What if the Germans concentrated their entire thrust at Moscow?

Jul 2016
8,634
USA
#21
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.
 
Apr 2017
2,927
Las Vegas, NV USA
#22
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.
 
Jul 2016
8,634
USA
#23
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.
 

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