Would Germany have been capable of winning the eastern theatre of wwII had it done the following?

Apr 2019
36
U.S.A.
#21
I think if I had been Hitler in WWii, i believe the best thing would be to hit on at once. In other words, complete the defeat of Britain before turning on the USSR. Also, I would have kept the Japanese in check by developing a “plan” with the axis not all three tear off in seperate directions. Also, had he of let his trained professional and sometimes brilliant generals do it the way they were trained and experianced to do, they would have come out much better. There were just too many things he micromanaged and changed like the jet fighters, that as a result, came out way too late in the war. Had he let it come out when it was originally ready it could have done some good
 
Jul 2016
8,710
USA
#22
Germany always had more resources, manpower and %GDP devoted to the war efoort than the Allies. Germnay had been on a war footing from 1936 or so, this is one of the enduring myths of ww2.
Mr Speer he tell lies.

The Nazis may not have had a smart or efficient war economy, but it was a war economy.
Being at war and being in total war economy/society are two completely different things. The latter has the power to devote whatever resources, the more the better, to war and the society/economy/industry/civilian population all have to go along with it. The Nazi govt did not go to total war until after Stalingrad, and did not pull out all stops until August 1944, when it became apparent that a long war was assured, and then when Speers and Goebbels both petitioned Hitler to finally authorize one individual as being fully in charge, to make sure necessary decisions that needed to be made (that hadn't been) could be standardized and accomplished.

Previously, they took steps to limit the repercussions to the German people, as Hitler worried about popularity, support, and the rebounding German economy.

And that has nothing to do with anything Speer said after the war.
 
Jul 2016
8,710
USA
#23
I do not understand though, why so many historians consider the german invasion of Russia a doomed effort by definition. By 1941 the german economy(including it's conquered territores and allies) was much larger than that of the ussr, even if, obviously, not all of it could be used to attack Russia. Also every piece of densely populated land that germany captured from Russia became "lost" to them. In other words when Ukraine was conquered the ussr could no longer count on it as their breadbasket, could not longer count on it's population as soldiers etc The same is true for the Caucasus region
It was doomed because the Germans massively underestimated the Red Army size, and the resolve of the Soviet govt and people. It was doomed because the German logisticians knew they could only support a drive for about 400 miles tops, and yet Army Group Center's eventual target, Warsaw to Moscow, is 780 miles. Army Group South's eventual target, Lublin to Rostov, was 930 miles. Army Group North, with the shortest route, only had to go 610 miles from Konigsberg to Leningrad.

Operation Blue in the Caucasus was doomed because it was 700 miles from Rostov to Baku, with enough logistics really only to support a single army group, but the operation necessitating two army groups, one lunging east to the Volga (AGB), and the other lunging south to the oil cities (AGA). Which means a constant struggle of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Also, what i never understood is why the Russians did not suffer a logistical problem. Especially during their counter attack starting from middle 1943
They did suffer from logistical problems. The early '43 Red Army counteroffensive that culminated in the disastrous loss at Kharkov fizzled out because their forward units ran out of basically everything. They had months to prep for the Kursk offensive, to plan not only to repel the German attack at the Kursk salient, but also massing a massive operational reserve, with logistics, for the follow on offensives in Orel and Belgorod/Kharkov. Elsewhere, they had also massed forces for subsequent consecutive planned operations.

But what did they manage by the end of 1943? They pushed back an already battered Army Group South to retake Ukraine to Kiev, and were themselves completely battered in the process. FYI, Kursk to Kiev is only 320 miles.
 
Jul 2016
8,710
USA
#24
For the invasion to succeed, it was a requirement that the Germans treat the locals brutally, because logistic weaknesses required that all available food and foodstuffs be stripped from the local population to supply the invading forces.
Besides that, German historical counter partisan doctrine meant using brutality to quell dissent in the vulnerable rear. Whether or not the larger population was cool with an invasion to overthrow Stalin, there would still be a large communist led partisan effort behind the lines reeking havoc. The German method for dealing with that is the same it had always been, reprisals against the civilian population. They really knew no other way.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,120
#25
Note: by capable i simply mean having a reasonable chance of victory. Also by victory i mean any treaty that would have given a lot of land to Germany. Not the wehrmacht's (let alone Hitler's) ridiculously ambitious plans.
1) don't declare war on the United states. Words alone can not describe the stupidity of this action.
2) Don't treat Slavs like vermin. It simply made them consider surrender worse than death.
3) Don't do the holocaust. The resources used for it could have been put to much better use (In case it needs to be said: i'm not saying that inefficiency was the only thing wrong with it. It's just that in this thread i am merely talking about war effectiveness) Not to mention that Germany needed labor badly. Killing workers(especially educated ones") is just insane
4) maybe Germany could have prepared it's economy for total war earlier? though i know very little about this subject
1 The US would have joined the fray eventually as they did in WW1.

2 Thinking that the slavs were vermin (see how poles were treated) is one of the main reasons why Germany invaded the USSR in the first place

3 Not really a factor

4 Its not clear what that would have changed exactly.... Primarily Germany lacked oil.... It could have produced more tanks/AFVs or planes but since it did not have more oil to operate them, how would that have helped ?

But its only thanks to hindsight that it is understood that the eastern campaign was a very bad idea... At the time (in June 1941) it looked like a sure bet (so much so that the US and the UK feared that the USSR would collapse in a matter of weeks and no german general of note was against Barbarossa).... Germany and the Axis was much more powerful in 1941 than in 1914 while the USSR looked weaker than Russia in WW1.. and its army had just been ridiculed by tiny Finland... .In WW1 Russia had collapsed (while France did not).. With France out of the way, how could the USSR hold out ?

Poland and France had collapsed in a few weeks... The germans were fully expecting to repeat that performance

You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down, Adolf Hitler, June 1941.
 
Jul 2016
8,710
USA
#26
4 Its not clear what that would have changed exactly.... Primarily Germany lacked oil.... It could have produced more tanks/AFVs or planes but since it did not have more oil to operate them, how would that have helped ?
It would have resulted in the larger production of all military equipment, not just things requiring oil. It would have resulted in more able bodied males being inducted into the German army, quite important since even in 1942 they were having major manpower issues with replacements for those 1 million casualties suffered in Barbarossa, largely from the infantry. It would have meant factories working numerous shifts, instead of just one. It would have meant price control measures in place. It would have meant appointment of one person to oversea production and industry. It would have seen the streamlining of countless programs. It would have created urgency, where elsewhere there was none.

In 1941, the Germans had the fuel to support a significant number of AFV invading the East, and yet only a small part of those numbers were the most up to date models. Most of the trucks were captured Czech, Polish, French models. A good amount of their artillery were foreign/captured. Entire divisions were armed largely with captured heavy weapons and other equipment. All of those could have been 1) German made 2) Streamlined for logistical compatibility 3) More modern. Why didn't the Germans have more Panzer III and IV when they invaded the Soviet Union? Why didn't they have more trucks? Why didn't they have the ability to replace those vehicles that were lost, that already had fuel allocated for them, with newly made vehicles?

In 1942, manpower for the German army groups was still only about 60-70%, and that included many of the divisions that would participate in Operation Blue, that started the massive deep operation not even close to full strength. Many of their tanks and trucks and other vehicles were not replaced. Many of the panzer divisions that weren't part of Army Group South were stripped of one of the panzer battalions of the two battalion panzer regiment, because they couldn't replace losses while struggling to reinforce the panzer divisions of AGS.

There is the famous "de-motorization" paper produced in spring of '42. That had nothing to do with lack of fuel, it had to do with the Germans unable to replace the losses in vehicles, armored or otherwise, lost in '41 and winter of '42.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,673
#27
Being at war and being in total war economy/society are two completely different things. The latter has the power to devote whatever resources, the more the better, to war and the society/economy/industry/civilian population all have to go along with it. The Nazi govt did not go to total war until after Stalingrad, and did not pull out all stops until August 1944, when it became apparent that a long war was assured, and then when Speers and Goebbels both petitioned Hitler to finally authorize one individual as being fully in charge, to make sure necessary decisions that needed to be made (that hadn't been) could be standardized and accomplished.

Previously, they took steps to limit the repercussions to the German people, as Hitler worried about popularity, support, and the rebounding German economy.

And that has nothing to do with anything Speer said after the war.
Well you say that. But the actual figures and statistics do not support your contention. There was no vast amount of resoures being withheld from the german war ecnomy that were relaised by some shift to total war. Thats just Speer's propaganda and lies.

The Germans had a war economy before the war started and always devoted more resources than the allies to the war effort.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,673
#28
It would have resulted in the larger production of all military equipment, not just things requiring oil. It would have resulted in more able bodied males being inducted into the German army, quite important since even in 1942 they were having major manpower issues with replacements for those 1 million casualties suffered in Barbarossa, largely from the infantry. It would have meant factories working numerous shifts, instead of just one. It would have meant price control measures in place. It would have meant appointment of one person to oversea production and industry. It would have seen the streamlining of countless programs. It would have created urgency, where elsewhere there was none.
Nope none of that was possible the resources and manpower simply did not exist. You cannot run factories without workers or resources. And the German economy had already tapped out. The Germans simply lacked the resources to produce more stuff. Not enough workers, Not enough raw materials, not enough rail and transport capacity.
 
Jul 2016
8,710
USA
#29
Nope none of that was possible the resources and manpower simply did not exist. You cannot run factories without workers or resources. And the German economy had already tapped out. The Germans simply lacked the resources to produce more stuff. Not enough workers, Not enough raw materials, not enough rail and transport capacity.
Right. Sure. Because Germany managed to absolutely maximize industry in 1939-41, even though they took absolutely zero steps to do so. Apparently, the UK, USSR, and US should all have taken a page from Germany's playbook. No reason at all to take decided steps for a total war economy. Pugsville clearly showed its unnecessary.

I have some questions for you. German industry finally halt the production of the civilian automobile called the Volkswagen KdF in March 1942.

Is steel used in a Volkswagen civilian car? Are workers required to make them? Why were German auto manufacturers still using resources for civilian goods when you say they were running at maximum capacity for military related resources?

Either a time paradox occurred or you're wrong.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,669
Stockport Cheshire UK
#30
I have some questions for you. German industry finally halt the production of the civilian automobile called the Volkswagen KdF in March 1942.

Is steel used in a Volkswagen civilian car? Are workers required to make them? Why were German auto manufacturers still using resources for civilian goods when you say they were running at maximum capacity for military related resources?

Either a time paradox occurred or you're wrong.
l do have a number for the amount of Volkswagen beetles sold on the civilian market before the end of the war.
The number is Zero.
All Volkswagen's produced before the war and during it were assigned to the military as staff vehicles. The only civilian to own one was Adolf Hitler.
 
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