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Old October 7th, 2017, 05:02 AM   #1
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What if Hitler did not turn toward Kiev?


What if Hitler did not order AGC to wheel south towards Kiev and instead have it race to Moscow after taking Smolensk in July? Could AGC have taken Moscow by September? They could presumably worry about securing their right flank after Moscow is secured.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #2
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The Kiev encirclement wouldn't have happened, Southwestern Front still opposes Army Group South, this threatens southern flank of Army Group Central as it pushes deeply east.

Taking Moscow would not have had the result Hitler thought it would. Pre Purge Stalin might have been overthrown after such a lossbut post Purge Stalin was firmly in control of his nation.

The best thing Germany could have done Fall 41 is fall back to the Dnieper and start constructing many hundreds of miles of defensive positions in depth for which to use for years worth of defend, retreat, counterattack, to truly bleed the Russians through maneuver warfare, the German specialty, instead of trying to play attrition warfare against a varsity team.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
The Kiev encirclement wouldn't have happened, Southwestern Front still opposes Army Group South, this threatens southern flank of Army Group Central as it pushes deeply east.

Taking Moscow would not have had the result Hitler thought it would. Pre Purge Stalin might have been overthrown after such a lossbut post Purge Stalin was firmly in control of his nation.

The best thing Germany could have done Fall 41 is fall back to the Dnieper and start constructing many hundreds of miles of defensive positions in depth for which to use for years worth of defend, retreat, counterattack, to truly bleed the Russians through maneuver warfare, the German specialty, instead of trying to play attrition warfare against a varsity team.

Playing a war of attrition with the Red Army was the last thing thr Germans would want to do.

Remember it was Hitler who wanted to divert from Moscow to encircle Soviet troops in the Ukraine, his generals wanted to continue to Moscow.

Perhaps taking Moscow would win the war, perhaps it would not. One thing is certain, either Germany finds a way to win in the first year or it just doesn't win.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #4
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Taking Moscow would have been almost guaranteed. Earlier posters are correct this would not guarantee victory in the East(Napoleon being case and point) but it would make it considerably more likely than it was in our timeline as unlike with Napoleon's invasion, Leningrad was under siege, a siege that was only relieved in our timeline when the Germans were falling back all fronts in the winter of 1943. However even the best case scenario for the Soviets if this had happened would have made the war against Germany considerably more difficult to win(third Reich would have probably lasted until at least 1946,1947 and even a Soviet victory might not have allowed them to invade Germany merely fight the Germans off).
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Old October 7th, 2017, 01:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Taking Moscow would have been almost guaranteed. Earlier posters are correct this would not guarantee victory in the East(Napoleon being case and point) but it would make it considerably more likely than it was in our timeline as unlike with Napoleon's invasion, Leningrad was under siege, a siege that was only relieved in our timeline when the Germans were falling back all fronts in the winter of 1943. However even the best case scenario for the Soviets if this had happened would have made the war against Germany considerably more difficult to win(third Reich would have probably lasted until at least 1946,1947 and even a Soviet victory might not have allowed them to invade Germany merely fight the Germans off).
The third reich would have never lasted beyond August 1945.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 01:46 PM   #6
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As has been said, very likely that Soviets take Moscow. After that? Nations/leaders rarely survive the loss of their capital , but Russia was such a big place that the loss of several major cities would not necessarily mean capitulation.

However I believe that if Hitler DID take Moscow, it gives him a good foundation on which to build, and it is entirely conceivable that Stalin decides to head East of the Urals leaving the Germans with the West and enough 'lebensraum' for Hitler to declare victory and perhaps not pursue Stalin East.

After that, no 'Russian ulcer' and highly unlikely that Britain/US attempt an invasion of Western Europe with out an Eastern Front for the Nazis to be preoccupied with.

Entirely speculation of course; maybe Moscow would have become another Stalingrad (unlikely), maybe the Soviets would simply move the capital to Stalingrad and fight on in the West (quite possible), maybe Hitler pursues Stalin Eastward and ties his troops up in even worse logistical nightmares.

Defeat in 1945 was only possible with a persistent Soviet front pumping men and tanks into the fray against the best German troops; the British/US had a hard enough time of it from D-Day and beyond fighting the German troops left in Western Europe. With another couple of years the Germans fully develop their jet fighters making bombing runs over Nazi held territory virtual suicide missions, the V3 and V4 weapons become mass produced and really start to pound English cities and perhaps even threaten the US; then again the US has a couple of nukes. Quite possibly some kind of truce would be agreed, which is basically victory for Hitler.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #7
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Taking Moscow would not win the war for Germany. They would be at the tip of a very vulnerable salient from Orel to Moscow exposed to Russian counter attacks from flanks. AND Russians were already made emergency evacuations of important war institutions and facilities from Moscow in October 1941. (like they did by dismantling heavy weapons inustry from western regions to rebuild them on Urals) They would survive.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 05:20 AM   #8
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Hindsight is 20/20 but by changing the objectives of the various German Army Groups in the middle of their 1941 campaign was just careless and unfortunate. Soldiers and units are simple types that focus and understand simple instructions like, "Take that hill." Army Group North was on the doorstep of Leningrad and ready to achieve their objective - taking the city of Leningrad and ending the campaign. Stopping that Army Group and taking away some of their units right when the campaign was getting ready to climax took the wind out of their sails. Confused leaders, soldiers, and caused staffs to transition their planning. Army Group North lost its momentum, its operational focus, and straightforward motivational objective. If the Germans would of tried to take Leningrad and Kiev at the same time by transitioning Army Group Center to defense, splitting its mobile units, and sending them north and south as needed, the history of the Barbarossa Campaign might of ended differently.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 05:42 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
As has been said, very likely that Soviets take Moscow. After that? Nations/leaders rarely survive the loss of their capital , but Russia was such a big place that the loss of several major cities would not necessarily mean capitulation.

However I believe that if Hitler DID take Moscow, it gives him a good foundation on which to build, and it is entirely conceivable that Stalin decides to head East of the Urals leaving the Germans with the West and enough 'lebensraum' for Hitler to declare victory and perhaps not pursue Stalin East.

After that, no 'Russian ulcer' and highly unlikely that Britain/US attempt an invasion of Western Europe with out an Eastern Front for the Nazis to be preoccupied with.

Entirely speculation of course; maybe Moscow would have become another Stalingrad (unlikely), maybe the Soviets would simply move the capital to Stalingrad and fight on in the West (quite possible), maybe Hitler pursues Stalin Eastward and ties his troops up in even worse logistical nightmares.

Defeat in 1945 was only possible with a persistent Soviet front pumping men and tanks into the fray against the best German troops; the British/US had a hard enough time of it from D-Day and beyond fighting the German troops left in Western Europe. With another couple of years the Germans fully develop their jet fighters making bombing runs over Nazi held territory virtual suicide missions, the V3 and V4 weapons become mass produced and really start to pound English cities and perhaps even threaten the US; then again the US has a couple of nukes. Quite possibly some kind of truce would be agreed, which is basically victory for Hitler.
You have mistakenly typed ' Soviets taking Moscow ' in the first line of your post !
That apart, there was no way Army group Center would have captured Moscow. 15th October 1941 was the low point in the battle for Moscow. But on that day Stalin decided to stay on in Moscow though some people, foreign embassy staff and some plants had already gone from Moscow.
The resolve of Stalin to stay on was a booster for the hard pressed Red Army and the Soviet people. The civilians had dug trenches and had erected tank traps in the way of the Army group Center. The fresh uncommitted divisions were still in the hands of Stavka. And Siberian portions of the Red Army were being speedily transported to Moscow. Marshal Zhukov was a hard nut to crack and he would have made the Germans fight for every meter of progress towards Moscow. The Army group Center was bound to face the winter which was just around the corner. With supply lines stretched thin, there was no way for the Army group Center to capture Moscow. And their southern flank would have been attacked by the Soviets as has already been pointed out.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 05:53 AM   #10
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It would have been extremely hazardous for the Germans to rush into Moscow in the summer of 1941 with so many Soviet troops on their southern flank.
In fact, the Germans had no choice.
They had to destroy the Soviet concentrations of troops in the Kiev region.
Not only to be able to advance to Moscow but also to allow their southern army group to advance towards the Dombass, because in this case the threat was to the north for the Germans.
Moreover, let us not forget that the central army group had been slowing down for several weeks in the Smolensk region, i. e. since the beginning of July 1941.
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