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Old January 20th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1

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Moscow taken by Hitler


The SU victory was a huge loss, too. 1200000 human lives lost, how many wounded, frostbitten or taken prisoners and dying in camps, will never be accounted for. Major part of the SU causualties I attribute to the ineptitude of Sovier military commanders ans Stalin's personal control of the situation. Oh, and of course, lack of armaments and own "zagradotryady" (Google this word, please). If you compare the rario of Sovirt to German soldiers (8:1), and at this, German causualties being 500000, you will see the price my former country paid.

and what if Moscow were.taken? Apart from the symbolic meaning of the capital getting into Greman hands, would it make any difference? The Germans would probably have been stoped in 100 km, winter and Russian roads notwithstanding, but more human lives would have been saved. Any opinions?
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Old January 20th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #2

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It would've been a propaganda coup for the Nazi regime, but as far as trying to hold onto its newly won territories is another question. I suspect Soviet counterattacks would in time retake the city. It would have a similar significance as Napoleon's capture of Moscow.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #3

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If he takes it the Russians fall back out side of the city and regroup with more Russian Forces. An uprising starts in the dead of winter and weakens the german forces even more. The Russians counter attack after the uprising is put down.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
It would've been a propaganda coup for the Nazi regime, but as far as trying to hold onto its newly won territories is another question. I suspect Soviet counterattacks would in time retake the city. It would have a similar significance as Napoleon's capture of Moscow.
Not really. Moscow was at that time not only one of the biggest industrial centres of the USSR or its political and administrative center, but more importantly its main transport hub. Even today you can see that on a road map of Russia. All major roads and railroad tracks led to Moscow. Taking it would cut off the effective connection between Northern and Southern USSR. It would greatly reduce the speed and ammount of goods and troops transported between the Donetsk basin/Caucasus oil fields and the front around Leningrad. Thus, it would probably also mean a quick fall of Leningrad. With 2 of the main industrial and demographic centers taken (as well as most symbollic ones) the war would definitely turn in German favor. The battle of Moscow was more important than the overestimated battle of Stalingrad. It was at a time when the USSR was the closest to deafeat and would in my opinon be the German victory to push the soviets over the cliff.

Moscow in 1941 was the key to USSR's railway system:
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.



Also, taking Moscow would give the Germans a very comfortable position to defend against the USSR December counterattack, shelter their men from the harsh 1941 winter and ressuply. They would thus not suffer the greatest casualties they did of the entire Barbarossa operation - those during the Soviet December counteroffensive.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #5
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If he takes it the Russians fall back out side of the city and regroup with more Russian Forces. An uprising starts in the dead of winter and weakens the german forces even more. The Russians counter attack after the uprising is put down.
Never in the entire course of the war did an armed civilian uprising begin immediately, or even after less than a year, after the occupation. An uprising needs many years of preparation, supply of weapons, organization etc. The totalitarian society of the USSR forbid any weapons among the civilian population. What would they begin the uprising with immediately? Pots and spoons? It's a fantasy.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #6

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To add to Krystian's posts, per Vassily Grossman's notes (which can be read in "Writer at War" by Anthony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova) collected as a war correspondent during Operation Barbarossa. Soviet morale was wavering badly with every new defeat and many were beginning to think the German war machine was unstoppable. The Battle of Moscow and the subsequent counter attacks began to renew the confidence of the Soviet common soldier.

Fall Blau quickly began to erode that confidence again until Stalingrad. The ferocious defense of the city began to rebuild Soviet morale outside the city before spreading to the troops inside the perimeter. The victory at Stalingrad gave the Soviet forces the confidence to carry themselves all the way to Berlin.

Without the success of the Soviets in front of Moscow, it's possible Soviet morale may have collapsed to the point of some type of coup or revolt against the ruling body. A scenario similar to WW1 might of occurred then with the USSR making some kind of peace terms.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #7

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A military coup would've been impossible. Not only did Stalin purge anybody who could've posed such a thread, it also violates the basic Russian military tradition of obedience to the civil authority whoever it happens to be.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #8

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Never in the entire course of the war did an armed civilian uprising begin immediately, or even after less than a year, after the occupation. An uprising needs many years of preparation, supply of weapons, organization etc. The totalitarian society of the USSR forbid any weapons among the civilian population. What would they begin the uprising with immediately? Pots and spoons? It's a fantasy.
the Lviv uprising started because of the fact of the Warsaw uprising
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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I doubt it would have made much difference. The farther the Germans went East, the farther they'd stretch their supply lines. Plus, the British and Americans would still have to be defeated which would actually become ever more difficult the farther the Germans drove into the Soviet Union. Finally, if Stalin's regime were truly endangered, he would mobilize his Asian forces to deal with the threat--just as he did in the battle for Stalingrad. This would result in the Germans being surrounded and defeated near Moscow instead of Stalingrad.

About the only way I think Hitler could have defeated the Soviets would have been for the Japanese to launch an attack from Manchuria which would prevent the Soviet Asian forces from moving to reinforce/resupply the Soviet European forces. Even then, Hitler would still have to defeat the Americans and British while also trying to maintain control of the countries he'd already defeated--which would get ever more difficult the further his forces were diluted by being spread throughout Europe, northern Africa, and, possibly, Siberia.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 04:55 AM   #10

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Germany would have simply continued to overstretch themselves somewhere else. I highly doubt German troops could have , in a perfectly ideal situation, made it to Yekaterinburg (Sverdlosk on the map) without suffering exceeding casualties and a lot of logistical difficulties. They would inevitably spread themselves too thin to hold onto captured territory.
With or without Moscow, the Germans are going to lose. I wouldn't bet on Moscow's capture destroying Russian resistance, Napoleon made that mistake, and things didn't turn out too well for him.
Feasibly, if Japan got involved, then a German victory in the Russian west is feasible. However, as many have said, America and the UK would still be around, which poses a whole lot of other difficulties which need to be addressed.
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