Russian Invasion


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    This is a topic of the German invasion of the Soviet Union AKA “Barbarossa” and nothing else. Keep on topic or the store is closed.

    dont debate about:

    Teachers
    Rivers
    Children
    The archipelago
    Gulags
    or Corn fritters…

    stay on topic


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Rivers were very important to the Russians during their invasions!  Without rivers they couldn’t move their land forces around effectively, mainly because they were not exactly a network of intertwining roads or rails.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes they were, but more important was the weather and Germanys unpreparedness toward it in the winter of 1941-42.

    Rivers are important in smaller campaigns where the focus was a narrow piece of territory and Bridges were needed to be kept intact. The campaign in the Soviet Union was a front of about 1,500 miles and rivers were not the only focus for Germany. The Pripet Marches proved a good defensive pivit to Stalin to keep army group south from further progression in 1941 until AGN was able to breach the northern portion of these marches and swoop down against Keiv and trap 665,000 russians.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I was just pointing out that you were needlessly weeding out valid subtopics by eliminating things like rivers from the discussion. 🙂

    Yea, the winter was bad.  Though, I’m not entirely convinced that it was as big a part in the war as, say, poor leadership was.  (And poor preparedness is poor leadership.)



  • So the winter took advantage of poor leadership.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes Jennifer thats correct.

    So the winter took advantage of poor leadership.

    Thats a strange way of putting it. The “leadership” was proven to quick campaigns of a specific purpose and design. When “winning on the cheap” proved a failure in Barbarossa, Hitler had no way to deal with an extended campaign. The winter was not a designed stage of his concept. But when it came Hitler made the best decision in spite of his Generals to “hold at all costs” this was correct in 1941 but disastrous in 1942. The difference was his flank was not exposed and his forces were not surrounded in 1941 and could roll with the punches, while at Stalingrad Stalin had trapped some 22 divisions and they were expected to fight on w/o adequate supplies… as if an army no longer marches on its stomach…



  • @Imperious:

    Yes Jennifer thats correct.

    So the winter took advantage of poor leadership.

    Thats a strange way of putting it. The “leadership” was proven to quick campaigns of a specific purpose and design. When “winning on the cheap” proved a failure in Barbarossa, Hitler had no way to deal with an extended campaign. The winter was not a designed stage of his concept. But when it came Hitler made the best decision in spite of his Generals to “hold at all costs” this was correct in 1941 but disastrous in 1942. The difference was his flank was not exposed and his forces were not surrounded in 1941 and could roll with the punches, while at Stalingrad Stalin had trapped some 22 divisions and they were expected to fight on w/o adequate supplies… as if an army no longer marches on its stomach…

    I know, but the Russians use it as a weapon, so I think it could be said that way.



  • @Nukchebi0:

    Oil was rather important.

    So the Soviets would have little, and the Germans would have had a source the Allies coudln’t have bombed because they couldn’t have reached it

    Therefore, the Germans would have been more immune to the Ploeisti raids, and once the Soviets were shattered, could get around to invading Britain.

    Russia was plan B.  After the air raids over London lost tons of good pilots that left the Nazis short for the Eastern invasion.  Simply taking land would not have been enough.  After the early gains, drives should have been to the north and south to cut off US and GBR arms supplies.  Cities cut off should have been starved out by seige.


  • 2007 AAR League

    takes a long time for that, people eat each other… when there are no more rats or bugs to be found, then you boil leather and leaves and grass.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I agree, IL.  It is a strange way to look at it.  But keep in mind the Government spent billions of dollars training me to view things differently then most people.  And, when you look down the barrel of the gun at the end of your military career, all mishaps boil down to one fundamental flaw:  Bad leadership.

    Was your supplies short?  Maybe.  But who gave you the orders to advance with poor supplies?
    Was the weather bad?  Maybe.  But who failed to research (ie recon) past weather patterns so you are equipped to handle inclimate weather?

    For any problem that arises you can always go down to someone giving bad orders, or bad leadership - except when that person is the top of the food chain.

    It might be unfair, it might not.  After all, Hitler should have known about Napoleon’s failures and taken them into concideration.  After all, waiting 6 months before attacking might have saved him from failure.



  • One month would have made all the difference.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well it would have made the difference of taking Moscow or not taking Moscow. It would not have ended the war, but it would have led to the fall of Leningrad as well since the rail lines run north/south and the Germans could have easily isolated it from the bulk of Stalins remaining forces. But remember that he had some 560 divisions to be reckoned with. Hitler needed to keep Moscow and Leningrad and produce one last great encirclement battle like Kiev to have a good chance to finish off Stalin. I feel that was his plan with Moscow, but if he didn’t bag enough troops the war would continue until 1942 anyway.



  • @Imperious:

    Well it would have made the difference of taking Moscow or not taking Moscow. It would not have ended the war, but it would have led to the fall of Leningrad as well since the rail lines run north/south and the Germans could have easily isolated it from the bulk of Stalins remaining forces. But remember that he had some 560 divisions to be reckoned with. Hitler needed to keep Moscow and Leningrad and produce one last great encirclement battle like Kiev to have a good chance to finish off Stalin. I feel that was his plan with Moscow, but if he didn’t bag enough troops the war would continue until 1942 anyway.

    They could have survived the winter better in Moscow, though.

    Of course, telling the Japanese to invade Siberia would have done it too, as Stalin had 1 million men guarding the border there. they made the difference in the battle for Moscow.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes the key to do that would have been to invade the Soviet eastern territories before they were transfered. The reality of a japanese “northern” solution was often discounded due to the huge defeat they faced in the border clash with the Soviets in 1939. Its hard to go against experience. My feeling is Stalin could have  ignored or buffered this huge area with a few troops playing for time until a decisive outcome could have been obtained against Germany. The japanese didnt posess enough troops at any point to even push even 500 miles into Soviet Territory. They had to commit too many in China in a war that could not have been decided for even another 10 years. Remember they fought them since 1931 with no decisive result.
    The key was to keep bagging Stalins armies using proven tactics. But with the strategic outlook of true mobile army having the ability to retreat and reform for counterattacks once the Soviet offensive lost steam. This elastic approach was what Manstein favored, while Hitler kept his old WW1 ideas intact. Hitler allowing his generals to fight the war would have brought victory. That along with the extra month of time.



  • @Imperious:

    Yes the key to do that would have been to invade the Soviet eastern territories before they were transfered. The reality of a japanese “northern” solution was often discounded due to the huge defeat they faced in the border clash with the Soviets in 1939. Its hard to go against experience. My feeling is Stalin could have  ignored or buffered this huge area with a few troops playing for time until a decisive outcome could have been obtained against Germany. The japanese didnt posess enough troops at any point to even push even 500 miles into Soviet Territory. They had to commit too many in China in a war that could not have been decided for even another 10 years. Remember they fought them since 1931 with no decisive result.
    The key was to keep bagging Stalins armies using proven tactics. But with the strategic outlook of true mobile army having the ability to retreat and reform for counterattacks once the Soviet offensive lost steam. This elastic approach was what Manstein favored, while Hitler kept his old WW1 ideas intact. Hitler allowing his generals to fight the war would have brought victory. That along with the extra month of time.

    Yeah, that was the other thing.

    He acquired all of Europe through a mobile army, then hunkered down in the worst place in the world at the worst time.


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