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Old January 6th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #1
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Why were Germans unprepared for Russian Winter if they shown wearing trench coats?


One of the most popular explanations why Operation Barbarrosa failed (specifically Stalingrad) was that the German forces lacked proper winter clothing. The popular stigma is that German soldiers were literally freezing to death during the battle and entire battalions were literally rock frozen with tanks and other vehicles being stuck in mud and ice roads. That Soviets were able to counterattack bunkers and trenches with no defenders because German soldiers were asleep borderline dead from freezing and their equipment and vehicles became damaged from winter conditions

Furthermore many movies and games portray Germans as wearing summer khakis that are literally PERFECT for fighting in summer and even for the desert but would be utter suicidal to wear in late October and early November when fall is coming and the weather is getting colder.

But I just recently saw a documentary where footage of the battles so German soldiers in TRENCH COATS. The kind you wear when you are going out on a cold November night. They also so all German soldiers, including captured PoWs, wearing LEATHER BOOTS and even had leather gloves. completely well-prepared to fight in typical Fall and winter .

Some of the more elite units in the battle were even dressed up in complete Arctic gear with fur jackets, snow booths, mittens, thermals and long special socks. The same exact clothes I when I was watching a video on the Germaninvasion of Norway where they described the Germans as being completely well-prepared to fight in the Norwegian snow.

If you saw a picture of these elite German winter units, they are dressed as such that other than local regional dress variations, they almost look exactly like Russian soldiers that were in Stalingrad (with German military emblems and designs to make them distinguised from Russian troops).

If anything the documentary I watched and further research shown me pics and clips of Germans being in such full Winter clothing, they are technically well-prepared!Is the Germans lacking Winter Clothes an exaggeration? How were Germans freezing to death if they had coats, snowboots, and such?

Furthermore the Germans are known to be a scientific people and their military were frequently well-prepared in prior engagements such as the invasion of Norway where they had full winter gear. This alone goes a slap across the face of the notion the Germans were wearing Summer Khakis and military ceremonial uniforms during Stalingrad (which would get you killed within minutes in a typical winter storm).

I mean even videos of Germans fighting in Western European and Central European Winters (which are much milder than in Russia) show them at the very least wearing trench coats with leather gloves and boots and having longsleeves inside their coats!
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Old January 6th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #2
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my grandfather got winter clothings in november. It was already below zero and snowing since october. In November the temprature dropped far below zero. trench coates and simple gloves don't work at 30°C below.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 11:31 AM   #3

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Trench coats are good for western european cold weather where things get down to 0 degrees.

In Russia the temperatre can get down to -40 degrees, you need arctic style survival gear, multiple layers of packed cotton work nicely.

The big problem though isnt coats its boots. German jackboots were close fitting and tight to pull on, that means you cant get thick socks under them unless you get them several sizes too large. The soles are also relatively thing and use hobnails which means cold leaches right through them quickly.
German mountain troops had sensible boots which were made with thick soles, laced up so you could put them on over multiple pairs of socks and had toes room so you could wiggle your toes and keep the blood flowing.

Thats why the Germans gave up on using jackboots and went over to using a British style boot, they dont look as good on parade but they are more flexible and useable in the field.

Likewise the German uniform of the early war years is well tailored, they look exceptional but the relatively tight design means you cant get extra layers on underneath the coat.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #4

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My uncle had winter clothes (in 1943). But they took the winter clothes from every dead Soviet soldier.


Diaporama et vidéo

Scroll down to the last video.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isleifson View Post
My uncle had winter clothes (in 1943). But they took the winter clothes from every dead Soviet soldier.


Diaporama et vidéo

Scroll down to the last video.
My granddad got an artillery shrapnell in his back on november 4th, so he didn't suffer as much as hiscomrades. But yes, a lot of German soldier's winter clothing was Russian, they had padded clothings and boots, which were far better than any German winter equippment.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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Also German armour and transport wasn't up to the freezing conditions.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:33 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beorna View Post
My granddad got an artillery shrapnell in his back on november 4th, so he didn't suffer as much as hiscomrades. But yes, a lot of German soldier's winter clothing was Russian, they had padded clothings and boots, which were far better than any German winter equippment.

An German officer told my uncle that Hitler did believe in the Welteislehre


Feuer, Eis und eine 'Götterdämmerung' ? Atlantisforschung

Well, I didn't really worked for him.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isleifson View Post
An German officer told my uncle that Hitler did believe in the Welteislehre


Feuer, Eis und eine 'Götterdämmerung' ? Atlantisforschung

Well, I didn't really worked for him.
Wasn't that Himmler and his lunatic masseur (or whatever he was)?
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
Also German armour and transport wasn't up to the freezing conditions.
Well, how could they know it is cold in Russia?
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:55 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beorna View Post
Well, how could they know it is cold in Russia?
I guessed Napoleon would have told someone a bit more than 100 years earlier? Global warming wasn't a thing back then yet.

I've read the Jerries used the longjohns they found among French suplies in 1940 later in Russia. Is that true?

My grandma's brother in law was with the Wehrmacht in Russia, 1942 or perhaps 43, don't know what problems he faced though. I think he surrendered to the Russians, being a Slovene. He was wounded twice while he was with the Germans still.
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