Biggest Mistake of WWII

Discussion in 'General' started by Paratrooper, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    The mistake on the german part was to take the bait and allocate 17 panzer divisions to Army Group South in June while there were only 3 panzer divisions in Army Group center. The Russians counted on that to the amazing sucess of the offensive.

    The attack worked in part because the panzer divisions, with have a vital strategic role to play: to counter attack breakthroughs, weren't allocated correctly.

    In June 1944 Army Group center had only 39 divisions (3 panzer) while Army Group South had 56 (of with 17 panzer). The result was the destruction of 30 divisions, and the permanent crippling of the wehrmacht. The greatest allied victory in the war.

    Source: Strategy For Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945.
    Still waiting on that list of 17 Panzer Divisions :)
     
  2. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    ok, first of all the statement "entering the war in the second half of 1944" is ridiculous and ignorant.

    The western allies entered the ground war in sizable numbers only in the second half of 1944. Before that the western allies never deployed more than 30 divisions against Germany in any front. For example, the Italian front generated about 45 thousand German KIA in 18 months of fighting, about 2.500 german KIA per month, compared to about 40.000 KIA per month in the eastern front. And the Italian front was the largest western allied front before the second half of 1944.

    Source: Feldgrau.com - The German Armed Forces 1919-1945

    Why not sent divisions directly to the eastern front? Severe logistical problems? I think it would be a fine idea.

    What I find really annoying about this sort of response is that instead of discussion about the war, we end up with "We did more than you" style assertions with loads of stats to prove how inconsequential the other fronts were.

    No, what I meant was an strategy to optimize the war effort for the allies.

    But to do so whilst denigrating other countries efforts is exteremely disrespectful.

    :confused:

    I was only proposing an alternate strategy. The opening of the western front occurred in the second half of 1944 because it was only by that time that the western allies amassed enough men to break into Europe. However, they could have sent men to the eastern front years before that, because they didn't need to break into Europe, the soviet union was their allies. However, they should make an agreement to prevent Stalin to take over most of Europe after the war, before they sent troops there. I think, solving the logistical problems, it would be an excellent alternative strategy.

    In WW1 when the US joined the war they sent troops directly to France, to fight in the front, instead of attempting an amphibious invasion of eastern prussia. However, in that case the logistical problems of suppling an army in france were quite modest.
     
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    The western allies entered the ground war in sizable numbers only in the second half of 1944.
    Hold on now, thats not what you initially said! You specifically stated "entered the war". Now that you have expanded on this, the meaning becomes clearer but thats not how it came across. I still beg to differ and make the point that the British had been fighting since 1939. Yes they werent fighting with as many Ground Troops as the Soviets were but then again, the United Kingdom wasnt invaded, the Soviet Union was.
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    G., was this the sort of the baseless and ignorant "wish-for" thinking that got you banned in WW2F? Thank you very much for reminding me of keeping away from threads you are in.
     
    LRusso216 likes this.
  5. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    Still waiting on that list of 17 Panzer Divisions :)

    From that Luftwaffe book:

    "While Allied air forces and armies battered the Wehrmacht in Normandy, the Russians launched their most devastating offensive of the war. The attack came close to destroying an entire army group . On the morning of June 22, 1944, three years after the start of "Barbarossa," Stalin launched his forces against the center of the eastern front. Army Group Center possessed only 38 divisions to cover a 488-mile front, since severe fighting over the past two years in the Ukraine had caused a gradual diminution of strength in the center. By contrast, Army Group North Ukraine had 35 German and 10 Hungarian divisions to cover a 219-mile front . In addition, the two southern army groups possessed 18 panzer and panzer grenadier divisions, while Army Group Center had only 3."

    My memory failed me. There were about 18 panzer and panzer grenadier divisions in the army group souths, not 17 panzer divisions. Also, there were 38 divisions in army group center, not 39.
     
  6. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    Hold on now, thats not what you initially said! You specifically stated "entered the war".

    I should have given better details to my posts. Sorry.

    Yes they werent fighting with as many Ground Troops as the Soviets were but then again, the United Kingdom wasnt invaded, the Soviet Union was.
    Sure, but UK was prevented from sending their men directly to the front for some time. I think that sending men to the eastern front would be a god way to remedy that and end the war more quickly. Don't you think so?
     
  7. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    G., was this the sort of the baseless and ignorant "wish-for" thinking that got you banned in WW2F?

    I was banned in ww2f because I was rude with the other forumers there.

    Here, I was given negative reputation because I disagree on the strategy that was pursued by the allied commanders in ww2, since having the opinion that the allies made strategic errors is considered offensive to the vets. I think that the war budget of the allies should have allocated a larger proportion of their money and manpower to help the USSR than it was historically allocated (in trade for a treaty were they would not occupy all Europe, of course, considering their situation, they would probably accept it). However, the problem is one of cooperation: the USSR was never a real friend of the Allies, they were only co-belligerents (like Finland and Germany).
     
  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I was banned in ww2f because I was rude with the other forumers there.

    Here, I was given negative reputation because I disagree on the strategy that was pursued by the allied commanders in ww2. I think that the war budget of the US should have allocated more money and manpower to help the USSR than it was historically allocated.

    I'm dont care what you did on WW2f, you have a clean slate here. You stand or fall on your own merits on this forum, which is why I'm trying to point out to you a way in which you could discuss your theory without alienating everyone. If you have an axe to grind because you feel that the U.S. is unjust and that the fact that they didnt aid the Soviet Union more was a deliberate act of cruelty then you have no place here. If you scan the "Eastern Front" forum you will find threads and posts from ex-members who had an axe to grind about the Soviet Union. They didnt last long. Just as we dont tolerate people giving out about the Soviet Union's contribution, we also wont tolerate anyone lashing out at the US or Britain.

    HOWEVER if you feel that the US allocating more resources towards Russia would have been better than what happened and are happy to discuss ways in which this could have happened or to even accept that people will disagree and can "agree to differ" then you are more than welcome!

    Sorry for being long-winded but I am trying to understand your rationale.
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I should have given better details to my posts. Sorry.

    Sure, but UK was prevented from sending their men directly to the front for some time. I think that sending men to the eastern front would be a god way to remedy that and end the war more quickly. Don't you think so?
    This is more like it :)
     
  10. L J

    L J Senior Member

    I should have given better details to my posts. Sorry.

    Sure, but UK was prevented from sending their men directly to the front for some time. I think that sending men to the eastern front would be a god way to remedy that and end the war more quickly. Don't you think so?
    Was Stalin asking for British divisions ?
    1 division :would be useless
    10 divisions :Britain had no 10 divisions,and if they had them,how would you send them ? Via Murmansk ? And the German UBoats ? Neglectable ? And how would you supply them ? With which ships ?
     
    Heimbrent and Gerard like this.
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    G

    take time out to re group

    an open forum is what this is
    everyone has different opinions thats what makes the world go round.

    dont forget that as well as war there were politics involved in the long term from all countries involved.
    Some of which we will never be party too.

    many members on here have first hand experience of the war and also there are individuals who have excellent historical knowledge on many ww2 subjects.


    regards
    Clive
     
    Gerard likes this.
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Being Devils advocate her.

    I seem to recollect that our brave sailors taking the Arctic convoys through to the frozen parts of Russia were not even allowed off the ships.

    What makes you think that Stalin wanted allied troops fighting alongside his own troops?
    Allied airmen who found themselves in Russia were as I recall interned and many never returned.

    Regards
    Tom

    Was Stalin asking for British divisions ?
    1 division :would be useless
    10 divisions :Britain had no 10 divisions,and if they had them,how would you send them ? Via Murmansk ? And the German UBoats ? Neglectable ? And how would you supply them ? With which ships ?

    Like I stated earlier I do not feel that Stalin wanted any allies fighting alongside his troops.
    I realise that this is my own personal thoughts, but in all the years I have been reading books on WW2 I have not read of Stalin requesting allied troops.

    He even refused air bases which the allies needed to refuel their long range bombers effectively denying bombing of strategic targets to the East.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  13. L J

    L J Senior Member

    So, what about the 4 million figure? :confused:
    What 4 million ?
     
  14. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Sure. However, most MIA were pows, and since we don't know if they were or not pows, then I say that MIA is not useful to determine the intensity of combat, unless it is statistically corrected for pows.

    Sure, however, a soldier does not surrender when he is shot.



    Sure, they are strategic casualties. However, these kind of casualties happen most when the outcome of the war was already decided. For example, if we have 3 countries, were 2 are in war for 5 years, then one of the countries is winning, the enemy is near its breaking point, but it stops attacking and makes an armistice. If the other country enters the war and attacks the country near its breaking point, they would sure make a loot of prisoners and occupy the country, however it was the first country that won the war, not the one that entered after.

    Interesting, but this is for all the wehrmacht or army only?

    Interesting, for the entire armed forces the losses would be 1.5 million KIA instead of only 1 million, and 5 million wounded instead of 4 million.
    Off course NOT :The only other source of losses in the East was the LW (KM losses in the East were not even O.5% of the total ).For the LW I have seen a figure of 53000 death and 48000 missing .
    About themissing :we are not talking of soldiers taken POW after the capitulation,but about those missing during the war;ex:from 22 june to 30 june 1941 :the Germans lost in the east :2657 MIA and these are losses(strategical or operational,I don't care )
    And what about your question on 4million ?
     
  15. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    Like I stated earlier I do not feel that Stalin wanted any allies fighting alongside his troops.

    Them, explain why the Romanians and Bulgarians were fighting for the Red Army in late 1944? Well, these countries were satellite countries, while the Western Allies were playing on equal footing.

    I realise that this is my own personal thoughts, but in all the years I have been reading books on WW2 I have not read of Stalin requesting allied troops. He even refused air bases which the allies needed to refuel their long range bombers effectively denying bombing of strategic targets to the East. Regards Tom
    Sure. Stalin was not a friend of the Western Allies, they were united against a common threat. After the war, they became enemies again.
     
  16. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    What 4 million ?

    Well, in May 1944 the Wehrmacht had about 7 million men in the ground forces. Of these, about 4 million in the eastern front. However, I read that only 4.5 million were on the front, 2.6 million in the eastern front. I read these data from several different sources.
     
  17. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Well, in May 1944 the Wehrmacht had about 7 million men in the ground forces. Of these, about 4 million in the eastern front. However, I read that only 4.5 million were on the front, 2.6 million in the eastern front. I read these data from several different sources.
    the figure of 4 million include the following :
    Navy
    POW Labour
    non German auxiliaries
    German Auxiliaries(OT,Reichsbahn )
    Osttruppen
    Luftwaffe
    SS and Police
    In july 1943 therewere some 9 million men in the Wehrmacht,of whom 6.5
    million for the army,1.7 million belonged to the reserve army and 4.8 million to the Feldheer of whom 3.2 in the East.
    A year later the strength in the east had decreased to 2.6 million .
    Source :AHF :Wehrmacht Tooth to Tail Ratio
     
  18. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Them, explain why the Romanians and Bulgarians were fighting for the Red Army in late 1944? Well, these countries were satellite countries, while the Western Allies were playing on equal footing.

    Sure. Stalin was not a friend of the Western Allies, they were united against a common threat. After the war, they became enemies again.
    Romanians and Bulgarians were incorporated into the Soviet System, worked under Soviet Officers and (more importantly) Commissars. There was no way that Stalin would have invited foreign troops onto his soil unless it meant the end of his regime. Stalin was the most paranoid person on the planet!! He disposed of associates as quickly as enemies merely for arousing his suspicions. He turned down requests from the Allied Command to allow bombers to land on Soviet Airfields. He refused to allow the airfields to be used by Allied transport Aircraft to supply the Poles in the Warsaw Uprising, He insisted that there was a Soviet representative at Eisenhower's Headquarters yet refused the Western Allies the same courtesy. As has been mentioned allied sailors in Murmansk were confined to the port area. Just how do you think he was going to allow armies of Armed Combat Troops to fight on Soviet Soil? In his mind they would be classed as possible subversives, who could potentially corrupt the Soviet Soldier by exposing him to Democracy!!

    Consider the logistics of moving an army of men from England or the US to the Soviet Union. Consider the effort it took to launch Operation Overlord, the amount of ships required. Now put that in the context of supplying an Allied Army in the Soviet Union.

    Whatever about the intention of wanting to aid the Soviets or whether they should the fact was that it was an impossibility, from both a logistical standpoint and also due to the nature of the regime and the head of it.
     
  19. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I posted these spreadsheets a few years ago on the distribution of German Divisions by month during WW2.

    Click the image a second time to make it much clearer.

    Slide1.JPG

    Slide2.JPG

    Slide3.JPG
     
  20. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    In relation to the US and UK sending troops to Russia - that was a political no-no.

    Don't forget it was only a few years since the LAST time British and American troops under arms were on Russian soil - and fighting AGAINST, not for the Soviets!!!

    Stalin may have been very good at mandating that white was black....but for several years the Bolsheviks had fulminated INCREDIBLY against foreign interventionism in the Civil War...to tell Russians that people who had been branded worse than Satan's minions were now okay to have in your towns and homes?

    THAT would have been good going!!!
     

Share This Page