Discussion:
Had Hitler died on June 4, 1942
(too old to reply)
Byker
2019-11-07 22:15:35 UTC
Permalink
It almost happened:


Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
The Horny Goat
2019-11-08 02:31:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Why June 4 1942 especially?

Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going very nicely at that
point and Stalingrad was definitely there for the taking in Aug Sept
1942 if taken on the march as opposed to a block by block struggle
which would do nothing for them but chew up time and manpower.

It should have been obvious by the end of September that the flanks
were weaker than they needed to be.
pyotr filipivich
2019-11-12 16:00:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Why June 4 1942 especially?
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going very nicely at that
point and Stalingrad was definitely there for the taking in Aug Sept
1942 if taken on the march as opposed to a block by block struggle
which would do nothing for them but chew up time and manpower.
Question: would "Goring" have diverted the Sixth Army group to
take Stalingrad, when the objective was the oilfields?
Although, I can see a Nazi hierarchy insisting that "Stalin City"
be taken for the Glory of the late Furher! regard less of the military
merits (or lack there of).
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
SolomonW
2019-11-12 16:53:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Why June 4 1942 especially?
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going very nicely at that
point and Stalingrad was definitely there for the taking in Aug Sept
1942 if taken on the march as opposed to a block by block struggle
which would do nothing for them but chew up time and manpower.
Question: would "Goring" have diverted the Sixth Army group to
take Stalingrad, when the objective was the oilfields?
Although, I can see a Nazi hierarchy insisting that "Stalin City"
be taken for the Glory of the late Furher! regard less of the military
merits (or lack there of).
There are two views on Goring, one negative and one positive. He was a
person enormous ability and clear-sighted.

Overall Goring was sceptical about the war from the start which he tried to
stop. He was sure that the war against Russia was doomed to defeat. Then he
was particularly worried about the growing power of the US.

If in power, he would try to make a comprise peace.

The minimum that Stalin would accept here was a full retreat of the German
forces from Russia. I doubt that Goring would be willing to pay such a
price, but he might accept much of a retreat.

Also, he was an experienced military officer. I am sure he would have been
concerned about the German military being overextending. So as far as
Stalingrad is concerned, I doubt that he would be extending the war. I
would expect some deep retreats by the German military.
pyotr filipivich
2019-11-13 17:06:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Why June 4 1942 especially?
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going very nicely at that
point and Stalingrad was definitely there for the taking in Aug Sept
1942 if taken on the march as opposed to a block by block struggle
which would do nothing for them but chew up time and manpower.
Question: would "Goring" have diverted the Sixth Army group to
take Stalingrad, when the objective was the oilfields?
Although, I can see a Nazi hierarchy insisting that "Stalin City"
be taken for the Glory of the late Furher! regard less of the military
merits (or lack there of).
There are two views on Goring, one negative and one positive. He was a
person enormous ability and clear-sighted.
Overall Goring was sceptical about the war from the start which he tried to
stop. He was sure that the war against Russia was doomed to defeat. Then he
was particularly worried about the growing power of the US.
If in power, he would try to make a comprise peace.
The minimum that Stalin would accept here was a full retreat of the German
forces from Russia. I doubt that Goring would be willing to pay such a
price, but he might accept much of a retreat.
Also, he was an experienced military officer. I am sure he would have been
concerned about the German military being overextending. So as far as
Stalingrad is concerned, I doubt that he would be extending the war. I
would expect some deep retreats by the German military.
There are two basic possibilities if Hitler dies in '42.

He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with little military experience.
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with military experience.

Either way, it is possible to go forward with Operation Blue, and
not add Stalingrad as an objective. Not diverting resources to that
(imho) vanity project _might_ have enabled the army to take the
oilfields. At the very least, it would have kept the 6th Army intact,
and out of the meat grinder which is urban war.
Now, whether the 3rd Reich would have been able to exploit those
oil fields is another matter.

I doubt that by 1942, either side would accept a status quo ante.
The economic problems (raw materials for industry, POL, etc) remained.
Gobbells would have had a hard time selling Germany on the pull back
from the East, and the throwing away of the Valiant Dead. Talk about
"being stabbed in the back."
My own impression: by 1942 the war is lost. Without Stalingrad
and the loss of the Sixth Army (and the Romanian and Hungarian armies)
Germany _might_ have been able to hold a line, but where? There
aren't many natural defensive lines between Berlin and Moscow. A
number of rivers, yes, but ...
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-13 20:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Why June 4 1942 especially?
See the video. On that date, Hitler made a quick visit
to Finland to meet with Marshal Mannerheim on his
birthday. (Their private conversation was recorded by
Finnish intelligence; it's the only known recording of
Hitler speaking conversationally, and was used
extensively in the making of _Downfall_.)

Hitler's airplane flew into an airfield in the Finnish
backwoods, near Mannerheim's HQ. For the last part of
the flight, the plane was escorted by Finnish
fighters. (American made Brewster Buffalos!) One of
the pilots was Finnish ace Hans Wind. According to his
account in that video, Hitler's plane came in on a
course that would have collided with a tall sawmill
chimney. Wind himself flew down in front of the German
plane, and "herded" it around the chimney.

If Wind had not intervened, the plane could have hit
the chimney and crashed, killing Hitler.
Post by The Horny Goat
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going
very nicely at that point...
Not yet. Fall BLAU started on 28 June, more than three weeks later.

There had been some successful German offensives
before 4 June: BUSTARD HUNT, which cleared eastern
Crimea; and the destruction of the Barvenkovo salient
near Kharkov. But the main attack had not started.
Post by The Horny Goat
There are two basic possibilities if Hitler dies in '42.
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with little military experience.
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with military experience.
Goering is the designated successor. If there is some
further pulling and hauling that replaces him, that's
likely to paralyze German operations for a while.
Post by The Horny Goat
Either way, it is possible to go forward with
Operation Blue, and not add Stalingrad as an
objective.
Taking Stalingrad was part of the original plan, AIUI.
At the very least, German forces were to appraach
Stalingrad and screen it from the surrounding area.

4th Panzer Army (far right flank) and 6th Army (right
center) were sent in that direction. Then 4th Panzer was
switched to the south, to assist 1st Panzer Army and
Seventeenth Army in crossing the lower Don into the
north Caucasus, i.e. moving SE, _behind_ 6th Army.

Then 6th Army bogged down at Stalingrad, and 4th Panzer
was turned again, to the NE, to help capture Stalingrad.
4th Panzer quickly overran the entire southern half of
the city. It was in the north that 6th Army got into the
brutal street fight.
Post by The Horny Goat
Not diverting resources to that (imho) vanity
project _might_ have enabled the army to take the
oilfields.
Not likely. 1st Panzer was literally out of fuel, 200 km
from the north end of the Caspian Gates. It would take
a major extension of German effort to get to there. Then
they have to fight through the Gates: the narrow strip
between the Caspian Sea and the eastern Caucasus, about
300 km more. There might not be a lot of Soviet troops
in the area, but the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
Post by The Horny Goat
Now, whether the 3rd Reich would have been able to
exploit those oil fields is another matter.
Not any time soon. The Germans captured a lesser oilfield
at Maikop, north of the western Caucasus, in early August.
The Soviets trashed it before withdrawing. The Germans held
it until January 1943. They sent a group of oil-field techs
to get it working, but got essentially nothing in five months.
Post by The Horny Goat
I doubt that by 1942, either side would accept a
status quo ante.
The economic problems (raw materials for industry,
POL, etc) remained. Goebbels would have had a hard
time selling Germany on the pull back from the
East...
By late 1942, most Germans were less concerned with
victory than with avoiding catastrophic defeat, and
with the on-going cost of the war. Ending the Eastern
Front would be a colossal relief. A lot of young men
would be thinking "I'm not going to die."

On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2019-11-14 11:30:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
I doubt that by 1942, either side would accept a
status quo ante.
Stalin might, but I doubt he could get it.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
The economic problems (raw materials for industry,
POL, etc) remained. Goebbels would have had a hard
time selling Germany on the pull back from the
East...
I think any government even if magically a democratic liberal government
came to power in Germany.
Post by Rich Rostrom
By late 1942, most Germans were less concerned with
victory than with avoiding catastrophic defeat, and
with the on-going cost of the war. Ending the Eastern
Front would be a colossal relief. A lot of young men
would be thinking "I'm not going to die."
In 1942, the blood had not really started for Germany.
Post by Rich Rostrom
On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
Well at this time the US and UK are not offering him anything better.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-15 01:53:24 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 14:53:56 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going
very nicely at that point...
Not yet. Fall BLAU started on 28 June, more than three weeks later.
Alas you're right - I was thinking of the fighting around Kharkov
where the Red Army attacked and got clobbered.
Post by Rich Rostrom
There had been some successful German offensives
before 4 June: BUSTARD HUNT, which cleared eastern
Crimea; and the destruction of the Barvenkovo salient
near Kharkov. But the main attack had not started.
Sevastopol had not yet fallen on June 4th but yes the handwriting was
on the wall then.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with little military experience.
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with military experience.
Or alternately a party stalwart with some military experience who
thinks he knows a LOT more than he really does - which in my opinion
describes Goering in 1942.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Goering is the designated successor. If there is some
further pulling and hauling that replaces him, that's
likely to paralyze German operations for a while.
Taking Stalingrad was part of the original plan, AIUI.
At the very least, German forces were to appraach
Stalingrad and screen it from the surrounding area.
4th Panzer Army (far right flank) and 6th Army (right
center) were sent in that direction. Then 4th Panzer was
switched to the south, to assist 1st Panzer Army and
Seventeenth Army in crossing the lower Don into the
north Caucasus, i.e. moving SE, _behind_ 6th Army.
Then 6th Army bogged down at Stalingrad, and 4th Panzer
was turned again, to the NE, to help capture Stalingrad.
4th Panzer quickly overran the entire southern half of
the city. It was in the north that 6th Army got into the
brutal street fight.
I am convinced Stalingrad was there for the taking in the summer of
1942 but that the attack degenerated into a frontal assault rather
than a flanking maneuver. And we all know what happened after that.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Not likely. 1st Panzer was literally out of fuel, 200 km
from the north end of the Caspian Gates. It would take
a major extension of German effort to get to there. Then
they have to fight through the Gates: the narrow strip
between the Caspian Sea and the eastern Caucasus, about
300 km more. There might not be a lot of Soviet troops
in the area, but the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
I do think the Germans could have cut off Russian access to Caucasian
oil. However unless they captured the fields intact (ha!!) they had
little hope of extracting economically significant amounts of oil
witihin the frst 18 months after capture. Rich (amongst others) will
recall our chat on that subject 3-4 years back. The short version is
that having 100,000 barrels of oil 2000 miles from Germany does not
help the German economy if you do not have an effective method of
transporting it to the Reich. On the other hand, reducing the Soviet
supply of oil by 100,000 barrels DOES hurt the Red Army and is
infinitely more achieveable than transporting the same oil from the
Caucasus to the Reich.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Now, whether the 3rd Reich would have been able to
exploit those oil fields is another matter.
Not any time soon. The Germans captured a lesser oilfield
at Maikop, north of the western Caucasus, in early August.
The Soviets trashed it before withdrawing. The Germans held
it until January 1943. They sent a group of oil-field techs
to get it working, but got essentially nothing in five months.
My previous point about transporting oil via pipeline (and do you have
any idea how hard it is to defend a pipeline - even if you magically
had one nearly 2000 miles long - against a determined partisan force?
Post by Rich Rostrom
By late 1942, most Germans were less concerned with
victory than with avoiding catastrophic defeat, and
with the on-going cost of the war. Ending the Eastern
Front would be a colossal relief. A lot of young men
would be thinking "I'm not going to die."
That's a reason assumption in the spring of 1943 - far less so before
the destruction of 6th army.
Post by Rich Rostrom
On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
There were actual peace negotiations in the spring of 1943. Stalin
wanted the 1941 boundary, Hitler wanted the Dniepr. Since there was no
deal they fought it out.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-15 10:35:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
There had been some successful German offensives
before 4 June: BUSTARD HUNT, which cleared eastern
Crimea; and the destruction of the Barvenkovo salient
near Kharkov. But the main attack had not started.
Sevastopol had not yet fallen on June 4th but yes the handwriting was
on the wall then.
BUSTARD HUNT cleared _eastern_ Crimea - the peninsula
extending to Kerch Strait; the assault on Sevastopol
was an entirely separate operation.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2019-11-16 11:05:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 14:53:56 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going
very nicely at that point...
Not yet. Fall BLAU started on 28 June, more than three weeks later.
Alas you're right - I was thinking of the fighting around Kharkov
where the Red Army attacked and got clobbered.
Post by Rich Rostrom
There had been some successful German offensives
before 4 June: BUSTARD HUNT, which cleared eastern
Crimea; and the destruction of the Barvenkovo salient
near Kharkov. But the main attack had not started.
Sevastopol had not yet fallen on June 4th but yes the handwriting was
on the wall then.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with little military experience.
He's replaced by a Party Stalwart with military experience.
Or alternately a party stalwart with some military experience who
thinks he knows a LOT more than he really does - which in my opinion
describes Goering in 1942.
It would depend on who Goering uses as his military advisors. His choices
of military leaders in the Luftwaffe were overall excellent and highly
capable people.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Goering is the designated successor. If there is some
further pulling and hauling that replaces him, that's
likely to paralyze German operations for a while.
Taking Stalingrad was part of the original plan, AIUI.
At the very least, German forces were to appraach
Stalingrad and screen it from the surrounding area.
4th Panzer Army (far right flank) and 6th Army (right
center) were sent in that direction. Then 4th Panzer was
switched to the south, to assist 1st Panzer Army and
Seventeenth Army in crossing the lower Don into the
north Caucasus, i.e. moving SE, _behind_ 6th Army.
Then 6th Army bogged down at Stalingrad, and 4th Panzer
was turned again, to the NE, to help capture Stalingrad.
4th Panzer quickly overran the entire southern half of
the city. It was in the north that 6th Army got into the
brutal street fight.
I am convinced Stalingrad was there for the taking in the summer of
1942 but that the attack degenerated into a frontal assault rather
than a flanking maneuver. And we all know what happened after that.
If the attack on the oil fields were stopped a flanking attack is possible.
It is not an easy operation as the Volga has to be crossed first.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Not likely. 1st Panzer was literally out of fuel, 200 km
from the north end of the Caspian Gates. It would take
a major extension of German effort to get to there. Then
they have to fight through the Gates: the narrow strip
between the Caspian Sea and the eastern Caucasus, about
300 km more. There might not be a lot of Soviet troops
in the area, but the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
I do think the Germans could have cut off Russian access to Caucasian
oil. However unless they captured the fields intact (ha!!) they had
little hope of extracting economically significant amounts of oil
witihin the frst 18 months after capture. Rich (amongst others) will
recall our chat on that subject 3-4 years back. The short version is
that having 100,000 barrels of oil 2000 miles from Germany does not
help the German economy if you do not have an effective method of
transporting it to the Reich. On the other hand, reducing the Soviet
supply of oil by 100,000 barrels DOES hurt the Red Army and is
infinitely more achieveable than transporting the same oil from the
Caucasus to the Reich.
Have you looked how deep the Russian oil fields go inland? I do not believe
Germany could go that far inland.

It might be possible to establish an airfield to bomb them in that area.
Still, there are some significant problems Germany does not have much in
the way of heavy bombers, supplying strategic bombers from so deep in
Russia, the Soviet airforce is growing rapidly and as later experience
showed oil fields are not that vulnerable to air assault.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Now, whether the 3rd Reich would have been able to
exploit those oil fields is another matter.
Not any time soon. The Germans captured a lesser oilfield
at Maikop, north of the western Caucasus, in early August.
The Soviets trashed it before withdrawing. The Germans held
it until January 1943. They sent a group of oil-field techs
to get it working, but got essentially nothing in five months.
My previous point about transporting oil via pipeline (and do you have
any idea how hard it is to defend a pipeline - even if you magically
had one nearly 2000 miles long - against a determined partisan force?
Agreed, there is a sea route, but it requires access from the ports of
Italy through the Mediterranean into the Black Sea. It would not happen
because of the British RN.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
By late 1942, most Germans were less concerned with
victory than with avoiding catastrophic defeat, and
with the on-going cost of the war. Ending the Eastern
Front would be a colossal relief. A lot of young men
would be thinking "I'm not going to die."
That's a reason assumption in the spring of 1943 - far less so before
the destruction of 6th army.
I doubt it, German loses are not that high yet, and the Germans think they
are winning. Not that it matters; it is not like the masses in Germany or
Russia have much of a vote in the war.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
There were actual peace negotiations in the spring of 1943. Stalin
wanted the 1941 boundary, Hitler wanted the Dniepr. Since there was no
deal they fought it out.
This is shrouded in mystery, but I am confident that if such a meeting did
take place, we would have real evidence that it did take place. My view is
that anti-Soviets were only too glad to support and spread such stories.

What we know is that there are some references to a possible meeting in
Stockholm in early 43 with some low-level officals of both countries. I
have also read in a reference that a significant Soviet official came to
Stockholm to talk and no-one came from Germany came to see him. The
proposed meeting may have been aborted. Another set of low-level meetings
may have occurred in mid-June or late 43, initiated allegedly by the
Soviets.

Stalin might have been in early 1943, wavering on what he should do so. At
the same time, Ribbentrop has some freedom to explore as Hitler then wanted
a separate peace. As we know that Ribbentrop was interested, he might have
put some feelers out for a separate peace. Like Goering, he did not want a
war with Russia. Hitler then decided that it was best to wait till he got a
victory at Kursk that would allow him possibly to negotiate something out
of the Russian campaign. Strategically he lost Kursk, and that was it.
John Dallman
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
It would depend on who Goering uses as his military advisors. His
choices of military leaders in the Luftwaffe were overall excellent
and highly capable people.
Making Ernst Udet head of Luftwaffe Equipment was a very poor choice, and
condemned the Luftwaffe to fight with increasingly obsolete equipment.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Udet

Joseph "Beppo" Schmid was in charge of Luftwaffe intelligence from the
beginning of 1938 to late 1942. The intelligence used to plan the Battle
of Britain was very defective, and his performance as a ground commander
and in the Defence of the Reich campaign was unimpressive. His primary
quality seemed to be his close friendship with Goering.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schmid

Wolfgang Martini, head of Luftwaffe signals, was competent, but Goering
would not listen to him.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Martini

John
Byker
2019-11-16 19:28:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Dallman
Joseph "Beppo" Schmid was in charge of Luftwaffe intelligence from the
beginning of 1938 to late 1942. The intelligence used to plan the Battle
of Britain was very defective, and his performance as a ground commander
and in the Defence of the Reich campaign was unimpressive. His primary
quality seemed to be his close friendship with Goering.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schmid
From what I've learned about the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe, despite
their high losses, had all but exhausted the RAF. The British pilots were
getting so little sleep that they nodded off at the controls and shuffled
around like zombies. By the time Der Fuhrer threw in the towel, the RAF
hadn't so much "won" the Battle of Britain as the Luftwaffe LOST it:

Phil McGregor
2019-11-17 01:47:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
Post by John Dallman
Joseph "Beppo" Schmid was in charge of Luftwaffe intelligence from the
beginning of 1938 to late 1942. The intelligence used to plan the Battle
of Britain was very defective, and his performance as a ground commander
and in the Defence of the Reich campaign was unimpressive. His primary
quality seemed to be his close friendship with Goering.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schmid
From what I've learned about the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe, despite
their high losses, had all but exhausted the RAF. The British pilots were
getting so little sleep that they nodded off at the controls and shuffled
around like zombies. By the time Der Fuhrer threw in the towel, the RAF
http://youtu.be/uCu7IT81gh8
Actually, not true at all. Not even close. A common set of 'everyone
knows' factoids.

The RAF only committed 55% of their fighter strength to active
operational areas ... the remaining 45% remained, effectively, in
reserve.

The RAF was benefitting from the Empire Air Training Scheme which
produced hundreds of pilots and aircrew every month in excess of
operational needs.

The RAF pilot total *increased* every month during the Battle of
Britain - the Luftwaffe pilot total *decreased* every month in the
same time period.

RAF Fighter Pilots: ~800 in July, 950 in August, ~1050 in Spetember,
~1200 in October, ~1400 in November)

RAF Pilot Losses: 68 in Julyt, 176 in August, 123 in September, 120 in
October (Total = 487)

Luftwaffe Fighter Pilots: ~500 in July, ~450 in August, ~375 in
September-October-November.

Luftwaffe Pilot Losses: 348 in July, 993 in August, 829 in September,
492 in October (Total = 2662)

The number of operational fighters available to the RAF in the SE and
S operational areas remained much the same during the Battle ... and
these were first line Hurricanes and Spitfires ... while the number of
operational fighters available to the Luftwaffe (which included duds
like the Me-110) decreased dramatically during the same period.

RAF Fighters: ~850 in July, ~900 in August-September, ~800 in
October-November.

Luftwaffe Fighters: ~800 in July, ~750 in August, ~600 in
September-October-November.

Then, when you look at the number of sorties flown per day, the RAF
flew as many as 10 for every one the Luftwaffe flew except during some
weeks in august when they flew between 30-50% more. Giving them much
more bang for their pounds.

The thing is, we know all this with the benefit of postwar 20:20
hindsight ... Churchill didn't know that the RAF was increasing in
strength vis a vis the Luftwaffe *at the time* ... and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time* ... we only know this from the data becoming available post WW2.

In fact, the RAF won the BoB handily while the leaders thought it was
a close run thing, and the Luftwaffe lost the BoB decisively, even
though the leaders believed they had fought the RAF to a standstill.
Even so, the Air Ministry had realised by early 1941 that the BoB had
been won, though the magnitude of the victory wasn't fully understood
til German records could be examined after the war.

Unfortunately, many (not all) generalist history books still rely on
the beliefs expressed by the leaders in 1940 rather than on more
recent, and more comprehensive, research.
SolomonW
2019-11-17 04:15:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time*
Hermann Göring would not have known these figures, but he did know that
something was going wrong. At Nuremberg, he stated that the losses were
sustainable and he could have kept going but what mucked up the NAZIs was
the lack of shipping for Sealion. If so, the question is, what was the
point of this air war?
Phil McGregor
2019-11-17 05:35:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time*
Hermann Göring would not have known these figures, but he did know that
something was going wrong. At Nuremberg, he stated that the losses were
sustainable and he could have kept going but what mucked up the NAZIs was
the lack of shipping for Sealion. If so, the question is, what was the
point of this air war?
He wouldn't have known the RAF figures, sure, but he knew the
Luftwaffe figures weren't sustainable ... but afaict he believed the
RAF losses were equally unsustainable, so he seems to have believed
there was some degree of Luftwaffe victory when, in fact, it was (as
we now know) a clear defeat and the beginning of the end of the German
air force.

Hitler certainly didn't seem to believe the losses were sustainable in
the face of prep for Barbarossa.

What was the point of the BoB from the Nazi PoV?

I am not entirely sure the Nazis had a clear agenda, or not a clear
single agenda.

I *think* there is evidence that Hitler suffered a version of 'victory
disease' and believed that he could actually stage Sealion ... which
the Kriegsmarine, at least, had a pretty good idea they couldn't, and
tried repeatedly to tell High Command and Hitler, who completely
ignored them.

I *think* that there is also evidence that Hitler believed that the
BoB and the threat of Sealion would force the UK to negotiate a peace
favourable to Germany even though there isn't any real evidence that
the UK would ever have considered such and a lot of historical
evidence to suggest the exact opposite.

I am pretty sure that Hitler had some inkling that leaving an
unconquered or at least unemasculated UK at his rear for Barbarossa
was not a good idea ... after all, the reason for the attack in the
West was because he believed that a two front European war was largely
what had led to Germany's defeat in WW1. Of course, this notion was
impacted by the 'victory disease' and by the fact that the BoB wasn't
seen to be a clear German defeat *at the time* so he eventually seems
to have convinced himself that leaving an unconquered UK in his rear
was no biggie ... an unfortunate delusion.

Phil McGregor
SolomonW
2019-11-17 12:58:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time*
Hermann Göring would not have known these figures, but he did know that
something was going wrong. At Nuremberg, he stated that the losses were
sustainable and he could have kept going but what mucked up the NAZIs was
the lack of shipping for Sealion. If so, the question is, what was the
point of this air war?
He wouldn't have known the RAF figures, sure, but he knew the
Luftwaffe figures weren't sustainable ...
If so, he did not say it in Nuremberg.
Post by Phil McGregor
but afaict he believed the
RAF losses were equally unsustainable,
If so, then Göring would have though his losses were high it could be
justified.

...
Post by Phil McGregor
Hitler certainly didn't seem to believe the losses were sustainable in
the face of prep for Barbarossa.
What was the point of the BoB from the Nazi PoV?
*****
This is the critical point, if Barbarossa goes ahead, then the air war in
the battle of Britain is pointless for Germany, as it was conducted if
Britain refuses to surrender.
*****
Post by Phil McGregor
I am not entirely sure the Nazis had a clear agenda, or not a clear
single agenda.
Agreed.
Post by Phil McGregor
I *think* there is evidence that Hitler suffered a version of 'victory
disease' and believed that he could actually stage Sealion ... which
the Kriegsmarine, at least, had a pretty good idea they couldn't, and
tried repeatedly to tell High Command and Hitler, who completely
ignored them.
At the start maybe but Hitler pretty soon decided that it was not worth the
distraction for Barbarossa. He called off Sealion.
Post by Phil McGregor
I *think* that there is also evidence that Hitler believed that the
BoB and the threat of Sealion would force the UK to negotiate a peace
favourable to Germany
At first agreed but later on, Hitler came to your view at (a) below.
Post by Phil McGregor
even though there isn't any real evidence that
the UK would ever have considered such
It was considered in the UK and rejected.
Post by Phil McGregor
and a lot of historical
evidence to suggest the exact opposite.
What Hitler wanted was time for his war in the East, there was considerable
historical evidence from the Napoleonic era that Britain might make peace
for a time which is all Hitler needed. A year or so of a cease-fire with
Britain.
(a)
Post by Phil McGregor
I am pretty sure that Hitler had some inkling that leaving an
unconquered or at least unemasculated UK at his rear for Barbarossa
was not a good idea ... after all, the reason for the attack in the
West was because he believed that a two front European war was largely
what had led to Germany's defeat in WW1. Of course, this notion was
impacted by the 'victory disease' and by the fact that the BoB wasn't
seen to be a clear German defeat *at the time* so he eventually seems
to have convinced himself that leaving an unconquered UK in his rear
was no biggie ... an unfortunate delusion.
I agree with this too. The other issue is that time was not he felt on his
side, the longer he waited, the more powerful the USSR would be.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 05:48:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
I agree with this too. The other issue is that time was not he felt on his
side, the longer he waited, the more powerful the USSR would be.
Given when the battle for France ended I do not think a 1940 assault
could have been attempted unless the even more insane idea that an
attack could have been launched with France undamaged in the rear.

No question the Russian winter of 1940-41 was far milder than 1941-42
but there was not nearly the time left in the 1940 campaigning season
to do nearly the damage to the Red Army that was done in OTL's 1941.

(And yes I do think the Germans could have stopped the French close to
their western frontier - and bear in mind that Mussolini only entered
the war after Dunkirk and the German approach to Paris.)
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-18 08:57:11 UTC
Permalink
... so he eventually seems to have convinced himself
that leaving an unconquered UK in his rear was no
biggie ... an unfortunate delusion.
Part of Hitler's thinking was the idea that Britain
was hoping for a powerful continental ally to do the
heavy lifting. By conquering the USSR, he could close
off that hope, and _then_ Britain would see reason
and make peace.

BTW - in early 1941, Molotov visited Berlin. Ribbentrop
told him that Britain was completely defeated. "Then
whose bombers are we hiding from?" (THey were in the
shelter under the Foreign Ministry during an air raid.)
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Dimensional Traveler
2019-11-17 05:36:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time*
Hermann Göring would not have known these figures, but he did know that
something was going wrong. At Nuremberg, he stated that the losses were
sustainable and he could have kept going but what mucked up the NAZIs was
the lack of shipping for Sealion. If so, the question is, what was the
point of this air war?
To make it safe for the shipping they did have, obviously! :P

Slightly more realistically in Hitler's mind it was probably to punish
Britain for not surrendering and to scare them into doing so.
--
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"
Phil McGregor
2019-11-17 05:39:18 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 16 Nov 2019 21:36:13 -0800, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time*
Hermann Göring would not have known these figures, but he did know that
something was going wrong. At Nuremberg, he stated that the losses were
sustainable and he could have kept going but what mucked up the NAZIs was
the lack of shipping for Sealion. If so, the question is, what was the
point of this air war?
To make it safe for the shipping they did have, obviously! :P
Not a lot of coastal shipping to protect after the French surrender!
U-Boats and the KM surface raiders, on the other hand ...
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Slightly more realistically in Hitler's mind it was probably to punish
Britain for not surrendering and to scare them into doing so.
Yes, I suspect this was an important factor, though I am not sure the
evidence is conclusive enough to say that it was the only factor.

As I said in an above post, I strongly suspect that form of 'victory
disease' was an important factor in Hitler's thinking about the BoB
and Sealion.

Phil McGregor
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 06:06:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
Not a lot of coastal shipping to protect after the French surrender!
U-Boats and the KM surface raiders, on the other hand ...
Are you talking about the British or Germans? If the latter don't
forget that Germany still had the power to evacuate 1/4 million people
(somewhat comparable to Dunkirk) from the Baltic States even in 1945.
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Slightly more realistically in Hitler's mind it was probably to punish
Britain for not surrendering and to scare them into doing so.
In my opinion this was THE single most important contribution of
Churchill. Who else but WSC could have said "we shall fight them on
the beaches, we shall never surrender"? (Admittedly and with MUCH less
fanfare he ALSO said that he would deploy poison and biological
weapons on the beaches of England if a Sealion occured and they were
in any danger of seizing a port. For obvious reasons discussions of
poison gas on English soil didn't get the fanfare that "we shall never
surrender" got - although to be fair that particular speech was
written more for FDR's benefit than the British people generally
Post by Phil McGregor
Yes, I suspect this was an important factor, though I am not sure the
evidence is conclusive enough to say that it was the only factor.
As I said in an above post, I strongly suspect that form of 'victory
disease' was an important factor in Hitler's thinking about the BoB
and Sealion.
Very true - and a smashed Sealion would tell the world the complete
opposite. When you look at the suicide of Langsdorf (captain of the
Graf Spee) you can readily see Hitler wasn't the only one with that
attitude.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-19 15:20:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Who else but WSC could have said "we shall fight
them on the beaches, we shall never surrender"?
Churchill himself said "It was the British people who
had the lion's heart; I was merely privileged to give
the lion's roar."
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Phil McGregor
2019-11-19 23:43:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
Not a lot of coastal shipping to protect after the French surrender!
U-Boats and the KM surface raiders, on the other hand ...
Are you talking about the British or Germans? If the latter don't
forget that Germany still had the power to evacuate 1/4 million people
(somewhat comparable to Dunkirk) from the Baltic States even in 1945.
Indeed.

Two words.

Wilhelm Gustloff.

Sure, the Germans had merchant ships in the Baltic. They were *needed*
in the Baltic to ship, amongst other things, Swedish Iron ore and
supplies for Barbarossa.

They didn't risk them in the English Channel or North Sea where the RN
would have trashed them.

Phil
The Horny Goat
2019-11-20 00:33:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by The Horny Goat
Are you talking about the British or Germans? If the latter don't
forget that Germany still had the power to evacuate 1/4 million people
(somewhat comparable to Dunkirk) from the Baltic States even in 1945.
Indeed.
Two words.
Wilhelm Gustloff.
Sure, the Germans had merchant ships in the Baltic. They were *needed*
in the Baltic to ship, amongst other things, Swedish Iron ore and
supplies for Barbarossa.
They didn't risk them in the English Channel or North Sea where the RN
would have trashed them.
Phil
I don't know the name you're referencing but no question given the
importance of Swedish iron ore in the German economy there's no way
the Germans would have risked those freighters in the North Sea.

The operation against Narvik was probably the riskiest operation
undertken by the Wehrmacht in the entire war. Had the British taken
and held Narvik I have no doubt the Brits would have invaded Northern
Sweden sometime between 1941-43 to take the iron fields even knowing
the Swedish army was at least 5 times the size of the 1940 Norwegian
army.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-21 22:34:57 UTC
Permalink
Had the British taken and held Narvik ...
The Allies did take Narvik (I write "Allies"
because the French _Chasseurs Alpins_ were
heavily involved).

However, after the fall of southern Norway
to the Germans, and with the collapse of
France, Narvik was deemed untenable.

I wonder though - given the terrain, could a
determined garrison hold out? The Allies would
also keep northern Norway, which has effects on
Finland; it would also secure the convoy route
to Murmansk. And here's a big question: would
the Axis be able to hold the Petsamo nickel
mines, and how important was Petsamo nickel?
...I have no doubt the Brits would have invaded
Northern Sweden sometime between 1941-43 to take
the iron fields...
Very unlikely. By that time, Germany had the Briey
fields in France, Britain would not want to
force Sweden into the Axis, and German forces
operating through and with Sweden would easily
recapture the Kiruna mines _and_ take Narvik.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
John Dallman
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
I wonder though - given the terrain, could a
determined garrison hold out?
Not in the long term. They would need supplies from the UK, and that
would give the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine targets they would be keen to
cooperate over. Ships would be lost regularly, and Narvik would
eventually fall. And at the time, there were no convoys to Murmansk to
secure; the USSR was allied with Germany, having shared Poland.

Churchill had ideas for seizing northern Norway at various subsequent
points in the war, but they never went anywhere, for the same reason.

John
The Horny Goat
2019-11-22 07:33:04 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:34:57 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Had the British taken and held Narvik ...
The Allies did take Narvik (I write "Allies"
because the French _Chasseurs Alpins_ were
heavily involved).
However, after the fall of southern Norway
to the Germans, and with the collapse of
France, Narvik was deemed untenable.
Thus my comment - the important part was AND HELD which they didn't.

Given when they took it the Germans had already broken the Somme and
the battles that led to Dunkirk were underway so it was not at all
clear how long the French would remain and whether Narvik could be
held by the British (admittedly with 'their Poles') without them.
Post by Rich Rostrom
I wonder though - given the terrain, could a
determined garrison hold out? The Allies would
also keep northern Norway, which has effects on
Finland; it would also secure the convoy route
to Murmansk. And here's a big question: would
the Axis be able to hold the Petsamo nickel
mines, and how important was Petsamo nickel?
I would be amazed if these questions were not asked by the British
government but the question seems to be British doubt that Narvik
could be held particularly as the Germans were thought to have local
air superiority. Petsamo is a LONG way from Narvik and has a rail
line to the rest of Finland so I'm skeptical Britain ever had a
reasonable chance of actually taking it.
Post by Rich Rostrom
...I have no doubt the Brits would have invaded
Northern Sweden sometime between 1941-43 to take
the iron fields...
Very unlikely. By that time, Germany had the Briey
fields in France, Britain would not want to
force Sweden into the Axis, and German forces
operating through and with Sweden would easily
recapture the Kiruna mines _and_ take Narvik.
The Swedish army at that time was 20-25 divisions nearly entirely
infantry with most of northern Sweden completely unsuitable for armor
for much of the year. On second thought given British strength in
1942-43 (e.g. before US forces were a big factor) it's difficult to
imagine that kind of force particularly as I cannot imagine FDR
preferring a Norweigian raid into Sweden in preference to Torch.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-25 07:08:37 UTC
Permalink
Petsamo is a LONG way from Narvik...
But is adjacent to northern Norway, and very
distant from the rest of Finland - and also
adjacent to the USSR.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-26 01:54:02 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 25 Nov 2019 01:08:37 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Petsamo is a LONG way from Narvik...
But is adjacent to northern Norway, and very
distant from the rest of Finland - and also
adjacent to the USSR.
It's not all that close to the portion of Finland that the Soviets
annexed after the war - which includes Petsamo.

Google says 900+ km by road and 635 km from Narvik to Murmansk by air.

As opposed to roughly 1000km by air from Narvik to Oslo
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-26 18:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 25 Nov 2019 01:08:37 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Petsamo is a LONG way from Narvik...
But is adjacent to northern Norway, and very
distant from the rest of Finland - and also
adjacent to the USSR.
It's not all that close to the portion of Finland that the Soviets
annexed after the war - which includes Petsamo.
I'm not sure why you think I was referring to
Narvik rather than Petsamo.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-27 01:38:56 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 Nov 2019 12:53:14 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Petsamo is a LONG way from Narvik...
But is adjacent to northern Norway, and very
distant from the rest of Finland - and also
adjacent to the USSR.
It's not all that close to the portion of Finland that the Soviets
annexed after the war - which includes Petsamo.
I'm not sure why you think I was referring to
Narvik rather than Petsamo.
Because this thread started with my fantasy of Britain and France
holding Narvik long-term and using it for a base for an attack on
Northern Finland - which at that time went all the way to Petsamo.

I was convinced by the previous poster that any Anglo-French attack on
anything Swedish would bring in the full Swedish army (which at that
time was roughly 20-25 divisions which is certainly more than a
British expeditionary force could cope with with or without French
aid. And given this was without a week or two of Dunkirk the French
were quite eager to cut and run which would give the Luftwaffe air
superiority over northern Norway and rendering any British dreams of
further operations in Scandanavia moot.

To put it mildly.

Trivia question: which well known British division was the first to
land in Norway at the end of the war? (answer - ROT-13'd)

Svefg Nveobear - gur Abejrtvna tbireazrag va rkvyr nfxrq Puhepuvyy
nfxrq sbe n oevtnqr fvmrq havg (juvpu vf jung 1fg Nveobear onfvpnyyl
jnf nsgre Neaurz) naq Puhepuvyy nfxrq uvf trarenyf jub jnf ninvynoyr
naq sryg gurl'q or n tbbq pubvpr gb erprvir gur Trezna fheeraqre naq
fhcreivfr gur svefg Abejrtvna cbfg-jne ryrpgvba ng juvpu gvzr gurl
jrer frag ubzr naq zbfg bs gurz vzzrqvngryl qrzbovyvmrq. Lbh
haqrefgnaq bs pbhefr gung gur Oevgvfu tbireazrag sryg gurl'q zber guna
qbar gurve qhgl va Frcgrzore 1944 va gur Argureynaqf......
Byker
2019-11-17 17:14:33 UTC
Permalink
Unfortunately, many (not all) generalist history books still rely on the
beliefs expressed by the leaders in 1940 rather than on more recent, and
more comprehensive, research.
Of interest:

Rich Rostrom
2019-11-18 08:52:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
In fact, the RAF won the BoB handily while the leaders thought it was
a close run thing, and the Luftwaffe lost the BoB decisively, even
though the leaders believed they had fought the RAF to a standstill.
Oh, yes... It's important to realize that contemporary
perception of events may be seriously mistaken. This
is especially true when reliable metrics were not then
available.

For instance, Teddy Roosevelt thought he might lose the
US election of 1904. Chief Justice Taney thought that
either Fillmore or Fremont would win the US election of 1856.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 05:39:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
The RAF was benefitting from the Empire Air Training Scheme which
produced hundreds of pilots and aircrew every month in excess of
operational needs.
Was that really true in 1940? I know the Canadian arm of that really
only hit its stride in 1941 and really contributed in 42-43 but
despite the presence of 1st Canadian division in England in September
1940 (when it would have been the most powerful unit in England at the
time of the Sealon that never was - long before 1943-44 when the Yanks
were 'over-sexed, over-paid and over here") I am not aware the RCAF
had much influence during the battle of Britain. And that was the
largest element of the Empire ATS.
Post by Phil McGregor
The RAF pilot total *increased* every month during the Battle of
Britain - the Luftwaffe pilot total *decreased* every month in the
same time period.
RAF Fighter Pilots: ~800 in July, 950 in August, ~1050 in Spetember,
~1200 in October, ~1400 in November)
RAF Pilot Losses: 68 in Julyt, 176 in August, 123 in September, 120 in
October (Total = 487)
Luftwaffe Fighter Pilots: ~500 in July, ~450 in August, ~375 in
September-October-November.
Luftwaffe Pilot Losses: 348 in July, 993 in August, 829 in September,
492 in October (Total = 2662)
The number of operational fighters available to the RAF in the SE and
S operational areas remained much the same during the Battle ... and
these were first line Hurricanes and Spitfires ... while the number of
operational fighters available to the Luftwaffe (which included duds
like the Me-110) decreased dramatically during the same period.
RAF Fighters: ~850 in July, ~900 in August-September, ~800 in
October-November.
Luftwaffe Fighters: ~800 in July, ~750 in August, ~600 in
September-October-November.
Then, when you look at the number of sorties flown per day, the RAF
flew as many as 10 for every one the Luftwaffe flew except during some
weeks in august when they flew between 30-50% more. Giving them much
more bang for their pounds.
More importantly, between the Home Guard (which watched for downed RAF
pilots and of whom one of their main roles in 1940 was returning
pilots to their units) and the Royal Navy (particularly the RNVR) who
recovered ejected pilots over the Channel and North Sea, many shot
down pilots quickly returned to their units whereas a German pilot
shot down over the UK learned what POW meant. (Many of whom ended up
in Canada and later the US)
Post by Phil McGregor
The thing is, we know all this with the benefit of postwar 20:20
hindsight ... Churchill didn't know that the RAF was increasing in
strength vis a vis the Luftwaffe *at the time* ... and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time* ... we only know this from the data becoming available post WW2.
Interesting - what's your source on this? I've read Churchill's 6
volume history and didn't see any mention of that (those books were
written mostly 1948-52 if that helps)
Post by Phil McGregor
In fact, the RAF won the BoB handily while the leaders thought it was
a close run thing, and the Luftwaffe lost the BoB decisively, even
though the leaders believed they had fought the RAF to a standstill.
Even so, the Air Ministry had realised by early 1941 that the BoB had
been won, though the magnitude of the victory wasn't fully understood
til German records could be examined after the war.
In fairness Churchill spoke many times on the RAF and he definitely
knew that praising them was very good for public morale.
Post by Phil McGregor
Unfortunately, many (not all) generalist history books still rely on
the beliefs expressed by the leaders in 1940 rather than on more
recent, and more comprehensive, research.
SolomonW
2019-11-19 06:48:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
The RAF was benefitting from the Empire Air Training Scheme which
produced hundreds of pilots and aircrew every month in excess of
operational needs.
Was that really true in 1940? I know the Canadian arm of that really
only hit its stride in 1941 and really contributed in 42-43 but
despite the presence of 1st Canadian division in England in September
1940 (when it would have been the most powerful unit in England at the
time of the Sealon that never was - long before 1943-44 when the Yanks
were 'over-sexed, over-paid and over here") I am not aware the RCAF
had much influence during the battle of Britain. And that was the
largest element of the Empire ATS.
From what I understand, most of it was in this period run through Canada.
The pilots were trained in Australia, then sent to Canada for more training
and only then to battle. It was only in late 1940, that the first of these
pilots were in action but which stage the battle of Britain was over.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 15:01:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Was that really true in 1940? I know the Canadian arm of that really
only hit its stride in 1941 and really contributed in 42-43 but
despite the presence of 1st Canadian division in England in September
1940 (when it would have been the most powerful unit in England at the
time of the Sealon that never was - long before 1943-44 when the Yanks
were 'over-sexed, over-paid and over here") I am not aware the RCAF
had much influence during the battle of Britain. And that was the
largest element of the Empire ATS.
From what I understand, most of it was in this period run through Canada.
The pilots were trained in Australia, then sent to Canada for more training
and only then to battle. It was only in late 1940, that the first of these
pilots were in action but which stage the battle of Britain was over.
OK so pretty much what I remember - that Battle of Britain was pretty
much over by late Oct 1940 (though as said previously Belfast was Feb
and May 1941 and was the 3rd heaviest hit city after London and
Coventry) so if I remembered Spring 1941 and it was actually Nov/Dec
1940 that's reasonably close particularly in terms of where the
fighting was. By Nov/Dec Churchill was shipping air reinforcements to
North Africa...
Phil McGregor
2019-11-20 00:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
From what I understand, most of it was in this period run through Canada.
The pilots were trained in Australia, then sent to Canada for more training
and only then to battle. It was only in late 1940, that the first of these
pilots were in action but which stage the battle of Britain was over.
True, to a point.

The EATS was supposed to train 50,000 a year ... 28,000 in the
Dominions and Colonies and the remaining 22,000 in the UK.

So it was the UK cohort of the EATS who bolstered the pilot numbers
consistently during the BoB.

Phil McGregor
SolomonW
2019-11-20 11:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by SolomonW
From what I understand, most of it was in this period run through Canada.
The pilots were trained in Australia, then sent to Canada for more training
and only then to battle. It was only in late 1940, that the first of these
pilots were in action but which stage the battle of Britain was over.
True, to a point.
The EATS was supposed to train 50,000 a year ... 28,000 in the
Dominions and Colonies and the remaining 22,000 in the UK.
So it was the UK cohort of the EATS who bolstered the pilot numbers
consistently during the BoB.
Phil McGregor
Reading the Wiki, I doubt that it was UK EATS, the first of these EATS was
sent to Britain in Oct 1941.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/British_Commonwealth_Air_Training_Plan

"The United Kingdom was considered an unsuitable location for air training,
due to the possibility of enemy attack, the strain caused by wartime
traffic at airfields and the unpredictable weather, so the plan called for
the facilities in the Dominions to train British and each other's
aircrews."


I unclear where these pilots came from, but I think they may have been
existing pilots who were retrained. Reading the reports, it appears that
their lack of experience was a problem. Although Britain had more pilots
and planes in numbers at the end of the Battle of Britain, I doubt many
were of the same quality as at the start.
Phil McGregor
2019-11-20 13:00:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by SolomonW
From what I understand, most of it was in this period run through Canada.
The pilots were trained in Australia, then sent to Canada for more training
and only then to battle. It was only in late 1940, that the first of these
pilots were in action but which stage the battle of Britain was over.
True, to a point.
The EATS was supposed to train 50,000 a year ... 28,000 in the
Dominions and Colonies and the remaining 22,000 in the UK.
So it was the UK cohort of the EATS who bolstered the pilot numbers
consistently during the BoB.
Phil McGregor
Reading the Wiki, I doubt that it was UK EATS, the first of these EATS was
sent to Britain in Oct 1941.
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/British_Commonwealth_Air_Training_Plan
"The United Kingdom was considered an unsuitable location for air training,
due to the possibility of enemy attack, the strain caused by wartime
traffic at airfields and the unpredictable weather, so the plan called for
the facilities in the Dominions to train British and each other's
aircrews."
It doesn't actually say that the UK wasn't used, and it does actually
say that she was to responsible for 22,000 per year ... maybe that was
the limit that was believed to be possible.

Also, note that the Pilots reaching the UK in October were NOT trained
in the UK.
Post by SolomonW
I unclear where these pilots came from, but I think they may have been
existing pilots who were retrained. Reading the reports, it appears that
their lack of experience was a problem. Although Britain had more pilots
and planes in numbers at the end of the Battle of Britain, I doubt many
were of the same quality as at the start.
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units, but, then, so were
the Germans ... and German pilot training, throughout the war, never
even came close to reaching the industrial levels of the EATS.

Also note that Allied pilots in general were trained to much higher
standards for the simple reason that they were given many more flying
hours of instruction even at this early stage as the Germans were
suffering from training hour restrictions due to their overall lack of
fuel.

The high kill numbers of individual German aces is actually a case in
point ... the Germans couldn't afford to pull them out of frontline
combat so they were kept there till they died.

Phil McGregor
SolomonW
2019-11-21 08:55:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.



Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
Phil McGregor
2019-11-21 15:17:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.
Well, yes, they lacked the overall flying hours that the pre-war RAF
and early Phoney War RAF Pilots had by the BoB ... and it took a while
for the EATS to ramp up not only the flow through numbers but also the
level of skill imparted.

This was one of the advantages of the Allied system in general, they
DIDN'T keep their pilots flying till they died, hence the far smaller
kill totals of the Allied Aces compared to the German ones ... the
Allies pulled back experienced pilots and used them to train the new
pilots and, as the war progressed, training hours for Allied Pilots
kept on increasing while those for German ones kept decreasing.

Average Flying Hours Before Combat

Commonwealth: 150-200 (Pre-War), ~250 (1942), 335 (1943), 340 (1944)
US: 140 (Pre-War), 320 (1943), 360 (1944)
Germany: 150-200 (Pre-War), 240 (1942), 170 (1943), 110 (1944)
Post by SolomonW
Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
Indeed.

Phil
The Horny Goat
2019-11-21 15:43:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.
Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
This affects all pilots wth the possible excepton of the Soviets who
suffered such losses on 22 Jun 1941. It has been extensively talked
about how much poorer the Japanese fleet air arm was after Midway than
before..
SolomonW
2019-11-23 10:01:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.
Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
This affects all pilots wth the possible excepton of the Soviets who
suffered such losses on 22 Jun 1941.
In 1941, they were throwing in pilots that had almost no training and from
what I read it was only towards the end of ww2 that Russian pilot training
in hours started equaling Western training times.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-23 20:37:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.
Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
This affects all pilots wth the possible excepton of the Soviets who
suffered such losses on 22 Jun 1941.
In 1941, they were throwing in pilots that had almost no training and from
what I read it was only towards the end of ww2 that Russian pilot training
in hours started equaling Western training times.
I apologize for leaving the impression that I thought Red Air Force
pilots were as good as Allied and German pilots - perhaps by 1945 but
a LOT of not so superb pilots were dead.

My reference to 22 June 1941 (which I presume most here know was the
day the Germans invaded Russia) was simply that the Red Air Force lost
roughly 1000 planes that day many on the ground. This had the result
that during the 1941 they mostly flew whatever they had available and
many of these were NOT up to 1940-41 standards - some of these dated
back to the 1920s.

The first Soviet "airborne" operations were in fact during the 1941-42
counteroffensive where troops were dropped behind German lines to join
up with the partisans. The story is that a common method of
"paratrooping" was for the plane to fly as low to the ground as
possible and for the men to jump into as deep a snowbank as they could
spot from the air - WITHOUT PARACHUTES. I've read stories that have to
be apocryphal as to how many jumped that way but there are too many
stories of that sort for this not to have been used in a few cases.
There is no suggestion this was ever attempted other than in the
deepest of winter.

To me it seems too "Bartholomew Bandy-ish" to have ever been a
widespread practice. (Apologies to those unfamiliar with Donald Jack's
hero)
SolomonW
2019-11-24 02:46:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
Lack of experience was, indeed, a problem ... but it was lack of
*combat* experience rather than lack of *flight* experience. They were
sending newly trained pilots to operational units,
In the book "The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay" on p373, there
is a short discussion on this question. He does not state the reasons why
exactly, but he is firm that these British replacement pilots were not
nearly as good as the old one.
Having said that, this problem would have affected the Germans too. Their
replacement pilots would need time to learn, which is basically what you
said.
This affects all pilots wth the possible excepton of the Soviets who
suffered such losses on 22 Jun 1941.
In 1941, they were throwing in pilots that had almost no training and from
what I read it was only towards the end of ww2 that Russian pilot training
in hours started equaling Western training times.
I apologize for leaving the impression that I thought Red Air Force
pilots were as good as Allied and German pilots - perhaps by 1945 but
a LOT of not so superb pilots were dead.
How good they were is disputed, there was an air battle during ww2 where
the Russians and the US fought and technically the Russians won.







https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Air_battle_over_Ni%C5%A1




Later in the war, a Russian ace was attacked by several US planes, and
he shot them down.
Post by The Horny Goat
My reference to 22 June 1941 (which I presume most here know was the
day the Germans invaded Russia) was simply that the Red Air Force lost
roughly 1000 planes that day many on the ground. This had the result
that during the 1941 they mostly flew whatever they had available and
many of these were NOT up to 1940-41 standards - some of these dated
back to the 1920s.
The first Soviet "airborne" operations were in fact during the 1941-42
counteroffensive where troops were dropped behind German lines to join
up with the partisans. The story is that a common method of
"paratrooping" was for the plane to fly as low to the ground as
possible and for the men to jump into as deep a snowbank as they could
spot from the air - WITHOUT PARACHUTES. I've read stories that have to
be apocryphal as to how many jumped that way but there are too many
stories of that sort for this not to have been used in a few cases.
There is no suggestion this was ever attempted other than in the
deepest of winter.
To me it seems too "Bartholomew Bandy-ish" to have ever been a
widespread practice. (Apologies to those unfamiliar with Donald Jack's
hero)
The Russians did experiment with dropping paratroopers without parachutes.

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=GeALYXiy9sMC&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=Russian+WW2+soldiers+dropped+from+planes+without+parachutes+into+snow?&source=bl&ots=iVOEDVJWgj&sig=-uK3CUH9MsTnAPVg6qT3_OBUN_E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjl3PbQzo7OAhUMHB4KHVMnDLUQ6AEIQzAG#v=onepage&q=Russian%20WW2%20soldiers%20dropped%20from%20planes%20without%20parachutes%20into%20snow%3F&f=false

Loss rates were about 50%, and experiments were soon abandoned.

I found this discussion on the web about it.

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/4ugqvh/is_it_true_russian_ww2_soldiers_were_dropped_from/

going over it, I feel that it may have happened ad-hoc, but that is about
it.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-24 07:03:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
I apologize for leaving the impression that I thought Red Air Force
pilots were as good as Allied and German pilots - perhaps by 1945 but
a LOT of not so superb pilots were dead.
How good they were is disputed, there was an air battle during ww2 where
the Russians and the US fought and technically the Russians won.
When was this battle? If it happened at all it had to be somewhere
near the Elbe in 1945 and as I said the Red Air Force was pretty
competent by then.

Totally different situation from 1941 - no one suggests the Red Air
Force in the first 6 months of the invasioni were at the standard of
the RAF or Luftwaffe over Britain in 1940. Some individual pilots were
but not overall by a long shot.
Chrysi Cat
2019-11-24 17:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
I apologize for leaving the impression that I thought Red Air Force
pilots were as good as Allied and German pilots - perhaps by 1945 but
a LOT of not so superb pilots were dead.
How good they were is disputed, there was an air battle during ww2 where
the Russians and the US fought and technically the Russians won.
When was this battle? If it happened at all it had to be somewhere
near the Elbe in 1945 and as I said the Red Air Force was pretty
competent by then.
Totally different situation from 1941 - no one suggests the Red Air
Force in the first 6 months of the invasioni were at the standard of
the RAF or Luftwaffe over Britain in 1940. Some individual pilots were
but not overall by a long shot.
Read the article (though preferably replacing the for-profit Wikiwand
address with the corresponding Wikipedia one). It's in Serbia almost
exactly 75 years ago.

It's also P-38s, which weren't really suitable dogfighters, against
YAK-9s. Euro Theatre P-38s were not given to the best American pilots at
that point-there are P-51s all over the European skies instead.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
SolomonW
2019-11-25 09:03:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
I apologize for leaving the impression that I thought Red Air Force
pilots were as good as Allied and German pilots - perhaps by 1945 but
a LOT of not so superb pilots were dead.
How good they were is disputed, there was an air battle during ww2 where
the Russians and the US fought and technically the Russians won.
When was this battle? If it happened at all it had to be somewhere
near the Elbe in 1945 and as I said the Red Air Force was pretty
competent by then.
Totally different situation from 1941 - no one suggests the Red Air
Force in the first 6 months of the invasioni were at the standard of
the RAF or Luftwaffe over Britain in 1940. Some individual pilots were
but not overall by a long shot.
Read the article (though preferably replacing the for-profit Wikiwand
address with the corresponding Wikipedia one).
I prefer it.
Post by Chrysi Cat
It's in Serbia almost
exactly 75 years ago.
It's also P-38s, which weren't really suitable dogfighters, against
YAK-9s. Euro Theatre P-38s were not given to the best American pilots at
that point-there are P-51s all over the European skies instead.
There were 22 different versions of the YAK-9, all with very different
fighting charateristics. I am not sure which one it was.

Having said that, I doubt there was much different between the P-38 and
P-51. The big issue is that the P-51 was much cheaper.
John Dallman
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Having said that, I doubt there was much different between the P-38
and P-51. The big issue is that the P-51 was much cheaper.
The 8th Air Force would have disagreed with you. At high altitude, in
very cold air, the speed of sound isn't that far above the speed of late
WWII fighters. This means that if they go fast enough, they start
experiencing supersonic flow over /parts/ of their airframe, which tends
to make them very hard to control. This was called "compressability
problems" at the time.

This meant that any given airframe had a limit on the Mach number that
allowed decent control in combat. From memory, the figures for the
fighters in use in the European Theatre were about:

P-38 0.68
P-47 0.75
Bf 109 0.78
Spitfire 0.78
P-51 0.81

When 8th Air Force got these figures, they decided they didn't want any
more P-38s. It was a good aircraft for some jobs, but kind of lacking as
a dogfighter.

John
The Horny Goat
2019-11-26 01:48:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by The Horny Goat
Totally different situation from 1941 - no one suggests the Red Air
Force in the first 6 months of the invasioni were at the standard of
the RAF or Luftwaffe over Britain in 1940. Some individual pilots were
but not overall by a long shot.
Read the article (though preferably replacing the for-profit Wikiwand
address with the corresponding Wikipedia one). It's in Serbia almost
exactly 75 years ago.
It's also P-38s, which weren't really suitable dogfighters, against
YAK-9s. Euro Theatre P-38s were not given to the best American pilots at
that point-there are P-51s all over the European skies instead.
I saw the link AFTER I wrote my last posting and yes it was over Nis
in the former Yugoslavia in Nov 1944. I agree with you that the main
air front would have been over Germany itself at that time. And no
question the P-38 was a fine airplane in 1942-43 it had been
completely eclipsed by the P-51 by late 1944.

(I have an employee who was born in FYROM and came to Canada at age
10-11 - she's in her late 20s now - and is amazed at how well I know
Yugoslavian towns by name. I tell her I am a chess player and a LOT of
those towns hosted major chess tournaments in the Tito era. I have
asked her several times for the correct pronunciation as the mostly
Serbo-Croatian pronunciations don't readily flow off the lips of most
North Americans.)
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-26 18:55:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
the men to jump into as deep a snowbank as they could
spot from the air - WITHOUT PARACHUTES.
Well, that sounds crazy - but not that much
crazier than floating down slowly through the
air while men on the ground shoot at you.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-27 01:40:58 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 Nov 2019 12:55:33 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
the men to jump into as deep a snowbank as they could
spot from the air - WITHOUT PARACHUTES.
Well, that sounds crazy - but not that much
crazier than floating down slowly through the
air while men on the ground shoot at you.
You DO understand that this is something they attempted in mid-winter
in areas where snowdrifts were known to be deep? Obviously this is not
the kind of thing you would attempt in mid-summer! During the winter
of 1941-42 the Red Air Force made lots of air drops of supplies and
equipment to partisan units but this discussion was about actual
reinforcements1
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-27 06:30:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
You DO understand that this is something they attempted in mid-winter
in areas where snowdrifts were known to be deep?
Of course. That's why I wrote that it was not "that much crazier"
than conventional parachuting into combat. There was actually a
method to the madness. In the end it didn't work, but it was
arguably worth trying.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-27 16:49:05 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 00:30:20 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
You DO understand that this is something they attempted in mid-winter
in areas where snowdrifts were known to be deep?
Of course. That's why I wrote that it was not "that much crazier"
than conventional parachuting into combat. There was actually a
method to the madness. In the end it didn't work, but it was
arguably worth trying.
Of course launching unpowered gliders into contested areas loaded with
troops and equipment isn't all that much crazier and that was done in
nearly every Allied airdrop of the war (Normandy, Arnhem, the Rhine
crossing just for starters)

There are stories of how gliders killed every man on board when they
tried to land a jeep or anti-tank gun by glider and the moorings in
the glider gave way - even when they WEREN'T under German fire.
Byker
2019-11-28 18:34:17 UTC
Permalink
There are stories of how gliders killed every man on board when they tried
to land a jeep or anti-tank gun by glider and the moorings in the glider
gave way - even when they WEREN'T under German fire.
Or simply came apart in midair.

I wonder what the troops back then thought about gliders being made by
casket manufacturers:
http://www.gendisasters.com/missouri/7216/st-louis-mo-glider-crash-kills-ten-aug-1943

I'll bet that did wonders for morale with D-Day still ten months away:

https://tinyurl.com/vdmlufz

https://tinyurl.com/rzlgu24
The Horny Goat
2019-11-29 03:30:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
There are stories of how gliders killed every man on board when they tried
to land a jeep or anti-tank gun by glider and the moorings in the glider
gave way - even when they WEREN'T under German fire.
Or simply came apart in midair.
I wonder what the troops back then thought about gliders being made by
http://www.gendisasters.com/missouri/7216/st-louis-mo-glider-crash-kills-ten-aug-1943
https://tinyurl.com/vdmlufz
https://tinyurl.com/rzlgu24
By the time of Market Garden few gliders 'came apart in midair'. Now
gliders were ALWAYS vulnerable to AA fire but the records show that
most of the casualties when gliders were not actually shot down was
when heavy equipment came loose inside the glider and was free to move
about. A Bridge Too Far describes several such tragedies in both the
82 Airborne and 1 Airborne sectors and records that one glider bearing
radios crash landed north of the Rhine and its loss proved critical at
the N end of the Arnhem bridge.

My personal view of Market Garden was that 1 Airborne should have
landed as close as possible to the bridge and accept the resulting
higher casualties rather than landing where they did and requiring a
landmark march to get to the bridge. As it was the Germans were given
too much time to reinforce the bridge approaches - 1 Airborne was
never expected to have to fight for the bridge - they expected to take
it in the initial attack immediately following their landing.

(None of which would have mattered had 30 Corps taken as long as they
did or 82 Airborne had had a tougher time securing their targets
around Nijmegen.

Bottom line is that Brian Horrocks was NOT a Patton and it doesn't
take much to envision a Market Garden with 1st Airborne landing at
Einhoven and 101 Airborne at Arnhem and Patton leading the armored
drive for Arnhem. Does anybody seriously think that in this scenario
it would have taken Patton 6 days to get to the south side of the
Rhine?!? (Though truth be told if an American division had to seize
the bridge at Arnhem 82nd would have been better than 101st as they
seem to have had more anti-tank weapons - on the other hand nobody
expected any German armor near Arnhem and there were in fact two
German SS Panzer divisions which were nowhere near full strength but
not green troops either.

Rich Rostrom
2019-11-21 22:14:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
The high kill numbers of individual German aces is actually a case in
point ... the Germans couldn't afford to pull them out of frontline
combat so they were kept there till they died.
That was part of it; but also, German air tactics were
a major factor. The Germans tended to designate one
pilot in each flight or squadron as the best shot, who
would be given as many opportunities as possible to
score a kill, while his wingmen flew interference.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-19 15:24:09 UTC
Permalink
(Many of whom ended up in Canada and later the US)
And one of whom got back to Germany...

"The One That Got Away"
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Phil McGregor
2019-11-19 23:58:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
The RAF was benefitting from the Empire Air Training Scheme which
produced hundreds of pilots and aircrew every month in excess of
operational needs.
Was that really true in 1940? I know the Canadian arm of that really
only hit its stride in 1941 and really contributed in 42-43 but
despite the presence of 1st Canadian division in England in September
1940 (when it would have been the most powerful unit in England at the
time of the Sealon that never was - long before 1943-44 when the Yanks
were 'over-sexed, over-paid and over here") I am not aware the RCAF
had much influence during the battle of Britain. And that was the
largest element of the Empire ATS.
The Scheme was supposed to train 22000 a year from the UK alone. Sure,
the Canadians didn't start until the end of April 1940.

The first pilots from Australia arrived at the end of October.

But Britain was already training pilots and, as you can see from the
figures I provided, the number of Fighter Pilots increased overall
every month ... by hundreds.

What's interesting is that this figure doesn't cover the actual number
of Pilots involved ... the overall figure (Pilots flying at least one
sortie) is 2937 ... a thousand more than the 1400 November figure and
the 487 losses.

Figures are all available online.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
The thing is, we know all this with the benefit of postwar 20:20
hindsight ... Churchill didn't know that the RAF was increasing in
strength vis a vis the Luftwaffe *at the time* ... and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time* ... we only know this from the data becoming available post WW2.
Interesting - what's your source on this? I've read Churchill's 6
volume history and didn't see any mention of that (those books were
written mostly 1948-52 if that helps)
Well, the Air Ministry, as noted below, realised that the BoB had been
won in 1941.

I guess Churchill didn't emphasise it partly because it didn't suit
the heroic narrative he was selling in those books and partly because
he wrote them (IIRC) without specific reference (in them) to any
primary or even secondary sources
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
In fact, the RAF won the BoB handily while the leaders thought it was
a close run thing, and the Luftwaffe lost the BoB decisively, even
though the leaders believed they had fought the RAF to a standstill.
Even so, the Air Ministry had realised by early 1941 that the BoB had
been won, though the magnitude of the victory wasn't fully understood
til German records could be examined after the war.
In fairness Churchill spoke many times on the RAF and he definitely
knew that praising them was very good for public morale.
Indeed. And selling the heroic myth of 'The Few' played as well after
the war.

Phil McGregor
The Horny Goat
2019-11-20 01:55:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
But Britain was already training pilots and, as you can see from the
figures I provided, the number of Fighter Pilots increased overall
every month ... by hundreds.
What's interesting is that this figure doesn't cover the actual number
of Pilots involved ... the overall figure (Pilots flying at least one
sortie) is 2937 ... a thousand more than the 1400 November figure and
the 487 losses.
Figures are all available online.
Is that the entire RAF or is it just 11 Fighter Group? (The one
covering SE England especially London)
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
The thing is, we know all this with the benefit of postwar 20:20
hindsight ... Churchill didn't know that the RAF was increasing in
strength vis a vis the Luftwaffe *at the time* ... and Goering didn't
know that they were falling further and further behind the RAF *at the
time* ... we only know this from the data becoming available post WW2.
Interesting - what's your source on this? I've read Churchill's 6
volume history and didn't see any mention of that (those books were
written mostly 1948-52 if that helps)
Well, the Air Ministry, as noted below, realised that the BoB had been
won in 1941.
Which is why Belfast people were so irate about the bombings in Feb
and May 1941 - nearly all the AA guns had been moved to southern
England and there were only a few fighters. The view in London was
that the Luftwaffe bombers wouldn't go beyond fighter range so cities
beyond that line didn't need much air defence.

Which was mostly true until Belfast was hit and defences were NOT
improved in the three months before the second raid. The point of
course is that Liverpool and Belfast were the two most important
shipbuilding cities in the UK and #3 wasn't close.

(My maternal grandmother's father was one of the shipbuilders who
built the Titanic in those same yards. No great distinction - it was
by far the largest employment project in Belfast in 1907-11 and if you
were a Belfast tradesman and any good at your trade at all they hired
you! Despite its sinking the White Star Line did built 2 more Titanic
class ships both of which served for 30+ years. There has been only
one ship sunk by an iceberg since then and that was in 1943 when
U-boats were more worrisome than icebergs... )

During one of the raids a German bomber got lost and managed to drop
his load on Dublin destroying the synagogue there. The next day De
Valera called in the German ambassador and told him he WOULD pay for
the rebuilding of the synagogue and if he wouldn't he would call
Churchill who undoubtedly would. The synagogue had their centenary in
1992 and it is said the rabbi took great pleasure in telling onlookers
that they were worshipping in the only synagogue ever built by the
Third Reich!
Post by Phil McGregor
I guess Churchill didn't emphasise it partly because it didn't suit
the heroic narrative he was selling in those books and partly because
he wrote them (IIRC) without specific reference (in them) to any
primary or even secondary sources
Likely true - by 1948-52 he was Leader of the Opposition and a big
priority of his was polishing the mystique of 1939-45 towards the next
election.
Post by Phil McGregor
Indeed. And selling the heroic myth of 'The Few' played as well after
the war.
Absolutely - did you ever listen to his 8 May 1945 "This is your
victory" speech from the Ministry of Health? (That's the one where he
leads the crowd in Land of Hope and Glory at the end) That speech
absolutely supports your point.
SolomonW
2019-11-20 08:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
During one of the raids a German bomber got lost and managed to drop
his load on Dublin destroying the synagogue there. The next day De
Valera called in the German ambassador and told him he WOULD pay for
the rebuilding of the synagogue and if he wouldn't he would call
Churchill who undoubtedly would. The synagogue had their centenary in
1992 and it is said the rabbi took great pleasure in telling onlookers
that they were worshipping in the only synagogue ever built by the
Third Reich!
Nice story
John Dallman
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 20 Nov 2019 10:58:13 +1100, Phil McGregor
Post by Phil McGregor
What's interesting is that this figure doesn't cover the actual
number of Pilots involved ... the overall figure (Pilots flying
at least one sortie) is 2937 ... a thousand more than the 1400
November figure and the 487 losses.
Is that the entire RAF or is it just 11 Fighter Group? (The one
covering SE England especially London)
The groups didn't have fixed compositions. Squadrons were rotated out to
10 and 12 groups, and squadrons from those groups were rotated in to take
their place. So most, maybe all, of the fighter squadrons based in the UK
had some time in 11 group during the battle.

John
Phil McGregor
2019-11-20 13:10:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
But Britain was already training pilots and, as you can see from the
figures I provided, the number of Fighter Pilots increased overall
every month ... by hundreds.
What's interesting is that this figure doesn't cover the actual number
of Pilots involved ... the overall figure (Pilots flying at least one
sortie) is 2937 ... a thousand more than the 1400 November figure and
the 487 losses.
Figures are all available online.
Is that the entire RAF or is it just 11 Fighter Group? (The one
covering SE England especially London)
I'm pretty sure it includes the two Groups facing the Luftwaffe as
they are the figures listed for BoB RAF pilot numbers, 11 Group (7
Spitfire, 14 Hurricane and 2 Defiant Squadrons) in the SE and 10 Group
(5 Hurricane and 3 Spitfire Squadrons, plus a Gladiator Squadron) in
the SW, which was also engaged, though not as heavily.

The German figures are for BoB Fighter squadrons afaict.

Phil
The Horny Goat
2019-11-20 14:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil McGregor
I'm pretty sure it includes the two Groups facing the Luftwaffe as
they are the figures listed for BoB RAF pilot numbers, 11 Group (7
Spitfire, 14 Hurricane and 2 Defiant Squadrons) in the SE and 10 Group
(5 Hurricane and 3 Spitfire Squadrons, plus a Gladiator Squadron) in
the SW, which was also engaged, though not as heavily.
The German figures are for BoB Fighter squadrons afaict.
My point of course was that by no means the entire RAF was in
southeast England during July - December 1940 and the RAF took losses
elsewhere as well. No question 11th Group's theatre was the most
important but not the entire story - and Churchill DID send aircraft
to North Africa and Malta at the very end of the year when the main
onslaught against London was done.

(The raid on Taranto was in November 1940 after all....)
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 03:10:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
From what I've learned about the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe, despite
their high losses, had all but exhausted the RAF. The British pilots were
getting so little sleep that they nodded off at the controls and shuffled
around like zombies. By the time Der Fuhrer threw in the towel, the RAF
http://youtu.be/uCu7IT81gh8
Which begs the question how long could Hitler have kept it up had they
chosen to? Could they have continued to the end of 1940 and if so how
would Britain have responded?

Bear in mind Churchill did seriously consider withdrawing #11 back 100
or so miles beyond German fighter range. On the other hand both
Coventry and Belfast were heavily bombed and both were beyond German
fighter range.

(The suffering in Belfast was mostly because after Coventry most AA
guns had been withdrawn from Northern Ireland and Scotland to cover
English cities and Belfast in particular was largely undefended which
is how Belfast came to have the 3rd greatest civiliain losses behind
London and Coventry - Belfast was not hit until 1941 but was badly
damaged)
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-18 06:31:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Have you looked how deep the Russian oil fields go
inland? I do not believe Germany could go that far
inland.
It might be possible to establish an airfield to
bomb them in that area. Still, there are some
significant problems Germany does not have much in
the way of heavy bombers...
The Allies with vastly greater bomber forces had only limited
success against oil targets.
Post by SolomonW
Agreed, there is a sea route, but it requires access from the ports of
Italy through the Mediterranean into the Black Sea.
???

If the Axis controls oil in the Caucasus, and can get
it to the Black Sea, they ship it to _Romania_, and
thence overland by rail or up the Danube by barge.
Post by SolomonW
I doubt it, German losses are not that high yet, and
the Germans think they are winning.
German losses in the East had already approached 500,000.

The Germans who survived the winter of 1941-1942 in the
frozen fields of Russia didn't feel like they were "winning".
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2019-11-18 11:26:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
Have you looked how deep the Russian oil fields go
inland? I do not believe Germany could go that far
inland.
It might be possible to establish an airfield to
bomb them in that area. Still, there are some
significant problems Germany does not have much in
the way of heavy bombers...
The Allies with vastly greater bomber forces had only limited
success against oil targets.
Post by SolomonW
Agreed, there is a sea route, but it requires access from the ports of
Italy through the Mediterranean into the Black Sea.
???
If the Axis controls oil in the Caucasus, and can get
it to the Black Sea, they ship it to _Romania_, and
thence overland by rail or up the Danube by barge.
The rail was out for some reason which I am not sure why but there would be
no ships available for the transport Of Caucasus Oil up the Danube because
its river tankers were already working to capacity transporting Rumanian
oil.

Check out a book "Stopped at Stalingrad by Hayward", a short version of his
argument can be found here

I think you will find it interesting reading.

https://www.joelhayward.org/Hitlers-Quest-Finished.pdf

The only solution was sailing from Italy through the Meditteranean and the
Black Sea. This was not going to happen because of the RN.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
I doubt it, German losses are not that high yet, and
the Germans think they are winning.
German losses in the East had already approached 500,000.
The Germans who survived the winter of 1941-1942 in the
frozen fields of Russia didn't feel like they were "winning".
But the people at home did, Stalingrad was to be a shock.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 06:08:59 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 00:31:13 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Axis controls oil in the Caucasus, and can get
it to the Black Sea, they ship it to _Romania_, and
thence overland by rail or up the Danube by barge.
Where would these tanker ships be constructed? With respect Romania
isn't exactly known as a shipbuilding nation to put it mildly.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
I doubt it, German losses are not that high yet, and
the Germans think they are winning.
German losses in the East had already approached 500,000.
The Germans who survived the winter of 1941-1942 in the
frozen fields of Russia didn't feel like they were "winning".
By April-May 1942 they certainly did.
SolomonW
2019-11-20 12:20:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 00:31:13 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Axis controls oil in the Caucasus, and can get
it to the Black Sea, they ship it to _Romania_, and
thence overland by rail or up the Danube by barge.
Where would these tanker ships be constructed? With respect Romania
isn't exactly known as a shipbuilding nation to put it mildly.
Well, they did produce at least one, I saw from a net search but not enough
though for such a rapid expansion that this plan would entail as overall
the axis had a shortage of oil barges. I remember being told that even if
the axis did gain a significant source of oil in North Africa that there
would be no way of transporting it.

I found this discussion on this question that I think you and Rich Rostrom
will find interesting.

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=1101279#p1101279

"Romania / Hungary / Yugoslavia
1) A maximum of 1,000,000 metric tons per year could be transferred using
pipelines from Romanian Ploesti to the Danube River loading facility at
Giurgiu and to the Black Sea port of Constanta. Primary pumping stations
for the Giurgiu pipeline were located in the Astra Romana refinery at
Ploesti. The pumping station for the Constanta pipeline was located at
Teleajan, 5km east of Ploesti.
2) An average of >1,000,000 metric tons per year could be shipped from the
Romanian Giurgiu loading facility on Danube River barges to central or
northern Europe or to Jugoslavia."

Romania is producing about 6 million tons a year of oil, so no doubt these
facilities were at max AS IS. So we are not just talking tankers but port
facilities.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 03:05:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Or alternately a party stalwart with some military experience who
thinks he knows a LOT more than he really does - which in my opinion
describes Goering in 1942.
It would depend on who Goering uses as his military advisors. His choices
of military leaders in the Luftwaffe were overall excellent and highly
capable people.
While I hold to my comment about Goering thinking he knew far more
than he did I'll grant your reply which is entirely fair given the men
involved. In particular I think he badly suffered in his advice after
Milch's death.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Taking Stalingrad was part of the original plan, AIUI.
At the very least, German forces were to appraach
Stalingrad and screen it from the surrounding area.
I was suggesting Stalingrad could have been taken as part of the wide
flanking sweep after taking Voronezh and the Germans could have had it
firmly in hand by the first snow. This PROBABLY severs rail transport
of oil from the Caucasus. For the reasons I've expressed several times
denial of Caucasian oil to the Red Army is far more devastating to
Russia than merely holding the oilfields in the Caucasus and without
the infrastructure to transport the oil the oil itself is never going
to reach either Germany or the Wehrmacht in a refined form suitable
for running tanks and aircraft.

I would argue that even with a Soviet surrender it's going to be late
1943 at the earliest before refined Caucasian oil does the German
cause any benefit.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Then 6th Army bogged down at Stalingrad, and 4th Panzer
was turned again, to the NE, to help capture Stalingrad.
4th Panzer quickly overran the entire southern half of
the city. It was in the north that 6th Army got into the
brutal street fight.
I would argue the campaign was lost around the time the phrase 'house
to house fighting continues in Stalingrad" went out on the German
radio waves.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
I am convinced Stalingrad was there for the taking in the summer of
1942 but that the attack degenerated into a frontal assault rather
than a flanking maneuver. And we all know what happened after that.
If the attack on the oil fields were stopped a flanking attack is possible.
It is not an easy operation as the Volga has to be crossed first.
Understood but in my scenario taking and holding a large segment of
the Russian rail net from the Russian heartland to the oilfields would
have been the real target and THAT is a considerably easier task than
grabbing the fields themselves.

Denying Soviet use of Caucasian oil is FAR easier than making use of
it oneself.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Not likely. 1st Panzer was literally out of fuel, 200 km
from the north end of the Caspian Gates. It would take
a major extension of German effort to get to there. Then
they have to fight through the Gates: the narrow strip
between the Caspian Sea and the eastern Caucasus, about
300 km more. There might not be a lot of Soviet troops
in the area, but the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
If that's so why was it not requested and sent during 1942? Obviously
in 1943 and 1944 this was a non-factor for the Red Army as the Germans
had been driven back.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
I do think the Germans could have cut off Russian access to Caucasian
oil. However unless they captured the fields intact (ha!!) they had
little hope of extracting economically significant amounts of oil
witihin the frst 18 months after capture. Rich (amongst others) will
recall our chat on that subject 3-4 years back. The short version is
that having 100,000 barrels of oil 2000 miles from Germany does not
help the German economy if you do not have an effective method of
transporting it to the Reich. On the other hand, reducing the Soviet
supply of oil by 100,000 barrels DOES hurt the Red Army and is
infinitely more achieveable than transporting the same oil from the
Caucasus to the Reich.
Have you looked how deep the Russian oil fields go inland? I do not believe
Germany could go that far inland.
Agreed - my point is even if the Germans had done that they were not
in a position to build the infrastructure needed to exploit the oil
for their own needs. Nor do I see them doing so while the Red Army
continues to resist.
Post by SolomonW
It might be possible to establish an airfield to bomb them in that area.
Still, there are some significant problems Germany does not have much in
the way of heavy bombers, supplying strategic bombers from so deep in
Russia, the Soviet airforce is growing rapidly and as later experience
showed oil fields are not that vulnerable to air assault.
Was wondering what you thought the Germans were going to bomb with -
they simply didn't have anything in the class of the B-17 which was
far from the heaviest Allied bomber in mid-war. Look at what Hamburg
was hit with in 1943 for an example - that type of raid was well
beyond Luftwaffe capabilities to inflict on the Russians or anybody
else.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Now, whether the 3rd Reich would have been able to
exploit those oil fields is another matter.
Not any time soon. The Germans captured a lesser oilfield
at Maikop, north of the western Caucasus, in early August.
The Soviets trashed it before withdrawing. The Germans held
it until January 1943. They sent a group of oil-field techs
to get it working, but got essentially nothing in five months.
I heard they got enough for 10 tanks for one month and nothing more.
Obviously that's not going to defeat the Soviet Union. As for a
preferred plan see above.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
My previous point about transporting oil via pipeline (and do you have
any idea how hard it is to defend a pipeline - even if you magically
had one nearly 2000 miles long - against a determined partisan force?
Agreed, there is a sea route, but it requires access from the ports of
Italy through the Mediterranean into the Black Sea. It would not happen
because of the British RN.
Even if the Germans magically captured Turkey Iraq and Kuwait the only
way to move enough oil to Germany would have been at the cost of mass
Turkish starvation. People tend to assume the wartime Turkish rail net
was as capable as 2019 - it simply wasn't either up to the task of
supplying a German INFANTRY army much less a Panzer army while meeting
Turkish domestic needs. If the Germans put their military needs first
how long is it going to take for semi-starving Turkish partisans to
block a few rail lines?

And that's with NO resistance from the Turkish army (yeah right)
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
By late 1942, most Germans were less concerned with
victory than with avoiding catastrophic defeat, and
with the on-going cost of the war. Ending the Eastern
Front would be a colossal relief. A lot of young men
would be thinking "I'm not going to die."
That's a reason assumption in the spring of 1943 - far less so before
the destruction of 6th army.
I doubt it, German loses are not that high yet, and the Germans think they
are winning. Not that it matters; it is not like the masses in Germany or
Russia have much of a vote in the war.
Please re-read what I actually said - it sounds like you and I agree.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
There were actual peace negotiations in the spring of 1943. Stalin
wanted the 1941 boundary, Hitler wanted the Dniepr. Since there was no
deal they fought it out.
This is shrouded in mystery, but I am confident that if such a meeting did
take place, we would have real evidence that it did take place. My view is
that anti-Soviets were only too glad to support and spread such stories.
Why would it be in Soviet interests (either before or after 1956) to
have the UK and USA think the Soviets were not fully in the Allied
camp in 1943 or anytime before or since?
Post by SolomonW
What we know is that there are some references to a possible meeting in
Stockholm in early 43 with some low-level officals of both countries. I
have also read in a reference that a significant Soviet official came to
Stockholm to talk and no-one came from Germany came to see him. The
proposed meeting may have been aborted. Another set of low-level meetings
may have occurred in mid-June or late 43, initiated allegedly by the
Soviets.
Can't remember which book but I seem to remember hearing Molotov's
name which in 1943 is about as close to Stalin as one gets unless one
is assuming a Soviet Hess.
Post by SolomonW
Stalin might have been in early 1943, wavering on what he should do so. At
the same time, Ribbentrop has some freedom to explore as Hitler then wanted
a separate peace. As we know that Ribbentrop was interested, he might have
put some feelers out for a separate peace. Like Goering, he did not want a
war with Russia. Hitler then decided that it was best to wait till he got a
victory at Kursk that would allow him possibly to negotiate something out
of the Russian campaign. Strategically he lost Kursk, and that was it.
I'm skeptical about that story - I find the idea of Soviet demands for
the 1941 frontier and Germany wanting the Dniepr far more plausible.

As you say, they then fought Kursk as which if Stalin ever did have
any ideas about stopping before Berlin they quickly disappeared.
SolomonW
2019-11-19 06:37:59 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:05:35 -0800, The Horny Goat wrote:


..
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Taking Stalingrad was part of the original plan, AIUI.
At the very least, German forces were to appraach
Stalingrad and screen it from the surrounding area.
I was suggesting Stalingrad could have been taken as part of the wide
flanking sweep after taking Voronezh and the Germans could have had it
firmly in hand by the first snow.
This PROBABLY severs rail transport
of oil from the Caucasus.
The rail transport through Stalingrad was cut, but many Russian railway
lines bypassed Stalingrad in the area. These were what was used by the
Russians.


I refer you to this discussion that I think is relevant here.

https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-the-Germans-just-bypass-Stalingrad-in-World-War-II

Holding Stalingrad in 1942 gives Germany a strong base to attack in 1943.
Your campaign to deny Russia the oil can only start then. One problem I do
see is logistics. The Germans were struggling to get enough supplies into
Stalingrad even before the Russians cut it off, with your plan they need to
keep even more troops there.

..
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
On the other side, Stalin might be happy to get his
cookies back and rebuild while Germany fought it out
with the US and UK.
There were actual peace negotiations in the spring of 1943. Stalin
wanted the 1941 boundary, Hitler wanted the Dniepr. Since there was no
deal they fought it out.
This is shrouded in mystery, but I am confident that if such a meeting did
take place, we would have real evidence that it did take place. My view is
that anti-Soviets were only too glad to support and spread such stories.
Why would it be in Soviet interests (either before or after 1956) to
have the UK and USA think the Soviets were not fully in the Allied
camp in 1943 or anytime before or since?
Agreed but surely if such a meeting took place, German sources would be
available e.g. Ribbentrop and Goering.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
What we know is that there are some references to a possible meeting in
Stockholm in early 43 with some low-level officals of both countries. I
have also read in a reference that a significant Soviet official came to
Stockholm to talk and no-one came from Germany came to see him. The
proposed meeting may have been aborted. Another set of low-level meetings
may have occurred in mid-June or late 43, initiated allegedly by the
Soviets.
Can't remember which book but I seem to remember hearing Molotov's
name which in 1943 is about as close to Stalin as one gets unless one
is assuming a Soviet Hess.
Yes, Molotov is mentioned in this context, for all it worth Molotov denied
it.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Stalin might have been in early 1943, wavering on what he should do so. At
the same time, Ribbentrop has some freedom to explore as Hitler then wanted
a separate peace. As we know that Ribbentrop was interested, he might have
put some feelers out for a separate peace. Like Goering, he did not want a
war with Russia. Hitler then decided that it was best to wait till he got a
victory at Kursk that would allow him possibly to negotiate something out
of the Russian campaign. Strategically he lost Kursk, and that was it.
I'm skeptical about that story - I find the idea of Soviet demands for
the 1941 frontier and Germany wanting the Dniepr far more plausible.
As you say, they then fought Kursk as which if Stalin ever did have
any ideas about stopping before Berlin they quickly disappeared.
I am not sure whether we agree here or not, but I think we do.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-19 15:06:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Stalin might have been in early 1943, wavering on what he should do so. At
the same time, Ribbentrop has some freedom to explore as Hitler then wanted
a separate peace. As we know that Ribbentrop was interested, he might have
put some feelers out for a separate peace. Like Goering, he did not want a
war with Russia. Hitler then decided that it was best to wait till he got a
victory at Kursk that would allow him possibly to negotiate something out
of the Russian campaign. Strategically he lost Kursk, and that was it.
I'm skeptical about that story - I find the idea of Soviet demands for
the 1941 frontier and Germany wanting the Dniepr far more plausible.
As you say, they then fought Kursk as which if Stalin ever did have
any ideas about stopping before Berlin they quickly disappeared.
I am not sure whether we agree here or not, but I think we do.
Yup.

Best summary I ever heard was from Jim Dunnigan who said 'Stalingrad
proved the Germans couldn't win, Kursk proved the Soviets couldn't
lose'.

In my opinion Dunnigan backed up that view with his games the most
interesting of which were based on battles of the spring of 1943.
First he did Panzerblitz (produced under contract with Avalon Hill)
then a whole series of games under his own SPI label. Most of the
games before Stalingrad and after Kursk had their victory conditions
set in terms of just how bad the final situation was for the Soviets
and Germans respectively.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-19 15:37:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
The rail transport through Stalingrad was cut, but
many Russian railway lines bypassed Stalingrad in
the area. These were what was used by the Russians.
????

East of Stalingrad is the completely empty
Caspian Depression. There is a rail line
along the Volga to Astrakhan, and thence
along the Caspian coast to the Caucasus.

The only other rail connection from Russia
runs SE from Rostov.

Well east of Stalingrad, there was a single
rail line from the southern Urals to the
northeast corner of the Caspian Sea, but
it didn't connect to Astrakhan.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2019-11-20 09:01:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
The rail transport through Stalingrad was cut, but
many Russian railway lines bypassed Stalingrad in
the area. These were what was used by the Russians.
????
East of Stalingrad is the completely empty
Caspian Depression. There is a rail line
along the Volga to Astrakhan, and thence
along the Caspian coast to the Caucasus.
The only other rail connection from Russia
runs SE from Rostov.
Well east of Stalingrad, there was a single
rail line from the southern Urals to the
northeast corner of the Caspian Sea, but
it didn't connect to Astrakhan.
The Germans did block the railway line through Stalingrad. The Russian oil
did flow so the Russians must have had some way of transporting it. To the
Russian military in ww2, the flow of oil from Baku never stopped.



This is a railway map of Russia 1942.



Loading Image...



Unfortunately in Russian, which I cannot read but if you look at the
bottom in the south, you will see Baku (as Baky).

A bit higher you will
see Stalingrad (волгоград)

If you follow the lines, you will see that much
of the railway is in German hands, the Russian railway network did connect
notably to Saratov (Саратов) which you will see if look around Stalingrad.
This was in ww2, the major Russian railway point in the region.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-21 22:20:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by SolomonW
This is a railway map of Russia 1942.
It shows one, not "many" rail line bypassing Stalingrad well to the East.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2019-11-23 10:12:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
This is a railway map of Russia 1942.
It shows one, not "many" rail line bypassing Stalingrad well to the East.
And it shows one not far from Stalingrad, and I think there is a third one
following the Caspian Sea.

There were also barges on the Caspian Sea which were used.
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Caspian_Flotilla
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-19 15:29:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
If that's so why was it not requested and sent during 1942?
US/UK troops weren't needed; the Germans
were stopped over 450 km from Baku.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-20 00:28:12 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:29:55 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
the US and Britain could send
reinforcements from Iran.
If that's so why was it not requested and sent during 1942?
US/UK troops weren't needed; the Germans
were stopped over 450 km from Baku.
Sorry I just assumed anybody reading that would know the Germans got
nowhere near Baku in 1942.

Surely anybody replying to a WI relating to the 1942 German campaign
in Russia would have looked at least once at a map even if they didn't
know the geography. (I wouldn't have needed a map beyond finding out a
more exact answer than 'one helluva long way from Stalingrad'!)

The alternate German campaign in 1942 would have had the Germans turn
north after the capture of Voronezh trying to encircle Moscow. Had
they tried that it probably would have been a worse WW1 type battle
than Stalingrad as Moscow was fairly heaviliy fortified by the spring
of 1942 and while I could see a German siege of Moscow don't see them
having the strength to take it. By 1942 Moscow was far more heavily
fortified than Stalingrad.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-13 21:59:38 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:00:46 -0800, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Question: would "Goring" have diverted the Sixth Army group to
take Stalingrad, when the objective was the oilfields?
Although, I can see a Nazi hierarchy insisting that "Stalin City"
be taken for the Glory of the late Furher! regard less of the military
merits (or lack there of).
I am skeptical the Germans could have taken AND HELD Grozny.

What >IS< plausible is that the Germans take Stalingrad and enough
east of the Volga to semi-permanentlly hold all rail routes to the
Caucasus which is pretty much the same thing.

Obviously the Germans will be expecting a winter counter-offensive but
barring the losses they took at Stalingrad in Oct/Nov and avoiding
obviously idiocies like placing Hungarians and Rumanians without
adequate anti-tank weapons in critical locations in the line I see no
reason a German catastrophe during the winter of 1942-43 is
inevitable.

Minus the rail lines to the Caucasus I am most doubtful enough oil
could have been delivered to the Red Army via Caspian shipping to
supply the full needs of the Red Army in 1943. Nor of the ability of
Lend Lease to supply enough to allow meaningful Soviet attacks in
1943.

Whether that translates into German victory in the east in 1943-44 is
anybody's guess though it definitely makes them stronger than in OTL's
1943-44.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-08 02:31:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Why June 4 1942 especially?

Certainly Fall Blau (the 1942 offensive) was going very nicely at that
point and Stalingrad was definitely there for the taking in Aug Sept
1942 if taken on the march as opposed to a block by block struggle
which would do nothing for them but chew up time and manpower.

It should have been obvious by the end of September that the flanks
were weaker than they needed to be.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-08 14:47:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Is this Hans Wind's story about Hitler's plane nearly hitting the
sawmill chimney?
Post by Byker
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Goering takes over; he's still the designated successor, and he hasn't
been as thoroughly discredited as he was later. What changes does he
make? I think he'd refrain from meddling in the course of BLAU as
Hitler did, but it won't make that much difference. The Germans are
still going to run out of fuel north of the Caucasus.

Later on... Goering will never have the personal loyalty that Hitler
did, nor the aura of victory. It will be much more feasible for the
Schwarz Kappelle to stage a coup against him. It might even come in
1943.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Rich Rostrom
2019-11-08 14:47:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Is this Hans Wind's story about Hitler's plane nearly hitting the
sawmill chimney?
Post by Byker
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Goering takes over; he's still the designated successor, and he hasn't
been as thoroughly discredited as he was later. What changes does he
make? I think he'd refrain from meddling in the course of BLAU as
Hitler did, but it won't make that much difference. The Germans are
still going to run out of fuel north of the Caucasus.

Later on... Goering will never have the personal loyalty that Hitler
did, nor the aura of victory. It will be much more feasible for the
Schwarz Kappelle to stage a coup against him. It might even come in
1943.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Chrysi Cat
2019-11-09 09:09:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Might want to cross post to alt.history.what-if.

AFAIK, Google /still/ has this group on such strict lockdown that you
can't even view its archive, let alone get anyone without a standalone
Usenet subscription to view the topic. So if that reader has one of
those glitches that purge the body while keeping the header, there's no
way for someone to read the response.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
The Horny Goat
2019-11-09 20:02:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Might want to cross post to alt.history.what-if.
AFAIK, Google /still/ has this group on such strict lockdown that you
can't even view its archive, let alone get anyone without a standalone
Usenet subscription to view the topic. So if that reader has one of
those glitches that purge the body while keeping the header, there's no
way for someone to read the response.
All because spammers used Google servers to spam the newsgroup.

Lovely just ****ing lovely.
The Horny Goat
2019-11-09 20:02:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Might want to cross post to alt.history.what-if.
AFAIK, Google /still/ has this group on such strict lockdown that you
can't even view its archive, let alone get anyone without a standalone
Usenet subscription to view the topic. So if that reader has one of
those glitches that purge the body while keeping the header, there's no
way for someone to read the response.
All because spammers used Google servers to spam the newsgroup.

Lovely just ****ing lovely.
Chrysi Cat
2019-11-09 09:09:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
It almost happened: http://youtu.be/TqtdElVxNWI
Operation Barbarossa was still on the offensive, and would his generals have
pursued a more thoughtful strategy to take Russia, instead of Adolf trying
to micro-manage it at every level? Or would Goering have taken over and
mucked things up even worse?
Might want to cross post to alt.history.what-if.

AFAIK, Google /still/ has this group on such strict lockdown that you
can't even view its archive, let alone get anyone without a standalone
Usenet subscription to view the topic. So if that reader has one of
those glitches that purge the body while keeping the header, there's no
way for someone to read the response.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
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