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View Diary: Sunday Talk: No one could have predicted (267 comments)

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  •  Now if Goebbels would have come up with that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, JekyllnHyde, Trix, Rich in PA

    Stalingrad would have turned out differently.

    ;)

    -
    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:02:36 PM PST

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    •  Battle of Moscow, not Stalingrad (6+ / 0-)

      by stalingrad, it hardly mattered what goebbels came up with - - the german army could have taken stalingrad and held the line all winter, and they still would not have won WWII.  Guderian and Hitler both knew their cause was lost when they failed to capture Moscow in 1941 and lost half a million casualties in trying and retreating.

      No slogan could have convinced germans that they were going to win the war as of January 1942.

      •  I was kidding, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bontemps2012

        But my impression was the loss of the 6th Army at Stalingrad was the one that turned the tide.

        As of January 1942? A mere month after Pearl Harbor, and they thought the war was lost? That's not my understanding.

        -
        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:57:47 PM PST

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        •  Recent scholarship shows Dec '41 was turning pt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead, Virginian in Spain

          Basically, the Germans experienced a major calamity when they risked everything in a rash attack on Moscow, with all reserves committed, without winter uniforms, with inadequate supplies, and with only a few hundred tanks remaining after months of fighting.  They were forced into a pell-mell desperate retreat, and the center of the german army was nearly surrounded.   Their casualties skyrocketed due to frostbite and illness, and altogether their casualty rate was close to 1/3, which they were never able to replace.   Much of their heavy equipment was lost.

          From Jan 42 onward, all they could do was try for the oil fields south of Stalingrad, but they never got a drop of oil out of the ground, and their entire 1942 offensive was a complete disaster.  They didn't have a chance, because the Soviet Union was much larger and regenerated its army and tank and air forces much more quickly than the germans could.

          The whole story of the Battle of Moscow is truly fascinating, and the author David Glantz is one who has told the story in detail (his book on the pre-Moscow battle of Smolensk suggests that even the Battle of Smolensk may have been the ultimate "turning point" in August-Sept 1941).    If you're into military history, it's very cool stuff, and the winners were our allies, whom the U.S. heroically supported in their hour of greatest need.

          •  I understand where your coming from now (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Van Buren, Virginian in Spain

            Operation Barbarossa, indeed just the start of the war with Russia, was certainly the turning point. The winter in Russia, was something they hadn't planned on having to deal with: they thought they'd have it wrapped up by then, not to mention it was unusually severe.

            But I really don't think Hitler was by any means conceding the war at that point. Now, his generals, the smarter ones at least, knew better, but the culture surrounding Hitler discouraged dissent and bad news, however realistic it was, was brushed aside.

            Fatal optimism.

            -
            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:37:34 AM PST

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            •  Guderian was interviewed severally (0+ / 0-)

              and walked through war gaming replays of the major actions.

              One interesting result was that he supported the view that the German Army had wasted its resources in the south -- Barbarossa had a three-pronged attack plan. If the south had been held but not occupied, then there would have been resources available to move much faster in the center.

              The target was not Moscow, per se. It was the rail center east of Moscow.
              That logistical resource was the only sizable transfer point and the only large-scale repair facility.

              If Stalin had lost that rail center, he would not have been able to supply the south from central Russia. The south would have fallen eventually and cheaply. War gaming replays showed what it might have looked like.

              That war would have been very difficult to win.

          •  Plus the Germans got bogged down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead

            in Yugoslavia and delayed the invasion thus getting caught up in the Russian winter. So the role of the Yugoslav resistance was crucial as well.

        •  Also interesting is that on December 5 1941, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead

          the German forces reached the point of complete exhaustion and had to switch over from the offensive to the defensive.

          Guderian's panzer forces were nearly surrounded in a pocket east of Tula, south of Moscow, and if Guderian hadn't fled immediately, his entire panzer Army would have been annihilated a year before Stalingrad.  The other two large panzer tank forces north of Moscow also came perilously close to being surrounded and destroyed.  

          And Pearl Harbor was December 7, 1941, so even before Pearl Harbor, the dice had already been cast, and as Guderian accurately summed it up, "We have lost the war."

          A few days later, Hitler declared war on the United States of America, in a supremely delusional act of self-destructive futility.

          •  You're jogging my memory (0+ / 0-)

            Now.

            Especially the "We have lost the war."

            That retreat was the reason Guderian got canned, wasn't it? And he got reinstated later, I think.

            But you'll have to forgive me, there's alot of little details I get mixed up.

            -
            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:07:24 AM PST

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