Hitler's military mistakes

Jan 2015
5,579
Ontario, Canada
#71
About half of all soviet lend lease went by shipping to Vladivostok , sailing US ships right past Japan, protected by almost nothing other than the Soviet Flag. This alone could have been a very substantial contribution to defeating the soviet union.
Even during its war with America, the Japanese were willing to not attack shipping through the Pacific Route. This is because they didn't want trouble with the USSR while trouble was brewing with America.

The other thing worth considering is that the most important supply routes for Lend Lease were Murmansk, Archengelsk and the Persian Corridor. This is because these areas were closer and could supply the Soviets directly to Moscow and the theater of operations. The Persian Corridor which led up to the Volga especially so.

Ultimately Lend Lease was important due to the circumstances but Russian production dwarfed Lend Lease. For instance oil from America was useful to supply the Red Army and the industry during a difficult time but by far the Soviets still relied on their own oil fields. Likewise with food (canned foods), equipment (a quick means to arm units) and munitions, Lend Lease provided a good supplement but they still relied on their own Soviet means over all.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,384
#72
Even during its war with America, the Japanese were willing to not attack shipping through the Pacific Route. This is because they didn't want trouble with the USSR while trouble was brewing with America.

The other thing worth considering is that the most important supply routes for Lend Lease were Murmansk, Archengelsk and the Persian Corridor. This is because these areas were closer and could supply the Soviets directly to Moscow and the theater of operations. The Persian Corridor which led up to the Volga especially so.

Ultimately Lend Lease was important due to the circumstances but Russian production dwarfed Lend Lease. For instance oil from America was useful to supply the Red Army and the industry during a difficult time but by far the Soviets still relied on their own oil fields. Likewise with food (canned foods), equipment (a quick means to arm units) and munitions, Lend Lease provided a good supplement but they still relied on their own Soviet means over all.

"The route was affected by the start of hostilities between Japan and the US in December 1941, but was not interrupted as Japan and the Soviet Union maintained a strict neutrality towards each other for the duration of the conflict, changing only in August 1945. Due to this neutrality the goods could be moved only in Soviet-flagged ships, and, as they were inspected by the Japanese, could not include war materials. The route was therefore used to transport foods, raw materials and non-military goods such as lorries and other road vehicles, railway locomotives and rolling stock. It was also the most practical route for goods and materials produced in the US western states. During the conflict the Pacific Route saw a steady stream of goods moved from the west coast of the United States and overall accounted for some 50% of all Lend-lease goods to the Soviet Union"
Pacific Route - Wikipedia

50% of all goods. I'd question that that Murmusks,, Persian corridor were more important. Though reading this I did not know that the Japanese inspected goods and it was restricted to "civikain goods". Trucks seem pretty military,


I not saying the lend lease was decisive, but it was significant. And Japanese belligerence would have reduced tis pretty significnatly. Though The Soviets coudl have been diffacult in the far east., not saying that Japanses miliatry opertaions against the Soviets were going to easy or sucessful.

Just raisng this as a factor/issue to be considered as well as direct military operations.
 
Jul 2016
9,680
USA
#73
I think what Linus is trying to articulate is that the Germans were unable of carrying out multiple operations across the entire front. This is why they were unable to achieve a military victory. Incidentally this is what Operation Barbarossa called for from the start, pushing all across the front. Which was not achieved even in 1941.
Even early war they were straining to carry out multiple operations across an entire front. They definitely didn't have the supplies to make it as far as Moscow with three army groups, including four panzergruppen/armies.

Because Allies, either UK/US or USSR, had the ability to launch broad front attacks doesn't mean it was easy. Look at all the supplies the Western Allies had access to and even they had a ton of trouble supporting three army groups on a much narrower front.

Germany put themselves in the position to have bad logistics. They didn't emphasize it enough, their generals focusing more on being "operators" than the proper logisticians which is what being a general officer is really about. Anyone can look at a map and move troops around, but it takes real brilliance to support the fighting. Especially while actually following grand strategy, which was another thing German army group commanders generally sucked at. What they had they pissed away in useless operations, and bad ideas. They get heaped with praise for fully motorizing entire corps and armies, but to do that they prevent the bulk of the rest of the army from being even somewhat motorized. They constantly shot themselves in the foot.

And yes, Germany did not have enough oil as the Allies. But that is a far cry from not having enough. They didn't have enough to fully motorize the Wehrmacht. But even the suggestions that in '42 they'd have to de-motorize the Ostheer was over exaggerated, as the German army became even more motorized as the war went on.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#75
Even early war they were straining to carry out multiple operations across an entire front. They definitely didn't have the supplies to make it as far as Moscow with three army groups, including four panzergruppen/armies.

Because Allies, either UK/US or USSR, had the ability to launch broad front attacks doesn't mean it was easy. Look at all the supplies the Western Allies had access to and even they had a ton of trouble supporting three army groups on a much narrower front.

Germany put themselves in the position to have bad logistics. They didn't emphasize it enough, their generals focusing more on being "operators" than the proper logisticians which is what being a general officer is really about. Anyone can look at a map and move troops around, but it takes real brilliance to support the fighting. Especially while actually following grand strategy, which was another thing German army group commanders generally sucked at. What they had they pissed away in useless operations, and bad ideas. They get heaped with praise for fully motorizing entire corps and armies, but to do that they prevent the bulk of the rest of the army from being even somewhat motorized. They constantly shot themselves in the foot.

And yes, Germany did not have enough oil as the Allies. But that is a far cry from not having enough. They didn't have enough to fully motorize the Wehrmacht. But even the suggestions that in '42 they'd have to de-motorize the Ostheer was over exaggerated, as the German army became even more motorized as the war went on.
1941 : Germany attacks along the whole eastern front (after having stockpiled supplies for roughly 6 months in preparation for Barbarossa) for several months
1942: Germany is able to attack along roughly half of the front for several months
1943: Germany is able to attack along roughly 1/3rd of the front, and that for a couple of weeks only
1944: Localized counter attacks only

(to be fair there is a funnel effect on the eastern front due to geography, the further east Germany went, the longer the front lines... plus of course the more complex the logistics)

And one stat: in september 1944 the western allies spent about 1 mio tons of oil to support ground operations on the western front... Germany had access to less than 10 mio tons of oil per year for its military, economy and civilian needs combined.

As a reminder 1 mio ton of oil buys the operations of about 1 000 light planes (fighters , light bombers) per year or 20 mechanized divisions per year (depending on intensity of operations). The navy is a huge guzzler of oil ..... Just One capital ship such as the Tirpitz could consume 10 000 tons of oil per month when cruising.
 
Nov 2014
1,645
Birmingham, UK
#76
50% of all goods. I'd question that that Murmusks,, Persian corridor were more important. Though reading this I did not know that the Japanese inspected goods and it was restricted to "civikain goods". Trucks seem pretty military,
s.
its Total War- everything is implicitly military in use. trucks transport essential goods. food imported into the USSR means energies within the USSR can be devoted to 'strictly' military production, not to mention it feeds the workers in factories producing tanks and aircraft.
 
Jul 2018
303
London
#77
It seems to me the best way to defend Italy from invasion was to keep those forces in Italy.... and repatriate what was left of the Africa Korp and the italian forces in NAF... I am not sure what if anything , anyone hoped to achieve in Tunisia.... there were no resources there and everything had to be either shipped in or flown in..... the axis had struggled to supply Rommel's limited forces when the US was not yet in the war, supplying a larger army in Tunisia against both US and UK forces was not going to happen in the long run....

Even if Rommel's offensives would have succedeed , there was nowhere to go... just hundreds of miles of difficult terrain with more supply issues... US forces could retreat all the way back to Algiers (800 km from Tunis) or even further if they wanted to , and the germans would still get nothing while wasting resources and oil.....Apparently they had learned nothing from the Libyan campaign....
I believe it was a political move. Hitler was afraid that Italy could crumble under the pressure so the idea was to keep the allies far from it. Tunisia was an advanced defensive position to keep Italy safe and keep it in the war. In hindsight, what happened with the invasion of Italy was ultimately favorable to the Nazis because, as someone else already said, they were able to pin down an allied force larger of their own.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#78
Typo in my previous post.... 1 mio tons of oil buys the operations of 2 000 light planes (not 1 000) for a year or alternatively under 1 000 heavy bombers
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#79
I believe it was a political move. Hitler was afraid that Italy could crumble under the pressure so the idea was to keep the allies far from it. Tunisia was an advanced defensive position to keep Italy safe and keep it in the war. In hindsight, what happened with the invasion of Italy was ultimately favorable to the Nazis because, as someone else already said, they were able to pin down an allied force larger of their own.
Well , strategically forward defense had proven a disaster for Poland, for France and for the USSR at the start of Barbarossa... the germans must have known this unless they were blinded by their supposed military brilliance....
To organize a forward defense across a sea against an opponent with sea supremacy and air superiority (and with no prospect of a decisive victory due to the opponent's huge depth) sounds completely silly.
As noted in other posts, its not clear how this decision to send so many troops and resources to Tunisia was arrived at...
 

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,171
India
#80
The very first mistake that was made by Hitler was not pursuing the pre-war developement of a long-range strategic bomber. The mistake that attracts attention next happened in the early stages of the war. Namely stopping the tanks belonging to Guderian's unit /other units from completing the encirclement from the south, of the British and French forces fighting in the north against von Bock's units. The forces escaped to Britain from Dunkirk. This was a blunder. Another glaring error was declining to pursue the developement of a nuclear weapon, after having badmouthed the idea as ' Jewish Science '.