How much of the German defeats in the Eastern Front in 1944 to 1945 were due to being outstrategized?

Nov 2014
182
ph
#1
How much of the German defeats in the Eastern Front in 1944 to 1945 were due to being outstrategized? As opposed to just plain being outnumbered? For example, would the Germans have held the front at Bagration if they were just outnumbered 2 to 1 in AFVs, as opposed to 10 to 1 or more?
 
Nov 2010
6,999
Cornwall
#2
"The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself. "

- Montgomery

Some say rule 2 is also Don't March on Moscow!

In other words it can be argued that the whole cause was in Hitler's decision to attack Russia, leading to an inevitable conclusion
 
Oct 2018
34
Sweden
#4
It could also be argued that Hitler's refusal to adapt properly to changed circumstances after the initial attack stalled was a major factor.
This is false
The no retreat order was the best possible thing the germans could do in that situation.

If they retreated they would have lost most of their heavy equipment, it had the potential to turn into a complete rout and the Germans only hope for victory was the Fall blau and taking the oil field. Without the oil fields germany could not win the war so all they could do in that situation was to dig in, hold fast and hope for a miracle.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,404
#5
This is false
The no retreat order was the best possible thing the germans could do in that situation.

If they retreated they would have lost most of their heavy equipment, it had the potential to turn into a complete rout and the Germans only hope for victory was the Fall blau and taking the oil field. Without the oil fields germany could not win the war so all they could do in that situation was to dig in, hold fast and hope for a miracle.
So 6th ARMY in Stalingrad was the best possible outcome?

There were quite a few times Germany could have done things better but I can only think of a couple times they were completely out manoeuvred due to making the wrong strategic decisions. Most of the time Soviets had such a huge advantage in men and material that Germany was just biding for time after 1942.
 
Sep 2014
1,094
Queens, NYC
#6
I distinctly remember that in the 1970s we were thinking that the Red Orchestra-a group of Germans in its military establishment-was sending the Soviets vital information; allowing the Russians to beat the Nazis repeatedly. Quite possibly "outstrategizing" may have been much easier with such information.
 
Oct 2018
34
Sweden
#7
So 6th ARMY in Stalingrad was the best possible outcome?

There were quite a few times Germany could have done things better but I can only think of a couple times they were completely out manoeuvred due to making the wrong strategic decisions. Most of the time Soviets had such a huge advantage in men and material that Germany was just biding for time after 1942.
Ofcourse not and i didnt say that. Leaving the 6th army was a disaster but the no retreat order overall was the only thing the germans could do.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,090
#8
The problem for the Germans was that they were operating at the end of very very long logistical paths in a region they were not properly equipped for or used to dealing with. One veteran recalled how the advance in the early years brought about a sense of melancholy... "Flat hills, flat valleys" and never ending, no sense of actually achieving anything or getting anywhere. We can't dismiss the Russian revival in the mid-war either.

I suspect that the Germans became too fixated on localised objectives, perhaps a feature of their western mindset, whereas the Soviets had less concern for places and were more open to ideas of territory as a medium for strategy, more like a naval mindset perhaps?
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
14,647
Wessex
#9
I'm no expert on all of this, but I get the impression that Hitler's constant desire to hold on to ground at all costs deprived the German strategy of an essential element of flexibility, to frustration of commanders on the ground.
 
Oct 2018
34
Sweden
#10
I'm no expert on all of this, but I get the impression that Hitler's constant desire to hold on to ground at all costs deprived the German strategy of an essential element of flexibility, to frustration of commanders on the ground.
Without the oil at the caucasus the german commanders could not wage manouver warfare. They had to hold the ground and hope for a miracle. The proud aristocratic german generals who couldnt take responsibility for anything blamed everything that went bad on the guy on top as is always done.
Hitler was actually a remarkably competent general with a innate sense of strategy and had the german generals followed his orders germany likely would have won the war. Hitler knew moscows capture wouldnt win the war and wanted to focus on the caucasus but his generals disobeyed his orders and robbed army group south of the resources to take it.