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Old March 28th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #1

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Eastern Front (WWII)


Some of germany's best generals and tacticians were in command on the eastern front 41-45. Would the forum agree that despite some brilliant tactical operations throughout this campaign, they were not given enough
autonomy to achieve their objectives?.

I do not want to start a 'what if' thread, but can we agree that despite the initial sucesses of Barbarossa, this campaign was lost before it started?

I would be interested in your opinions.

JC
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Old March 28th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SPERRO View Post
Some of germany's best generals and tacticians were in command on the eastern front 41-45. Would the forum agree that despite some brilliant tactical operations throughout this campaign, they were not given enough
autonomy to achieve their objectives?.

I do not want to start a 'what if' thread, but can we agree that despite the initial sucesses of Barbarossa, this campaign was lost before it started?

I would be interested in your opinions.

JC
Well actually the German generals originally had a great amount of freedom, but once Hitler began to experience actual, real defeats he slowly tightened the leash around his generals and strengthened the power and abilities of the SS.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #3

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Well actually the German generals originally had a great amount of freedom, but once Hitler began to experience actual, real defeats he slowly tightened the leash around his generals and strengthened the power and abilities of the SS.
My point is, and in my opinion, generals such as Erich von Manstein, Von Rundstet etc would have conducted this campaign differently if they had been given complete control of the Wehrmact on this front.

JC
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #4

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I agree. Hitler had assumed more and more the role of supreme military leader, so that by the fall of 1944 the concept of maneuver had been all but stultified by a complete centralization of command. Hardly anybody could do anything without first consulting Hitler.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #5

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I agree. Hitler had assumed more and more the role of supreme military leader, so that by the fall of 1944 the concept of maneuver had been all but stultified by a complete centralization of command. Hardly anybody could do anything without first consulting Hitler.
It seems that he (Hitler) had a tendancy to dismiss initial advice at his daily conferences and later, communicate the same action as if it was his
decision. At the subsequent conferences, he would then turn to those around the map table, smile and say 'I told you so'.

JC
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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My point is, and in my opinion, generals such as Erich von Manstein, Von Rundstet etc would have conducted this campaign differently if they had been given complete control of the Wehrmact on this front.

JC
You are of course entirely right.

Herr Hitler constantly interfered (usually for the worse) from the very beginning of Barbarossa; e.g:

- He delayed this operation for at least three critical weeks at the expense of the Balkan campaign,
- He determined to invade in June 1941 with an still undefeated UK, and
- As early as July 19, 1941 (less than a month after invading the USSR) he obstructed the advance of the Group Centre to Moscow by removing some its best panzer units to Ukraine, in hindsight one of the critical blunders of the campaign of 1941.

... all that long before any significant German defeat had actually happened.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #7

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Ya, Hitler seemed to do a pretty good job of defeating himself
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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Ya, Hitler seemed to do a pretty good job of defeating himself
I think someone said that Adolf Hitler was the allies' best general.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #9

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You are of course entirely right.

Herr Hitler constantly interfered (usually for the worse) from the very beginning of Barbarossa; e.g:

- He delayed this operation for at least three critical weeks at the expense of the Balkan campaign,
- He determined to invade in June 1941 with an still undefeated UK, and
- As early as July 19, 1941 (less than a month after invading the USSR) he obstructed the advance of the Group Centre to Moscow by removing some its best panzer units to Ukraine, in hindsight one of the critical blunders of the campaign of 1941.

... all that long before any significant German defeat had actually happened.
Was he advised not to shift these panzer divisions, or was this decision
made in defiance of advice?.

JC
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #10

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I think someone said that Adolf Hitler was the allies' best general.
The Allied leaders must have been dumbfounded when the news of Barbarossa reached them.

JC
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