burner to military
priorities. This did not critically hurt them at Poland, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, or France. It did hurt them against
the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
And once it becomes clear you can't supply
those troops at the front,
...like OTL, when the troops started dying by the hundreds of
thousands? That's when the Germans realized they needed a better
supply line.
Yeah, but this time they have a lot less commitments.
An extra 100 000 people on the front combined with inadequate
additional trucks do not mean "less commitments." Naval supply lines
planned to supply cities the Axis never captured OTL do not compensate
for this defect either.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
you might as well let them do something useful.
The troops in question are at the front, in order for them to do
anything useful they'll need supplies and equipment, and they can't
get the supplies and equipment to improve the logistical structure
because the logistic structure can't deliver enough supplies and
equipment to the front to do this.
If you assume that Germans are totally incompetent, this may be true.
No, I'm assuming the Germans are paying the same inattention to
logistics in your admittedly unlikely ATL as they did OTL. I am also
assuming the Soviets utilize scorched earth tactics that leave nothing
of use behind as they did OTL.

Front line soldiers do not have the ability to build and link roads
and rail to the rear lines in any fast or effective manner. They
become even slower and less effective without training and equipment,
and do not expect them to be maintaining an offensive or be able to
defend against any counter-attacks while they are trying to deal with
this.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But if
that is the case, how did they get as far as they did?
Initial shock, unprepared Soviet Troops caught while in transition
from a static mode of military doctrine to that of a mobile one, and
lots of empty spaces that the Germans could speed into, and the German
doctrine that emphasized taking every available opportunity quickly
and worry about resupply later.

That is mainly how they got as far as they did. The reason why they
didn't *stay* as far as they did, was roughly due to inadequate
supply, a severe winter catching them unprepared, and hoards of Soviet
reserves fighting with equipment that hadn't been driven or used over
thousands of miles without maintenance or upgrade.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany did set asside signifficant resources for logistics OTL, they
proofed overwhelmed.
Correct, because the resources they set aside were insufficiant, as
well as unable to keep up with the advance of the military.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
With signifficant more resources,
...which are more than likely be used for front-line equipment, given
the nature of Hitler and Mussolini, as well as per your original
argument.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and less distractions
during planning,
What distractions during planning occured OTL? The only
"distractions" that occured to my knowledge was Hitler switching
objectives *after* he failed to take Moscow in 1941.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
there's no reason to assume they couldn't at least
partially correct this.
There is when you also add another 100 000 troops and military
equipment to the front line.

(stuff deleted, regarding reluctance for German industry to
standardize and gear for mass production)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I think you're mixing some things up here. Yes, there was a strong
resistance to it, but it didn't come from the government, it came from the
industry itself. There are several good books explaining just why the German
Germans disliked assembly lines; they valued individual skill and wanted one
craftsman to do as much of a product as possible.
In other words, your ATL Germany isn't going to bother gearing for
mass production or standardization until it becomes obviously
necessary, at which point they are bogged down in a war of attrition.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The second largest factor wasn't the Nazis either, it was the Wehrmacht.
They wanted the design upgraded every few minutes. And not the political
appointees, but the professional soldiers.
Again, this reflects the lack of logistical awareness of the German
General Staff. They simply didn't realize they could have more
functional tanks at the front line if the tanks could be maintained on
the field, and supplied with spare parts.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Against this combination it is very surprising that the governemnt could
change the system later on.
It changed the system when it realized:
- The USSR wasn't going to collapse, and instead was fighting in
numbers and materials Germany undreamed of by Hitler
- The Germans were losing men and materials at an unsustainable
rate.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You know, the maps I have handy at the moment seem to indicate the sea
lanes end a few thousand miles before Moscow.
Strange, my show Leningrad quite a bit closer than that.
Oh, so you want to land supplies and equipment directly into a
Soviet-held zone in order to supply an offensive against Leningrad?
That certainly is a bold move.
<Rolls eyes> Look at the Baltik Coast.
OK, You specified *Leningrad.* Now, if you bother to check some
historical sources, you may be surprised to find that the Axis never
took Leningrad. Consequently, expecting to be able to use a Soviet
controlled Leningrad as a supply port for an offensive to Leningrad is
rather problematic, much less one against Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
There are many major and minor ports.
Leningrad is the final one, and with the increased logistic supply of AGN
...offset by the additional troops you have specified to be at the
front line.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Leningrad may well fall in 41.
...only if the Germans abandon their drive for Moscow, which voilates
the premise of Barbarossa of knocking out the USSR before the winter
of 1941.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
And even if you
only supply AG-North through the Baltic ports,
...then the Soviets thank the Germans kindly as they are the ones in
control of the ports. AG North ends up going nowhere.
Look at a map. By the end of 41 all but one Baltik port was under German
control.
The ports in question had to be taken from the land. Consequently,
the Germans needed land lines of supply in order to support the
offensives to take the ports.

However, you want to supply a drive inland into Moscow by using
Leningrad as a supply port. This is problematic in that it requires
Leningrad to be taken and its port be rendered functional enough to be
of use to the Germans.

Now, you have altered your original premise to have invasions supplied
*mainly* by ports along the Baltic, and remove trucks allocated to the
OTL Army Group North for use in Army Group Center (or perhaps South).
Problem: This restricts the distance AGN can travel inland from the
Baltic, which either:

- Creates a gap between AGN and AGC, which the Soviets can exploit
with lethal effectiveness
- Forces Army Group Center to widen it's focus to close the gap,
which cripples its drive to Moscow.

Either way, it doesn't help the Germans.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
In order to get to the southern ports, Germany will have to take them
via land, and then be able to get Turkish permission to ship through
the Dardenelles. At this point we have the classic Catch-22: The
Germans need to take the ports for the supplies, but won't have the
supplies to do it until they take the ports.
They did take the ports OTL.
Pity they weren't all that functional. Scorched Earth Policy and all
that.

The Germans took 90% of the city of Stalingrad OTL also, while the
Soviets were in the process of cutting off Army group South.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Why can't they do so again, with more resources
available.
To repeat myself, the additional resources would likely be used for
the front line combat equipment Hitler and Mussolini liked to have.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You know I like to discuss things,
I realized that when you started seriously debating Nazi Germany
invading the USSR with a neutral/supporting UK/US.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
but you're getting childish.
All I'm doing is attacking an admittedly improbable ATL, bringing OTL
examples that show the German lack of logistical insight, combined
with Hitler's inability to set priorities or acknowlege production and
material restriction, and topped off with the "authoritarian anarchy"
that was the basis of Hitler's administration.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Read some history books and look at what ports did fall and at what time.
How many of them were functional?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
1: Why should the Turks not allow German supplies to pass?
- Inability of the Axis to pay transit fees.
- Fear of Soviet reprisals (they sided with Germany in the last war,
and look what happened then).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At least until
Barbarossa they've the legitimation of transporting equipment to Romania.
The Germans already have access to Romania via land routs.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Afterwards you have Germany slaughtering the Soviets with every other power
favouring Germany, including the Turks.
Oh, so now we have yet another POD with Turkey sideing with the Axis?
I suppose it is slightly more likely than having the UK/US being
befeficially neutral.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They were deadly affraid of the
Soviets and Communism; with no Allies in this war, they'll at least allow
unarmed ships to pass.
2: Why would they need land transport?
They need to be able to take the ports, remember?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
There's no British Navy in the way;
they can ship from German ports there directly.
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
BTW, your ATL still has the same problems as the Germans had OTL: lack
of any strategic focus. First you want the Germans to take Moscow,
but still take Leningrad (something they failed to do OTL), and then
take Stalingrad (so successful they lost Army Group South). Switching
of objectives was one of the problems that doomed Barbarossa.
That's the problem many have; they see objective as some point on the map.
That was the problem Hitler had. He compounded his error by shifting
objectives.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The strategic objective should always be to encircle and destroy enemy
forces, whereever possible.
Silly me, and I thought Clauswitz had it right when he stated
(paraphrased) "war is a continuation of politics by another means."
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany did that in large and small scale pretty
successfully.
So successfully that by 1945 Stalin had Eastern Europe and half of
Germany under his control.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As for accomplishing more that OTL, that's what nations tend to do if they
throw more resources at a problem.
Not when all they do is "throw resources," at the problem, rather than
determine first what went wrong, and then determine how to properly
devote resources to correct it.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
Germany did pretty well
OTL.
Really? In six years of war, Germany changed from being the #1
continental power to being torn in half. I'd hate to see how you'd
rank doing badly.
LOL
Okay, how do you rank power?
The above subject was in terms of "doing well." I consider a nation
that made a sequence of decisions that all point to national suicide
not to have done well.
Doesn't answer the question.
Let's see, you first make the laughable statement that Germany did
pretty well OTL, when by 1945 it was utterly crushed. You tried to
change the subject by asking "how do you rank power?" Which is not
the same thing as "doing well."
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
War potential? Then Germany would be #3, after
US and USSR, according to Kennedy.
By 1945, Germany had -- at best -- the 5th largest war potential in
Germany, after the USSR, the US, the UK, Canada, France, and probably
any other sizeable armed force occupying what was left of the country.
Yeah. So what? You said something about Germany being No#1 power.
I stated Germany was the #1 continental power. The continent in
question was Europe. The ranking included military, industrial, and
economic indicators. Granted, Hitler's long term economy proved
horrible, but Germany still had the prospect of improvement if it
found a way to get rid of the Nazis.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
She never
was, took on a bigger power, and after a hard fight, lost.
That is why I lable Nazi Germany as self-destructive.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Army size? Then it's clearly the USSR.
You mean, the one Germany has invaded, and is probably not taken by
surprise in this (highly improbable) ATL?
Yeah, that's why they lost. They took on the No#1 power in Europe.
The USSR wasn't the #1 power in Europe in terms of industry or
economy.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As for
surprise, I answered that already, but again; Germany didn't take Stalin by
surprise,
Incorrect. Being taken by surprise means being caught unprepared, and
the Soviets were not on guard against an attack. Just because Stalin
was warned about the attack does not mean he wasn't taken by surprise.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
be was informed from all sides about the attack.
Stalin distrusted the reports, partially out of his natural paranoia
about acting on the warnings given by an active antagonist against the
Germans.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Of course Germany used it's advantage first to unite most of Europe under
it's control, something not done in centuries.
"Unite," that's one way of putting it. BTW, since the UK and US saw
this as "conquer," they were rather prone to supporting any opposing
nations and organizations.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Then They manage to drive the
biggest military power back so far that they'd have collapsed, had it not
been for LL.
Really? Lend Lease did not arrive in any meaningful quantities until
after Germany's offensive was broken.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So yeah, they did damn well against their enemies;
Initiating a doomed invasion does not do well. Avoiding an unwinnable
invasion is doing well.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
a lot better
than they should have done.
More like the USSR performed a lot worse then it should have done (the
same can also be said for France and the UK).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
And it was Hitler who
managed to create this advantage in the first place.
...and also keep his forces standing fast at the long end of an
overstressed logistical infrastructure to fight a prolonged and
largely unplanned war of attrition against a numerically superior foe.
To add to the fun, he also switched objectives depending on
short-term opportunities.
Are you unable to understand what I wrote, or simply unwilling to discuss
objectively?
You have to realize that any leader's decision to start a war that
ultimately results in the complete defeat of his nation is not a
person who has done well, particularly when there was no reason for
starting the war.

(stuff deleted, regarding Nazi Germany's self-destructiveness)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
More like the result of racism, high-risk gambling mistaken for
ingenious planning, and willful ignorance.
Agreed. But quite a lot of that can be blamed on the military. Why blame
Hitler for that?
The military did not initiate the invasion of Poland. Hitler did.
The military did not initiate the invasion of the USSR. Hitler did.

For all of the German military's faults, they did not start wars on
their own initiative. In that regard they did far better than Japan's
WW2 miltary.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
(the useless/senseless comments included Germany's lack of certain
resources, as well as the age old problem of the Nazi German
inattention to logistics and their initial reliance on a quick
campaign)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
In hindsight, the best way to crush the USSR was to contain it, and
force it to an economic/technological race that causes the overly
centralized economy to collapse under its own weight.
I doubt that strategy would allow Germany to win... :-)
It worked well enough for NATO, of which West Germany was a member,
and with far fewer casualties to boot.
Haven't you just complained about the corruption in Germany?
I complained about the corruption in Nazi Germany. Whatever
corruption there may be in the postwar German government, I highly
doubt it is as bad as the Nazis.

Even if we do ASB-slap the Nazis into not starting WW2 (but keep them
in control of Germany), one corrupt member of an anti-Soviet block is
not going to stop the democratic nations from their technological
advances.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Beside, how large a part did the losses Germany inflicted in WWII play in
the collapse.
The actions of Nazi Germany ultimately allowed Stalin to conquer most
of Eastern Europe under the guise of liberation. That benefitted
Stalin.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Without WWII, how many more years would the Cold War continue?
40? 80?
Let's see, with a far smaller USSR, and without the justification
Naziism gave to European Communist resistance, the Cold War could very
well have ended with Stalin's death. Even if this "cold war" did
continue, any Marxist would have motivation to play it safe and wait
for the decadent democracies to self-destruct, while the capitalist
nations can devote an even smaller portion of their budgets to
national defense in order to contain the diminished threat.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Well, shipping tungsten AT ammo instead of steel ammo would've been
quite
Post by Les
beneficial, without any change necessary to the logistic system.
Not when the harder ammo wears out the cannons sooner, which again
stresses the already inadequate logistics system when they have to
ship more cannons, or perhaps the entire tank (the spectre of
non-standardization rears its head again).
Do you have a source for this?
When you bring a hard substance and rub it along with a softer
substance, the softer substance gets scratched. Continually using
hard shells wears out the barrel faster than an equally hard (or
softer) shell would.

If you ask any deer hunter what the differences are between using lead
and steel bullets, one of the things he/she is likely to say is that
the steel bullets will wear out the rifle a lot more quickly than the
lead ones.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Germany
could still get huge credits, especially as long as it looks like
they're
Post by Les
winning. How much? I'd guess at least another 10% of GDP.
Why would the UK be willing to Lend-Lease the equivalent of 10% of
German GDP to further a war the Germans initially seem to be winning
without outside help? Of course, once Germans start dropping like
flies, the question Britons are going to ask is "why bankroll someone
who's bogging down?"
Ever heard of credit? Interest?
Yep, but I've never heard of the US giving any credit to Germany after
their invasion of Western Europe. Simply winning isn't enough to
encourage foreign credit, even from neutral nations.
Again, I'm NOT talking about national govenments, I'm talking about private
rich individuals that want to make a lot of money.
Please list the private rich individuals who provided credit with
Japan's invasion of China, in which Japan initially looked to be
winning handily. You can expect the same extent of investment for
Germany's latest gamble. As for it being 10% of Germany's GDP, when
Germany already has a high amount of foreign debt, you are flying with
the Alien Space Bats here.

(stuff deleted)

(regarding US embargoes)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Wrong. The US Neutrality Act of 37, IIRC, forbid the US to trade with any
power at war.
This included Britain and France in 39.
It was lifted Sept 21, 1939.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Afterwards they
changed their laws to allow the Allies to pay cash and pick the goods up in
port.
Actually the Germans were allowed to do that, too.
But the RN kinda
didn't like that... Yes, that means in 40 the US was willing to sell to
Germany!
Try:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/events/1939.html

December 20. The United States embargoed "delivery to certain
countries of plans, plants, manufacturing rights, or technical
information required for the production of high quality aviation
gasoline."

(stuff including Germany's poor standardization deleted)

(regarding nonstandardized trucks)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
No, it was symptom of a problem the Nazis and German high command
didn't recognize until it was too late to correct it, and even then it
was doubtful they realized just where and how badly they went wrong.
Wrong. It's a more fundamental problem with German labor and philosophy. The
Nazis actually managed to bring Germany out of that trap.
It didn't become a trap until the Nazis dragged Germany into it.
There was no drive for standardization until *after* the Nazis had
discovered the joys of fighting in an overextended front.

(stuff deleted)
(regarding Hitler's competance)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Well, I put much more blame on the corrupt system and the not all that
brilliant Generals of the Wehrmacht.
Whom do you think set up that corrupt system? Hint: his first name is
Adolf. Still think he wasn't self-destructive?
The corruptive System was there before Hitler got to power.
Hitler for the most part duplicated it with an even more corrupt
system.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
He made it a bit
worse in some areas, but you're vastly underestimating the corruption that
existed before.
How many differing competing factions were there in the Weimar
bearacracy? Did the SS replace an existing "State within a State?"
Hitler had a habit of having at least two rival administrations who
would end up competing with each other.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Nothing exposes corruption like a war...
...particularly when the country loses the war it started.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip>
Post by Les
And what every head of state should do.
I hope for your nation's sake you never gain political office.
You think a HOS should plan the logistics of a military campaign?!?!?!?
No, I think a national leader should set up an administrative system
with clear responsibilities rather than what Hitler actually did. I
think that a national leader should set priorities so that his
sub-ordinates would have a clear idea of how to settle competing
demands.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Your point assumes that the Nazi Germans will suddenly realize the
importance of keeping their logistical act together and gear to fight
a long, prolonged war against the USSR over vast expanses of scorched
earth, while simultaneously diverting logistical support so they can
murder large numbers of people, all the while getting necessary goods
on credit from a benevolently neutral UK and US who would never accept
the notion of German concentration and death camps.
No, I'm assuming the German staff to expect to need the same amount of
soldiers in the East as OTL
This violates your original argument of putting at least 100 000 more
soldiers at the front.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and find that they've a lot more on hand and
then to suggest to Hitler that they be used to imrpove the railway so that
German settlers could be moved East faster and easier.
Hitler then states they are needed at the front, and can maintain the
railways later.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I'm thinking that the reports of Death Camps will be discounted as
Soviet Propaganda during the war;
Not when combined with the sudden lack of correspondence from Jewish
friends and family in Nazi Germany.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
they'd accept the existance of the camps,
They didn't care for the Soviet gulags, why accept the German camps?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
but even the US had camps during the war.
...only after being directly attacked by Japan.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Many people would understand that
during the war sympathizers of the enemy have to be kept somewhere save.
However, when the detainers are the ones who started the war, people
are less understanding.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
In short I'm assuming that based on their racistic view of the Soviets and
the need to execute the Holocaust the Germans will make good decisions.
In other words, since the Nazis made two stupid and unnecessary
decisions that put them deeper in their OTL mess, they will then
proceed making nothing but good decisions. That's hard to believe.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
About the same order of quality as those they did OTL.
The same quality of decisions that resulted in Nazi Germany becoming
"West Germany" and "East Germany?"
Post by Stefan Diekmann
(And note, that if
they'd knocked out the Soviets, they'd be seen as having made damn good
decisions now)
Stefan
One of the reasons why they made such bad decisions was that they
failed to knock out the Soviets, and ended up totally defeated as a
result.
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-06 19:00:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm just not agreing about how
complete this neglect of logistics was. They DID get very far into the USSR
after all.
...so did Napolean, with similar results. Well, at least Napolean
actually took Moscow (or the burned shell thereof) for a while.
Yes, but Napoleon's problems were very different. Contrary to popular
believe his supply situation actually improved when he advanced to Moscow
(which AFAIK wasn't the capital back then anyway) and left the poor regions
of Poland. But he needed to leave so many troops to secure his back and lost
more to disease (as typical in all armies until after WWII), so that he
didn't have enough to hold against the Russian troops.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Check
the difficulties the Italians had in supplying their forces in North
Africa.
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel.
Yes, a German General who neglected logistical considerations in favor
of short-term opportunities, overextended himself, lost out in a
slugging match, and ended the campaign in retreat.
What the hell does that have to do with what I was talking about here?!?!
You're right that Rommel was a bad General, but who doubts that?
Post by Les
How does this make him any different from the rest of Hitler's General
Staff?
The rest knows what they're doing. At least most of them. Rommel is one of
the less capable Generals, all the good ones were on the East Front.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
He took all
their trucks to supply the German forces (which off course did wonders to
Italian moral, too). Simply using all the trucks used in North Africa would
measurably improve the supply situation.
The ones that proved inadquate to supply the Afrika Korps in a land
line a fraction of the distance to Stalingrad? The ones that you want
to supply 100 000 *more* troops to fight at the front lines?
Well, I don't know how big the DAK was at every point in time, but I know
that the campaign ended with quarter a million surrendering. And since the
distances in Africa were pretty close to those in the East, I don't see
where the problem should be. Actually the distances in the East will be
shorter, since railroads will be available.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If you have an interest in capturing the ports quickly, you can
have them long before you reach Stalingrad.
From where? A land based offensive that cannot be supplied until you
capture the ports first? Even this assumes the Soviets are
accomodating enough to leave the ports intact so the Germans can use
them.
Look at a map! Germany conquered the whole god damn Baltik coast and the
northern short of the Black Sea! That's a historic FACT! And they DID use
them to land supplies!

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
These are the same planners who were trying to reach Moscow from mid
Poland at the rate of a horse-drawn cart.
And the same ones who ordered signifficant improvements made in the Polish
infrastructure as soon as the country had surrendered.
Right, *after the country had surrendered* and *for their occupied
part of Poland*!
Yes, because they didn't have access to any other part of Poland. And while
most of the work was done after the surrender, I'm not sure when it began.
At least repair work would have started as soon as the railways were
secured, that's been pretty much SOP since the ACW.
Post by Les
They tried the same trick against the USSR of
putting infrastructure maintenance on a back-burner to military
priorities. This did not critically hurt them at Poland, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, or France. It did hurt them against
the USSR.
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure; there was just so
much demand in other areas and dislocation to bombing that the resources
avaiable were limited.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
And once it becomes clear you can't supply
those troops at the front,
...like OTL, when the troops started dying by the hundreds of
thousands? That's when the Germans realized they needed a better
supply line.
Yeah, but this time they have a lot less commitments.
An extra 100 000 people on the front combined with inadequate
additional trucks do not mean "less commitments."
Actually it does. Italy lost over 100,000 troops in North Africa before
German troops arrived. In total they deployed over 300,000 there. No combat
in North Africa will free up those, plus tens of thousands of Germans.
That's without accounting for those freed up from the defense against
bombers or the Battle of the Atlantic. Overall that's at least halve a
million; so even with 100,000 deployed in the East the commitment is
significantly lower.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
you might as well let them do something useful.
The troops in question are at the front, in order for them to do
anything useful they'll need supplies and equipment, and they can't
get the supplies and equipment to improve the logistical structure
because the logistic structure can't deliver enough supplies and
equipment to the front to do this.
If you assume that Germans are totally incompetent, this may be true.
No, I'm assuming the Germans are paying the same inattention to
logistics in your admittedly unlikely ATL as they did OTL. I am also
assuming the Soviets utilize scorched earth tactics that leave nothing
of use behind as they did OTL.
Well, then you don't know enough about OTL. Germany did rebuild the rail for
the most part, even expand them. The rail supply heads were never more than
a few hundred klicks behind the front, usually closer. Germany had dedicated
troops to rebuild railroads and such.
Post by Les
Front line soldiers do not have the ability to build and link roads
and rail to the rear lines in any fast or effective manner. They
become even slower and less effective without training and equipment,
and do not expect them to be maintaining an offensive or be able to
defend against any counter-attacks while they are trying to deal with
this.
Who says they need to be fast? Even if ten thousand men assigned to it keep
it only 20 klicks closer to the front that's going to do wonders to the
supply situation.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But if
that is the case, how did they get as far as they did?
Initial shock, unprepared Soviet Troops caught while in transition
from a static mode of military doctrine to that of a mobile one, and
lots of empty spaces that the Germans could speed into, and the German
doctrine that emphasized taking every available opportunity quickly
and worry about resupply later.
Read more about German doctrine. Logistics were an essential part of
planning. While some German Generals didn't care about it, most did, and
were good at taking care of it.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You know, the maps I have handy at the moment seem to indicate the sea
lanes end a few thousand miles before Moscow.
Strange, my show Leningrad quite a bit closer than that.
Oh, so you want to land supplies and equipment directly into a
Soviet-held zone in order to supply an offensive against Leningrad?
That certainly is a bold move.
<Rolls eyes> Look at the Baltik Coast.
OK, You specified *Leningrad.* Now, if you bother to check some
historical sources, you may be surprised to find that the Axis never
took Leningrad. Consequently, expecting to be able to use a Soviet
controlled Leningrad as a supply port for an offensive to Leningrad is
rather problematic, much less one against Moscow.
Okay, simple now. Germany takes coast on Baltik coast; German and Italian
transport ships use it for supply of AGN. AGN advances faster due to better
logistics. AGN takes Leningrad. Leningrad available to land supplies.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
but you're getting childish.
All I'm doing is attacking an admittedly improbable ATL
No, you're not attacking it, you insist that Germany must take every bad
decision available.
And is the ATL improbable? Who cares; unless you're willing to accept the
divergence as fact discussion is useless. If it's to improbable/unrealistic
for you, ignore it.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
1: Why should the Turks not allow German supplies to pass?
- Inability of the Axis to pay transit fees.
I've established already that German credit would be good.
Post by Les
- Fear of Soviet reprisals (they sided with Germany in the last war,
and look what happened then).
Given the extends of German advance this is very unlikely. Who in 41
expected Germany to be soundly defeated? Certainly nobody would expect an
isolated USSR to do so, even with British support it looked unlikely without
US aid.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At least until
Barbarossa they've the legitimation of transporting equipment to Romania.
The Germans already have access to Romania via land routs.
So? There a law you can't use ships if you have rails? Interesting.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Afterwards you have Germany slaughtering the Soviets with every other power
favouring Germany, including the Turks.
Oh, so now we have yet another POD with Turkey sideing with the Axis?
No. But note that while Turkey stayed neutral they were pretty close to
Germany for a time. Not enough to enter a war with Britain, sure. But
certainly enough to let German shipping pass.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Then They manage to drive the
biggest military power back so far that they'd have collapsed, had it not
been for LL.
Really? Lend Lease did not arrive in any meaningful quantities until
after Germany's offensive was broken.
Yeah, offenses that were weaker than in this ATL; And food supplies became
important before Stalingrad; without them there's no chance that the Soviets
can achieve anything better than static frontline.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
(the useless/senseless comments included Germany's lack of certain
resources, as well as the age old problem of the Nazi German
inattention to logistics and their initial reliance on a quick
campaign)
Certain resources that'd could be bought from the world market and logistic
issues that were several times over handled already.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Beside, how large a part did the losses Germany inflicted in WWII play in
the collapse.
The actions of Nazi Germany ultimately allowed Stalin to conquer most
of Eastern Europe under the guise of liberation. That benefitted
Stalin.
But prooved a further drain on Soviet resources since the areas were almost
totally destroyed.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Without WWII, how many more years would the Cold War continue?
40? 80?
Let's see, with a far smaller USSR, and without the justification
Naziism gave to European Communist resistance, the Cold War could very
well have ended with Stalin's death. Even if this "cold war" did
continue, any Marxist would have motivation to play it safe and wait
for the decadent democracies to self-destruct, while the capitalist
nations can devote an even smaller portion of their budgets to
national defense in order to contain the diminished threat.
But without Hitler, what would have happened? Would Germany have turned
Communistic? A possibility. How much of Europe would then oppose Communism
if Stalin ruling USSR and Germany demanded allegiance?
Simply assuming that everything goes best for democracy isn't realistic.
I've no idea how it would turn out, but chances are IMHO good that it'd be
at least as bad as OTL.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Well, shipping tungsten AT ammo instead of steel ammo would've been
quite
Post by Les
beneficial, without any change necessary to the logistic system.
Not when the harder ammo wears out the cannons sooner, which again
stresses the already inadequate logistics system when they have to
ship more cannons, or perhaps the entire tank (the spectre of
non-standardization rears its head again).
Do you have a source for this?
When you bring a hard substance and rub it along with a softer
substance, the softer substance gets scratched. Continually using
hard shells wears out the barrel faster than an equally hard (or
softer) shell would.
Okay. Since the tungsten penetrator is surrounded by the same material a
steel penetrator is, there's no difference here, then.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Again, I'm NOT talking about national govenments, I'm talking about private
rich individuals that want to make a lot of money.
Please list the private rich individuals who provided credit with
Japan's invasion of China, in which Japan initially looked to be
winning handily.
They did? That's news to me. They controlled some cities but never gained
control over the rural areas.
Post by Les
You can expect the same extent of investment for
Germany's latest gamble. As for it being 10% of Germany's GDP, when
Germany already has a high amount of foreign debt, you are flying with
the Alien Space Bats here.
So? The US has a huge foreign debt now and people are buying bonds like
wild. Same for every other developed country, State Bonds are generally
save. But there's lot of investment in bonds of developing nations, too.
That's high risk as trouble in the last decade in Argentina and other
countries has shown; still people willingly invest lots of money hoping for
high returns. I'm not expecting anything not happening by the billions now.
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
(regarding US embargoes)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Wrong. The US Neutrality Act of 37, IIRC, forbid the US to trade with any
power at war.
This included Britain and France in 39.
It was lifted Sept 21, 1939.
Nope. According to your own source it was lifted in favor of Cash and Carry
on November 4.

<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Nothing exposes corruption like a war...
...particularly when the country loses the war it started.
And best if it actually looses and the victors have no interest in keeping
the corruption secret. That's why corruption in Germany is so well known,
while we know little of corruption in the USSR during that timeframe...

Stefan
Alexander Malinowski
2004-04-07 12:35:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm just not agreing about how
complete this neglect of logistics was. They DID get very far into the
USSR
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
after all.
...so did Napolean, with similar results. Well, at least Napolean
actually took Moscow (or the burned shell thereof) for a while.
Yes, but Napoleon's problems were very different. Contrary to popular
believe his supply situation actually improved when he advanced to Moscow
(which AFAIK wasn't the capital back then anyway) and left the poor regions
of Poland.
You mean naturally Lithuania. Do you have any prove?
As far as I am concerned, Poles did a great job to supply the Great
Army. I am not sure, if Lithuanians did the same or maybe they
couldn't do anything, since the government was not in power during the
previous harvest.


But he needed to leave so many troops to secure his back and lost
Post by Stefan Diekmann
more to disease (as typical in all armies until after WWII), so that he
didn't have enough to hold against the Russian troops.
mike stone
2004-04-07 16:04:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alexander Malinowski
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yes, but Napoleon's problems were very different. Contrary to popular
believe his supply situation actually improved when he advanced to Moscow
(which AFAIK wasn't the capital back then anyway) and left the poor regions
of Poland.
You mean naturally Lithuania. Do you have any prove?
As far as I am concerned, Poles did a great job to supply the Great
Army. I am not sure, if Lithuanians did the same or maybe they
couldn't do anything, since the government was not in power during the
previous harvest.
There's an interesting aerticle at

http://www.napoleon.org/en/reading_room/articles/files/napoleon_russia_sav
iour_antichrist.asp

which says something on this




"Napoleon in Russia: Saviour or anti-christ? - from History Today (1991), vol.
41
(Article by HARTLEY Janet M. )


FOR FURTHER READING


Janet Hartley, Lecturer in International History at the London School of
Economics, discusses the mixed responses of Russia's populations to Napoleon's
great gamble on an invasion and the part they played in the eventual French
catastrophe.

HISTORY TODAY 1991 vol. 41.

On June 24th, 1812 Napoleon crossed the river Niemen and entered Russian
territory with a multi-national army of between 400,000 and 450,000 men. By
June 28th, Napoleon was in Vil'na. The French First Corps was at the gates of
Mogilev by July 8th and entered the town the next day after repulsing the
Russian forces. On August 18th, after the first major battle with the Russian
forces, the French entered Smolensk. As the Russian armies retreated, Napoleon
was drawn into the heartland of Russia and, after the battle of Borodino,
entered the almost deserted city of Moscow on September 14th.
Napoleon hoped that the occupation of Moscow would force Alexander to respond
to his peace overtures, but Alexander could not afford to make peace on any
terms while foreign troops were on Russian soil. The Grand Army left Moscow on
October 19th, taking the road south-west towards the town of Kaluga, but after
the costly battle of Maloiaroslavets (a small town in Kaluga province) the army
was forced to retreat along its path of invasion through Smolensk and Vil'na.
The remnants of the Grand Army crossed the Berezina on November 26th-29th, and
reached Prussian territory by crossing the Niemen on December 13th-14th.
The French were, therefore, in the Russian Empire for less than six months, and
the brevity of their stay meant that they never regarded the administration of
Russian territories under their control as anything other than temporary, with
the sole aim of procuring supplies for the army. What then was the Russian
response to the Napoleonic invasion? And how was the Grand Army perceived by
the local population? In attempting to answer these questions we shall mainly
consider evidence from the towns and provinces of Mogilev, Smolensk and Kaluga.
Smolensk and Mogilev were occupied by the French and temporary administrations
were set up; Kaluga remained under Russian control but was threatened by the
proximity of the enemy and had to cope with the consequences of the invasion in
neighbouring areas.
As the Napoleonic army moved towards Vil'na and Mogilev there was the
possibility that the Lithuanian and Polish nobles there would look to Napoleon
as their saviour. Vil'na was the capital of Lithuania, which had been acquired
by Russia as a result of the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795.
Mogilev is in Belorussia, which had once been part of the Grand Duchy of
Lithuania and then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and had been
incorporated into the Russian Empire as a result of the first partition of
Poland in 1772. The population of Belorussia was mixed in race and religion.
The landowners were for the most part Polish-speaking and Latin-rite Catholic,
while the peasants were largely Orthodox or Uniate (Uniates follow the Slavonic
rite but acknowledge the authority of the pope).
Napoleon had created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 from Prussia's Polish
lands, and many of the Poles in the Grand Army (who probably numbered about
100,000) hoped that a new Polish kingdom would emerge which would include at
least the lands lost as a result of the three partitions of Poland, and
possibly the lands of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, stretching from
the Baltic to the Black Sea. The Polish-speaking nobility of Lithuania,
however, proved more interested in the possibility of a restored kingdom of
Lithuania, which would be independent from Poland. Some individuals in
Belorussia willingly supported Napoleon in 1812. A confederation of
Polish-speaking nobles was formed in Mogilev, which promised devotion to
Napoleon 'as citizens of ancient, inseparable Poland'. While Mogilev was under
French control, Napoleon's birthday was celebrated. A banner with the words
'Restore Poland' was hung in the square, and the Poles allegedly cried out
'hurrah' and rejoiced wildly.
In the event, Napoleon did not fulfil the expectations of the Poles in his army
or of the Lithuanians, and was not regarded by the majority of the Belorussian
Polish-speaking nobility as their saviour. There were two reasons for this.
Firstly, Napoleon was only concerned with the success of this campaign and was
not prepared to prejudice negotiations with Alexander by granting further
concessions to the Poles. He established a separate administration in Vil'na,
which he called the government of Lithuania, but this was not joined to the
Duchy of Warsaw and excluded the Belorussian provinces of Mogilev and Vitebsk,
where separate administrations were set up. Secondly, with a few exceptions,
the Polish-speaking nobility of Belorussia showed little inclination to support
Napoleon. The confederation in Mogilev remained inactive during the campaign,
and Polish-speaking landowners failed to flock to join the Grand Army. Poles
serving with Napoleon commented with disgust on the apathy and passivity of
their fellow Poles who refused to commit themselves until the outcome of the
contest was clear.
According to the testimony of an official in Mogilev, Marshal Davout expressed
surprise that he did not find the same enthusiasm and 'Polish spirit' in
Mogilev that he had encountered in other provinces. Even in Vil'na, where the
French were made more welcome, it was hard to find people to serve Napoleon -
Caulaincourt wrote that:
The Lithuanians were full of praise for the Tsar Alexander, and the utmost
difficulty was experienced in organising the country and inspiring the
Lithuanians with any desire or feeling for the re-birth of the Polish
fatherland.
Both contemporary French and Russian accounts attributed the loyalty of the
Polish-speaking nobility to the fact that they dreaded the French liberation of
their serfs "

In short, it seems that Napoleon managed to get the worst of both worlds. He
didn't (and probably couldn't) do anywhere near enough to attract Russian serfs
to his standard, yet enough rumours floated around on this subject to ensure
that the nobility (even Polish speaking ones) remained firmly loyal to
Alexander
--
Mike Stone - Peterborough England

Call nothing true until it has been officially denied
Les
2004-04-13 19:01:47 UTC
Permalink
"Stefan Diekmann" <***@gmx.net> wrote in message news:<4072fd41$0$25363$***@newscene.com>...

I did not see my original reply posted. Apologies if this appears
twice.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel.
Yes, a German General who neglected logistical considerations in favor
of short-term opportunities, overextended himself, lost out in a
slugging match, and ended the campaign in retreat.
What the hell does that have to do with what I was talking about here?!?!
In North Africa, the Axis were led by a commander who was very good at
exploiting immediate situations, largely ignored logistical
limitations, and ended up losing to a superior force that was better
supplied and equipped.

In the OTL Barbarossa, the Germans adopted a plan whose objective was
to knock out the USSR before the winter. They gained initial
successes by their very good ability to exploit immediate situations,
largely ignored logistical limitations, and ended up losing against a
superior force better supplied and equipped.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You're right that Rommel was a bad General, but who doubts that?
From what I've read of several accounts, quite a few people doubt that
Rommel was a bad general. Rommel was a lot like most of the German
General Staff: very good when it came to direct military combat
operations, poor with regards to logistics.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
How does this make him any different from the rest of Hitler's General
Staff?
The rest knows what they're doing. At least most of them. Rommel is one of
the less capable Generals, all the good ones were on the East Front.
Oh, the good generals who adapted a plan that assumed their mechanical
equipment would continue to function at capacity (in terms of load and
speed) despite working on roads the Germans knew were of worse quality
than their own? The good generals who ended up exhausting their
forces in a failed effort to reach Moscow?

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well, I don't know how big the DAK was at every point in time, but I know
that the campaign ended with quarter a million surrendering. And since the
distances in Africa were pretty close to those in the East, I don't see
where the problem should be.
Let's see, additional congestion of road and rail lines, more front
troops to maintain, and the only naval shipping option available
depends on capturing an enemy port intact for immediate use for a plan
that depends on taking Moscow before winter.

See where the problems are now?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Actually the distances in the East will be
shorter, since railroads will be available.
The same rail lines that supplied only 9 out of the 27 daily trains
needed to maintain army group center now have to additionally take the
strain of 250 000 more troops?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If you have an interest in capturing the ports quickly, you can
have them long before you reach Stalingrad.
From where? A land based offensive that cannot be supplied until you
capture the ports first? Even this assumes the Soviets are
accomodating enough to leave the ports intact so the Germans can use
them.
Look at a map! Germany conquered the whole god damn Baltik coast and the
northern short of the Black Sea!
Yes, but they didn't supply the offensives that took the ports by sea.
They depended on their land lines, as that was the only way to be
able to supply the forces' advance given their limited time frame.
Remember, the whole point of Barbarossa was to beat the USSR before
winter, and taking the weeks to get each port they capture functional
enough to supply further operations dooms the offensive.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That's a historic FACT!
...as was the fact the Nazis ended the war with Soviet Flags flying
over Berlin. One big difference was the Soviets stayed in Eastern
Germany decades longer than Germany did in the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And they DID use
them to land supplies!
They didn't land the supplies in time to support their drive to
Moscow. Also, you originally stated the Germans would supply this
drive to Moscow using the port in Leningrad, a city where the OTL
Nazis never took. Somehow, having the Nazis take a city well before
the winter of 1941, in time to supply the offensive to Moscow before
the winter of 1941, when the OTL Nazis were never able to take
Leningrad at all does not strike me as a reasonable change, much less
a better than OTL plan.

(stuff deleted, regarding the rail network in Poland)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yes, because they didn't have access to any other part of Poland. And while
most of the work was done after the surrender, I'm not sure when it began.
At least repair work would have started as soon as the railways were
secured, that's been pretty much SOP since the ACW.
1) The Germans lack the means to maintain/extend a rail network to
keep up with their military advances.
2) They lack the additional rollingstock and engines to make this rail
network useable for an area as vast as the USSR.
3) Some of the trains the Germans do have are allocated to the
wonderously efficient and military necessary task of murdering vast
segments of their subject populations :-/
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
They tried the same trick against the USSR of
putting infrastructure maintenance on a back-burner to military
priorities. This did not critically hurt them at Poland, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, or France. It did hurt them against
the USSR.
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure;
It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the pace of the advance.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
there was just so
much demand in other areas and dislocation to bombing that the resources
avaiable were limited.
Incorrect. The UK did not start bombing to any heavy extent until
1942 (and even then did not field heavy bombers in any numbers until
1943).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
And once it becomes clear you can't supply
those troops at the front,
...like OTL, when the troops started dying by the hundreds of
thousands? That's when the Germans realized they needed a better
supply line.
Yeah, but this time they have a lot less commitments.
An extra 100 000 people on the front combined with inadequate
additional trucks do not mean "less commitments."
Actually it does.
Check the previous sentance carefully. When you deploy 100 000 more
people at the end of an already inadequate logistics line, you have
more commitments in that theatre.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Italy lost over 100,000 troops in North Africa before
German troops arrived. In total they deployed over 300,000 there.
They didn't deploy them all at once, and they certainly did not have
them all at El Alemien.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
No combat
in North Africa will free up those, plus tens of thousands of Germans.
...where they will be added to the front line against the Soviets, and
bog down the supply system accordingly.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That's without accounting for those freed up from the defense against
bombers or the Battle of the Atlantic.
Again, the bomber offensive did not appear in large scale until after
the Nazis had bogged down against the Soviets. Abandoning U-Boat
development does free steel and deisel in good quantities, although
Reader is likely to demand these be used towards a return to the Plan
Z shipbuilding schedule that Hitler had previously agreed to.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Overall that's at least halve a
million; so even with 100,000 deployed in the East the commitment is
significantly lower.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
you might as well let them do something useful.
The troops in question are at the front, in order for them to do
anything useful they'll need supplies and equipment, and they can't
get the supplies and equipment to improve the logistical structure
because the logistic structure can't deliver enough supplies and
equipment to the front to do this.
If you assume that Germans are totally incompetent, this may be true.
No, I'm assuming the Germans are paying the same inattention to
logistics in your admittedly unlikely ATL as they did OTL. I am also
assuming the Soviets utilize scorched earth tactics that leave nothing
of use behind as they did OTL.
Well, then you don't know enough about OTL.
Oh?

You mean the Germans did not run short of food, fuel and ammunition on
their drive to Moscow?

You mean the German General Staff did not fail to take into account
that their nonstandard trucks could be expected to perform below
capacity and break down, and thus need maintenance and replacement
parts?

You mean the front line troops were not reduced to "slaughter patrols"
for food, and when these failed to find any cattle, they slaughtered
their own transport horses?

I must have been reading about the wrong war.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany did rebuild the rail for
the most part, even expand them.
...not in time to support their failed drive to Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The rail supply heads were never more than
a few hundred klicks behind the front, usually closer. Germany had dedicated
troops to rebuild railroads and such.
...and still confronted Hitler with the choice of sending either
adequate clothes, food, or ammunition to the front, because they
realized they couldn't send enough of all three. Hitler chose to send
ammunition, and even that was not enough to counter the Soviet
counter-attack at Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Front line soldiers do not have the ability to build and link roads
and rail to the rear lines in any fast or effective manner. They
become even slower and less effective without training and equipment,
and do not expect them to be maintaining an offensive or be able to
defend against any counter-attacks while they are trying to deal with
this.
Who says they need to be fast?
The planners for Barbarossa, for starters.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Even if ten thousand men assigned to it keep
it only 20 klicks closer to the front that's going to do wonders to the
supply situation.
Not really. You are neglecting the German shortage of rail engines
and rolling stock. You are also ignoring the problem of where these
front line troops suddenly get the supplies and expertise to restore
and enhance this rail network.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But if
that is the case, how did they get as far as they did?
Initial shock, unprepared Soviet Troops caught while in transition
from a static mode of military doctrine to that of a mobile one, and
lots of empty spaces that the Germans could speed into, and the German
doctrine that emphasized taking every available opportunity quickly
and worry about resupply later.
Read more about German doctrine. Logistics were an essential part of
planning.
Assuming the logstical support would work at capacity without any
mechanical breakdown is not planning, it is optimism at best.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
While some German Generals didn't care about it, most did, and
were good at taking care of it.
So good in fact, they found themselves at the outskirts of Moscow
without enough food, adequate clothing, or sufficient ammunition to
beat off the Soviet counteroffensive.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You know, the maps I have handy at the moment seem to indicate the
sea
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
lanes end a few thousand miles before Moscow.
Strange, my show Leningrad quite a bit closer than that.
Oh, so you want to land supplies and equipment directly into a
Soviet-held zone in order to supply an offensive against Leningrad?
That certainly is a bold move.
<Rolls eyes> Look at the Baltik Coast.
OK, You specified *Leningrad.* Now, if you bother to check some
historical sources, you may be surprised to find that the Axis never
took Leningrad. Consequently, expecting to be able to use a Soviet
controlled Leningrad as a supply port for an offensive to Leningrad is
rather problematic, much less one against Moscow.
Okay, simple now. Germany takes coast on Baltik coast; German and Italian
transport ships use it for supply of AGN.
...delaying the advance of AGN, since the inconsiderate Soviets are
sabotaging the ports and delaying the German advance.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
AGN advances faster due to better
logistics.
Wrong. AGN cannot supply their next advance until they get their
captured ports functional, and ports can take months to become
functional. Witness the difficulties the UK/US had in getting a
functional port in their Normandy campaign, and they had far more
planning and equipment on hand than the Germans did.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
AGN takes Leningrad. Leningrad available to land supplies.
How? AGN's advance is delayed due to the time lags in repairing
ports. Either AGC's advance is delayed, or they risk having AGC
getting cut off as the Soviets exploit the flank created. Hitler
cannot afford either option.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
All I'm doing is attacking an admittedly improbable ATL
No, you're not attacking it, you insist that Germany must take every bad
decision available.
Wrong. I'm insisting that the German leaders make the same
administrative, intelligence and logistical mistakes in this
admittedly improbable ATL as they did in the OTL, with similar
results. Remember that the original PODs were restricted to the US
and UK no longer fighting Germany, not to any changes in German
planning or Nazi doctrine.

You have suggested adding changes to the original Barbarossa to
improve logistics, but keep forgetting that these changes violate
Barbarossa's original premise: to knock the USSR out quickly. Taking
months to use one or two functional ports to supply an offensive
simply is not viable when the offensive is scheduled to take Moscow in
four months.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And is the ATL improbable?
Yes, to say the least.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Who cares;
Evidently, the people who responded to the post care enough to post
their opinions.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
unless you're willing to accept the
divergence as fact discussion is useless.
One of the problems of the original diversion was that it was not only
improbable but that it still didn't by itself guarantee a Nazi victory
over the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If it's to improbable/unrealistic
for you, ignore it.
Why? Is there a rule in soc.history.what-if that forbids dissenting
opinions? If so, then I'm afraid to inform you there are far more
frequent rule breakers out there than me.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
1: Why should the Turks not allow German supplies to pass?
- Inability of the Axis to pay transit fees.
I've established already that German credit would be good.
No, you have speculated that the Germans could get up to 10% GDP
credit, which in itself is highly implausible, given the current debt
load the Germans already have.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
- Fear of Soviet reprisals (they sided with Germany in the last war,
and look what happened then).
Given the extends of German advance this is very unlikely. Who in 41
expected Germany to be soundly defeated?
The ones who recalled what happened to Napolean when he pulled a
similar stunt.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
The Germans already have access to Romania via land routs.
So? There a law you can't use ships if you have rails? Interesting.
No, but why would a Turkey wary of angering the USSR accept Axis
transport ships supposedly going to a destination they know is
unnecessary?

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Then They manage to drive the
biggest military power back so far that they'd have collapsed, had it
not
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
been for LL.
Really? Lend Lease did not arrive in any meaningful quantities until
after Germany's offensive was broken.
Yeah, offenses that were weaker than in this ATL;
...until the Germans start starving to death at the end of their
overextended supply lines.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And food supplies became
important before Stalingrad; without them there's no chance that the Soviets
can achieve anything better than static frontline.
A stalemate does not mean a Soviet defeat. Quite the contrary, once
the front line stagnates into a war of attrition, the Soviets gain the
upper hand.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
(the useless/senseless comments included Germany's lack of certain
resources, as well as the age old problem of the Nazi German
inattention to logistics and their initial reliance on a quick
campaign)
Certain resources that'd could be bought from the world market
...assuming credit equal to 10% GDP, which means (even if the world
market is crazy enough to grant to an already overextended German
economy) that Germany goes broke midway through its fight against the
USSR simply trying to keep up with the interest payments. Once
Germany uses up this credit (and the Nazi administration is not likely
to spend this credit wisely), all the important resources on which
Germany became dependent are gone.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and logistic
issues that were several times over handled already.
Really? I must have missed your post where you can realistically
explain how the Nazis can make sabotaged ports instantly functional,
not to mention capturing Leningrad so it can be used as a supply port
for the conquest of Moscow (something the OTL Nazis never came close
to doing).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Beside, how large a part did the losses Germany inflicted in WWII play
in
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
the collapse.
The actions of Nazi Germany ultimately allowed Stalin to conquer most
of Eastern Europe under the guise of liberation. That benefitted
Stalin.
But prooved a further drain on Soviet resources since the areas were almost
totally destroyed.
...as was much of Western Europe, not to mention Germany itself. In
the end, Stalin ended WW2 with most of Eastern Europe.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Without WWII, how many more years would the Cold War continue?
40? 80?
Let's see, with a far smaller USSR, and without the justification
Naziism gave to European Communist resistance, the Cold War could very
well have ended with Stalin's death. Even if this "cold war" did
continue, any Marxist would have motivation to play it safe and wait
for the decadent democracies to self-destruct, while the capitalist
nations can devote an even smaller portion of their budgets to
national defense in order to contain the diminished threat.
But without Hitler, what would have happened? Would Germany have turned
Communistic? A possibility.
How? One of the reasons the Nazi's were popular was because they were
perceived as anti-Communist. The odds of a German communist movement
overthrowing the anti-communist German militias (let alone the
anti-communist German military) are too small to consider,
particularly since Stalin cannot give much in the way of direct aide
without raising alarms in the rest of Europe.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
How much of Europe would then oppose Communism
if Stalin ruling USSR and Germany demanded allegiance?
Most likely every country outside of USSR/Germany. Poland would be
caught between a vice, as would be much the rest of Eastern Europe.
However, in the face of a strong alliance, and the liklihood that any
European adventures would result in a major war, Communist governments
tend to play it safe. After all, according to their own ideology, the
demise of the decadent Capitalists is inevitable. Why chance it with
a war?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Simply assuming that everything goes best for democracy isn't realistic.
It is far more realistic than assuming that a genocidal and aggressive
Nazi government being in conrol of Germany was the best option.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I've no idea how it would turn out, but chances are IMHO good that it'd be
at least as bad as OTL.
Not likely. Hitler's Naziism demanded military conquest and
aggression, which threatened everyone deemed unworthy of living space,
resources, etc.. Communism, on the other hand, preached the
inevitability of Capitalism's demise, allowing for a less aggressive
government.

(stuff deleted, regarding Germany's importing of tungston for military
ammo)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Okay. Since the tungsten penetrator is surrounded by the same material a
steel penetrator is, there's no difference here, then.
...accept that the troops will receive a shock when Germany can no
longer afford Tungston when the government runs out of credit.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip>
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Again, I'm NOT talking about national govenments, I'm talking about
private
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
rich individuals that want to make a lot of money.
Please list the private rich individuals who provided credit with
Japan's invasion of China, in which Japan initially looked to be
winning handily.
They did? That's news to me. They controlled some cities but never gained
control over the rural areas.
Check a map of Japan's expansion. On paper, they took vast areas of
the most productive portion of China. Granted, they weren't in much
of a position to exploit any of it, but you are going for appearances
here, and I'm pointing out that a Germany appearing to be taking much
of the USSR is as likely to attract credit as Japan did during the
China Incident.

As you may have guessed, Japan did not attract significant investment
during that time, and in fact, became subject to a few embargoes.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You can expect the same extent of investment for
Germany's latest gamble. As for it being 10% of Germany's GDP, when
Germany already has a high amount of foreign debt, you are flying with
the Alien Space Bats here.
So? The US has a huge foreign debt now and people are buying bonds like
wild.
The US is in position to pay its debt. They were not spending twice
as much as they were making, like Hitler's government was.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Same for every other developed country, State Bonds are generally
save.
They don't become safe when the Government in question no longer
becomes capable of paying them. Having a debt of 10% GDP cripples
Germany's economy, which is not a good thing when it is engaged in a
total war against the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But there's lot of investment in bonds of developing nations, too.
That's high risk as trouble in the last decade in Argentina and other
countries has shown; still people willingly invest lots of money hoping for
high returns. I'm not expecting anything not happening by the billions now.
(rest of post deleted)

Wrong, you previously stated credit approaching 10% of GDP, with high
interest to attract investors. When Germany has credit equal to 10%
of its GDP, we are talking billions, and will be paying with high
interest.

Now, GDP usually means Gross Domestic Product. Government revenue is
by definition a percentage of that. Getting a further 10% GDP credit
on the premise of high interest payments results in massive government
revenue going towards simply keeping up the interest payments.

Markets keep track of how much governments are borrowing as a way of
monitoring and securing their investments. Even if Germany can
somehow manage to fool enough investers to grant such a large amount
of money, they'll have to do it quickly before word spreads. So,
assuming Germany gets all this credit in a short time, Hitler and his
Nazi pals are as likely to spend it on a variety of things, with
logistics getting only a fraction (if any) of it. Don't forget
Hitler's planned architectural monuments. He certainly didn't. He
was still importing granite for his projects during Barbarossa while
the Germans were losing more vehicles than they were building.

Hitler is in a position to freeze all foreign payments once the front
bogs down and his foreign creditors start demanding payment, but that
sends Germany's credit rating through the floor. Consequently,
shipping through the Dardenelles stop as they can't pay the rates the
Turks propose. Tungston ammunition runs out and gets replaced by
inferior grade steel, just as the Soviets are fielding T-34's in
increasing numbers. The oil and raw material shipments on which
Germany became reliant are gone. Germany's and Italy's merchant
marine stay in port due to lack of fuel, causing reverses for Army
Group North. Army Group South has already been hammered due to
Hitler's obsession with taking the city, and the sudden disappearance
of the naval supply line.

Meanwhile, the Holocaust continues, killing massive numbers of
potential workers while taking trains away from supplying the front.
Details start leaking to the West. Disbelieved at first, but they
continue in troubling amounts.

Now, Stalin may not be in any condition to launch major offensives,
but again, neither is Hitler. Stalin is in a position to gain from
Hitler's economic and political blunders, while Hitler has no one else
to turn to. That to me still doesn't look good for Hitler.
Alan Lothian
2004-04-14 00:14:34 UTC
Permalink
huge snippaggio. Us hoary old shwi ancients tend to ignore these
arguments, because we have been through them all before.

But Stefan, you're losing this one hands down.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure;
It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the pace of the advance.
There is a good story (I believe it's in Werth's _Russia at War_) that
even if unverifiable summarizes a great deal about the Third Reich's
utter inability to wage war, as opposed to childish stuff like winning
the odd battle, generally inflicting devastation and making a bloody
nuisance of itself.

Kiev, 1942. By heroic efforts on the part of unsung German bureaucrats
in a number of competing Nazi organizations, about 200 or so qualified
railway engineers, as scarce as hen's teeth, have been assembled from
throughout German-occupied Europe. By a mixture of bribes and threats,
they have more-or-less agreed to help out in Russia. They are sent to
Kiev. But there is nowhere to accommodate them. Can't put them with
German troops, other problems, etc. So they are lodged, temporarily, in
Kiev's main prison.

A day or two later, along comes a surly, unhappy Einsatzgruppe. It's
unhappy because it hasn't made its quota of executions etc yet; it
doesn't want to go back out in the field (too lazy, and all those
Russian fleas and bedbugs, you know) and _ratissages_ in Kiev can be
dangerous; besides, the local Wehrmacht doesn't much like them. What?
200 new prisoners in Kiev Jail? Just what we need.

The railway specialists are dragged out and shot. As the Italians say,
se non e' vero, e' molto ben trovato. [literally, "if it's not true,
it's very well found]

I'm really only posting to put this wonderful tale (I hope it's true,
and I mean no disrespect to the slaughtered railway engineers) before a
wider audience. It's just so, well, Third Reich, dear hearts.

But what the hell, now I've got myself started....
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Italy lost over 100,000 troops in North Africa before
German troops arrived. In total they deployed over 300,000 there.
They didn't deploy them all at once, and they certainly did not have
them all at El Alemien.
Italy's problem (well, in this particular case) was that it enough good
officers and perhaps more important NCOs and perhaps less important
equipment to field maybe 30,000-40,000 effective troops, max. All the
rest are simply useless mouths at the end of an expensive supply line;
frankly, the sooner the British capture them the better, if you haven't
the sense to keep them at home hard at work on what passes for the
Italian economy. That way the Brits have to feed them and you don't.

Stefan: this is a variation of the point that Les is killing you with.
If you can only -- just barely -- supply X,000 men, trying to solve
your problems by doubling their number (assuming you have the chaps) is
like trying to escape the effects of a leak in a bucket by drilling
another hole in its bottom.

Italy did, OTL, have something like that number of good troops (more
properly, good units to the value of say 40k). Rommel despised them
anyway, couldn't deal with them, used them up ruthlessly, and stole all
their transport after Alamein so the DAK could do an effective runner.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The rail supply heads were never more than
a few hundred klicks behind the front, usually closer. Germany had dedicated
troops to rebuild railroads and such.
A few hundred klicks is a long, long, long, long, long way to carry
artillery ammunition on sledges or worse drawn by scraggy Russian
ponies, which at least could usually survive substantially longer than
stalwart German workhorses. As Wehrmach Ostfront survivors will tell
you, though, there wasn't much eating on a Russian pony. And you
really do have to take into account the possibility that the odd
Untermensch will shoot at these pony parties. Though (see below) that's
just an aggravation, not the core problem.
Post by Les
...and still confronted Hitler with the choice of sending either
adequate clothes, food, or ammunition to the front, because they
realized they couldn't send enough of all three. Hitler chose to send
ammunition, and even that was not enough to counter the Soviet
counter-attack at Moscow.
Stefan just doesn't seem to get the logistic point. Take North Africa:
it's a much smaller theatre, so the point may be less easily obscured.
And the to-and-fro of both sides' logistics make it an excellent
example. The few Gedankexperiment changes I will make come pretty close
to the US staying out of the war, anyway.

Certainly, If you can deploy just one more Panzer division at the front
(even better, mechanized infantry) you might well wipe out the Brits.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that this division exists, and isn't
needed elsewhere. You may indeed assume you have ten such divisions.
The more you try to use at the front, the deeper the shit in which you
find yourself.

The trouble seems to be that you don't have enough beans, bullets and
gas to supply the divisions you already have in-theatre. Why don't you
have them? Your depots at home (again, for the sake of argument) are
brimming with beans, bullets and gas. Germany and Italy are *knee-deep*
in beans, bullets and gas. In the port of Genova, roads are *blocked*
by mountains of beans, bullets and gas in well-designed jerrycans.
Black marketeers despair. Yet your brave boys at the front are hungry,
short on ammunition, and have barely enough gas to boil up their ersatz
coffee. Of which they are also short.

So what's the problem?

Well, first you have to get the beans, the bullets and the gas across
the Med. That's OK, those crummy Italians have agreed to sacrifice
their merchant marine and their best light naval units to get the
goodies across the sea, despite attrition that sometimes reached 70%
OTL. Those depots of yours are still brimming (environmentalist groups
are complaining about what all the sunk stuff is doing to Mediterranean
sea life), but you do have a problem looming on the horizon: no more
ships. However, horrible as it is, this is not your real problem. We
will wave a magic wand and give you an unlimited supply of ships, and
an unlimited supply of brave Italian destroyer commanders to defend
them. (NB those who imagine that OTL Italy did not have at least a
moderately generous supply of such destroyer commanders are sadly
ignorant.)

You have two small ports -- Tripoli and Benghazi -- in which to land
those supplies. These ports have limited capacity. Indeed, despite more
than half a century of oil-driven expansion, they still, OTL, have
limited capacity. *All* ports have limited capacity. So although a mad
American pro-Fascist has used quantum displacement to send you 20,000
Liberty Ships, 19,997 must wait in a queue outside the port while the
other three are unloaded. (It's OK, in this scenario the British don't
bomb them; they let them run aground on their own beefbones; you have a
an unlimited supply of slave labourers to do the unloading, and unlike
OTL your slave labourers do not die of starved exhaustion on a diet of
1,000 calories a week. So they need only a trivial amount of those
beans of yours.)

Still, your staff chaps are satisfied that, in warehouses in Tripoli
and Benghazi, unbombed by the bumbling British, you have more, far
more than enough beans, bullets and gas for your brave fighting chaps
1500 or more klicks away at the front, shooting the shit out of the
Brits. The only remaining problem is to get the stuff from your nice
unbombed warehouses to the fighting soldiers, who appear every month
looking very cool on the cover of _Signal_ magazine.

And compared with your staff chaps in Russia, your staff chaps in
Africa are stone lucky. They have a two-lane, asphalt road that runs
most of the way from your warehouses to your customers. (In Russia they
cry, "A road? a road? Oh, how we dream of a dirt track!") So you load
up your trucks. After about two hundred klicks, they run out of gas. So
you load up some more trucks (that same mad American pro-fascist has
sent you 50,000 lovely Chrysler six-by-sixes, so none of your trucks
break down) with gas, and send them out to refuel your first lot of
trucks. By then, your truckers have eaten all the beans, so you send
more of your trucks with more beans. And more gas, and more trucks...
After a very short while, you have to send trucks with asphalt and
things to repair the holes in the road made by all those trucks, but
what the hell, you've got plenty of trucks.

Surely you get the idea. Meanwhile, the bumbling British continue to
sun themselves in Cairo, spending their time contracting ever more
exotic and interesting venereal diseases.....actually, that's your best
hope.

[In fact, the purest form of near-idealized logistic lunacy --
practically a lab experiment -- was Operation Black Buck. Google for it
if you don't know what I mean. The fact that the bombs pretty well all
missed was merely a crowning irony.]

snippaggio... all the rest is commentary, as the wise Rabbi said.

Dig around in the shwi archives and you will find the point made (more
than once, I believe) that even had Hitler been able to turn the
Atlantic into a concrete highway he still couldn't have invaded the US.
Even if the US was defended by nothing but a bunch of loons from the
NRA.
--
"The past resembles the future as water resembles water" Ibn Khaldun

My .mac.com address is a spam sink.
If you wish to email me, try atlothian at blueyonder dot co dot uk
bulba
2004-04-14 18:41:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Lothian
Italy's problem (well, in this particular case) was that it enough good
officers and perhaps more important NCOs and perhaps less important
equipment to field maybe 30,000-40,000 effective troops, max. All the
rest are simply useless mouths at the end of an expensive supply line;
frankly, the sooner the British capture them the better, if you haven't
the sense to keep them at home hard at work on what passes for the
Italian economy. That way the Brits have to feed them and you don't.
There's a joke here from Franz Joseph' times:

Q: Why did God create Italians?






A: So even the Austrians could have somebody they could whack.




--
I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-17 00:00:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Lothian
huge snippaggio. Us hoary old shwi ancients tend to ignore these
arguments, because we have been through them all before
Well, I like to think of me as an ancient, too. My first post here I can
remember was about five years ago, and I read the group for at least a year
before I wrote it.
Post by Alan Lothian
But Stefan, you're losing this one hands down.
Interesting, I do not see it that way.
Post by Alan Lothian
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure;
It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the pace of the advance.
<snip interesting story>
Post by Alan Lothian
I'm really only posting to put this wonderful tale (I hope it's true,
and I mean no disrespect to the slaughtered railway engineers) before a
wider audience. It's just so, well, Third Reich, dear hearts.
Yeah, it shows the problems in the Third Reich. But the problems the Soviets
had are much less explored; until the Iron Curtain fell there was no access
at all to the files; I wonder how many stories like this on Soviet side
simply were lost in history.

<snip>
Post by Alan Lothian
Stefan: this is a variation of the point that Les is killing you with.
If you can only -- just barely -- supply X,000 men, trying to solve
your problems by doubling their number (assuming you have the chaps) is
like trying to escape the effects of a leak in a bucket by drilling
another hole in its bottom.
I never wanted to d othat; it's Les that insist the Germans would do it; I
disagree. I think at least some of those troops would instead be used for
more worthwhile tasks.
Post by Alan Lothian
Italy did, OTL, have something like that number of good troops (more
properly, good units to the value of say 40k). Rommel despised them
anyway, couldn't deal with them, used them up ruthlessly, and stole all
their transport after Alamein so the DAK could do an effective runner.
True. But while the Italians in the East weren't up to German standards,
they weren't that bad, either. Certainly they'll be at least as useful as a
large part of the Soviet army once the battle turns into a meat grinder.
Post by Alan Lothian
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The rail supply heads were never more than
a few hundred klicks behind the front, usually closer. Germany had dedicated
troops to rebuild railroads and such.
A few hundred klicks is a long, long, long, long, long way
<snip>

Yes, I know. And I doubt the railheads were that far away from the front
often. I just used it in connection with the 10,000 soldiers, 20km closer
figures to make a point. Whatever the situation, throwing enoguh troops at
it will make it a bit better.
Post by Alan Lothian
Post by Les
...and still confronted Hitler with the choice of sending either
adequate clothes, food, or ammunition to the front, because they
realized they couldn't send enough of all three. Hitler chose to send
ammunition, and even that was not enough to counter the Soviet
counter-attack at Moscow.
Stefan just doesn't seem to get the logistic point.
I do. I've read several books about logistics in war. Les just likes to
distort my comments beyond recognition.
Post by Alan Lothian
it's a much smaller theatre, so the point may be less easily obscured.
And the to-and-fro of both sides' logistics make it an excellent
example. The few Gedankexperiment changes I will make come pretty close
to the US staying out of the war, anyway.
Certainly, If you can deploy just one more Panzer division at the front
(even better, mechanized infantry) you might well wipe out the Brits.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that this division exists, and isn't
needed elsewhere. You may indeed assume you have ten such divisions.
The more you try to use at the front, the deeper the shit in which you
find yourself.
<snip>
Yes. That's why I said most of the troops would be used not at the front;
Les claims that Germany would put them at the front regardless of that; I
disagree with that. That's the core of the argument.
Or do you want to claim that the logistics are bad and nothing can be done
about it? The Soviets seemed to have little problem in getting some minimum
infrastructure in place to supply their armies. If the Germans get the
trucks and trains instead, can't they do the same? Why?
Post by Alan Lothian
[In fact, the purest form of near-idealized logistic lunacy --
practically a lab experiment -- was Operation Black Buck. Google for it
if you don't know what I mean. The fact that the bombs pretty well all
missed was merely a crowning irony.]
Yeah, I agree. Then again, the mere demonstration that they were there, and
could come south, was likely of more value than those aircraft could do in
actual damage. Getting people to worry about fantastic threats is a good way
to distract them from real ones.

Stefan
Alan Lothian
2004-04-20 21:08:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
huge snippaggio. Us hoary old shwi ancients tend to ignore these
arguments, because we have been through them all before
Well, I like to think of me as an ancient, too. My first post here I can
remember was about five years ago, and I read the group for at least a year
before I wrote it.
Five years? A spring chicken, dear boy, a spring chicken :)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
But Stefan, you're losing this one hands down.
Interesting, I do not see it that way.
See below for retraction.

<snippaggio?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yeah, it shows the problems in the Third Reich. But the problems the Soviets
had are much less explored; until the Iron Curtain fell there was no access
at all to the files; I wonder how many stories like this on Soviet side
simply were lost in history.
Good point. And when we have someone like Beevor posturing as a great
military historian of things Russian when he cannot be arsed to learn
the language.... hmmm.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip>
Post by Alan Lothian
Stefan: this is a variation of the point that Les is killing you with.
If you can only -- just barely -- supply X,000 men, trying to solve
your problems by doubling their number (assuming you have the chaps) is
like trying to escape the effects of a leak in a bucket by drilling
another hole in its bottom.
I never wanted to d othat; it's Les that insist the Germans would do it; I
disagree. I think at least some of those troops would instead be used for
more worthwhile tasks.
OK, my fault for butting into an argument in mid-stream.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
Italy did, OTL, have something like that number of good troops (more
properly, good units to the value of say 40k). Rommel despised them
anyway, couldn't deal with them, used them up ruthlessly, and stole all
their transport after Alamein so the DAK could do an effective runner.
True. But while the Italians in the East weren't up to German standards,
they weren't that bad, either. Certainly they'll be at least as useful as a
large part of the Soviet army once the battle turns into a meat grinder.
I did some research on Ottava Armata a few years back. They did much
better than they are often accused of. And they held out for a few
horrible days against some very heavy Soviet stuff in Dec 42 -- longer
than they should have. They also tended to have much better relations
with the "occupied" people than the Wehrmacht. But they were
underarmed, underofficered, and under-NCO-ed. It's a black hole in
Italian history, by the way.

<snippaggio>
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yes, I know. And I doubt the railheads were that far away from the front
often. I just used it in connection with the 10,000 soldiers, 20km closer
figures to make a point. Whatever the situation, throwing enoguh troops at
it will make it a bit better.
Not necessarily. Depends where you throw them, for a start. But...
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
Post by Les
...and still confronted Hitler with the choice of sending either
adequate clothes, food, or ammunition to the front, because they
realized they couldn't send enough of all three. Hitler chose to send
ammunition, and even that was not enough to counter the Soviet
counter-attack at Moscow.
Stefan just doesn't seem to get the logistic point.
I do. I've read several books about logistics in war. Les just likes to
distort my comments beyond recognition.
OK, here is my retraction. Les does seem to be trying to make you say
things you didn't quite say.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
it's a much smaller theatre, so the point may be less easily obscured.
And the to-and-fro of both sides' logistics make it an excellent
example. The few Gedankexperiment changes I will make come pretty close
to the US staying out of the war, anyway.
Certainly, If you can deploy just one more Panzer division at the front
(even better, mechanized infantry) you might well wipe out the Brits.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that this division exists, and isn't
needed elsewhere. You may indeed assume you have ten such divisions.
The more you try to use at the front, the deeper the shit in which you
find yourself.
<snip>
Yes. That's why I said most of the troops would be used not at the front;
Les claims that Germany would put them at the front regardless of that; I
disagree with that. That's the core of the argument.
I'd say Les has a point, in that historically Nazi Germany was almost
Robert E Lee-like when it came to logistics. Note that in the case of
North Africa, once you have them on the south shore of the Med you
have major supply problems long before you get them to the front.

<snippaggio>
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Alan Lothian
[In fact, the purest form of near-idealized logistic lunacy --
practically a lab experiment -- was Operation Black Buck. Google for it
if you don't know what I mean. The fact that the bombs pretty well all
missed was merely a crowning irony.]
Yeah, I agree. Then again, the mere demonstration that they were there, and
could come south, was likely of more value than those aircraft could do in
actual damage. Getting people to worry about fantastic threats is a good way
to distract them from real ones.
Fair point, especially your last line. But Black Buck was probably more
about making sure the RAF got a share of any Falklands goodies that
were going to be served out.
--
"The past resembles the future as water resembles water" Ibn Khaldun

My .mac.com address is a spam sink.
If you wish to email me, try atlothian at blueyonder dot co dot uk
Dennis Brennan
2004-04-21 19:26:26 UTC
Permalink
Alan Lothian <***@mac.com> wrote in message news:<140420040114345035%***@mac.com>...

[a well-written essay on logistics]

I move that this post be added to the SHWI Canon of Required Reading.

-Dennis
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-16 23:35:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel.
Yes, a German General who neglected logistical considerations in favor
of short-term opportunities, overextended himself, lost out in a
slugging match, and ended the campaign in retreat.
What the hell does that have to do with what I was talking about here?!?!
In North Africa, the Axis were led by a commander who was very good at
exploiting immediate situations, largely ignored logistical
limitations, and ended up losing to a superior force that was better
supplied and equipped.
Okay, one way to describe it. I'd describe it more like a Colonel that got
Hitler's support being promoted too quickly and lacking the qualities of a
general officer.
Post by Les
In the OTL Barbarossa, the Germans adopted a plan whose objective was
to knock out the USSR before the winter. They gained initial
successes by their very good ability to exploit immediate situations,
largely ignored logistical limitations, and ended up losing against a
superior force better supplied and equipped.
The situation here is a lot different.
For one Rommel went on against orders from above who told him to stop
because it would be impossible to supply a decisive force and who only
stayed in command because of Hitler.
In the East on the other hand you had just those officers preparing the
logistics for the attack. It wasn't enough, but what was available was used
as well as can be expected.
Setting unrealistic aims isn't the failure of Generals, but the political
leadership. And to argue the Generals are incompetent because their bosses
are...
And I have yet to see a sinle source claiming that Manstein and the other
good generals disregarding logistics like that.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well, I don't know how big the DAK was at every point in time, but I know
that the campaign ended with quarter a million surrendering. And since the
distances in Africa were pretty close to those in the East, I don't see
where the problem should be.
Let's see, additional congestion of road and rail lines, more front
troops to maintain, and the only naval shipping option available
depends on capturing an enemy port intact for immediate use for a plan
that depends on taking Moscow before winter.
See where the problems are now?
Of course I see what the problem is. I only disagree with you about the fact
weather it is surmountable or not.
Ports were used OTL, and German shipping was the bottleneck, so the
situation will be better now.
The same is true for the additional trucks, railway stock (less requirements
everywhere else), and just about everything else.
And I don't think I have ever claimed they would take Moscow. I have said
they would win the war; those are two different things. They'll almost
certainly get closer to Moscow, and the artillery will likely do severe
damage to the city and its industry, I see that as a given. But the war
isn't decided by taking cities, it's decided by killing troops. And I can't
see the Soviets being able to sustain that come 43.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Look at a map! Germany conquered the whole god damn Baltik coast and the
northern short of the Black Sea!
Yes, but they didn't supply the offensives that took the ports by sea.
They depended on their land lines, as that was the only way to be
able to supply the forces' advance given their limited time frame.
Of course you take a port that way; it doesn't follow (and actually didn't
OTL) that you don't use it to supply further advances.
Post by Les
Remember, the whole point of Barbarossa was to beat the USSR before
winter, and taking the weeks to get each port they capture functional
enough to supply further operations dooms the offensive.
Please show me where I claimed that Barbarossa would (or could) succeed.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yes, because they didn't have access to any other part of Poland. And while
most of the work was done after the surrender, I'm not sure when it began.
At least repair work would have started as soon as the railways were
secured, that's been pretty much SOP since the ACW.
1) The Germans lack the means to maintain/extend a rail network to
keep up with their military advances.
Like every nation throughout history. Ever head of Red Ball Express? And the
Soviet offenses also stopped when they had outrun the engineers ability to
repair the rails.
Post by Les
2) They lack the additional rollingstock and engines to make this rail
network useable for an area as vast as the USSR.
Correct. But there's a large number of them available on the world market.
They worked OTL; just were supplied to the Soviets as LL.
Post by Les
3) Some of the trains the Germans do have are allocated to the
wonderously efficient and military necessary task of murdering vast
segments of their subject populations :-/
Just like OTL; even if the percentage is constant the supply situation would
be better; not good, mind you, but better.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
They tried the same trick against the USSR of
putting infrastructure maintenance on a back-burner to military
priorities. This did not critically hurt them at Poland, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, or France. It did hurt them against
the USSR.
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure;
It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the pace of the advance.
Of course not. No nation in history has managed that.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
there was just so
much demand in other areas and dislocation to bombing that the resources
avaiable were limited.
Incorrect. The UK did not start bombing to any heavy extent until
1942 (and even then did not field heavy bombers in any numbers until
1943).
I'm not only talking about bombing. The UK also did many raids on the French
coast OTL. There wouldn't be any need to quard against that. Same in Norway.
Supplying those battles around Malta also took resources.
No factor by itself is important, but adding all of them together gives a
signifficant effect.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
An extra 100 000 people on the front combined with inadequate
additional trucks do not mean "less commitments."
Actually it does.
Check the previous sentance carefully. When you deploy 100 000 more
people at the end of an already inadequate logistics line, you have
more commitments in that theatre.
Yes, but at the same time you have a lot less commitments in five other
theaters (Atlantic, Norway, France, Italy, North Africa).
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Italy lost over 100,000 troops in North Africa before
German troops arrived. In total they deployed over 300,000 there.
They didn't deploy them all at once, and they certainly did not have
them all at El Alemien.
Italy lost 130,000 before Rommel was deployed. At the end over 250,000
surrendered at once.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That's without accounting for those freed up from the defense against
bombers or the Battle of the Atlantic.
Again, the bomber offensive did not appear in large scale until after
the Nazis had bogged down against the Soviets. Abandoning U-Boat
development does free steel and deisel in good quantities, although
Reader is likely to demand these be used towards a return to the Plan
Z shipbuilding schedule that Hitler had previously agreed to.
Wouldn't be that bad; the fleet could support the siege of Leningrad and
other ports. Though the Z-plan is still likely to be abandoned in favor of a
larger ground force; Reader will have to find ways he can help against the
Soviets if he wants a large fleet, since they are now the only enemy, so who
knows what new building plan will be developed. Germany might even form a
Marine Corps.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Even if ten thousand men assigned to it keep
it only 20 klicks closer to the front that's going to do wonders to the
supply situation.
Not really. You are neglecting the German shortage of rail engines
and rolling stock.
I've addressed them in every post I made so far.
Post by Les
You are also ignoring the problem of where these
front line troops suddenly get the supplies and expertise to restore
and enhance this rail network.
I don't assume any expertise! 10,000 men only getting the railheads 20 km
closer after working on it for months?! That's below worst case for
untrained troops.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Read more about German doctrine. Logistics were an essential part of
planning.
Assuming the logstical support would work at capacity without any
mechanical breakdown is not planning, it is optimism at best.
Could you refer me to any primary document that followed your assumption?
This is the first time I've heard anyone claim this.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Okay, simple now. Germany takes coast on Baltik coast; German and Italian
transport ships use it for supply of AGN.
...delaying the advance of AGN, since the inconsiderate Soviets are
sabotaging the ports and delaying the German advance.
Where have I taken away any of the support they got OTL?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
AGN advances faster due to better
logistics.
Wrong. AGN cannot supply their next advance until they get their
captured ports functional,
Again, where has the support they got OTL gone?
Post by Les
and ports can take months to become functional.
Correct. But as Overlord has shown, you don't need ports to unload limited
amounts of supplies.
Post by Les
Witness the difficulties the UK/US had in getting a
functional port in their Normandy campaign, and they had far more
planning and equipment on hand than the Germans did.
And witness the supplies they landed on simple beaches. Even a tiny fraction
of that would still improve German logistics. That's my point.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
All I'm doing is attacking an admittedly improbable ATL
No, you're not attacking it, you insist that Germany must take every bad
decision available.
Wrong. I'm insisting that the German leaders make the same
administrative, intelligence and logistical mistakes in this
admittedly improbable ATL as they did in the OTL, with similar
results.
Yes, you want them to make similar decisions if different circumstances. I
object to that. I think a different situation would lead to sometimes
signifficantly different decisions by the German command, both militarily
and political.
Post by Les
Remember that the original PODs were restricted to the US
and UK no longer fighting Germany, not to any changes in German
planning or Nazi doctrine.
You have suggested adding changes to the original Barbarossa to
improve logistics,
I suggest that resources no longer allocated anywhere because of different
geopolitics, will be assigned to Barbarossa. That means the trucks from DAK,
the ships that supplied them, and all those ships lost overseas when war
broke out. All logistic resources with little other use.
Further I propose that Germany uses the access to the world market to buy
what they don't produce themselves in adequate numbers; like trucks, rail
equipment, and so on. Germany wouldn't buy foreign tanks or plans because
their home produced ones are seen (correctly) as superior.
Since now more rolling stock exist, it is logic to divert some of the
additional troops (the 10,000 I proposed are perhaps 5%, so IMHO realistic)
to getting the rail lines up again. After all they know they won't be able
to supply them at the front without better logistics.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I've established already that German credit would be good.
No, you have speculated that the Germans could get up to 10% GDP
credit, which in itself is highly implausible, given the current debt
load the Germans already have.
Which, contrary to many claims, wasn't particularly bad. And history has
since then shown many countries getting far more credit with far less
likelyhood of the creditor getting his money back.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Given the extends of German advance this is very unlikely. Who in 41
expected Germany to be soundly defeated?
The ones who recalled what happened to Napolean when he pulled a
similar stunt.
Yes, isn't it interesting? All those who tried to conquere Russia and failed
were also at war with Britain. I wonder how many would remember that?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
The Germans already have access to Romania via land routs.
So? There a law you can't use ships if you have rails? Interesting.
No, but why would a Turkey wary of angering the USSR accept Axis
transport ships supposedly going to a destination they know is
unnecessary?
Before Barbarossa Germany and the USSR were allies. So not allowing the
ships to pass would anger the Soviets. Officially at least.
Moreover, would the Turks really risk angering the Germans? They're much
closer to the important parts of Turkey after all.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And food supplies became
important before Stalingrad; without them there's no chance that the Soviets
can achieve anything better than static frontline.
A stalemate does not mean a Soviet defeat. Quite the contrary, once
the front line stagnates into a war of attrition, the Soviets gain the
upper hand.
See, there I can't agree at all. OTL attrition favored the Soviets because
the Axis needed millions of troops elsewhere, lost thousands of planes
elsewhere, lost thousands of tanks to bombing, lost halve their artillery to
bombing, over halve their ammunition, lots of trains, ...
All these resources are now thrown against the Soviets.
At the same time the Soviets loose LL supplies, which accounted for most
trucks, almost all rail equipment, most avgas, most communication and lots
of radar equipment, huge amounts of food, and raw material.
That means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have to be demobilized
and used in the industry to even equip the remaining soldiers like they were
OTL.
Also, in a war of attrition the supply lines usually have time to catch up
fully to the battlefield. So we can expect German logistics to at least
match Soviet logistics; at least, because there's little doubt that the
Germans would rule the sky and could harass the Soviet supply train.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
(the useless/senseless comments included Germany's lack of certain
resources, as well as the age old problem of the Nazi German
inattention to logistics and their initial reliance on a quick
campaign)
Certain resources that'd could be bought from the world market
...assuming credit equal to 10% GDP, which means (even if the world
market is crazy enough to grant to an already overextended German
economy) that Germany goes broke midway through its fight against the
USSR simply trying to keep up with the interest payments. Once
Germany uses up this credit (and the Nazi administration is not likely
to spend this credit wisely), all the important resources on which
Germany became dependent are gone.
Actually, building on their arrogance that they produce the best weapons in
the world, there are few unwise items they can buy.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But without Hitler, what would have happened? Would Germany have turned
Communistic? A possibility.
How? One of the reasons the Nazi's were popular was because they were
perceived as anti-Communist. The odds of a German communist movement
overthrowing the anti-communist German militias (let alone the
anti-communist German military) are too small to consider,
particularly since Stalin cannot give much in the way of direct aide
without raising alarms in the rest of Europe.
The Communists were one of the largest parties in the German Reichstag.
vote:
1930 13.1%
July 1932 14.6%
Nov 1932 16.9%
March 33 12.3%
It always was the third largest party and until 1930 did a lot better than
the NSDAP. Give them a populistic leader like Hitler, and they'll have in no
time. At least nominal power; that'd be enough to invite the Soviets to help
maintain civil order.

Is it likely? No. But the NSDAP and Hitler coming to power wasn't likely
either. The German people at that time were fed up with a government that
couldn't act and millions were willing for anyone who promissed to get some
real work done.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
How much of Europe would then oppose Communism
if Stalin ruling USSR and Germany demanded allegiance?
Most likely every country outside of USSR/Germany. Poland would be
caught between a vice, as would be much the rest of Eastern Europe.
However, in the face of a strong alliance, and the liklihood that any
European adventures would result in a major war, Communist governments
tend to play it safe. After all, according to their own ideology, the
demise of the decadent Capitalists is inevitable. Why chance it with
a war?
That's where Stalin comes in. Why attack Finland? He still did it. Why ally
with Nazi Germany, the arch enemy of Communism? He still did it.
With Germany, Poland, and some other lesser powers firmly under his control,
would Stalin even consider a war a threat? World War One showed Germany
alone nearly strong enough to take out France and the UK, and now with the
huge Soviet Army added to the large German Army? Would the UK or France risk
war over Rumania? Greece? Turkey? Bulgaria? Hungary? Austria? All of them,
maybe. The third? maybe. But the first? Second? They did give in when it was
just Germany, that can't be ignored.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Simply assuming that everything goes best for democracy isn't realistic.
It is far more realistic than assuming that a genocidal and aggressive
Nazi government being in conrol of Germany was the best option.
No, but it is an option who's result we know; and the world we live in now
isn't too bad, IMHO. I, at least, like it. But I'm not so blind to think
that the victory of Democracy was inevitable.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I've no idea how it would turn out, but chances are IMHO good that it'd be
at least as bad as OTL.
Not likely. Hitler's Naziism demanded military conquest and
aggression, which threatened everyone deemed unworthy of living space,
resources, etc.. Communism, on the other hand, preached the
inevitability of Capitalism's demise, allowing for a less aggressive
government.
That didn't seem to stop Soviet and Chinese wars. Finland, Korea, Tibat,
Afghanistan. Or all the military support in third world countries. How many
countries suffered from communist supported rebels?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They did? That's news to me. They controlled some cities but never gained
control over the rural areas.
Check a map of Japan's expansion. On paper, they took vast areas of
the most productive portion of China. Granted, they weren't in much
of a position to exploit any of it, but you are going for appearances
here, and I'm pointing out that a Germany appearing to be taking much
of the USSR is as likely to attract credit as Japan did during the
China Incident.
Most of that can be attributed to racism. Japan was just a funny little
country of wannabe men, not worthy real attention. Germany on the other hand
does now control the center of the world. Who would consider it possible
that the greatest nation of Earth would default?
The US is now running huge deficit, but the money is there, because everyone
knows they will repay it. Belgium used to have a dept around 120% its GDP,
IIRC, but they still were not bankrott. Even Third World nations nowadays
get huge amounts of credit from people willing to take the risk.
Post by Les
As you may have guessed, Japan did not attract significant investment
during that time, and in fact, became subject to a few embargoes.
Yes. But you ignore racism (very important in the 30s) and the fact that the
embargo was only imposed when they harmed economic interests of other
nations. All countries wanted to trade with China and didn't like Japan
stealing their profits. The USSR wasn't very profitable for anyone; the
territory controlled by Germany could become very profitable.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You can expect the same extent of investment for
Germany's latest gamble. As for it being 10% of Germany's GDP, when
Germany already has a high amount of foreign debt, you are flying with
the Alien Space Bats here.
So? The US has a huge foreign debt now and people are buying bonds like
wild.
The US is in position to pay its debt. They were not spending twice
as much as they were making, like Hitler's government was.
The US couldn't pay its debt this very moment. Nor over five years. Nor over
a decade, or at least that's very unlikely.
Once the war was over, and Germany had won, there's every indication that
they would be able to pay the debt. Is there a risk? Sure. But that makes it
all the more profitable, should Germany win.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Same for every other developed country, State Bonds are generally
save.
They don't become safe when the Government in question no longer
becomes capable of paying them. Having a debt of 10% GDP cripples
Germany's economy, which is not a good thing when it is engaged in a
total war against the USSR.
What? 10% GDP is nothing, neither back then, nor today. There are developed
countries that had more than 100% GDP as debt and kept going just fine,
thank you. Many countries have 50% or 60% nowadays. Isn't Japan now running
at over a hundred? I think so.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But there's lot of investment in bonds of developing nations, too.
That's high risk as trouble in the last decade in Argentina and other
countries has shown; still people willingly invest lots of money hoping for
high returns. I'm not expecting anything not happening by the billions now.
(rest of post deleted)
Wrong, you previously stated credit approaching 10% of GDP, with high
interest to attract investors. When Germany has credit equal to 10%
of its GDP, we are talking billions, and will be paying with high
interest.
Now, GDP usually means Gross Domestic Product. Government revenue is
by definition a percentage of that. Getting a further 10% GDP credit
on the premise of high interest payments results in massive government
revenue going towards simply keeping up the interest payments.
Correct. But 10% GDP are no large debt. And lets not forget, any credit
taken before Barbarossa would result in normal (I think for Germany that'd
mean pretty low at that time) interest rates. After Barbarossa every credit
would get a wartime risk adding maybe two percent to the interest rate, if
that. Until Germany is stopped in the winter the interest rate may not climb
more than a few tenth of a percent.
Post by Les
Markets keep track of how much governments are borrowing as a way of
monitoring and securing their investments. Even if Germany can
somehow manage to fool enough investers to grant such a large amount
of money, they'll have to do it quickly before word spreads. So,
assuming Germany gets all this credit in a short time, Hitler and his
Nazi pals are as likely to spend it on a variety of things, with
logistics getting only a fraction (if any) of it. Don't forget
Hitler's planned architectural monuments. He certainly didn't. He
was still importing granite for his projects during Barbarossa while
the Germans were losing more vehicles than they were building.
What more could they buy? Material for some prestige projects? Well, that'll
get good critics from investors. Monuments usually attract tourists, getting
a lot of foreign money into the country over the next few decades.
Post by Les
Hitler is in a position to freeze all foreign payments once the front
bogs down and his foreign creditors start demanding payment, but that
sends Germany's credit rating through the floor.
Actually, I was basing my 10% GDP figure as new credit from the begining of
Barbarossa. Sorry that I didn't make that clearer.
Post by Les
Consequently,
shipping through the Dardenelles stop as they can't pay the rates the
Turks propose.
Assuming the Turks are willing to risk Hitler's wrath; Germany may be bogged
down, but that's no guarantee that he won't invade to reopen the passage for
German shipping.
Post by Les
Tungston ammunition runs out and gets replaced by
inferior grade steel, just as the Soviets are fielding T-34's in
increasing numbers. The oil and raw material shipments on which
Germany became reliant are gone. Germany's and Italy's merchant
marine stay in port due to lack of fuel, causing reverses for Army
Group North. Army Group South has already been hammered due to
Hitler's obsession with taking the city, and the sudden disappearance
of the naval supply line.
All this assumes that nations and companies assume that Germany will loose.
Even granting credit where the first payment is made after a couple years
isn't exactly unknown. As long as Germany promisses it will eventually pay,
and doesn't look like it will loose badly, they'll get some credit; maybe
not much, but every Mark is one more than they had OTL.
Post by Les
Meanwhile, the Holocaust continues, killing massive numbers of
potential workers while taking trains away from supplying the front.
Details start leaking to the West. Disbelieved at first, but they
continue in troubling amounts.
Let's not forget that this also generates hard cash (gold especially) for
the Nazis.
And given the brutal war, many will discount the leaks as well organized
Communistic propaganda. Communism isn't well recieved in many countries, and
besides, who cares about morals? All important countries were willing to
subdue the Chinese to get access to their market. Germany allows access, the
Soviets don't. Now where is more money to be gained? So what will all those
influencial industrials and the media they control say?
And before you say any country wouldn't deal with Germany as long as the
rumors are around, look at Iraq in the 80s, and all the other areas where
governments slaughtered their people; it's a recent trend that other nations
react to that.
Post by Les
Now, Stalin may not be in any condition to launch major offensives,
but again, neither is Hitler. Stalin is in a position to gain from
Hitler's economic and political blunders, while Hitler has no one else
to turn to. That to me still doesn't look good for Hitler.
I think you're seeing the Soviet position as much more favorable than it
was. And Germany has show the ability to launch offensives even with
insufficient supply. And as I said before, I wouldn't bet that it's the
Germans that have the worse supply lines.

Stefan
Les
2004-04-20 15:58:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well, in North Africa they had another problem called Rommel.
Yes, a German General who neglected logistical considerations in favor
of short-term opportunities, overextended himself, lost out in a
slugging match, and ended the campaign in retreat.
What the hell does that have to do with what I was talking about
here?!?!
Post by Les
In North Africa, the Axis were led by a commander who was very good at
exploiting immediate situations, largely ignored logistical
limitations, and ended up losing to a superior force that was better
supplied and equipped.
Okay, one way to describe it. I'd describe it more like a Colonel that got
Hitler's support being promoted too quickly and lacking the qualities of a
general officer.
...who ultimately shared much of the same virtues and flaws of the
German General staff. He shared them in different degrees, but his
methods and overall performance mirrored his Russian Front
counterparts.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
In the OTL Barbarossa, the Germans adopted a plan whose objective was
to knock out the USSR before the winter. They gained initial
successes by their very good ability to exploit immediate situations,
largely ignored logistical limitations, and ended up losing against a
superior force better supplied and equipped.
The situation here is a lot different.
Yes, your ATL plan, in addition to being based on several improbable
PODs, is worse than the OTL Barbarossa.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
For one Rommel went on against orders from above who told him to stop
because it would be impossible to supply a decisive force and who only
stayed in command because of Hitler.
This makes him different from the German generals who frustrated
Hitler's halt orders during the Battle of France exactly how?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
In the East on the other hand you had just those officers preparing the
logistics for the attack.
...who assumed that their logistical units would always perform for
the long periods at capacity, despite functioning over inferior roads
and a rail network that could not be rendered functional quickly
enough to keep up with the advance.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
It wasn't enough, but what was available was used
as well as can be expected.
...with the result that the starved and freezing Germans were driven
off from Moscow, and the Russian Front turned into a war of attrition
for which Germany prepared too little, too late.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Setting unrealistic aims isn't the failure of Generals,
It is when they are the ones setting them.

Now, the General Staff did have political motivations to ignore any
logistical problems they did perceive. One of the reasons why Hitler
liked to duplicate administrative branches was because he could (and
did) play them off against each other. If one branch stated that his
proposal was unworkable, he would give priorities on the rival branch
that stated that his work of genius was in fact workable but only if
they get the authority to do it.

This is a facet of the Nazi administration, but it significantly
hampers Germany's military effectiveness.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
but the political
leadership.
So, in addition to poor logistical planning on part of Hitler's
generals, we have them taking orders from a leader who has mistaken
getting lucky for manifest destiny. We also have the generals' chief
source of information from other branches coming from this same
corporal, who exploited this advantage to misrepresent the information
in order to make his own orders seem to be the best course of action.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And to argue the Generals are incompetent because their bosses
are...
I didn't say the German generals were incompetant. I said they lacked
logistical awareness and planning, and your proposed PODs do not
change this flaw one bit (they don't change Nazi incompetance either,
but that is another story).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I have yet to see a sinle source claiming that Manstein and the other
good generals disregarding logistics like that.
Oh, the historical fact that the Germans were running critically short
of food, clothes, equipment, and ammunition at Moscow isn't good
enough for you? The generals knew they were outrunning their supply
lines but didn't think that was critical until winter set in and they
found boldly advancing to the rear in the face of a Soviet counter
attack?

OK, how about:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1990/PPJ.htm

Here's a partial quote:

"Although it's implied that Guderian was concerned about logistics, --
supply units were part of his Panzer Division -- there is no
indication that he gave any new thought to logistics at the
operational level -- the pipeline from the source of supply in theater
to front-line units. Instead, the Germans subordinated logistics to
maneuver, and never shifted their focus of effort to logistics."

(stuff deleted, regarding the logistical problems of putting hundreds
of thousands of more men at the fighting end of the Russian Front)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Let's see, additional congestion of road and rail lines, more front
troops to maintain, and the only naval shipping option available
depends on capturing an enemy port intact for immediate use for a plan
that depends on taking Moscow before winter.
See where the problems are now?
Of course I see what the problem is.
There is more than one problem here.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I only disagree with you about the fact
weather it is surmountable or not.
Once again: one of Operation Barbarossa's premises was that the USSR
should be crushed before the arrival of winter. Waiting months to
bring a port back to functionality when the goal is to be occupying
the enemy capital by that time, does not bode well for operational
success.

Since port-building is going to tax the logistical lines (the Germans
will have to carry all the materials from Germany, as well as trained
engineers, etc), the military is more than likely to curtail those
shipments in favor of military equipment and supplies to further the
planned objective of immediately capturing Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Ports were used OTL,
...months after the original invasion failed to knock out the USSR,
and the port of Leningrad which you originally wanted to use to supply
the front to Moscow never came into OTL German control.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and German shipping was the bottleneck, so the
situation will be better now.
Sigh.

The ports were not put on line in time enough to supply the drive to
Moscow. Period. The fact that the Germans couldn't spare the
shipping was yet another bottleneck. Getting adequate port capacity
is another bottleneck. Getting a functional rail and road network
from the ports to the front is yet another bottleneck, particularly
since the water lines are under the control of one logistics commander
while the land lines are under control of another logistics commander.
Don't you just love split commands?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The same is true for the additional trucks,
...which will break down at roughly the same rate as the other OTL
trucks did, while consuming additional gas and spare parts that will
clog up the already inadequate network.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
railway stock (less requirements
everywhere else),
You are adding hundreds of thousands of more men to the front,
remember?

You have also speculated having a rail line only 20 km from the front
rather than 200.

Not only does this mean a longer rail line, it requires new rails to
cover the width of the front line. Not only do you have to convert
existing Soviet rails to accomodate German rails, you have to build
new tracks from scratch in order to fill this requirement.

Again, taking the time to build this detracts from the speed of the
offensive, which dooms Barbarossa.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and just about everything else.
Having more horses to haul carts is useful, but the Germans can't make
it to Moscow at the rate of a horse drawn cart, and once the Germans
eat their horses (with the additional front line troops you have,
combined with the existing lack of rations at the front, this is a
given), they still drop like flies against the Soviets during the
winter.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I don't think I have ever claimed they would take Moscow. I have said
they would win the war; those are two different things.
You have not changed the premise of Operation Barbarossa: the quick
knockout of the USSR. The very nature of the operation demands
attention to immediate needs rather than any long-term strategy or
foresight. If you do plan for this, the advance will be much slower,
which means that the Soviets have greater time to recover. Once the
Soviets learn how do deal with the Germans (as they did for all
extents and purposes by 1943), the Germans are caught in a war of
attrition: one which the Soviets are prepared to win.

The OTL quick offensives take a lot more from the Soviets, inflict a
lot more damage to the Soviet military, and take a lot more from them,
but they overextend the German lines of support, which in turn puts
them in their OTL quandry.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They'll almost
certainly get closer to Moscow, and the artillery will likely do severe
damage to the city and its industry, I see that as a given.
Nope. The German mechanized forces got to see the spires of Moscow,
but by the time the starved, exhausted, and freezing infantry arrived
to lend support, the ungrateful Soviets have brought in fresh troops
in superior numbers. Sending in more exhausted, starving, freezing
infantry with artillery carrying insufficient ammunition (which won't
matter much if they don't work in the Soviet winter) is not going to
change the final outcome.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But the war
isn't decided by taking cities, it's decided by killing troops.
Read Clauswitz, or at least Jomini.

Wars are won when you break the opponent's will/means to fight.

Note that the Germans killed more Soviets than vice versa, but it was
the Soviets who ended up flying their flag above the battered ruins of
Berlin.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I can't
see the Soviets being able to sustain that come 43.
Why not? They did in the OTL, and managed to crush Army Group South
and Army Group Center in the bargain.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Look at a map! Germany conquered the whole god damn Baltik coast and the
northern short of the Black Sea!
Yes, but they didn't supply the offensives that took the ports by sea.
They depended on their land lines, as that was the only way to be
able to supply the forces' advance given their limited time frame.
Of course you take a port that way;
Oh? Please list the occasions where the Germans unloaded supplies at
the Soviet-held ports, then sent them to supply the land advance to
the port.

Now, you can take a port city using land-based troops, restore the
port facilities (expect to have to carry the stuff in from your own
city, as the defenders probably won't leave anything of rebuilding
value), and then continue the invasion, but this usually takes months.
The Germans don't have months to spend simply sitting there.
Consequently, they are going to take the same OTL course of action:
outrun their supply lines, fall short, and get hammered by the
Soviets.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
it doesn't follow (and actually didn't
OTL) that you don't use it to supply further advances.
Read this carefully. Ports tend to be destroyed before they are
captured. You might recall something called Scorched Earth Policy.
The Soviets used it. The Germans cannot restore the ports in time to
make them useful to supply any drive against Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Remember, the whole point of Barbarossa was to beat the USSR before
winter, and taking the weeks to get each port they capture functional
enough to supply further operations dooms the offensive.
Please show me where I claimed that Barbarossa would (or could) succeed.
You didn't, you also did not give any indication the Germans would be
changing their invasion plan. This is significant. If the Germans
are still planning to knock out the USSR quickly, they are not going
to waste immediate resources and time concentrating on
restoring/building their rail lines, ports, roads, vehicles, etc., and
instead are going to do what they did in the OTL: take every military
opportunity they could perceive, outrun their supply lines, and get
hammered by a foe that can lose entire armies and still beat the
Germans in a war of attrition.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Yes, because they didn't have access to any other part of Poland. And
while
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
most of the work was done after the surrender, I'm not sure when it
began.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At least repair work would have started as soon as the railways were
secured, that's been pretty much SOP since the ACW.
1) The Germans lack the means to maintain/extend a rail network to
keep up with their military advances.
Like every nation throughout history. Ever head of Red Ball Express?
Yes, and unlike the Germans, the Allied commanders learned to keep a
better handle on their logistics situation.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And the
Soviet offenses also stopped when they had outrun the engineers ability to
repair the rails.
Correct, which is why the Soviet advances generally took longer and
went slower than the German advances. After 1943, they were also
unstoppable.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
2) They lack the additional rollingstock and engines to make this rail
network useable for an area as vast as the USSR.
Correct. But there's a large number of them available on the world market.
They worked OTL; just were supplied to the Soviets as LL.
Germany isn't going to buy rollingstock prior to Barbarossa (since
other things will take precedence over rollingstock, like their
monument building), and cannot afford to buy any once Barbarossa is
under way.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
3) Some of the trains the Germans do have are allocated to the
wonderously efficient and military necessary task of murdering vast
segments of their subject populations :-/
Just like OTL; even if the percentage is constant the supply situation would
be better; not good, mind you, but better.
Wrong. You forgot the hundreds of thousands of extra people you put
at the front. Considering the OTL food situation was critical even
with "slaughter patrols," and the resupply situation placing priority
on ammunition rather than clothes or food, and frontline casualties
increase in far greater proportion than OTL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
They tried the same trick against the USSR of
putting infrastructure maintenance on a back-burner to military
priorities. This did not critically hurt them at Poland, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, or France. It did hurt them against
the USSR.
Actually there was a lot of work on the infrastructure;
It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the pace of the advance.
Of course not. No nation in history has managed that.
That is why the Allies took pauses between their offensives,
consolidated their position, beat off any counter-attacks the Germans
mustered, and then resumed the offensive. This approach works when
the powers in question know they have the advantage in numbers and
material, such as the Soviets had from 1943 onwards.

This tactic cannot work for the Germans because it results in the
offensive turning into a straightforward war of attrition, which
favors the USSR.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm not only talking about bombing. The UK also did many raids on the French
coast OTL. There wouldn't be any need to quard against that. Same in Norway.
Supplying those battles around Malta also took resources.
No factor by itself is important, but adding all of them together gives a
signifficant effect.
...by further straining the supply lines when you add all these combat
troops to the front line, and they run out of clothes, food, fuel,
equipment, and ammunition.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Italy lost over 100,000 troops in North Africa before
German troops arrived. In total they deployed over 300,000 there.
They didn't deploy them all at once, and they certainly did not have
them all at El Alemien.
Italy lost 130,000 before Rommel was deployed.
The Italians were not even near El-Alamein at that time.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At the end over 250,000
surrendered at once.
Again, this was not at El-Alamein. Claiming the Axis can adequately
supply a similar number of additional troops in the land expanses of
Russia is unrealistic.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That's without accounting for those freed up from the defense against
bombers or the Battle of the Atlantic.
Again, the bomber offensive did not appear in large scale until after
the Nazis had bogged down against the Soviets. Abandoning U-Boat
development does free steel and deisel in good quantities, although
Reader is likely to demand these be used towards a return to the Plan
Z shipbuilding schedule that Hitler had previously agreed to.
Wouldn't be that bad; the fleet could support the siege of Leningrad and
other ports.
The Germans cannot afford to besiege ports. Barbarossa is a quick
knock-out affair, remember?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Though the Z-plan is still likely to be abandoned in favor of a
larger ground force;
OK, so Hitler chooses tanks and artillery pieces over battleships.
That means he still loses all those extra toys and soldiers when his
armies outrun their supply lines like they did OTL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Reader will have to find ways he can help against the
Soviets if he wants a large fleet, since they are now the only enemy, so who
knows what new building plan will be developed. Germany might even form a
Marine Corps.
Wonderful! Given the nature of the German military, Raeder is likely
to waste men in trying to take a port too far away, spend resources
and fuel bombarding various parts of the Soviet coastline, and
otherwise doing nothing to aid the German ground advance.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Even if ten thousand men assigned to it keep
it only 20 klicks closer to the front that's going to do wonders to the
supply situation.
Not really. You are neglecting the German shortage of rail engines
and rolling stock.
I've addressed them in every post I made so far.
No, you've handwaved them into existance by having them appear
magically at the right time and place using credit Hitler isn't likely
to get and even less likely to spend properly. You are also
neglecting the vastly greater effort of laying new rail to reduce the
distance to the front to 20 km (think of the rail needed to cover
every 40 km increment in the USSR).

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
10,000 men only getting the railheads 20 km
closer after working on it for months?! That's below worst case for
untrained troops.
It is hopelessly optimistic, particularly with unsupplied, unequipped
soldiers-turned-engineers, and the distance is not putting the line 20
km closer, it is making a rail network that is 20 km from the front,
which is more like 1000km * 80 km = 80 000 square km.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Read more about German doctrine. Logistics were an essential part of
planning.
Assuming the logstical support would work at capacity without any
mechanical breakdown is not planning, it is optimism at best.
Could you refer me to any primary document that followed your assumption?
This is the first time I've heard anyone claim this.
Try "Strategy For Defeat" by William Murray.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Okay, simple now. Germany takes coast on Baltik coast; German and
Italian
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
transport ships use it for supply of AGN.
...delaying the advance of AGN, since the inconsiderate Soviets are
sabotaging the ports and delaying the German advance.
Where have I taken away any of the support they got OTL?
In an earlier post, you specified removing a significant number of
trucks from AGN to supply AGC, and have AGN supply their advances
using ports.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
AGN advances faster due to better
logistics.
Wrong. AGN cannot supply their next advance until they get their
captured ports functional,
Again, where has the support they got OTL gone?
You diverted the trucks for the additional troops in Army Group
Center.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
and ports can take months to become functional.
Correct. But as Overlord has shown, you don't need ports to unload limited
amounts of supplies.
No, you need specialized landing equipment, and the Germans did not
have this, and they are not going to be able to buy it.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Even a tiny fraction
of that would still improve German logistics. That's my point.
Taking those measures cripples the speed of the German advance, and
thus be disregarded by the military. That is my point.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
All I'm doing is attacking an admittedly improbable ATL
No, you're not attacking it, you insist that Germany must take every bad
decision available.
Wrong. I'm insisting that the German leaders make the same
administrative, intelligence and logistical mistakes in this
admittedly improbable ATL as they did in the OTL, with similar
results.
Yes, you want them to make similar decisions if different circumstances. I
object to that.
Why?

In the OTL, Hitler overspent Germany's budget in order to enhance his
army, navy and Luftwaffe. He avoided financial disaster for a time
through annexing and occupying various territories. Note that while
his short term goals slated taking "Living space" at the USSR's and
Poland's expense, he still poured significant resources into building
a navy (again, showing his rather muddled priorities).

When Hitler went to war against Poland, with the result that France
and the UK entered the war, he still didn't change his economy to a
true war footing. Factories still worked single shifts, for example.
During the Blitz of France, Germany was losing tanks and vehicles at a
faster rate than they could replace. The fact the French capitulated
after six weeks made this flaw irrelevant in the short term, not to
mention unnoticed.

Now, Hitler faced the UK. What did he try to do? Well, his first
trick was to see if he could bomb the Limeys into submission.
Unfortunately, durin the battle of attrition that followed, Germany's
failure to build more fighters than they were losing did become
apparant, as well as their inability to replace pilots. Hitler still
didn't convert Germany to a war footing.

Then Germany invaded the USSR *while at war against the UK,* in the
belief that the USSR would quickly collapse. Again, Germany started
losing more vehicles than it could produce
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I think a different situation would lead to sometimes
signifficantly different decisions by the German command, both militarily
and political.
Why? The German military command thought they could succeed with
Barbarossa in the OTL, and Hitler didn't bother converting Germany's
economy to a true war footing until after the soldiers in Army Group
South turned into a collection of three letter acronyms. So far, the
magic wand-waving resulting in a neutral UK and US is unlikely to
bring a change in this attitude.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Remember that the original PODs were restricted to the US
and UK no longer fighting Germany, not to any changes in German
planning or Nazi doctrine.
You have suggested adding changes to the original Barbarossa to
improve logistics,
I suggest that resources no longer allocated anywhere because of different
geopolitics, will be assigned to Barbarossa.
...along with the additional troops, to be placed at the front line.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That means the trucks from DAK,
...which will break down like the other trucks in the OTL, and become
just as mired as the OTL trucks in the fall and spring mud.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
the ships that supplied them,
...useless until the ports get restored, and this isn't in the
planning.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and all those ships lost overseas when war
broke out.
The bottleneck becomes the ports, not to mention Germany's increased
fuel consumption.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
All logistic resources with little other use.
Somehow, this statement brings to mind a picture of a pack of German
Shepherd Dogs pulling a cart.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Further I propose that Germany uses the access to the world market to buy
what they don't produce themselves in adequate numbers; like trucks, rail
equipment, and so on.
Unfortunately, they've used up all their credit (and then some) before
Barbarossa, buying such Hitlerian favorites as tanks, guns, ships,
granite, and all sorts of other monumental status symbols a fine
dictator should have. Consequently, when they launch Barbarossa and
suddenly realize their true supply needs, they get nothing.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany wouldn't buy foreign tanks or plans because
their home produced ones are seen (correctly) as superior.
...despite the fact they have little in the way of standard parts, and
have to be hauled back to factories in Germany to be repaired, not to
mention the failure of some of their critical systems during the
Soviet Winter.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Since now more rolling stock exist,
Nope. Our Hitlerian shopping spree meant more tanks, guns, and
granite. Germany already has all the rolling stock it needs, and
after it takes the USSR, it can make any more it needs.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
it is logic to divert some of the
additional troops (the 10,000 I proposed are perhaps 5%, so IMHO realistic)
to getting the rail lines up again.
...which still fails as your stated requirements of a rail line no
more than 20km behind the lines are beyond their capabilities.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
After all they know they won't be able
to supply them at the front without better logistics.
The German generals were not aware of the need for better logistics
until they were well into the OTL campaign. How does having more
tanks suddenly give the Germans a clue that their trucks won't run as
well on Soviet dirt roads?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I've established already that German credit would be good.
No, you have speculated that the Germans could get up to 10% GDP
credit, which in itself is highly implausible, given the current debt
load the Germans already have.
Which, contrary to many claims, wasn't particularly bad.
...mainly because other countries stopped giving Nazi Germany loans.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And history has
since then shown many countries getting far more credit with far less
likelyhood of the creditor getting his money back.
...and having the debtor nations going bankrupt as a result.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Given the extends of German advance this is very unlikely. Who in 41
expected Germany to be soundly defeated?
The ones who recalled what happened to Napolean when he pulled a
similar stunt.
Yes, isn't it interesting? All those who tried to conquere Russia and failed
were also at war with Britain. I wonder how many would remember that?
I can think of one rather short corporal who didn't.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
No, but why would a Turkey wary of angering the USSR accept Axis
transport ships supposedly going to a destination they know is
unnecessary?
Before Barbarossa Germany and the USSR were allies.
After Barbarossa, the Turks can close the Dardenelles, particularly
when the Nazis lose the ability to pay, rendering the sea lanes from
Italy to the Russian Front inoperative.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So not allowing the
ships to pass would anger the Soviets. Officially at least.
Moreover, would the Turks really risk angering the Germans? They're much
closer to the important parts of Turkey after all.
Well, they only have to pass through a mountain range, and assume they
could supply their armies with a single railway track, and then be
able to force the Dardenelles, all without ticking off the UK or US.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
A stalemate does not mean a Soviet defeat. Quite the contrary, once
the front line stagnates into a war of attrition, the Soviets gain the
upper hand.
See, there I can't agree at all. OTL attrition favored the Soviets because
the Axis needed millions of troops elsewhere,
...not to mention the fact that the Axis couldn't sustain the millions
they already had in the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
lost thousands of planes
elsewhere,
...and couldn't operate them in the USSR anyways due to their logistic
constraints...
Post by Stefan Diekmann
lost thousands of tanks to bombing, lost halve their artillery to
bombing, over halve their ammunition, lots of trains, ...
Heavy bombing did not occur to any extent until 1943, and that was
after the Nazi offensive had gone the way of the dead parrot.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
All these resources are now thrown against the Soviets.
...only to become hunks of abandoned scrap as the Germans find
themselves short of fuel, ammunition, spare parts, or functional
equipment due to the cold. The Germans lose all this to the
counter-attacking Soviets. After a few such disasters, Hitler finally
approves some streamlining measures to German production, but his
declaration of bankruptcy does not sit well with his creditors.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At the same time the Soviets loose LL supplies, which accounted for most
trucks, almost all rail equipment, most avgas, most communication and lots
of radar equipment, huge amounts of food, and raw material.
Thus, the Soviet counterattacks are limited, succeeding mainly in
cutting off the German offensives and killing Germans by the millions.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have to be demobilized
and used in the industry to even equip the remaining soldiers like they were
OTL.
The mass demobilization occured when it became obvious Stalin was
winning, not to mention Stalin's extended supply lines from his
factories in the Urals.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Also, in a war of attrition the supply lines usually have time to catch up
fully to the battlefield.
In the German case, not before the Germans have suffered irreplaceable
losses (like the loss of two army groups, for instance), and the lines
have been shortened by a German retreat.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So we can expect German logistics to at least
match Soviet logistics; at least, because there's little doubt that the
Germans would rule the sky and could harass the Soviet supply train.
You forgot that the Germans lacked long range heavy bombers. If it is
of any consolation, so did Hitler. Consequently, the Germans have to
use shorter ranged bombers, but they require a lot of AV gas (needs to
be trucked/railed in), as well as spare parts, ammunition, etc.
Meanwhile, the Soviets have released their latest ground assault
aircraft, and the exhausted Luftwaffe find themselves overwhelmed as
they were OTL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip useless/senseless comments that sidestep the issue>
(the useless/senseless comments included Germany's lack of certain
resources, as well as the age old problem of the Nazi German
inattention to logistics and their initial reliance on a quick
campaign)
Certain resources that'd could be bought from the world market
...assuming credit equal to 10% GDP, which means (even if the world
market is crazy enough to grant to an already overextended German
economy) that Germany goes broke midway through its fight against the
USSR simply trying to keep up with the interest payments. Once
Germany uses up this credit (and the Nazi administration is not likely
to spend this credit wisely), all the important resources on which
Germany became dependent are gone.
Actually, building on their arrogance that they produce the best weapons in
the world, there are few unwise items they can buy.
It is because of their Nazi arrogance they will be buying a lot of
unwise items, and using them in inefficient and counterproductive
ways.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But without Hitler, what would have happened? Would Germany have turned
Communistic? A possibility.
How? One of the reasons the Nazi's were popular was because they were
perceived as anti-Communist. The odds of a German communist movement
overthrowing the anti-communist German militias (let alone the
anti-communist German military) are too small to consider,
particularly since Stalin cannot give much in the way of direct aide
without raising alarms in the rest of Europe.
The Communists were one of the largest parties in the German Reichstag.
1930 13.1%
July 1932 14.6%
Nov 1932 16.9%
March 33 12.3%
It always was the third largest party and until 1930 did a lot better than
the NSDAP.
Until 1930, most any party did a lot better than the NSDAP.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Give them a populistic leader like Hitler, and they'll have in no
time.
Not likely. There is still too much of an entrenched aristocracy and
middle class interests, not to mention the anti-communist militaries.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
At least nominal power; that'd be enough to invite the Soviets to help
maintain civil order.
How do the Soviets enter, through Poland? Independent Czechslovakia?
Stalin didn't take such risks.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Is it likely? No. But the NSDAP and Hitler coming to power wasn't likely
either.
It was more likely than any Communist uprisings. One of Hitler's
talents lay in the fact he could muddle his party policies to suit
whatever inclinations his target audiance had. Communism had a
comparatively better defined doctrine, one which the middle class,
aristocracy, and military did not like.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The German people at that time were fed up with a government that
couldn't act and millions were willing for anyone who promissed to get some
real work done.
Thus, the Germans fall under a military dictatorship and life in
Germany become problematic for those who don't like the government.
However, the military leaders at the time were not inclined to take
the risks Hitler did.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
How much of Europe would then oppose Communism
if Stalin ruling USSR and Germany demanded allegiance?
First off, being Communist did not necessarily blindly following
Stalin. Look at Mao for an example. Post WW1 Germany is buffered
from the USSR by nations such as Poland and Czechslovakia. Stalin
cannot exactly enforce his will on upstart German Communists, even if
they somehow overthrow their German rival parties, militias, and
military.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Most likely every country outside of USSR/Germany. Poland would be
caught between a vice, as would be much the rest of Eastern Europe.
However, in the face of a strong alliance, and the liklihood that any
European adventures would result in a major war, Communist governments
tend to play it safe. After all, according to their own ideology, the
demise of the decadent Capitalists is inevitable. Why chance it with
a war?
That's where Stalin comes in. Why attack Finland? He still did it.
He did it with Hitler's backing, and while the UK and France were
occupied with Germany. Finland was politically and strategically
isolated. It was a safe bet.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Why ally
with Nazi Germany, the arch enemy of Communism? He still did it.
Stalin was an opportunist. He couldn't get an arrangement with the
democracies, so he decided to enter an arrangement that he thought
would buy him the most time.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
With Germany, Poland, and some other lesser powers firmly under his control,
would Stalin even consider a war a threat?
Even when Stalin had easter Germany, Poland, and much of Eastern
Europe firmly under his control (courtesy of our little Austrian
corporal), he always backed down from any course of action threatening
a major war.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
World War One showed Germany
alone nearly strong enough to take out France and the UK,
..."nearly strong enough" is a bit like saying the stuntman "nearly"
made the jump over the alligator pit.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and now with the
huge Soviet Army added to the large German Army?
First off, there was no "large German Army" in the 1930's, and the
odds of Germany's military taking orders from any Communist party
without first suffering major purges are lower than a miner's
shoelaces.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Would the UK or France risk
war over Rumania? Greece? Turkey? Bulgaria? Hungary? Austria? All of them,
maybe. The third? maybe. But the first? Second?
More to the point, would the Soviets risk starting a major war over
those? The historical answer was "no," although they would sponsor
Communist movements within other nations.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They did give in when it was
just Germany, that can't be ignored.
They caved in to Germany's initial demands because Hitler's initial
demands were rather plausible in uniting German speaking people. The
UK and France took a different line when they saw Hitler invading
non-German territories.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Simply assuming that everything goes best for democracy isn't realistic.
It is far more realistic than assuming that a genocidal and aggressive
Nazi government being in conrol of Germany was the best option.
No, but it is an option who's result we know; and the world we live in now
isn't too bad, IMHO. I, at least, like it.
I like it also, particularly for the lack of any Nazis in control.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But I'm not so blind to think
that the victory of Democracy was inevitable.
It was when considering Hitler's mindset.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I've no idea how it would turn out, but chances are IMHO good that it'd
be
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
at least as bad as OTL.
Not likely. Hitler's Naziism demanded military conquest and
aggression, which threatened everyone deemed unworthy of living space,
resources, etc.. Communism, on the other hand, preached the
inevitability of Capitalism's demise, allowing for a less aggressive
government.
That didn't seem to stop Soviet and Chinese wars. Finland, Korea, Tibat,
Afghanistan.
OK, what numbers of casualties from these wars? Three million?

Now, compare this with one of the more conservative casualty estimates
of 50 million for WW2.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Or all the military support in third world countries. How many
countries suffered from communist supported rebels?
Quite a few, but nowhere near the butcher's bill for WW2. BTW,
Hitler's actions indirectly boosted the Communist influence.

(stuff deleted, regarding the issuing of credit to Nazi Germany so it
can invade the USSR. I pointed out that Japan's impressive looking
successes prompted embargoes, not loans)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Most of that can be attributed to racism. Japan was just a funny little
country of wannabe men, not worthy real attention. Germany on the other hand
does now control the center of the world. Who would consider it possible
that the greatest nation of Earth would default?
The same nations who saw it break every treaty it signed, for
starters.

(stuff about how nations not engaged in aggressive wars got credit
deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
As you may have guessed, Japan did not attract significant investment
during that time, and in fact, became subject to a few embargoes.
Yes. But you ignore racism (very important in the 30s)
No, I'm pointing out that the US and UK had more sympathy for the
losing Chinese than they did for the invading Japanese.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and the fact that the
embargo was only imposed when they harmed economic interests of other
nations.
Wrong. The embargoes were imposed months before Japan adopted its
southern expansion plan.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The USSR wasn't very profitable for anyone; the
territory controlled by Germany could become very profitable.
All the more reason for nations on the side to wait out the result,
particularly when there is more than enough reason not to trust the
Germans with the time of day.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Once the war was over, and Germany had won, there's every indication that
they would be able to pay the debt. Is there a risk? Sure. But that makes it
all the more profitable, should Germany win.
...and while the war is waging, and Hitler defaults in the payments
once he realizes Stalin isn't going to play dead, Germany is up the
creek like it was OTL.

(stuff deleted)


(regarding Germany)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
What more could they buy?
When engaged in an active war, some cautious souls may suggest buying
food, war materials and/or resources, or (gasp!) keeping the money in
the country and diverting the resources to more war-related work.
This of course infers that Hitler would be taking precautions rather
than continually believing that the war will be over before winter.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Material for some prestige projects? Well, that'll
get good critics from investors. Monuments usually attract tourists, getting
a lot of foreign money into the country over the next few decades.
...which come in handy to the Soviet occupiers, who showcase the
incompleted monuments as indications of Gross fascist/capitalist
idiotic spending for a nation that didn't take into account unpleasant
possibilities such as fighting a sustained war.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Hitler is in a position to freeze all foreign payments once the front
bogs down and his foreign creditors start demanding payment, but that
sends Germany's credit rating through the floor.
Actually, I was basing my 10% GDP figure as new credit from the begining of
Barbarossa. Sorry that I didn't make that clearer.
Wonderful! So Germany becomes bankrupt before the end of the first
winter of Barbarossa, and all the ports you spent so much time and
effort into putting back on line become useless as the shipping either
returns to UK/US ports, or runs out of the oil needed to run them.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Consequently,
shipping through the Dardenelles stop as they can't pay the rates the
Turks propose.
Assuming the Turks are willing to risk Hitler's wrath; Germany may be bogged
down, but that's no guarantee that he won't invade to reopen the passage for
German shipping.
At least you have Hitler's mode of thinking down right: when bogged
down in an unwinnable war on one front, the solution is to start
another problematic war on another front.

This of course begs the question: You have stated that Hitler is
placing all the forces that OTL went to the wonderful logistic success
of North Africa to Barbarossa, as well as all the OTL resources that
were devoted against the Allied bomber offensive (although how they
are going to lug all the additional AAA and ammunition to Moscow has
been massively handwaved away). At best, that leaves Hitler with
second to third-rate forces to invade Turkey's mountainous regions
supported by one railroad.

That's right: one railroad.

However, since we are in the habit of handwaving here, I'll have
Hitler successfully invade and approach right up to the Dardenelles.

Does that clear the straits?

Nope.

You see, the Turks control the other half of the Dardenelles, and both
sides of the straits are guarded by forts. The Turks are not likely
to leave the forts on the handwaved-German side intact, so now either
the Germans have to attempt an amphibious crossing, at the end of an
overextended supply line, with second to third-rate troops, against a
well established, better supplied opponent. They could also try to
"run the gauntlet" through the narrow waters, hoping that the Turks
forget the lesson they taught the RN. Oh, and they have to do this in
time to relieve the supply situation for Army Group South. Oh, and
the UK and US might take issue with the Germans for invading yet
another neutral nation, and start backing the Soviet alliance. At the
very least, expect the UK/US to assist the Turks.

Either way, an invasion of Turkey only serves to worsen the German
strategic situation more than it can to alleviate the supply
situation.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Tungston ammunition runs out and gets replaced by
inferior grade steel, just as the Soviets are fielding T-34's in
increasing numbers. The oil and raw material shipments on which
Germany became reliant are gone. Germany's and Italy's merchant
marine stay in port due to lack of fuel, causing reverses for Army
Group North. Army Group South has already been hammered due to
Hitler's obsession with taking the city, and the sudden disappearance
of the naval supply line.
All this assumes that nations and companies assume that Germany will loose.
No, all this assumes that the companies (the nations certainly won't
be bankrolling Germany. Count the number of treaties Germany has
broken) demand payment for their previous shipments before they
deliver their current ones. Companies tend to do that. That is how
they stay in business.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Even granting credit where the first payment is made after a couple years
isn't exactly unknown.
It is when the credit is gained only through the promises of a high
interest rate and return, particularly when we are talking 10% of a
nation's GDP.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As long as Germany promisses it will eventually pay,
As Neville Chamberlain said:

"He gave his word that he would respect the Locarno Treaty; he broke
it. He gave his word that he neither wished nor intended to annex
Austria; he broke it. He declared that he would not incorporate the
Czechs in the Reich; he did so. He gave his word after Munich that he
had no further territorial demands in Europe; he broke it. He gave his
word that he wanted no Polish provinces; he broke it. He has sworn to
you for years that he was the mortal enemy of Bolshevism; he is now
its ally."

...and by the end of 1941, Germany invaded the USSR.

Does this look like the kind of man to which you want to lend 10% of
GDP?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and doesn't look like it will loose badly, they'll get some credit; maybe
not much, but every Mark is one more than they had OTL.
...and will have to pay back with high interest while their troops
start dying by the millions in the Russian Front, assuming such credit
is granted (highly unlikely).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Meanwhile, the Holocaust continues, killing massive numbers of
potential workers while taking trains away from supplying the front.
Details start leaking to the West. Disbelieved at first, but they
continue in troubling amounts.
Let's not forget that this also generates hard cash (gold especially) for
the Nazis.
Dental fillings are not going to even pay for the cost of shipping,
killing, and burning of the bodies, particularly after the SS
personell have taken their unofficial percentage of the proceeds. The
Nazis were spending dollars to loot dimes.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And given the brutal war, many will discount the leaks as well organized
Communistic propaganda.
...even when the sources of such atrocites happen to be German?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Communism isn't well recieved in many countries,
After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, neither was Naziism. In fact, as
events progressed, Communism started to look awfully nice compared to
Naziism.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and
besides, who cares about morals? All important countries were willing to
subdue the Chinese to get access to their market.
Oh? So now you want to argue that the West willingly bankrolled
Japan's invasion of China rather than embargoing it?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany allows access,
News to me. Hitler's autarky programs discouraged (and in many cases
forbade) foreign investment in Germany. You see, foreign investment
meant foreign ownership, and Hitler didn't like foreigners bossing his
supermen around.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
the
Soviets don't. Now where is more money to be gained?
Well, Germany could hamstring its production and military potential
even more and regear it for foreign trade production, which is not a
good thing when the Soviets are already outproducing Germany in tanks.
Stalin, for all the rumors about him, still legitimately argues that
the USSR was aggressively attacked by Germany. The already improbable
notion of the UK/US remaining neutral is going to be bent even further
with a German invasion of Turkey.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So what will all those
influencial industrials and the media they control say?
Probably like: "Germany has attacked yet another nation with whome
they signed a non-aggression Pact with. Yet another reason not to
trust them."

BTW, does this alleged cartel include any Jews, as nearly every
conspiracy kook--ahem--theorist asserts? Why then, would they be so
accepting of Germany's rampant anti-semitism?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And before you say any country wouldn't deal with Germany as long as the
rumors are around, look at Iraq in the 80s,
First off, Iraq was fighting Iran, who had taken some overtly hostile
moves against the West (some old-timers may recall an event about the
takeover of a US Embassy). As the saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy
is my friend."

Also, check out exactly how well Iraq did against Iran in the long run
to see how well a credit-financed invasion fares for a prolonged war.
Check out what the West did when Iraq decided to partially alleviate
its credit problems by invading Kuwait.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and all the other areas where
governments slaughtered their people; it's a recent trend that other nations
react to that.
Oh, the embargoes against Japan for its invasion of China were a
"recent" trend? Here I thought they occured before Barbarossa.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Now, Stalin may not be in any condition to launch major offensives,
but again, neither is Hitler. Stalin is in a position to gain from
Hitler's economic and political blunders, while Hitler has no one else
to turn to. That to me still doesn't look good for Hitler.
I think you're seeing the Soviet position as much more favorable than it
was.
Lend-Lease did not begin to arrive in force until some time in 1943.
By then, the Soviets had already destroyed Army Group South, and were
about to destroy Army Group Center. Now, you can accurately state
that Germany was still fighting by the end of 1943, but by then the
Soviets had their number.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And Germany has show the ability to launch offensives even with
insufficient supply.
Yes they did: for such wonderful opperations as Operation Barbarossa,
Case Blue, Operation Citadel, the first battle of El Alamein, and of
course the wonderously effective Ardennes Offensive spring to mind.

Of course, launching such an offensive was rather different than
launching a successful offensive, particularly with exhausted troops
with inadequate supplies and degraded equipment.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And as I said before, I wouldn't bet that it's the
Germans that have the worse supply lines.
Stefan
I know, and you have repeatedly failed to explain how to utilize enemy
ports to sustain a rapid advance. You have repeatedly failed to
explain how the Germans could restore/build a rail network only 20 km
from the lines (which entails a lot of new rails to cover the 1000 km
wide front), all the while with credit taken from nations which at the
very least deeply distrust the Axis for a variety of good reasons.
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-20 20:39:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
In the OTL Barbarossa, the Germans adopted a plan whose objective was
to knock out the USSR before the winter. They gained initial
successes by their very good ability to exploit immediate situations,
largely ignored logistical limitations, and ended up losing against a
superior force better supplied and equipped.
The situation here is a lot different.
Yes, your ATL plan, in addition to being based on several improbable
PODs, is worse than the OTL Barbarossa.
Since I'm talking about OTL Barbarossa and OTL North Africa, what does this
ATL have to do with anything?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And to argue the Generals are incompetent because their bosses
are...
I didn't say the German generals were incompetant. I said they lacked
logistical awareness and planning, and your proposed PODs do not
change this flaw one bit (they don't change Nazi incompetance either,
but that is another story).
What, but logistics, is the job of a general? Tactics? Strategy? No,
logistics decides battles. So either a general is incompetent or he
understands logistics. And I think German generals were pretty competent.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I have yet to see a sinle source claiming that Manstein and the other
good generals disregarding logistics like that.
Oh, the historical fact that the Germans were running critically short
of food, clothes, equipment, and ammunition at Moscow isn't good
enough for you?
No. The Allies were also constantly running short on everything. You think
the Russian advance in 41 or 42 was any different?
Post by Les
The generals knew they were outrunning their supply
lines but didn't think that was critical until winter set in and they
found boldly advancing to the rear in the face of a Soviet counter
attack?
And how does that differ from what every other nation did? Do you think the
Red Ball Express was something the US wanted to do? It was driven by
desparation, because the Armies had outrun their logistic systems.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
railway stock (less requirements
everywhere else),
You are adding hundreds of thousands of more men to the front,
remember?
No, you are. You insist that's the only thing Germany would do with them. I
disagree with that.
Post by Les
You have also speculated having a rail line only 20 km from the front
rather than 200.
Huh?
Post by Les
Not only does this mean a longer rail line, it requires new rails to
cover the width of the front line. Not only do you have to convert
existing Soviet rails to accomodate German rails, you have to build
new tracks from scratch in order to fill this requirement.
That's what the 100,000 men are doing with equipment brought aboard.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I don't think I have ever claimed they would take Moscow. I have said
they would win the war; those are two different things.
You have not changed the premise of Operation Barbarossa: the quick
knockout of the USSR. The very nature of the operation demands
attention to immediate needs rather than any long-term strategy or
foresight.
How is keeping the troops at the front as well supplied as humanly possible
a long term strategy? Well supplied troops advance FASTER that badly
supplied troops, and fight better. As such increasing the logistic support
of Barbarossa is supporting it;s very premise!
Post by Les
If you do plan for this, the advance will be much slower,
which means that the Soviets have greater time to recover. Once the
Soviets learn how do deal with the Germans (as they did for all
extents and purposes by 1943), the Germans are caught in a war of
attrition: one which the Soviets are prepared to win.
Your claim; supported by what facts? That they have millions of soldiers
less than OTL and worse logistics, while Germany has better logistics and
weapons, and more replacements?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But the war
isn't decided by taking cities, it's decided by killing troops.
Read Clauswitz, or at least Jomini.
I read Clausewitz.
Post by Les
Wars are won when you break the opponent's will/means to fight.
Neither would be achieved by capturing Moscow; nor is it possible for
Germany to reach the 'means' before they essentially destroy the Red Army.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I can't
see the Soviets being able to sustain that come 43.
Why not? They did in the OTL, and managed to crush Army Group South
and Army Group Center in the bargain.
Because they have to demobilize millions to fill the hole left by the lack
of LL, and even then will have worse logistics; and Germany has
signifficantly more resources than it did OTL. That's why.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And the
Soviet offenses also stopped when they had outrun the engineers ability to
repair the rails.
Correct, which is why the Soviet advances generally took longer and
went slower than the German advances. After 1943, they were also
unstoppable.
And until then they usually were ended by a German counter attack that threw
them back quite a bit and destoryed several divisions.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
2) They lack the additional rollingstock and engines to make this rail
network useable for an area as vast as the USSR.
Correct. But there's a large number of them available on the world market.
They worked OTL; just were supplied to the Soviets as LL.
Germany isn't going to buy rollingstock prior to Barbarossa (since
other things will take precedence over rollingstock, like their
monument building), and cannot afford to buy any once Barbarossa is
under way.
Right; Hitler allocates 60% or so of Germany's GDP to the military and
rations steel and just about everything with the military getting most of
everything, and they won't get even a tiny bit of the things he buys
overseas. That's very logic.
I don't say he won't use a lot of money for monuments and other toys, but he
will also use a lot for the military.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Again, the bomber offensive did not appear in large scale until after
the Nazis had bogged down against the Soviets. Abandoning U-Boat
development does free steel and deisel in good quantities, although
Reader is likely to demand these be used towards a return to the Plan
Z shipbuilding schedule that Hitler had previously agreed to.
Wouldn't be that bad; the fleet could support the siege of Leningrad and
other ports.
The Germans cannot afford to besiege ports. Barbarossa is a quick
knock-out affair, remember?
Ah, and what did they do OTL? Perhaps besiege ports and other strong points
all accross the front? Yeah, looks like it. First isolate the strongpoint
(also called laying siege, besiege) then reduce it with follow on troops.
Just that now at ports you have the advantage of very heavy artillery with
seperated logistic support lines.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
10,000 men only getting the railheads 20 km
closer after working on it for months?! That's below worst case for
untrained troops.
It is hopelessly optimistic, particularly with unsupplied, unequipped
soldiers-turned-engineers, and the distance is not putting the line 20
km closer, it is making a rail network that is 20 km from the front,
which is more like 1000km * 80 km = 80 000 square km.
Where did you get this 20 km from the front? If the railheads were that
close logistics would be very easy. No, it's the fact that it was so much
farther from the front that caused problems. So getting the rail lines 20 km
closer to the front, even if it's a hundred rail lines, would only mean
2,000 km rails repaired by 10,000 troops in four months of work, or
50m/soldier/month.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Could you refer me to any primary document that followed your assumption?
This is the first time I've heard anyone claim this.
Try "Strategy For Defeat" by William Murray.
Yeah, I can accept that for the Luftwaffe. They did a lot of really stupid
things. I thought we were talking about the Heer, though.
Post by Les
When Hitler went to war against Poland, with the result that France
and the UK entered the war, he still didn't change his economy to a
true war footing.
This is incorrect; using the available indicators, such as industrial
resources allocated to the military, women in the industry, etc, Germany did
mobilize. All these indicators are higher than those of the UK. So unless
you claim that the UK didn't mobilize either...
As for effectiveness of the mobilization, there was a lot of corruption, but
the production of industrial sites progressed well, so that actual weapon
production boomed in later war years.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany wouldn't buy foreign tanks or plans because
their home produced ones are seen (correctly) as superior.
...despite the fact they have little in the way of standard parts, and
have to be hauled back to factories in Germany to be repaired, not to
mention the failure of some of their critical systems during the
Soviet Winter.
Yes; all factors that didn't play a role in German thinking.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So not allowing the
ships to pass would anger the Soviets. Officially at least.
Moreover, would the Turks really risk angering the Germans? They're much
closer to the important parts of Turkey after all.
Well, they only have to pass through a mountain range, and assume they
could supply their armies with a single railway track, and then be
able to force the Dardenelles, all without ticking off the UK or US.
Germany has tried crazier things. Would you, as Turkey's leader, risk a
destructive war, if you can avoid it? I wouldn't.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have to be demobilized
and used in the industry to even equip the remaining soldiers like they were
OTL.
The mass demobilization occured when it became obvious Stalin was
winning, not to mention Stalin's extended supply lines from his
factories in the Urals.
Yes, supply lines running on US supplied rail equipment. Equipment that here
allows Germany this level of supplies.
As to the demobilization, the troop figures doesn't show any. And let's not
forget the hundreds of thousands that by 43 were needed in the West.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So we can expect German logistics to at least
match Soviet logistics; at least, because there's little doubt that the
Germans would rule the sky and could harass the Soviet supply train.
You forgot that the Germans lacked long range heavy bombers.
Actually, I didn't. I never suggested attacks on the factories. US and UK
experience in France has shown that you can destroy rails more effectively
with medium and light bombers.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
With Germany, Poland, and some other lesser powers firmly under his control,
would Stalin even consider a war a threat?
Even when Stalin had easter Germany, Poland, and much of Eastern
Europe firmly under his control (courtesy of our little Austrian
corporal), he always backed down from any course of action threatening
a major war.
After the invention of nuclear weapons and after US intervention was
assured. That wouldn't be the case here.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They did give in when it was
just Germany, that can't be ignored.
They caved in to Germany's initial demands because Hitler's initial
demands were rather plausible in uniting German speaking people. The
UK and France took a different line when they saw Hitler invading
non-German territories.
So? Here it would be to unite the Slavic people. What's the difference
between uniting Germanic and Slavic people?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
No, but it is an option who's result we know; and the world we live in now
isn't too bad, IMHO. I, at least, like it.
I like it also, particularly for the lack of any Nazis in control.
Well, I like it for the fact that nearly all major world powers are
democratic.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But I'm not so blind to think
that the victory of Democracy was inevitable.
It was when considering Hitler's mindset.
But I'm talking about Stalin. Without Hitler, how powerful would Communism
be today? Nazism would fail, but the way it failed OTL ensured the fall of
the USSR.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and the fact that the
embargo was only imposed when they harmed economic interests of other
nations.
Wrong. The embargoes were imposed months before Japan adopted its
southern expansion plan.
And what about the economic interest of other nations in China?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Consequently,
shipping through the Dardenelles stop as they can't pay the rates the
Turks propose.
Assuming the Turks are willing to risk Hitler's wrath; Germany may be bogged
down, but that's no guarantee that he won't invade to reopen the passage for
German shipping.
At least you have Hitler's mode of thinking down right: when bogged
down in an unwinnable war on one front, the solution is to start
another problematic war on another front.
<snip - war with turkey>

So, would Turkey risk loosing tens of thousands of soldiers and civileans to
the Germans? The Turks were rather cautious about provoking large powers
next door, and that doesn't fit with their politics.
Post by Les
Does this look like the kind of man to which you want to lend 10% of
GDP?
It sounds like an interesting place for some risk capital, yes. Why? Because
for all the treaties Germany broke, they always fulfilled their financial
liabilities. Investing $1,000 and getting $2,000 paid in seven years, or
even ten years, sounds quite good to me.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Let's not forget that this also generates hard cash (gold especially) for
the Nazis.
Dental fillings are not going to even pay for the cost of shipping,
killing, and burning of the bodies, particularly after the SS
personell have taken their unofficial percentage of the proceeds. The
Nazis were spending dollars to loot dimes.
They were spending there by then internationally worthless currency to get
something accepted by other countries.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And given the brutal war, many will discount the leaks as well organized
Communistic propaganda.
...even when the sources of such atrocites happen to be German?
There are several million people in Germany that voted for the Communists,
so why wouldn't they spread such horor stories as propaganda?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and
besides, who cares about morals? All important countries were willing to
subdue the Chinese to get access to their market.
Oh? So now you want to argue that the West willingly bankrolled
Japan's invasion of China rather than embargoing it?
No, I'm talking about the boxer rebellion. Almost every nation send troops
because of their economic interest.
Post by Les
I know, and you have repeatedly failed to explain how to utilize enemy
ports to sustain a rapid advance.
Because that isn't what I think would happen? I'm talking about war of
attrition all the time. I don't see the rapid advance (Barbarossa) doing
more than a bit better than OTL.
Post by Les
You have repeatedly failed to
explain how the Germans could restore/build a rail network only 20 km
from the lines
Which is something I never claimed, as such I naturally haven't explained
it. Logic isn't it? I wrote 20 km closer to the front line than they
historically reached.
Post by Les
(which entails a lot of new rails to cover the 1000 km
wide front), all the while with credit taken from nations which at the
very least deeply distrust the Axis for a variety of good reasons.
If the UK is neutral there's obviously been some event that caused that, as
such the hostility can not be assumed. If it were as OTL, then they would be
at war. Since the POD actually was a friendly UK, there is no hostility, for
whatever reason. We can have a discussion about how to get such a POD, or
one about consequences. Let's not mix that.

Stefan
P.S. I cut a lot of repeated arguments, I hope I didn't cut anything not
addressed in what remains.
Les
2004-04-21 19:45:04 UTC
Permalink
"Stefan Diekmann" <***@gmx.net> wrote in message news:<c640sh$21go$***@ariadne.rz.tu-clausthal.de>...

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And to argue the Generals are incompetent because their bosses
are...
I didn't say the German generals were incompetant. I said they lacked
logistical awareness and planning, and your proposed PODs do not
change this flaw one bit (they don't change Nazi incompetance either,
but that is another story).
What, but logistics, is the job of a general? Tactics? Strategy? No,
logistics decides battles. So either a general is incompetent or he
understands logistics. And I think German generals were pretty competent.
You are exhibiting a severe case of doublethink here: You are claiming
that the same German generals who put millions of soldiers beyond
their supply lines to freeze, starve, and otherwise die during a
Soviet Winter as "pretty competent," yet also claim that "either a
general is incompetent or he understands logistics."
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I have yet to see a sinle source claiming that Manstein and the
other
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
good generals disregarding logistics like that.
Oh, the historical fact that the Germans were running critically short
of food, clothes, equipment, and ammunition at Moscow isn't good
enough for you?
No. The Allies were also constantly running short on everything.
...and when they did, the good commanders stopped their offensives,
waited for the situation to improve, and then continued, usually
against a foe that had taken the time to reorganize. They did not
base their plans on achieving absolute victory within 3 months and
ignore the shortages that indicated they had a serious problem
developing.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You think
the Russian advance in 41 or 42 was any different?
The Russian advances in 1941 and 1942 were more limited in scale.
Besides, they still had the means to survive into 1943, and by then
they had permanently broken Germany's offensive.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
The generals knew they were outrunning their supply
lines but didn't think that was critical until winter set in and they
found boldly advancing to the rear in the face of a Soviet counter
attack?
And how does that differ from what every other nation did?
Because when the Allies clued into the situation, they stalled their
advances to give their logistics the time to restore the situation.
When they perceived supply problems as becoming too severe, they
abandoned immediate opportunities in favor of getting their logistics
act together.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Do you think the
Red Ball Express was something the US wanted to do? It was driven by
desparation, because the Armies had outrun their logistic systems.
The Red Ball Express came mainly as a result of the breakout, and yes,
the Allies strained their logistics to exploit the opportunity.
However, rather than continue to exploit the opportunity, they stalled
their advance when it became obvious their logistics couldn't support
the rate of advance.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
railway stock (less requirements
everywhere else),
You are adding hundreds of thousands of more men to the front,
remember?
No, you are.
See:
http://www.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl3245105282d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=40687a74%240%2474791%2445beb828%40newscene.com

where you say:

".... if there'd been more Italian troops, would German troops have
been diverted south in 41 to encircle Kiev? With another 100,000
Italian
soldiers and the DAK at Stalingrad, could the Soviets have closed the
trap?"

Now, Stalingrad was about as front line as you can get.

Oh, this neglects the fact that the Soviets closed the trap, not at
Stalingrad, but around the city. Adding a few more hundred thousand
at Stalingrad only makes the German situation worse when the Soviets
cut them off.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You insist that's the only thing Germany would do with them. I
disagree with that.
Historically, Hitler placed more value on tanks than on the trucks and
rails that supported them. Mussolini responded to Graziani's pleas
for more mobile forces by sending him more infantry for the British to
capture.

Also, prior to Barbarossa, the OTL Germans have launched several
successful campaigns in Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and
France. Since the logistical system worked for those campaigns, the
German General staff saw no reason to alter their calculations. So,
by our undetailed POD, Hitler has more troops on hand prior to
Barbarossa because the UK isn't fighting him, and his General staff
are informing him the existing logistics can do the job. Now this
same "war is for a man what childbirth is for a woman" Hitler is going
to put 100 000 or so troops into logistical support?

It isn't in his character.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You have also speculated having a rail line only 20 km from the front
rather than 200.
Huh?
Sorry, I misread your post in:
http://www.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl2337477912d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=4072fd41%240%24253

63%2445beb828%40newscene.com

...where you specified "...only 20 klicks closer to the front..."

It still isn't enough, BTW, particlularly when you take into account
the fact you have to feed these logistics workers, when in the OTL
Germany couldn't even feed its front-line troops.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Not only does this mean a longer rail line, it requires new rails to
cover the width of the front line. Not only do you have to convert
existing Soviet rails to accomodate German rails, you have to build
new tracks from scratch in order to fill this requirement.
That's what the 100,000 men are doing with equipment brought aboard.
...which raises the issue of what military supplies and equipment that
do *not* get transported in order to support this 100 000 man support
team.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I don't think I have ever claimed they would take Moscow. I have
said
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
they would win the war; those are two different things.
You have not changed the premise of Operation Barbarossa: the quick
knockout of the USSR. The very nature of the operation demands
attention to immediate needs rather than any long-term strategy or
foresight.
How is keeping the troops at the front as well supplied as humanly possible
a long term strategy?
Operation Barbarossa's long term strategy was for about four months,
and the strategy required German soldiers to be spending the winter in
Russian housing, not actively fighting an increasingly strengthening
foe.

Changing Barbarossa's goals to account for a Soviet Winter campaign
simply means the Germans do not advance as quickly as they did OTL,
which has the knock-on effects that the Soviets recover more quickly,
and they have more land/production centers to gear for their comeback.
The German General Staff feared a war of attrition against the USSR,
which is one reason they based their invasion plan on beating the USSR
before winter (that way, they wouldn't have to worry about winter
equipment).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well supplied troops advance FASTER that badly
supplied troops, and fight better.
They do not necessarily advance sooner, and if they wait for their
logistics tail to properly catch up, there is the liklihood that
whatever gaps they tore through the Soviet lines will get closed.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As such increasing the logistic support
of Barbarossa is supporting it;s very premise!
The Germans thought they had enough logistic support for Barbarossa.
The fact they failed to account for wear and tear on vehicles and the
effect Soviet roads had on them, as well as rail network difficulties
point back to their original flaws.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
If you do plan for this, the advance will be much slower,
which means that the Soviets have greater time to recover. Once the
Soviets learn how do deal with the Germans (as they did for all
extents and purposes by 1943), the Germans are caught in a war of
attrition: one which the Soviets are prepared to win.
Your claim; supported by what facts?
The fact that the USSR beat the Germans in a war of attrition OTL?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That they have millions of soldiers
less than OTL
Not necessarily. Hitler gained much of his initial surprise against
Stalin because Stalin believed Hitler wouldn't be stupid enough to
invade the USSR while still fighting the UK. Without that war, Stalin
is going to be a lot more skeptical of Ribbontrop's assurances the
German troops massing at the border were simply in preparation to
invade Britain (out of British bombing range).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and worse logistics,
As defenders, their logistical situation is not as severe as that of
the Germans. That is one reason why they broke Germany's offensives
in 1943 before the Allied Lend-Lease arrived in any significant
quantity.

BTW, the original POD has the UK being friendly with Germany. The US
is still likely to be hostile to Nazi ambitions, and they can provide
Lend-Lease as they did OTL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
while Germany has better logistics
...but had to advance more slowly than OTL in order to keep their
logistics good, which gives the Soviets more production centers, more
population, and more time to prepare countermeasures.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and
weapons,
Oh yes, the fine German vehicles that have to be returned to the
factory upon breakdown, and other wonderful equipment that becomes
useless during winter months.

Pardon my sarcasam, but a vehicle that becomes nothing more than a
glorified paperweight 3 months out of every year doesn't strike me as
high quality. Add to that the problem of having to get the vehicle
shipped 1000 km away to get it repaired if it breaks down.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and more replacements?
...offset by the greater numbers of Soviet troops facing them.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
But the war
isn't decided by taking cities, it's decided by killing troops.
Read Clauswitz, or at least Jomini.
I read Clausewitz.
Then you should realize that wars are fought to realize policy: In
Hitler's case, it was to destroy the USSR, and he thought he could end
organized Soviet resistance by blitzing his way to Moscow.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Wars are won when you break the opponent's will/means to fight.
Neither would be achieved by capturing Moscow;
Correct, that is another flaw of Barbarossa.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
nor is it possible for
Germany to reach the 'means' before they essentially destroy the Red Army.
If Germany had accepted Stalin's initial peace offer in the early
stages of Barbarossa, it might very well have been. We don't know,
because Hitler rejected it.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And I can't
see the Soviets being able to sustain that come 43.
Why not? They did in the OTL, and managed to crush Army Group South
and Army Group Center in the bargain.
Because they have to demobilize millions to fill the hole left by the lack
of LL, and even then will have worse logistics;
Lend-Lease had arrived in quantity in late 1943, and by then the
Germans had come in second to the Russians in both Stalingrad and
Kursk. The US can still provide LL in this ATL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and Germany has
signifficantly more resources than it did OTL.
That's why.
Not useful resources. You forgot Hitler's spending habits, to to
mention his autarky policy which crippled Germany's foreign exchange.

As for waging the war on credit, you mentioned how Iraq gained credit
for its wonderful victory over Iran in the Iraq-Iran war. You might
want to find out how well that war went for Iraq.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And the
Soviet offenses also stopped when they had outrun the engineers ability
to
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
repair the rails.
Correct, which is why the Soviet advances generally took longer and
went slower than the German advances. After 1943, they were also
unstoppable.
And until then they usually were ended by a German counter attack that threw
them back quite a bit and destoryed several divisions.
Correct. Luckily the USSR had the space, time, and men to get its act
together. Slowing the advance in favor of logistics, which is the
only realistic result of your ATL changes, gives the Soviets more time
and men and materials with which to get their act together. All this
spells bad news for the Germans.

(Stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Germany isn't going to buy rollingstock prior to Barbarossa (since
other things will take precedence over rollingstock, like their
monument building), and cannot afford to buy any once Barbarossa is
under way.
Right; Hitler allocates 60% or so of Germany's GDP to the military and
rations steel and just about everything with the military getting most of
everything, and they won't get even a tiny bit of the things he buys
overseas. That's very logic.
Check my statement again. Hitler isn't likely to buy rollingstock
prior to Barbarossa because neither he nor his generals see any need
for it.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I don't say he won't use a lot of money for monuments and other toys, but he
will also use a lot for the military.
...who will then use the money to continue to buy the materials for
nonstandardized aircraft, tanks, and artillery. After all, that is
what the men on the front are reporting that they need. Of course,
additional tanks and aircraft require additional fuel, and Germany's
credit has already run out, so things get worse from there.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
The Germans cannot afford to besiege ports. Barbarossa is a quick
knock-out affair, remember?
Ah, and what did they do OTL? Perhaps besiege ports and other strong points
all accross the front? Yeah, looks like it.
Consequently, the defenders have more than enough time to sabotage the
ports and production facilities in the cities, making them unusable.
Your ATL German attackers then stop their advance for months, waiting
for their supply port to become repaired and operable.

That is why the Germans relied on rail and roads for their supply
routes for Barbarossa: port supplies could not be expected to come
into play until after the campaign has concluded.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
First isolate the strongpoint
(also called laying siege, besiege) then reduce it with follow on troops.
Yep, and we all know how quickly sieges can end. Unfortunately for
the Germans, we also know how slowly they can end. Basing your
supplies on areas which may hold out for months does not bode well for
a plan relying on fast advances.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Just that now at ports you have the advantage of very heavy artillery with
seperated logistic support lines.
Wonderful! Pound the ports, rails, and roads of the port city into
rubble! Not only does it make great defensive positions for the
Soviets, it stalls the german advance even more!

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So getting the rail lines 20 km
closer to the front, even if it's a hundred rail lines, would only mean
2,000 km rails repaired by 10,000 troops in four months of work, or
50m/soldier/month.
Nope. Still hopelessly optimistic, particularly when the supplies for
building such a rail rely on the same lines for maintaining the
military offensive.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
When Hitler went to war against Poland, with the result that France
and the UK entered the war, he still didn't change his economy to a
true war footing.
This is incorrect; using the available indicators, such as industrial
resources allocated to the military, women in the industry, etc,
When Germany launched Barbarossa, its existing factories were still
working one-shift days. Hitler placed greater priority on rebuilding
entertainment centers from bombing than military industrial sites.
Any nation that does that is not truely on a war footing.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany did
mobilize. All these indicators are higher than those of the UK. So unless
you claim that the UK didn't mobilize either...
Nope. I'm claiming that Germany wasn't in a true war footing.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As for effectiveness of the mobilization, there was a lot of corruption, but
the production of industrial sites progressed well, so that actual weapon
production boomed in later war years.
yep, just in time for Germany to lose in style.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Germany wouldn't buy foreign tanks or plans because
their home produced ones are seen (correctly) as superior.
...despite the fact they have little in the way of standard parts, and
have to be hauled back to factories in Germany to be repaired, not to
mention the failure of some of their critical systems during the
Soviet Winter.
Yes; all factors that didn't play a role in German thinking.
...partially because the Germans were not planning to be doing any
more large-scale fighting when winter arrived.

(stuff deleted, regarding Soviet demobilization)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
The mass demobilization occured when it became obvious Stalin was
winning, not to mention Stalin's extended supply lines from his
factories in the Urals.
Yes, supply lines running on US supplied rail equipment.
...which the US can still supply. The POD mentioned a
friendly/neutral UK, remember?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Equipment that here
allows Germany this level of supplies.
In the OTL the anti-communist US was so sure of Soviet defeat they
gave them Lend-Lease before they formally entered the war. Why do you
persist in your belief they'll be giving Nazi Germany anything while
denying the Soviets?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As to the demobilization, the troop figures doesn't show any.
OTL Germany's supply lines got a lot shorter by the war's end, by
which time the Allies were demobilizing German troops left right and
center.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And let's not
forget the hundreds of thousands that by 43 were needed in the West.
OK, so now you are to adding more hundreds of thousands of troops to
the Russian Front, so we're back to straining the logistical lines
again. As you point out, the Germans didn't demobilize any troops OTL
(well, technically they did demobilize a few of the less combat-ready
divisions after the Battle of France, but they compensated by drafing
more troops to form new divisions).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So we can expect German logistics to at least
match Soviet logistics; at least, because there's little doubt that the
Germans would rule the sky and could harass the Soviet supply train.
You forgot that the Germans lacked long range heavy bombers.
Actually, I didn't. I never suggested attacks on the factories. US and UK
experience in France has shown that you can destroy rails more effectively
with medium and light bombers.
US and UK experience in France showed you can cripple a rail network
by simultaneously bombing the rails, bombing the railyards, and
bombing the repair depots time after time after time. This is a
long-term air campaign in and of itself, as rails are hard to hit and
easy to repair. The Allies had the long-range aircraft to do this, as
well as the ability to sit on a static front (prior to D-Day, and
prior to the Normandy breakout), as well as be used for tactical
scouting and support of the troops.

The Germans lack the number of aircraft needed for this. Increasing
the aircraft adds to the German logistical burdon, with further
knock-on effects. For a rapid advance, the Germans want as many of
the railway lines intact for faster and easier conversion.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Even when Stalin had easter Germany, Poland, and much of Eastern
Europe firmly under his control (courtesy of our little Austrian
corporal), he always backed down from any course of action threatening
a major war.
After the invention of nuclear weapons and after US intervention was
assured. That wouldn't be the case here.
Let's see. Stalin got beaten back by Poland. Germany was not likely
to become Communist as their Communists lacked popular support as well
as being actively suppressed by Germany's military and aristocracy.
No Communist revolution in the OTL ever took control of any
industrialized nation, and there were more than a few instances where
it was supressed even in pre-industrial nations. According to
Communist philosophy (and Stalin did subscribe to the Communist model
of history), Capitalism was bound to decay at any rate. Consequently,
Stalin took the safe route in his conquests, attacking Poland, Finland
and annexing bits of Eastern Europe when the UK/France were fighting
Germany (and with Germany's secret permissin), and finally by
"liberating" most of Eastern Europe from the Nazis.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
They did give in when it was
just Germany, that can't be ignored.
They caved in to Germany's initial demands because Hitler's initial
demands were rather plausible in uniting German speaking people. The
UK and France took a different line when they saw Hitler invading
non-German territories.
So? Here it would be to unite the Slavic people? What's the difference
between uniting Germanic and Slavic people?
For starters, most of the Slavic states preferred to remain separate
from each other.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Without Hitler, how powerful would Communism
be today?
Most likely, Stalin would continue to micromanage and purge his USSR
as his paranoia demands.

Communist movements continue in various parts of the world, although
the pre 1939 Russia doesn't have as many resources to draw upon to
finance such rebellions/revolutions as it did OTL. Eventually, Stalin
makes his final great contribution to his people by dying. His
successors, tired of the bloodshed, ease up a bit on the gulag state,
probably encouraging corruption much as it did OTL.

The USSR either takes the Gorbachev option (reform politically), or
tries the China route (adopt a free market while loudly proclaiming
the Communist state, forget about political reforms).
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Nazism would fail, but the way it failed OTL ensured the fall of
the USSR.
Once again, when the Nazis fell, the Soviets were correctly seen as
the main ones who brought an end to one of the most genocidally minded
regimes on earth. Communism would be at the very least respected as
an ideology for decades to come. The additional looting of Eastern
Europe bolstered the Communist regime, and Stalin actually was mourned
by the Soviets when he finally died.

(regarding the US-led embargoes against Japan)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And what about the economic interest of other nations in China?
What about them? The US embargoes against Japan started before Japan
threatened US or European interests.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
<snip - war with turkey>
So, would Turkey risk loosing tens of thousands of soldiers and civileans to
the Germans?
If the alternative was losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers and
civilians to the USSR, sure.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The Turks were rather cautious about provoking large powers
next door, and that doesn't fit with their politics.
Correct, thus Turkey is likey to remain neutral and not bother
angering the Russian bear.

(Stefan has deleted the accounts of Hitler's breaking agreements)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Does this look like the kind of man to which you want to lend 10% of
GDP?
It sounds like an interesting place for some risk capital, yes.
Not for any significant amount.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Why? Because
for all the treaties Germany broke, they always fulfilled their financial
liabilities.
Pre-1939, perhaps, although Hitler did renegotiate loans, and in cases
of Versailles reparations, abandoned them entirely. Post 1939, no one
was in any mood to grant Germany credit.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Investing $1,000 and getting $2,000 paid in seven years, or
even ten years, sounds quite good to me.
Risking $1 million only to have Hitler reneg the contract does not.

(regarding the Holocaust)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Let's not forget that this also generates hard cash (gold especially)
for
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
the Nazis.
Dental fillings are not going to even pay for the cost of shipping,
killing, and burning of the bodies, particularly after the SS
personell have taken their unofficial percentage of the proceeds. The
Nazis were spending dollars to loot dimes.
They were spending there by then internationally worthless currency to get
something accepted by other countries.
More to the point, they were wasting trained people, transportation,
bullets, and fuel, in order to loot watches, gold fillings, and
luggage. The Holocaust was not only morally reprehensible, it was a
strategic waste of resources.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And given the brutal war, many will discount the leaks as well organized
Communistic propaganda.
...even when the sources of such atrocites happen to be German?
There are several million people in Germany that voted for the Communists,
so why wouldn't they spread such horor stories as propaganda?
The German diplomat to Sweden wasn't a Communist, and once the Soviets
unearth the killing fields the SS made, expect word to spread.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and
besides, who cares about morals? All important countries were willing to
subdue the Chinese to get access to their market.
Oh? So now you want to argue that the West willingly bankrolled
Japan's invasion of China rather than embargoing it?
No, I'm talking about the boxer rebellion. Almost every nation send troops
because of their economic interest.
Post by Les
I know, and you have repeatedly failed to explain how to utilize enemy
ports to sustain a rapid advance.
Because that isn't what I think would happen?
Oh? Why then did you post with:

http://www.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl2337477912d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=4069eb98%240%2420987%2445beb828%40newscene.com

"And even if you
only supply AG-North through the Baltic ports, that'll free up the
land
routes for AG-Center,"

I pointed out that supplying AG North through the Baltic ports will
slow down its advance, since ports were rendered unusable for months.
Consequently, AGC either leaves itself open to a wide flank, or slows
down its advance. A slower advance gives the Soviets more time to
recover, and also lets them keep more production centers operative
longer than in the OTL.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm talking about war of
attrition all the time.
Then you have added yet another improbable POD, since Babarossa wasn't
geared for a war of attrition, but a quick knockout blow of the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I don't see the rapid advance (Barbarossa) doing
more than a bit better than OTL.
You have made changes that make the advance considerably slower,
particularly your assertions of using ports to supply AGN and AGS and
thus release land routes for AGC.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If the UK is neutral there's obviously been some event that caused that,
No such event was suggested. Consequently, the background of this ATL
is shifty at best. For all we know, the UK is neutral because it and
its empire was conquered by the US using Alien Space Fruit Bats. This
could make quite a Britain as a whole more sympathetic to the Germans,
I imagine, but for all intents and purposes their ability to help
Germany would too little to consider.

Of course, if the US has conquered the UK, the US can still Lend-Lease
the USSR, so Germany is still stuffed.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
as
such the hostility can not be assumed.
Significant assistance cannot be assumed either.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
If it were as OTL, then they would be
at war. Since the POD actually was a friendly UK,
...but not a friendly US. In the OTL, the US sent Lend-Lease support
to the USSR.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
there is no hostility, for
whatever reason. We can have a discussion about how to get such a POD, or
one about consequences. Let's not mix that.
The nature of the POD determines the consequences. If this occurs pre
1939, then France either convinces Poland into accepting Stalin's
armed offers, or France allies with the USSR, because France no longer
has any reason to accomodate the UK. All of the sudden, Hitler's
Non-Agression Pact fails, and Hitler gets contained.

If the UK gets friendly with Germany after the Battle of France, than
Stalin is going to get more paranoid very quickly, sensing an imminent
attack from the Capitalist/Imperialists. Consequently, his forces are
not as likely to get caught off guard. Interestingly, Italy has
joined the war for some spoils, but the nasty old UK doesn't want to
give any to Il Duce. Appeasing Italy will be problematic, and getting
Italian participation in Barbarossa is definitely going to be
troublesome.

Now, the above two are highly improbable in their own right, but it
shows the differences how a few changes in a POD time can make.
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Stefan
P.S. I cut a lot of repeated arguments, I hope I didn't cut anything not
addressed in what remains.
Stefan Diekmann
2004-04-22 12:30:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
What, but logistics, is the job of a general? Tactics? Strategy? No,
logistics decides battles. So either a general is incompetent or he
understands logistics. And I think German generals were pretty competent.
You are exhibiting a severe case of doublethink here: You are claiming
that the same German generals who put millions of soldiers beyond
their supply lines to freeze, starve, and otherwise die during a
Soviet Winter as "pretty competent," yet also claim that "either a
general is incompetent or he understands logistics."
Well, from what I have read the Soviet troops were little better of in the
winter, at least concerning food and winter clothing. IIRC more Soviets
starved and froze to dead than Germans, since just about everyone was
surprised by the worst winter of the century.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
No. The Allies were also constantly running short on everything.
...and when they did, the good commanders stopped their offensives,
waited for the situation to improve, and then continued, usually
against a foe that had taken the time to reorganize.
That implies that he had the option to stop and wait for logistics to catch
up; German generals did not have that option.
Post by Les
They did not
base their plans on achieving absolute victory within 3 months and
ignore the shortages that indicated they had a serious problem
developing.
Actualy there are more tha a few reports of units advancing until they were
nearly out of fuel, just like the German units did in 41. They just had a
logistic system that was able to catch up a lot faster.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You think
the Russian advance in 41 or 42 was any different?
The Russian advances in 1941 and 1942 were more limited in scale.
The Soviet offense in 42/43 was larger in scale than the German 42
offensive, and it was thrown back a good distance after it had run out of
steam.
Post by Les
Besides, they still had the means to survive into 1943, and by then
they had permanently broken Germany's offensive.
With the worlds two largest powers also fighting Germany that's of little
surprise.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Do you think the
Red Ball Express was something the US wanted to do? It was driven by
desparation, because the Armies had outrun their logistic systems.
The Red Ball Express came mainly as a result of the breakout, and yes,
the Allies strained their logistics to exploit the opportunity.
However, rather than continue to exploit the opportunity, they stalled
their advance when it became obvious their logistics couldn't support
the rate of advance.
You clearly fail to appreciate just how desperate the supply situation has
to be for something like the Red Ball Express to be attempted. It was a
very inefficient, fuel intensive, and material exhausting form of supplying
forward forces.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
You are adding hundreds of thousands of more men to the front,
remember?
No, you are.
http://www.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl3245105282d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=40687a74%240%2474791%2445beb828%40newscene.com
Post by Les
".... if there'd been more Italian troops, would German troops have
been diverted south in 41 to encircle Kiev? With another 100,000
Italian
soldiers and the DAK at Stalingrad, could the Soviets have closed the
trap?"
So, I've speculated about what could be done; yes. I've since then conceded
that it was impractical during Barbarossa.
As for Stalingrad? Why not. That's 18 months after the war begun, with at
least 300,000 troops not needed in their historical use. That would still
leave 200,000 to improve the logistics and supply those 100,000 while
improving the supply of the troops already there OTL.
Post by Les
Now, Stalingrad was about as front line as you can get.
Oh, this neglects the fact that the Soviets closed the trap, not at
Stalingrad, but around the city. Adding a few more hundred thousand
at Stalingrad only makes the German situation worse when the Soviets
cut them off.
Is said AT Stalingrad, not in Stalingrad. Every thinking human will
understand that I mean reinforcing the army group defending/occupying that
area.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
You insist that's the only thing Germany would do with them. I
disagree with that.
Historically, Hitler placed more value on tanks than on the trucks and
rails that supported them. Mussolini responded to Graziani's pleas
for more mobile forces by sending him more infantry for the British to
capture.
Correct. But this doesn't take the changed in this ATL into account. We have
already established that there are few if any weapons Hitler would buy
overseas (Not invented here syndrom). Now why would he decline the request
of his Generals to buy trucks and trains overseas?
Post by Les
Also, prior to Barbarossa, the OTL Germans have launched several
successful campaigns in Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and
France. Since the logistical system worked for those campaigns, the
German General staff saw no reason to alter their calculations. So,
by our undetailed POD, Hitler has more troops on hand prior to
Barbarossa because the UK isn't fighting him, and his General staff
are informing him the existing logistics can do the job. Now this
same "war is for a man what childbirth is for a woman" Hitler is going
to put 100 000 or so troops into logistical support?
It isn't in his character.
OTL it wasn't all that stupid; there were no more trucks and trains, or
engeneering equipment for that matter, available. That changed. Germany has
those coming in from overseas. With them Germany actually has the ability to
build a working supply system, something they could not do OTL, no matter
what Hitler wanted. Hitler usually took oporunities, here he has one to
advance faster and with more combat power, so why wouldn't he take it?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Not only does this mean a longer rail line, it requires new rails to
cover the width of the front line. Not only do you have to convert
existing Soviet rails to accomodate German rails, you have to build
new tracks from scratch in order to fill this requirement.
That's what the 100,000 men are doing with equipment brought aboard.
...which raises the issue of what military supplies and equipment that
do *not* get transported in order to support this 100 000 man support
team.
Well, hundred thousand while there are two million troops fighting. That'd
equal perhaps one percent of rail transport (since they don't need tons of
ammo or fuel), and a fraction of that in truck support (since they stay
close to the rail lines they work on) to keep them working. I expect this
many troops to improve capacity of the logistic systme by a bit more than
1%, quite a bit more, actually.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Well supplied troops advance FASTER that badly
supplied troops, and fight better.
They do not necessarily advance sooner, and if they wait for their
logistics tail to properly catch up, there is the liklihood that
whatever gaps they tore through the Soviet lines will get closed.
Correct, this is why I did not propose for them to wait, but to divert
resources freed up elsewhere to pump up logistics faster; i.e. execute
Barbarossa as OTL, but use the troops OTL wasted in North Africa to increase
the flow of supplies to the troops at the front.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
As such increasing the logistic support
of Barbarossa is supporting it;s very premise!
The Germans thought they had enough logistic support for Barbarossa.
The fact they failed to account for wear and tear on vehicles and the
effect Soviet roads had on them, as well as rail network difficulties
point back to their original flaws.
Agreed. This may be the case. But how does that prevent them from using
reserves to try and get a handle of these problems once they do detect them?
Aside from that, Germany did gather trucks from all over Europe to support
the advance, so they did know they would need them. Why would they not buy
more from the UK and US?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
If you do plan for this, the advance will be much slower,
which means that the Soviets have greater time to recover. Once the
Soviets learn how do deal with the Germans (as they did for all
extents and purposes by 1943), the Germans are caught in a war of
attrition: one which the Soviets are prepared to win.
Your claim; supported by what facts?
The fact that the USSR beat the Germans in a war of attrition OTL?
Post by Stefan Diekmann
That they have millions of soldiers
less than OTL
Not necessarily. Hitler gained much of his initial surprise against
Stalin because Stalin believed Hitler wouldn't be stupid enough to
invade the USSR while still fighting the UK. Without that war, Stalin
is going to be a lot more skeptical of Ribbontrop's assurances the
German troops massing at the border were simply in preparation to
invade Britain (out of British bombing range).
Everyone did warn Stalin about the attack. Germany even had recon planes
violate Soviet airspace and take photoes of troop positions, Stalin still
refused to allow any action that could provoke Germany the slightest.
I don't see Stalin accepting the inevitability of war if he's given even the
most impopable rationalization for the troops, say preparations for attacks
of Sweden or Turkey, or even a surprise invasion of Britain.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and worse logistics,
As defenders, their logistical situation is not as severe as that of
the Germans. That is one reason why they broke Germany's offensives
in 1943 before the Allied Lend-Lease arrived in any significant
quantity.
Worse logistics are the result of German light bombers going after train
lines behind the front. Say those bombers lost in the Battle of Britain OTL,
so troops will still be supported just as well as OTL.
Post by Les
BTW, the original POD has the UK being friendly with Germany. The US
is still likely to be hostile to Nazi ambitions, and they can provide
Lend-Lease as they did OTL.
There was signifficant distrust against the Soviets, and without the
demonification of Germany during the Battle of Britain, I don't see a LL law
passing through Congress. It it's a clash between Nazism and Communism,
there'll be many supporters for Nazism throughout the US. There won't be
enough support to LL supplies to Germany, but the supporters will be
influencial enough to keep the US from supporting the Soviets.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
while Germany has better logistics
...but had to advance more slowly than OTL in order to keep their
logistics good, which gives the Soviets more production centers, more
population, and more time to prepare countermeasures.
That's why I said better logistics, not good. Even better will still be bad
compared to what the units want, just say 10% or so more supplies arriving
at the OTL fronts, so either troops advance more before they are stopped or
are in better position to stop counter attacks; I guess it will be something
in between
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and
weapons,
Oh yes, the fine German vehicles that have to be returned to the
factory upon breakdown, and other wonderful equipment that becomes
useless during winter months.
Pardon my sarcasam, but a vehicle that becomes nothing more than a
glorified paperweight 3 months out of every year doesn't strike me as
high quality. Add to that the problem of having to get the vehicle
shipped 1000 km away to get it repaired if it breaks down.
Well, they did kill millions of Soviets, and allowed Germany to take the
rest of Europe, so they can't be that bad :-)
I'll agree that they are far from what I'd wish for at the front, but I
don't see any way to change the German way of thinking without sending time
travelers back.
I'll also admit that I messed up the formulation; I meant to say more
weapons, not better ones.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Read Clauswitz, or at least Jomini.
I read Clausewitz.
Then you should realize that wars are fought to realize policy: In
Hitler's case, it was to destroy the USSR, and he thought he could end
organized Soviet resistance by blitzing his way to Moscow.
Agreed, but I think he was wrong there. The fall of Moscow wouldn't have
ended the war, though it would have disrupted Soviet logistics. So we'd be
back at killing troops.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Wars are won when you break the opponent's will/means to fight.
Neither would be achieved by capturing Moscow;
Correct, that is another flaw of Barbarossa.
Agreed.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
nor is it possible for
Germany to reach the 'means' before they essentially destroy the Red Army.
If Germany had accepted Stalin's initial peace offer in the early
stages of Barbarossa, it might very well have been. We don't know,
because Hitler rejected it.
Do you really think it would have been more that a cease fire while Stalin
prepared the Red Army to go west? I'm very doubtful that any peace would
have lasted very long.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Because they have to demobilize millions to fill the hole left by the lack
of LL, and even then will have worse logistics;
Lend-Lease had arrived in quantity in late 1943, and by then the
Germans had come in second to the Russians in both Stalingrad and
Kursk. The US can still provide LL in this ATL.
Agreed, yet I say that without LL the Soviets couldn't have won such a
victory at Stalingrad. Indeed, the front there may have held and the Soviet
attack repulsed.
Why?
Well, lets begin with the most important thing for an offensive -
communication. Radios, both to control tank armies and aircraft, were almost
exclusively supplied by the US. Without this coordination, Soviet combat
power is severly degraded.
Already as Stalingrad 5% of all military vehicles in the USSR was imported!
I sadly don't have exact figures for the other commodities, but trains,
avgas, food, explosives, and several raw materials were already being
supplied in some quantity, and technical advisors were helping modernize
Soviet industry.
Note, that already in 42 net imports equaled about 10% of the Soviet defense
outlay. Or about 5% GDP. Taking that away is going to hurt, and hurt badly!
Let's see, net imports 7.8 bn 1937 rubbel. LEt's assume it's all defense
goods, since a defense worker adds a net value 14,108 1937 rubbels, and
none defense workers less than 5,000. So even in the best case the Soviets
need over halve a million workers to make good the shortfalls of LL. But
they weren't. According to Overy it was 63.2% military, 23.1% industry, and
13.7% agricultural. That'd make it 4.93 bn defense, 1.8 bn industry, and 1
bn agricultural. And to cover this shortfall the Soviets would need the
following amounts of workers: 280,000 defense, 400,000 industry (4414
rubbel/worker), and 890,000 farmers (1129 rubbel/worker), for a total of
1,570,000 workers. (Economics of WWII - Mark Harrison, Russia's War - Overy)
According to Glantz this is more than a third of the Soviet strength at the
beginning of the year, and a quarter at the end. And even if you decide not
to make good industrial and defense shortfalls, you have to make good the
food shortfalls, or starvation will be wide spread. And in 43 the USSR
imported as much food as 3,250,000, yes, three and a quarter million, people
(or just under 50% of the army) would be needed to produce - assuming of
course the land were available
And let's not forget Stalin's oppinion on this, as reported by Khrushchev in
his memoirs: "if we had had to deal with Germany one-to-one we would not
have been able to cope, because we lost so much of our industry"

As for US LL to the Soviets, I've already said why it's unlikely. But after
Dec. 41, assuming the Japanese still attack, the US fights in the Pacific,
together with the British, who are friendly with the Germans. And since
Germany is also friendly with the UK, they would not support Japan at this
point - unless you want a UK-Germany-Japan Axis attacking the US. But that's
not in the interest of either Germany or Britain.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
and Germany has
signifficantly more resources than it did OTL.
That's why.
Not useful resources. You forgot Hitler's spending habits, to to
mention his autarky policy which crippled Germany's foreign exchange.
As for waging the war on credit, you mentioned how Iraq gained credit
for its wonderful victory over Iran in the Iraq-Iran war. You might
want to find out how well that war went for Iraq.
A lost war usually cripples a nation. And by any reasonable standard both
nations lost that war. The signifficant lesson is though, that other nations
and investors are willing to give credit even to nations involved in long
and bloody wars unlikely to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. That's
not what Germany is aiming for, and not what it looks like until well into
the war.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
Germany isn't going to buy rollingstock prior to Barbarossa (since
other things will take precedence over rollingstock, like their
monument building), and cannot afford to buy any once Barbarossa is
under way.
Right; Hitler allocates 60% or so of Germany's GDP to the military and
rations steel and just about everything with the military getting most of
everything, and they won't get even a tiny bit of the things he buys
overseas. That's very logic.
Check my statement again. Hitler isn't likely to buy rollingstock
prior to Barbarossa because neither he nor his generals see any need
for it.
Anyone knows where one can get the transcripts of planning meetings for
Barbarossa?
I don't believe this claim for a second. They would have loved to get more
logistic supplies (why else did they draft every truck from all over
Europe), but Germany didn't have the resources to produce more. Now it
doesn't need those resources, they can simply import it, while they see no
weapon worth the money available overseas.
Btw, this brings up an interesting point. The minor Axis nations were ill
equipped on the East Front. Without war with the UK or the US, will they be
able to improve their performance measurably by buying weapon systems there?
This alone could change the balance at power at Stalingrad significantly.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I don't say he won't use a lot of money for monuments and other toys, but he
will also use a lot for the military.
...who will then use the money to continue to buy the materials for
nonstandardized aircraft, tanks, and artillery.
And just that I think they are too arrogant to do; they believe they're
producing the best weapons in the world, and it would be nearly impossible
to overcome that. It may happen for some weapons, like the .50 cal Browning,
or the B-17 heavy bomber, but by this very reasoning it will standardize the
imported weapons.
Post by Les
That is why the Germans relied on rail and roads for their supply
routes for Barbarossa: port supplies could not be expected to come
into play until after the campaign has concluded.
Yes, that's why I consider the ports important for the logistics of the war,
not Barbarossa. Landing some goods on beaches may help Barbarossa a bit,
more ships assigned to help reduce defenderes in ports may accelerate it a
bit more, but that's it. OTOH they will become important once the war really
begins.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
When Hitler went to war against Poland, with the result that France
and the UK entered the war, he still didn't change his economy to a
true war footing.
This is incorrect; using the available indicators, such as industrial
resources allocated to the military, women in the industry, etc,
When Germany launched Barbarossa, its existing factories were still
working one-shift days. Hitler placed greater priority on rebuilding
entertainment centers from bombing than military industrial sites.
Any nation that does that is not truely on a war footing.
This is the first time I've heard that the rebuilding of industrial sites
did not have top priority. Could you provide sources for that?
But either way, since there won't be any bombing, there doesn't need to be
any rebuilding.
As for the one-shift, yes, German economy was inefficient and it should have
been rationalized; I don't see efficiency or rationalization as necessary to
clasify an economy as mobilized; public spending on defense and % of
population employed on defense orders. In 1940 already every second
industrial worker was employed on military orders, and there was no
unemployment. And I doubt it would have been easy to hire and train a new
shift of workers under the existing conditions.
And to oversimplyfy things a bit, to change from the full employment at any
price model that was the source of support for the NSDAP before the war to
the manpower efficient economy takes time - and issues like bombing delayed
it further. I can't see any nation changing tracks in such an issue quickly.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Equipment that here
allows Germany this level of supplies.
In the OTL the anti-communist US was so sure of Soviet defeat they
gave them Lend-Lease before they formally entered the war. Why do you
persist in your belief they'll be giving Nazi Germany anything while
denying the Soviets?
Because LL was first given to the UK, later extended to the new ally of the
UK, the Soviets, to keep them in the war. Without the UK fighting Germany,
and maybe even lobbying for Germany, there's no way they'll supply the USSR.
At least I can't see where the public support is supposed to come from.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And let's not
forget the hundreds of thousands that by 43 were needed in the West.
OK, so now you are to adding more hundreds of thousands of troops to
the Russian Front, so we're back to straining the logistical lines
again.
Supply lines that by now have seen two years of continous improvements with
far more resources than were devoted OTL.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Nazism would fail, but the way it failed OTL ensured the fall of
the USSR.
Once again, when the Nazis fell, the Soviets were correctly seen as
the main ones who brought an end to one of the most genocidally minded
regimes on earth. Communism would be at the very least respected as
an ideology for decades to come. The additional looting of Eastern
Europe bolstered the Communist regime, and Stalin actually was mourned
by the Soviets when he finally died.
Well, I doubt there was much left to loot in Eatern Europe to begin with -
it certainly didn't equal the huge amounts of industry and population
destroyed by the Nazis. Those losses were HUGE, and even with looting and LL
I'm pretty sure they left the USSR worse of than it'd have been without war.
As for the utility of Eastern Europe, many have called it a resource sink
for the Soviets and said they'd hold out longer without them. I tend to
agree with that.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
And what about the economic interest of other nations in China?
What about them? The US embargoes against Japan started before Japan
threatened US or European interests.
Huh? What embargo exactly are you talking about? There wasn't an embargo
until well into the Japanese-Chinese war. And the really signifficant
embargoes started in 41.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
So, would Turkey risk loosing tens of thousands of soldiers and civileans to
the Germans?
If the alternative was losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers and
civilians to the USSR, sure.
Which they only can do if they win against Germany; this is far from
certain.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
The Turks were rather cautious about provoking large powers
next door, and that doesn't fit with their politics.
Correct, thus Turkey is likey to remain neutral and not bother
angering the Russian bear.
Does giving credits violate neutrality? That's new to me.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
There are several million people in Germany that voted for the Communists,
so why wouldn't they spread such horor stories as propaganda?
The German diplomat to Sweden wasn't a Communist, and once the Soviets
unearth the killing fields the SS made, expect word to spread.
Certainly; but that assumes that they do. You see everything under the
perspective of inevitable German defeat, something that does not necessarily
hold true in this ATL.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
Post by Les
I know, and you have repeatedly failed to explain how to utilize enemy
ports to sustain a rapid advance.
Because that isn't what I think would happen?
http://www.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl2337477912d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=4069eb98%240%2420987%2445beb828%40newscene.com
Post by Les
"And even if you
only supply AG-North through the Baltic ports, that'll free up the
land
routes for AG-Center,"
Yes, I said that, and I stand to it, because it's true. I never said that it
would become signifficant during Barbarossa; naval superiority may help
there a bit, but not much. But once the real battles begin, the ports will
be available to do just that.
Post by Les
I pointed out that supplying AG North through the Baltic ports will
slow down its advance, since ports were rendered unusable for months.
Consequently, AGC either leaves itself open to a wide flank, or slows
down its advance. A slower advance gives the Soviets more time to
recover, and also lets them keep more production centers operative
longer than in the OTL.
Yes, because you talk about Barbarossa, while I talk about the war as a
whole. Why do you consider everything limited to this one campaign. OTL it
was Germanys only chance to win, minute as it was. In this ATL it isn't.
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
I'm talking about war of
attrition all the time.
Then you have added yet another improbable POD, since Babarossa wasn't
geared for a war of attrition, but a quick knockout blow of the USSR.
Since I assume a failed Barbarossa much like OTL, what's the problem?
Post by Les
Post by Stefan Diekmann
as
such the hostility can not be assumed.
Significant assistance cannot be assumed either.
Nor did I do that. I assumed neutrality, as in trading with everyone.

<snip possible PODs>
Post by Les
Interestingly, Italy has
joined the war for some spoils, but the nasty old UK doesn't want to
give any to Il Duce. Appeasing Italy will be problematic, and getting
Italian participation in Barbarossa is definitely going to be
troublesome.
Well, there's still French colonoies to have. Or of course parts of Europe.
It's not like they got anything from Britain OTL, but a bloody nose.
Post by Les
Now, the above two are highly improbable in their own right, but it
shows the differences how a few changes in a POD time can make.
Agreed. But there are others. The declaration of war failing in Parliament
and the government toppling over the issue.
Another one: Britain declares war against the Soviets when they invade
Poland, too. After the Fall of France, the UK signs a peace deal that gives
it most French colonies, since they have actually read Mein Kampf and
decided Hitler would follow his plans outlined there. So they'd support the
German invasion until the war of attrition has destroyed both nations and
they can land on the continent and free France and all SE European nations.
There's no Battle of Britain or the Atlantic, but the deal stays secret
until the day after Barbarossa begins.

Stefan

k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2004-04-07 10:16:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Les
When you bring a hard substance and rub it along with a softer
substance, the softer substance gets scratched. Continually using
hard shells wears out the barrel faster than an equally hard (or
softer) shell would.
While I agree with most of your arguments you are wrong here.
Tungsten shot was a composite structure with a tungsten core in a mild
steel and alight alloy body. Besides wear resistance is more
complicated than you state. When OTL the Germans switched from copper
to sintered iron driving bands it actually increased barrel life. That
was not an expected effect as the change was made due to the copper
shortage. See below for an explanation of increased wear.

There were several reasons OTL for restricting the use of Tungsten
ammo. First there was the tungsten shortage. Second with standard
Pzgr40 performance fell of rapidly with range so that at long range
penetration was no better than the standard AP shell and the solid
round was less destructive. Finally gun wear was increased due to the
higher MV and increased gas erosion from the bigger charge.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Jussi Jalonen
2004-04-03 07:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Just for your information, the US imposed a moral embargo on Germany after it > invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. It also imposed an embargo on the USSR > for invading Finland, but lifted it in favor of Lend-Lease after Germany
invaded it.
Just for your information, the United States sure as hell didn't
impose any kind of an embargo on the Soviet Union for invading
Finland. Quite the opposite.

All through the winter of 1939-1940, the United States government
allowed the exports of military-industrial hardware and other
strategic materials to the USSR to continue uninterrupted, and
accepted gold from the Kremlin as a ready payment. The Soviet bombers
which raided Helsinki, Tampere and Turku operated on fuel provided to
them by the American capitalists, eager to make profit on the
misfortune of a small neutral country. "Arsenal of Democracy", indeed.

(... and meanwhile, Cordell Hull declared to the Finnish delegations
visiting Washington that "it is impossible for this administration to
sell arms to the Finnish government". Loans which were proposed by the
Congress were torpedoed by Roosevelt. Forty Brewsters were never
delivered. Continuing the war debt payments didn't help.)

For references, you may wish to check Jukka Nevakivi's "The Aid that
Was Never Given; the Western Nations, and Finland's Winter War
1939-40", published in English by the Finnish Institute of
International Affairs, and based on new primary sources discovered
from the American archives.




Cheers,
Jalonen
Les
2004-04-06 16:49:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Just for your information, the US imposed a moral embargo on Germany after it > invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. It also imposed an embargo on the USSR > for invading Finland, but lifted it in favor of Lend-Lease after Germany
invaded it.
Just for your information, the United States sure as hell didn't
impose any kind of an embargo on the Soviet Union for invading
Finland. Quite the opposite.
(rest of post --including a good reference-- deleted)

See:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/events/1940.html

February 19. Secretary of State Hull announced that the moral embargo
of December 20, 1939, had been extended to Russia.

That's my source.
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