What if the Germans concentrated their entire thrust at Moscow?

Nov 2014
418
ph
What if the Germans followed Napoleon's path precisely and concentrated all their forces on the Center, with only spoiling attacks elsewhere, will that have worked better?
 
Mar 2019
1,975
Kansas
What if the Germans followed Napoleon's path precisely and concentrated all their forces on the Center, with only spoiling attacks elsewhere, will that have worked better?
No the Russians would have counter attacked across from the South. Cut their supplies. War would have ended at least a year maybe more earlier. When Napoleon took Moscow in his invasion. The Russians simply left and said "Now what are you going to do"
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,231
Sydney
This has been discussed ad nauseam
essentially a halt in September was imperative for logistical reason and rebuilding the railroads

sending panzer corps North and south while the infantry and artillery regrouped and refitted was correct
there were massive soviet forces in the south ,
Army group South had only one panzer army and found the chewing hard going
it was running behind the schedule and needed help
as soon as Army group center was ready ,it surged forward slicing and dicing all put against it
then the rasputsa drowned everything in mud
with perfect insight it would have been better to stop in mid October and dig in
but the Generals were hypnotised by taking Moscow , which Hitler didn't care much about
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Moscow was never a legitimate strategic target. There is no indication taking it would never win the war. Drive on it and the communist elite simply escape eastward, further and further to the Urals.

What the Germans NEEDED to do was destroy the Red Army as close to the border as possible. Strategically that would neuter the Soviet govt, and weaken it to the point that it would collapse (at least in Hitler's mind). And that was the true purpose of Barbarossa, to annihilate the Red Army.

But an intact Red Army means having to drive deeper and deeper, necessary when it became apparent in late summer and autumn that the Red Army was bigger than they thought and was not going to be destroyed by the point of reaching the Dnieper. While the Germans did manage to destroy a large portion of the Red Army in 1941, it could not destroy it all, nor did it ever remotely consider the realistic size of it, as well as its reserve potential, which were far beyond the ability of the Heer to destroy.

That was the reason that the focus shifted to Moscow. Various generals, ignorant of the overall situation, believed wrongly that taking Moscow would end the war, similarly to how Poland and France and other countries had previously fallen when their capitols were taken. But those were small countries whose govt and people had nowhere to retreat to, where as the Soviet govt still had 4/5 of their countries depth to retreat into.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,294
SoCal
No the Russians would have counter attacked across from the South. Cut their supplies. War would have ended at least a year maybe more earlier. When Napoleon took Moscow in his invasion. The Russians simply left and said "Now what are you going to do"
Moscow was probably much more important for logistics in 1941 than in 1812 due to the widespread adoption of railroads during these 129 years, though.

Moscow was never a legitimate strategic target. There is no indication taking it would never win the war. Drive on it and the communist elite simply escape eastward, further and further to the Urals.
Taking Moscow (and Leningrad) would have crippled the Soviet Union's logistics due to almost all Soviet roads running through Moscow, though.

That was the reason that the focus shifted to Moscow. Various generals, ignorant of the overall situation, believed wrongly that taking Moscow would end the war, similarly to how Poland and France and other countries had previously fallen when their capitols were taken. But those were small countries whose govt and people had nowhere to retreat to, where as the Soviet govt still had 4/5 of their countries depth to retreat into.
See my points above.
 
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Mar 2019
1,975
Kansas
Moscow was probably much more important for logistics in 1941 than in 1812 due to the widespread adoption of railroads during these 129 years, though.
However the massive relocation of infrastructure away from the Moscow sector shows the Russians were not sure they could hold it, and if they didn't, they fully intended to continue the struggle beyond the capture of their capitol.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Moscow was probably much more important for logistics in 1941 than in 1812 due to the widespread adoption of railroads during these 129 years, though.

Taking Moscow (and Leningrad) would have crippled the Soviet Union's logistics due to almost all Soviet roads running through Moscow, though.
Nobody is saying Moscow wasn't important. It was their capitol afterall. But it was not a major strategic target, taking it ends the war.

And if WW2 showed anything, its that new rail lines can always be laid. Its not like the Soviets did do that constantly throughout the war, and its not like they didn't have the labor pool for it.

One wins a war by performing some sort of act that either makes it impossible or undesirable to continue fighting. Be real. The time is 1941. What makes Stalin surrender, because its impossible or politically impractical to continue fighting?
 
Mar 2019
1,975
Kansas
One wins a war by performing some sort of act that either makes it impossible or undesirable to continue fighting. Be real. The time is 1941. What makes Stalin surrender, because its impossible or politically impractical to continue fighting?
Counter revolution, which is what Stalin thought was going to happen. But as I have seen in interviews, Russian preferred Stalin over Hitler because at least Stalin spoke Russian.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Counter revolution, which is what Stalin thought was going to happen. But as I have seen in interviews, Russian preferred Stalin over Hitler because at least Stalin spoke Russian.
What interviews? When? I doubt any Russians preferred Hitler after 1941, the Great Patriotic War did something Stalin and the rest of the communists never truly could, it unified their country.

Though maybe a counter revolution is possible. How does Hitler pull that off militarily?
 
Mar 2019
1,975
Kansas
What interviews? When? I doubt any Russians preferred Hitler after 1941, the Great Patriotic War did something Stalin and the rest of the communists never truly could, it unified their country.
It is mentioned a few times as a running joke among soldiers

https://www.amazon.com/Ivans-War-Life-Death-1939-1945-ebook/dp/B000SEGP2U

Which is a great book, wonderful insights into the average Russian solider during the war. And how much in common he had with his American counterpart