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

Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#61
With all Russian technical and numerical superiority in 1941, the Red Army suffered a monstrous rout within several motnths since the beginning of the campaign.

And if you look into the history of 1942 - then exactly the same defeat it suffered in the first half of 1942, but on a smaller scale. This is in the Crimea and near Kharkov. There, the Russians honestly admitted after the war that the reason for the rout is that the Germans attacked the Russian troops, who had previously been concentrated for a large offensive. And they did not prepare for defense at all

But exactly the same defeat and for the same reason was in the summer of 1941 for the entire Red Army. And there is no need to read the study of Suvorov (Rezun) - just look at the map of the deployment of Russian troops in June 1941 - and everything becomes clear. Two strongest fists of the Russians near Białystok and in the Lviv-Drohobych area the Germans were easily turned into huge "cauldrons" if they struck first

But the Russians clearly expected that they would be the first to strike
Where were the Red Army concentrated in 1941? The southern sector in the Ukraine, while the main effort for the Germans was in the center. In 1942, where were the Red Army concentrated before Case Blue kicked off? In the center, while the Germans had positioned their strength in the southern sector with Army Group South. Likewise, in 1944 where did the Germans concentrate forces in France, in expectation of an amphibious invasion, and where were they concentrated in the East? In France they were concentrated in Calais, not Normandy, and in the East Army Group Center, stripped of most of its armor, was a secondary effort to Army Group South, who had most of the armor on the Eastern Front, allowing the Red Army to essentially annihilate Army Group Center during Bagration. Why?

Because deception works.
 
Nov 2015
1,764
Kyiv
#62
Where were the Red Army concentrated in 1941? The southern sector in the Ukraine, while the main effort for the Germans was in the center.
- not only in the western (not southern) sector of Ukraine but in the eastern sector of Poland (Bialystok) it was a solid Russian fist with lots of tanks

Once again the map I've already posted today in another thread -



In the Bialystok Promontory among other parts there was the 6th mechanized corps of Russians with 1100 tanks, of which about 300 were T-34 and KV



The Germans immediately struck the flanks of this ledge. Nevertheless, on June 24 the corps began an offensive to the west and by June 29 was completely destroyed and any tank did not come out of the "bag"
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#63
- not only in the western (not southern) sector of Ukraine but in the eastern sector of Poland (Bialystok) it was a solid Russian fist with lots of tanks

Once again the map I've already posted today in another thread -

In the Bialystok Promontory among other parts there was the 6th mechanized corps of Russians with 1100 tanks, of which about 300 were T-34 and KV

The Germans immediately struck the flanks of this ledge. Nevertheless, on June 24 the corps began an offensive to the west and by June 29 was completely destroyed and any tank did not come out of the "bag"
The tale of the tape is less impressive when you look at what the truth really was. A solid fist with lots of tanks, not enough fuel or ammo, especially for artillery support, poor communication, little to no intelligence, no tangible defensive lines since the Molotov line barely existed, complete loss even air parity, and sent into battle on the attack piecemeal fashion with units that were generally not even remotely close to authorized TO&E strength.

Not such a scary fist

 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,636
USA
#64
What does everyone focus on the Heer and not the Luftwaffe?

The majority of the Luftwaffe was on the Western front. That extra air power may be enough to swing the balance.
 
Nov 2015
1,764
Kyiv
#65
German tank order of battle for Barbarossa:

Panzer I = 410 (almost entirely as the PzBef command tank variant)
Panzer II = 743 (used in light tank role for reconnaissance/scouting duties)
Panzer III = 967 (The primary medium tank for the panzer divisions in the schwerpunkt panzergruppe)
Various Czech tanks = 780 (Used as primary medium tank for those Panzer divisions who weren't given Panzer III)
Panzer IV = 439 (Used as infantry support vehicles, with its short barreled 75mm gun, limited AT abilities)

Note, these were not remotely equally spread out (similar to how the Soviet tank strength and type wasn't equally spread out among its forces). Some units had better quality armor then others, largely based on its role.

I included the summary of Soviet tanks not to discount the Soviets didn't have a lot of tanks (they did) but to show that your previous statement, that the Germans didn't plan on the T-34/KV series, weren't that big of a deal because their low numbers in the early portion of the campaign at least (however, they showed up more as the Germans drove deeper and the Soviet lines to their factories were shortened).

Absolutely, German tanks and AT guns both had problems penetrating the modern Soviet tanks, as the German tanks were all vulnerable to the 76mm gun. But they also had tactics that worked very well in defeating the piecemeal method at which the Soviets often attacked in 41-42, without proper infantry or artillery support, often with little to no planning, no communication, and based on outdated/completely incorrect intelligence, such as advancing until meeting heavy enemy tank resistance and then retreating into a baited ambush at which point the panzer division's AT weapons and AA guns (those precious 8.8cm guns) would maul the attacking Soviet tanks, followed by a fast counterattack often from the flanks or rear by German armor.

It was only when the Germans were very deep into Russia when Soviet armor began fighting smarter, using tactics that the Germans couldn't counter with their baited ambush approach. Such as the use of fire sack ambushes using armor, infantry, artillery followed by heavy armor counter attacks, these such new methods of fighting worked even though Soviet armor still had major issues with command and control and communication. And the Germans were stung hard (and that after six months of grueling combat that had already seen the German panzer divisions severely mauled without being properly reequiped with new vehicles and replacement soldiers, as the Germans had a horrific/nearly non-existent replacement system throughout the war). Add in weather, horrible logistics, and beyond stubborn Red Army defenses and constant threat of counterattack, that was why the Germans stalled.

Also, for your massive tank estimate for Soviet Union, are you including tankettes, the T-17, T-23, and T-27? I think you are, and those numbered in the many thousands and besides for reconnaissance (which the Red Army wasn't doing much of in 1941) they were next to useless. I was counting only actual typed light-heavy tanks that were positioned on the western border, discounting those that were in Siberia for instance, or being used for training purposes, being stockpiled, being repaired at depots, etc.
By type of tanks - I made you a reduced version of the original GBTU report on Russian tanks extracting from it the data for the first half of 1941. The second column - the number of tanks by type on January 1, 1941. The third column - produced tanks for the first 6 months of 1941. The fourth column - the total number of tanks by type on July 1, 1941 in the ranks of the Red Army. In the same report you can see all types of tanks in the armament of the Red Army for that period


As you see, 1,225 of the T-34 in the Red Army by the beginning of the German attack was not small qty. It is a real armada of the tanks the Germans had nothing to do with in mid-summer 1941 - except their Ju-87B that were very effective in that role.

On the other hand I know very much of the low level of the training of the Russian tankmen esp. in a new models of tanks. But it is just one phrase from the long list of Russian weakness - and it's a separate issue. I have much data of that sort

Of course. T-1 and T-2 from the Germans, as well as light tanks used by Russians were used in 1941 not only for reconnaissance. For the infantryman even a light tank when he met it in the field made a very serious problem.
Light tanks at the time was a formidable force and were widely used both in the offensive and in the defense as a strike force - not only in reconnaissance.

The situation change a little bit when the German infantry has got the Panzerfausts much later. The situation in 1941 was mitigated by the anti-tank guns of the Russians and the Germans - but they were not a panacea for light tanks because of the low effectiveness of the bullet.

As for fighting the tank against the tank in 1941 in the east - as far as I know, after the first skirmishes with Russian tanks, the German command issued an order for its tankmen to avoid direct battles with Russian tanks. They were to be destroyed by aviation and artillery.

Especially since the Germans quickly delivered to the east anti-aircraft 88-mm guns, which became killers for the T-34 and KV. In any case, the 30 thousandth Russian tank armada ceased to exist in a few months. By the way, the Germans got about 10 thousand completely serviceable or easily damaged Russian tanks. However, they used in battle only a small part of Russian trophy tanks - mostly T-34 and some KV (up to 50 pieces).

The rest of your theses I will comment later.
 
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Nov 2015
1,764
Kyiv
#66
The tale of the tape is less impressive when you look at what the truth really was. A solid fist with lots of tanks, not enough fuel or ammo, especially for artillery support, poor communication, little to no intelligence, no tangible defensive lines since the Molotov line barely existed, complete loss even air parity, and sent into battle on the attack piecemeal fashion with units that were generally not even remotely close to authorized TO&E strength.

Not such a scary fist
You probably did not quite understand what I'm writing here. Of course, in 1941 Russia was somewhat reminiscent of a clay bully with a big stick. The Russians have lived in complete isolation from the West for two and a half decades and began to believe more of their frantic propaganda towards the West than the real situation. By the way, today's Russia is also vividly demonstrating a very similar syndrome to the West.

Against the background of a pathological fear of the West and the rough aggressiveness of Russia in those years, it created powerful armed forces. The Russian army surpassed all the other armies of the world combined in strike weapons by the beginning of WWII. You can check it by numbers. The only drawback of Russia at the time were brains. Moreover, she herself hit her own
head hardly in 1937-1938 during the Great Purge

As a result, half of the Russian officers to the beginning of WWII did not even have a secondary education. The skills of Russian soldiers and officers were low, the discipline was weak, the possession of equipment was insufficient, the army communication was bad, and there were no numbers to the shortcomings of the Red Army.

Semyon Budyonny, a major Russian military commander, said before the WWII as follows:

We sometimes soar on very large operational-strategic scales, and what will we operate with, if a company is not suitable, a battalion is not suitable, a platoon is not suitable?

But I was talking about something else. The Kremlin was bursting with the sensation of its own military power, and it came headlong into WWII on September 17, 1939. The first success only added to it arrogance and rage. And then the Finns greatly grieved the Russian leadership and showed the weakness of the Red Army. Nevertheless, the big Russian idea - to bolshevisate Europe and to make from its countries the new Soviet republics which has been in the air since 1918 - still guided the actions of the Kremlin. And Moscow spun the flywheel of preparations for the big invasion of Europe further. But the Germans have managed to hit first

And by the end of the fall of 1941 Russia was half a step away from a complete disaster.
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#67
USSR wasn't in isolation, from 1922-33 the Reichswehr and the Red Army had a semi-secret cooperation going, where Germans were using Soviet territory to conduct large scale drills and exercises and test equipment they weren't allowed to possess according to the Versailles Treaty, while both powers shared military information, doctrine, tactics, technology in a direct process between senior liaison officers.

SOWING THE WIND: THE FIRST SOVIET-GERMAN MILITARY PACT AND THE ORIGINS OF WORLD WAR II
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#68
1. A good amount of that is in cyrrilic. This is not a Russian history forum. Please provide sources IN ENGLISH.
2. It lists tankettes, and tanks that were much much lighter in armament, weapons then even the Panzer 1. Which is exactly what I said would cause the massively inflated numbers. When it came to quality operating tanks facing off against the Germans, the total number isn't remotely as high as 27,813.
3. The previous source I listed said 1,000 T-34s existed in June 1941, of which ~900 were actually issued IN THE FRONTS THAT WOULD FACE OFF AGAINST GERMANY. I don't care how many T-34 or KV tanks were in Siberia, they don't factor in.

If your next post doesn't address this stuff in a brevet manner, without nineteen paragraphs and charts in a language I can't read that don't even address what I wrote, then I'm done communicating with you.
 
Nov 2015
1,764
Kyiv
#69
1. A good amount of that is in cyrrilic. This is not a Russian history forum. Please provide sources IN ENGLISH.
2. It lists tankettes, and tanks that were much much lighter in armament, weapons then even the Panzer 1. Which is exactly what I said would cause the massively inflated numbers. When it came to quality operating tanks facing off against the Germans, the total number isn't remotely as high as 27,813.
3. The previous source I listed said 1,000 T-34s existed in June 1941, of which ~900 were actually issued IN THE FRONTS THAT WOULD FACE OFF AGAINST GERMANY. I don't care how many T-34 or KV tanks were in Siberia, they don't factor in.

If your next post doesn't address this stuff in a brevet manner, without nineteen paragraphs and charts in a language I can't read that don't even address what I wrote, then I'm done communicating with you.
1. I translated you the heads of the columns - and you could easily translate the rest - I mean the first column with the names of the Russian tanks. ИС - IS, КВ - KV, БТ - BT for the types of the tanks. I see no reason for some extra translation of the data in the report - everything is to be clear for a person who does not know both Cyrillic letters and Russian language at all
2. You can deduct the tankettes, and I do not think that the Russian great supriority in tanks vs Germany will become something fundamentally different after that deduction
3. I never have heard that Russians sent these types of tanks (T-34 or KV) to Siberia or some other location beyond western part of Soviet Union before 1945. I think that 99% of the tanks available in the above list were used against Germans

And I do not require you to answer all my points in messages. You can answer those ones that you like - I will not be offended ))
 
Jul 2016
9,544
USA
#70
1. I translated you the heads of the columns - and you could easily translate the rest - I mean the first column with the names of the Russian tanks. ИС - IS, КВ - KV, БТ - BT for the types of the tanks. I see no reason for some extra translation of the data in the report - everything is to be clear for a person who does not know both Cyrillic letters and Russian language at all
2. You can deduct the tankettes, and I do not think that the Russian great supriority in tanks vs Germany will become something fundamentally different after that deduction
3. I never have heard that Russians sent these types of tanks (T-34 or KV) to Siberia or some other location beyond western part of Soviet Union before 1945. I think that 99% of the tanks available in the above list were used against Germans

And I do not require you to answer all my points in messages. You can answer those ones that you like - I will not be offended ))
1. Please keep sources in English, do the viewers of Historum the courtesy, especially for a image that can't be translated by Google Chrome.
2. The great superiority of Red Army over German becomes less so when each front's individual tank armament comes into factor. When the vast majority of tanks used by the Soviets are about as equal as the Panzer I or II, then it tells the real story. Red Army in 1941-42 was not an army predominately using T-34s, they had them and as time went on they had more and more of them, until it was rare to see a light tank outside a recon role, but in 41-42, the Soviets were still using up their 20-30s tanks, which were the big victims of Barbarossa "The main Soviet battle tanks employed in 1941 were the T-26 and the BT-7 light tanks, which comprised nearly 80% of the available armor."
3. "A total of eighteen of the Red Army's twenty-eight mechanized corps were stationed in the five border districts in the west." Most of the rest (but not all) would end up being used against the Germans in 41-42, as the Red Army pulled equipment and entire divisions and corps from the East to use as a reserve in the West. But in June 1941, the Red Army had forces along all of its border, not just the West.