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German attack doctrine in CM


JasonC
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Actually I agree in whole with your Eastern Front assessment sburke. (Which you've edited out and reposted below)

 

Bil isn't incorrect, the failure to drive to Moscow and instead getting caught up with the encirclement of Kiev was a war-losing move. The flip-side is that, even if they hadn't suffered from target-fixation, it (probably) wouldn't have mattered, Operation Typhoon was doomed to failure, as JSj notes. If Stalingrad and the even earlier 1941 counteroffensives show, STAVKA had an almost superhuman ability to raise and equip strategic reserves anywhere the Germans were poised to strike. Couple this with the RKKA slowly but surely recovering their operational awareness from the 1930s with truly poor military intelligence on the part of the Germans, and the Soviets had the German's number quite early on. 

 

Taking the railhub would've mattered very little, in the words of the Bulgarian ambassador - "Even if you retreat to the Urals, you will win in the end." The military importance of Moscow had been greatly decreased since the evacuation of an already potent industry (supplemented in ever increasing numbers by material aid from the United States) and government further East, and its only true value at that point was as a communications hub. 

 

EDIT: The main sticking point is that, even if the drive to Moscow was conducted earlier, it was still going to be conducted by deeply eroded mobile units low in material and tuckered-out by high tempo operations. Its doubtful they had the striking power to once again encircle and destroy the Moscow Front group even if they launched their offensive a full month earlier. 

 

 

 

if I edited this now and said I think JasonC is a genius 

 

Ayy lmao

Edited by Rinaldi
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There this seems better.  I didn't like edittng a post someone had upped and then change the content Sorry Bil and Rinaldi.

 

 

As to the Eastern front campaign - it is off topic, but what the hell - Germany lost the war they day it started.  It just took that long to catch up to the reality.  Russia was never going to surrender.  Why would it?  It could trade space for time almost indefinitely and the true economic powerhouse of the war was sitting an ocean away from Germany.  An ocean that Germany was never going to win the war for.

 

So yeah maybe Germany could have taken Moscow if it hadn't diverted it's forces.  That would have impeded Russian ability to prosecute the war, but it would not have stopped it. Taking even more territory was not going to help resolve the German manpower issues either. The only way that Germany could have won that war was to be a different Germany and to have actually been able to ally itself with those forces that already hated the Soviets as opposed to driving those people to embrace the Soviets as the lesser of two evils. That however is alternate history and not really worth the time of this thread or forum.

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Regardless, the strategic examples don't really help us with the tactical reality that is present in CM. They are good as far as analogies go, but really are off topic as far as this discussion goes.

As shift8 stated above, every tactical commander needs to account for all elements in METT-T (I have deleted the civilian component as it has no place in these games). You cannot concentrate on just one element of METT-T... that is the bottom line point that most of us have been trying to get across.

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I think the Germans entering Moscow in 41 in fall or winter and seizing the city would perhaps have extended the war but i doubt it would have won it. a lot hinges on whether in this alternate history Hitler still declares war on the US. End of the day though even though Hitler ordered Moscow bypassed and encircled I highly doubt he wouod have been able to resist actually entering the city once there.

Just like he gave orders for Case Blue that he constantly modified and changed.

I also believe if the Germans had entered Moscow in 41 it would have just been a Moscow-grad 41 not Stalingrad 42.

I read a great collection of essays on war winning What if the Nazis won scenarios. Glantz wrote a great one on US vs Russia in May 45 but hostilies cease after a few weeks.

As all the authors point out alternate history can only even be on the most basic level accurately predicted immediately after the divergence from real history and thw further you go the more complicated and more impossible predictions become.

However the most believeable war winning strategy I read was the Nazis coercing and cooperating with Franco to seize Gibralter in 1940 anf not invade Russia but focus on the Med and Mideast. Also using Spanish pride and egotism allowing Francos troops the 'honor' of seizing Gibralter would have made Spain an active Axis partner. It almost became one anyways but a mysterious visit by Canaris who wass well liked and respected by the Spaniards in fall 1940 ended that. A Spanish intelligence official later claimed Canaris told him Germany was doomed and to at all costs tr to keep Spain neutral. The official was shocked to hear this at the height of Nazi power from a high rabking Nazi official and Franco who heard of it was too. And firmly led Spain on a path of pro Axis neutrality.

Seizing Gibralter would mean the collapse of Egypt and seizure of the Suez Canal. The Arabs were very anti British and with no supplies except around the Cape of Good Hope and then overland the British in the mideast would probably have been doomed and a German drive on Iraqs biggest problem would probably have been not enemy action but logistical.

At the very least turning the Med into an Axis lake would probably have meant Turkey joining the Axis, and no Op Torch or Italian campaign.

The book was titled What if the Nazis Won? and has a picture of big ben with a big nazi flag draped on it. man well respected historians contributed including several essays by Glantz. most essays are at least several pages long.

Btw sburke one essay deemed your idea the only way the Nazis could have won against Russia- by playing on anti Soviet hatred being nice to the populace and raising armies out of the conquered territories. However as the authors pointed out this was unlikely in the extreme since it inherently went against all Nazi practice, dogma, and thought.

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Always found these forums to be friendly and helpful. Shift8, reply to my posts by all means, but drop the unwarranted, condescending tone thanks.

Shift8 the objectives of 1942, have nothing to do with what i was saying.For outright victory against the Russians it was always going to be a one shot deal for the Germans.

By their own estimation, the Wermacht had to destroy the Red army, and quickly to win a war with Russia, it failed to do this, this was the turning point of the eastern front.

 I also said the destruction of the Red army, if you took me to mean that I envisaged killing every one to the last man, well you're mistaken. Ironically, one thing you do say, is that," Nobody wants to fight to the last man, and even if they did, it wouldn't matter". Where in fact this very quality in the Russian units was, as I'm sure you are aware, a significant factor in the German failure to obtain it's strategic objectives in the summer of '41. Maybe D.Glantz, can put it a little clearer than I can. 

 

"Hitler did not issue his directive 21 for Fall Barbarossa until 18 December. When he finally did so his clear intention was to destroy the Red army rather than achieve any specific terrain or political objective". Cheers.

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Rapid destruction of the Soviet Army WAS unlikely given its size. The Germans did certainly give them a run for their money in 41 though.  It shouldnt be forgotten also that by 1945 the Red Army was facing a severe manpower shortage, and if perhaps Germany had done things different (like perhaps no declaration of war on the US, perhaps treating the conquered populace different and raising armies, or perhaps the Med strategy I posted from the book I read, then invading Russia) the Germans may perhaps have been able to cause such casualties as to force a Soviet armistice. Of course everyone would clearly know such an armistice would really be a cease fire for both sides to rebuild and reman until one side or the other broke the treaty and attacked again.

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The Soviets were not experiencing a worse manpower crunch than the Germans were. Not even remotely as bad. After Kursk and D-Day their was no chance for any kind of agreement or armistice. By unilateral agreement among the Allied powers and no small amount of rage on the part of its leaders. Churchill and Stalin did not break in the dark days of 1940-41. They weren't going to give up with everything going their way in 1944. Peace or alignment with the fascist menace was definitely off the table by 1942 and probably had been earlier. Really everybody had attempted to negotiate or even collaborate with Hitler in the 1930s and that worked for precisely no one because Hitler just betrayed everyone sooner or later.

If by some colossal disaster the Soviet Union found itself unable to sustain the tempo of its operations than all that would happen is the Allies would pick up the slack, and it'd be American and British forces besieging Berlin in 1945 instead.

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The Soviets were not facing a manpower shortage in 45. They were facing an infantry shortage, but that was due to allocation of resources.

 

In 43-44-45, 2-2.5 million boys were turning 18 each year (baby boom in the mid 20s), more than enough to replace all casualties. However, towards the end of the war, the Soviets started allocating more and more men into armor, artillery and specialist units like engineers and reducing the size of the infantry. By early 45, they had even begun demobilising engineer units to start working on postwar reconstruction.

 

By the time they get to Berlin, you see Russian infantry divisions with as little as 3-4,000 men, but backed up by large amounts of armor and artillery units.

 

The Germans did have a severe manpower shortage. By 40-41, something like 80-85% of men in their twenties were already serving in the Wehrmacht and only around 600-700,000 boys were turning 18 each year (baby bust in the mid 20s), not enough to replace casualties. That is why you see them progressively drafting younger teens and older men.

Edited by Sgt Joch
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well that would course only make sense considering the disparity in size between the two countries. Perhaps im wrong and its an allocation thing and an infantry shortage as it were, however most accounts Ive read from either side note that the SU from a combination of famine in the 30s colossal war disasters and impending issues in reconstruction with even feeding their own populace meant that manpower was a pretty serious issue for the SU especially compared to say the relatively untouched US.

I dont know what you mean about Churchill and Stalin not breaking in the dark days of 40-41. From June to December 41 certainly. But up until that point the Soviet Union was openly supplying the Nazis with supplies and material, and Stalin sent congratulations to Hitler on his victory over the British and French in June 1940. No the Soviets were pretty firmly the 'bad guys' until they were invaded. Then they were still essentially the bad guys, just the bad guys fighting the other bas guys. You dont get statements like Stalins "He.s our Himmler." (to President Roosecelt at Yalta referring to Beria) from ' good guy countries '.

I also purely based my possibility of Germany being able to force a Soviet armistice and cease fire on alternate history seizing of Gibralter, British collapse in the Med, and perhaps Axis advance on Saudi/ Iraqi oilfields. Also on Spain and Turkey actively joining the Axis actively.

I never said that was a possibility in the way the war turned out at all or even if Hitler hadnt turned towards Smolensk or had invaded in May instead of June as originally planned.

Really Germanys war was lost when it invaded the SU. And really by 1940 Roosevelt was all but fighting Germany and would have found a pretext to get into the war against Hitler. Even without Russia America and Britain could have won against Germany with a certainty.

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well that would course only make sense considering the disparity in size between the two countries. Perhaps im wrong and its an allocation thing and an infantry shortage as it were, however most accounts Ive read from either side note that the SU from a combination of famine in the 30s colossal war disasters and impending issues in reconstruction with even feeding their own populace meant that manpower was a pretty serious issue for the SU especially compared to say the relatively untouched US.

Most of the things you've read sound to me like they were written from sources of questionable authenticity and interest. These infamous "colossal" disasters in the Soviet Union were followed up by years of unprecedented growth in all sectors of the Russian economy. Yielding a state that did the lion's share of fighting in the biggest armed conflict in history emerging immediately afterwards as a world super power. I'm not denying that the 1930s were a rough time to be living in the Soviet Union, just that accuracy of accusations are suspect due to the highly political nature of west v east politics.

 

I dont know what you mean about Churchill and Stalin not breaking in the dark days of 40-41. From June to December 41 certainly. But up until that point the Soviet Union was openly supplying the Nazis with supplies and material, and Stalin sent congratulations to Hitler on his victory over the British and French in June 1940. No the Soviets were pretty firmly the 'bad guys' until they were invaded. Then they were still essentially the bad guys, just the bad guys fighting the other bas guys. You dont get statements like Stalins "He.s our Himmler." (to President Roosecelt at Yalta referring to Beria) from ' good guy countries '.

 

I'm not clear on what you're talking about here, but if it's that the Soviets had been aligned with Hitler before he turned on them you might want to read up how sleazy the League's conduct was over Czechoslovakia and Spain. Two countries that fell to fascist brutality out of what I wish I could say was just negligence.

 

I also purely based my possibility of Germany being able to force a Soviet armistice and cease fire on alternate history seizing of Gibralter, British collapse in the Med, and perhaps Axis advance on Saudi/ Iraqi oilfields. Also on Spain and Turkey actively joining the Axis actively.

 

Oh so this is all based on the fan fiction you've written already. Maybe you might want to point that out sometime so we can be aware that you plan on just hand waving away various circumstances and details to fit your premise when it suits you. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

I never said that was a possibility in the way the war turned out at all or even if Hitler hadnt turned towards Smolensk or had invaded in May instead of June as originally planned.

Really Germanys war was lost when it invaded the SU. And really by 1940 Roosevelt was all but fighting Germany and would have found a pretext to get into the war against Hitler. Even without Russia America and Britain could have won against Germany with a certainty.

 

Yeah definitely reading from those questionable sources. Barbarossa was delayed to June because it was still the rainy season in Russia and decidedly not a good time to invade a country that had few roads paved or rail.

Edited by CaptHawkeye
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One of the ancient ones. i'm not arguing about the likely hood or not of the german capability to destroy the Red army,that is immaterial. What is important is that the german high command themselves by their own estimation believed the only chance to win outright against Russia, was to Destroy the Russian army in the field in the summer campaign of '41. It failed in this objective. The "Whole rotten structure" did not "come crumbling down". Cheers.

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well that would course only make sense considering the disparity in size between the two countries. Perhaps im wrong and its an allocation thing and an infantry shortage as it were, however most accounts Ive read from either side note that the SU from a combination of famine in the 30s colossal war disasters and impending issues in reconstruction with even feeding their own populace meant that manpower was a pretty serious issue for the SU especially compared to say the relatively untouched US.

 

 

and what accounts would that be?

 

the info I posted on the Soviet Army is from Dunn's "Hitler's Nemesis: The Red Army 1930-45". An excellent book for anyone who is really interested on how the WW2 Soviet Army actually worked.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Nemesis-1930-45-Stackpole-Military/dp/0811735435

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Ill post some citations later when Im home. Off hand Cornelius Ryans The Final Battle has some interesting facts and figures and The War In Th East 1941-1945 (gotta check author name and title when i get home as well) provide interesting sources.

Hawkeye Idk where your hostility or idea of fanboism comes from but we were discussing what if scenarios. For one I kmow exactly how sleazy the Leaque was though what that has to do with the Soviet Union being in complete alignment with Nazi Germany before its invasion is about zero. Of course also the Leaque of Nations actions were sleazy, however didnt result in occupation and forced upon governments by the powers involved unlike the Russian occupation of Poland, Katyn massacre, and post war behavior.

As far as suspect sources I cant vouch for all the contributors to the book however I really dont see Glantz as a dubious source. Dry certainly dubious no. And I dont see Glantz wasting his time getting involved in some idiotic fantasy nazi fanboism book either. Also the invasion wasnt delayed because it was the rainy season it was delayed because the coup in Yugoslavia and subsequent need for German intervention. Hitler was frothing at the mouth to invade, he had to be dissuaded from attacking the previous fall from his generals.

And of course the Soviet state did the lions share of fighting the Germans. Roughly 75% of the Wehrmacht was fighting the Russians from 6/41 on. However thats also with a tremendous amount of dead, lend lease, and basically the whole rest of the world assisting and attacking the Germans everywhere else. That remaining 25%, and lend lease certainly shortened the war by years though I think it ineviteable the Soviets would have won eventually barring a whole different strategy and invasion date by the Axis and thats iffy still at best.

Sources later. Btw is it always your policy to grow hostile and insulting in debates when people dont agree with you?

book with essays including by Glantz: If the Allies had Fallen: Sixty Alternate History Scenarios of Ww2.

Barbarossa The Russian German Conflict by Alan Clark

Thats just off top of my head cell phone lookup. After i get off work in twelve hrs Ill post more book cites.

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Barbarossa The Russian German Conflict by Alan Clark

 

 

written in 1965 well before the Soviet archives were accessible, based mostly on the early postwar German sources which are now very outdated. A good book if you know nothing about Barbarossa, but useless if you want an objective view. Anything written before 1990, except maybe Erickson's "Road to Stalingrad/Road to Berlin" is a dubious source to find out what really happened.

 

Ryan's, "the last battle", written in 1966 has the same problem.

 

I would recommend books written by Glantz for good operational material, including his book on Kursk and his superb Stalingrad trilogy which recently came out and which I am still plowing through.

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Yeah Glantz is pretty dry. Of course you have a good point thosebwere mentioned because they were some of my fiest Ost Front books and thats why I remember them out of hundreds since. Beevor has some good books on the Ost but theyre more human interest oriented. Like i said when I get home Ill poost more cites of books post SU collapse. Also those books are dated but doesnt mean entirely useless. Just like Alexander Werths book on the war written during and after. It offers unique insights into the political personalities of the time.

Also The SS Dirlewanger Brigade by Christian Ingao comes to mind. I also want to see if I still have my book o the coolectivization induced famine in Ukraine during the 1930s from a UMass Boston class I took under Professer David Hunt. Excellent teacher though his real specialty is Vietnam his book on the NLF Vietnams Southern Revolution taken using interviews and extensive RAND interviews is brilliant. But thats o/t.

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There was a famine in Ukraine in the early 30s, yes, but it does not seem to have had any appreciable impact on Red Army manpower in WW2.

 

I rechecked my sources.

 

The USSR had a baby boom during the mid 1920s after the end of the civil war, and there were an estimated 3.25 million males turning 17 each year during WW2, meaning up to 3 million could be inducted. Out of that 3 million, 1 million were in areas occupied by the Germans reducing the number in 1942-43 to 2 million per year. 

 

Based on Soviet records, 90% of all males turning 17 in 1943 and 1944 were inducted and the Army took in over 2 million new recruits in 1943 and 3 million combined in 1944-45. These 5,000,000 new recruits were more than sufficient to replace all casualties.


 

Edited by Sgt Joch
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true. how long does training and everythong else take. of course long term its enough to replace the casualties, but another book I read Ivans War: Life and Death in the Red Army 1939-1945 mentions quite a bit a noticeable manpower shortage in the spring of 45. Is this permanent? Of course not, no manpower shortage really is. After all that happened to Germany theyve surpassed pre Ww2 population levels and well before the 70s iirc. Same with the British in WW1, of course though at what cost to science, arts, etc will never be known. Who knows what KIA soldier may have cured cancer or conversely been the next Hitler.

Id like to add Id like to have the luxury and advantage in this debate that you have of being able to check sources but I can only post when I have free moment at work. And is this a debate anyways? I dont understand what exactly you.re disagreeing with me on anyways or ' what you.ve proved ' I already provided you several sources of books I read from memory and Im not at home in front of my book shelf. Which much of btw was also library books or lost through time. I never said the SU had irreplaceable manpower losses, just a severe manpower shortage by spring 45. Also out of all those males how many would be rear area personnel, staff, scientests, and key factory workers? out of all those how many equate to actual combat troops and how long does it take to actually train them?

And once again whats the disagreement? I said manpower shortage. They still defeated the Germans as it was and i never claimed they wouldnt be able to manpower shortage or not. I also paraphrased an alternate history scenario i thought most likely for an axis win in ww2 from the book I cited about alternate history. Alternate history is just that and is only a what if or could be scenario. I never once said any of what i

typed would guarantee an Axis win. Also one of authors you cited Joch, Glantz, contributed heabily to several essays in this 'book of dubious nature.' I have ro ask, is this a personal issue you guys have with me and if so why not PM and explain what the issue is? Or is it just your normal debating style to team jump all over.people and assert there sources they havent even been able to cite are dubious and suspect. I would like to see if you and Hawkeye claim the books I cited and read (again off the top of my head I have A LOT more at home) are dubious sources as you guys claimed without even finding out what said sources were. Again like Alexander Werth. Ryan. Clark. Glantz. The authors of the Dirlewanger book and Ivans war as well. And Beevor. Ill name more later.

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personal issue? I don't even know who you are.

 

I was just pointing out that the statement that the Soviets were facing a manpower shortage in 1945 is incorrect.

 

Eastern Front literature has gone through several phases. For a long time after 1945, it was warped by lack of access to Soviet archives. It is only since the end of the Cold war that we can get an objective view on what really happened.

 

However, you still have a lot of myths circulating about the Eastern Front, i.e., the Germans could have won if they had attacked in May, could have won if they had gone directly for Moscow, etc., many of which have been discussed extensively here over the past 13 years and debunked.

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my comment abt personal was more direcrted at hawkeye than u but fine.

i understand and am well aware of the phases of ost front literature. ive only been reading about it fifteen years. It almost seems like when you.re talking to me you think Im an idiot or I know absolutely zilch about the Eastern Front. I wouldnt say Im an expert by any means but I.m by no means new to histories of the war and know quite a bit in detail about all phases of that particular conflict.

Anyways, back to the phases of Eastern Front lit. - From Von Mellenthin and Lost Victories by Guderian, to a mid period in the 70 and 80s to now.

However if you know about or went to college like i did for history you ll know first hand accounts are immensely important even though they may be warped or worded to favor them - but they were there. And that is always key. That is why Werths account of the war is so valuable. He was inside the SU during the war and met all the personalities - Stalin, Beria, Kosygin, Mikoyan, etc.

I also believe Werths and Clarks books have withstood the test of time very well.

And the manpower qrgyment and projected Soviet males coming to age is great. But it doesnt help in Spring of 45 if it takes 9 months to draft train and equip then transport them to the front and if only 10-20% are in front line units.

You also didnt answer my question about my sources, Ive provided a few now that are post Soviet era and you havent commented at all. In addition Ill have another several when I get home.

And actually many of the myths have been discussed extensively here for the past sixteen years and debunked - i started lurking here in fall 99 and became a member when BO went gold in May 00.

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Death if the Wehrmacht : German Campaigns of 42 Robert Citino

Take Budapest! The Struggle for Hungary Autumn 1944 Kamen Nevenkin

Absolute War Chris Bellamy

Endkampf Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich Stephen Fritz

Kiev 1941 by Stahel

Germany 1945 Views of War and Violence Dagmar Barnouw

Shall I continue or are these too suspect and dubious sources?

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Death if the Wehrmacht : German Campaigns of 42 Robert Citino

Take Budapest! The Struggle for Hungary Autumn 1944 Kamen Nevenkin

Absolute War Chris Bellamy

Endkampf Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich Stephen Fritz

Kiev 1941 by Stahel

Germany 1945 Views of War and Violence Dagmar Barnouw

Shall I continue or are these too suspect and dubious sources?

so you are saying that Citino's German campaigns of 42 or Stahel's Kiev 1941 discuss Soviet manpower shortage in 1945? ;)

I think you are the one taking this too personally.

My basic premise stands, the Soviets did not have a manpower shortage in 1945. They had an infantry shortage caused by their manpower allocation system and secondarily also by how they handled their replacement system.

I am usually loathe to quote wiki, but:

 

During the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army conscripted 29,574,900 men in addition to the 4,826,907 in service at the beginning of the war. Of this total of 34,401,807 it lost 6,329,600 killed in action (KIA), 555,400 deaths by disease and 4,559,000 missing in action (MIA) (most captured). Of these 11,444,000, however, 939,700 rejoined the ranks in the subsequently liberated Soviet territory, and a further 1,836,000 returned from German captivity. Thus the grand total of losses amounted to 8,668,400.[51][

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army#The_Second_World_War_.28.22The_Great_Patriotic_War.22.29

btw, Bellamy's "Absolute War" on p.8 quotes the exact same figures.

again, no raw manpower shortage there. Now if you have any pertinent point to make on that topic, please share it.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sgt Joch
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Actually im interested in how long the class of 28/29 would have taken once conscripted to reach the front and how many would have been actual combat troops. Given the wars less pressing nature vs 41/42 Id pull a guess of six months outta my arse from conscription to the ftont

Liberated Soviet personnel is good and all except they were treated much like the Jews in the Holocaust, generally were known to be interested not in combat but getting some food, raping some women, and carting off anything they could. They also were considered suspect by their government and destined for Gulags generally. Sure some fought well but they were not well regarded by Soviet front line personnel and said personnel even were known to warn German civilians about the soldiers at all if stopping to chat at all. And actually as far as my books on the start of the war you.d be surprised about where information about the next several years of Soviet manpower would come from or examples from 45 to illustrate the lunacy of invading the SU.

My book list was response was a in response to your assertion my sources were all dated and your condescending lecture on the phases of Eastern Front history which anyone who has an interest in the subject would consider basic knowledge.  Yea I took it personally when you both without givinh me a chance to provide sources started tossing around phrases like Nazi fanboi, and saying my hitherto unknown sources were suspect and dubious.

 

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