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Der Alte Fritz

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Posts posted by Der Alte Fritz

  1. Try this series, http://www.soldat.ru/files/4/6/15/218/ which gives tactical examples down to platoon level

    The Company level one is easy to access see: http://militera.lib.ru/science/taktika_rota/index.html as your browser can translate the webpages for you automatically.

    Similarly Pamyat Naroda does have extraordinarily detailed maps, for instance this one of the Sandomir Bridgehead which shows virtually every single German Machine Gun position. https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=100681962

  2. For those of you wanting to do a little research, have a look at Pamyat Naroda using this rather good search engine:


    complete with Fond index here: http://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/Fondy_TsAMO/Fonds_PamyatNaroda.html

    and Front/Army index here: http://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/Fondy_TsAMO/JBD_Armies_BS_SA.html

    and an index to 3,500,000 records here (see last post): http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=223176

    For instance 010/500 Tank Brigade shtat

    Overview of the tank brigade:
    010/500 tank brigade HQ:
    010/501 tank battalion (3 in a brigade):
    010/502 Motor submachine-gun battalion:
    010/503 anti-aircraft machine-gun company:
    010/504 HQ company:
    010/505 service company:
    010/506 medical platoon:

  3. Lets be realistic here.

    The first CMRT module will be at least 3 YEARS AFTER LAUNCH.

    That is way slower than CMN or CMFI and with the new CMN+ (CMFB) out and demanding a module as well....

    It is obvious that sales of CMRT were not good enough to put it on the 'fast track'. Any additional items that we may see will be launched first in other modules, snow in CMFB, Waffen SS in CMN and so if we get a Vistula-Oder module it will have a couple of new Soviet vehicles and all the other bits from other modules,

    As for early war, that will never come out so go back to CMBB. Best you can hope for is 1943 and Kursk.


  4. I think that Slysniper makes a good point.


    But on the other hand if you examine what the CMBB lobby wants out of CMRT then that could be valuable to the future development of CMRT. We waited 3 years for CMRT and here we are 18+ months further on and no sign of an add odd or pack or anything really. An extending game for later on in 1944/5 similar to Market Garden  is not on the stocks either. Yet much of the German equipment and units must already have been made for the Normandy series?


    Similarly the step up needed for scenario design has produced only a handful of player designed scenarios - 51 in the Repository, with 3 in April, 1 in March 2 in Feb and 1 in Jan for a total in the last 4 months. The Scenario Depot 2 contains 1161 CMBB scenarios


    CMBB spawned a whole plethora of new website supporting mods and mods packs and scenarios while CMRT relies on the Repository and support from a previous CMBO/BB/AK site by Greenasjade.


    I do not have the sales figures but I think this would indicate a lack of player engagement with the game. I would argue that more frequent smaller releases of new units would help, a simplified scenario designer and longer timescales for the games, especially for the Eastern Front which lasted 46 months and had a limited range of equipment on the Soviet side compared with Normandy and its 10 month campaign.


    There is a real chance given Battlefronts wide range of interests Modern, Normandy, Italy, Russia that these individual projects  will suffer through too tight and narrow a focus.

  5. How do we know that this is not just Soviet propaganda?

    Because the Germans experienced exactly the same problems on their side of the new border between the Vistula and the San. The Otto programme ran for 6 months, from late 1940 until April 1941, used 90,000 railway men and 300,000 tonnes of steel to build 7 lines that could carry 420 pairs of trains daily from the old German border to the new Soviet border across Poland.

    And they had the modern portion of the Polish railway network!

    The line up pre-Barbarossa is significant 420 trains a day on the German side and 108 trains a day on the Soviet side. Germans have continuous gauge from the factories to the front, the Soviets do not.

    Soviet transportation outside the old borders of the USSR does not support the idea of an offensive and you cannot support an offensive by lorry from railheads at the old border either because the realistic limit is only 250 km.

  6. What you have to understand about the Soviet occupation of the Kresy is that it involved

    1) Stripping out valuable factories from the towns to send back east

    2) Removal of around 320,000 politically unreliable people to the interior of the USSR

    3) Removal of the Polish Army POWs to Katyn and other places such as Siberia

    4) Establishment of a large garrison to control the areas

    5) A large programme of political re-education and use of police, NKVD resources to control groups such as the Ukrananian Nationalists

    6) A two year reconstruction of the railways costing 3 times the budget allocated for investment in the railways of the entire Soviet Union over 5 years.

    The area we are talking about is larger than Belgium and Holland combined, and contains 13,000,000 people. I really do not see this being set up as an offensive base against Germany other than a proposed spoiling attack given the communications problems and the drop by over half between the old Soviet frontier and the new one.

  7. John

    The problem with this line of argument is simply that it is logistically unsupported. A major offensive launched from the Kresy (Borderlands in Polish) ie the occupied part of Eastern Poland would have to overcome 300km of poor communications before even entering enemy territory PLUS a change in Gauge to Standard from Broad.

    This is a description of the railway by Kovalev (who headed the NKPS throughout most of the war under Lasar Kaganovich)

    Traffic routes in Western Ukraine and Western Belarus in 1939 were almost destroyed.*The railway network there was a relatively thick: it was created mainly at a time when these areas were part of the Russian Empire (and only a small part of Western Ukraine - the Austro-Hungarian Empire).*According to the cross-border provision of these areas the railway network was designed with the strategic appointment.*However, over the years between the two world wars, according to the general attitudes of the authorities*[24]*bourgeois Poland, see Western Ukraine and Western Belarus as Polish colony, railways these areas derelict.*They have been altered to Western European gauge (1435 mm), with some of the lines was made ​​the second main road, and the rails were used in the construction and reconstruction of roads in Poland itself.*New lines have been built a little bit, and all of them were built in preparation for war with the Soviet Union.*On most of the rail network in Western Ukraine and Western Belarus traffic volume in 1939 was at about 1913 Density of traffic almost everywhere was 1.5-2 million tkm / km or less, and only on the line Lviv - Przemysl exceed 5 million tkm / km.*{61}


    The length of railways in Western Ukraine and Western Belarus was 6.7 thousand km (including 4.9 thousand km of single track and 1.8 thousand km of double-track lines).*The roads were narrow gauge, and locomotive and car fleet heterogeneous.*Thus, the locomotive fleet of 120 steam locomotive 5264 series fleet of passenger cars - 129 types of freight car fleet - 60 types.*Rails and rolling stock were characterized not only large multi-type, but worn.*Almost 80% of locomotives, mostly foreign-built, were older than 15 years.*The average age of passenger cars was 28 years, cargo - 23 years.*Due to the large excess of the rolling stock (in stock was more than 25% of locomotives and almost 20% of freight wagons), cheap labor and the absence of mechanical means to repair the park in no hurry, repair base was poorly developed.


    the situation in the border area in the transport relations were not in our favor.*Weak capacity of the railway to the west of the old borders of the USSR was the bottleneck of the transport pipeline.*So, in the east on the six railway lines with nine different tracks to the train Rokad Ovruch - Korosten - Shepetovka - Kamenetz-Podolsk could bring 259 trains a day (and the same to send back).*But to the west of this belt, the railway passes only*five railway direction with six tracks, which was passed only 108 pairs of trains.*Within Western Ukraine total capacity existing there six to eight railway lines of gauge is 168 pairs per day.*Railways in the Baltics, as noted, were low-capacity, stations in areas near the border of East Prussia were not ready for the mass unloading troops.

    When the Germans came to cross this area they initially aimed for 25 trains a day each way for each Army Group ie. 75 trains a day, by around September.

    So it seems pretty clear from the Soviet accounts that Soviet Poland had just finished converting gauge but had not had much in the way of track improvement or building of new lines, stations, etc before the German invasion of June 1941. Since Soviet Poland has 6,700km of railways of which 1,800 km is double tracked and 4,900 km single tracked the cost of reconstruction of 10,000 million rubles at 1940 prices and a construction time of two years is in line with the Five Year Plan figures of 3,370 million rubles for 1936 investment.

    This was clearly a huge project that only started in the Spring of 1941.

  8. Hi John

    Scott prodded from my slumber!

    Re Icebreaker: I am afraid that I think Suvurov is wrong in his assertion and here is the reason why. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939 it took western Poland which was modern, well resourced and had a good transport network. It also took half of Eastern Poland beyond the Vistula which was agricultural, a land of Polish overlords and Belorussian peasants with poor transport infrastructure. The Soviets took the other half about 300 km deep which if anything was even in a worse state (as part of their defences the Poles had stripped 70km of the main double railway tracks down to one track reduced the signalling and weakened the bridges. Only local trains. AND ALL OF THIS WAS STANDARD GAUGE.

    The Soviet Union then annexed the Baltic States of which only Estonia used broad gauge, the rest used a mix with the main lines in STANDARD GAUGE.

    The invasion of Poland and the annexation of the Baltics was carried out by relatively small forces in a hurry and there was no effort made to change and upgrade the railway tracks for the operation. According to some Soviet sources the change of gauge was not even discussed until mid 1940 and there is considerable doubt as to how much work actually got carried out before the invasion, probably only main lines had their gauge changed and tracks upgraded. If memory serves me right I think we are talking about 7,000 km of track that needs to be virtually rebuilt.

    Using an easily available source Scott Dunns "Red Army and the Soviet Economy" he makes the point that the mobilization trains travelled in considerable numbers over the Soviet Unions original western railway companies but that there was a capacity fall for the last 300km (ie over the old Polish territory).

    This of course is the explanation for the big troop movements in late 1940 and early 1941, the Western military Districts uprooted themselves and moved forward to new positions 300km further west because they were adopting the same positions. The numbers on the railway look large because there are three things happening at the same time:

    1) The 1st Echelon is moving into 'old'Poland

    2) It has its large daily supply demand met over a crappy railway network

    3) All the old frontier defences of the Stalin Line are also being ripped up and re-instated 300km further west.

    No wonder the railways were blocked. The reason equipment was left on trains was that there were no facilities such as shed or storehouses, fuel bunkers in Poland - they were all 300 km further east or being dismantled to move forwards.

    The reason the occupation of Poland by the full Soviet frontier defences was delayed was because there was not much infrastruture there in Polish days and the Soviets were slow to start building it. When war clouds started to gather it was all done in a rush and a muddle.

    Like the fuel trains. In the Western military districts they had deep concrete underground bunkers for storing fuel but in Poland there was nothing so it had to be kept on trains to be moved forward when needed. The station mentioned with 1,300 fuel trains is near Kursk, so it is hardly close to the frontier. Its main claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Nikita Krushchev.

  9. I think we have fundamentally different definitions of what constitutes a "war of machines". As JasonC said

    The basic thrust of his article is that the German ground forces only consumed a very small part of the German economy.
    so i just do not see the German war on the Soviet Union in 1941 and 1942 as a "war of machines".

    300 Divisions most of which are horse drawn and of which 15-20 could really be called motorised (remember Panzer Divisions had been cut in half to double their numbers just before the invasion). That is 5% of the force. For every encirclement, Infantry Divisions were needed to do the fighting, the Panzer Divisions made the breakthrough and caused the confusion but were too weak to destroy the enemy. Not really a war of machines, more like the Great War.

  10. One interesting aspect of his argument is that in many ways the Heer did not attempt to fight a High Tech war against the Soviets but fought a Traditional war against them while the Kreigsmarine and Luftwaffe did fight a High Tech war in the West. The reason for this was their belief that you needed mass armies not small armies with high tech weapons.

    By the way does anyone have a copy of this article that they could post here or say at the Axis History Forum (which accepts bigger file uploads)? So that people could read it in full.

  11. The several issues with using "economic activity" as the measure of military capability can be summarised as:

    1) High tech items do not produce the same level of military capability as economic cost. A heavy bomber is expensive to produce from an economic point of view but produces a military effect that is less than an equivalent number of say, tanks. Of course it produces and economic effect by destroying factories but overall technology increases the cost of killing an enemy soldier it just allows you to do it at range or with less cost to your own soldiers. The V1 and V2 programmes are a good example of a high tech military weapon that in reality kills few people and has little economic effect. By comparison the humble sea mine was very low tech and yet produced a huge economic effect.

    2) Manpower is an economic asset on the balance sheet and could be counted alongside economic output. In O'Briens argument he has Germany deploying 60% of her economic output against the West but only a third of her army while the other 40% of the economy and 2/3rds of her army are sent east. The causalities see 20% in the West and 80% in the east for military personnel. What needs to be included in this is workers, anti-aircraft gunners, firemen and reconstruction crews but even then, the West appears to be spending a lot of economic activity for little in the way of dead German soldiers.

    3) Delivering economic capability is not the same as deployed military capability, a lot of US production was spent in simply delivering the military assets to their battlefield. The Pacific is a good illustration of this as we all know that it took 25 men to supply the 1 man at the front line.

    What is less well understood is that Germany suffered a similar problem in that she found it hard to deploy her economic capability into Russia. Trying to do this via rail meant years of upgrading the railway network, building new roads and expending precious fuel in getting her troops the 2000km from Germany into the front line in Russia. It is by no means clear that even had she wanted to send more material eastwards that Germany would have been able to deliver it. The war in the West was easy to supply as it was fought across good communications at a distance of only 500km from Germany.

    4) I have some sympathy with the planners of the war of machines as they had only the experience of the Great War to go on. It was by no means clear that a bombing campaign against Germany industry was going to produce a political change in Germany, nor that they could damage it sufficiently to effect a collapse of German military strength which would need to be effected before a political change could be made. Nor could they base their strategy on a future super-weapon which may or may not have arrived on time or at all. Viewed from the position of the 1940s.

    Modern conflicts have shown that a country faced by an economically strong, technologically advanced opponent can still win - the Vietnam War is testament to the most unequal struggle. Bosnia shows that you can "bomb them into the Stone Age" and yet to produce political change requires "boots on the ground". Bosnia also shows how hard it can be to destroy a military force from the air even with ultra high tech aircraft a point that has been repeated in Afghanistan. The point has been often made that High Tech armies are best at destroying other High Tech armies and that technology often struggles to cope against the Low Tech.

    I am not putting forward an alternative argument to O'Brien, I am just pointing out the problems with his argument. His numbers have meaning but not in the way that he is using them to justify that the West won the war.

  12. The O'Brien argument is certainly well crafted but it has a number of issues which lessen its authority.

    1) He only counts 1943 onwards and ignores the fact that the Russo-German war was won by mid 1943

    2) His assertion that WW2 was a war of machines really only applies to the Western powers, many other countries successfully fought a war based on man power.

    3) Given this economic output is not the only measure of military activity

    4) Writing in 2000 post-Bosnia one of his objectives is to rehabilitate air power which had been shown to be less than effective in destroying ground forces in certain terrains.

    The argument needs to address the fact that in order to defeat Germany you need to defeat its army and air power cannot do that especially in western Europe and given the level of technology.

    A better argument would give equal weighting to economic and manpower issues in which case his calculations would swing back eastwards.

  13. There are good accounts for both the US (Ruppenthal) and the British (21st AG) logistics as you are no doubt aware and it is well covered in Creveld's book.

    I think that the only point to be made about this is the varying supply demand depending on the type of Operations. Planners allowed 750 tonnes but demand for heavy fighting around the beaches could be higher mainly in ammunition while normal fighting advance was found to be a bit less more like 600 tonnes average while the pursuit phase could be even less at around 250 tonnes when ammunition resupply dropped to zero but fuel rose enormously.

    The principal categories were Rations (stable ) Ammunition (high close to depots ie.at breakthroughs, low at distance ie. Pursuit ) Fuel (low close to depots and high at distance,) and Replacement (men and equipment )

    There are considerable variations between armies the US Army allowed 750 tonnes per division because they used a heavy type of artillery fire and a high level of replacement. Pattons army had units following behind to salvage the equipment that they threw away.

    The German Army allowed 250 tonnes for an Infantry Division and 350 tonnes for a Panzer Divisions as they used short artillery bombardments and often no replacements.

    The Soviets Red Army allowed 150 tonnes per Rifle Division being a smaller unit than either of the other two and short artillery bombardments and no replacements and often only minimal ration resupply but they did supply Front level artillery units with large amounts of ammunition for breakthroughs.

    A key Soviet logistics objective was to ensure that at the end of the pursuit phase the point of the advance had sufficient fuel and ammunition to fight a major battle to capture the objective such as a bridgehead until everything else caught up.

  14. Okay, nitpicking time. ;) Unless the Germans had some kind of two-wheeled truck that I've never heard of (or they are using motorcycles to move supplies), that should probably be either 4X2, or 6X4 if it has dual wheels on the back. The famous US Deuce-and-a-half was, for instance, a 6X6. The code is that the first numeral designates the total count of wheels on the road and the second numeral the number of driving wheels.


    I think you know what I mean, these were civilian lorries taken up from trade and were the road version of the military trucks like the 6x4 Mercedes-Benz L 4500 A

  15. I think this is shown in the table I posted earlier. The US Army in August 1944 has just 5,600 supply trucks supporting a force at 200 miles and they manage a turnaround in 3 days.

    The Soviet force in Jan 1944 has x4 the supply need at a distance of 300 miles so you expect them to have around 30,000 tricks to account for the larger force and slightly longer distance. Instead they have 72,000 and they do not meet as much of the need as the US forces.

    The reason is that they are using 1.5 tonne vehicles while the US are using 2.5 tonne vehicles (often loaded on roads to 5 tonnes and later pulling a 5 tonne trailer) and the reason for that is the roads are so bad, heavier loads simply get bogged down or require huge amounts of fuel.

    Germans have the same problem but use heavier 2x2 trucks and find it hard to make the daily mileage.

  16. Hope you had it on a tablet or something similar 'cos if you print it out it is huge.

    For Operation Barbarossa, 1 POL unit (VS) = 50-70km = 200 cu m Pz.D (160 m cu PzGr.D)

    3 VS units in depots at the Polish border, 3.5 VS units on vehicles, 1 VS unit on fuel column, GTR Handkoffer (suitcase) 2-3 VS units for a total of 8 VS units with the Pz.D or 400 km.

    1 cu m of gasoline converts to 0.8 tonnes so a VS weighs 160 tonnes.

    The Handkoffer GTR units were part of the GTR Regt and 616.Grosstransportraum Regiment (this unit was raised from civilian lorries taken up from trade and conscripted drivers) supported HG Mitte with around 8 battalions of 2000 tonnes each for a total of 15,000 tonnes. This was divided up into 4,500 tonnes of Handkoffer battalions for the Panzer Gruppe and 3,000 tonnes for each of the three Army (which supplied them with around 4 days of rations for both men and horses.)

    Panzer Gruppe Guderian had 5 Panzer, 2 Motorised 1.5 Infantry and 1 Cavalry Division so you can see each Division got around 600 tonnes of load each.

    Pz.D advances 400 km to the initial objective Minsk and half way through that advance the GTR column offloads to the tanks and returns to the depots to pick up another load. 200km back plus 400km to Minsk = 600km taking 6 days. Here they establish a fuel dump and return again to the border/railhead to collect another load and drive forward to establish a second fuel dump beyond Minsk, while the railway arrives in Minsk around Day 20 and establish the Supply District Minsk with 3 loads artillery ammunition, 1.5 loads infantry ammunition and 8 VS units of fuel.

    Panzer Gruppe advances 50km using 600 t a day so will be in Minsk on Day 8 which is when the GTR arrives with another 3 VS units which will carry the Panzers another 200km at best. So turning to destroy the pockets around Minsk allowed the logistics to catch up but really it is hard to advance more than 600km past the railhead without stopping.

    GTR lorry in Russia - 4 tonner with 4 tonne trailer


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