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RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux

 
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RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 1:07:49 PM   
Marquo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: daft

I don't think the historical composition of Soviet forces really supported the deep battle doctrine that early in the war. When they reorganized the tank armies in may -42 they were done so with a fashion to support the breakthrough - exploitation thinking permeating the Red Army. Problem was it didn't really work too well due to the low motorization of the attached rifle divisions as well as due to the fact that the tank armies often were deployed well forward an the front lines. Obviously they had some successes in the winter of -42 with this type of composite armies, but they were still hampered by the force structure. It took some additional time (and the experiences of the winter of 1942 offensive) for the Red Army to make their tank forces more self-sufficient and geared towards exploitation with the tank elements detached from the un-motorized rifle elements.


My reading suggests otherwise. The problem is that often the infantry often did not effect the desired breakthrough, and therefore the mobile units were committed too early as they had to help effect the breakthrough rather than exploit it. Operational failures were analyzed at the highest levels, and adjustments made. Contrary to Pelton's incorrect assertion that "the Red Army never got any better only bigger," it did get better, much better, and dangerously so.

Marquo

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Post #: 91
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 1:54:47 PM   
janh

 

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The Red Army developed its edge during the war, and by mid-44 both its human material as well as its equipment surely had reached an impressive state of combat efficiency.  It not only grew in size, it also improved substantially at all levels. It didn't rely on high-tech toys like the Germans fancied so much, but on simpler and much more robust equipment like the T-34, the IS series, Sturmoviks, Katyushas, and other stuff that wrote history. Though the average training quality of enlisted and officer corps never reached the Prussian standards of the early Wehrmacht days (which of course also declined as the war drew on), by 1944 it had learned the tactical and strategic lessons from modern armored warfare and implemented them with the advantages and drawbacks of all the new equipment in mind. 
Yet the early offensives in 1942 were still a different matter, and also the defensive fighting conducted in the 43 salient at Kursk showed that Soviet thinking and flexibility at that point was still not as intricate as German defensive doctrine would become within a year. The Russians slugged it out, and both sides were ground down. Glantz, who comes to my mind, talked a lot about this development. The later spring offensives in 1942, around Izum, for example, not only saw the armor wasted partly in infantry support roles, but once breakthroughs had been scored, the flank security and rear was often performed halfheartedly, assuming that the Germans would break and run (like themselves) -- yet with the flanks holding, and the Germans knowing how to fight in depth, the Russians soon found their own formations pocketed by pincers squeezing through the flanks.  Some of these early Russian offensives in spring resulted again in huge numbers of captured, and lost vehicles, and were still quite impressive successes showing the superiority of the Wehrmacht even after the hard winter.  Until Stalingrad, the Russians still had a hard learning curve, and even Stalingrad was still an expensive experience for them...




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Post #: 92
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 2:55:06 PM   
daft

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo


quote:

ORIGINAL: daft

I don't think the historical composition of Soviet forces really supported the deep battle doctrine that early in the war. When they reorganized the tank armies in may -42 they were done so with a fashion to support the breakthrough - exploitation thinking permeating the Red Army. Problem was it didn't really work too well due to the low motorization of the attached rifle divisions as well as due to the fact that the tank armies often were deployed well forward an the front lines. Obviously they had some successes in the winter of -42 with this type of composite armies, but they were still hampered by the force structure. It took some additional time (and the experiences of the winter of 1942 offensive) for the Red Army to make their tank forces more self-sufficient and geared towards exploitation with the tank elements detached from the un-motorized rifle elements.


My reading suggests otherwise. The problem is that often the infantry often did not effect the desired breakthrough, and therefore the mobile units were committed too early as they had to help effect the breakthrough rather than exploit it. Operational failures were analyzed at the highest levels, and adjustments made. Contrary to Pelton's incorrect assertion that "the Red Army never got any better only bigger," it did get better, much better, and dangerously so.

Marquo


Oh, I agree fully. They certainly got better. I'm essentially saying that the Tank Army reorgs performed in -42 weren't as effective as had been hoped in part due to the way the armies were deployed and in part due to the mobile elements being somewhat hamstrung by the less mobile infantry. This was from what I understand something that was debated heavily during the year and rectified later. I'm just saying that the soviet force structure of -42 weren't as suited to the deep battle doctrine as they were in -43 and later. That is not to say that the Red Army had no successes in -42. They did, and learned from that which weren't as good as they had hoped.

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Post #: 93
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 3:35:19 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Mark,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo
We did the first 18 moves with the prior 1.04 xx and now are using 1.05 xx. At least this will give some idea as to the winter offensive and then the '42 riposte. I will ask my opponent if it is okay to share.


If that's as far as you've gotten in the campaign, I would definitely advise that you play well into 1943 with 1.05 and compare your results to history. We're all expecting some adjustments during the beta process, but the changes were based on games played well into the late war and the balance from late 1942 onwards. The winter offensive will not change a great deal in 1.05 vs. 1.04 and a lot of that depends on how hard the Soviets were hit and how much of a reserve they were able to keep ready. 1942 and 1943 should end up more historical in 1.05 vs. 1.04, but given competent play on both sides, the Germans should still be in trouble by 1943 and in big trouble by 1944.

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 94
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 3:44:48 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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I think it is important to realize how much help the Soviets had in 1942 in terms of the German deployment and fixation on Stalingrad. It seems unlikely that a human German player will leave a very long flank with mainly Axis minor troops waiting to get hit, and the other flank with barely a screening force.

We've been doing some testing with a future historical Stalingrad scenario and historical results are very achievable for the Soviets, just don't expect your opponent in a long campaign scenario to be as obliging, but then again the Soviet players tend to make better decisions than their historical counterparts too.

Even in the same situation, how many players would elect not to withdraw and counter-attack with 6th Army as soon as it's threatened with encirclement? It was a series of serious errors by the Germans on top of good Soviet planning and execution that made that possible. The results of the loss of 6th Army also changed the strategic balance in the south for 1943.

The Soviet player needs to try to achieve a similar success if he wants to similarly unhinge the German defense as early as that. Without a mistake by the German player (which is quite possible, I've seen a fair share in the AARs so far) the Soviets may not be able to achieve the same shift in the strategic balance until further into 1943.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 95
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 4:38:36 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek


In any case, I see a bit of exaggeration implicit in your last sentence. It wasn't a cake walk for the Red Army either, to push AGS all the way from Kharkov to Lvov in nine months. Actually they had to stop large-scale operations everywhere else.


No, they did not.

People keep saying this. It's just not true. 1943 was a broad front offensive that included a good 2/3 of the front. You don't hear much about the stuff up north because the Sovs didn't do as well as the Ukraine, but these fronts were active and made their own, slower, bloodier advances. Indeed, they started operations during the whole Kursk battle, by launching their own offensive on the Orel salient. Bryansk, Western, and Kalinin Fronts were quite as busy as Steppe, Voronezh, Southwestern and Southern.

Only by Leningrad did the Sovs stay put until year's end.

This is one of the things that seriously annoys me about the stock 1943 campaign, btw. It seriously underestimates the Red Army's potential by keeping virtually 3/4 of it on static at a time when 3/4 of it was active, and you don't have anything like the required amount of APs to get it moving when it should. There are some expedients around this, but it definitely reflects this preposterous old school view that the Red Army didn't do broad front offensives.

Absolutely wrong. The Red Army didn't do anything but broad front offensives until 1944.


Well, I said "Kharkov" and "Lvov", because the center of mass of the Soviet effort was certainly moving along that line during the nine months that go from July 1943 to March 1944. That's hardly "absolutely wrong" :) What I got "absolutely wrong" was not giving any indication on the frontage.

Sorry Flavio, but looking at the dates of historical (major, involving a whole front or bigger) operations, I don't buy that the Red Army launched continuous offensives all the way from Velikiye Luki to the Black Sea, non-stop, from July 1943 to March 1944... We agree that there were absolutely no major operations going on from Leningrad to 50 miles north of Smolensk (and that's almost 1/3 of the frontline, indeed) in the period that goes from July 1943 to December 1943.

Kalinin, Western and Central Fronts initiated a series of linked offensives starting on August 7th and which died out on early October, taking them up to the Vitebsk - Gomel line. And then, they stopped, or rather advanced as the Germans retreated as far as Rogachev by November 1943. Also, if we compare the forces allotted to these fronts along this three month period and compare them with the forces allocated to the Voronezh, Steppe, Southwest and Southern Fronts, we'd see there were the double of Soviet forces in the latter four Fronts than in the former three. And I'm not counting the Northern Caucasus Front and its fight on the Kuban against 17. Armee.

From early November 1943 to spring 1944 the conflict was mainly fought on the Ukraine. The operation to lift Leningrad Siege started on January 14th 1944 and ended up in late February 1944. While it was a very important operation, it was nowhere near as big and massive and what the Soviet Union threw at the Ukraine.

So yes, summer 1943 involved a Soviet offensive along 2/3 of the Eastern Front, up to late September. They managed to keep that massive operation going on for exactly roughly two months (August, September) or in WiTE terms, six turns. But also no, they restricted their operations greatly, most certainly during Winter 1943-44.

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Post #: 96
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 4:44:33 PM   
Flaviusx


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Bletchley, you're just quibbling here. My point stands.





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Post #: 97
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 4:51:20 PM   
Cannonfodder


Posts: 1694
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek


In any case, I see a bit of exaggeration implicit in your last sentence. It wasn't a cake walk for the Red Army either, to push AGS all the way from Kharkov to Lvov in nine months. Actually they had to stop large-scale operations everywhere else.


No, they did not.

People keep saying this. It's just not true. 1943 was a broad front offensive that included a good 2/3 of the front. You don't hear much about the stuff up north because the Sovs didn't do as well as the Ukraine, but these fronts were active and made their own, slower, bloodier advances. Indeed, they started operations during the whole Kursk battle, by launching their own offensive on the Orel salient. Bryansk, Western, and Kalinin Fronts were quite as busy as Steppe, Voronezh, Southwestern and Southern.

Only by Leningrad did the Sovs stay put until year's end.

This is one of the things that seriously annoys me about the stock 1943 campaign, btw. It seriously underestimates the Red Army's potential by keeping virtually 3/4 of it on static at a time when 3/4 of it was active, and you don't have anything like the required amount of APs to get it moving when it should. There are some expedients around this, but it definitely reflects this preposterous old school view that the Red Army didn't do broad front offensives.

Absolutely wrong. The Red Army didn't do anything but broad front offensives until 1944.


Well, I said "Kharkov" and "Lvov", because the center of mass of the Soviet effort was certainly moving along that line during the nine months that go from July 1943 to March 1944. That's hardly "absolutely wrong" :) What I got "absolutely wrong" was not giving any indication on the frontage.

Sorry Flavio, but looking at the dates of historical (major, involving a whole front or bigger) operations, I don't buy that the Red Army launched continuous offensives all the way from Velikiye Luki to the Black Sea, non-stop, from July 1943 to March 1944... We agree that there were absolutely no major operations going on from Leningrad to 50 miles north of Smolensk (and that's almost 1/3 of the frontline, indeed) in the period that goes from July 1943 to December 1943.

Kalinin, Western and Central Fronts initiated a series of linked offensives starting on August 7th and which died out on early October, taking them up to the Vitebsk - Gomel line. And then, they stopped, or rather advanced as the Germans retreated as far as Rogachev by November 1943. Also, if we compare the forces allotted to these fronts along this three month period and compare them with the forces allocated to the Voronezh, Steppe, Southwest and Southern Fronts, we'd see there were the double of Soviet forces in the latter four Fronts than in the former three. And I'm not counting the Northern Caucasus Front and its fight on the Kuban against 17. Armee.

From early November 1943 to spring 1944 the conflict was mainly fought on the Ukraine. The operation to lift Leningrad Siege started on January 14th 1944 and ended up in late February 1944. While it was a very important operation, it was nowhere near as big and massive and what the Soviet Union threw at the Ukraine.

So yes, summer 1943 involved a Soviet offensive along 2/3 of the Eastern Front, up to late September. They managed to keep that massive operation going on for exactly roughly two months (August, September) or in WiTE terms, six turns. But also no, they restricted their operations greatly, most certainly during Winter 1943-44.


Actually, according to von Manstein, army group south was under constant pressure during winter 43/44..

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Post #: 98
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 8:13:26 PM   
Zebedee


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek
We agree that there were absolutely no major operations going on from Leningrad to 50 miles north of Smolensk (and that's almost 1/3 of the frontline, indeed) in the period that goes from July 1943 to December 1943.


Major operations continued around Siniavino until September. In October, planning began for the offensive which commenced in 1944 whilst the Germans began to plan their withdrawal to a new defensive line in September. cf Glantz, The Siege of Leningrad. The chapter Cracking the Blockade covers some of the fighting.

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Post #: 99
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/11/2011 11:47:10 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zebedee


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek
We agree that there were absolutely no major operations going on from Leningrad to 50 miles north of Smolensk (and that's almost 1/3 of the frontline, indeed) in the period that goes from July 1943 to December 1943.


Major operations continued around Siniavino until September. In October, planning began for the offensive which commenced in 1944 whilst the Germans began to plan their withdrawal to a new defensive line in September. cf Glantz, The Siege of Leningrad. The chapter Cracking the Blockade covers some of the fighting.


Zeb, Sinyavin operation took place in August - September 1942. I can't check that reference, I don't have the book. I can't find any reference on the Internet on major soviet operations to lift Leningrad Siege after Polar Star, in April 1943. Perhaps there were a third Sinyavin offensive, but my understanding was that after the Polar Star fiasco things got quiet up there.


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Post #: 100
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/12/2011 12:03:21 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
Bletchley, you're just quibbling here. My point stands.


You made several points in your post. One was that the Soviet launched a concerted operation along 2/3 of the front, without giving a time frame for that statement. The other was that I was absolutely wrong, when I gave a time frame but dismissed the effort of the Kalinin, Western and Central fronts as a side show.

I said that the major effort, from August to March 1944, was done along the curve that goes from Kharkov to Lvov, south of the Pripyat marshes. You say that's absolutely wrong, while the dates clearly point to all major efforts taking place south of the Pripyat from November to March. I was partially wrong

I might be quibbling - just raising objections? - but I don't like being thrown into a sack with unpalatable companions which I haven't chosen.

Now that we get so embroiled in semiotics, let's discuss about the meaning of "staggered" and "broad".

Staggered as in what? As in one operation waiting for another to succeed? Or staggered as in operations overlapping to catch Germans flatfooted on purpose (Mars and Uranus comes to my mind) or because of problems with planning and deploying the forces to execute them or because spent troops having to stop and refit? Because, if it's "staggered" as in the second case, then indeed the Soviets executed staggered operations.

Now, broad as in what? Or, better, broader than what? Than Case Blue? Than Barbarossa? Than Case Yellow? Were broad front offensive something particular to the Soviet Art of Operational War? Germans did a few "broad" offensives when they had the resources for it.

Really, I hate getting like this. But guys, seems that posting on these forums without getting pelted, scolded or blatantly rejected, is sometimes harder than convincing editors of a scientific journal that the draft research note you sent them isn't a joke, a fake or both.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 9/12/2011 12:04:42 AM >


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Post #: 101
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/12/2011 12:17:37 AM   
Zebedee


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek
Zeb, Sinyavin operation took place in August - September 1942. I can't check that reference, I don't have the book. I can't find any reference on the Internet on major soviet operations to lift Leningrad Siege after Polar Star, in April 1943. Perhaps there were a third Sinyavin offensive, but my understanding was that after the Polar Star fiasco things got quiet up there.


Actually went all the way up to five or six offensives there by mid-September. Last one cost Soviets 10k non-recoverable, the one before that 21k non-recoverable, and Germans were at the 'one more and we need to bug' stage of planning. Immediately after Kursk, Stavka ordered an offensive using 8th, 55th, and 67th armies as they reckoned force ratios were right to go on the offensive again and this pretty much continued all the way through til September.

< Message edited by Zebedee -- 9/12/2011 12:18:48 AM >

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Post #: 102
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/12/2011 12:21:35 AM   
Flaviusx


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You are still quibbling. And playing semantic games to boot. Although admittedly there is a boundary issue here between staggered and broad front offensives. A sufficiently loose interpretation of these could even define the 1944 summer offensive as broad.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 9/12/2011 12:24:55 AM >


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Post #: 103
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/12/2011 2:15:09 AM   
map66

 

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I just find it refreshing that we are now arguing about how broad and for how long the Soviets could sustain offensives in 1943 and beyond, rather then endlessly rehashing arguments about the First Blizzard rule. The game is making progress, and I for one think the Eastern Front was of such an unimaginable scale and complexity and had so many dramatic shifts of initiative, that the amount the designers have gotten right already for the early period is deeply impressive. Given time, hopefully that will extend to later periods. Even if 1943 is never quite right, I have certainly gotten my money's worth and many times that already from just playing with 1941.

All that said, I will continue to quibble too... :)


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Post #: 104
RE: 1:1 --> 2:1 Redux - 9/12/2011 7:33:13 AM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

You are still quibbling. And playing semantic games to boot. Although admittedly there is a boundary issue here between staggered and broad front offensives. A sufficiently loose interpretation of these could even define the 1944 summer offensive as broad.




How about this: It was a staggered broad offensive?
Seriously though. In 1944 there where 4 operations each with approximately a month in between. Even Glatz mentions this "gap" was for logistical reasons.


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Post #: 105
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