Part of Hitler’s Götterdämmerung, but lost on me.
It was the capital!
Budapest and the West be damned: stop the enemy at the gates(back door).
I have read two books on Berlin(10+ years ago) and need to reread them, but they sadden me.
Thanks AxisTiger. I had forgotten about the 11SS Panzer Army(Steiner commanding). Have not read all the article, as of time constraints, but I hope to.
I was amazed to read how many Hetzer were available.
It would but at prohibitive costs. AGS was pretty much depleted and Manstein had no reserves as they were all committed at start. Any success would not be realized because all the formations were tired and they had no followup. It was wishful thinking that they had the initiative at this point.
The plan would have worked sake for Hitler postponing it time and again for need of Heavy Tanks. This went on all the time while Zhukov built up 5 lines of defense
Another idea: What if they prepared the attack, but did not launch it?
Problem with this Axistiger, is that this would have been bad for morale. You cannot tell someone(the Germans) the are better than someone else(the Russians) then say: we cannot beat them. The Germans did believe they could best the enemy.
Otherwise, I think it is a great idea.
Worsham: I have been thinking on this, but have not been able to get out my maps. ( Have been busy with Gettysburg!).
Problem with withdrawing from the salient, apart from the morale thing again, is that Kharkov looms large. It cannot be easily abandoned after the great campaign to retake it.
I believe there could have been a shortening of the Southern salient as long as it did not compromise Kharkov.
Building up a reserve and not throwing tanks at minefields and anti-tank emplacements, is definitely the way to go. The Germans always cost the Russians dear when able to do this. (Both 42 Kharkov and 43 come to mind.)
And Manstein was the man to do it. Sacking him was such a bad move by Hitler.
Britain and France planned to send a expeditionary force to finland, which would bring them to war with both germany and the USSR. If they did send a expeditionary force, how would the Winter War end? and also, how would the outside world (mainly japan and the US) react?
Britain’s expeditionary forces to Norway in 1940 and Greece in 1941 were humiliating failures that ended with Dunkirk-style evacuations (Dunkirk itself being the evacuation of another British expeditionary force), so I doubt that sending a Franco-British expeditionary force to Finland in 1939 would have been of much military help to the Finns against the Russians. What makes this scenario interesting, however, is that it might have scrambled the landscape of political alliances in various ways, with unpredictable consequences for the rest of the war. This was a time when alliances were still in flux – one example being Japan’s angry reaction to the signature in August 1939 of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by Germany, which had co-signed with Japan the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936. Japan had been defeated by Zhukov at Khalkhin Gol a few days before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed, so it was furious to see Germany sign a non-aggression treaty with Russia. (Ironically, Japan did precisely the same thing in April 1941, seven months after the signing of the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.)
I remember having read an article by David Kahn about it. It was in a book called “what if…” edited by Robert Cowley.
Unfortunately I can’t seem to remember anything about the content of this article. I see if I find this book somewhere in my house…
Choose your side(axis or allies) and your strategy
Russians - one of the main factors concerning the success of Barbarossa was that Stalin actually believed that the Germans would not attack before 1942 and ignored the reports of the German build-up. The Soviet High Command also made a serious strategic mistake after the Soviet-German Pact by moving its armies from their prepared defensive positions to new areas on their now extended borders (E. Poland, Bessarabia, Baltic States) where they were vulnerable to an attack.
I think it was 3 days before the German attack that a German deserter turned itself to the Soviets at the border and said the date of the German attack. Upon hearing the report, Stalin ordered him shot for spreading false rumours - imagine what could have happened if he had finally listened.
he would have ordered an assault, which the germans could easily counter causing huge damage and many casualties to soviet forces…
Stalin and the Soviet High Command knew that the Red Army in 1941 was in no condition of mounting an assault but it could have started its mobilization earlier and move to protect the airforce and pull back major units from frontier, avoiding their encirclement and destruction at the beginning of the German offensive. By October/November 1941 the Germans started realizing that they had greatly underestimated the number of Soviet divisions that could be deployed, even with the huge Soviet losses during the initial invasion. With those forces alerted and properly deployed against a German invasion, and the Germans could have probably been stopped sooner or forced to focus their advance on a single axis towards Moscow/Leningrad/Kiev. Germans could win an operational victory but would suffer a strategic defeat by failing to bring down the Soviet Union as quickly as possible before it turned into a war of attrition that it couldn’t win.
I like different scenarios, might try one if I can find time and players. Have a game coming up, but I think its only going to be normal rules due to the people there.
Maybe its on your site and I missed it, but one alternative I have used when there are six players (rather than opening two boards for two simultaneous games) is to split the USA down the middle. Take the Eastern USA as one player with everything east of mid-North America, Western USA with everything east. The Western USA forces can be identified with a marker. The order of play would be USSR, Germany, UK, Japan, USE, USW. All other items stay the same.
sorry, but i have to concede the game. I forgot to tell that i got massive amounts of maths, geography and english homework from my teacher yesterday. I forgot my homework when i posted my previous posts today
wow didn’t think the idea would be this well recieved ok well here’s a total run down of the Lead-Lease rules I use.
First throw out the Soviet NO of lead lease. 2nd any power may purchase supply tokens not just USA. Both Germany and UK provided there allies with Lend Lease type aid. The supply tokens cost 1 cashed in at major or minor IC for 1 IPC, 3 worth for a Minor, 10 for a Major. Supply Tokens are cashed in during the “Collect Income” phase of your turn. So it’s possible for the USA to move Supplies to the Island of Great Britian and on the next turn move them to Russia only to have the UK cash them instead. Due to the fact BotB is a tactical game and '42, '42 or Global is well a Global game then I down sized the trucks ability to carry supplies limiting it to 3 supplies per truck. Transports carry 6. Trucks cost 2 move 2 carry supplies or carries Inf. like in BotB but it’s 1 inf or suppllies not both. Trucks end there movement when they unload, Like transports do. and like in BotB they are captured not destroyed. I have the HGB pieces so I also have transport planes Transport Plane: Cost 7 move:4 can carry 1 inf. or 1 supply (so not to weaken the usefullness of sea transports), they can fly over impassible territories (not neutrals) but it cost 3 movement to do it. (Flying supplies over the hump). Nations that don’t have a truck piece for themselves just use either US or German with a nation token under the truck.
I’m still working on the Burma Road thing as of right now I leave it alone but i do want to figure something out. The biggest hang up is the lack of a Chinese IC and that the Burma Road is two (chinese) territories so just letting cash them in at one while the other is in Axis hands has an unbalancing effect. But they should be able to cash them in after the road has been cut because of the Air Lifting supplies over the himalayes. So I’ve been alittle stuck but then again to be honest I need to put more thought into it.
Transports can carry one unit plus 3 supplies or 1 inf and 1 other unit. I use the 1 unit plus 3 supplies (1 truck, 3 supplies) because the OOB setup doesn’t take these rules into account so it speeds up getting things going because in Global with no Lend Lease NO. Russia could use some help in getting the supplies flowing faster. It’s atleast 2 turns after German attacks before Russia cashes in supplies the first time.
The answer to your question about the UK. As long as the supplies are at an IC they can be cashed in. So unloading supplies on the Island of Great Britian and cashing them in without the trucks is fine. The thing with the trucks is the supplies have a move of 0 so you have to have other units to move them. In this case USA built them in Eastern USA and moved them with transports got them to another IC so you’re all set. Trucks is just letting them move over land.
Oh and in games not named Global any IC will do. If your using Minor and Major IC in your '42 games then i suggest using the rule of 3 for minor 10 for major.
These rules were written after BotB was released and was first used with Revised. I have only updated them to keep them current.
Hitler should have just stopped the war after May 1941 and just fight UK and take her colonies and use his pact with Stalin to co-capture the Middle-East and finish off India. After 10 years of consolidation of capturing most of Europe and finishing off UK, invade the Soviet Union with the full enjoyment of all the jet fighters, super heavy tanks and greater war making capacity.
So i guess invading Soviet Union was the worst mistake and not using them as true allies until you didn’t need them anymore and causing a two front war.
Hitler should break any military treaty with Japan and try to 5th column USA with sympathizers to keep US neutrality.
The initial invasion would deal the Soviets a hammer blow, and German strength would mean that there would not be the opportunity for them to recover. The German war machine would push eastward like a steamroller, destroying all resistance in its path.
You still have the problem in Russia of attacking with a Mechanized force across extreme conditions- little to no road systems, rivers, swamps, forest and fighting an enemy that will leave stronghold behind to be dealt with.
You will be asking your men to fight a battle with no chance chance of a quick victory. There are no vital targets, no death blows targets the first 400 miles inside Russia. Your army will have to fight an epic battle, near Moscow, with a 800 mile supply line; facing an enemy that is getting supplied a few miles away. That’s risking a lot.
Your post is absolutely correct. There can be no argument that conquering the Soviet Union would have been a gargantuan task. You’re right about the terrain, the length of the supply lines, and the implication that the required battles would be of epic proportions. In addition, the Soviets an overwhelming numerical advantage in available infantry. My impression is that the Soviet numerical advantage was 3:1 over the Germans, but declined to 2:1 after taking into account the Romanians, Hungarians, Finns, Italians, and anti-communist Soviet citizens who fought alongside German soldiers on Germany’s Eastern Front during WWII.
In the historical war, Germany lacked oil. As a consequence, its supply lines had to be largely oil-free. Coal-powered trains would deliver supplies most of the way to the front, and horses would take them the rest of the way to where they were needed. This transportation method can work well during a relatively static war, but is inadequate for the kind of mobile war necessary to conquer the Soviet Union. During the invasion of the Soviet Union some gasoline-powered transportation was available to supplement the horse and coal method. But this supply delivery mechanism was wholly inadequate because of Germany’s lack of oil. Germany’s inability to adequately supply its troops was why its soldiers often lacked winter uniforms during the winter of '41 - '42.
In the scenario I outlined, Germany would have control of the Persian oilfields for several years leading up to the invasion. That oil would allow military trucks to play a much greater role in supplying Germany’s soldiers than had been the case in the actual war. I realize this supply effort would become less effective in fall (muddy roads) and winter (freezing engines). Even so, this would still represent a dramatic improvement over the supply situation Germany faced in the historical war.
I envision the Soviets’ quantitative advantage being offset in three ways.
By outproducing them. Germany experienced a nearly threefold increase in its aircraft production between 1942 and 1944. My scenario envisions putting this kind of efficient production into effect several years before the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Largely offset the Soviets’ quantitative advantage in available infantry. Even if some group of foreign recruits proved one fifth or one tenth as effective as Germans on a man-for-man basis, it would still be better than nothing. And if, due to poor motivation or lack of discipline, foreign soldiers proved relatively ineffective, that problem could be solved through sheer numbers. A large non-German force invading northward from Persia could tie down a significant amount of the Red Army’s strength; and indeed could kill or capture a large number of Soviet soldiers. While the main hammer blow would be the German Army attacking from the west, it would be logical to create as many problems for the Soviet Army as possible.
By building a qualitative advantage over them. On a man-for-man basis, Germany’s infantry were about three times as combat effective as their Soviet counterparts (see http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/pdf/e-4epw1and2final.pdf ). But for most of the war, Soviet soldiers were, on average, as well or better armed than their German counterparts. That problem could be solved by the assault rifle. It was introduced late in the war, and in very small numbers. It proved exceptionally effective at allowing German soldiers to mow down their Soviet counterparts. The improved supply situation (Persian oil) and manufacturing situation means that German infantry and artillery would have plenty of ammunition.
By far the best handheld anti-tank weapon of WWII was the Panzerfaust. The first version of the Panzerfaust could penetrate the frontal armor of any widely deployed Allied tank, but only had a range of 30 meters. That range was soon doubled to 60 meters. By 1945, Germany had deployed a few Panzerfausts with a range of 150 meters, and with a better sighting mechanism and even better armor penetration than their predecessors. Germany was in the process of developing a Panzerfaust with a 250 meter range when the war ended. Had the invasion of the Soviet Union taken place in 1947 or '48, the Panzerfaust 250 could have been put into widespread deployment, making German infantry devastating against Soviet tanks.
Another important aspect of the qualitative situation involves tanks. The T-34 was an exceptional tank by the standards of 1941. But by 1944, even the upgraded version (T-34-85) was getting long in the tooth. In the Korean War, it had become clear that the T-34-85 was obsolete in competitions against the tanks Britain and the U.S. had begun deploying in 1945 and '46. In subsequent Arab-Israeli conflicts, T-44/54 model tanks would also prove highly ineffective/obsolete against very early postwar British and American tanks.
This is where the Entwicklung Series (E-Series) tanks could have been immensely valuable to Germany. Just as Panthers were qualitatively superior to T-34-85s, the E-50 would have been qualitatively superior to the T-44/54. The E-Series was designed to be much more easily manufactured and more mechanically reliable than its predecessors. Instead of a handful of Panthers against a horde of T-34-85s, it would have been a very large number of E-50s against those T-34-85s! Additionally, the E-50 would have been a better tank than the Panther or Tiger I, and the E-75 would have been superior to the Tiger II. Panthers and Tigers were often lost to mechanical problems or lack of fuel rather than enemy action. But with the increased mechanical reliability of the E-Series, and with the Persian Oil, German tanks would become much less likely to be lost to such causes.
The Soviet Union did not develop jet engines during WWII. In 1946, Stalin was able to license jet technology from a pro-Soviet British Labour government. That technology was then put to use in the Korean War; where the MiG proved an effective aircraft.
During the Korean War, the democracies’ most effective jet fighter was the F-86 Sabre. It would not be too much of an exaggeration to call the Sabre a knockoff of the Me 262, except with better engines. The Germans had begun using Me 262s in combat in 1944; and had already begun work on designing their next generation of jet aircraft. Had that next generation been deployed in the Korean War, both the Soviets’ and democracies’ aircraft would have been obsolete in comparison.
Had the German invasion of the Soviet Union occurred around 1947 or '48, German aircraft would have had a commanding qualitative edge over their Soviet counterparts, even if the Soviets had been able to license jet technology.
Not only were German air designs more advanced than their Allied counterparts. Late in WWII, Germany began developing advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. Waiting until 1947 or '48 to invade would have given Germany the chance to refine these designs and to put them into widespread deployment. Germany would have controlled the skies above the battlefield. It would have used that control to destroy Soviet tanks and artillery, to strafe retreating columns of Soviet soldiers, to take out bridges and trains, and generally to wreak havoc.
While the Soviet military’s strength was immense, not even they could have withstood an onslaught such as this.