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  #121  
Old 01 Mar 12, 07:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deterrumeversor View Post
So my main questions in this are as follows:

1. Was Soviet infrastructure really that bad? If so how was the RKKA able to sustain such major actions during the Fall and Winter months of 1939 and again in 1941, once again given the "generally accepted" poor view of Soviet infrastructure?
The USSR ran on rails and on barges. There were main highways between major cities, but roads were generally for carts. There were very few motor vehicles and they were concentrated in the cities. The rail and road network stretched out from Moscow, which was the hub of a giant spider web. The Soviet Union was not heavily industrialized compared to other European nations, particularly given its size. The rail network was adequate for the demands placed on it, but certainly not up to the volume of traffic the Germans expected it to carry.

Quote:
2. Would all this movement and all these combat actions not have a deleterious effect on the readiness of the RKKA?
The occupation of Poland and the Baltics and even the Winter War were fairly localized actions that could be conducted within easy reach of a railhead. In each case there was ample time to stockpile fuel, ammunition and food before action commenced.

Quote:
3. During the battles of the Summer and Fall of 1941 as the RKKA was steadily falling back. How much of it's (rail assets) rolling stock that could have been used to supply the front was tied up in the transfer of factories to the Urals? How much was captured or destroyed?
There were about 1500 factories evacuated eastward, small and large.

One of the largest tank complexes was in Kharkov, primarily KhPZ (T-34) Zavod No.75 (V-2 diesel) and KhTZ (tracks, misc). To evacuate them, it was determined it would take 3000 wagons each for KhPZ and KhTZ and another 1650 for Zavod No.75. The primary T-34 subcontractor was the Mariupol Shipyard, which required 6200 two-axle wagon, 220 50T wagons and 20 oversize transporters. For these four large factories, vital to T-34 production, that is 14000 cars, about 900 trains. The bulk of these assets went from the Ukraine to Nizhnii Tagil, in the Urals. To receive them, housing was required for 40,000 workers which in turn demanded 8000 wagons of wood, so the cumulative effect was enormous.

Quote:
4. How was the RKKA able to steadily increase their supply situation as they fell back? (given question #3's effects)
By eating up strategic reserves, removing everything they could from in front of the Germans, rallying the nation and losing three million men.

Quote:
And here will be a contentious question
5. As the RKKA did manage to improve its supply situation during the summer and fall months of 1941...
Not so. That was the period of collapse. The crisis came at the end of 1941, when they were down to one tank factory which was wrestling with shortages. That summer many suppliers and subcontractors had been evacuated or overrun, there was no rubber or copper, gas and food were short and they were down to one tank factory. Transport was a shambles, faced with impossible demands and being bombed by the Luftwaffe. It was not until the end of the year, when the factories had relocated and some stability had arrived that the rally began. The was a massive restructuring of industry in September and it was only in January that this started to be felt. New factories came online, with difficulty mastered mass-production, and production began to climb inexorably. It had become a war of attrition.

Quote:
... and the fact that it could support Fall and Winter operations, is it really out of the realm of possibility that the RKKA could have been ready for offensive actions against Germany in the fall or winter of 1941.[/B]
I don't understand your question. They launched an offensive north of Moscow in December. Germany itself was out of reach.

Regards
Scott Fraser
  #122  
Old 01 Mar 12, 07:47
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To Metryll:You continue to put the cart before the horse:if only 60 trains were arriving (less than the minimum for a quiet period),that means that only a maximum of 60 X 400 ton could arrive at the frontline,if the speed was increasing it still would be 24000 ton,if it was decreasing,it would be less,but as the total of 60 trains was below the minimum,the speed of the truck columns was irrelevant :the trucks could not transport more than what was arriving .
There also is the point that a slow or quick advance of the Germans was irrelevant:they had failed to destroy the Soviet forces at Briansk/Wjasma;it was over .

Last edited by ljadw; 01 Mar 12 at 08:14..
  #123  
Old 01 Mar 12, 08:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
With good weather and proper roads maybe those 60 trains would have been enough. Because mud and snow increases a vehicle's consumption of fuel by up to 25%, hence a bigger need for supplies.
75 was the minimum for a quiet period,for an offensive,more,much more was needed.
The problem was not that much the fuel,it was the ammunition :the battles of Wjasma/Briansk failed to destroy the Soviets,the way to Moscow was not cleared,the German advances were still hampered by Soviet counterattacks,resulting in big ammunition consumption,what the Germans could not afford .And in big losses,what the Germans could not afford(from 11 till 20 october:18000 men,from 21 to 30 october:15000 men)
One exemple :the 5 ID consumed between 7 and 22 august 1941 772,4 tons of artillery ammunition,a total of 22,599 shells),the Germans no longer could afford this
between 5 july and 17 august 1941,the figures for the 4 PzD were :ammunition :3450 tons,of which 2.466 tons of artillery ammunition
The horses of an ID needed daily 45 tons of food .
For those who still are believing in the factor mud :in the autumn of 1941,the number of available and operational trucks was down from 500000 on 22 june,to 150000,with that number,it was impossible to supply an advancing and bitter fighting army .
Again,there was no pursuit of flying Soviet units after Briansk/Wjasma :there was a slow advance,hampered by bitter fighting Soviets :immediately after Wjasma/Briansk,the Germans were losing daily 3 infantry batallions,almost the infantry strength of a division .
  #124  
Old 01 Mar 12, 08:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljadw View Post
To Metryll:You continue to put the cart before the horse:if only 60 trains were arriving (less than the minimum for a quiet period),that means that only a maximum of 60 X 400 ton could arrive at the frontline,if the speed was increasing it still would be 24000 ton,if it was decreasing,it would be less,but as the total of 60 trains was below the minimum,the speed of the truck columns was irrelevant :the trucks could not transport more than what was arriving .
There also is the point that a slow or quick advance of the Germans was irrelevant:they had failed to destroy the Soviet forces at Briansk/Wjasma;it was over .
It does not matter that only 60 train arrived if trucks could not deliver the supply in time. You're making precisely the error that author of Supplying War warned of.
  #125  
Old 01 Mar 12, 09:19
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1)AGC needed more than 13000 tons of supply daily,but only 6500 arrived at the railheads
2)The 1500 trucks with a capacity of 6500 tons and the horses could transport what was arriving,but,as the distance between the railheads and the front line was increasing,this was going down to 4500 tons
It is obvious that the problem was 1) more trucks and horses could never transport more than was arriving,even if their speed was bigger.
As what was arriving,was not enough,the number of trucks,the speed of the trucks,the mud , :all this is irrelevant :there was no way that the front could receive more than the half it needed .And,if one is adding the fact that the Soviets still were fighting,the conclusion also is obvious :after the battles of Wjazma and Briansk ,Typhoon had failed .
  #126  
Old 01 Mar 12, 09:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
It does not matter that only 60 train arrived if trucks could not deliver the supply in time. You're making precisely the error that author of Supplying War warned of.
The Wehrmacht's truck fleet was more than adequate for hauling the supplies, the biggest problem was that the supplies weren't arriving at the railheads in sufficient time.
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  #127  
Old 01 Mar 12, 10:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
Ok, let's have a last try.
Ok, let's.

We can agree that wet weather destroyed the roads and made it very difficult to move supplies. It became very difficult for the Wehrmacht to move supplies from the railheads to the Front. The Red Army had the same roads and was affected by the same mud and frost.

German motor transport had other difficulties. Training was rudimentary and the truck fleet was a menagerie of every type made in Europe, making maintenance a nightmare. Both factors led to high attrition, even before the mud. There were never enough trucks, something else in common with the Red Army.

There was one long road to the railhead, clogged with traffic twisting around abandoned vehicles and past wrecked bridges. It took forever, and the roads just got worse and worse. It is at the depot where the greater problem lay, and where the disagreement begins.

Like the road, the railhead was at the end of a very long line, choked with traffic, slow and erratic in what it brought. Like the motor transport fleet, there were too few wagons. They came from all over Europe and were in a general state of disrepair. That was a major systemic problem with the Reichsbahn that caused problems throughout the German economy.

Worse, HG Center was at the end of a single main railway line coming from Germany. That was simply inadequate to handle the volume of traffic required to supply the Wehrmacht. Then there was the problem of different gauges, which was a major inconvenience and cause of delay.

The basic problem was that like the Wehrmacht, the German economy was nearly exhausted. The stockpiles of gas and munitions and raw materials were running out and only a fraction of the supplies required were ever allocated, 60% IIRC. Of that, only a portion were collected for shipment and not all of that reached the depots at Gzhatsk etc. That was the root of the problem, compounded by the utter chaos of the railway system and the bureaucratic inefficiency of the quartermaster.

Regards
Scott Fraser
  #128  
Old 01 Mar 12, 11:55
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Originally Posted by Fareasterner View Post
War between Germany and USSR was considered as good thing by Poland, France, Britain, Italy, Finland, Romania… So they denied alliance with USSR.
Finland didn't deny an alliance -- how could it when one was never offered? The 1939 demands by Soviet Union went far beyond the concept of "alliance"; and the preceding years had seen a continuing attack on Finnish internal politics by Pravda, Izvestiya, TASS, hardly conducive to any idea of allying. I have seen no evidence of Finnish politicians considering war between Germany and USSR a good thing, not until Winter War at least, and the subsequent events are obviously affected by Winter War. Rather, Finland's decision makers tended to have a naive belief of the League of Nations being capable of preventing wars.

(Note, I'm not denying Finland's responsibility in the 1941 attack. Just correcting some erroneous details you have.)

Also remember that Finland and Soviet Union had a non-aggression pact from 1932 that was in 1934 mutually extended for 10 more years. Whereas when Nazi Germany offered a non-aggression pact in June 1939, Finland joined other Nordic countries in refusing it. Until 1940 Germany was somewhat hostile toward Finland, for instance stopping the transfer of fighters bought from Italy.

You shouldn't make such sweeping statements, at least unless you clarify them with timeline details. Between mid-30's and mid-40's it was all more complicated than what you said.

Last edited by Tuomas_; 01 Mar 12 at 14:23.. Reason: typo
  #129  
Old 01 Mar 12, 12:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljadw View Post
1)AGC needed more than 13000 tons of supply daily,but only 6500 arrived at the railheads
2)The 1500 trucks with a capacity of 6500 tons and the horses could transport what was arriving,but,as the distance between the railheads and the front line was increasing,this was going down to 4500 tons
It is obvious that the problem was 1) more trucks and horses could never transport more than was arriving,even if their speed was bigger.
As what was arriving,was not enough,the number of trucks,the speed of the trucks,the mud , :all this is irrelevant :there was no way that the front could receive more than the half it needed .And,if one is adding the fact that the Soviets still were fighting,the conclusion also is obvious :after the battles of Wjazma and Briansk ,Typhoon had failed .
60 is 85% of 75.
6500 is 50% of 13000.

Houston you got a problem...
  #130  
Old 01 Mar 12, 12:32
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Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
The Wehrmacht's truck fleet was more than adequate for hauling the supplies, the biggest problem was that the supplies weren't arriving at the railheads in sufficient time.
Please provide your number as well source
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  #131  
Old 01 Mar 12, 13:12
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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post
Ok, let's.

We can agree that wet weather destroyed the roads and made it very difficult to move supplies. It became very difficult for the Wehrmacht to move supplies from the railheads to the Front. The Red Army had the same roads and was affected by the same mud and frost....
Scott,

I think you underestimate German railroad efficiency. Not that it was stellar or even entirely up to the task but still higher that you suggest. You take, correctly the July figure that correspond to a supply crisis. Yet by August not only the situation was restored but AGC received almost twice its July shipment as the result of converting/repairing the railroad leading to Smolensk.

The stockpile were then used to the drive to south. When Guderian was turned back to the north, he followed the road from Orel to Kurk. So either his supply came from Bryansk-Smolensk or from the not yet repaired Kiev-Kursk. Then his supply problem began to appear, and the more it went to Kursk, the harder it became.

And the sole mean he had for resupply was trough trucks/wagons use.

About Reichsbahn you're correct that problems were hugue, but :

"Despite the many setbacks attributed to the harsh winter, administratively and physically, the DR and the WH continued to expand and establish suitable standard gauge secondary trunk lines leading up to the front lines. By 01 February 1942, the following standard gauge rail supply and transportation network existed going towards the front lines:

"Haupteisenbahndirektion (HBD) (HGr Nord) in Riga, Latvia - 17 secondary lines
Feldeisenbahndirektion (FBD) Nr. 4 in Pskov, Russia - 14 secondary lines
Haupteisenbahndirektion (HBD) (HGr. Mitte) in Minsk, Byelorussia - 23 secondary lines
Feldeisenbahndirektion (FBD) Nr. 2 in Smolensk, Russia - 10 secondary lines
Haupteisenbahndirektion (HBD) (HGr. Sued) in Kiev, the Ukraine - 21 secondary lines
Haupteisenbahndirektion (HBD) (HGr. Ost) in Poltava, the Ukraine - 12 secondary lines
Feldeisenbahndirektion (FBD) Nr. 3 in Poltava, the Ukraine - 8 secondary lines"

http://www.feldgrau.com/dreichsbahn.html

You underestimate German industrial capacity, as Germans did felt the need to turn into war economy before 1943. Hence this is basically the same industry that provided matériel for both 1941 and 1942 summer campaigns.
  #132  
Old 01 Mar 12, 14:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by deterrumeversor
So my main questions in this are as follows:
The USSR ran on rails and on barges..........

Regards
Scott Fraser
Thank you for answering all of my questions that were worded clearly!! +1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by deterrumeversor
... and the fact that it could support Fall and Winter operations, is it really out of the realm of possibility that the RKKA could have been ready for offensive actions against Germany in the fall or winter of 1941.[/B]
I don't understand your question. They launched an offensive north of Moscow in December. Germany itself was out of reach.

Regards
Scott Fraser
I know that they did mount a large and effective offensive in December that went on through the spring.
I appologize it was my fault that I did not word my question completely; so I understand your confusion as to what the nature of my question was .

My incompletely/improperly worded question was more to RKKA capabilities for offensive actions in late 1941 if Germany had not attacked first...ie the possibility of a Soviet first strike option? Once again, not whether they were or were not actually contemplating it...but more a question of could they if they had wished?
Meaning did they have plans in place, or were they working on a plan to improve what was obviously a very operationally broken system. I ask this question because during a time of absolute freefall, they were able to mount such a large operation at the gates of Moscow given the fact that in Dec 1941 the deck was so stacked against them.

Cheers,
Deter
  #133  
Old 01 Mar 12, 14:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
60 is 85% of 75.
6500 is 50% of 13000.

Houston you got a problem...
No,75 trains were the minimum for a quiet period,without bitter fighting,for the whole front,of which.
AGC needed ,for a quiet period,32 trains (=13000 ton),and AGC got 16 trains =6500 ton
The situation for the whole ostfront was
september:arriving daily:69,7,needed:72,shortage:2.3
october :arriving daily 60 trains,needed :72 (a minimum) :shortage :12
november:arriving daily 56,7,needed:72,shortage :15,3
december:arriving daily:53,shortage 19
january:arriving daily :46,shortage 24
The situation became worse every month(and,this was without the needed winterclothing,(operation Bogen),estimated at 371 trains)
A more detailed (and slightly differing) source about november
Daily needed
AGN:20 trains
AGC:32 trains
AGS:22 trains
arriving:
AGN:19
AHC:16
AGS:15
  #134  
Old 01 Mar 12, 17:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
Kiev encirclement was achieved in 10 days on August 14, 70 miles eastof the city. By September 29, Guderian was 60 miles west of Kursk, coming as close than 30 miles of Tula may be less than 100 miles south of Moscow by mid November then he stopped
This was your first statement.
You have a general view of the events.
So i told you that guderian stopped at Orel on 3 oct, without fuel. Then he have been stopped by russians at Mensk (8 oct), few kilometers after Orel.
Now you've gat to understand that the first phase of typhoon have been successfull because the russians put their best troops in the north and in the south. When T 34 came back to Moscow Guderian, the Das Reich were simply stopped and delayed. When basic inf div (after) met those T 34 they simply retreated even had some panic.
Even with 3 weeks (24 oct to 15 nov) spent to supply and stockpile germans lunch their second attack (15 nov) with only few days of offensive capacity.
To broke an army group you need to be able to make "continuous offensive". Never the germans did it, even russians failed after Stalingrad. The only case is Bagration but it's already another part of the story of ww2. Typhoon was a good attack and plan if only it had been done for what it was able to make : one jump. One jump is less than 250 Km for germans at full capacity. Those about 250km are the miracle of the blitzkrieg but also a mirage constructed as a myth.
  #135  
Old 01 Mar 12, 17:35
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Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
The Wehrmacht's truck fleet was more than adequate for hauling the supplies, the biggest problem was that the supplies weren't arriving at the railheads in sufficient time.
D25,... that's not correct.

The German corps amd army echelons (truck fleets) were constantly well below establishment with as much as 50% of the truck sof the road at various time. Combine this with the travelling circus appearance of the fleet (the Germans grabbed every truck from whatever source they could) and the multitude of nationalities, makes and models and one can see the problems faced by the logistics officers. It wasn't just the lower capacity of the railways, moving the supplies forward across the roads proved extrememly difficult and the combat divisions were often forced to surrender their own echelons to to corps and army to make up for shortfalls. In many cases the trucks were never returned.

The Germans managed a very 'hand to mouth' existence and still managed to advance against the Red Army. This alone speaks loudly to the lack of offensive ability of the Red Army and makes Suvorov's arguments all the more laughable.
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