Could the Soviets have dealt better with Barbarossa? - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Second World War (1939-1945).
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#14309721
Jessup wrote:Pavlov house was one building which had actually been partially destroyed in the bombardment.


It was a standing building. Partially destroyed or not.

Barbed wire and gun nests aren't very effective obstacles for armoured columns and advancing infantry, crumbling buildings and roads blocked with debris and craters are.


Yes because you say so.

When used in concert with infantry tanks were the ultimate urban weapon and Germany adopted this doctrine when fighting urban warfare throughout WW2, especially during early WW2 as at this time hand-held anti tank weapons were still only in their infancy.


No they weren't. Tanks were for exploitation gaps and encirclement not urban warfare.

Yeah they were useless for the same reason the German tanks were, because the German army had turned Stalingrad into a concrete quagmire with their preliminary bombardment.


And how exactly does it affect my quoted argument?

It is no surprise that the battle for Warsaw, Poland's capital would be the most intense


Just like Paris, the french capital? Your logic is simply ridiculous, it happened only because it was capital, please......

The Germans needed to take Stalingrad fast before the winter set in, this task was made almost impossible by the maze of rubble and craters that Stalingrad was, also when the winter did come the ruins left the Germans exposed to the elements.


Rubble or not, tanks (specially of ww2 era) were at a disadvantage for urban warfare

Finally you haven't posted one single argument against any of my listed disadvantages faced by a tank in urban environment. btw, tanks also tend to reduce cities to rubble, you so despise.
#14309723
Lets not get sidetracked by tanks. The fact is that the Luftwaffe's bombing of Stalingrad turned it to mounds of rubble ideal for ambushes, snipers and attrition streetfighting, which enabled the Soviet troops to hold out and repulse superior firepower. The Germans repeatedly flung their best troops against what they believed were the last remnants of the Red Army, only to be beaten back. The German bombardment of Stalingrad suited the defenders, there can be no doubt about this. This delay is what killed the vast majority of German troops as the succumbed to starvation and hypothermia at the onset of the Russian winter.
#14309759
This is just ridiculous.

Germany was on defense for half the battle.

Please don't exaggerate Russian winter, German soldiers were starving because they were encircled because of Red army's offensive operation. btw, Soviets feel cold too.

Believe it or not war also depended on Red Army's action and was not only subject to weather and various German decisions.

The German bombardment of Stalingrad suited the defenders, there can be no doubt about this


Of course there can be doubt about it and just saying that there shouldn't be any doubt won't help. The bombardment wasn't the game changer at all.


The fact is that the Luftwaffe's bombing of Stalingrad turned it to mounds of rubble ideal for ambushes, snipers and attrition streetfighting, which enabled the Soviet troops to hold out and repulse superior firepower


What? You do realize superior firepower (either air/tanks/artillery) will inevitably lead to heap of mound (you keep repeating so much).
Then, what is "attrition street fighting" and how is related to your heap of mound? You just made that up. and ambushes, Snipers are pretty fucking common in any urban combat.

Oh, and please see : "Hugging the Enemy" tactics used by soviets to deal with German firepower, as I said war depended on Soviet actions too (which so far you have totally ignored) and not just German decisions.

Finally,

1.Stalingrad was not the only city to get such severe pounding from the air anyways, almost every city was subject to severe bombardment either from air or artillery.

2.The heap of mound that you keep repeating is pretty common in any urban fighting, you just can't get away with it.

3.You will have to try much harder to prove that Luftwaffe's air raids were responsible for German defeat at Stalingrad. This claim is just silly.
#14310063
starman2003 wrote:Shirer quoted a German as saying "At several stages in the advance, my panzers were handicapped by lack of cover overhead." And that despite the initial clobbering of the soviet air force. With hundreds more planes the effect would've been more pronounced. Btw as Pollack mentioned in a different context (the arab-Israel wars) it wasn't necessary for planes to actually inflict damage to have an effect. Just forcing troops to disperse and head for cover can slow them down considerably. And that could've given soviet defenders more time to deploy (or reposition) to meet the spearheads.

That is a lot of assumptions. Your reference to Pollack might actually suggest more planes would have diminishing returns (since the effect is mostly from their presence) rather than the pronounced effect you have suggested. Unless the lethality of the attacks were higher, which cannot be assumed given that something like 94% of the Soviet bomber fleet at the beginning of Barbarossa was the obsolete SB series. I might also point out that while hampered by airpower at various points throughout the war (particularly later in the war when their opposition could marshall decent fighter-bombers etc.) the Germans were still able to successfully prosecute their counter-attacks.

Not only does the increased airpower have to have a dramatic effect, you would also have to explain how it is the Soviet military - whose officers were often inexperienced in moving large units over strategic distances, would have been able to get its act together better than the Germans - who had plenty of practice at it by this point. Also just how good in the infranstructure for the sort of lateral movements your plan calls for?
#14310560
Smilin' Dave wrote: you would also have to explain how it is the Soviet military - whose officers were often inexperienced in moving large units over strategic distances,


I was thinking in terms of relatively minor movements, like reorienting lines or bolstering threatened flanks, based on where the Germans were headed. I assumed the nazis would've head for key objectives like Moscow, Leningrad, Rostov etc, and virtually all of the soviet forces were already there i.e. few in frontier areas.
#14380452
I think the Soviets might have done better if Stalin hadn't purged most of the talented officers out of his military from 1934 to 1939. However not to be out dumb-assed Germany reduced its chances of bringing Russia to its knees by not fielding an effective long range heavy bomber that it could have used to destroy a critical amount of Soviet industrial capacity. Assets that were well outside the reach of the little corporal's medium range bomber force.
#14380589
Not locking up some of his finest generals and officers would certainly have made a difference.

Even before the Nazi invasion, Stalin had released many of them and promoted them to high positions in the Soviet Army. Marshal Rokossovsky was only one example.
#14380590
Purges weren't really a factor. 3-4 % of officer corps were purged and more than 30% were rehabilitated anyway. The chronic lack of officers in Red Army was result of rapid expansion of red army which was obviously needed to withstand the coming onslaught.
#14380701
Potemkin wrote:Even before the Nazi invasion, Stalin had released many of them and promoted them to high positions in the Soviet Army. Marshal Rokossovsky was only one example.


The purge of Tukhachevsky et al went beyond just losing talented, visionary generals.
Under Tukhachevsky the Soviet military would have undergone a huge modernisation and innovation overhaul.

One of the ironies of the whole Eastern Front campaign is that the KV tanks (that Tukhachevsky had advocated and in return had lost his life) were named after the very epitome of the reactionary and inept general that had tried to prevent such innovations and modernisation: Kliment Voroshilov
#14380784
Tukhachevsky wasn't some brilliant general as he is made out to be, rapid modernization of Red Army begun only after Tukhachevsky was gone and with efforts of Timoshenko, Red Army was in dire state in the hands of Tukhachevsky and his ilk.

The deep Operations theory (soviet mobile warfare) was brainchild of Frunze and Svechin and not Tukhachevsky.

Tukhachensky was a failure in Soviet Polish war, argued for a force of 50-100K Tanks, 40K planes in 1930s which was of course discarded as pure fantasy.

Soviets saw rise of more and more brilliant generals after the purges rather than loosing the visionaries she gained them.
#14381153
fuser wrote:Tukhachevsky wasn't some brilliant general as he is made out to be, rapid modernization of Red Army begun only after Tukhachevsky was gone and with efforts of Timoshenko, Red Army was in dire state in the hands of Tukhachevsky and his ilk.

The deep Operations theory (soviet mobile warfare) was brainchild of Frunze and Svechin and not Tukhachevsky.

Tukhachensky was a failure in Soviet Polish war, argued for a force of 50-100K Tanks, 40K planes in 1930s which was of course discarded as pure fantasy.

Soviets saw rise of more and more brilliant generals after the purges rather than loosing the visionaries she gained them.


Yeah it began after, because the high command and Stalin finally realised that the now dead or imprisoned generals were right after all and the need was becoming greater than ever
#14381189
Pretty much everyone performed poorly against the Germans in WWII. Despite over three years to prepare and learn the Americans still performed woefully at the Kasserine pass. This was a shameful result that should live on ignominy. It was only the completely different strategic position that meant that it didn't have the same disastrous results as France and Britain’s poor performance in May 1940. Americas war fighting reputation is solely the result of having Mexico and Canada as its only land neighbours. The great era of blitzkrieg was due to German superiority not an inherent superiority of the offensive. The rapid advance through France and Belgium in August and September 1940 was solely due to Hitlers ridiculous orders.

That said, it does not excuse Stalin. His attack on Finland was phenomenally incompetent. And had a huge strategic cost. Without this he would have been able to absorb the Baltic and Romanian territory much earlier, and other countries would have been for more keener to submit to his demands. The earlier campaigns demonstrated the need for defense in depth and the cost effectiveness of anti guns. Something like the German 88 was a clear winner on Russia's flat plains. But the one thing above all else that Stalin should have learnt was not to get surprised by a surprise. If Hitler had demonstrated one thing repeatedly since the Night of the long knives it was his ability to pull off surprises.
#14381258
Yeah it began after, because the high command and Stalin finally realised that the now dead or imprisoned generals were right after all and the need was becoming greater than ever


You sure, you were responding to my post? You are just repeating yourself rather than actually addressing any of my points.

FYI when these so called brilliant commanders were at helm, Red Army was a very poorly equipped army (please prove otherwise) but with these generals gone, then only expansion and modernization begun at a fast rate. Just asking for 50-100K tanks and 40K planes in peace time (as your favourite Tukhachevsky did is not brilliance just lunacy.)
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