If Russia had to fight German alone in WW2, would it win?

Jul 2017
292
Srpska
#31
Well, yes they did. British "help" was absolutely insignificant in 1942 and that is the year the Germans were done in Russia. by December they were done and the blitzkrieg tide had turned, the eastern front was done. That is when a flurry of assassination attempts started on Hitler, because military knew they were cooked and tried to preserve what could be saved. That is also when the "Allied" powers started gaining more interest in the outcome. Cooked. Done, Dec 1942.
 
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Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#32
Well, yes they did. British "help" was absolutely insignificant in 1942 and that is the year the Germans were done in Russia. by December they were done and the blitzkrieg tide had turned, the eastern front was done. That is when a flurry of assassination attempts started on Hitler, because military knew they were cooked and tried to preserve what could be saved. That is also when the "Allied" powers started gaining more interest in the outcome. Cooked. Done, Dec 1942.
You're conflating the failure for strategic victory into a political loss. And your dates are way off. Lets look at what was going on in December 1942 on the Ostfront. Up north the siege of Leningrad was still ongoing. In center, things remained relatively stagnant as the Soviets had shifted most of their forces there because they'd been duped by a fantastic deception plan by the Germans (who'd themselves be duped badly in 43 at Kursk, then in 44 for Normandy and Bagration, the ultimate deception). Big summer offensive in 42 was aimed at the Caucasus and initially went off so spectacular it was mindblowing. Crappy logistics, shifting goals, fierce resistance done smartly by Red Army (contrary to 1941), and most of all because it was an overly audacious plan that probably couldn't have worked regardless, so Case Blue stalls by the fall 42.

The big winter 42 Red Army winter counterattack is Operation Uranus, massive force encircles German forces in Stalingrad, aimed mainly at driving back poorly equipped questionable Axis allies to 6th Army's flanks. The rest of Army Group A is stalled deep into Caucasus but not repulsed at all.

In mid Dec 42 Manstein launches Winter Storm to try to relieve 6th Army, meanwhile Soviets launch Little Saturn which fails in initial goal to cut off all German forces in Caucasus but manages to prevent relief of Stalingrad, where 6th Army still holds out for another 2 months later. And Rostov, the gateway to the Caucasus, isn't taken until about the same time, Feb 43. Even so, by Feb 43, the Germans are deeper in the Soviet Union then they were before Case Blue started.

Also in Feb 43 the Soviets massively overextend themselves and suffer a rather painful beating at 3rd Kharkov, courtesy of Manstein. By spring, like every spring, the Germans are rebuilding their battered divisions with fresh bodies and new equipment, this time poised for one of the largest mechanized battles in history at Kursk. If they are beat, explain how the Germans can conduct such a major operational offensive.

While the strategic implications for possible German victory at Kursk were limited, it would still have been a massive undertaking with significant political points for Germany. Morale too. Kursk is not only universally recognized as the high water moment for the Germans, but it was the first time the Soviets beat the Germans outside of winter, which actually is pretty important. So actually more important than Stalingrad, because, let's be real, the Red Army achieving a win against a battered, exhausted, and overextended German force, who'd been fighting nonstop since mid summer (so about 6 months worth of casualties that arent replaced, broken equipment not replaced lack of ammo or gas, little to no air support), now in the dead of a hard Russian winter, isn't the same as a rested, refitted, well organized, well supplied German force psyched up for the start of their big summer offensive in beautiful campaigning weather.

As for assassination plans against Hitler, that really didn't start until mid 1943 and was due to major political ramifications of not only Stalingrad (Feb 43), but also 2nd El Alamein (Nov 42), Operation Torch (Nov 42), which had major implications on Germany's future. And it was small potatoes until 1944 when they finally had at least enough numbers and key personnel to pull off a decent plot, though still, bless their hearts, fraught with uncertainty and almost assured failure to usurp the Nazis even if they did kill Hitler.

And even after Kursk, their defeat wasn't assured, not unless one uses hindsight. Unconditional surrender was delivered in Jan 43 but was not liked by Churchill or Stalin and could have been overturned had even a single major setback occured later. Germany was still holding firm far into enemy territory.

The only certainty was they weren't going to defeat the Soviets or Great Britain. But not being able to totally defeat an opponent does not, in politics or war, translate into total defeat for the other side. Stalemates, ceasefires, armistice, limited surrender, negotiated peace are actually the most common ways to end wars, with WW2 actually being a fluke, not the norm.

You should read Citino's Wehrmacht trilogy about why and how the Germans lost in WW2, and specifically about what drove them to keep fighting. If the books are too long, he has a couple really top notch lectures on Youtube, he'll square you away.
 
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Sep 2016
1,141
Georgia
#33
What funny question! Russia fought against Germany many times, and there were never doubts who'd win.
Fought against Germany many times ? What wars do you mean ?

WWI ended for Russia with Brest-Litovsk and huge concessions. Also in 1914 Russian army suffered terrible defeat at Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes at hand of Germans.

If you want to include war with Prussia ( which wouldn't correct and accurate ), than Russia got nothing out of that war, thanks to Elizabeth death and change of alliances with new monarch - Peter III. However , they have victory over Frederick at Kunersdorf, but there they also had help of 18 000 Austrians under Laudon, who played important in that battle as well. Plus, took Berlin but it was only for 3 days. Once Prussian army was getting near the city, Russians left. In Battle of Zorndorf against Frederick, Russian army suffered really heavy losses - from 16 000 to 18 000. Though Russian army wasn't driven from the field.

Well, we also know how first months of 1941 ended for Soviet army as well. Plus, after 1941 German army still had some successes like at Kharkov or several Rzhev operations.
 
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Jul 2017
292
Srpska
#34
Thank you for the analysis of events. As you can see the Germans were stalled and the tied has started to turn by that winter, the blitzkrieg was done and they were hence done. After that winter it was all clean up for the Russians. I'll check out Citinos but if the arguments are that oil was a problem or Lybia situation then it is garbage. Neither was of any significance. The simple truth is Germans were not strong enough when it came to frontal warfare, unequipped to suffer heavy losses. They were weaker than the Russians.
 
Nov 2015
1,765
Kyiv
#35
Unequivocally, Russia would have lost such a war. Autumn 1942 was absolutely critical for the Russians at the front. If the Germans had captured Staligrad and cut the Volga, the Russians would have lost the main artery of oil delivery from Baku, which gave the lion's share of oil. They did not have another equally effective way of delivering oil. And this would mean that in 2-3 months Russian tanks, planes and trucks would have stopped without fuel and the war will be lost.

At the same time the Germans did not have only a small force to squeeze the Russians out of Stalingrad - in some places Russian defensive line along the Volga was several hundred meters wide. The extra forces the Germans needed to capture the city remained in North Africa. In addition, very great resources of the Germans were involved in the Battle for the Atlantic and the Air Defense of the Reich.

It can also be added that even at the height of the Battle of Kursk in 1943 more than half of the German fighters were not on the Eastern Front. England and the States delayed most of them

The second absolutely critical factor for Russians was lend-lease. In the summer and autumn of 1942 they desperately needed English tanks and airplanes. But much larger role was played by lend-lease in military trucks - almost half a million US military trucks provided for the Russians mobility of their army. Russia did not produce specialized military trucks in visible quantities during WWII.

Lend-lease gave the Russians a very high percentage of explosives and gunpowder, aluminum, copper, heavy metals, radio stations, field telephones, armored vehicles, army shoes and leather, medicines, aviation gasoline, cotton fabrics - and a long string of first-class production equipment and a variety of military raw materials. Absolutely critical was food aid of Lend-Lease, which would provide a 10-million army with food for several years. Even with this help, the Russian army often starved - I have a number of evidences to this.

The role of the States and the British Empire in the "resource war" was decisive. Their production and raw material potential was much higher than Russian. And without Lend-Lease, raw materials and equipment the Russians could not produce a very substantial part of their weapons and ammunition.

Without lend-lease the Russian soldier would go into battle staggering from hunger, barefoot and in ragged outfits. And in his cartridge bag there would not be half the cartridges, and he would have only half of grenades. The overwhelming majority of the movements of the Russian infantry would be carried out on foot, and Russian guns and convoys the horses would drag. Russian planes would fly half as often due to a shortage of aviation fuel and would carry half the number of shells and bombs, etc, etc
 
Likes: Lord Fairfax
Jun 2016
1,758
Russia
#37
Fought against Germany many times ? What wars do you mean ?

WWI ended for Russia with Brest-Litovsk and huge concessions. Also in 1914 Russian army suffered terrible defeat at Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes at hand of Germans.

If you want to include war with Prussia ( which wouldn't correct and accurate ), than Russia got nothing out of that war, thanks to Elizabeth death and change of alliances with new monarch - Peter III. However , they have victory over Frederick at Kunersdorf, but there they also had help of 18 000 Austrians under Laudon, who played important in that battle as well. Plus, took Berlin but it was only for 3 days. Once Prussian army was getting near the city, Russians left. In Battle of Zorndorf against Frederick, Russian army suffered really heavy losses - from 16 000 to 18 000. Though Russian army wasn't driven from the field.

Well, we also know how first months of 1941 ended for Soviet army as well. Plus, after 1941 German army still had some successes like at Kharkov or several Rzhev operations.
1. 1914 was not the loss of the war, just the simple battle.
2. You like to remember Brest Litovsk but you forget, that Germany lost the entire war because of Communist propaganda. Germany simply couldnt fight any more.
3. In 1941 attacked not Germany, but the whole band of European countries. You know that the number of soldiers participated at any great battle in Russia (Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk) are not compatible with all the battles of Russian "allies" during ww2.
4. If Prussia is not Germany, then Hitler's Germany wasn't Germany either.
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#38
I've just had a look at these, they look excellent I'll be getting them, thanks.
His videos on youtube are great too. The guy is funny, has a good sense of humor and is a good lecturer, knows how to keep a crowd going. He's VERY knowledgeable about German military culture, history, to the point he'll repeatedly bring up things over and over as a way of demolishing common myths.

Robert Citino Youtube Videos
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#39
Thank you for the analysis of events. As you can see the Germans were stalled and the tied has started to turn by that winter, the blitzkrieg was done and they were hence done. After that winter it was all clean up for the Russians. I'll check out Citinos but if the arguments are that oil was a problem or Lybia situation then it is garbage. Neither was of any significance. The simple truth is Germans were not strong enough when it came to frontal warfare, unequipped to suffer heavy losses. They were weaker than the Russians.
North Africa was a side show but being beat there first at El Alamein just by the Brits and then being shoved out, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of troops (and much needed equipment) was a major moral hit on the German people and Hitler especially.

And oil was certainly a factor. 1939-40, the Soviet Union was the predominate supplier of German oil, who were desperately trying to mechanize their army to a greater and greater extent. Upon invading the Soviet Union they hoped to defeat them inside 3-4 months, which would allow the Germans full access to Soviet oil in the Caucasus, to augment the fuel they were getting from Hungary and Romania. Considering the depth in which they drove into the Soviet Union in 1941, and how the war didn't end in 3-4 months, they expended most of their reserves in oil, to the extend that even in 1942 they were starting to recognize that they would have to de-mechanize in the coming years. Which means less reliance on trucks and tanks and more reliance on horses and feet.

One cannot compete with three industrialized and near fully mechanized nations when one is so limited on oil that they cannot remain even at a 1941 level of mechanization.
 
Jul 2017
292
Srpska
#40
I watched it too and even he thinks that the battle of Moscow in early 1942 was the tide turner. He says they got slapped there to the tune of one million losses. But to give the Germans some benefit of doubt, they had the whole of 1942, went south, got blocked, went south got blocked, went back up and got blocked, and by the end of 1942 it was pretty clear they were going nowhere.