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Operation Rumyantsev proved that even weak German Panzer divisions, such as the 6th and 19th, but also Wiking, Das Reich and Totenkopf could inflict heavy losses upon the attacking Red Army. And although Charkow had to be abandoned it showed what would have been possible with fresh and strong German divisions, like the ones that were available for the Kursk operation. 

George Nipe jr. describes the German defense very well in his book "Decision in the Ukraine".

Usual disclaimer: no, it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the war, but it's an interesting hypothesis.

 

Edited by Aragorn2002
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so now that we've all read 100 books on Ost Front, I gotta wonder:  what would y'all have planned for spring of 1942? 

My options:

1. very best option: shoot hitler and claim it was all his fault and cede territory to make peace w at least USSR.  Germany still very strong so isn't negotiating from complete weakness.

2. I could do Fall Blau, but that is built on the assumption that Soviet army is on its last legs, which was always the assumption and always turned out wrong, and would need a LOT more troops to actually have worked

3. advance only to the donets, push south to rostov then south/SE to the oil regions.  Final line is donets to east of rostov, then along the Manych canal eastward to the best spot to run the line southward again.  have months to prep that line for soviet attacks while strong mobile forces head for the oil to the south & east.  LIne is similar in length to fall blau line but supply lines MUCH better and much more time to prepare defenses for eventual counterattack.  Also really puts the focus on the real prize -- the oilfields.

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46 minutes ago, danfrodo said:

so now that we've all read 100 books on Ost Front, I gotta wonder:  what would y'all have planned for spring of 1942? 

My options:

1. very best option: shoot hitler and claim it was all his fault and cede territory to make peace w at least USSR.  Germany still very strong so isn't negotiating from complete weakness.

2. I could do Fall Blau, but that is built on the assumption that Soviet army is on its last legs, which was always the assumption and always turned out wrong, and would need a LOT more troops to actually have worked

3. advance only to the donets, push south to rostov then south/SE to the oil regions.  Final line is donets to east of rostov, then along the Manych canal eastward to the best spot to run the line southward again.  have months to prep that line for soviet attacks while strong mobile forces head for the oil to the south & east.  LIne is similar in length to fall blau line but supply lines MUCH better and much more time to prepare defenses for eventual counterattack.  Also really puts the focus on the real prize -- the oilfields.

Difficult choice, Dan. Shooting Hitler would have be a good start, but it wouldn't have changed much. 

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Yes, Aragorn, you see my point exactly -- what could they do??  Most situations one can look w hindsight and figure out a solution, but only with knowing the outcome already and all the things those involved did not know.  But in 1942, I've long wonder what could've been done.  It's quite a riddle.

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19 minutes ago, danfrodo said:

Yes, Aragorn, you see my point exactly -- what could they do??  Most situations one can look w hindsight and figure out a solution, but only with knowing the outcome already and all the things those involved did not know.  But in 1942, I've long wonder what could've been done.  It's quite a riddle.

Perhaps accept that only defending what's conquered remained and prepare for the inevitable counterattacks, both in Russia, North Africa and Europe. Build up reserves. Trade territory for blood. 

But it wouldn't have brought anything else than defeat. 

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The first video of six with the subject that the Soviets was planning for war and actually partly succeeded in what they had planned.

Maybe not so much about tanks and infantry in different battles as it is about how cunning the Soviets possibly were.

Take it as the truth or take it as a conspiracy theory. It's quite interesting though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just picked up a new book (published February 2021) which whilst not a conventional military history is directly relevant to F & R: 

Bastiaan Willems, Violence in Defeat: The Wehrmacht on German Soil, 1944-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). It actually focuses entirely on the defence of East Prussia, and is a wide ranging thematic study of East Prussian society and the behaviour of the Wehrmacht. Thoroughly recommended.

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4 hours ago, Petrus58 said:

Just picked up a new book (published February 2021) which whilst not a conventional military history is directly relevant to F & R: 

Bastiaan Willems, Violence in Defeat: The Wehrmacht on German Soil, 1944-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). It actually focuses entirely on the defence of East Prussia, and is a wide ranging thematic study of East Prussian society and the behaviour of the Wehrmacht. Thoroughly recommended.

Interesting, but not sure what to expect. I've downloaded the kindle sample.

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On 4/22/2021 at 3:34 PM, Petrus58 said:

Just picked up a new book (published February 2021) which whilst not a conventional military history is directly relevant to F & R: 

Bastiaan Willems, Violence in Defeat: The Wehrmacht on German Soil, 1944-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). It actually focuses entirely on the defence of East Prussia, and is a wide ranging thematic study of East Prussian society and the behaviour of the Wehrmacht. Thoroughly recommended.

I've read the sample, Petrus. Well written and researched, but quite a steep price for a Kindle version. Does the book describe the actual fighting for East Prussia too? So Goldap, Schirnwindt, Nemmersdorf and so on?

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It does mention them but only briefly. As I said, it's more of an overview than a detailed account of military actions, but I've found it really interesting, and as you say, well-researched. Surprised about the kindle price - £15 in the UK.

Edit: Just to add, the bibliography might be very useful, being pretty much up to date.

 

Edited by Petrus58
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4 hours ago, Petrus58 said:

It does mention them but only briefly. As I said, it's more of an overview than a detailed account of military actions, but I've found it really interesting, and as you say, well-researched. Surprised about the kindle price - £15 in the UK.

Edit: Just to add, the bibliography might be very useful, being pretty much up to date.

 

I might buy it. I'm fascinated by everything Prussian, during the 18th, 19th and 20th century. Poor East Prussia.

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I'm a bit more than halfway into the book The Forgotten Soldier, buy the Eastern Front veteran Guy Mouminoux who wrote under the pseudonym Guy Sajer, which is a book that contains both the horrors of the front but also a bit of humour in it. Although I haven't experienced any battle myself it seems to me that he tells things just how it could have been. Especially when he writes about the moments of being bombarded by the Soviets and the fear of being overrun by the assaulting Soviet troops one can almost feel what it must have been like.

On Wikipedia it says about the book that Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven has discussed with Mouminoux the possibility of turning the book into a film. If that happens and they follow the book I'm sure it would be an interesting film to watch.

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18 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

Eastern Front veteran Guy Mouminoux who wrote under the pseudonym Guy Sajer

I remember reading this when I was a teenager and it was a compelling and eye-opening read as prior to TFS nobody had described war like he did.  Interesting to know Sajer's real name.  Presumably he's RIP now.

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32 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

I'm a bit more than halfway into the book The Forgotten Soldier, buy the Eastern Front veteran Guy Mouminoux who wrote under the pseudonym Guy Sajer, which is a book that contains both the horrors of the front but also a bit of humour in it. Although I haven't experienced any battle myself it seems to me that he tells things just how it could have been. Especially when he writes about the moments of being bombarded by the Soviets and the fear of being overrun by the assaulting Soviet troops one can almost feel what it must have been like.

On Wikipedia it says about the book that Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven has discussed with Mouminoux the possibility of turning the book into a film. If that happens and they follow the book I'm sure it would be an interesting film to watch.

When Verhoeven is going to direct it, you can skip watching it. He's only interested in sensation.

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I tend to agree with Aragorn here. Love a lot of his stuff, but wondering how this will turn out. I first read Sager's book 40 years ago and a couple more times since. Great read, but I also recall a lot of controversy as to whether it was fiction or nonfiction.

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4 hours ago, Geoff-Ludumpress said:

This arrived today, it's the second edition of 'Bloody Streets'. For those 'Fire & Rubble' nuts (like me) this is 25 years research on the Battle for Berlin in one book, well two, as it comes with a separate map book.  

Bloody Streets.jpg

I don't have that one.

Please share your thoughts when you've had time to digest it.

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1 hour ago, Vergeltungswaffe said:

I don't have that one.

Please share your thoughts when you've had time to digest it.

@Vergeltungswaffe. It's the best book on the battle of Berlin by one of the best authors on the late war period. An absolute must have for every Ostfronter.

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2 hours ago, Vergeltungswaffe said:

I don't have that one.

Please share your thoughts when you've had time to digest it.

I agree with Aragorn 😊...I bought this one a few months ago...It's no brainer...buy it ! 😁

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7 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

@Vergeltungswaffe. It's the best book on the battle of Berlin by one of the best authors on the late war period. An absolute must have for every Ostfronter.

Good to know, Aragorn, cuz I just bought it the other day. 

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8 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

@Vergeltungswaffe. It's the best book on the battle of Berlin by one of the best authors on the late war period. An absolute must have for every Ostfronter.

 

8 hours ago, Glubokii Boy said:

I agree with Aragorn 😊...I bought this one a few months ago...It's no brainer...buy it ! 😁

Thanks for the glowing endorsements gentlemen, makes it an easy purchase.

Not sure why I never got around to that one, but I'll remedy it now.

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On 5/6/2021 at 11:13 AM, Vergeltungswaffe said:

 

Thanks for the glowing endorsements gentlemen, makes it an easy purchase.

Not sure why I never got around to that one, but I'll remedy it now.

So good I bought it twice. Also Between the Oder and the Elbe by Tieke, Wilehlm: New Hardcover (2006) 1st Edition | J.M. Brown (abebooks.com)  Check out the small map section underneath. That is a supplemental map that is included. Its a 24"x36" color  street map of Berlin on one side and a color battle map on the other. Beautiful and excellent book translated to English.

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