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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a political victory?

 
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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/6/2011 8:29:58 PM   
fbs

 

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Anyone has any insight on Stalin's mindset on 1941 compared to 1917?

In 1917 he and Lenin surrendered to the Germans in order to win a civil war against the Whites, even if that cost the Ukraine. In 1941 there were no whites to fight, but perhaps with the proper incentive some might have risen against the Soviets.

I wouldn't say that's impossible for Stalin to surrender, as he did that once; but what might have caused him to surrender, that perhaps can be better answered by someone that knows the dynamics of the Politburo during WW2. I suspect that human losses and territory lost are something they didn't care too much; I imagine they might be more sensitive to "counter-revolution".

By the way, the 1937/38 Purges probably removed all military and civilian leadership that had initiative enough to start or support a popular revolt. I read somewhere that the post-Purges leadership, either the military, NKVD and political, was very docile to Stalin after the purges. If so, Stalin probably guaranteed his internal order with the Purges (at a cost of having completely inept leaders), and the chances of anyone other than Stalin making a deal with the Germans were probably quite low.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/6/2011 9:38:07 PM   
paullus99


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Possibly to save "Communism in one country." It would really depend on the state of the Red Army - if there was still a viable force in the field, Stalin probably would have kept fighting, since a lot of the Ural industry was well outside the range of anything the Germans had to bomb it.

And as far as the A-Bombs go, if they had been ready in time (or if Germany was still holding out) we most certainly would have dropped them on Berlin first (or perhaps Dresden). The fact that we used them on Japan is based on the fact they were the only surviving Axis power when the bombs were actually ready. It was quite possible, if push came to shove, that the bombs could have been ready sooner (the Manhattan project scientists were delayed by some dead-end ideas that didn't pan out).

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/7/2011 11:23:37 AM   
fogger

 

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I seem to recall from my readings that the Russians approached Hitler twice during the war for a peace agreement. The first was in 1941 which hitler rejected out right because the Russians did not offer enough and the second time was in 1943. The second time the Russians wanted Hitler to withdraw to the old boarders. He rejected this because all the losses would have been for nothing as well he could not trust the Russians.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/7/2011 12:36:27 PM   
Panama


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The only way Stalin would have surrendered or considered peace is if he was shot dead. After Moscow in winter 41/42 he felt confident they could win. After winter 42/43 he knew they could win. At that point it was a question of how much of Central Europe they could conquer before the other Allied forces. After summer 43 he no longer pressed the UK and US for an invasion in France. He knew they could win the war without it.

Also, Stalin cared very much about territory lost. Read NKO Order No. 227. Stalin's "Not a step back." order.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/7/2011 9:37:41 PM   
Krafty

 

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Wanted to chime in here and point out that Stalin, who old history says was "caught off guard" by Hitlers attack, did several interesting things before Barbarossa. First he destroyed all the polish and russian world war one fortifications. Some of which were quite good, and were already pointing the right direction. Ok, no bigger, he didnt think he would be attacked (ever? He didnt order new ones be built). He then improved the infrastructure from east of Warsaw along the Molo-Ribbentrop line, through modern day Belarus, along through Oral, straight to Moscow. He ordered other routes and rail lines torn up. Ok. Strange. But still, if you didnt think you were going to be attacked, that made sense did it? Lastly, a few months before June 22nd...Stalin orded back the NKVD units from the front, and placed them back in white russian territory. The NKVD were his crack units. Why would you do that if you didnt expect an attack. You could reduce the size of your army, by sending the green troops home. I find it more likely, when you consider that Stalin eradicated the "old guard" just years before. He killed anyone who would challenge his military command, then began acting like a military commander and strategist when he was still supposedly just a head of state. I think new logic is that Stalin was well prepared for Hitlers attack and that Hitlers attack was doomed before it began. He was walking into a trap. He broke through the green lines, through the destroyed forts, along the built up roads, further and further from his supply. Then and only then did Stalin counter attack using NKVD units to push green units, or chaff out in front, using up the enemies stores, before finally putting his veteran units with the best equipment into the fight. He's either the luckiest general in the history of mankind, or one of the best. I believe theres a certain degree of disdain for communists in the united states and that it colors the judgement of history. Post-glastnost era information about the soviet war effort in the great patriotic war doesnt paint the same bleak picture that everyone is so used too.

Add to this that germany attacked with 209 divisions I believe, and Stalin defended with only around 190 of his 300? Even though only 40 or so were out east. I think defense in depth was a part of the soviet plan all along. But thats just me. And they were so good at keeping secrets and destroying information we may never know the truth.

< Message edited by Kraftwerk -- 4/7/2011 9:40:15 PM >

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 1:53:53 AM   
Wild


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kraftwerk

Wanted to chime in here and point out that Stalin, who old history says was "caught off guard" by Hitlers attack, did several interesting things before Barbarossa. First he destroyed all the polish and russian world war one fortifications. Some of which were quite good, and were already pointing the right direction. Ok, no bigger, he didnt think he would be attacked (ever? He didnt order new ones be built). He then improved the infrastructure from east of Warsaw along the Molo-Ribbentrop line, through modern day Belarus, along through Oral, straight to Moscow. He ordered other routes and rail lines torn up. Ok. Strange. But still, if you didnt think you were going to be attacked, that made sense did it? Lastly, a few months before June 22nd...Stalin orded back the NKVD units from the front, and placed them back in white russian territory. The NKVD were his crack units. Why would you do that if you didnt expect an attack. You could reduce the size of your army, by sending the green troops home. I find it more likely, when you consider that Stalin eradicated the "old guard" just years before. He killed anyone who would challenge his military command, then began acting like a military commander and strategist when he was still supposedly just a head of state. I think new logic is that Stalin was well prepared for Hitlers attack and that Hitlers attack was doomed before it began. He was walking into a trap. He broke through the green lines, through the destroyed forts, along the built up roads, further and further from his supply. Then and only then did Stalin counter attack using NKVD units to push green units, or chaff out in front, using up the enemies stores, before finally putting his veteran units with the best equipment into the fight. He's either the luckiest general in the history of mankind, or one of the best. I believe theres a certain degree of disdain for communists in the united states and that it colors the judgement of history. Post-glastnost era information about the soviet war effort in the great patriotic war doesnt paint the same bleak picture that everyone is so used too.

Add to this that germany attacked with 209 divisions I believe, and Stalin defended with only around 190 of his 300? Even though only 40 or so were out east. I think defense in depth was a part of the soviet plan all along. But thats just me. And they were so good at keeping secrets and destroying information we may never know the truth.


I don't know. I think i lean more to a stalin was incompetent explanation.
Why would he leave his best tank formations so far forward to be encircled and destroyed? He would have been taking huge risks to do all that he did to set a trap. In my view unacceptable risks.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 6:32:35 AM   
Skanvak

 

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Err, I quote from memory but there seem to be some misconceptions developping :

_ Stalin (as some say rightly before and more informed than me) was nearly always ready to sign peace. This is told in a biography red by a friend. Fbs, according to several sources Stalin was totally terrified by the attack (that why Kroutchev lost all esteem for him, when he found him drunk and shaking with fear). So Stalin mindset in 1941 was "give hitler anyting he wants for peace (but that seems to not have been enough).

_ Stalin wasn't expected an attack, he was preparing one. According to the soviet echelon attack doctrine, it is ordinary to put crack units on the back, and not on the front. Beside, the NKVD unit can be consider the most loyal to Stalin, so he would want to spare them in an offensive.

That goes back to the subject. Clauswitcz explain rightly that military victory does not exist (otherwise French would have won in Russia (according to him in Das Krieg), the french army was never defeated during the campaign), victory is only political. The ordinary political goal in a war is to impose your will to your opponnent so that he accept whatever is the political reason for the war. The problem with Hitler's russian campaign is that there are no clear politcal objective. His political goal was the annihilation of Russia, which prevent any negociation. Then it prevent any victory in the ordinary meaning. If Hitler's goal where the same as Napoleon, he would have win in 1941!

To have succeeded in its goal, Hitler needed 3 things : a russian political crumbled (might have happened though the regime was more stable than the german expected), exhaust russian manpower (possible but too costly to the gernman manpower, and far more than the german expected), and have enough troops to garrison the country (actually the less likely point of all as the german were not willing to garrison enough).


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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 10:07:36 AM   
barkman44

 

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The only treaty that hitler did'nt break during the war was the pact of steel with italy and japan.When japan declared war on the US hitler followed suit much to his regret.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 12:30:52 PM   
Lava


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skanvak
That goes back to the subject. Clauswitcz explain rightly that military victory does not exist


Well, not exactly.

As you noted Clausewitz wrote... "War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will."

He also wrote... "The destruction of the enemy's military force, is the leading principle of War."

We therefore compel our enemy to do our will (the political object) by destroying his means to resist (his military force) and his will to resist. Once our opponent does not have sufficient means and will, the object will be released.

Clausewitz, of course, was heavily influenced by the Napoleonic Wars. In this era we see that, in many cases, "the will" of a nation resided in the capital of its country. Once the capital was captured the war was resolved. Thus, when Napoleon stormed into Russia, his expectation almost certainly was that capturing Moscow would end the war. In true fact, in Continental Europe, we see that the capture of the capital was almost always prefaced first by the destruction of the country's military force. Thus, the country lacked both the means and the will to resist. Because Napoleon failed to destroy the Russian army, the capture of Moscow was insignificant.

BTW, we see this play out in our own games, in fact. As soon as one player believes he does not have the means to obtain his objective, he will normally "quit."

And my favorite quote from Clausewitz...

"Let us not hear of Generals who conquer without bloodshed. If a bloody slaughter is a horrible sight, then that is a ground for paying more respect to War, but not for making the sword we wear blunter and blunter by degrees from feelings of humanity, until someone steps in with one that is sharp and lops off the arm from our body."

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 12:54:16 PM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kraftwerk

Wanted to chime in here and point out that Stalin, who old history says was "caught off guard" by Hitlers attack, did several interesting things before Barbarossa. First he destroyed all the polish and russian world war one fortifications. Some of which were quite good, and were already pointing the right direction. Ok, no bigger, he didnt think he would be attacked (ever? He didnt order new ones be built). He then improved the infrastructure from east of Warsaw along the Molo-Ribbentrop line, through modern day Belarus, along through Oral, straight to Moscow. He ordered other routes and rail lines torn up. Ok. Strange. But still, if you didnt think you were going to be attacked, that made sense did it? Lastly, a few months before June 22nd...Stalin orded back the NKVD units from the front, and placed them back in white russian territory. The NKVD were his crack units. Why would you do that if you didnt expect an attack. You could reduce the size of your army, by sending the green troops home. I find it more likely, when you consider that Stalin eradicated the "old guard" just years before. He killed anyone who would challenge his military command, then began acting like a military commander and strategist when he was still supposedly just a head of state. I think new logic is that Stalin was well prepared for Hitlers attack and that Hitlers attack was doomed before it began. He was walking into a trap. He broke through the green lines, through the destroyed forts, along the built up roads, further and further from his supply. Then and only then did Stalin counter attack using NKVD units to push green units, or chaff out in front, using up the enemies stores, before finally putting his veteran units with the best equipment into the fight. He's either the luckiest general in the history of mankind, or one of the best. I believe theres a certain degree of disdain for communists in the united states and that it colors the judgement of history. Post-glastnost era information about the soviet war effort in the great patriotic war doesnt paint the same bleak picture that everyone is so used too.

Add to this that germany attacked with 209 divisions I believe, and Stalin defended with only around 190 of his 300? Even though only 40 or so were out east. I think defense in depth was a part of the soviet plan all along. But thats just me. And they were so good at keeping secrets and destroying information we may never know the truth.


To get a true perspective of Soviet preperations for war you have to go to Mr. Peabody's house and use his Wayback Machine to travel to 1927 and the time of the 'War Scare'. This is when the Soviets began preparing for war. At first thinking it would be France and England plus possibly Poland and later thinking it would be Germany. War was definately NOT a surprise. You don't advance a nation's industry by 50 years in a ten year span without a compelling reason. The Soviets spent more time and money in preparation than any other nation.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 1:59:42 PM   
Lava


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama
War was definately NOT a surprise.


The Spanish Civil War clearly foretold the future, and that future would be a war to the death.

The question was not "if"... only "when."

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 5:47:09 PM   
Berkut

 

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Never attribute to conspiracy what can be adequately explained by simple incompetence.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 8:10:49 PM   
DTurtle

 

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May be a few days late, but I still wanted to address this:

quote:

ORIGINAL: PyleDriver

Oh, there is the bomb, I don't think we would ever dropped it on Germans..


IIRC, the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan instead of Germany was made somewhere between August and October 1944. Up until then Germany was first on the list.

quote:

ORIGINAL: PyleDriver

Paullus, and just where do we get the bombs, we only had 3. I think the threat of dropping them after the two on Japan would have brought them to the table...

This memorandum (pdf) from July 30, 1945 quotes the following production number:
September: 3-4
October: 3-4
November: "At least" 5
December: 7
and the number should "increase decidedly in early 1946."

There simply was no way any hostile nation could have stopped the United States from nuking them into oblivion.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 10:05:15 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DTurtle

There simply was no way any hostile nation could have stopped the United States from nuking them into oblivion.



Unless the enemy can retaliate. Fear of retaliation prevented everybody from using of poison gas or bacteriological attacks -- only Japan and Italy used against enemies that had zero chance of retaliating in kind. Even at the later stages of WW2 nobody used these in Europe.

The enemy doesn't need to develop an atomic bomb to retaliate. A dirty bomb will do, or chemical bombs.

But then again, by that time the a-bomb was just a more powerful bomb. Nobody was aware of radiation effects. So if the US gas-bombed Japan that would be mighty risky due to retaliation; atom-bombing, that probably was not the case.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/8/2011 11:58:09 PM   
Lrfss


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DTurtle

May be a few days late, but I still wanted to address this:

quote:

ORIGINAL: PyleDriver

Oh, there is the bomb, I don't think we would ever dropped it on Germans..


IIRC, the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan instead of Germany was made somewhere between August and October 1944. Up until then Germany was first on the list.

quote:

ORIGINAL: PyleDriver

Paullus, and just where do we get the bombs, we only had 3. I think the threat of dropping them after the two on Japan would have brought them to the table...

This memorandum (pdf) from July 30, 1945 quotes the following production number:
September: 3-4
October: 3-4
November: "At least" 5
December: 7
and the number should "increase decidedly in early 1946."

There simply was no way any hostile nation could have stopped the United States from nuking them into oblivion.


Interesting Memo! For sure if Germany was still a major threat on the same scale as Japan was by the time the Bombs were ready for deployment, Germany would have got at least one or more as well... If Patton was in charge, the Russians would have got a few as well a bit later on.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/9/2011 12:04:01 AM   
Lrfss


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All this talk of Atomic weapons makes me ask can one be modded in WitE, course I suppose the Planes for both sides to drop them would have to be modded as well

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/9/2011 12:41:54 AM   
joliverlay

 

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I want to repeat something said earlier. The Russians approached the Germans in 1943 before Kursk offering peace. After Mansteins backhand blow they still feared the summer offensive would hurt them badly. The negotiations failed over the position of the proposed border. Hitler wanted all of pre war Poland etc.

They only stopped proposing peace after Kursk.

To say Stalin would never have made peace is, in my opinion, contrary to the record of contacts where it was offered by the Soviet side. Am I wrong?

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 4/9/2011 12:51:01 AM   
joliverlay

 

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For all of you who say no nation could have stopped the US from dropping A bombs. I'm not entirely sure. The only nation that had nerve gas (not chemical weapons) was the Germans. They had the ability up until very late in the war to kill vast numbers of people in the UK, and perhaps have halted the Russian advance. Use of the weapon was vetoed by Hitler who had been gassed in the trenches and did not like the weapon. (He also did not like the MP44 initially either).

It is possible that the delivery of German nerve agents by V-weapons or advanced jet aircraft might have produced a WMD stand off. Our side wrongly believed that this was achieved by our chemical weapons because we did not understand that the unknown German nerve agents were orders of magnitude more toxic than any WWI style nerve gas possessed by the Allies.

They had them and the means to use them as warfare agents. As a US president I would be hard pressed to drop additional atomic weapons on Germany (after the first) if one of them resulted in the death of tens of thousands in the UK by nerve agents.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/15/2015 5:49:07 AM   
shermanny

 

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Nerve gas isn't as effective as most people think. We now know that Bashar Assad, dictator of Syria, used nerve gas repeatedly on civilians in Syrian rebel areas. The gas killed hundreds of people and crippled hundreds more with permanent nervous system injuries.

But the Syrian civil war itself has cost tens of thousands of lives. The nerve gas was a cruel weapon, and deadly, but it was not remotely as destructive as an atomic bomb would have been. Had Assad dropped a Hiroshima-style atomic bomb on the cities he was hitting with nerve gas, fatalities would have been more like twenty thousand to one hundred thousand each time. (I give a wide range because I don't know how stone buildings fare under nuclear attack. Obviously they're far less likely to burn, but what about cave-ins?

V-weapons loaded with nerve gas, aimed at Britain, would not have compelled the Americans to stop nuking Germany, had it come to that. The lives saved at the front through destruction of German war industry and consequent loss of German military capacity at the front would have more than balanced the difference between lives lost to V-weapons carrying high explosives, and lives lost to V-weapons carrying nerve gas.

What's more, the Germans had already earned the bitter enmity of both Britain and the US. Nerve gas attacks would have just meant that what little sympathy remained for German civilians would have evaporated. The strategic bombing attacks would have been pressed with new fury.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/15/2015 8:35:42 AM   
von altair


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Simple political solution: Assasinate Stalin and the rest would collapse.
Stalin was the force, who kept everything under control.

Without him there would not have been working faction. That and
controlling Leningrad & Moscow would have been total victory.

< Message edited by von altair -- 2/15/2015 9:36:11 AM >


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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/15/2015 2:19:56 PM   
heliodorus04


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Did you really just ask if Batman could defeat Superman?

No better way to bring out the zealots.

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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/16/2015 5:35:51 PM   
micheljq


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I think Germany did not have the industrial backup and manpower for a long war in USSR. They OKW largely underestimated industrial capacity of the USSR, despite warning from some german officers who saw the factories in the Urals in 1940.

Moscow was well entranched and prepared after the initial summer surprise and managed to have a functional army despite staggering losses in 1941, something like 4 millions soldiers against 700000 - 800000 soldiers for Germany end of 1941. The whermach simply did not have the supply level, logistics level, to stay strong on such a large scale. They were not able to take Leningrad nor Moscow, far from it, maybe close geographically but that is all. In 1942 they were only able to do a serious offensive in the south, center and north stayed mainly idle. Their offensive in the south was a success, because the soviets helped them (partially at least). I mean the soviets did a disastrous offensive in may 1942 aiming to retake Kharkov.

I agree that we can say that USSR did not had unlimited manpower. But Germany already had serious manpower problems early on. They had to maintain forces all accross occupied Europe, large garrisons in France, Norway, Yugoslavia, the Afrika Corps in north Africa, etc. It did only get worst with time. During Koursk battle, the little austrian caporal had to divert divisions in Sicily because of Operation Husky for example.

Germany faced the manpower problem long before USSR ever did.

Germany was not able to create divisions from occupied countries a lot, unlike Napoleon who had a lot of germans, italians, and others in it's Grande Armee when he invaded Russia. That manpower was used for factories and other tasks. I have read somewhere that the so called SS Wiking Division had more german soldiers than danes/norwegians, for example.

There was the hungarians, romanians, italians, allies but they were not well supplied/equipped and not very willing to do that war. The finns, despite a high quality army, were not very willing either.

Michel.

< Message edited by micheljq -- 2/16/2015 7:09:39 PM >


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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/16/2015 6:30:09 PM   
randallw

 

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Here is some stuff presented in books and I can buy into a lot of it.

Stalin's worry/paranoia/iron hand/whatever didn't want outside/Western influence, since he didn't want a revolution on his hands. The purge eliminated a bunch of those military guys ( but not all ), some of whom seemed to have interest in military theory outside of their region of the world; Soviet theory was based around the offense and anything different....well, you just couldn't have that! No no no...

As the world gets a little more tense the Kiev MD ( future Southwest Front ) is packed; this is either a real threat to invading Romania or just a bluff.

Later on Hitler decides in Dec 1941 that he will be heading east the next year. The Soviet intel network passes along this info reasonably quickly. Stalin decides to have some large exercises, held the next month. Moscow is the host location with most of the military leadership there.

Things do not turn out well; Zukhov playing the Axis invader side crushes Pavlov. The Bialystock area ends up as a salient and the Western Front gets rolled pretty badly. Zukhov and Pavlov also have an exercise where they switch sides, with the battlefield being not quite the exact same place; Zukhov, leading a Soviet offensive, manages to get something of a victory but not decisively.

The next month ( February ) another exercise is held, but this time in the field. Some people, like Pavlov and his staff, are not told about it. The map area is quite a distance from the border, being around the Chernigov area, with formations like the 21st army hitting the southern flank of AGC; this is how actual results ended up. Zukhov and Timoshenko presented the results to 'the boss'.

So Stalin had the info that war was potentially coming, with potential early results of being poor. He was left with the advice of guys like Zukhov and Timo that the border would have to look out for itself early on, then formations from the interior would have to bring the Germans to dead stop then force them back.


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RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/16/2015 7:09:36 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: von altair

Simple political solution: Assasinate Stalin and the rest would collapse.
Stalin was the force, who kept everything under control.

Without him there would not have been working faction. That and
controlling Leningrad & Moscow would have been total victory.



Nothing would collapse. Just as Russia didn't collapse when Alexander II was assassinated, Russia would of gone on.

And a country that lost thousands of square miles of territory, the effects of several 5 year Plans, and millions of dead, would not of rolled over because it lost two more cities.

The commander of the Soviet 6th Army, captured and interrogated, pointed out the true situation. With the fate of Russia in the balance. Russia would fight. The loss of territory meant nothing and the shortcomings of the regime became irrelevant.

In a war of ideology, of extermination, surrender meant just that. Extermination.

_____________________________


(in reply to von altair)
Post #: 54
RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/16/2015 7:48:07 PM   
darbycmcd

 

Posts: 381
Joined: 12/6/2005
Status: offline
Von Altair, please provide some evidence for what you have hypothesized. I have yet to find any serious military historian who agrees with your position, but would be happy to be enlightened with the irrefutable data you will provide.

(in reply to Aurelian)
Post #: 55
RE: So, what would it take for Hitler to get a politica... - 2/16/2015 10:28:56 PM   
Mehring

 

Posts: 2047
Joined: 1/25/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shermanny

We now know that Bashar Assad, dictator of Syria, used nerve gas repeatedly on civilians in Syrian rebel areas.


Actually, we know nothing of the sort, though a cui bono approach would indicate the opposition were responsible.

_____________________________

“Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man.”
-Leon Trotsky

(in reply to shermanny)
Post #: 56
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