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RE: Victory conditions for either

 
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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 2:32:34 PM   
kg_1007

 

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I see this is still an argument, even with me staying away lol...
I agree most exactly with glvaca above, his words almost exactly sum up my thoughts.
Nobody wants a game that simply recreates already known history.
In the benefit of hindsight one can look back and see errors, or, at least, decide that they seem to be errors. Without making those same errors, one should be able to surpass the historic results of people who did make those errors.
FWIW, I do believe the BIGGEST error was the decision to invade USSR lol...but since that is the basis of this game, it can hardly be undone What can be undone, or at least examined to see if they really were errors, are operational(usually) and tactical(to a lesser extent) choices..the end result of changing each of these, should not always be a guarantee of the same end result historically..yes, the strategic level is pretty much already decided by the fact we are in this war to begin with..but the strategic level does not determine the result of all wars...it is one of three. Both players should be able to improve on history with better choices, and that includes the German player winning. My operational choice when I play the Soviets is also "unhistorical" switching to offense much earlier and for longer than they did in history, which had me roll up the Axis in spring '43.
There is a reason the military plays wargames in training, also..it is not to recreate history, it is not to "have fun" really, either..it is to see historic mistakes, and see how much of an impact they had, and learn the lessons from them. Barbarossa has been gamed many times by "pros" and the Germans have won their share of them...not the majority by any means, because there really were a lot of handicaps, and as mentioned above, the decision already had been made that it would be a short war...but they won more than "rarely" as well.
We also have benefit of hindsight, knowing a terrible winter will come, knowing already what the results will be when the first rains hit and turn everything to mud, etc..things which historically were only known, and adapted to, after they actually hit. This is actually a benefit for both, for the German so he can prepare, and for the Soviet player who now knows when he can attack with increased odds, definitely any commander's dream intelligence.
All things together, it seems there are a lot of unhistoric "give" to both sides, in the interest of making it a fun game..so really hate hearing from the one side how the Germans should not be able to win, and anything better than history should count as a win, but also tiring to hear continually how the game is pro-Soviet biased I think, which I do not think it is..there are some rules that would seem to benefit the Soviet side, I agree...but they seem to be working on those, and they also benefit the German side later in the war...mostly they seem to benefit the side on general defense.

< Message edited by kg_1007 -- 5/13/2012 2:45:22 PM >

(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 61
RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 2:39:24 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

Even if the answer to question 2 is a "NO", that doesn't mean they couldn't have won in '42.

The fact that Germany fought on till 1945 does prove they adapted when a longer war was forced upon them.


Hardly... Again, remember that the whole thing is about a fast knock out. This does not happen. New scenario: do we sue for peace or continue? They continue. But the first (and unexpected) Soviet blow is already important (900.000 German losses only in 1941). These are losses that the Germans cannot afford (IF they want to defeat a strong and determined opponent aka the USSR) By spring 1942 the Wehrmacht is already weak: some hundreds of thousands of men are needed to bring it to a 100% strength... It will always remain weak, struggling to find men... Divisions the size of a regiment, and many times, especially later, divisions only on paper...

The gamble worked -as Apollo says- in France... the whole territory is overrun at lightning speed (German favourite and efficient tactic). Game over. Or against a less strong (men and industry) and determined opponent.

In all, perhaps this is the biggest myth of all: the Germans winning the war. Note that German resoltuion is irrelevant -or, as Hitler would put it: the will- and indeed they inflicted catastrophic losses. What mattered was the resolution of their enemy: the USSR. And this the Germans could not control it. In the end they could not manage to force them to stop fighting. And that is the only thing which matters.

The fact that they fought till 1945 only proves, I think, Hitler's crazy ideas. "I will not capitulate!", "We will never see again a november 1918". This had been his own contundent position since 1920, which he defended as a political leader. No surprise.

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 5/13/2012 3:09:36 PM >


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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 4:27:13 PM   
BofH


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Despite Stalin having torn the heart out of the Soviet officer corps in the pre-war purges, the fact remains that the SU was the largest industrial-military complex in the world at the time of Barbarossa. Although hampered by a terribly inept command and organizational structure at the start of the war, it withstood the onslaught of 1941 by throwing hundreds of thousands of lives into oblivion. Having not even come close to emptying the well it could then reorganise and flex its true muscle. A figure I have seen used often as a rule of thumb in the 20th century is: for every 1 million population a nation could field 2 divisions. Whether correct or not, it's sobering to consider the population of the soviet union against germany. Germany simply could not replace the losses it suffered in 1941, nor could its industry keep up with the demand for armaments (stripping munitions workers to send to the front, robbing peter to pay paul so to speak), let alone the problem that as the war progressed the transport system couldn't even get half the required resources to the front even if they were available.

Historians often emphasize the production might of the USA and how it swung the balance of the war, but we keep forgetting the true giant production-wise was the soviet union. Add in lend-lease from the allies and after 1941 the outcome was never in doubt. Contemporary german analysis was that they only had the oil and resources to effectively carry the fight to russia until around september 1941, after that it became a war of attrition - which as we know will always go in favor of the side that can produce the most, barring a collapse of civilian morale or revolt. The invasion of Russia corresponded with a drop in German civilian morale, especially after the stalling at Moscow and then the failure of Typhoon the German population was jaundiced and sick of war. Totalitarian rule prevented a 1918 style revolt, something which the party leadership was constantly nervous about.

After 1941 I don't think Germany could win, and since Barbarossa had too many goals spread over too few forces I think it was always doomed. None the less, playing the axis in WiTE is interesting because of the under-dog factor.




(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 63
RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 5:46:29 PM   
RCH


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The outcome of WW2 wasn't as clear cut as some would like us to believe. The Axis was winning the war until the blizzard of 1941. For some the date might be late 1942. For me it is when the USA entered the war. For this forum it is May 22, 1941. Any objective discussion on this forum is non existent.

The Allies were expecting a Soviet collapse and it was hard to see how the Soviets were going to be able to continue the war. They had lost their breadbasket and there were serious concerns about how they were going to feed themselves while fielding an army. They had lost population centers and rail capacity, they had to have the USA send them locomotives. They definitely used some American locomotives.

As for the Soviet win being ensured is hard to grasp without help from the USA. The USA fed the Soviet army and sent tons of equipment. What was the most influential was the food and the trucks received from the Americans. How do you march and fight on empty stomachs the Soviet side on this forum conveniently forgets.

Other things that benefited the Soviet side was a very profitable spy network. When they did not listen to the spies they almost lost Moscow, when they did listen they stunted Axis plans. To think that the spy network wasn't influential is not being realistic.

Hitler was the greatest general the Soviets had. He continually hampered military operations and ordered no retreat orders causing the loss of much men and equipment. As an example, the loss of the 6th army caused the unraveling of the southern front. This directly sped up the end of the war. If a individual above the rank of corporal had been given the responsibility of the eastern front then things must have been different. Maybe a general could have been put in charge.

If you look at it honestly with competent generalship on the eastern front the Soviets don't reach Berlin by April 1945. They do still defeat Germany, but it will take longer.

There are plenty of what ifs that can be explored, but intentionally are not. Victory conditions for the game is Berlin. It is therefore implied that the Soviet will have a reasonable chance to fulfill those victory conditions. I don't see how, with competent play from the Axis side how Berlin is ensured , except that is what happened historically. That presupposes that the player will make mistakes equal to what was made in the actual war. As an example, the player will not suffer the position or losses suffered in the 1941 blizzard. Yet Berlin is still the victory condition for the Soviet player. This rational escapes me.

It is true that know one knows what is going on anymore. The Axis has been given a stronger position in the early game. My argument is not about game balance , but about historical realities. This is foolishness to the Soviet......so attack me all you will like.

What ifs are plentiful and plausible. Like it or not.

I do request that when the Soviet player says in the future that Germany never had a chance that they mention also that without the contribution of the USA it certainly wasn't possible before April of 1945 to defeat Nazi Germany.


RCH USA fanboy

(in reply to BofH)
Post #: 64
RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 5:48:32 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BofH

Historians often emphasize the production might of the USA and how it swung the balance of the war, but we keep forgetting the true giant production-wise was the soviet union. Add in lend-lease from the allies and after 1941 the outcome was never in doubt.


I'm pretty certain the Americans win, and by a huge margin Right, their land was never attacked, conquered, but still, the production was astronomical. Think especially about the tens of thousands of ships. Compared to tanks it's a lot of steel, workers and hours

_____________________________

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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 6:04:50 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RCH
I do request that when the Soviet player says in the future that Germany never had a chance that they mention also that without the contribution of the USA it certainly wasn't possible before April of 1945 to defeat Nazi Germany.


RCH USA fanboy


That the USSR needed all that stuff is evident given Stalin's rants when convoys were (er... many times) suspended

But as far as I know autarchy did not really exist on the 40s (Germany had after all almost whole Europe to exploit). This also true for the US... If you think the US industry would have worked at full steam without many imports... And as far as I know no one says Peru was vital for the war effort! So?

I am detecting a cold war thing here... they won, these pesky Russkies, but let's minimize what they did...

_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to RCH)
Post #: 66
RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 6:11:38 PM   
RCH


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I will fairly and equally concede that the US got off light in the war. The German army was largely destroyed in Russia.

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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 6:33:48 PM   
Baron von Beer

 

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Perhaps the most staggering from the US, ~30,000,000 tons of merchant shipping.

< Message edited by Baron von Beer -- 5/13/2012 6:35:42 PM >

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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 6:38:03 PM   
BofH


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Lest it be thought I'm downplaying the contribution of the US... I'm not. I agree the contribution of ships (as one example of many) was huge, and as a keen student of the battle of the atlantic and the u-boat war I know very well the life-line america provided to england, let alone the lend-lease arrangements to the soviets and england. I'm not sure about ton for ton production of steel, but it would be interesting to know what the figures were. As far as military-industrial complex goes though better authorities than me often state the the soviets were the largest in 1941 (America not having ramped up to full military production in 1941 obviously) The reason I brought this up is to contrast it with the comparatively meager strength of Germany when they launched Barbarossa.

Putting aside who was the biggest, if we add together the US and the Russian production figures of all the allies alone, we can still arrive at the conclusion that in a war of attrition Germany was bound to lose.

Food-wise, after the conquest of France & Poland et al Germany was worse off than before, it found it actually had a deficit of grain and food stocks despite ruling a larger territory. The Ukraine conquest didn't provide anywhere near the food hoped for. Stalin had already killed millions there in 1932-1933 - Ukraine is often spoken of as being the 'bread basket' of Russia, but that was before the great famine. eg: Robert Conquest, "The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine". The German invasion only killed more, harvests plummeted and production effectively was set back over two years.


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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 7:34:03 PM   
Zonso

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BofH

Historians often emphasize the production might of the USA and how it swung the balance of the war,



And with good reason! See the following approximate production numbers. As noted above, the Merchant shipping tonnage alone is mind boggling:



1939 Steel Production (million tons): USA 51.4, Germany 23.3, USSR 18.8, UK 13.2, France 6.2, Japan 5.8, Italy 2.3, Canada 1.4, Australia 1.2. Japan’s wartime steel production peaked in 1943 at 9.6 million tons, but in 1945 Japan produced only 120,000 tons. Germany’s steel production also peaked in 1943 at 38 million tons, in 1944 it dropped to 31.33 million (a remarkable amount, considering the massive bombing inflicted on German industry. Incredibly, US Steel Corporation alone employed 340,000 people in 1943 and produced over 30 million tons. The total US production reached 89 million tons in 1943. So the steel industry alone probably employed over 1.2 million people in the US.

Approximate Airplane Production During WW II:
Axis: Reich 119,000, Japan 76,000, Italy 11,000, Romania & Hungary 2,000 Total 208,000 (practically no 4 engine bombers)
Allies: US 320,000, USSR 157,000 (36,000 Sturmoviks, 25,000 Po-2 biplanes), GB 131,000, Canada 16,000 Total 608,000 (about 50,000 of which were 4 engine planes made only by the US and GB. Note that GB alone produced 10% more planes than Germany, 15,000 of them with 4 engines)

Approximate Tank & Self Propelled gun Production:
Axis: Reich 60,000, Italy 3,000, Japan 3,000. Total 66,000 (only 6,000 Panthers and 1,347 Tigers and 492 King Tigers)+3,600 captured vehicles that they used in the war
Allies: USSR 99,000, US 83,000, GB 28,300, Canada 2,600: Total 213,000

Approximate Submachine gun production:
Axis & Finland: Reich 1.6 million, Italy 400,000, Finland 80,000, Japan 25,000 Total 2.105 million
Allies: USSR 7 million, US 2.2 million, GB 620,000: Total 9.82 million (4.7 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Mortar Production:
Axis: Germany 74,000, Japan 29,000, Italy 22,000 Total 125,000
Allies: USSR 200,000, US 105,000, GB 103,000 Total 408,000 (3.3 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Machine gun Production:
Axis: Reich 680,000, Japan 380,000, Italy 160,000 Total 1,220,000 (by far most of them 8 mm or below)
Allies: US 2,670,000, USSR 1,477,000, GB 297,000, Canada 252,000, Total 4,666,000 (3.8 times more than the Axis, mostly 7.62 mm
over a million 12 mm)

Approximate Rifle Production:
Axis & Finland: Reich 7 million, Japan 4 million, Italy 1.8 million, Finland 300,000 Total 13.1 million
Allies: USSR 9 million, US 9 million, GB 6 million Total 24 million (Most of the American rifles were semiautomatic and over a million automatic)

Approximate Artillery Production:
Axis: Reich 159,150, Japan 13,350, Italy 7,200, Hungary 447 Total 180,147
Allies: USSR 516,000, US 257,000, GB 124,000, Canada 10,000 Total 907,000 (5 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Military Truck Production:
Axis: Reich 346,000, Japan 166,000, Italy 83,000: Total 595,000
Allies: US 2,380,000, Canada 815,000, GB 480,000, USSR 197,000 Total 3,872,000 (6.5 times more than the axis)

Approximate Fleet Aircraft Carrier Production (141 American and 25 British light or escort carriers not included):
Axis: Japan 16 Total 16
Allies: US 22, Britain 14 Total 36

Approximate Destroyer Production:
Axis: Japan 63, Reich 17, Italy 6 Total 86
Allies: US 349, GB 240, USSR 25 Total 614 (7.14 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Submarine production:
Axis: Reich 1,141, Japan 167, Italy 28 Total 1,336 (3.16 times more than the Allies, very successful before 1942, became almost suicidal in 1943).
Allies: US 203, Britain 167, USSR 52 Total 422 (American subs & mines wiped out most of the Japanese merchant fleet)

Approximate Merchant Shipping Tonnage Production:
Axis: Japan 4.15 million Italy 1.4 million Total 5.62 million (Germany used mostly captured ships from Norway, Holland, Denmark, etc,)
Allies: US 34 million, GB 6.38 million, Canada 3.74 million Total 44.12 million (7.85 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Cruiser Production:
Axis: Japan 9, Italy 6, Reich 2 Total 17
Allies: US 48, GB 32, USSR 2 Total 82 (4.8 times more than the Axis)

Approximate Oil Production (million metric tons):
Axis: Reich 33.4 (23.4 of them synthetic), Romania 25, Japan 5.3, Hungary 3.1 Total 66.8
Allies: US 833, USSR 111, GB 91, Canada 8 Total 1,043 (15.6 times more than the Axis!)

Approximate Coal Production (million metric tons):
Axis: Reich 2,420, Japan 185, Italy 17, Hungary 7, Romania 2 Total 2.631
Allies: US 2,150, GB 1,441, USSR 591, Canada 102 Total 4,284 (Note that the huge USSR produced 2.44 times less coal than the UK and 3.6 times less than Germany)


*Throughout WW II the Soviets received about 2,050 Hurricanes, 1,020 Spitfires, 4,700 Airacobras, 2,100 P-40s, 2,400 Kingcobras, 203 P-47s, 5,000 Douglas A-20s, 866 B-25 Mitchells (18,339 planes in total), 2,000 Railroad engines, 4,100 Sherman tanks, over 300,000 Ford and Studebaker trucks, 51,000 Willys MB jeeps, 11,000 railroad cars, millions of tons of high octane aviation fuel, food, steel, explosives, boots, etc. The Iranian railroad alone transported 5 million metric tons of supplies to the USSR. In total the USSR received 178 million metric tons in aid.*

< Message edited by Zonso -- 5/13/2012 7:40:57 PM >

(in reply to BofH)
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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 8:44:59 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca
Anyway, the question is, if Germany does not make the historical mistakes, could they have won if Russia does make its mistakes? Yes they could. And so they should also in the game.


Which mistakes are you talking about? The mistakes during the summer of 1941? The mistakes in planning the campaign? Or other, broader, mistakes, such as having a lunatic in command, failing to put their economy on a war-footing or secure adequate resources, adopting genocidal policies which guaranteed that all of the conquered nations would resist instead of cooperating, etc.?

The point is that they could not plausibly have avoided all of these mistakes, and if they did, we would be talking about a world which is very different from the one which existed, and not something within the scope of this game.

Players are obviously welcome to come up with any number of alternative variants in the editor to test their favorite "what-ifs" on these broader issues, and they already have the freedom to make their own decisions in the conduct of the campaign (with the significant advantage of hindsight enjoyed by both sides).

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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 9:27:23 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian

Germany could not prepare for a two year campaign as, due to decisions made outside the scope of the game, they never prepared for a long war.

The Germans "don't need to lose." The German players need to get over it and learn to use what they have.

They need to stop trying to saddle the Soviets with Stalin's political mistakes. Way back in 2010, it was stated that both sides would not be saddled with Hitler/Stalin rules.

It is *they* who should plan for a two year campaign instead fo trying to win in 41.

It's a 200+ turn game.


There are 2 issues being mixed here.
1. Could Germany have won the war?
2. Could they have done so in 1941 in a knock out blow?

Even if the answer to question 2 is a "NO", that doesn't mean they couldn't have won in '42.

The fact that Germany fought on till 1945 does prove they adapted when a longer war was forced upon them.

Anyway, the question is, if Germany does not make the historical mistakes, could they have won if Russia does make its mistakes? Yes they could. And so they should also in the game.
The next question is, can the Soviets win if they do not make their historical mistakes and Germany doesn't make theirs? And the answer is again yes, they can.

That, in my book, makes for an open game. Demanding that Germany can never win, except on very few occassions, is exactly the wrong attitude and what upsets the German only players. It's an extreme view which has just as little place as those defending muling!



So who is demanding that they never win? What upsets the German player is that he can't have the stuff he wants. He wants to control his TOE. That isn't going to happen. If it does, the Russians will get to do the same. Tell them that and the German player gets upset.

The German wants to make SUs and divisions. Never mind that OKH didn't do that. They get upset when you tell them that "I want it because the Russian have it." is not an arguement that's going to work with a designer who makes his games as historically accurate as possible.

The German player is upset because a smart Russian is not going to sit on his ass and let what's left of his frontier armies get surrounded and destroyed to make the German player feel better. So, the German player wants to have Stalin rules. Tell them fine, then Hitler rules are added as well, and then they get really upset.

And the only reason they fought on was because Hitler wouldn't surrender. And the generals who knew they would lose either could not convince him, or refuse to break their oath to him.

(in reply to glvaca)
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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 9:29:13 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian

IIRC, one German general, on seeing that part of the attempt on Moscow included getting to Gorky, exclaimed "This is not the month of May and we are not in France!!"


Quite, but that was November 1941


Ahhhhh, I couldn't remember when it was said.

(in reply to glvaca)
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RE: Victory conditions for either - 5/13/2012 11:27:07 PM   
BofH


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zonso

As noted above, the Merchant shipping tonnage alone is mind boggling:



Great table of info, thanks!

(in reply to Zonso)
Post #: 74
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