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German losses vs. West and East

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Quote :

' The overall success of the offensive is however not just the depth, but also the destruction of enemy formations. This is an aspect where trucks helped, but by themselves would not have changed much. '

The Red Army used artillery extensively during the 1944/5 push. How do you think they moved the pieces, and the ammunition?

In your view, the Red Army could have left their artillery at home.

I suppose when Stalin said "Artillery is the god of war" he was cracking a joke with you.

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'If there is one thing communism is good for, it is organising big projects, and running a war properly.'

Again, you need to pick up an objective history of the Great Patriotic War. I would suggest one that has been written since the fall of communism, and with the up to date facts from the newly opened archives, without the Communist whitewashing of uncomfortable facts.

My point : parts of the Soviet Union were suffering famine throughout the war. This is because there were too few men working the fields as well as a lack of transport to move food around the Soviet Union.

When hundreds of thousands of your own citizens are starving to death, that is sheer incompetence. I don't see any talen for war in having people starving to death in your own country because you can't feed them.

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Originally posted by blue division:

'The Germans did not manage to destroy everything. They managed some destruction close to the front where they started the retreat, but the further they got, the less they managed.'

Oh dear.

Do you know anything about the Great Patriotic War fom Soviet histories?

Since you know so much, I am sure you can let us in on your sources?

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Originally posted by blue division:

Quote :

'Whether they needed heaps of materiel to do it is irrelevant.'

Personally, I always look at the actuality, rather than trying to fit the facts around my opinions.

That's funny - your opinion is that lots of materiel was needed, so they could not do it. My sources say that the first half of the statement is irrelevant, since they did manage to do it.

What are your sources for the 'facts' that they did not?

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Originally posted by blue division:

Quote :

' The overall success of the offensive is however not just the depth, but also the destruction of enemy formations. This is an aspect where trucks helped, but by themselves would not have changed much. '

The Red Army used artillery extensively during the 1944/5 push. How do you think they moved the pieces, and the ammunition?

In your view, the Red Army could have left their artillery at home.

I suppose when Stalin said "Artillery is the god of war" he was cracking a joke with you.

They moved them with manpower, trucks, horses, and railways. depends on the piece, the unit, where it was located.

What is your point, if you have one? Where is the evidence for your point? Sources please.

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Originally posted by blue division:

Quote :

'If there is one thing communism is good for, it is organising big projects, and running a war properly.'

Again, you need to pick up an objective history of the Great Patriotic War. I would suggest one that has been written since the fall of communism, and with the up to date facts from the newly opened archives, without the Communist whitewashing of uncomfortable facts.

My point : parts of the Soviet Union were suffering famine throughout the war. This is because there were too few men working the fields as well as a lack of transport to move food around the Soviet Union.

When hundreds of thousands of your own citizens are starving to death, that is sheer incompetence. I don't see any talen for war in having people starving to death in your own country because you can't feed them.

Irrelevant. The Germans managed to have hundreds of thousands die from aerial bombing while rampaging around Russia, because they were incapable of protecting them. I don't see any talent for war in having people be bombed in your own country because you can't protect them.

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And before you come back with more tripe, let us know what your sources for it are. It always help to know whether one debates someone who has read serious books, or someone who is just rehashing Manstein.

So far, you have been long on opinion, and short, or better non-existent on anything to back it up. not good enough.

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Quote :

'They were beaten fair and square at Yelnia a long time before autumn, during the height of summer.'

The Germans suffered several reverses before the mud settled in. But they could always out manouever the Russians at that point of the war.

You are saying that they were bogged down then?

That they were beaten 'fair and square' in the autumn?

What was 'Operation Typhoon', the winter assault on Moscow? Maybe you haven't heard of that? Or would you like to discount this major battle for the purpose of your little discourse?

Try looking at the facts, which were:

(a) The Germans used their last reserves in Operation Typhoon.

(B) The Russians had one more set of reserves that they hadn't used (the Siberian troops). It was pure attrition at that point of the whole operation. The Russians had more reserves than the Germans.

© The panzer divisions were immobilized by the cold and/or were in dire need of refit - they only had a few serviceable tanks left per unit at that point. It ended up being a largely infantry led assault, and therefor the Germans gave up a large point of the advantage they had held in the summer months.

*** This brings me back to my earlier point about the need for the panzer division workshops to keep up with the troops. The trucks used by the logistics corps of the Wehrmacht were unsuitable for off road conditions and were nearly useless in the snow and mud. Orders were placed with Mercedes Benz for 4-wheel drive trucks, but these would take years to be delivered. The war was over by the time they would arrive.

This brings me back to my point about Germany - it had no real idea about the Soviet Union, or what is was undertaking by invading it. A bit like Napoleon, and a monumental folly.

Quote:

'The allies did beat the Germans in Normandy,...'

- actually I said France. Normandy is a province of France, in the north west coast of the country. France is composed of many different provinces. France is much bigger than Normandy.

To conquer Normandy in two months could be done by an un-mechanized army, yes its possible, I grant you that. But to advance as quickly as the Allies did to the German frontier required - (wait for it) -

TRUCKS!

I should also point out to you that none of the Channel ports fell *intact* to the Allies. The supplies had to be moved by (wait for it) - TRUCKS - to the troops in eastern France all the way from the Normandy beachhead for a long time.

Or maybe you can suggest another way of supplying an army then - perhaps magic carpet?

This lag in driving the supplies from Normandy to the front meant that the Allied advance slowed down.

Or maybe you have other ideas on supply for Allies in France? Perhaps they could buy petrol on the way at motorway service stations for their tanks. Perhaps pick up a few snacks as well in the shop too.

You say: 'they would probably have been in Belgium and Lorraine at pretty much the same time anyway.'

Are you suggesting the Allies hitchhiked and stopped at Youth Hostels on the way?

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Quote :

'And before you come back with more tripe, '

Well if you want to sink to mud slinging, fine.

Looks like you are the one running out of ammo - check your supply train - perhaps you didn't take into account the transport you would need?

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'Irrelevant. The Germans managed to have hundreds of thousands die from aerial bombing while rampaging around Russia,'

Well, perhaps I would quote to you a private comment made by Goebbels (chief of the home front).

He called the bombing of Hamburg a 'catastrophe'.

And that comes from the mouth of the biggest spin-doctor in history. So for someone like him to admit a catastrophe, he obviously was deeply concerned.

The Germans tried vainly to stop the Allied bomber offensive, diverting massive resources to aerial defences, AA guns etc.

The Soviets, on the other hand, did nothing about there starving citizens.

Irrelevant? Looks like the only thing that is irrelevant is --> comparing German and Soviet attitudes to the suffering of their own citizens.

(a) The Nazis were acutely aware of it (apart from 1945 when they didn't care any more).

(B) The Soviets (i.e. Stalin, Kruschev, Beria et al) couldn't give a fig. In fact they would look at you if you were starving as an obstacle to winning the war.

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So:

The Germans, knowing and being concerned about aerial bombardment completely failed to stop it and lost the war (though the two are not necessarily related)

The Soviets, knowing and not giving a flying fondant fancy about the starving masses, didn't do anything about it and won the war anyway.

Who is more skilled at warfighting?

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Originally posted by blue division:

Quote :

'And before you come back with more tripe, '

Well if you want to sink to mud slinging, fine.

Looks like you are the one running out of ammo - check your supply train - perhaps you didn't take into account the transport you would need?

Sources from you? None. Quel surprise.

Mine are Ziemke, Niepold, Glantz, Adair, and various other stuff.

You are making all this stuff up, right? In particular the part about Goebbels caring about what happened to people in Hamburg.

Troll.

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Quote:

'In particular the part about Goebbels caring about what happened to people in Hamburg.'

You like references a lot - but yet you can't even get mine right.

here it is below - please quote me correctly me next time:

'he obviously was deeply concerned' (about the destruction of hamburg).

This doesn't mean that he 'cared' - that is putting words in my mouth.

I am deeply concerned about your use of references - you can't even get mine right when it is right in front of you. If you are going to quote me, please do so in the original context. Basic writing and journalism skills - anything else is being a hack.

I am starting to question your liberal use of references - are they all in the right context?

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So the Country that was more skilled in warfighting lost the war. Am I missing something here?

'Deeply concerned' and 'cared' are really very similar. Granted, there are minor semantic difference, but you are aware that English is Andreas' second language?

In any case, that's not the point. The point is:

From what source did you derive the 'quote' attributed Goebbels ("He called the bombing of Hamburg a 'catastrophe'.")

If you have a question about Andreas' sources, pick a point and ask him to source it. Don't try setting up a strawman based on semantics in a language that is not native to the person being challenged.

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Niepold: Mittlere Ostfront 44

Dunn: Soviet Blitzkrieg

Adair: Hitler's greatest Defeat

Glantz/Orenstein: Belorussia 1944 - Soviet General Staff Study & L'vov-Sandomierz Soviet General Staff Study

Ziemke: Stalingrad to Berlin

Zaloga: Operation Bagration

TM 30-430: Handbook of the Red Army

Zaloga/Ness: Red Army Handbook 1939-45

Dunno, seem on topic to me. What about yours?

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I am not going to answer any questions relating to my sources until Mr. 'trucks were wot won it' has at the very least shared his sources, and in particular on what his analysis is based.

Deeply concerned and cared are interchangeable, for all I care (no pun intended). Blue Division is just trying to troll, because he realises he is losing the argument, so he has to shift it.

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Quote :

''Deeply concerned' and 'cared' are really very similar. Granted, there are minor semantic difference, but you are aware that English is Andreas' second language?'

Back to school we go....

Defintiions of :

Concern

n 1: something that interests you because it is important or affects you; "the safety of the ship is the captain's concern"

A matter that relates to or affects one.

To engage the attention of; involve: We concerned ourselves with accomplishing the task at hand.

Care

1 : watchful or protective attention, caution, concern, prudence, or regard usually towards an action or situation;

2 a : personal supervision or responsibility : CHARGE b : MAINTENANCE

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I hope this clears up any confusion you may have with the use of the English language.

Please next time at least consult a dictionary before posting a statement such as this on this forum.

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Blue Division,

Andreas is right. I do not miss your point. In answer to your question "How do you get those sleepers and rails forward?" I answer: on the functioning portion of the railroad. Just drive the train to the end of the line and unload it.

You are talking generalities and I am being specific. Take for instance the rebridging of the Dniepr in Kiev. The Germans definately applied scorched earth at least in the city itself, and just so that you know the Dniepr in Kiev is more than a mile across. The Germans knocked down every bridge and leveled the foundations. The centre of the city was dynamited.

(I think it is worth pointing out that among other things the Nazis flattened a church in central dating back to the 9th century AD, which was literally the oldest Christian structure in all of Russia. It survived the Mongols, but not the Germans)

Kiev's roads were full of rubble, and more to the point the rail lines leading up to the bridges were not just destroyed, the embankments were smashed as well. The banks of the Dniepr in Kiev are a marsh on the left bank, and a bluff maybe 200 meters high on the right bank.

Repairing all that, and getting supply moving through the city would have, in civilian times, been the work of years.

What happened? The Soviets first chased the Germans out of Kiev. So far so good. Next, using those rail-building rates Andreas thoughtfully contributed, they ran the rail line up to the bank of the river. That took about 5 days. Next the Stavka made construction and bridging materials a top rr priority. That under normal circumstances would bring the first materials on site in less than a day. And like I said, a RAIL bridge was functioning across that water obstacle in a little less than two weeks.

My source for this is Katukov's memoirs and standard Kiev city histories. Katukov was the commander of 1st Guards Tank Army, and so pretty interested in a rail line connecting his troops, which by that time were closing on the Dniestr, and the rest of Russia.

This all took place under conditions of "scorched earth". So obviously somehow the Soviets figured out a way to not just move the materials, but also the men and machines and the supplies to keep them working.

Besides underestimating the Soviet ability to run deep mobile operations, I think you are overestimating the German ability to "scorch the earth." German military presence outside the big cities was low, and outside the regional towns practically nonexistant on the East Front. It makes sense, Russia is a huge country, and the Germans didn't have enough troops to man a continuous line, never mind place soldiers in every village. Remember, almost two-thirds of the population of the Soviet Union lived rurally in the 1940s.

Sure the Germans, for instance, trashed Kiev, but the villages around it? The villages in the countryside? Are you saying that the German "scorched earth" left the land empty of people.

Well I wasn't there either, but I have talked to lots of people who were, and they tell me basically people subsisted on their family plots just as they had always. They hid their food supplies because that's a tradition dating back to at least the Mongol occupation. And when the Red Army liberated the region, people more or less willingly sent food from their own stores, to support the military.

Again to cite Katukov's memoirs, he notes that in winter/spring 1944 his army received tens of thousands of raw replacements recruited directly from newly-liberated regions of Ukraine.

I find it hard to buy your arguement regions recaptured by the Soviets were a howling wilderness, when the Soviet army according to its own accounts returned to regions populated enough to draw supply and personnal from.

I doubt you can back up your assertations with 1st person accounts, but if you can, I will gladly admit I am wrong.

Finally, to anticipate your objection, I am not making these points because I think the Red Army was the greatest military organization in history, or that the Wehrmacht was a bunch of morons, or similar.

I am trying to get at the historical truth. In this case, I think the truth you are missing is the same one the German high command failed to observe during the war: it is an error to underestimate the Russian ability to conduct war, and it is a bigger error to judge their capacity to do so by western standards. The Red Army was not the same as the Wehrmacht, and Soviet supply is not the same as western supply.

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Quote :

'From what source did you derive the 'quote' attributed Goebbels'

Oh yes, that would be such and such a book chapter 13 page 451 paragraph 2.

There, no I have given you a source it must be true right?

Well no, because sources can easily be made up.

A broad and in depth knowledge of the history of the period will serve you much better in these discussions, rather than trawlign through books for quotes.

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Quote :

I think the truth you are missing is ... it is an error to underestimate the Russian ability to conduct war

I think your whole line of reasoning is flawed. You have a hypothesis (the Russians could have won the war as they did without any help), and are looking for any evidence that proves it, while discounting any evidence that works against it. This is a fundamental flaw in any line of reasoning.

For example, you have entirely ignored the fact that while the Russians were fighting on only one front, the Germans were fighting on four in 1944 (East, West, Italy and the air war over Germany - you could even include the U-Boat war, but I will discount this as this was sinding down in 1944). Not to mention 250,000 German personnel in Norway, 250,000 in the Balkans.

But I suppose you will ignore this reality and go on about the accounts of some academic study of the Red Armys performance in 1944/5.

You are making the same mistake as Hitler by placing too much emphasis on small unit tactics and equipment. Try being like Stalin, and looking at the bigger picture of the war, that is logistics and general strategy. By concentrating too much on the detail, you lose sight of the whole.

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Andreas,

That's a pretty impressive bibilography you have there. So impressive in fact maybe you can give me some advice.:0

I am trying to do some research on Lvov-Sandomirz. I am interested in both the operational level but also, and which is perhaps more difficult, the tactical level.

I am quite familiar with Glantz but have not read his book on the Lvov-Sandomirz op. Ziemke et al I know by reference but I have not read. I am aware of the Bundesmilitaerarchiv in Freiburg but that's a little intense for where I'm at with the research. Maybe later.

Could you see your way clear towards suggesting which books would be better for research on the tactical side of the battle? I can be more specific if you want.

I read English, German, and Russian.

We can do this by e-mail if you want, let me know.

Originally posted by Andreas:

Niepold: Mittlere Ostfront 44

Dunn: Soviet Blitzkrieg

Adair: Hitler's greatest Defeat

Glantz/Orenstein: Belorussia 1944 - Soviet General Staff Study & L'vov-Sandomierz Soviet General Staff Study

Ziemke: Stalingrad to Berlin

Zaloga: Operation Bagration

TM 30-430: Handbook of the Red Army

Zaloga/Ness: Red Army Handbook 1939-45

Dunno, seem on topic to me. What about yours?

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Quote :

'And like I said, a RAIL bridge was functioning across that water obstacle in a little less than two weeks.'

Try thinking back a few hours - to get from a rail head to the front requires TRUCKS.

To bring the bridging equipment up requires - TRUCKS.

Quote :

'when the Soviet army according to its own accounts returned to regions populated enough to draw supply and personnal from.'

oh dear - this area had been deliberately starved by the Germans over the past 3 years. Large portions of the adult population were transferred by Germany to work in the Reich. Any recruits the Red Army got would have been partisans pressed into uniform.

Do you know any of the history on the Eastern Front, rather than reading comical accounts from the Soviet Archive, which are full of holes where any possible criticism has been cut out?

Yuo really need to start using different materials.

I can't stress this highly enough.

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Nikita Krushchev (in his memoirs):

"How could we have advanced from Stalingrad and Kursk on to Berlin without American aid and foodstuffs? We had lost our grain-producing areas".

Case closed, gentlemen.

=======================

=======================

It should be noted that the US fed Russia during the war, as well as providing it with the transport to move the food around.

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