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The Maus Tank, Germany's RR Guns and Other Discussions.


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Agreed, the Maus is really a super-heavy assault gun and even if it had been used in combat there would never have been more than a battalion sized unit of them.

The Panther was considered for a long time to have been the epitome of tank advancement, probably holding it's own till the late fifties.

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At last the secret is out about those things!

That was a great History Channel program, I think it was called Luftwaffe 1946.

There were two similar projects which and I don't think the designers of either were aware of the other's work. One was the Horten Bros for Germany, which didn't get started till very late, and the other was the American Northrup Flying Wing. The Flying Wing was originally made with prop engines and was successful in that form. At the end of the war it was fitted with different configurations of jet engines and supposedly became unstable and was dropped from consideration in the mid-fifties after a fatal crash. Today it is widely believed that the crash was actually caused by sabotage.

This is an interesting excerpt regarding the Horten All Wing aircraft and similar designs from an article I found on the net:

Captured German aircraft

In the aftermath of the war various aircraft were recovered by the allies and tested before being scrapped or placed in store. Two in particular related to the flying wing 'programme' and were held on charge by the RAE. Between them they reflected the work of the foremost German designers, Alexander Lippisch and the Horten brothers. The latter had been working on a range of powered and unpowered flying wings and one glider, the Horten HoIV, with a high-aspect ratio (21.8) gently swept wing was taken to Farnborough where it was accorded the serial VP543 and tested by the RAE. It was later sold in the United States. A second HoIV was used in Germany by BAFO Gliding Club until around 1950. A number of Hortens of various types went direct to the United States where flying wing developments were being pioneered by Northrop. The rocket powered Me163B Komet designed by Lippisch was retrieved in large numbers, no fewer than 24 examples being given British serials, mostly in the AM range. One or two were used for tests but most were soon scrapped or placed in Museums (at least seven survive). VF241 was secured before the end of hostilities and was flown by the RAE between 1945 and 1947 as as a glider, towed by a Spitfire, usually from Wisley. 191614 preserved at Cosford is illustrated with details of 191660 preserved at Duxford also shown.

Information on both All Wing planes and photos in the URL Topic link below.

*Separate Units and Research Fields for Prop and Jet Aircraft

[ April 23, 2003, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Here's wishing you luck in making sense of Hitler's decisions. ;)

If him and Goering had any idea what they were doing they'd have had Jet fighters in production by mid-1941, perhaps earlier.

Actually, regarding the transatlantic decision, I think it was directly linked to the development of a German A-bomb. Despite Werner Heisenberg's guarded statements, Hitler was sure Germany would have a functional Atomic Bomb before 1945; he wanted a way to drop them on New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

[ April 23, 2003, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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JJ: Great photos!

I remember seeing an old film (newsreel maybe) of the "Spruce(d) Goose" in action. The film is about 3 minutes long and in that time the plane just begins to lift off of the water (as the announcer rhapsodizes over "another soaring achievement of American avaition"). Hilarious.


Shaka: I agree with you.

Hitler's decisions are logical if you assume he knew his position was desperate from late 1940 on. He did vascillate between going for the 'big win' and planning for a long war in Russia--and that hurt him, but in general he got to the top by playing to get "one big win" and he continued in that vein until the end.

His worst mistake was in valuing obsequiousness more than ability in his advisors. Goering, especially, caused him much grief.


And I can't believe this thread has gone on this long without someone saying: "It's not how big it is, it's what you do with it." So I will... smile.gif

[ April 24, 2003, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: santabear ]

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Shaka, I agree. It is a lot easier to point out all the mistakes of the loser. The allies made their fair share of blunders. I have read that some of Hitler's hold at all cost orders paid off by allowing the rest of the German army to regroup or retreat. I don't think it was the size of Germany's tanks that did them in but rather the number of variations they made of each. It might have proved more useful to build only 1 type of Panzer (panther or tiger) in greater amounts (production being faster) than creating fewer of them with different variants.

Of course the war was lost by Hitler's decision to invade Russia before dealing with England properly. Could North Africa been taken and a southern flank into Russia been opened before Stalin choose to be the aggressor? Had the English army been destroyed or captured at Dunkirk would England agreed to peace? No one can say for certain. Had England and France attacked Germany instead of signing the Munich treaty none of these questions would even be relevant smile.gif

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Konstatin V. Kotelnikov :

The mouse would have approx.. 188 tons weighed (Jagdtiger: 71 tons). Nearly no bridge could have carried such a monster, therefore one designed it in such a way that it could easily through-dip 8 meters deep water.

(from: http://www.panzerlexikon.de/

Roughly translated by stupid me & BABELFISH.)

The Clash of Steel-Hitler-Feature was buggy.

When your Afrika-Korps invaded the USSR via Persia, your troops HAD to move from east to west to CONQUER. But Hitler ordered "NO RETREAT" (east to west movement) and your troops were forced to stop, even though they advanced...

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Okay, you guys have swung me over to your view. I rejoice in the great strategist Hitler's brilliant decision to resist taking Moscow when it was wide open so he could swing his panzers from a hundred miles of the Russian capital to have them strike hundreds of miles south for Kiev, then brilliantly bringing them back north, wisely utilizing the changing weather so von Bock would have more of a challenge taking the place first in bottomless mud, then in sub-zero temperatures that prevented his troops vehicles and weapons from functioning properly.

Then his generals further screwed him up by engaging in the self-indulgent act of freezing to death in the snow because he hadn't bothered to provide winter clothing. After all, had it not been for the bungling of his generals he'd have won the campaign by then.

But he wasn't through! Not by a longshot. There was still to come his brilliant micromanagement at Stalingrad, his inspired decision to defend the flanks with Italians and Romanians who had nothing that could stop T-34s because he had a hunch Russia didn't have any tanks left.

But they somehow scraped enough together to surround his Sixth Army in the city and Hitler had the wisdom to forbid them to break out. Yes, he provided them with plenty of supplies from the air. Then that whimp Paulus, on the frivolous pretext of his army having been shattered, starved and out of ammunition, threw all Hitler's great schemes out the window by not holding out to the last -- the ingrate surrendering even after being promoted to Field Marshal.

A new Year, new opportunities for exhibiting Brilliance. The masterpiece at Kursk -- telegraph your moves, allow your enemy months on end to fortify his position. Vascilate so much over what tanks to produce that in the end you're left counting on a lumbering giant helpless without infantry support (The Elephant assault gun) and a totally new tank (the Panther) plagued by unexpected mechanical problems because it was rushed into production without proper testing. Line twenty panzer divisions around a salient and have them waste themselves on minefields, pre-sighted artillery zones, anti-tank obstacles and best of all, order them to move in a straight line the defenders have prepared in depth. Never mind maneuver and blitzkrieg, that isn't what tanks are for.

Another new year: Order Army Group North's 44 divisions to remain in the Baltic States where they'll be cut off -- you know that in advance so you rename the mob Army Group Kourland. Their place in the line can be taken by new units ingeniously combining the wisdom of old age with the exuberance of youth.

In the West, throw away your few remaining troops in brilliant moves like the Falaise Pocket. You've already thrown away another Army Group in Tunesia, so who's counting.

With approaching snow ignore the approaching Russians and put your last reserves in a doomed winter offensive through the woods. What's another few hundred thousand men killed, wounded and mostly captured -- the ingrates seem to seek every damn excuse to go and surrender themselves.

Yep, you guys have convinced me.

Why, there hasn't been another great military mind to equal Hitler's till, gosh, Saddam Hussein!

Amazing how people can be impressed by a gambler's run of luck. When the conditions were in his favor and it would have been hard to find a way to lose, Hitler's troops triumphed, but it was never due to his leadership. The man was a putz. Who the hell can't win when they have the best equipment, the best troops, the best generals and officers and they're the only one prepared to fight a war?

When the tables were turned and it came time for the true test, Hitler failed at every single turn. To say he possessed any sort of brilliance is a nonsensical argument. I'm amazed any of you would even have voiced it.

[ April 24, 2003, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Glad you liked the Spruced Goose entry. I wanted to find a photo of the thing in flight but there aren't many sites about the plane. I've seen that newsreel footage a few times, it's a hoot, the determined Howard Hughs at the controls, that white elephant finally managing to go a few feet above the glassy smooth water.

If perfected I guess it would have skimmed across the Atlantic with whitecaps tickling it's bottom, terrified infantrymen huddled inside, the occaisional U-boat periscope rising blindly directly in it's path to be snapped in two by the low flying sea plane. :D

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Hey, I never said Hitler was a military genius, or that he didn't make mistakes. He played the role of Napoleon but with the experience of a foot solider. coincidently he made the same mistake of invading Russia. Hitler took gambles when playing general, he beat the house for a while but like all gamblers the house eventually beat him. Calling him lucky is dead on target. However, luck plays an important part in war,just look at the tech system in sc ;) Had D-day failed which if luck, and a stupid decision by Hitler,had not been on the allies side could have happened, allied command would look as foolish as Hitler. Had Hitler's luck held out and his gamble paid off by getting control of both Stalingrad and Moscow, Russia could and I stress could, have been knocked out the war. Now John, you know I respect your opinions so don't take offence:D, you make a good point that Moscow could have been taken undefended, so lets put you in Hitler's place. Your Panzers take Moscow, winter sets in, your supply line is just as long. The Russians who you did not have to fight to take the city, now counter attack and all of a sudden you not only have 1 army encircled at Stalingrad, you have another one encircled at Moscow. Germany falls two months sooner and is taken over entirely by Russia after you flee to Argentina in an H-class BB. Now I can't defend a lot of his decisions, nor do I want to. My point is that it is easy to play arm chair general (which Hitler was doing in the 40's). It is my belief that even if you take Hitler our the picture the Soviets still would have won, a little later perhaps, but still would have won.

You really should read the Moscow option by David Dowing. I found it a pretty good alternate history that takes Hitler out the picture in the form of a plane crash right at the height of Barbarossa.

[ April 24, 2003, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Panzer39 ]

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JerseyJohn and KVK

Hitler never intended to take Moscow. His first priority was Leningrad and an area beyond Kiev (roughly Ural Mtns to Volga River). He felt that by taking the birthplace of communism and cutting Russia off from its breadbasket/resources, that the government would fall.

OKH looked at it from a purely military viewpoint. They wanted Moscow first, believing that its capture would cause Russia to fall.

OKH, the traditional and aristocratic officers, had oppossed almost every plan Hitler had made up to this point. In thier mind, they were the professionals and he was some enlisted man who had made good as a politician but didn't know smack about running a war.

Hence, Army Group North, Central and South. OKH loaded the majority of the Panzer Groups in Army Group Central (edited, since typo had South). Hitler objected, but compromised with the condition that after capturing Smolensk, one or both of the Panzer Groups in Army Group Center would swing North to assist in the capture of Leningrad.

Invasion started, everyone made good progress, except that Army Group South was slower than the others. OKH ordered AG Center to hold, since any further advancement would leave AG Centers flank further exposed. PZ Group 2 (and 2nd Army) went south to help AG South. By the time they had returned to AG Center, 8 weeks had passed.

Those 8 weeks and the diversion of the forces from AG Center are why OKH blamed Hitler. If you read the US Army Historical documents that were written by the former German military officers (as well as the books published about them), they, almost to a man, blame Hitler for not going with "Moscow first". Were they right? No, and for many reasons. But the main one is the belief that by taking Moscow Russia would fall. For Russia to fall, it would require Stalin going, not Moscow. Thats also why Hitlers plan would not have worked either.

Moscow doesn't fall, here comes Winter '41 - '42, and no winter supplies. O crap. German army (OKH) panics. Why no winter supplies? Because the OKH logistical tail had snapped. Not enough motor vehicles, huge requirements for ammunition and fuel/fodder (not to mention food), mud roads in AG North and South, not enough clear roads AG Center. Guys on the ground start requesting orders to withdraw (supplies won't come to me, I will go to you). Orders from the Fuhrer. STAND YOUR GROUND. Was he right? Maybe, maybe not. If the Russians had pursued retreating German forces, it could have turned into a rout. That is what Hitler was afraid of. Don't forget, both OKH and Hitler had little respect for the Russian soldier. Thats where the "the Russian soldier can survive in inhuman conditions (... because he is not human ...)" belief came from.

Hitler, who had tried to deal with OKH by forming OKW in 1938 got so frustrated, that when the OKH head had a heart attack, Hitler took his job. Think about that. Hitler as Fuhrer gave orders to OKW. OKW then would give the orders to OKH (which was Hitler now).

By Spring of '42 the front was "stabilized". Out comes Operation Blue. Or should we call it "Operation Barbarossa, the way I wanted it the FIRST TIME, by A. Hitler". Same strategic goals, which I won't bother to outline.

This is the way the German High Command saw it. Notice I made no mention about the Russians. Its one of the problems with German Intelligence. "Russians have tanks better than us?". Tone it down, no one is gonna believe you. "No forces between us and Moscow!" Are you an idiot? Even the Russians couldn't be that stupid. "Pripet Marsh study is done, shows we can't manuever there". Send this idiot to the sub forces, we are Germans and we can go any damn where we want.

That is also why whenever someone had enough balls, he would bypass his bosses and go straight to Hitler. Of course, your career was over and if you were wrong, probably your life. Thats why there was so much duplication of effort and waste.

But if you want to hear about a real cluster ***k, let me tell you a little story about the Allied High Command........

[ April 24, 2003, 10:30 PM: Message edited by: Shaka of Carthage ]

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I will definitely read that book, thanks for recommending it. I respect your opinions as well and would never take offense at opinions that differ from my own.

I can't agree on Moscow because it was the communications center of all European Russia. As early as 1966 a college professor I'd had who was a retired Army Intelligence Colonel, told me he helped prepare a pentagon analysis of the Russian campaign and the officers involved were unannimous on the point that Hitler lost the war by not taking Moscow when he had the chance. Their reason was not political but based on the fact that the rail and road system was totally dependant upon Moscow for it's switches -- to call Moscow Russia's transportation hub would have been an understatement.

German troops would have been able to set up defenses in depth around the city before the approach of winter and the Siberian Reserves would have needed to operate out of juctions far to the south and east against a German army supplied through a huge metropolis instead of freezing to death on the open fields.

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In defense of the Italians and Romanians.

You can blame Rommel for the Italians. His reports about thier fighting abilities helped convince Hitler to use them.

I don't remember which General praised the Romanians, but there were praised.

1942 the German manpower reserves were gone. There is not enough trained manpower to replace the losses, let alone form new units. Drastic times, drastic measures... hmmmm.... didn't someone tell me about how good our Axis friends are? What do you mean the Japanese can't get here for another 12 months! Send in the minor leaguers while we wait for those younger kids to grow some face hair.

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Regarding Hitler's basic decision with regard to Moscow, my view is the same as in my entry responding to Panzer_39.

Regarding the Italians, Rommel stated the obvious, that given proper equipment, supplies, leadership and motivation the Italians fought as well as anyone else. I never said the Italians themselves were bad soldiers, just ill prepared -- what do you do against a T-34 when all you have is a carbine?

Same with the Romanians. Individually they were fine soldiers who were poorly led and ill equipped. The did not possess anti-tank guns.

True, the German manpower reserves were seriously depleted by 1942, but getting back to the original point, who was responsible for that?

Hitler's method of conducting war was only suited to short, intense bursts. The initial stages of Barbarossa were conducted in exactly the same manner as the Polish and French Campaigns, with exactly the same kind of results. The basic problem being that the USSR was the equivalent of dozens of Polands. A short war was out of the question, an eventuality Hitler refused to even consider.

[ April 24, 2003, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Moscow would have been a great blow to Russia but like Shaka said, Stalin was the key. If he was cpatured or killed in the battle for Moscow the war could have been over. However if he fled, the Russian threat would still have tied down most of the German Army at least until the allies had the bomb. You are most certianly right about Moscow being the rail hub for Russia, and its capture would have been a great blow. However, without the south in German hands as well it would not have been the K.O. punch.

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Exactly and that's the basic dilemma. In terms of the extreme weather, Germany needed to conquer European Russia from the North to the South.

Leningrad was important not because of Hitler's nonsense about it being the birthplace of Bolsheivism -- by 1941 the overwhelming majority of the Russian people were disgusted with socialism -- but because it was an extremely important city strategically. Aside from being the USSR's only outlet to the Baltic (losing Riga was a forgone conclusion) but also because, combined with Lake Ladoga, it effectively prevented a union of Germany and Finland and was a constant threat as the supply base that would launch campaigns to wedge the two Axis nations farther apart.

Moscow in the center had to be taken as the Political, Symbolic and Communications center of Russia.

Kiev had to be taken as the key to the Ukraine and it's major city.

The Ukraine had to be taken to feed Germany and occupied Europe -- though the idea of starving the Ukranians in the process was absurd.

Having a solid base, the offensive then had to move inot the Donetz Basin and other resource areas, and then, most vital of all, the Caucasus Oil centers.

Following the progression of these objectives, they flow naturally from North to South, then East, the worst weather areas being targeted first.

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Let me interject that Germanys first goal in the war in russia was not geographic.

It was the destruction of the Red Army in the field. Germany felt that with this accomplished the geographic goals would fall easily.

Why did AG Center divert it's panzers to the south? To encircle the russian armies around Kiev. Destroying the red army forces in the field.

Germany could not fathom the scope of Russian mobilization. Over and over your read again about the shock and amazement of the OKW in regards to divisions they thought they destroyed reappearing. Entire armies reconstituting out of thin air.

Moscow was never undefended. Even if it had fallen the soviet union would have continued to fight on. The russians where not stupid. One of the first things they did was change it from a war of ideologies to a war of patriotism.

What would be interesting is how long Germany and Russia could coexsist if Germany had accepted Stalins offer of peace and territory in July 1941. Stalin was fully preparing to attack Germany in 1942. So would have Stalin attacked to regain the territories it was offering to concede?

When the Germans attacked the soviet union it caught the USSR is a phase known as "creeping up to war". This plan called for the expansion of the red army with the plan of going to war in 1942. The USSR did not declare a general mobilzation out of fear that it would provoke Germany.

Germanys failure in Russia was not just Hitler, but it was a failure of Germany as a whole.

Oh and on a side note. It was Manstein that wrote glowing reports of the Rumanians. In the reduction of Odessa and the Siege of Sevastopol. Of course these were minor engagements under direct German control.

They guarded the flanks during the Stalingrad operation because germany needed man power, and it was generally believed that the Red Army had been so crippled that it could not mount a major offensive.

Germany underestimated it's enemy and paid the price with it's destruction.

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Konstantin: I think you're absolutely right--the Germans underestimated the Russians badly. Besides the quote I have below, there's the other famous line from the Germans: "It will be like a child's game in a sandbox."

But I think we all agree in principle.

JerseyJohn said:

Hitler's method of conducting war was only suited to short, intense bursts...a short war was out of the question, an eventuality Hitler refused to even consider.

And the point I was trying to make (but apparently failed miserably...) was that Hitler HAD to win fast, so he constantly gambled hoping for a lucky break once he realized that Britain wasn't going to quit.

He built an entire Wehrmacht geared to short, intense wars--his plan was always to win fast and make peace before the international community could unite and mobilize.

He couldn't consider a long war, because Germany was DOOMED past 1941. Kaput. Finished. In Churchill's words: "All that remained was the proper application of overwhelming force." I believe that Hitler was actually in serious trouble after 1940, and he knew it. (I said his decisions were logical, not intelligent--there's a difference!)

The Russians probably would have done much better in 42 (continuing their winter offensive), but they were still getting factories moved to the east and therefore ran out of supplies and equipment. And "lend-lease" wasn't worth **** to them until 43-44, by which time they didn't need it (although the food and trucks helped). I'm sure they really didn't care much about getting a few Matilda and Sherman tanks when they had T34's and KV's! Stalingrad didn't decide the war, it just speeded things up a bit. The Germans never had the "oomph" to achieve their goals.

Hitler has also been criticized for trying to take the Caucasus and Stalingrad simultaneously (the original plan was Stalingrad first, then Caucasus, I think). But he was pushing to knock Russia out quickly--before he had to worry about the West--and before he had to get supplies all the way across Russia in the autumn mud.

Following the "correct" advice of the German generals would have meant that Germany lost the war a bit more slowly, that's all.

Konstantin's point about the German intelligence failure is crucial. They actually thought they could win until the battle started; then they couldn't believe how many Russians there were. (hey, I guess you have to do SOMETHING to stay warm in the Russian winter...).

It's pretty amazing when you think of it: Two countries with NKVD, Gestapo, SD, spies, military intelligence, you name it. One is so unprepared for an invasion the frontier troops don't have ammunition and can't convince the leadership they're being shot at; and the other doesn't have the slightest idea how many troops they're facing. And they blundered around until 20 million people died.

It would be funny if the human cost weren't so tragically wasteful.

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Several points to examine. The failure of the Russian winter offensive of 1941/42 to achieve the goal of destroying AG Center was due to several factors. Most important was Stalin diluting the offensive, as he wanted a general offensive by all fronts along the entire length of the eastern front with key emphasis being the destruction of AG Center and the breaking of the Leningrad Siege. Other points include Hitlers stand fast order and russia still lacking in heavy weapons and tanks.

According to the noted Historian David Glantz lend lease made little to no impact in the first year of the war. It wasn't until the U.S. got involved that the russians started feeling the help about mid-1942.

Case Blue is an interesting study of the disfunction of "Grofaz". That is german soldier slang for hitler who declared himself Greatest Warlord of all Time.

Stalingrad was a secondary objective and then switched to a primary forcing german units to march and counter march across the rear areas of other germans units. Creating all sorts of nightmarish problems.

The soviets actually did know that the German invasion was coming. Stalin himself was warned many times that invasion was pending. They saw the mass troop build up. Through deserters and spies the NKO even knew a rough time frame of when offensive operations would begin.

Stalin was skeptical of these reports. He believed that it might have been a plot by the English to get the USSR into the war. Stalin feared that if he ordered a general mobilization that Germany would regard this as a hostile act and launch a preemptive war.

One of Stalins big mistakes is that he believed Germany would adhere to the Non-aggression pact thus allowing him time to build up the Red Army and launch a "defensive" war.

Then of course Stalin was told of the buildup in Southern Russia prior to the launch of the Stalingrad campaign. Unfortunately stalin believed the the Germans were going to make a "left turn" at Voronezh and head for Moscow. Once stalin realized that Moscow was not the objective things began to unfold in the Red Army's favour.

Kursk was the last major german offensive in the east. This time stalin listened to his intelligence and prepared for it. He had wanted to launch an offensive before the Germans began Zitadelle, but his listened to his generals advice. They were the master minds who said let the germans bleed themselves on the defensives and then launch the offensive.

We all know how it ended.

With the Hammer & Sickle flying above the Reichstag.

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Good Job JJ, brilliant piece on Old Adolf Schelgrubben.

How about his mystical knowledge (astrology) of armies attacking from nowhere, and the military reasons to attack oilfields and mineral mines, not to mention grainfields. All from his headquarters 500 miles from the front, looking a flat out of date maps. Or by his willpower he could destroy russian armies. Then there is the matter of the Me-262 bomber. :D

Thank God that he lead the army, the german generals could have destroyed the russian army in 42! :eek:

He did however, help the german tank industry by always wanting stronger tank guns, I guess he wasn't all bad. tongue.gif

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Moscow is everything that everyone has claimed. But it still doesn't matter, Stalin was the key.

Misuse of the German allies is OKH's mistake, not Hitlers.

Manpower misuse? Mistake of OKH, with just as much blame going to OKM, OKL, OKW and Hitler.

Hitler's method of conducting war was only suited to short, intense bursts

Kinda true, but it was really the German/Nazi method. Reason? Logistical constraints. Which is not modelled very well in some wargames, including SC. And the political constraints, which is why the economy as well as the militaries logistical limitations where what they are. Something else NO wargame I am aware of has modelled.

Diversion of the Panzers to the south was not to destroy the enemy. It was because AG South could not advance. And yes, you may have to kill the enemy, but you do it the smart way (encirclement), not the dumb way (frontal).

This should be a different topic, so if anyone is interested, create it and we can debate it there. But going off on a tangent for a minute, all those US Military Analysis (alot coming from the former German officers) led to wrong conclusions. How do I know this? Because when we tested them out in Korea and 'Nam, we found out then they were wrong. And isn't it interesting how some of the "discussions" we are having are almost identical to the one's that occurred and are occuring regarding Saddam and Iraq?

They guarded the flanks during the Stalingrad operation because germany needed man power, and it was generally believed that the Red Army had been so crippled that it could not mount a major offensived

Exactly. And your other comments are dead on as well. Failure of the German Intelligence arm.

Hmmm... wonder what the US/UK would have done if Germany had not declared war on the US and not attacked Russia, but Russia did invade Germany in '42 or later.

Lastly, lets not forget Japan. Another problem with Russia from Hitlers viewpoint, is that he expected the Japanese to attack Russia while the Germans where doing likewise. Hiter had no idea though, that Japan had given up any offensive notions against Russia since they had been beaten by them. Figured why bother with Russia, China is big enough, and we can actually beat them!

Lend-lease was important, not so much the military stuff though. As was pointed out, some of what was sent, the Russians had better stuff. But the food and the trucks were critical. Especially the food, as Stalin didn't have to starve as many people to feed his military and paramilitary forces.

Operation Blue in itself, was not a bad plan. The fact that Hitler was the head of OKH was the problem, because now, he was suppossed to be in charge of figuring out how to achieve the objectives. And that was something he screwed up quite badly.

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Originally posted by Shaka of Carthage:

Diversion of the Panzers to the south was not to destroy the enemy. It was because AG South could not advance. And yes, you may have to kill the enemy, but you do it the smart way (encirclement), not the dumb way (frontal

It was to destroy the Red Army forces around Kiev. Yes AG South couldn't advance because Stalin had thought the main axis of the german attack would come from south of the Pripet Marshs. Thus he stacked the Ukraine with a large amount of troops.

Here is a bit from an article on the Kiev Pocket the echoes what historians say;

"Was Hitler correct in ordering the Kiev encirclement?

Yes. The original plan had been for the Germans to come in like gangbusters and destroy the Red Army. Diverting Guderian's panzers to form the Kiev pocket helped in this, and cleared a very large Soviet force from the map. This allowed Army Group South to advance, and cleared the flank for Army Group Center to continue."

Full text of this online article can be seen at:


Directive for Barbarossa (Notice General Intention #1): http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/1084/hitler_directives/dir21.htm

These are some of the online resources that can be found. Many more in books by various authours.

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