Luftwaffe's biggest mistakes?

Oct 2016
1,137
Merryland
#61
I wonder if the Luftwaffe had the intelligence for successful strategic bombing of the USSR.
did they know where the plants were? would have been hugely helpful to bomb the T-34 facilities, as well as fuel, railroad and similar.
in the 50s General Curtis LeMay told Ike his bombers could reach any point in the USSR but didn't know which points would make good targets.
were they just blindly bombing cities?
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#62
Correct on the first point

Not really on the second... Aside from Rommel who had a few pipe dreams, not many other people in the german leadership thought this would be feasible... Its about 2500 km from Tobruk to the Iranian border (as the crow flies, more than 3 000 via available roads)
Germany's expansion into the Middle East in the WWII is not at all my version. The process started in the spring of 1941 with the uprising of the military in Iraq and the coup d'état. The Iraqi military blocked the British bases in Iraq and turned to Hitler for help.

German squadrons were to move to Iraqi airfields. At this time, French troops were in Syria and Lebanon. And this was Vichy France, the Reich ally .

Iraq had its own considerable oil. And only because of a pure misunderstanding, the project that started there with the Germans failed. Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners, not seeing the signs of nationality on German aircraft prepared for landing in their airfields accidentally shot the commander of the German aviation group Major Blomberg. And while the Germans were looking for a replacement for him - the British fussed and were able to suppress the Iraqi rebellion. The main role in this was played by British aviation. The only alternative for the Germans after that was an attack on this oil region across northern Africa. And if the Germans managed to break through there, then the British would have little to oppose Rommel’s tanks in the Middle East
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#63
I wonder if the Luftwaffe had the intelligence for successful strategic bombing of the USSR.
did they know where the plants were? would have been hugely helpful to bomb the T-34 facilities, as well as fuel, railroad and similar.
I have already said here that the whole German campaign against Russia in 1941 looked, on a number of signs like a large German impromptu. And the Barbarossa Plan was prepared hastily, and it was not preceded by a deep reconnaissance study of Russia.

Until the summer of 1940, the Germans obviously did not plan a war with the Russia and were pretty mistaken about its necessity after they received the Secret Protocol from the Russians in August 1939. The German euphoria about Russia played a cruel joke with them. The Wehrmacht invaded Russia, having no equipment adapted to her climate and bad roads. German soldiers did not have a warm uniform. And the German generals along with Hitler himself had no idea about the enormous military potential of Russia, about her military factories and the new Russian army equipment, and about the strike power of the Red Army. And about the fact that Russia is a country that has been optimized as much as possible for the conduct of a protracted heavy war. And she began to prepare for it in full scale several years before Hitler came to power.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,758
#64
Germany's expansion into the Middle East in the WWII is not at all my version. The process started in the spring of 1941 with the uprising of the military in Iraq and the coup d'état. The Iraqi military blocked the British bases in Iraq and turned to Hitler for help.

German squadrons were to move to Iraqi airfields. At this time, French troops were in Syria and Lebanon. And this was Vichy France, the Reich ally .

Iraq had its own considerable oil. And only because of a pure misunderstanding, the project that started there with the Germans failed. Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners, not seeing the signs of nationality on German aircraft prepared for landing in their airfields accidentally shot the commander of the German aviation group Major Blomberg. And while the Germans were looking for a replacement for him - the British fussed and were able to suppress the Iraqi rebellion. The main role in this was played by British aviation. The only alternative for the Germans after that was an attack on this oil region across northern Africa. And if the Germans managed to break through there, then the British would have little to oppose Rommel’s tanks in the Middle East
Vichy was not a german ally.... Its policy was one of neutrality and to defend itself against any attacker (which initially turned out to be the british)

The Iraq coup attempt was not a serious challenge to the british and there was no way a german force could operate in Iraq for any length of time... seeing as how it would have no supply lines to speak of.....

Had the germans broken through at Alamein they still had thousands of kilometers to go with major supply issues... the axis could barely supply Libya, how were they going to supply forces in the M/E ? Also the UK could give up all of Egypt and defend behind the Suez canal...... (and before that defend the east bank of the Nile).... distances, supply issues and several fall back defensive positions made an axis conquest of the M/E near impossible... (though Egypt was quite feasible, but there was little there to be had)..... Finally if by some miracle the axis managed to capture the then existing M/E oilfields (which were just a fraction of what there is today), how would they ever get this oil back to Europe ?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,758
#65
I have already said here that the whole German campaign against Russia in 1941 looked, on a number of signs like a large German impromptu. And the Barbarossa Plan was prepared hastily, and it was not preceded by a deep reconnaissance study of Russia.

Until the summer of 1940, the Germans obviously did not plan a war with the Russia and were pretty mistaken about its necessity after they received the Secret Protocol from the Russians in August 1939.
Correct but the reason for this is quite simple: no one (not even the germans) expected the French collapse.... Only after it had occurred and it was clear that Sea Lion was not going to happen, did Germany look for its next target of opportunity

Note that the german plan for France was not developed till late 1939.... and the Sea Lion concept was only started in July 1940....

That's what the germans did, they improvised....
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,354
#66
. At this time, French troops were in Syria and Lebanon. And this was Vichy France, the Reich ally .
The vichy - Naxi Germany relatinship was not simple. Though the Vichy governmet allowed the German overflight/refueling to Iraq , they refused offered assitance when the British invaded syria.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,354
#67
Germany's expansion into the Middle East in the WWII is not at all my version. The process started in the spring of 1941 with the uprising of the military in Iraq and the coup d'état. The Iraqi military blocked the British bases in Iraq and turned to Hitler for help.
The Uprinsing in Iraqi was not well or widely supported and collasped under the slightest British push back.
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#68
I think the events in North Africa and the Middle East in 1941 should be considered now as a whole.

What was going on?

Germany experienced a shortage of oil. That problem pursued her whole WWII. And the Romanian oil only allowed the Germans to keep the oil balance close to zero, despite the fact that Germany had not yet switched to Totalenkrieg (this will happen only in 1944), and the needs of her army, fleet and air force in oil were probably less than in the second half of the war.

The seizure of Baku’s oil fields and access to oil in the Middle East was among the top priorities of the Third Reich. And here a series of events of the 1941 in the whole region is built into a logical chain. An attempt of the Wehrmacht to break to Suez through North Africa and this way - to the Middle East. The activity of German agents in Iran (where Canaris arrived in August 1941) and Iraq and their participation in the preparation of local uprisings which can be called pro-German ones. Support for pro-German forces in Egypt.

At the same time, one of the key issues in the topic was - on which side Turkey would act. And as the events of the WWII developed in 1941-1942, Turkey was inclined to one side, then to the other. And it is unlikely that if Russia were defeated during the Eastern campaign, Turkey would have resisted the temptation to participate in the pie section, coordinating this with the Reich. And a signal for the defeat of the Russian would be the capture of Stalingrad by the Germans. This would block for the Russians the main channel for the delivery of oil from Baku - and in a couple of months the Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces would remain with dry tanks. It must be said that Stalingrad was the key point in the question of whether Russia would collapse in that war or not. With all the consequences for the rest of its members. And for "neutral" Turkey which was waiting

4 days before the German invasion of Russia Germany signed a Treaty of friendship and non-aggression with Turkey of June 18, 1941.

Let me remind you that the Germans had two similar agreements with the Russians. One was signed a week before the German invasion of Poland and three weeks before the invasion of Poland by Russia — and before her unofficial join to the WWII on the German side.

The other - the Treaty of Friendship and the Border - was signed between Russia and Germany after the end of their joint campaign in Poland in October 1939. After that, the Russians invaded Finland, and then with rough military blackmail forced Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Romania to let Russian troops into their territory . Then, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Romanian Bessarabia and Bukovina became an integral part of the Land of the Soviets.

It remains to add that in October 1941 the Turkish military delegation visited the German positions on the Eastern Front.



In the summer of 1942 Turkey conducted a mobilization and increased the army to 1 million. And when the Germans moved to Stalingrad, Turkey transferred 750 thousand of them to the Soviet border.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,758
#69
I think the events in North Africa and the Middle East in 1941 should be considered now as a whole.

What was going on?

Germany experienced a shortage of oil. That problem pursued her whole WWII. And the Romanian oil only allowed the Germans to keep the oil balance close to zero, despite the fact that Germany had not yet switched to Totalenkrieg (this will happen only in 1944), and the needs of her army, fleet and air force in oil were probably less than in the second half of the war.

The seizure of Baku’s oil fields and access to oil in the Middle East was among the top priorities of the Third Reich. And here a series of events of the 1941 in the whole region is built into a logical chain. An attempt of the Wehrmacht to break to Suez through North Africa and this way - to the Middle East. The activity of German agents in Iran (where Canaris arrived in August 1941) and Iraq and their participation in the preparation of local uprisings which can be called pro-German ones. Support for pro-German forces in Egypt.

At the same time, one of the key issues in the topic was - on which side Turkey would act. And as the events of the WWII developed in 1941-1942, Turkey was inclined to one side, then to the other. And it is unlikely that if Russia were defeated during the Eastern campaign, Turkey would have resisted the temptation to participate in the pie section, coordinating this with the Reich. And a signal for the defeat of the Russian would be the capture of Stalingrad by the Germans. This would block for the Russians the main channel for the delivery of oil from Baku - and in a couple of months the Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces would remain with dry tanks. It must be said that Stalingrad was the key point in the question of whether Russia would collapse in that war or not. With all the consequences for the rest of its members. And for "neutral" Turkey which was waiting

4 days before the German invasion of Russia Germany signed a Treaty of friendship and non-aggression with Turkey of June 18, 1941.

Let me remind you that the Germans had two similar agreements with the Russians. One was signed a week before the German invasion of Poland and three weeks before the invasion of Poland by Russia — and before her unofficial join to the WWII on the German side.

The other - the Treaty of Friendship and the Border - was signed between Russia and Germany after the end of their joint campaign in Poland in October 1939. After that, the Russians invaded Finland, and then with rough military blackmail forced Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Romania to let Russian troops into their territory . Then, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Romanian Bessarabia and Bukovina became an integral part of the Land of the Soviets.

It remains to add that in October 1941 the Turkish military delegation visited the German positions on the Eastern Front.



In the summer of 1942 Turkey conducted a mobilization and increased the army to 1 million. And when the Germans moved to Stalingrad, Turkey transferred 750 thousand of them to the Soviet border.
Comments : German treaties might as well have been written on used toilet paper for what they were worth... Turkey had been on the german side in WW1 and had paid dearly for it.... It was not about to repeat that experience

Stalingrad was not key to the soviets, it was a minor city.... The germans were on the banks on the Volga anyway (including in Stalingrad) so they were blocking traffic as it was... And if Turkey was not sufficiently impressed by the Fall of Poland, the low countries, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and the early successes of Barbarossa, it was not going to be impressed by the germans taking a second rate city like Stalingrad whose location on the map no one knew or cared about (or would remember had there not been such a battle) before the battle itself.
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#70
Comments : German treaties might as well have been written on used toilet paper for what they were worth... Turkey had been on the german side in WW1 and had paid dearly for it.... It was not about to repeat that experience

Stalingrad was not key to the soviets, it was a minor city.... The germans were on the banks on the Volga anyway (including in Stalingrad) so they were blocking traffic as it was... And if Turkey was not sufficiently impressed by the Fall of Poland, the low countries, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and the early successes of Barbarossa, it was not going to be impressed by the germans taking a second rate city like Stalingrad whose location on the map no one knew or cared about (or would remember had there not been such a battle) before the battle itself.
- Nevertheless, Germany observed the treaties with the Russia of 1939 for almost two years of the WWII. Perhaps she would have followed them further, but the Russians themselves began to violate the treaties in 1940. Hitler gave the order to develop Barbarossa plan just after that.

Austria was also an ally of Germany in the WWI. And eventually lost her empire. Meanwhile the Anschluss with the Third Reich among other things expressed the will of most Austrians. On the other hand Italy was on the side of the Entente in the WWI and was among the winning countries. However in the WWII she took the side of Germany which lost the WWI. So this is not an indicator.

Stalingrad was absolutely critical for the Russians in the WWII and therefore they stood there to death. Before that they retreated and retreated until the Germans approached the Volga at Stalingrad.

The Volga there makes a big bend to the west, and this was the only place where the Germans were able to approach this river at 300-400 meters. But their artillery still did not sweep the river bed - the high bank protected it well from fire. Therefore, the Germans had a tough task - to go to the bank of the Volga and install artillery there. And they could not do it for all the months of the battle for Stalingrad.

At that time along the Volga the main line supplying Russians with Baku oil still ran. And Baku was the dominant source of oil for them. And I know this story well. When my grandmother returned from evacuation in Tashkent to Kiev, which the Russians had beaten off from the Germans in the fall of 1943 among her neighbors in the mutual flat was one Jewish family. They then lived in an apartment on Nikolsko-Botanichna Street near the old Botanical Garden.

Their son was among the heads of the construction of the emergency railway from Guriev to the north. Guryev (now - Atyrau) was a town on the Caspian coast east of the mouth of the Volga. And when the threat of losing Stalingrad arose, the Russians began to frantically build this railway in summer 1942, hoping to at least partially compensate transportation of Baku oil by rail if its transport on the Volga would be blocked by the Germans.

There was an interesting story.

In the midst of war during the construction of this road began the big corruption. Corruption in that country during the war!

The entire construction management was arrested by the NKVD, several people were to be shot by sentence, like the son of that family. While the investigation was going on the Russians drove the Germans out of Stalingrad and the problem with the delivery of oil along the Volga was over.

And suddenly - a few months after the trial - he comes to his parents in Kiev apt in soldiers' uniforms . By some miracle, the execution was replaced by a penal battalion - штрафбат. Of course, he was degraded from officers to private soldiers,etc.

Moreover he ended the war as a chief of the field post. At that time the Russian military sent various values as illegal trophies from Germany in the parcels to their relatives in the rear. And so for everything went well - they bribed the head of the field post. He returned from the front with a parcel box. And when he put it on the table in the mutual kitchen - the table legs almost break, so heavy was the box.

This is a real story, I heard it from my father and my grandmother in detail. And then it was confirmed by another woman who also lived in that common apartment, where all the families used one common kitchen, and everyone knew about everyone.
 
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