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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > History Library > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #151  
Old 11 Apr 13, 11:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian View Post
I already posted a list of italian merchant ships around 5,000 GRT that were available at that time.
That actually helps prove my point. For example the Breconshire was 9700grt and made several supply runs to Malta.

Why don't you dig up the records of the convoys that moved 5th light and 15th panzer to North Africa. Sailing dates, arrival dates, units carried and freighter sizes would be required for you to demonstrate that the 60 freighter loads per division number is incorrect.

It looks like 5th light and 15 Panzer took 3 months to fully transport to Libya. The first units arrived in February 1941 and the last elements in May 1941. That lends credence to the 60 freighter loads per division number.
  #152  
Old 11 Apr 13, 15:25
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In this thread http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=56&t=132880

in post 9 by 13emeDBLE

we have the following:

The datas for german cargoes loaded in january 42 for Africa was :

03.01 from naples (Convoy M43) :

in Monginevro : 11 Panzer and 816 tons (including 418 t fuel)

in Lerici : 14 Pz, 4 armoured cars, 2 x 5cm Pak, half mixed Aufklarung-kompanie 588 (? men) and 1.054 tons (including 498 t ammunitions)

in Bixio : 8 Pz, 4 arm. cars, 1 Pak 5cm and half mixed Aufklarung-kompanie 588 (? men) and 1.057 tons (including 498 t ammunitions) ;

in Monvisio : 8 tanks, 2 arm. cars, 2 Flak 43, 2 guns 8,8cm and 10 guns 7,62cm and 542 tons (not specified)

in the Cino Allegri : 13 Pz, 9 Arm. cars, 10 x 7,62cm guns, 10 Pak 38, 3 self-propelled 7,62cm and 2 self-propelled 4,75cm and 1.348 tons (including 878 t fuel)

in tanker Ciordani : 4.052 t fuel


From the Trentcino web page
Monginevro 5324grt
Monvisio 5322grt
Lerici 6070 grt

The other ships are not listed that I could see.

Given that a Pz division has about 200 tanks, 1500 trucks, 50 armoured cars, 150 guns plus a whole host of non combat support formations and equipment (like signals, workshops supply, mail, food services), O'Hara's 60 ship claim continues to look reasonable.
  #153  
Old 12 Apr 13, 04:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
Why don't you dig up the records of the convoys that moved 5th light and 15th panzer to North Africa. Sailing dates, arrival dates, units carried and freighter sizes would be required for you to demonstrate that the 60 freighter loads per division number is incorrect.

It looks like 5th light and 15 Panzer took 3 months to fully transport to Libya. The first units arrived in February 1941 and the last elements in May 1941. That lends credence to the 60 freighter loads per division number.
This is nonsense. I don't need to check whether "60 freighter loads per division number is incorrect" because we already know the capacity of the ports involved (February and March 1942 only Tripoli was available) and we already know which were the tonnage received in those four months, and if you admit (obviously) that the two german armoured divisions arrived from February to May you are admitting that they did not need 120 freighters... In Tripoli harbour the maximum capacity was six ships (average 5,000 GRT, of course).

Sending 120 freighters would have mean between 15 and 20 convoys of 6 to 9 ships in four months... transporting around half a million tons! (do you remember how many tons required one Panzer Division?... I already explained that to you) And that not counting the italian divisions and the supplies for the divisions, civilians and other needs.

But the worst nonsense is saying that sending 22 and 23 PzD from February to May 1942 ATL would have been impossible, and at the same time admitting that 5th Light and 15 PzD were sent from February to May 1941 OTL... even counting on only the Tripoli port in February and March. And even counting that in the 1941's period they were sending also more italian divisions (not in this ATL).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE"
Given that a Pz division has about 200 tanks, 1500 trucks, 50 armoured cars, 150 guns plus a whole host of non combat support formations and equipment (like signals, workshops supply, mail, food services), O'Hara's 60 ship claim continues to look reasonable.
I have no idea what mister O'Hara wrote actually and I have no idea what would be the tonnage of each of those "60 ship". I do know that "200 tanks, 1500 trucks, 50 armoured cars, 150 guns" are less than 20,000 tons and that could be transported by ten ships of 5,000 GRT on average, even considering the problem of the space for the trucks (150 trucks in one ship was possible, at least, as I already showed with the example of the "Sebastiano Venier").

And the example of the M-43 convoy (which is very important for this story, by the way) is correct about tonnage (around 5,000 tons load for each around 5,000 GRT ship), but they were transporting supplies mostly, not new units (only replacements for the PAA existing units).

Of course, in this ATL the ships transporting the 440,000 tons required from February to May 1942 ATL (between 80 and 100 ships around 5,000 GRT) would transport mixed material for the new units and general supplies paying special attention to the use of space for transporting between 8,000 and 10,000 vehicles. I already wrote about examples of that transport capacity, but it is possible to give more examples: M-43 was one of them about tonnage, "Sebastiano Venier" was an example about use of space capacity to transport vehicles, we have also the data from the ill-fated "Duisburg convoy" and the data from the list of panzer-archive

All together now, to be at disposal of anyone and to compare

http://crusaderproject.wordpress.com...november-1941/
"Sebastiano Venier"
http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewto...r=asc&start=60 ,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_ ... urg_Convoy
it includes data of the cargo of the lost ships

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_o...orld_War_II%29
the whole tonnage

In this link that you posted (I already knew it)

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=56&t=132880

are included also this data for the whole M43 convoy

Sadkovich, who only occasionally distinguishes between Italian and German supplies, has M.43 as carrying

901 men
520 vehicles
144 tanks
15,379 tons of fuel
2,417 tons of ammunition
10,242 tons of other material


showing a capacity of 5,000 tons average for ships around 5,000 GRT average

About the "Breconshire" (9700 GRT), yes, that was a cargo ship bigger than any german-italian cargo ship in the Mediterranean at that time, but not "particularly bigger": Wachtfels (8400).

Please, stop it: it is evident that if they were able to send two Panzer divisions in 1941 they could have sent another two in 1942 using the same transport resources...
  #154  
Old 12 Apr 13, 12:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian View Post
Please, stop it: it is evident that if they were able to send two Panzer divisions in 1941 they could have sent another two in 1942 using the same transport resources...
I will continue to point out your nonsense such as your statement above.
It was of course 15th panzer and 5th light division sent in 1941 not two panzer divisions. 5th light probably needed less shipping.
Furthermore you have proposed sending two panzer, one motorized and 1500 extra trucks in 1942 which will require significantly more shipping than what was required in 1941 for one panzer and one light division.

As to Tripoli's monthly unloading capacity, if it was 6 ships at a time, and it took 3 days to unload a ship, then in a 30 day month Tripoli could unload 60 ships. In three months that would allow 120 ships to be unloaded for the new German forces plus leave enough to supply the vastly reduced Italian army. Your analysis and arguments are extraordinarily weak on the subject.

Do some real research and find out how many ships and of what size where required to ship 15th panzer over. Then maybe we'll have something to discuss.

However we all know it doesn't really matter, since you are still thousands of trucks short of being able to supply DAK2 (your protestations not with standing).

The truth is that your plan would have resulted in Allied victory on all fronts sooner than OTL. You just have too much emotion invested in a bad idea to see it.
  #155  
Old 13 Apr 13, 14:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
It was of course 15th panzer and 5th light division sent in 1941 not two panzer divisions. 5th light probably needed less shipping.
Furthermore you have proposed sending two panzer, one motorized and 1500 extra trucks in 1942 which will require significantly more shipping than what was required in 1941 for one panzer and one light division.
Again reiterating the same, once and again...

Even supposing that 5th Leicht needed less shipping than the 15 PzD (the amount of vehicles of a Leicht Panzer division was practically the same) we had anyway agreed that both 22 and 23 PzD would have sum only 140 tanks (but, of course, with all artillery, infantry and rest of units...)

And I already informed you that in the period of February-May 1941 also two another italian divisions arrived (and not in this story so there is more space for everything).

And I already informed you that in February and March 1941 (at least) Axis only could use only the port of Tripoli (and in this story they had Tripoli and Benghazi)

And I already informed you that the motorised division (28 Leicht) would get the vehicles from the italians, so they would not need much space.

About the 2,500 extra trucks (not 1,500) they would mean 12,000 additional tons and I already showed how they could be transported with examples of how vehicles were loaded in italian and german cargo ships in that scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
As to Tripoli's monthly unloading capacity, if it was 6 ships at a time, and it took 3 days to unload a ship, then in a 30 day month Tripoli could unload 60 ships. In three months that would allow 120 ships to be unloaded for the new German forces plus leave enough to supply the vastly reduced Italian army. Your analysis and arguments are extraordinarily weak on the subject.
Again the "60 ships" story? 60 ships 5,000 GRT mean 300,000 tons cargo and that is absurd, as we need only 40,000 tons for the two Panzer Divisions and the 28 Leicht (with no trucks, only the weapons) and 15,000, at the most, for the extra vehicles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
However we all know it doesn't really matter, since you are still thousands of trucks short of being able to supply DAK2 (your protestations not with standing).
I already explained (I am not going to waste my time pointing at what page of this long thread anymore...) how many trucks were needed to supply a Panzerkorps advancing for a particular distance (with data of mr Van Creveld and the resources used by the british themselves). Another day I will write something about the calculations of the pursuit of the 8 Army toward Tripoli (December 1942, January 1943) which very similar to the plan I wrote here.

First, you have to get arguments (new arguments, or some argument, at least) to refute the information, the data and the sources I previously gave.
  #156  
Old 13 Apr 13, 16:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian View Post
Again the "60 ships" story? 60 ships 5,000 GRT mean 300,000 tons cargo and that is absurd, as we need only 40,000 tons for the two Panzer Divisions and the 28 Leicht (with no trucks, only the weapons) and 15,000, at the most, for the extra vehicles....
A GRT is a unit of volume equal to 100 cubic feet not mass. No wonder you are totally confused.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_register_tonnage
  #157  
Old 14 Apr 13, 05:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
A GRT is a unit of volume equal to 100 cubic feet not mass. No wonder you are totally confused.
GRT is related to the load capacity of a merchant ship. More GRT means, more load capacity, mass or volume depend on the kind of cargo. I already posted a lot of examples (GRT and cargo of different types)

It is still to explain why you wrote that about "60 ships" needed to transport one Panzer Division (less than 20,000 tons including 2,000 vehicles).

According to the source I posted (panzer-archive) in the period February-May 1942 OTL Axis needed around 60 cargo ships to transport to Africa 340,000 tons.

For this alternate story they would have needed nearly 90 (40 % more) to transport 100,000 additional tons (30% more). More ships would be needed particularly due to the vehicles required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianE
Do some real research and find out how many ships and of what size where required to ship 15th panzer over. Then maybe we'll have something to discuss.
And this is still to explain too: in the period February-May 1941 Axis had at disposal the same cargo ships than in 1942 (more than enough around 5,000 grt) and some more, due to have suffered fewer losses. What kind of research do you want?
  #158  
Old 19 Apr 13, 03:38
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As new (or old) questions about the logistics issue were raised again in this thread, I think it is relevant to add more precisions in order to demonstrate that Axis had resources enough to close the Mediterranean in mid-June 1942 ATL… only if a plan about it would have been made, and started to execute, from mid-January on.

As it has been claimed in 1 page
[QUOTE"The Purist"]There was no way to supply three more mechanised divisions in Africa. The Germans did not have the trucks, they did not have the fuel. The Italians did not have the shipping nor port capacity.
[/QUOTE]

About the port capacity, we know that in February and March 1941, they got (only in Tripoli port) 79,000 and 92,000 tons, and in February and March 1942 OTL only 59,000 and 47,000 (Tripoli and Benghazi).

That means for 1942 a “gap” of 20,000 and 45,000 tons in the proven capacity of the harbor of Tripoli one year before. So, it is proven that in February and March 1942 , they could have received another 65,000 additional tons, without necessity of improving the unloading capacity of the port of Benghazi.

Also, in May 1942 OTL, they got 86,000 tons, but in June 1941 they got already (previous to any improvement of the port of Benghazi) 125,000 tons, proven capacity of the two Libian ports already in 1941. That gives another gap of 39,000 (125,000-86,000) tons, and the sum of both gaps would be 39,000+65,000= 104,000.

So, it is proven beyond any doubt that it was plausible to have reached another 100,000 additional tons for the period February-May 1942 ATL, enough to conquer Egypt (transport of three divisions and 2,500 additional trucks for logistics, plus extra supplies). All that, not counting the improvement of the port of Benghazi (and the circumstance that in February, March 1941 they could not count on the port of Benghazi).

I think that it is also sensible to think that the improvement of the port could have even made sooner if Hitler and Mussolini giving orders immediately as Benghazi port was conquered at the end of January 1942.

In page 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TA Gardner
When it comes to ports the Germans are stuck with what's there. They have no orgainzed military port engineers. Their naval salvage is very limited and all civilian.
Their engineers and even what salvage crews they have are nearly completely without mechanization of any sort. They have no salvage vessels, no crane ships or barges, lack salvage pontoons, etc., etc., etc.
Basically, they cannot clear a harbor of wrecks.
Although this can be basically true (no discussion that the Royal navy organization was great), it is also clearly exaggerated about what has to do with the Axis resources. The technology to repair and improve the ports was not out of reach of Axis (military or civilians).

And it is not true, of course, that the Italians could not clear a harbor of wrecks: they did it in Tarento, as the battleship Cavour was sunk in the harbor (she finished the war in Trieste port and never fought again, due to lack of fuel).

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conte_d...a_battaglia%29

Nella notte tra l'11 e il 12 novembre 1940, la nave venne gravemente danneggiata da un siluro lanciato da un aerosilurante inglese Swordfish, partito dalla portaerei inglese Illustrious, restando semiaffondata nei fondali. (in the night 12 November 1940 the ship was severely damaged by a torpedo, lying on the bottom of the port)
Rimesso a galla il 22 dicembre successivo, (again afloat 22 December)


It took them only forty days to put a battleship of 28,000 tons again afloat.

Anyway, they got, as it has been said, to improve the unloading in Benghazi up to 2,000 tons daily.

No doubt that the british always did it better: one month after capturing Tripoli, January 23 1943, and in spite of having found the port totally sabotaged, they were able to discharge more than 6,000 tons daily, much more than the Axis could ever reached. But, anyway, it it not realistic to state that Axis port engineers could have not made more than they actually did at that time if a high priority would have been established… or even to state that they did not do what they did… Remember also that in Tunis some german dock specialists were sent.

Another issue on logistics, on page two of this thread was posted

Page two

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoP
It's worth pointing out that when Montgomery was chasing Rommel back across Africa, and preparing to capture Tripoli, he could only bring 800 tons of supplies a day to the front line.
X Corps was left behind and stripped of their trucks to ferry supplies to XXX Corps. The allies had air supremacy behind the lines and far greater shipping capacity, along with a much larger number of trucks, and they still only managed 800 tons a day.
Confirmation of this figure “800 tons a day” can be found in the Churchill Memoirs: A letter from general Alexander to Churchill, 9 January 1943: 30 Corps at full strength, with fuel and ten days water and food for 500 miles (800 kms) in pursuit. Supplies are around 800 tons daily. Chapter 14 Part IV, 2 Book

(Anyway, after the battle of El Alamein, spearhead units of 8 army made 1,200 km in 19 days, from 5 November to 23 November)

Axis supply ground columns needed six days to go one thousand kilometers, one way and return. So, with 5,000 trucks (3,500 serviceable) they could have transported over 800 tons daily (500 to 600 trucks six daily columns with 1, 5 tons each and 0´5 tons for fuel of the trucks themselves). Of course, one thousand kilometers away from Gazala line, Rommel would be in Cairo, needing neither water nor food, a better situation than for the 8 army in OTL, advancing to the West (the desert). Apart from that, Axis forces could be helped by air and coastal transport (as british forces were).

As only a maximum of 2,500 additional trucks for logistics could have been sent (and profiting very efficiently the space in the cargo ships for transport) during the period February-May 1942 ATL, the other 2,500 trucks for the pursuit would be taken from one of the two DAKs in order to allow the other to advance correctly supplied at full strength.

That was what the 8th Army did as chasing Rommel after the big victory of El Alamein.

Alexander, during Casablanca conference informed that 8 army counted two strong army corps to seize Tripoli, one of them (10 corps) had been stripped of its trucks in order to allow the only one advancing (30 corps). Chapter 15, Part IV, 2 Book.

All that would be enough to conquer Egypt without getting any booty from Tobruk (the booty, by the way, was of only 2,000 vehicles and 2,000 fuel tons: Rommel could have got that previously from Italy if a plan to conquer Egypt would have existed).

As reading again the Churchill´s Memoirs it is possible to find more relevant details about what was the reality on strategy in the second world war, at this time and in that scenario, not only on logistics, but also on Intelligence and politics.

About British intelligence:
in chapter 7 Part I of IV Book, we learn that most of British torpedo aircrafts were in Middle East to prevent a possible Axis amphibious attack from the Sea. Another example of British ignorance of the real intentions of the enemy.

Again, another mistake on Intelligence that I already mentioned (but now I point at the source): From general Auchinleck to Churchill, May 22 1942 (six days before Gazala): New Zealander division must stay in Syria due to the unstable political situation there and distrust on the Turkey position. Chapter 17. Book IV, Part 1.

About possible countermeasures as the British were fearing a strong advance of Rommel from the Gazala line at early 1942 OTL.

IV Book, part 2, chapter 1: In February Auchinleck, in the Gazala line, considered that Tobruk was only useful on the offensive, and that in case of defense, Gazala and Tobruk should be abandoned, the harbor being destroyed and 8 army to be concentrated in Egypt for defense. This project was never communicated to London, but London would have never accepted it.

About neutrality of Turkey and the real meaning of “neutrality” at times of war…

Chapter 16, Book IV, Part 2: February 2 1943: Churchill to Stalin: British pretends to ask Turkey a flexible neutrality, allowing the Allies to get through the Dardanelles to supply the Russians and to use the Turkish airfields. That was not achieved, partly because of the soviet attitude and partly out of the danger for the turks that the Axis forces could still do from their Balkans positions (a power confirmed at the end of 1943, with the british disaster in the Dodecanese).

But it shows the reality of any stance of “neutrality” during the second world war as it was seen at that time by the political leaders, Axis or Allied.
  #159  
Old 26 Apr 13, 03:59
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Being the battle of Stalingrad the turning point of the second world war, and although I wrote something about in page 2 of this thread, I think it is anyway interesting to widen a little the information we have on that battle and its significance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian
So 19 November 1942, “Uranus” could be done anyway, practically the same, encircling the Axis forces in Stalingrad by making big harm to the two Romanian armies on the flanks.

But then, nothing could be the same.

22 November Hitler assumed that encirclement, ordered to general Paulus to take a defensive position and sent reinforcements to get into the fight by organizing a breaking-through counter-offensive, known as “Wintergewitter”.

In OTL, Wintergewitter failed around 24 December 1942, as Russians tanks brigades attacked successfully the Tatsinskaya airfield in the rear of the german offensive, and the strong russian 2nd Guards Army attacked in the front the german 57 corps , the main force trying to break the 6 Armee encirclement. These Russian attacks forced the Wintergewitter units to fight on the defensive, abandoning any further attempt to keep marching to Stalingrad and linking with the encircled 6 Armee.

But with the Black Sea in the Axis hands that would have never happened. First, the ports of Novorossisk (specially) and Tuapse would have been added to the logistic resources the Axis forces had in Southern USSR. Being ice-free ports, germans could have sent faster all required supplies. And also troops. Novorossisk is 500-550 km away from Kotelnikovo, the most important Wintergewitter railhead, connected by a direct railway.

The 7 Panzer Division was sent to help the Wintergewitter units (thirteen divisions, including the 6, 11, 17, 19 and 23 Panzer divisions). It came from France, was complete and fresh… but it came too late, at the end of December: the chance was lost at that time already.

In this story, the 7 Panzer division would have used the big French Mediterranean ports of Marseille and Toulon, it would have been loaded in French or Italian merchant ships and arrived to the Russian Novorossik port not later than 12-15 December. Previous to the 20 December, the 7 Panzerdivision would be already in the fight. The 10 Panzer division (in OTL sent to Tunis at that time) would have arrived next. And then, the Waffen-SS Panzergranadier divisions Das Reich, Leibstandarte, Totenkopf in January and February. (We can take as a plausible example of this kind of move, the deployment of the 10 PzD in Tunis, in OTL. This division took part in the operation Anton, against the Vichy France at 11 November, and afterwards was already fighting the angloamericans in Tunis at the end of December… and they had not the collaboration of the French authorities in the big ports of Marseille and Toulon: 28 November 1942, the german tanks were already fighting in Djedeida and the 1 December in Tebourba).


But also more troops could come on time: in OTL, the 23 PzD came from the 1 Panzerarmee in Caucasus (in this story the 23 PzD would be in the PAA, in Egypt, but the 24 PzD could have replaced it) and another PzD from the 1 Panzerarmee could have been added (for example, 13 PzD), being this one replaced by two Romanian mountains divisions on the defensive that in OTL were doing coastal defense (for example, 1 and 3 romanian mountain divisions). Finally, with the Mediterranean closed, priority of the antipartisan fight in the Balkans would be minimal: 12 Armee divisions, like 704, 714, 717 and 718 ID could be sent too, as the new Waffen-SS Prinz Eugen and 11 Luftwaffe-Feld divisions. And not to forget the amphibious corps: at this time, November-December 1942 ATL, they would be just resting and preparing for their supposed next mission.

So, instead of a Wintergewitter with thirteen divisions being failed in 24 december 1942 OTL, it would have been a Wintergewitter with more than twenty divisions (eight of them Panzer) being successful between 20-25 December.

Once the Wintergewitter corps linked with the encircled troops, it would start a process of revitalization of the 6 Armee units, and the inmediate Russian reactions of aborting all the other planned Red Army offensives (from Little Saturn on) to concentrate the effort in encircling again the 6 Armee. The battle would have continued for weeks. Up to the arrival of the last Waffen-SS Panzergrenadier division in February 1943 and the fulfillment of the 6 Armee revitalization process. That would have been the end of the fight.

The situation would be restablished for the Axis in southern USSR (little territory would have been gained by the soviets) and the germans would have not lost at least twenty-two divisions., not to mention the loss, in OTL of many other non-german Axis divisions. The final turnover in ATL would have been not very different from the final turnover of the soviet counteroffensive in the 1941-1942 winter. And the rate of casualties it would have kept also in the usual 1:3, showing a foreseeable defeat of the USSR in the attrition war for 1943 or 1944.

Surely, Stalin would have demanded an armistice. But Hitler would have not agreed.
First, it would be convenient to show how would be probably the deployment of the Axis armies previous to the "Uranus" soviet counteroffensive in Stalingrad (19 November 1942 OTL and ATL).

After the entry of the Italian Fleet into the Black Sea and the amphibious landing in Taman peninsula (blockade of the Russian Crimea Front), the Army Group South starts the “Fall Blau” offensive. First target, Rostov, and then linking with the beachhead in Taman peninsula.

Once this achieved (and the Axis Fleet dominance into the Black Sea established), in the beginning of August this would be the plan:

-6 Armee, with the support of the 4 Panzerarmee, will conquer Stalingrad and the whole Don River West Bank, with the support of the Romanian, Italian and Hungarian armies. Once conquered Stalingrad, they will continue up to Astrakhan, on the Caspian Sea, then linking with the 1 Panzerarmee that would have reached too the Caspian Sea on the south, at Majackhala (it was planned that this Caspian Sea port would be used for an Axis maritime campaign with small warships).

-1 Panzerarmee, after having accompanied 17 Armee in the conquest of Rostov and the linking with the beachhead in Taman peninsula, parts the 17 Armee, starting the campaign to conquer the Maykop oilfield and then marching on East, conquering now the area of the Terek river, the Grozni oilfield and finally reaching the Caspian Sea. 1 Panzerarmee would be formed by 3 Panzerkorps (5 PzD in this story, plus 13 PzD, Waffen-SS Wiking and 2nd romanian mountain division), 52 Corps (111 and 370 ID) and 40 Panzerkorps (3 PzD and 50 ID). In OTL and ATL they would not be strong enough to reach the goal.

-17 Armee, with the support of the Axis Fleet, will take the port of Novorossisk (end of August ATL, early September OTL), then the Gelendzhik port (never reached in OTL), then Tuapse port (never reached in OTL, this port had the railway connection to the Maykop oilfield, and an oil pipeline). Always with the Axis naval artillery blocking the sending of Soviet reinforcements by means of the soviet coastal railway, not to mention the use of soviet maritime transport. Axis units will repair the captured ports as soon as possible to help the supply of the 17 Armee forces advancing along the coast. The target is, obviously, the Turkish frontier. They would reach Batumi at the end of September 1942 ATL, expecting that then Turkey will join Axis. But being conservative, we can accept that they still would try to keep neutral. 17 Armee would be formed by 5 Corps (8 and 73 ID plus Romanian cavalry divisions 6, 9 and 19), 57 corps (125, 198 ID plus Slovak division), 44 corps (97 and 101 Jäger) and 49 corps (Heer mountain divisions 1 and 4, here, in this story would be missing the 46 ID that in OTL was added, could be replaced by one romanian mountain division). I think this force would be more than enough to conquer the Eastern Black Sea coastline, always with the support of the Axis Fleet. In OTL they were blocked in the Caucasus mountain passes, a very good defensive position that now would be useless.

But, anyway, even in this ATL not everything would work according to the Hitler´s plan: soviet defense of Stalingrad and inner regions of the Caucasus would be strong and the Axis offensives would get stalled.

In October, Hitler orders to form a new infantry army in the Caucasus, apart from 1 Panzerarmee and 17 Armee, this would be the 12 Armee (in OTL, at this time, only four antipartisan divisions in the Balkans). So, the 17 Armee would help 1 Panzerarmee trying to reach the Caspian Sea, and this rebuilt 12 Armee would attack the Tiflis area from the south-eastern Black Sea ports (Sochi, Sukhumi, Poti, Batumi), always waiting for the Turkish army to join Axis finally.

This 12 Armee moved in October to the Caucasus would be formed by: the four IDs from the Balkans (704, 714, 717 and 718 ID), two Luftwaffe-Feld divisions (5 and 11), the mountain Waffen-SS division Prinz Eugen, three or two Romanian mountain divisions (1, 3 and 4), another three Romanian infantry divisions (in OTL on coastal defense, as the three abovementioned mountain divisions), a new Spanish mountain division and a new Bulgarian infantry corps of three divisions (Bulgaria finally in war with the USSR once the Black Sea has been conquered and previous to the turks joining Axis). Seventeen infantry divisions, not very good ones all of them, but valuable to tie down many soviet units and always counting on the ports and the naval support.

The amphibious corps remains in Taman peninsula and Crimea after the surrender of the blockaded Soviet Front in Crimea. In theory, they rest as waiting for their next mission in the Eastern Mediterranean (Rommel crossing the Suez canal), but as long as the Fall Blau offensive is not finished yet (Caucasus not taken) they are a reserve.

19 November 1942, OTL and ATL, starts “Uranus”. 6 Armee is encircled on Stalingrad.

We have many accounts of the battle and most of the historians agree that the concentration of the soviet army units was so overwhelming that any salvation of the 6 Armee encircled in Stalingrad was impossible. At the most, they could have escaped in the first days of the encirclement, but not one month later, as the “Wintergewitter” counterstroke reached the nearest point to the Kessel. That happened at the days 19, 20, 21 and 22 December 1942 OTL.

For example, in this text:
http://www.stalingrad.net/german-hq/...interstorm.htm

Saturday, December 19, 1942
The Guards were pulling in, first the 98th Division of the 1st Corps, then the 3rd Guards of the 13th Corps. K. V. Sviridov's 2nd Mechanized Corps was right behind them.

Monday, December 21, 1942

More Guards units arrived. Their numbers were overwhelming.

Tuesday, December 22, 1942

Hoth had only twenty-two to twenty-five miles to go. If he gained another ten or twelve, Paulus might have a chance to meet him.

But the turning point had come. The Russian 6th Mechanized Corps reached the field of battle. Rotmistrov's 7th Tank Corps was shifted from 5th Shock to further strengthen the Guards.

Hoth could not advance. He could not stay where he was. He must pull back.


And according to Antony Beevor, the german armor force from inside the Kessel (14 Panzerkorps, with around seventy tanks) could have not been even able to crack the lock of the 57 soviet army either, in order to advance the last ten or twelve miles to meet the Hoth´s 57 Panzerkorps at rescue… just in case of Hoth´s units being able to beat the 2nd Guards Army.

Important soviet tanks and mechanized army corps were concentrated between the Kessel and the 57 Panzerkorps advancing between 19 and 22 December: 2 Mechanised corps, 4 Mechanised Corps, 6 Mechanised Corps, 13 Tanks corps, 7 tanks corps. These units (some of them fresh, others already worn out) blocked the way until 23 December 1942 OTL, then the attack of 24 mechanized corps in the airfield in Tatsinskaya (after having beaten the Italian army in the offensive “Little Saturn”) forced Manstein to retire the best unit of the 57 Panzerkorps (6 PzD) in order to restore the situation in the rearguard: Hitler lost the second world war.

But there was no way for the germans to get more strength in order to crack that formidable obstacle (2 Guards Army) between 57 Panzerkorps and the Stalingrad´s Kessel?

The fact is that, once again, logistics was the key issue. 7 Panzer division and SPA 503 heavy tanks battalion (Tiger tanks) were on the way… but they arrived one week too late. At the same time, Manstein asked Hitler to send to the Stalingrad area other valuable units that at that time were positioned in the Caucasus front:

16 motorized division (4 Panzerarmee)
Wiking Waffen-SS division
3 Panzer division
1 Gebirgs –division (mountain)

These units were not moved on time for several reasons, one of them, was the extreme danger existing of the two german armies in Caucasus (1 Panzerarmee, 17 Armee) being cut off if the Red Army captured the “bottleneck” in Rostov area. Another reason was that they could not be replaced by other units, at least on the defensive, in order to shorten the front and to resist the pressure of the seven soviet armies confronting them. But all that were logistic issues.

In this ATL, using the maritime route to bring relief to the Stalingrad battle´s area would have shortened the time needed for the 7 Panzer division and 503 SPA to arrive. Instead of the usual six weeks they needed from France to the Kotelnikovo railhead (crossing the whole Europe, using the only railway across Ukraine), the 7 Panzer division would have used the big French Mediterranean ports of Marseille and Toulon, it would have been loaded in French or Italian merchant ships and arrived to the Russian Novorossik port not later than 12-15 December. Previous to the 20 December, the 7 Panzerdivision would be already in the fight.

At the same time, using the ports of the Eastern Black Sea, would be no danger of the 1 Panzerarmee and 17 Armee in the Caucasus to get cut off, so they could shorten the front and replacing the offensive units (like Wiking, 3 PzD or some Gebirgs or Jäger division) by other Axis defensive units and going also to the “Wintergewitter” area and achieving to keep open the corridor between Kotelnikovo (railhead) and Stalingrad.

This “other Axis defensive units” would be those that in OTL were on coastal defense duties in the Black Sea (six Romanians and one Luftwaffe-Feld division, at the time of “Wintergewitter”), those fighting against partisans in the Balkans (six germans, the Waffen-SS mountain division “Prinz Eugen” among them) and, certainly, some new non-german divisions, as a political consequence of the previous Axis successes (British defeat in Egypt, closing of the Mediterranean, conquest of the Black Sea), that is, those forming the rebuilt 12 Armee in southern Caucasus abovementioned. I discard the Turkish army… just because if the Turks join Axis previous to 19 November 1942 ATL then it is very improbable that Stalin would have ordered any “Uranus”: the most valuable Soviet reinforcements would have been sent to the Caucasus area and not to any counteroffensive in Stalingrad.

More: with the Mediterranean closed, Germans could send the divisions that in OTL were forced either to go to Tunis or to stay in France due to the invasion of the “Vichy France” and due to the danger of the victorious Allies ("Torch", El Alamein) maybe able to land in European soil.

http://www.stalingrad.net/russian-hq...s-detailed.htm
The first active ground engagement of American forces in the European war gave the Soviets an advantage. The best German divisions at that time were kept in reserve just in case they were needed in Western Europe. The three SS Panzergrenadier Divisions, that would only three months later thwart the Soviet advance towards Rostov, were not available to the German command on the East Front. If these divisions would have been available for the beginning of Operation Uranus or later in the relief attempt, then history might have been changed.

An Alternative Time Line for this critical episode could be:

12 December- “Wintergewitter” begins advancing the 57 Panzerkorps to Stalingrad from Kotelnikovo with 6 PzD and 5 PzD (23 PzD in OTL). But more units are on the way. 7 Panzer division has arrived into the port of Novorossisk, after eight days sailing from Marseille and Toulon (in ten merchant ships). 3 Panzer Division from the Caucasus is also being transported to join the “Wintergewitter” effort (according to general Zeitzler´s account, after the two weeks needed by the 23 Panzer division moved from Caucasus -5 PzD in this story-, another two weeks would be needed for a second one: 12 December the first one, 27 December the second one).

13 December- 48 Panzerkorps is stopped by the 5 soviet tanks army in the area of the Chir river.

14 December: Soviet command, alarmed by the advanced of 57 Panzerkorps, decides to send the second guards army to stop the 57 Panzerkorps. Two divisions of the amphibious corps, moved from the coast (one german division and one Italian division) are come to reinforce the 57 Panzerkorps, fighting the soviet 51 army. Not to forget that the infantry of 57 Panzerkorps was weak (two Romanian infantry corps: 7 corps on the right flank, 6 corps on the left flank, six divisions).

16 December: “Little Saturn” starts against the Italian army in the Don River. The Russians counts on 6 Army, 1 and 3 Guards army with five tanks or mechanized corps.

17 December: 17 PzD joins 57 Panzerkorps. The germans reach the Myshkova river (OTL), 50 kms away from Stalingrad. Inside the Kessel, the 14 Panzerkorps is prepared to attack the 57 soviet army (in contact with the Kessel) to get through. Second Guards Army is coming to the fight.

18 December: Italian front is cracked by the “Little Saturn” soviet offensive in the Don river area (1 and 3 Guards armies, 6 soviet army).

But in this ATL 7 Panzer division joins 57 Panzerkorps in the offensive aimed to Stalingrad, relieving the 6 PzD as the main offensive unit.

3 PzD (the second Panzer division from the Caucasus front), 16 motorized division and Wiking Waffen-SS division are coming too, along with other infantry units, some good mountain divisions are deployed from Caucasus being replaced by other defensive Axis units (that in OTL were on coastal defense and in the Balkans). Apart from the three amphibious divisions, Manstein and Hoth could count on, for example, 1 Gebirgs division and 97 Jäger division (replaced in the front, on the defensive, by, for example, the four german divisions that in OTL were in the Balkans -704, 714, 717 and 718 ID), plus one Romanian mountain division (three of them were on coastal defense in OTL), plus Waffen-SS Prinz Eugen division (also in the Balkans in OTL), plus maybe one Spanish mountain division arrived in October 1942 ATL to the Caucasus. To fill the gap of the 3 Panzer Division, Wiking and 16 motorised, to protect the railways from Tuapse and Novorossisk, the Maykop oilfields and the ports of Sochi, Sukhumi, Poti and Batumi (Turkish frontier), apart from the rest of units of the Axis armies of the Caucasus in OTL (12 Armee included), they could count on additional divisions on the defensive: two other Romanian mountain divisions (also in coastal defense in OTL), two Luftwaffe-Fedl divisions (one of them also in coastal defense, the other in the Balkans in OTL), three other infantry Romanians divisions (coastal defense) and probably some Bulgarian infantry divisions (only one corps of three divisions). And not to forget the support of the naval artillery in the coast and the threat of the turks, even still neutral. To move all these units is possible by using maritime transport (Novorossisk and Tuapse would not be the only available ports in Eastern Black Sea coastline for the Axis forces)
This “Wintergewitter” is twice or three times stronger than in OTL…

19 December: The hardest fight: this reinforced 57 Panzerkorps (spearheaded by the 7 PzD, complete and fresh) crosses the Myskhova river to fight the 2nd Guards Army (2 mechanised and 4 mechanised corps) and at the same time the 14 Panzerkorps attacks 57 soviet army from inside the Kessel. Elite amphibious divisions are also in the fight. 10 Panzer Division and 501 SPA, coming from France, arrive too to the port of Novorossisk. 503 SPA is also about to join the effort.

20 December: The encirclement of the 6 Armee is broken, 57 Panzerkorps meets 14 Panzerkorps, soviets 2nd Guards army, 51 Army and 57 Army are beaten, but they are also getting more reinforcements too (7 tanks corps, 6 mechanised corps): the fight would continue. Stalin orders to cancel all other offensives in order to concentrate all the strength in the area of Stalingrad: if the 6 Armee gets revitalized all would be lost for the Soviets.

21 December: 3,000 tons of supplies goes into the Kessel, but only the soldiers of the 14 Panzerkorps get their part: this way begins the process of revitalization of the encircled army. High morale inside the pocket: rations are augmented.
Tuesday, December 22, 1942

Hoth had only twenty-two to twenty-five miles to go. If he gained another ten or twelve, Paulus might have a chance to meet him.
But the turning point had come. The Russian 6th Mechanized Corps reached the field of battle. Rotmistrov's 7th Tank Corps was shifted from 5th Shock to further strengthen the Guards.

http://www.stalingrad.net/german-hq/...interstorm.htm

22 December: Axis forces again on the defensive due to the arrival to the area of new soviet reinforcements (6 mechanised, 7 Tanks corps). But more Axis troops are coming too.

23 December: Raid on Tatsinskaya: soviet 24 Tanks corps (1 Guards army) attacks the airfield. In OTL, Manstein was forced to order 6 PzD to quit “Wintegewitter” to solve this crisis. In this ATL, 10 Panzer Division, recently arrived, with the SPA 501, is sent to that area instead.

25 December: SPA 503 joins the 57 Panzerkorps, 1 Gebirgs division and 97 Jäger arrive too.

27 December: 3 Panzer Division, come from Caucasus, and Wiking Waffen-SS division arrived to the area of Myskhova to repulse the recently arrived soviet corps. Also more Axis infantry units come: another amphibious division (Italian), Waffen-SS Prinz-Eugen, one Romanian mountain division. The process of revitalization of the 6 Armee continues (food, fuel, ammo).

28 December: Stalin sends to Stalingrad the 3 Tanks army (general Rybalko). Heer 16 motorized división and Wiking-SS arrive too.

29 December: 19 Panzer división, coming from Rzhev area joins the fight (area of Myshkova or area of Chir or area of Tatsinskaya or Morozovsk… all fronts are connected now).

31 December: Waffen-SS Das Reich arrives too to the port of Novorossisk.

The fight would last until February 1943, the latest: once thaw starting in the Volga, the last remnants of soviet resistance inside the city of Stalingrad (62 army) would be retired.

Like in OTL, both sides would be exhausted after four months of continuous fight in the area of Don River and Stalingrad.

But in this ATL, the 6 Armee would have been revitalized, the ruins of Stalingrad would be finally conquered by the germans and very little terrain would have been gained by the soviets in their counteroffensive. Ratio casualties, as usual, would be, at least of 1:3 against the Russians. Next summer Hitler could finish the conquest of the whole Caucasus and reaching the Caspian Sea (alternate "Zitadelle").

It must be kept in mind that soviet offensives in February 1943 OTL, in spite of the big victories achieved at that time (destruction of the 6 Armee in Stalingrad at the end of January 1943 OTL) showed exhaustion.

In late January the Stavka exploited its successes by ordering the Southwestern and Voronezh Fronts to mount two new offensives toward Khar’kov and into the Donbas region. Soviet Donbas Offensive (1-20 February 1943) and Soviet Khar’kov Offensive (2-26 February 1943) although summed up many mechanized and tanks corps they did not have so many tanks (replacements were failing) and finally they were defeated by the Waffen-SS Panzerkorps that had not more than 300 tanks: the soviet forces in Kharkov offensive amounted to not much more than 300 tanks (most of them in the 3 Tanks Army of general Rybalko), and in Donbass offensive they had less than 400 tanks although they counted four tanks corps only in the Popov group (200 tanks… but only one soviet tank corps in full strength was supposed to count 200 tanks each).

Besides, many of the Soviet units needed for the offensives after the Stalingrad victory were freed of the Fronts encircling the 6 Armee after the Kessel´s liquidation. For example, the offensive against Mariupol, in February 1943 OTL, included 51 and 5 shock armies. Also the 44 soviet army (freed from Caucasus front) was in this offensive

If that was the strength of the victorious offensives of the Red Army in ATL at that time, you can figure out which would be the strength of the soviet armies in this ATL at February with no victory in Stalingrad, no Tunis campaign, no occupation of Vichy France, and with the 6 Armee revitalized thanks specially to the supplies arrived on the railways from Novorossik and Tuapse Black Sea ports.

ATL and OTL: general Paulus becomes feldmarschall
  #160  
Old 02 May 13, 08:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian
If that was the strength of the victorious offensives of the Red Army in ATL at that time, you can figure out which would be the strength of the soviet armies in this ATL at February with no victory in Stalingrad, no Tunis campaign, no occupation of Vichy France, and with the 6 Armee revitalized thanks specially to the supplies arrived on the railways from Novorossik and Tuapse Black Sea ports.
Sorry: I meant "the strength of the victorious offensives of the Red Army in OTL at that time". That is, the russian forces were exhausted in March 1943 OTL, the same way that they would have been exhausted in ATL, but in February... and with the 6 Armee victorious and in good shape again.
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Old 05 May 13, 16:34
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Being the battle of Stalingrad the turning pointof the second world war
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Old 07 May 13, 03:38
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After being the Stalingrad crisis overcome by the Axis forces thanks to the Mediterranean-Black Sea connection (and after being surely rejected by Hitler the probable offer of political negotiations from Stalin), the war of attrition in the Eastern Front would go on in 1943 ATL.

After the end, by exhaustion, of the offensives and counter offensives around the area of Stalingrad and the Don river, at late February 1943 ATL, both sides would have started a process of rebuilding and reorganization expecting for the new german offensive in the summer.

6 Armee would still keep Stalingrad, but Italian and Romanian armies would have suffered heavy damage, apart from showing that they were not prepared to cope with the soviet armor corps. The best chance to avoid new disasters like that of “Little Saturn” (destruction of the Italian divisions, except the Mountain corps), is forming an additional german army in the Don River area. In OTL that was the “Hollidt Gruppe”, in April 1943 renamed “6 Armee”, like the destroyed army in Stalingrad. In ATL this would be a new army (commanded by general Hollidt, maybe) that could be the “8 Armee”. This way the Donbass area would be right protected at a time that nazi projects of industrial and miner exploitation were to start bearing fruit (mid- 1943).

This 8 Armee would replace the 4 Panzerarmee units from April 1943 ATL on, as a reinforced 4 Panzerarmee would be moved to the northern Caucasus area, where in July 1943 the alternate Zitadelle Axis offensive would take place. In alternate Zitadelle (ultimate conquest of Caucasus) would take part (north to south) 4 Panzerarmee, 1 Panzerarmee, 17 Armee, 12 Armee… and the Turkish army.
It was told previously in page two of this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andalusian
In this alternate Zitadelle, the Axis forces in the northern Caucasus would be 4 Panzerarmee, 1 Panzerarmee and 17 Armee, summing up (for example) fifty-five infantry divisions and twenty-five Panzer divisions and Panzergranadier divisions (Waffen-SS Panzerkorps and Gross Deutchland division included). Each army would count on one railhead, and each railhead would be connected to a port:

Salsk would be the railhead for the 4 Panzerarmee supplies, and Rostov its port.
Tikhoretsk would be the railhead for the 1 Panzerarmee supplies, and Eisk and Novorossisk its ports.
Armavir would be the railhead for the 17 Armee supplies, and Tuapse its port
To this logistic advantage over the Russians (that could not use the Volga for getting supplies, because the 6 Armee is in Stalingrad), it would be added the powerful flanks. North to the 4 Panzerarmee would be the new Romanian army (density frontline only 5-10 km per division) and the revitalized 6 Armee. Between the 6 Armee and the Donets frontline (protecting the Donbass, where german engineers would be working hard), would be the Italian army (density frontline also 5-10 km per division) and north a new german army of nearly twenty divisions, the 11 Armee. South to the 17 Armee (taking part in “Zitadelle” offensive) another powerful new army in the Ostfront: the 12 Armee with more than twenty divisions, german and non-german. And in the Turkish frontier, a ten divisions Turkish army, now in war against the USSR too..

I think it was a mistake to brand the new german army of nearly twenty divisions as “11 Armee”, because 11 Armee divisions were in Leningrad area and it should be reinforced there in order to finish Leningrad at the end of the summer 1943 ATL, once achieved the alternate “Zitadelle” (conquest of Caucasus).

Anyway, the new german army protecting the Donbass area (where in 1943 it was planned to start the production of ammunition for the Axis, apart from getting valuable amounts of coal for use in the occupied Russia and for export particularly to the Axis Mediterranean countries using the maritime routes) would be similar to the new 6 Armee in 1943 OTL, also a defensive army… but the “old” 6 Armee would still exist in the area of Stalingrad, being a major threat for the soviet positions in Low Volga positions (Astrakhan)

Order of battle (9 Apr 1943)

At the disposal of the 6. Armee
- 79. Infanterie-Division
- 23. Panzer-Division
- 17. Infanterie-Division (in transit)
XXIV. Panzerkorps
- Stab 444. Sicherungs-Division
- 454. Sicherungs-Division
- 111. Infanterie-Division
XXIX. Armeekorps
- 16. Luftwaffen-Feld-Division
- 16. Infanterie-Division (mot)
- 336. Infanterie-Division
XVII. Armeekorps
- 294. Infanterie-Division
- 306. Infanterie-Division
- 302. Infanterie-Division
Korps Mieth (IV. Armeekorps)
- 304. Infanterie-Division
- 3. Gebirgs-Division
- 335. Infanterie-Division
http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nati...n/2632-6-armee

8 Armee in ATL (reconstituted 6 Armee in OTL) would be formed by:

-Five infantry divisions demobilised from France and Belgium: 17, 302, 304, 306 and 335 ID. In OTL these divisions were replaced by others after being sent to the reconstituted 6 Armee, as in Spring and Summer 1943 there was a high alert about a possible angloamerican landing in France. In this ATL, although that threat would not be totally discarded (Axis intelligence was poor), the gradual deployment of the new French Axis -or anyway neutral- army would have allowed the germans to retire the whole 1 Armee in south-western France and part of the 7 Armee in the North (in this ATL only defending the English Channel area: Normandy and Calais).
-79 ID was the name given in OTL to a new division inside the reconstituted “6 Armee”. In this ATL this division would bear a new name, as the 79 ID would still exist inside the victorious 6 Armee in Stalingrad.
-security divisions 444 and 454 (and probably other security divisions, as the partisan activity in the rear of the Eastern front would be necessarily weaker than in OTL, with no soviet victory in Stalingrad)
-294 and 336 ID (in OTL and ATL)
All these divisions formed part of the reconstituted 6 Armee in OTL

But now, let´s see the divisions that would be added to the defense of the Donbass-Don area for spring-summer 1943 ATL thanks to the Mediterranean-Black Sea connection; this is taken also from page two of this thread (additional divisions for the Eastern Front in 1943 ATL):

-Only one Panzer division: 27 PzD (disbanded in OTL after the big soviet counteroffensives in the Don area, February 1943)
-708 and 715 ID (after serving some months in the occupation of Portugal, then replaced by Spanish divisions, once the Spanish army duly expanded), plus 344 ID, all of them demobilised (earlier or later) from the 1 Armee that in OTL was on coastal defense in south-western France (now, first area for the deployment of the divisions of the new french army).
And, at least, another seven infantry divisions could be added to this new 8 Armee defending the Donbass area:
-385 ID, this division was disbanded in OTL after the Italian disaster in Little Saturn (December 1942 OTL), it would have been refitted in this ATL, and added to the 8 Armee, in the Donbass-Don area.
-187 reserve division (in the Balkans in 1943 OTL)
-100 jäger reconstituted (in the Balkans in 1943 OTL, now with another name, as the old 100 Jäger would be still in the 6 Armee of Stalingrad in this ATL)
-297 ID reconstituted (also in the Balkans in 1943 OTL, now with another name, as the old 297 ID would be still in the 6 Armee of Stalingead in this ATL)
-356, 326 and 338 ID, these three divisions were in OTL on coastal defense in the French Mediterranean area.

That is: 8 Armee would be formed by twenty infantry divisons and one Panzer division. As the germans in OTL reconstituted also four motorized divisions (at least), two of the infantry divisions in the new 8 Armee could be turned into Panzergranadier.

Then, we also can write off some divisions from the defense of the Donbass area that in OTL formed inside the reconstituted 6 Armee:

-16 Luftwaffe-Feld division, because Hitler would have ordered in 1943 Spring ATL to draft more Luftwaffe personel in order to get ready to stop the angloamerican aerial offensive in the 1944 summer. In this ATL, Hitler would have at his disposal more fuel, more labour force and more industrial resources to make more planes. The big heavy bombing campaign started by the British in March 1943 OTL and ATL would have shown Hitler that there is no time to waste in order to, at least, restore a certain equilibrium on the western European skies. French and Italian air forces would be involved too. And one consequence of this (among others) would be fewer Lufwaffe-Feld divisions.
In the list of the reconstituted 6 Armee in april 1943 OTL we can see other divisions that in ATL would not be in the defense of the Donbass area (new 8 Armee):
- 111. Infanterie-Division (from 1 Panzerarmee). In ATL this would be still in 1 Panzerarmee, for “Zitadelle”
- 16. Infanterie-Division (mot), from 4 Panzerarmee, in ATL this would be still in 4 Panzerarmee (Zitadelle)
- 3. Gebirgs-Division, coming from Norway. In ATL this would be sent to the 17 Armee (Zitadelle)
-23 Panzer (5 Panzer in ATL) also for Zitadelle in 1 Panzerarmee.

Finally, the defense of the Kursk-Don-Donbass area up to Stalingrad (6 Armee in ATL) would be formed, north to south, by 2 Armee, Hungarian army, Italian army, 8 Armee, Romanian Army. Then, 6 Armee in Stalingrad, and then, in northern Caucasus, the four german armies prepared for the offensive Zitadelle, to start in July 1943 ATL, once Rommel has conquered Palestine and Syria (this conquest of Jerusalem, Beirut and Damascus executed with the PAA, the Egyptian army, arab revolt, Turkish threat and the amphibious corps with the support of the Fleet).

It must be kept in mind that the weakest link of the Hitler´s war machinery in 1943 (OTL and ATL) would be the Luftwaffe, as the Allied air power is continuously increasing. So, they need to do one offensive after the other, never at the same time: Rommel needs the Luftwaffe (and Regia Aeronautica) to concentrate in order to cross the Suez canal, and only conquered Syria, Luftwaffe can concentrate again for Zitadelle in the Caucasus. And then, only once conquered Caucasus (at late August 1943 ATL, probably), the final offensive against Leningrad could start too.

Important to remark that at the end of the 1943 summer, in OTL, and according to the conference in Argel at the end of May 1943, angloamericanas only could count on thirty six non-soviets divisions to fight Axis (apart from the “Japanese front”). That is in Churchill Memoirs, Book IV-2, chapter 22. The germans would have no problem to confront them (and to beat them), by using non-german troops (turks, Spaniards, Italians, French, Moroccans, Egyptians and other arabs) plus some german elite units forces (Panzerkorps in the Rommel´s PAA and other Axis Panzerkorps in Western, Central and Eastern Africa: no more than fifteen german divisions).

At the same time, deployment of the new French Army (not very large, and only on the defense of homeland coastline) would save more german troops. Partisan antinazi forces in Yugoslavia would be in decline (poor expectations), partisan antinazi forces in Rusia and Ukraine could never be as vigorous as they were in OTL (no russian victory in Stalingrad).

A demonstration of the limits of the Allies military resources at the end of 1943 OTL was the disaster of Dodecanese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecanese_Campaign

So, the final offensive for Leningrad would take place at September or October 1943 ATL.

They would take part the 11, 16 and 18 Armee, plus the Finnish army, and of course the Lappland army (20 Armee) would attack too the area of Murmansk and the Murmansk railroad, the real strategic target of the offensive (cutting off the flux of Allied supplies).

11 Armee, the weakest Axis army in the north in OTL (as a matter of fact, the 11 Armee divisions were transferred into 18 Armee), would be also strengthened:
-1 Panzer division (in OTL, in the Balkans)
-26 Panzer division (in OTL, in France)
-Two new Panzergranadier divisions: in 1943 OTL fought in Italy 15 (reconstituted for the 15 PzD lost in Tunis) and 29 (reconstituted after being lost in Stalingrad the 29 motorised). Now these new divisions would bear new names.
-Four infantry divisions also reconstituted in OTL from the lost ones in Stalingrad 44, 76 and 305 ID, plus the 90 Leicht division lost in Tunis. In OTL they fought in Italy, in this ATL they would bear new names.
-65 ID, that in OTL fought in Italy too.
-A new 30 Panzer Division. (In page 9 of this thread I showed that, as four Panzer divisions were reconstituted in 1943 OTL, in this 1943 ATL four new Panzer divisions could be formed: 30 PzD for Leningrad and 28, 29 and 31 PZD would be used in African peripheral fronts.)

At the same time, outside France, in Belgium (15 Armee), there would be formed other german armor elite units: Waffen-SS divisions Frundsberg, Hohenstaufen and Hitlerjugend. The three Panzer Heer divisions (1, 26 and 30 PzD) and two new Panzergranadier divisions would leave Normandy and Calais at mid-August, being replaced by the own new French Army units (fourteen months after the Petain-Hitler agreement in July 1942 ATL), but not very far away would be positioned the new Waffen-SS divisions, just in case. Another ten or fifteen german infantry divisions would be around there (Belgium and german frontier), and, of course, until the end of the summer the 1, 26 and 30 PzD could get back in the very unprobable case of a massive Allied landing in northern France. Anyway, the Petain regime would have achieved the political success of all german infantry troops having left French national territory.

In OTL, during the 1943 summer there were around forty german divisions in the West area (France, Belgium).

Thus in 1943, a year of increasing threats of attack from the west, the
German armies in France had not even held their own. General Blumentritt,
the OB WEST chief of staff, in September summarized the deterioration for
the high command. A year ago, he pointed out, the Atlantic Wall had been
garrisoned with twenty-two infantry divisions most of which had three
regiments. In reserve were six infantry and seven fully mobile, first-class
armored or motorized divisions. Now, he continued, in a much more
dangerous situation, the garrison infantry divisions had increased to
twenty-seven, but this increase was largely nullified by the reduction of
most of the divisions to two regiments. In reserve were six armored or
motorized divisions and seven infantry divisions, of which three were new
organizations. In other words, though the holding strength remained about
constant in numbers the quality had certainly declined; the striking power
had decreased slightly in numbers and very substantially in mobility.


http://www.ranger95.com/military_his..._in_europe.pdf

A list of those divisions here:
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewto...p?f=24&t=21180

In this ATL, at the end of the 1943 summer only twenty would stay there (no one in French territory), another ten would be added to the eastern front (as whole units or as reinforcements) and another ten would be disbanded: Luftwaffe troops now destined to the air fight, plus some specialised workers for the military industrial effort.

So, this way, taking advantage of the gradual retirement of the german divisions from the Atlantic wall, the reinforced Army Group North (11, 16 and 18 Armee) would be able to finish the fight in the Leningrad, Murmansk and Lappland area at the end of 1943 ATL: if Baku conquered by the Nazis at the end of August 1943 ATL and freed from that campaign the Luftwaffe elite units needed for the offensive, the Army Group North, reinforced by the three new Panzer divisions and the two new motorised divisions could attack in October.

The Baltic Sea would turn then into another Axis lake. The winter would block by ice the ports of Vladivostok and Arkhangelsk, as Caucasus captured before. The population of the USSR (around 120 millions, at the most, 20 of them being Asian central Muslims) would suffer a horrible winter due to the lack of US supplies: only one route would be perhaps still tenable, with difficulties: Central Asia via Teheran… as long as the Allies could keep Teheran (in August 1941 OTL Teheran was seized by the soviets from Caucasus…).

Once finished the Russian campaign (Caucasus and Leningrad), it would be the turn for the Rommel´s PAA, once moved again the Luftwaffe units for the new scenario and once added the Waffen-SS Panzerkorps (Das Reich, Leibstandarte, Totenkopf) for the expected decisive victory in the Persian Gulf. The Nazis troops should march from the Eastern Mediterranean ports (Haifa, Beirut, Latakia) to eliminate the Allied stronghold around Basra: if that strategic area taken, Hitler will consider that the war would be practically over.
  #163  
Old 08 May 13, 18:34
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And a bloody Germany falls prey to the vengeful Allies 46 or 47 the latest
  #164  
Old 08 May 13, 18:58
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And then America comes back ang gg Germany
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Old 11 May 13, 07:04
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And a bloody Germany falls prey to the vengeful Allies 46 or 47 the latest
That would be part of a post- war (Cold - war?) scenario, because the logical outcome of the war would be an armistice (XVIII century style) between USA and the III Reich previous to the november 1944 USA presidential election.

What would happen later...

That would be interesting, specially because the story of this thread has to do with the erroneous deterministic view of the second world war. But social and cultural history of the mankind maybe it should be seen from a deterministic way... not war events... That is the point...

So, be patient... .

First we have to demonstrate the error of determinism related to the second world war events.("Why the allies won", but... the answer could be only... just by chance)

Then we could maybe explain something about error or not of determinism related to social and cultural evolution...
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