Luftwaffe's biggest mistakes?

Mar 2019
1,626
Kansas
#71
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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.
I have read many similar stories. It would seem Russian soldiers loved German wrist watches, and would take them at every opportunity :)
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,758
#72
- 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.
More to the point Hitler gave the order to develop the plans for Barbarossa shortly after it became apparent that the UK was neither surrendering nor agreeing to a peace.... and that the Luftwaffe had lost the battle of Britain....

In other words the germans broke their treaty with the USSR at the very first opportunity.... Before the fall of France it would have been stupid, so the first opportunity was summer of 1941..

I am not sure why you think german artillery could not interdict the Volga... There are several accounts of russian ships making the short trip from the east bank to bring reinforcements to Stalingrad being shelled (with some being sunk)

 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#73
I have read many similar stories. It would seem Russian soldiers loved German wrist watches, and would take them at every opportunity :)
The trophy wristwatches of the Russian soldiers are trifles. As the Russians themselves said in such cases, the fish rots from the head. Indicative is the history of the great Russian Marshal Zhukov. Here is a brief translation of an article about him published in 2003.

TROPHIES OF MARSHAL ZHUKOV
09.06.2003

ТРОФЕИ МАРШАЛА ЖУКОВА

...
The first one to tell Comrade Stalin about the trophy affairs of Zhukov was his immediate superior, the Minister of Defense.

To Comrade Stalin

In Yagodinska customs (near the town of Kovel), 7 wagons were detained, in which there were 85 boxes with furniture.
When checking the documentation, it turned out that the furniture belongs to Marshal Zhukov ...
Bulganin
August 23, 1946

State security seriously took Zhukov into development after a year and a half. Only when the leader himself lost interest in him. And only by the go-ahead of the Supreme. For a start, an adjutant of Zhukov (then commander of the troops of the Odessa Military District), a certain Semochkin, was arrested. He told the authorities that his boss illegally brought with him from Germany a large suitcase and a small jewelry box. In search of treasure were thrown the best forces of the MGB.

Top secret
USSR Council of Ministers
For Comrade Stalin I.V.

According to your instructions on January 5 of this year an unofficial search was conducted on Zhukov’s apartment in Moscow. The task was to find and remove a suitcase and a box with gold, diamonds and other valuables in Zhukov’s apartment.
During the search, the suitcase was not found, and the box was in the safe, standing in the bedroom.

In the box was:
watches - 24 pieces, including gold ones - 17 and with stones - 3;
gold pendants and rings - 15 pieces, 8 of them with precious stones;
golden key chain with lots of gems;
other gold products (cigarette case, chains and bracelets, earrings with precious stones, etc.).
Due to the fact that any suitcase was not in the apartment, it was decided that all valuables in the safe should be photographed, put back as it was before, and the search made on the apartment should not be made public ....
...
On the night of January 8-9, this year an unofficial search was conducted at Zhukov's dacha located in the village of Rublevo near Moscow.
As a result of the search, it was discovered that two dacha rooms had been turned into a warehouse, where a huge amount of various kinds of goods and valuables was stored.

For example:
wool fabrics, silk, brocade, panne and other materials — over 4,000 meters in total;
furs - sable, monkey, fox, seal, astrakhan, astrakhan - totally 323 skins;
top quality chevro - 35 leather;
costly large-size carpets and tapestries taken out of Potsdam and other palaces and houses of Germany - in total 44 pieces, some of which are laid out and hung in rooms, and the rest are in stock; a large carpet laid out in one of the cottage rooms is especially noteworthy;
valuable paintings of classical painting of large sizes in artistic frames - n total 55 pieces, hung around the cottage rooms and partly stored in the warehouse;
expensive dinnerware and tea utensils (china with artistic decoration, crystal) - 7 large drawers;
silver sets of tableware and tea sets - 2 drawers;
accordions with a rich artistic finish - 8 pieces;
unique hunting rifles of the company Goland-Goland and others - n total 20 pieces.
This property is stored in 51 chests and a suitcase, and also lies in bulk.
In addition, bronze and porcelain vases and figurines of artwork, as well as all sorts of foreign-made trinkets, are placed in large numbers in all the rooms of the villa, on the windows, shelves, tables and nightstands.

Noteworthy is the statement of the officers who conducted the search that Zhukov's dacha is essentially an antique shop or museum, hung inside with various expensive art paintings, and there are so many of them that four paintings hang even in the kitchen. It came to the point that in the bedroom of Zhukov a huge picture of two naked women hangs above the bed.

There are so valuable paintings that do not fit the apartment, but should be transferred to the state fund and be in the museum.
Over two dozen large carpets cover the floors of almost all rooms.
The whole furnishings, starting with furniture, carpets, dishes, decorations and ending with curtains on the windows are foreign, mainly German. At the dacha there is literally not a single thing of Soviet origin, with the exception of the small carpets at the entrance to the dacha.
There are no Soviet books at the dacha, but in the bookcases there are a large number of books in beautiful gold-embossed bookbinding, exclusively in German.
Going into the house, it is difficult to imagine that you are near Moscow, and not in Germany.
At the end of the search the discovered furs, fabrics, carpets, tapestries, leather and other things are put in one room, locked with a key and a guard is put up at the door.
A group of operative officers of the Ministry of State Security of the USSR was sent to Odessa to conduct a secret search in Zhukov’s apartment. I will report on the results of this operation to you additionally.
As for the suitcase with jewels which was discovered by Zhukov in Moscow’s apartment, as shown by the arrested Semochkin it turned out that the suitcase kept Zhukov’s wife with him all the time and took them with him when traveling.
Today, when Zhukov and his wife arrived from Odessa to Moscow the indicated suitcase reappeared in his apartment where it is currently located.
Apparently, it should be straightforward to demand from Zhukov the delivery of this suitcase with jewels.

Abakumov. January 10, 1948.


It also contains the text of the explanatory note of Comrade Zhukov, "a member of the VKPb," entitled
For the Central Committee of the CPSU (b)
To Comrade Zhdanov Andrei Alexandrovich
About my greed and desire to assign trophy values


 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#74
More to the point Hitler gave the order to develop the plans for Barbarossa shortly after it became apparent that the UK was neither surrendering nor agreeing to a peace.... and that the Luftwaffe had lost the battle of Britain....

In other words the germans broke their treaty with the USSR at the very first opportunity....

The development of the Barbarossa plan was not a violation of the 1939 treaties with the Russians for the Germans. Even in the late edition of the plan (December 1940) there is a clear indication in the text that the plan will be put into operation in the event of a deterioration in relations with the Russians.

That is, at that time it was a plan "just in case." And initiated its development - if viewed in chronology - the annexation by Russia of Bukovina, the requirement to place its bases in the Black Sea straits (Turkey) and the accelerated build-up of weapons after the signing of the 1939 treaties. I want to say that even without such an indicatio the General Staffs of many countries are developing plans for war with their neighbors for every possible case.

And as Hitler’s letter to his friend Duce (Mussolini) written the day before the invasion of Russia shows, Hitler came to the final decision to strike this blow only in those days. If not to say - June 21, 1941.

Prior to that, there were many signs of Berlin’s high confidence in Moscow in 1940. How else can we confirm the invitation of Russian aviation specialists to German aircraft factories and the delivery to Russia to study the latest models of German aircraft, including Me-109, Ju-88 and Do-215. What to talk about - if all the German strategic plans of 1940 proceeded from the fact that Russia is a friendly country.

In fact, everything was much easier. The usual story. Two bandits who had a successful joint operation (Poland 1939) and made several successful raids by each own after that, lost trust to each after that and locked themselves up in a bloody fight in June 1941.

And nothing more[/QUOTE]
 
Sep 2012
9,170
India
#75
The famous photograph of a Russian soldier hoisting the Soviet flag on the Reich Chancellory around 8th/9th May 1945, shows the soldier wearing three wrist watches on his wrist.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,354
#76
The development of the Barbarossa plan was not a violation of the 1939 treaties with the Russians for the Germans. Even in the late edition of the plan (December 1940) there is a clear indication in the text that the plan will be put into operation in the event of a deterioration in relations with the Russians.

That is, at that time it was a plan "just in case." And initiated its development - if viewed in chronology - the annexation by Russia of Bukovina, the requirement to place its bases in the Black Sea straits (Turkey) and the accelerated build-up of weapons after the signing of the 1939 treaties. I want to say that even without such an indicatio the General Staffs of many countries are developing plans for war with their neighbors for every possible case.

And as Hitler’s letter to his friend Duce (Mussolini) written the day before the invasion of Russia shows, Hitler came to the final decision to strike this blow only in those days. If not to say - June 21, 1941.

Prior to that, there were many signs of Berlin’s high confidence in Moscow in 1940. How else can we confirm the invitation of Russian aviation specialists to German aircraft factories and the delivery to Russia to study the latest models of German aircraft, including Me-109, Ju-88 and Do-215. What to talk about - if all the German strategic plans of 1940 proceeded from the fact that Russia is a friendly country.

In fact, everything was much easier. The usual story. Two bandits who had a successful joint operation (Poland 1939) and made several successful raids by each own after that, lost trust to each after that and locked themselves up in a bloody fight in June 1941.

And nothing more
[/QUOTE]

I disgree Hitler was planning and had decided to attack the soviet union from late 1940,

Why do people keeep taking stuff Hitler says at face value?

The man lied a lot,
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,758
#77
The development of the Barbarossa plan was not a violation of the 1939 treaties with the Russians for the Germans. Even in the late edition of the plan (December 1940) there is a clear indication in the text that the plan will be put into operation in the event of a deterioration in relations with the Russians.

That is, at that time it was a plan "just in case." And initiated its development - if viewed in chronology - the annexation by Russia of Bukovina, the requirement to place its bases in the Black Sea straits (Turkey) and the accelerated build-up of weapons after the signing of the 1939 treaties. I want to say that even without such an indicatio the General Staffs of many countries are developing plans for war with their neighbors for every possible case.

And as Hitler’s letter to his friend Duce (Mussolini) written the day before the invasion of Russia shows, Hitler came to the final decision to strike this blow only in those days. If not to say - June 21, 1941.

Prior to that, there were many signs of Berlin’s high confidence in Moscow in 1940. How else can we confirm the invitation of Russian aviation specialists to German aircraft factories and the delivery to Russia to study the latest models of German aircraft, including Me-109, Ju-88 and Do-215. What to talk about - if all the German strategic plans of 1940 proceeded from the fact that Russia is a friendly country.

In fact, everything was much easier. The usual story. Two bandits who had a successful joint operation (Poland 1939) and made several successful raids by each own after that, lost trust to each after that and locked themselves up in a bloody fight in June 1941.

And nothing more
[/QUOTE]

That's a very one sided view... The germans did more than just develop a plan, they actively prepared the operation by shifting massive amounts of troops eastwards , stockpiling supplies, multiplying overflight recon missions deep in soviet territory etc.... And of course on june 21 they launched a massive attack.... There is simply no disputing all of that.
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#78
That's a very one sided view... The germans did more than just develop a plan, they actively prepared the operation by shifting massive amounts of troops eastwards , stockpiling supplies, multiplying overflight recon missions deep in soviet territory etc.... And of course on june 21 they launched a massive attack.... There is simply no disputing all of that.[/QUOTE]

Nobody says that the Germans did not prepare for the invasion of Russia in June 1941. They also were preparing for the invasion of the British Isles, and these preparations also took many months. And at that time Hitler was also in thought - to give the final order for the invasion - or not to give. Аfter serious doubts he made such a decision for Russia - and he did not dare for the same order for a landing in Britain. And for a long time I already don’t want to listen to the Russian maxims that their huge army was diligently preparing to repel the sudden invasion of the German troops, but at the same time the sudden invasion of the Germans turned out to be a complete surprise both to Russian army and for Kremin, too.

Suvorov very modestly portrayed the situation of the summer of 1941. In fact, Soviet Russia made her first attempt to invade Europe in 1920. Bolshevization of Europe has been a Russian idefix for many years. And 3 years before Hitler came to power in Germany Russia began the forced preparation of a big war with Europe. And the most remarkable thing is that the Russians started the forced preparation for a big war with Europe precisely when Europe plunged into a severe economic crisis since 1929 and did not think about any invasion of Russia. And Russia overtook the rest of the world for several years in preparation for a big war within the whole decade before the WWII.

In the 1933 when Hitler came to power in Germany the Russians already had many thousands of tanks rumbling along the roads , and their sky was dark with combat aircraft.

In 1933-1934 the Russians launched 1884 BT-5 tanks and many others.



And in 1935, when the Germans got off from the conveyor the first T-1 light tanks with a 7.92 mm machine gun, the Russians launched the first 500 pcs of the high-speed 14-ton BT-7 tanks with an engine of 400 horsepower and a 45 mm cannon.

In that year the Russians invited Western military representatives to the great Kiev maneuvers. And they showed them their Russian blitzkrieg with 1000 attacking tanks and a large airborne assault force landing to the rear of the conventional enemy. Landing with Russian tanks and field guns. And after these maneuvers, a squadron of the Russian heavy four-engine TB-3 bombers circled over Paris, putting fear on the French.

According to Russian military experts of the time, by the end of the 1930s Russia had created "the most offensive army in the world." And their military strategy and the amount of heavy military equipment released on the eve of WWII provided the embodiment of the general idea of war with the entire capitalist world simultaneously.

I haven’t for a long time already asked myself the question - who was the first in the world who started preparing for WWII with a full rage. I know who started it.
 
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Likes: Picard
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
#79
Whether we like it or not, in fact the first two years of WWII followed the Russian scenario.

Germany helped the Russians get rid of hated Poland. The Russians conducted a joint military campaign with the Reich vs Poland for that purpose - the first campaign of the WWII. And they became the first ally of the Wehrmacht in that war. They captured and annexed vast territories with a population of 13 million people and took large war trophies during the campaign.

And then the Russians invaded Finland. Capture the whole country failed - the Finns have violated Russian plans. And they managed just to annex the densely populated Finnish Karelian Isthmus. And in 1940, the Russians used rough military blackmail — the same as during the operation to seize the Crimea in 2014. And without a single shot they captured and annexed Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bessrabia and Bukovina.

Not only that - in Europe at this time one European country grappled with several other European countries in the war. And it was also a nice part of the Russian scenario of a new big war in Europe.

Moreover, WWII also ended according to the Russian scenario in 1945. Russia managed to confirm with the Western allies and fix all territorial seizures of what she did at the beginning of the WWII - Western Belarus, Western Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, Bukovina and Karelia.

And she added to Russia new territories - East Prussia with Koenigsberg, the Kuril Islands and South Sakhalin. Not only that - almost all of Eastern Europe turned out to be under strict Russian control, and Moscow seated puppet governments there and would soon draw them into a military and economic alliance. I think the Kremlin was rubbing hands with pleasure after the end of the WWII.

And then the Russians managed to drag huge China to their side, as well as North Vietnam and North Korea. And China has radically changed the balance of power between the West and communist Russia. This was the Russian scenario in its best version.
 
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Sep 2012
115
#80
On topic:

I would have to say that the biggest mistake made at the organizational level of the Luftwaffe was the appointment of Ernst Udet to Director of the T-Amt (research and development department), a position for which he was entirely unsuited. While he was indeed a high profile persona and had managed to make strong political connections within the hierarchy, he was completely incompetent as an administrator, which was of course the most important part of his job description.
His inability in this regard led to the all too familiar chaotic situation of gross misapplication of limited resources and productive facilities and this ballooned to obscene proportions between 1936 and 1942.
The situation only got worse in 1939 when he was elevated into overall control of all Luftwaffe production (Generalluftzeugmeister (Luftwaffe Director-General of Equipment)). His inability to even manage proper delegation of authority within his immediate subordinates led to vast redundancies (Ju-322, Jumo 222, Me-210 anyone?) where production lines were being constantly re-tooled and specifications altered with little to no direct oversight from his office.

Which of course was supposed to be overseeing all of these things.

Goering (his immediate superior) was no help either, and as such, a large amount of the blame for this situation goes up the chain of command and lands on his desk.
While this is largely accepted as Goering's failure (in common perception), the role of Udet in the entire mess is much less known.