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This guy is worth a watch

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TIK is excellent. I originally found his channel from watching his lets plays of the old Close Combat videos. He has since moved on to making his own well researched historical documentaries on various battles and subjects. A lot of what he is working on now is all part of his research for a monster Stalingrad documentary. 

His channel really is fantastic. I find his content to be highly educational and well presented/researched. Would highly recommend checking out the posted video to this thread as well as the rest of his channel. Great stuff!

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After your message I watched the video (not fully though). In my humble opinion his videos are a bit of a incoherent bunch of statements shoestringed together. Obviously Germany was, due to its isolated position and resource situation at home, going to be in a bad position for a war of attrition (oil access is only one of the factors here, although especially important for motorization etc). The whole world (and especially the German general staff) was very aware of this 'problem/feature' even before WWI. Basically all he is stating in the video is that control over resources, while denying the enemy access, means that in the long run you will win. That's not really something spectacular, although it might be for some. 
Imo the whole political aim of Germany was too increase their access to various resources by means of wars of aggression, which spiraled out of any form of control pretty damn fast after initial successes. Stating that they lost that wars because of oil, seems a little moot. They certainly failed to get access to the resources necessary for a ongoing war against the allied factions. 
Besides, would a fresh untapped oil field the size of Saudi Arabia's discovered in 1938 in Bavaria have really won Germany the war? perhaps.  ;-)

Edited by Lethaface

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Nah - while I appreciate his efforts, the video is full of errors and he comes to the wrong conclusions. You have to be very careful with all those Youtube prophets. While invading the Soviet Union in 1941, Hitler wasn't that preoccupied with oil as the author suggests. Hitler was formed by the WW1 experience of hunger caused by the naval blockade, so his main goal was to create an agrarian empire. So he was mainly going for the black earth of Ukraine. At the beginning of Barbarossa, Hitler's main objective was not Caucasus but Leningrad. Then in the second place Ukraine and Caucasus and on the third place Moscow. The 2nd Panzergruppe was turned south not to capture Caucasus but to liquidate the Soviet forces around Kiev ( which was a sound decision ). As to the 4 months fuel stocks theory, the operation Barbarossa failed not because the Germans ran out fuel. Actually none of the major German defeats like Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Ukraine 43 or Bagration was caused by this reason. The main reason why Germany lost the war, was that Wehrmacht bled to death in the Eastern Front and eventually got defeated by the Red Army. The oil shortages were severely affecting German war waging capabilities from the second half of 1944, when the war was already lost. As to the inability to access the the main world oil sources of USA, Wenezuela, Middle East and Soviet Union, it meant that the Third Reich never had a chance to win a global war, but the reasons why they actually lost, were different. 

Edited by Ivanov

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8 hours ago, Lethaface said:

Basically all he is stating in the video is that control over resources, while denying the enemy access, means that in the long run you will win. That's not really something spectacular, although it might be for some.

No, he specifically states that Germany had always suffered from a lack of oil, and it was this critical lack of a fuel source that hamstrung them. He doesn't make broad generalizations about resources, only how a lack of available and accessible oil reserves severely limited Germany's ability to wage mechanized war, which is true. 

5 hours ago, Ivanov said:

Hitler was formed by the WW1 experience of hunger caused by the naval blockade, so his main goal was to create an agrarian empire. So he was mainly going for the black earth of Ukraine. At the beginning of Barbarossa, Hitler's main objective was not Caucasus but Leningrad.

This is a contradiction. If his main goal was Ukraine, then why weren't all efforts devoted there? Why was it supposedly second on his list if it was his main concern? 

5 hours ago, Ivanov said:

The oil shortages were severely affecting German war waging capabilities from the second half of 1944,

Unless you are disputing all the various sources that state the opposite, this is unfounded. Germany had a very limited reserve of fuel from the beginning. He goes through everything, showing why Germany could only support the small amount of mechanized divisions it had, and why many were trying to reduce that number even more. They had no fuel reserves in 41, nevermind 44. 

6 hours ago, Ivanov said:

As to the 4 months fuel stocks theory, the operation Barbarossa failed not because the Germans ran out fuel. Actually none of the major German defeats like Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Ukraine 43 or Bagration was caused by this reason. The main reason why Germany lost the war, was that Wehrmacht bled to death in the Eastern Front and eventually got defeated by the Red Army.

This is a gross over-generalization that isn't even true until post-Stalingrad.

No good deed goes unpunished. Believe what you wish, I'm washing my hands of this thread. 

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6 hours ago, Ivanov said:

Nah - while I appreciate his efforts, the video is full of errors and he comes to the wrong conclusions.

Exactly. While he seems to have gotten better as he has gained experience in this field, his earlier efforts are hobbled by all the things he doesn't know. This leads him to make shallow and misguided conclusions at times. As is sometimes said of books about the war, these shows are okay as an introduction to their subjects for those new to them, but should not be relied on as an authority.

Michael

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5 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

This is a contradiction. If his main goal was Ukraine, then why weren't all efforts devoted there? Why was it supposedly second on his list if it was his main concern? 

Well, this is actually what the author of video states. The force allocation for Barbarossa was designed by the German military planners not by Hitler, who at that stage wasn't that much involved in the detailed military planning. The German commanders assigned most resources to AGC because they were preoccupied with Soviet forces deployed in Bialystok salient. After liquidating the Bialystok and Minsk pockets, the 3rd Panzergruppe was turned north to support the offensive of Army Group North, so obviously that theatre, was at that time more important to Hitler than Moscow. I'm not saying that giving a priority to Leningrad was a sound decision, but it's just what Hitler was thinking at the time. This was also the source of disagreements between Hitler and his generals in the autumn of 1941. As to AGS, the second priority for Hitler, it didn't have enough resources allocated because there wasn't enough of them and the generals didn't consider that theatre a priority. In 1941 in Hitler's mind, the main objectives were industrial centres of Leningrad and Donbas, which doesn't mean that the German General Staff had the same priorities. Hence all the confusion, changing of the actual course of operations and ever deepening conflict between Hitler and his generals. As to Ukraine, I meant that for Hitler the Ukrainian grain had a priority over the oil of the Caucasus.
 

Quote

Unless you are disputing all the various sources that state the opposite, this is unfounded. Germany had a very limited reserve of fuel from the beginning. He goes through everything, showing why Germany could only support the small amount of mechanized divisions it had, and why many were trying to reduce that number even more. They had no fuel reserves in 41, nevermind 44. 

This is absolutely true that Germans had very few fuel reserves through the war and I agree with the author, that the hold fast order in 1941/42 was a result of that. However as I said the decisive campaigns of 1941, 42 and 43 were not lost because of the general lack of fuel. If German tanks didn't have fuel during Operation Barbarossa, it was because the logistic system was unable to deliver it to the units, not because Germany ran out of the fuel. Until mid 1944 Luftwaffe was still flying and only after that time the fuel shortage become crippling.

Quote

This is a gross over-generalization that isn't even true until post-Stalingrad.

Obviously this is an oversimplification because there was not single reason why Germany lost the war and for sure it wasn't only because of the lack oil. As I said, the lack of oil ensured that the grandiose plans of waging a global war were a pure utopy from the very beginning. But in the actuality Wehrmacht was beaten and spent before Germany ran out of the fuel.

Edited by Ivanov

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22 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Unless you are disputing all the various sources that state the opposite, this is unfounded. Germany had a very limited reserve of fuel from the beginning. He goes through everything, showing why Germany could only support the small amount of mechanized divisions it had, and why many were trying to reduce that number even more. They had no fuel reserves in 41, nevermind 44. 

On February 27, 2018 at 5:44 PM, Ivanov said:

The main reason that Germany did not have more mechanized divisions was that Germany's automotive industry (in the broadest sense) simply could not come close to producing the necessary number of the various vehicles required.

Michael

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17 hours ago, Ivanov said:

Obviously this is an oversimplification because there was not single reason why Germany lost the war and for sure it wasn't only because of the lack oil. As I said, the lack of oil ensured that the grandiose plans of waging a global war were a pure utopy from the very beginning. But in the actuality Wehrmacht was beaten and spent before Germany ran out of the fuel.

He says all of this in the video though. You just made his point -- that the lack of oil ensured Germany's defeat from the beginning. And he didn't claim that oil was the only reason they lost, just that it was a major one, and probably the most significant one when looking at the grand scale. He didn't claim that Germany was defeated after they ran out of fuel either. His argument was not that the Panzer armies ran out of fuel and then were defeated, but that Germany lost because they didn't have enough oil to expand their armored and mechanized forces and keep them going to the level they needed to win the war. They had enough fuel to fight the war, but not to win it. They only had just enough fuel to run what little tanks they had, could only keep some of them activated at any one time, and even had to downscale mechanization from lack of fuel. At a time when the Soviets were motorizing and mechanizing their own armies on a massive scale, Germany was having to re-equip some of their recon units with bicycles. In late 1941, fuel rations were so tight that Germany's largest truck factory had to shut down production at one point.

And then you have Hitler himself saying "If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny, then I must end the war." Another one of the sources the guy used in the video said "The loss of the Caucasus would deprive the Soviet Union of half of its oil reserves and 80-90 percent of its crude oil production, refinery throughput, and pipeline capacity." So taking the Caucasus would have allowed Germany to expand their mechanization and offensive capability dramatically, while strangling the Soviets' ability to do the same, which could have been a major turning point of the war, or so he argues. The Germans did manage to take some of those oil fields, but were militarily defeated and driven out before they were able to make significant use of them.

You also made a claim that "for Hitler the Ukrainian grain had a priority over the oil of the Caucasus". Where are you getting that from? Certainly it was a major priority, and the guy in the video said that. He put up another Hitler quote in there that said the "raw materials and agriculture of the Ukraine were vitally necessary for the future prosecution of the war." So it's not like the Germans were only looking at oil and nothing else. Even if what you said was true, and that Hitler thought the grain was more important than oil, that doesn't make it true. That only says what Hitler thought. Not what was actually the most important resource.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Bozowans said:

And he didn't claim that oil was the only reason they lost, just that it was a major one, and probably the most significant one when looking at the grand scale. He didn't claim that Germany was defeated after they ran out of fuel either. His argument was not that the Panzer armies ran out of fuel and then were defeated, but that Germany lost because they didn't have enough oil to expand their armored and mechanized forces and keep them going to the level they needed to win the war. 

He starts the video with a sentence: "why Germany lost the war? It can be summed up with one word: oil". This is a gross oversimplification. I understand that Youtube needs simple, catchy answers, but in reality the lack of oil was one of few significant reasons why Germans couldn't win. Incoherent German leadership, bad management of it's available resources and industry, strategic and operational errors, logistics and vast material superiority of the Allies, were equally important. Selecting one decisive factor ( in this case oil ) is absurd and naive.

 

Quote

And then you have Hitler himself saying "If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny, then I must end the war." Another one of the sources the guy used in the video said "The loss of the Caucasus would deprive the Soviet Union of half of its oil reserves and 80-90 percent of its crude oil production, refinery throughput, and pipeline capacity." So taking the Caucasus would have allowed Germany to expand their mechanization and offensive capability dramatically, while strangling the Soviets' ability to do the same, which could have been a major turning point of the war, or so he argues. The Germans did manage to take some of those oil fields, but were militarily defeated and driven out before they were able to make significant use of them.

In theory taking the Caucasus could be a decisive problem for Soviet Union. The thing is, that the Germans could never succeed in this task, because they had never enough forces, to seriously contemplate a success there. The forces forces of Army Group A were absurdly small for the task. A quick look on the map reveals it all. Caucasus offensive failed, because there were insufficient forces allocated to the task and because of the logistics. Not because the panzers didn't have enough of fuel. Another issue is bad management of the conquered resources. In theory by 1942 the territories that Nazis had under their control, could allow them to match the production of United States ( Tooze, The Wages of Destruction ). They never came close.

 

Quote

You also made a claim that "for Hitler the Ukrainian grain had a priority over the oil of the Caucasus". Where are you getting that from? Certainly it was a major priority, and the guy in the video said that. He put up another Hitler quote in there that said the "raw materials and agriculture of the Ukraine were vitally necessary for the future prosecution of the war." So it's not like the Germans were only looking at oil and nothing else. Even if what you said was true, and that Hitler thought the grain was more important than oil, that doesn't make it true. That only says what Hitler thought. Not what was actually the most important resource.

Unfortunately what Hitler thought was decisive. Many of modern commentators apply a hindsight and current day, rational thinking to the Nazi leadership of the WW2 period, which is a mistake. Nazis were shooting and gassing Jewish women and children, because according to their ideology it was acting "in self defence". Jurgen Stroop said, that he had to liquidate the Jews "for honey and milk of Ukraine". How could anyone expect a rational thinking from that kind of people? From the other hand, in theory the food supplies and oil were both indispensable for waging a prolonged war. Bad management of the war effort and atrocious policies towards the conquered peoples, assured that the Nazis could never get hold and take a full advantage of either.

Edited by Ivanov

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ivanov said:

He starts the video with a sentence: "why Germany lost the war? It can be summed up with one word: oil". This is a gross oversimplification. I understand that Youtube needs simple, catchy answers, but in reality the lack of oil was one of few significant reasons why Germans couldn't win. Incoherent German leadership, bad management of it's available resources and industry, strategic and operational errors, logistics and vast material superiority of the Allies, were equally important. Selecting one decisive factor ( in this case oil ) is absurd and naive

Well said! 

I would say it is flawed reasoning.

Edited by Lethaface

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On 2/28/2018 at 3:44 AM, Ivanov said:

The main reason why Germany lost the war, was that Wehrmacht bled to death in the Eastern Front and eventually got defeated by the Red Army.

It also "bled to death" in Europe (if only having to keep there a huge standing army to fight partisanen and ever-looming invasion), Africa and Italy but let's just ignore those unimportant theaters in favor of lend-leased Red Army

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Posted (edited)

Funny how hindsight is so clear. The early Russian losses were enormous, and the task of relocating all their industry to the other side of the country must have been huge. If Germany had knocked out Russia quickly, like they did in France, they would have taken over vast resources and production capacity, while closing down the eastern front that ended up wearing them out. The Allies would have met a whole different Wehmacht in Normandy. Maybe the war could have gone differently.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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5 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

If Germany had knocked out Russia quickly, like they did in France, they would have taken over vast resources and production capacity, while closing down the eastern front that ended up wearing them out.

That's one humongous 'if'!

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That's one humongous 'if'!

 

Definitely. But if the Soviets had lost the war, we'd now be discussing why Stalin could never have hoped to defeat the German war machine.

We'd talk about the purges of the army leadership, the poor morale and training of the troops, the lousy tanks they used. Their bad planning and communications.

Also we'd be talking about the impossible task of moving an entire nation's factories to the other side of the country and linking it all up with so many kilometres of new roads and rail, etc. in such a short time.

We'd be talking about the paranoid Stalin and the many enemies he made. In actual history, there were several plots against Hitler, and they increased as the war situation became worse and worse. Who's to say there wouldn't have been sudden changes in Soviet leadership after such big losses?

None of this is to say the arguments in this thread are not valid. But I guess it depends on how you see history. I think many things in life are not inevitable, but a lot seems inevitable - after the fact.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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Why would that be a humongous 'if'  russia was knocked out of WW1 after suffering between 1 amd 2.5 million casualties.  During Barbarossa the russians lost anywhere upto 4 million casualties (numbers have never been agreed on).  So as the belligerent force I would be pretty confidant of my enemy folding after suffering losses of that magnitude.  Not such a big if really in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Doc844 said:

So as the belligerent force I would be pretty confidant of my enemy folding after suffering losses of that magnitude.

Despite the fact that historically, after taking the losses that you describe, they still won? 

Wow!  :o

Do you fancy a game of poker for cash?  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Haha most definetly.  Think you have missed the point, hindsight is wonderful, put yourself in the german mindset at the time, you smashed through countless Russian armies caused mass casualties, captured over 2 million enemy soldiers.  Your telling me if you were there in command you wouldnt be thinking 'we've done them, no country can possibly absorb that damage and not come apart at the seams'.  (Which it could easily have done by the way, it was 50/50 for a while)  Also keep in mind that WW1 only ended 22 yrs previously and beliefs formed when young tend to stick ie german generals who fought on the eastern front in WW1.  They would have carried those experiences plus their own youthful conclusions of the russian military into middle age.  So why wouldnt they expect the russians to capitulate at that point.  Obviously the one defining factor was Stalin himself and the governing apparatus that he had built.  Think of it this way if Stalin had suffered a massive nervous breakdown, (if he hadnt been a sociopath) he probably would have, then i dont believe russia would have rallied when it did.  History can turn on small things and one mans psychological state was probably one of them.

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, kraze said:

It also "bled to death" in Europe (if only having to keep there a huge standing army to fight partisanen and ever-looming invasion), Africa and Italy but let's just ignore those unimportant theaters in favor of lend-leased Red Army

All theatres were important and contributed to the German defeat overall. I'm not ignoring them but the indisputable fact is, that the Germans suffered 90% of their loses in the east and they got defeated well before the Red Army become "lend-leased". In 1941 and 1942 the Allied help didn't play a significant role. It really helped the Soviets in the later years to conduct the massive offensives. But by that time the outcome of the war was already decided. 

Edited by Ivanov

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I definitely agree with the fact that the german wermacht bled itself out on the steppes of russia.  However lend lease was a major contributing factor in everything the russians did.  Why?  Because without it they would not have been able to field the amount of men they did because of one vital resource.  Food.  Russia would have literally starved without it, in communique's from Stalin to the allies his top priority was never tanks, bullets, bombs, it was food.  Always demanding more and more food.

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Russia wasn't overwhelmed militarily in WWI, they were overwhelmed politically from within (with a little help from both sides).

Lend lease was indeed a factor in the Soviet survival, how big we'll never know, but Soviet historians give credit where it's due, so IMHO we should do the same.....A late friend of mine served on the convoys to both Archangelsk & Malta, he considered the latter something of a pleasure cruise after the former.  ;)

 

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21 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

A late friend of mine served on the convoys to both Archangelsk & Malta, he considered the latter something of a pleasure cruise after the former.  ;)

No doubt!

 

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1 hour ago, Doc844 said:

Food.  Russia would have literally starved without it, in communique's from Stalin to the allies his top priority was never tanks, bullets, bombs, it was food.  Always demanding more and more food.

That's what happens if you lose the access to the grain of Ukraine ;) For Stalin, Ukrainie which was the breadbasket of Soviet Union, was equally important as to Hitler. Hence the forced collectivization, artificial famine and terror of the 30's. They were designed to ultimately subdue the Ukrainians to the Soviet rule and destroy any solidarity of various peoples and social groups that were inhabiting that land.  

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