Questioning Barbarossa

RasherHash

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This is an interesting lecture by Jonathan M. House which questions some of the assumptions wrt-the invasion of the USSR in 1941.

[video=youtube;I98P1AxQRUM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I98P1AxQRUM[/video]

The assumptions he questions are:

  • Hitlers incompetent interference
  • Extreme weather and terrain
  • The robotic Soviet hoards

So he's making the case that contrary to the 'mad Hitler' overruling his commanders idea, he believes in many cases Hitler accepted his commander's strategies.

That the extreme weather did not have the impact that is generally believed and that the Germans were well enough equipped to withstand it. That distance and terrain played more of a part in causing the Germans problems than weather did.

That the Soviets had transport advantages the Germans didn't have in the form of US lend lease trucks and that they could therefore concentrate their forces and attacked points along the thin German front and this was partly why they were successful.

He also makes the important point that the Wehrmacht were often under strength, the officer corps because of Versailles were too old, the Heer was 80% infantry and transport was horse and carriage. The efficient road and rail system of Germany ran out when they hit the Russian hinterland with few decent roads and railways.
 
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Mad as Fish

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I am not entirely sure that there is anything new here.
 

Dame_Enda

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Historians believe that Hitlers no retreat order in December 1941 prevented a retreated turning into a rout. On the other hand his decision to divide Army Group South to attack both Stalingrad and the Caucusus, and manning the Volga with weak Italian and Romanian divisions did amount to overruling for example General Von Seydlitz as well as being idiotic. He said to Seydlitz "you're too pessmistic Seydlitz. We've overcome other crisis and we'll overcome this one too".

Keitel might have agreed with Hitler. But then he always agreed with Hitler. He was a yes man. He just rubberstamped what he said - sometimes without knowing what it was. On one occasion when Goering was arguing around the table with someone, Keitel intervened to say "The Reichmarshal is right, Mein Fuhrer".
 
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redhead

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That is disappointing, I thought this was going to be a thread about pirates. We don't have enough threads about pirates.
 

wombat

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I read somewhere that the original Nazi plan was for a war in 1943, believing that by that time, their advanced technology would overcome the Soviet's strength in numbers. They always planned for war with the Communists but hoped to avoid war in the west.
 

Dame_Enda

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They lacked long range aircraft throughout the war. The navy begged Goering for more of them to protect the subs but he dismissed them. One consequence was the failure to block the evacuation of the Leningrad factories.
 

jmcc

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That is disappointing, I thought this was going to be a thread about pirates. We don't have enough threads about pirates.
Hector Barbossa versus Frederick Barbarossa?
 

ne0ica

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I have read that before when warfare is analysised from a logistics viewpoint.
I read Alan Clark book on Barbarossa and he credits Hitlers interference with saving the Wehmarht from annihilation.
 

silverharp

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what he is saying probably isnt new, on the face of it Germany always had fuel shortages, wasnt mechanised enough and was going to have huge logistics issues. Also Germany had to fight fires in Greece and North Africa at the time and their airforce had a beating the year before. After that they didnt have the reserves of the Russians
 

RasherHash

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I am not entirely sure that there is anything new here.
Perhaps you've read the book.

The idea that a mad Hitler ranted and raved overruling his commanders and running the Germans into the ground through mismanagement is a widespread fallacy and is tackled in this lecture.

I suppose there is always a lag between what historians and history buffs accept as the latest theories and what the public believes is the position.
 

Ruadh

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I read somewhere that the original Nazi plan was for a war in 1943, believing that by that time, their advanced technology would overcome the Soviet's strength in numbers. They always planned for war with the Communists but hoped to avoid war in the west.
Interesting, but why did they invade Poland early then?
 

wombat

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Interesting, but why did they invade Poland early then?
Not sure but I think their racial theories played a part. They also miscalculated the Western response to the invasion.
 

Accidental sock

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I never thought it was one of Jane Fonda's better movies.
 

wombat

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RasherHash

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I read somewhere that the original Nazi plan was for a war in 1943, believing that by that time, their advanced technology would overcome the Soviet's strength in numbers. They always planned for war with the Communists but hoped to avoid war in the west.
Telling us where you read it is an important point.
 

RasherHash

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Was that not a joint venture with the USSR?


But why did they take France at all then
The French declared war on them, attack is the best form of defense.
 


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