1942: The Eastern Front



  • Do you believe that Germany lost the war in the winter of 41? Or was the War in the East still salvageable in 1942?


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

    It was not salvageable in 1942, It was won or lost in 1941.

    If different choices were made in 42, it could have been a much longer war, but as long as UK and USA are fighting it was hopeless.

    The only way to win was not to get in war with USA and finish off the Soviets before USA projected its military power in Europe.

    Its the same equation as in WW1 except The kaiser beat the Russians in the end by various means and had a short time to beat france in 1918, but failed.



  • This is very simple. In 1941 the russians was weak in attack, because Stalin had killed 40 000 russian officers, just look at the russian attack on Finland in 1939. On the other side, russians have always been strong in defence, and the russian terrain with forests, snow and winter do favour the defender too. So if Hitler was wise, he would simply sit and wait until Stalin attacked him in 1942, and then utterly destroy the Red Army just like the Finns did in 1939. Since Germany was attacked, now USA would never enter the European war. Also Hitler should continue the alliance with China, from 1850.

    In 1941 Germany had 5 000 000 soldiers, and Russia had 5 000 000 soldiers. So pull out your A&A map and put a stack with 50 russian infantry in East Europe, and another stack of 50 german infantry in Germany, and let the russian stack attack the german stack, and see what happens.



  • Well Hitler kind of had the right idea about getting oil from the caucases but the whole thing was mismanaged.  They could’ve won if they had done the battle of Stalingrad right though


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

    Well they could have taken Stalingrad in October 1942, but the Soviets would have still surrounded them at some point because Germany didnt have the men to cover that long line in 42. Too many Soviet units were in the south and on the other side of the Volga, so eventually if they got to Astrakhan/ Caspian the southern fronts would drive north and the fronts on the other side of the Steppe would come over. 1941 was when the war could have been won, 42 was too late, unless Rommel could have broke into the Middle east and taken Mosul and linked into Russia… But Hitler didn’t support that front whatsoever.



  • True strategy games players never retreats, we’re advancing in another direction, and so should Hitler do when the attack on Moscow failed.
    It’s easier and much cheaper to defend than attack. Perhaps the oil fields could be taken as part of a strategic defensive regroup manuever, but there is little Germany can do in this situation to win, only making choices to reduce losses.
    No barbarossa before UK is captured, or UK is allied with Germany.
    This is just like a very bad chess move, and you see it when your opponent makes his move. Game lost, start over.



  • The war was lost in the winter of 41, and Hitler knew it.  That’s when the Holocaust started, and when he started saying things like “If the German people aren’t strong enough, then they deserve to perish from the Earth!”  or something like that.

    He was going down, and he was taking as many people with him as he could.

    Still, on the topic of strategy, I’d withdraw across the river and regroup.  Logistics was a problem for both the Russian and North African fronts.  A link-up w/ Rommel would be great, though just having him on the eastern front I’m sure would have done wonders.  The man was a genius.  Forget my opinion, get Rommel.



  • @Imperious:

    Well they could have taken Stalingrad in October 1942, but the Soviets would have still surrounded them at some point because Germany didnt have the men to cover that long line in 42. Too many Soviet units were in the south and on the other side of the Volga, so eventually if they got to Astrakhan/ Caspian the southern fronts would drive north and the fronts on the other side of the Steppe would come over. 1941 was when the war could have been won, 42 was too late, unless Rommel could have broke into the Middle east and taken Mosul and linked into Russia… But Hitler didn’t support that front whatsoever.

    Very true.



  • I must admit that the war was lost at this point. The Germans could have regrouped and closed some of the pockets that caused supply disruption but the bottom line is: Germany could not replace their casualties and Russia could. You kill a million Russians, and they send 2 million more. The Battle for Narva is a perfect example of the superiority of Der Waffen SS. But this battle was slowly lost due to Soviet numbers. Sheer numbers.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    It was still salvageable in '42…after the wehrmacht had the initiative back they were still able to push the russians back…the main operative goals were okay , but
    issues had to be solved first!

    • removing lenningrad was a must!

    • put either General Kleist into a diffrent command or give Guderian a higher comand instead
        of removing him and give him a job wich he was not totaly made for.

    • Sevastopol could wait! so it wouldn’t be necassary to transfer him together w. a whole
        Armygroup…

    • Push to Moscow

    • Push to Stalingrad as planned later on (Mansteinsplan) and not altered by taking the half
        4th PD away…

    • and of course no Propaganda missions like taking the Elbrus for pitures in the wochenschau

    this is based for 1942 not '41 by having the misstake not to regroup behind the Dinjepr river

    It was still durabel to reach the AA-line Astrahkan-Arcangel…but like IL allready said ,the wrong choices were made to make it happend…good for us so we are still able to watch a clear sunrise and not behind barbwire or at all…

    I think it was Gen. Kleist who wrote in his diary on his way to Moscow that they have reached the point of culmination…it is here were we will either fail like Napoleon or making History !



  • They should have gone with Operation Otto instead.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    That would have been the better idea, after gaining the oil from Rumania…
    Even Julius Cesar knew that you don’t play arround w. the Balkan States…Nobody mentioned it to Mussolini at that time probably!? lol



  • I would pull back. Wait for the enemy to come to me, it doesnt make sense to waste wave after wave of my army for nothing. Let the russians do that instead while I enjoy the defensive advantage.



  • For all those who want to sit back and wait, you’d lose anyways… each year Germany fell further behind in the war effort. Russia herself was outproducing Germany, and she also had supplies coming from her allies. Waiting defensively also had the inevitable outcome of defeat.



  • @cts17:

    For all those who want to sit back and wait, you’d lose anyways… each year Germany fell further behind in the war effort. Russia herself was outproducing Germany, and she also had supplies coming from her allies. Waiting defensively also had the inevitable outcome of defeat.

    What was your choice in attack plans?



  • Clear out the pockets and improve the supply lines. I think that taking the Black Sea, breaking the siege at Leningrad and actually relinquishing it, and getting the logistics under control would have made a world of a difference.

    My personal choice would have been to sue for peace with the Russians.



  • Do you think they would listen after being betrayed like that? honestly?



  • Stalin WAS buddy buddy with Hitler, and Hitler’s persuasive voice had an almost magical aura to it.

    I personally think that a big bonus to Stalin in land and conquests elsewhere would have been enough to dissuade him of war.



  • Yes but this is assuming he wants no retribution whatsoever after being attacked.



  • After 1941 the Russian-German war in the East was a death match.



  • No doubt one side gonna be destroyed, but nothing Germany could never win as long as the US was involved.



  • Looking at some old material and thought this was a great topic and could use a revisit.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice idea Worsham.
    I think pulling back 100 miles to a defensible river and waiting for better weather would be the astute choice. We know from experience we can break the Russians and push deep again.  The short retreat and shortening of lines to better supply the front would be a reward for the men’s hard work in the first six months, all in readiness for the next push.
    Would have to be Moscow, even though that is what Stalin is expecting. It will be a hard slog, but we cannot be sidetracked again (even though Kiev and the 600000 prisoners were a great haul).
    Moscow is the key.



  • I went with option two (I think). I think the war on the eastern front wasn’t completely lost by the Germans until the winter of 42/43. Had a sensible German commander had complete control over the forces in Russia then things would have been very different. I believe had the Germans adopted a mobile defense to work in tandem with their Blitzkrieg offensive the Russians would have had a much harder time reclaiming lost ground and causing the massive losses the German army suffered from Hitlers “defend every inch!” strategic mentality.

    Keeping stupid things like the Stalingrad campaign and the horrifically ill conceived Operation Citadel from happening the German army could have conserved a lot of its fighting strength and could have ultimately “won” in the east. I don’t think they would have conquered Russia and gotten their labensraum but they could have bled the Russian white and at least gotten a negotiated settlement.



  • I went with other…but my thoughts are really a combination of two.

    1. Oil, must have oil.  The Caucasus campaign had to happen as Germany needed the resources (especially oil) that Russia had.  But also,

    2. eliminate the pockets and play defense…because Russia just had so many men to throw into offensive battles.  I read somewhere that in the North, where the German commanders had some leeway to give up land for a good defensive position, they were able to obtain a 6 to 1 loss ratio.  What might have been accomplished will full permission to do this?  This would have bleed the Russians white had Germany been able to do so over the whole front (which of course they would not have without the oil needed for industry).


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