What if the Germans concentrated their entire thrust at Moscow?

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,794
USA
That still undermines Nazi ideology and German nationalistic desires to conquer the East.

While it could work, its also a long term strategy. It would take 3-5 years minimum to get that to work. The German military doesn't work like that, they're a "One and Done" type of military, they don't want to fight lengthy and costly wars when they think they can win it all in one hard fought campaign season.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,560
Las Vegas, NV USA
Its not clear what the OP means by "entire thrust". Assuming the dubious view that taking Moscow meant victory for Germany, they still had to protect their flanks. That means an extended front on both sides of the line of advance. The topography was fairly flat providing few natural places to secure the flanks. The initial invasion was primarily directed at Moscow and it failed. In 1942 the main thrust was across southern Russia to secure the oil fields.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,794
USA
Its not clear what the OP means by "entire thrust". Assuming the dubious view that taking Moscow meant victory for Germany, they still had to protect their flanks. That means an extended front on both sides of the line of advance. The topography was fairly flat providing few natural places to secure the flanks. The initial invasion was directed at Moscow and it failed. in 1942 the main thrust was across southern Russia to secure the oil fields.
More than just protect their flanks. Numerous army groups would still have to either 1) defensively guard a large portion of German held territory in a major economy of force operation, or else 2) launch supporting offensives inside Soviet territory aimed only at maneuver warfare to deal with the Soviet forces on the border. If they do 1), they don't need many panzer divisions, if they do 2) they do.

And that doesn't even count the army group(s) needed to devote to taking the south, which as you say would need to hold their northern flank the entire route to the Caucasus. At any point, if any part of their supply line is cut by a Soviet counterattack somewhere like Kiev, then the German forces in the Caucasus are cut off. So the numerous army groups needed to take the Caucasus would need multiple others just to guard the flanks.

So now we still have Army Group North and Center, but they don't need as much fuel, but probably need panzer groups to at least drive forward to deal with the Soviet border units. The bulk of fuel and other supplies, and the Luftwaffe, goes to the army groups devoted to heading to Kiev and then the Caucasus. At least three army groups needed, more likely four, with at least two heavy with panzer groups.
 
Jul 2019
43
london
Hitler's generals believed the capture by the Germans of Moscow and the Soviet armies around it before the end of 1941 would have brought the war to an end.

They may have succeeded in doing so if Hitler hadn't ordered a massive diversionary drive to the south during the summer.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,180
Sydney
the southern thrust was a necessity
very large Soviet forces were holding Army group south at bay ,
Army group center needed to stop for a few weeks for logistic reasons and to regroup its units stretched over hundred of miles
rail had to be repaired and modified for the German gauge
Army group north weak panzer army wasn't strong enough to close Leningrad blockade
the decision to send panzer divisions on both front was correct and really unavoidable
advancing further wasn't an option as yet
the whining of Guderian was just because his idea wasn't followed
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,636
Republika Srpska
the southern thrust was a necessity
very large Soviet forces were holding Army group south at bay ,
Army group center needed to stop for a few weeks for logistic reasons and to regroup its units stretched over hundred of miles
rail had to be repaired and modified for the German gauge
Army group north weak panzer army wasn't strong enough to close Leningrad blockade
the decision to send panzer divisions on both front was correct and really unavoidable
advancing further wasn't an option as yet
the whining of Guderian was just because his idea wasn't followed
This. The Red Army had around 650,000-700,000 men in the Ukraine. Such a large force needed to be dealt with. And besides, even if the Germans started pushing towards Moscow, they would still most likely fail to take it. By September 1941, their vital motorized divisions were in a terrible shape, their losses were starting to grow, their supply system was not working as well as it should have and they were about to be confronted with rasputitsa. Even Goebbels wrote in his diary on September 11: "the progress of the eastern operation is not what we had actually wished for."