My bad; posted from memory. Here's the link to Joel Hayward's journal article on the subject. "Stalingrad: An Examination of Hitler's Decision to Airlift"; Airpower Journal, Spring 1997
Goering actually buggered off to loot Paris on the 22nd and showed up again at Rastenburg on the 27th. Hayward's source is Irving's research. Hitler first spoke to Goering on the 21st (by telephone). From Hayward's article:
My case for Barbarossa is such:
What almost everyone overlooks when examining it is the fact that despite it's apparent successes, Barbarossa tore the guts out of Germany's most potent (experienced) combat arms. The absolute loss of so many of these battle hardened formations would never be made good. On 22 June, they were committed as fully cohesive units
, accustomed to working together as a team during the chaos and stress of combat. Very few of them remained as such by October
. Gutted. All the replacements in the world can not rebuild that sort of cohesion...not that there were anywhere near enough replacements available anyways. If that's not a debacle, I don't know what is.
These units had been raised from individual geographic localities; many were schoolmates and neighbors prior to entering the army. They knew each other to the point where reactions to sudden developments were inherent. In August and September, the Red Army deployed massive formations during the battles on the "road to Moscow" and during the famous "operational pause" of HGM. German casualty figures during these two months reflect the utter brutality of these largely unrecognized battles. Red Army casualties in these failed forntal offensives were horrific.
The massive losses suffered by the Red Army tend to overshadow all of this, leading many to believe that Barbarossa was actually a nominal success. This perception is reenforced because (nominally at least) the Germans were still holding the initiative during the period (i.e. Kiev encirclement). "If only it weren't for: i) the Balkan delay, ii) the mud iii) the cold, iv) the wrong rail gauge, v) no winter clothes...etc, etc".
I think otherwise.
Until recently, much of what we (thought we) knew about this period was based primarily
on German records and the Memoirs of a few German generals. This is no longer the case. Unfortunately these acquired "truths" of the Cold War era historical record are far stronger than the "rest of the story".
Glantz is as dry as hell to read, but buried in his mountains of facts and tables is a very different
story about the Eastern Front; one that is well worth reading.
Barbarossa was a "debacle" for the Wehrmacht because in spite of horrendous losses
, the Red Army killed and maimed a large portion of the "creme" of the Wehrmacht
in the defense of their country...many, many thousands of them.
Or something like that.