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Books & Articles WW2 supply chain logistics

Karenin

卐 Nazi sympathizer
Joined
Jun 11, 2023
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One of the most under-rated subjects in armchair discussions about WW1 and WW2 is the field of military logistics, which is arguably more important than tactics or troop discipline in that a company of well-supplied but poorly-trained private has a good chance of defeating a professional army whose supply lines have been cut off or stretched extremely thin. I have never seen this angle explored in war documentaries even though it would shed much light on the Wehrmacht's military situation on the Eastern Front and central Europe after the Allied landings.

War Production in the Third Reich:

(Original: Why didn't Nazi Germany ramp up its production earlier in the war? I have read consistently that round the clock, pull-put-the-stops production didn't begin until fairly late in the war.)

24/7 production didn’t begin until March 1942.

The reason was fourfold:

  1. Blitzkrieg was an economic theory going back to 1933. It meant you geared up for a single campaign, defeated your enemy, and then waited until you had enough stockpiles for the next campaign. It had originally nothing to do with tactics or strategy. This way, Blitzkrieg meant there was no need to convert to a full-time war economy. You would fight wars in sequence, not as one big struggle.
  2. The second reason was public morale. In early 1940, food, clothing, and fuel were rationed to the point there was only hot water in the weekends. The average German was suffering more than the average Brit or Frenchman. War production was 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Hitler didn’t want to burden the civilian population any more out of fear of a revolt.
  3. The third reason was that Germany was convinced the war was in the bag. So war production on 1 January 1941 was only one-third of what it had been on 1 January 1940. It was believed the remaining stockpiles were enough to defeat the Soviet Union and that Britain would make peace afterwards. The 6-day workweek was reduced to a 5-day workweek and more fuel and food was diverted to the civilian sector (24/7 hot water for example).
  4. The last reason was that before the invasion of the Soviet Union, the economy of conquered countries was in tatters. It took time to get their natural resources integrated into the German Four-Year Plans so the industry was low on natural resources

Most of Hitler's military decisions were better than those of his generals because they took into account military logistics:
(Original: It is said that Hitler's fixation on deciding over strategies and weapon/gear development had a negative impact on Germany's success in war. How true is this?)


Not true at all.

The German Officer Corps was very proud of its Prussian Tradition. One aspect was that the military did not meddle in, and was not interested in, economic aspects of warfare.

A direct result is that few top-ranking generals knew anything about war production.

Hitler, however, took a great interest in war production and was extremely well informed about what was needed.
Now, if you look at Hitler’s decisions from a natural resources point of view, they make a lot of sense.

Essential materials in war production are, for example, nickel, manganese, and chromium. That’s why Hiler wanted to hold on to the nickel mines of Petsamo in Northern Finland, the Manganese mines near Nikopol in Ukraine, and the Balkans as most chromium was imported from Turkey.
If you look at the places Hitler wanted to keep at all cost and you look at the local natural resources, his decisions suddenly make a lot of sense.

Another aspect is the fact that he was well aware of scientific studies his general were completely oblivious of.
Good examples are his unwillingness to withdraw from the lines outside Moscow and Stalingrad. Medical studies had shown that exposure to extreme cold is much more deadly to an army than lack of food.

Had the German Army withdrawn from its lines before Moscow in 1941, a lot more people would have frozen to death as the lines before Moscow had winter quarters.

Same with his refusal to allow the troops to break out of Stalingrad. Had they broken out successfully, there were no winter quarters available and they would have frozen to death again. At least in Stalingrad, they had some protection against the cold.

His decisions were pretty well-founded.

(Original: What would've been the outcome of WWII had Hitler actually listened to his General officers?)

Defeat in early 1944.

Hitler was no the idiot most people think.

The areas he so desperately wanted to defend held vital resources needed to keep the Gerrman war production going.

German generals were notorious for not knowing about war production and the wartime economy.

Hitler knew the economic statistics, his generals didn’t.

(Original: Which orders did Adolf Hitler give to his generals that showed his obvious incompetency to be giving them any strategic orders in the war? Did they then know or did they know already he was an "idiot" as one general called him openly? Why?)

None.
Hitler was far from incompetent, as a matter of fact, when it came to war production, it was the General Staff who was incompetent.
The General Staff of World War Two was by no means of the same calibre as that of World War One.
The German generals of World War Two took pride in NOT knowing about war production.
If you look at a map and you look at the natural resources, Hitler’s orders make an awful lot of sense.
When he ordered his troops to hold Petsamo in Finland, Nikolayev in Ukraine and the Balkans, he did so for strategic reasons.
Petsamo had vital nickel mines, Nikolayev vital manganese mines ad the Balkans were needed to transport chromium from neutral Turkey.
Had Hitler listened to his generals, Germany would have lost the war a lot sooner.

Ironically, securing Moscow was vital to the success of Operation Barbarossa for the same logistical reasons, but this was not known at the time.

(Original: Many WW2 experts now claim that Hitler's failure to capture Moscow and divert instead to Stalingrad cost him the War. Do you agree?)


With hindsight, the Fall of Moscow would have meant the end of the War in the East.

Stalin claimed Moscow was no longer important as all heavy industry had been evacuated to the Urals. He said this to make sure Britain and the US would keep providing him with supplies and weapons.

in reality, a whopping 30% of the Soviet industry was located in the Moscow region … it hadn't been evacuated.

At this point, October 1941, the factories evacuated to the Urals were not yet up and running, making Moscow the largest weapons production centre in the Soviet Union.
Capture Moscow in October 1941 and Soviet war production as a whole collapses.

The Red Army runs out of ammunition and weapons and is pretty much defeated, even with the crappy Geman logistics.

(Original: Why do people say “If Hitler had just captured Moscow he would’ve beaten Russia”? Is there any truth to this? Wouldn’t the Soviets understand Moscow’s importance, fight to the death just they did in Stalingrad, and hold out against the Germans?)

It is true that the fall of Moscow would have ended the War.

In October 1941, 30 % of the Soviet industry was located in and around Moscow. Some 2,500 factories and 17 million people had been evacuated east, but most of these factories were not yet up and running.

That made Moscow the single most important target in the Soviet Union.

Of course, at the time, it was not known to the Germans that 30 % of the Soviet industry was located there; if they had known, they would certainly have reinforced the attack on Moscow.

There is no doubt the Soviets would have fought fiercely for Moscow, but in contrast to Stalingrad, Moscow could have been surrounded.

But even with more forces allocated to the capture of Moscow, it is very doubtful the Germans would have succeeded. The supply lines were so long 90 % of all German tanks in the East were out of commission due to a lack of spare parts.

(Original: If Hitler had decided to press on to Moscow in the summer/autumn of 1941 rather than fixatedly divert armour southwards towards oil/Stalingrad might Barbarossa not have been wrapped up before the end of that year?)

Yes. The Soviets had moved 2,500 factories and 17 million people to the Urals but in October 1941, these were not yet operational.

The move was known, that they weren’t operational wasn’t.

But 30 % of all Soviet industry was located in and near Moscow. These factories and workers had not been evacuated but Stalin kept this a secret from Churchill and FDR. Had Moscow fallen, it would have been game over for the Soviets: no more weapon, no more ammunition, etc.

Stalin feared that if Churchill and FDR realized how vulnerable the Soviet Union was in reality, they would stop lend-lease for fear their equipment would fall into German hands after a Soviet defeat. This was certainly something that kept Stalin awake.

The fact that the loss of Moscow and the remaining Soviet industry would mean defeat was kept secret until after the Cold War.

So your Cold War sources all downplay the importance of Moscow.

If the Germans take Moscow, the Red Army can’t continue the fight.

And this is precisely the reason why Stalin ordered Moscow to be defended to the last instead of evacuating to Kuybyshev, the Alternate Capital.
 
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Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union in winter though? I feel like he should’ve known about Napoleon’s defeat at the hands of Russia’s winter just a mere century ago and should’ve been more cautious.
 
Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union in winter though? I feel like he should’ve known about Napoleon’s defeat at the hands of Russia’s winter just a mere century ago and should’ve been more cautious.
Hitler's original plan was to attack Russia in winter 1940, but his cuckservative generals talked him into waiting and attacking in summer 1941. The Germans could have won if they attacked the previous winter.

"If it wasn’t for the Russian autumn rains and the harsh winter, could the Germans have conquered the Soviet Union during WWII?

Yes.

The thing is Hitler was right, again.

He wanted to invade the Soviet Union in November 1940.

Why? Because the Wehrmacht was better prepared for a Winter War compared to the Red Army.

The problem in 1941 was not the lack of winter gear (including equipment to make vehicles run more efficiently in Winter), the problem was logistics could not keep up.

So, let’s look at Hitler’s plan.

Invade in November 1940 when the ground is frozen and your army can move just as easily as in Summer.

Halt around Smolensk until the thaw is over and the soil is solid again. Leave all your winterized equipment behind and move on Moscow.

Both sides would have been able to fortify their front lines but the Soviet supply lines would have been 400 km longer.

Hitler’s generals talked him out of it."
 
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Hitler's original plan was to attack Russia in winter 1940, but his cuckservative generals talked him into waiting and attacking in summer 1941. The Germans could have won if they attacked the previous winter.

"If it wasn’t for the Russian autumn rains and the harsh winter, could the Germans have conquered the Soviet Union during WWII?

Yes.

The thing is Hitler was right, again.

He wanted to invade the Soviet Union in November 1940.

Why? Because the Wehrmacht was better prepared for a Winter War compared to the Red Army.

The problem in 1941 was not the lack of winter gear (including equipment to make vehicles run more efficiently in Winter), the problem was logistics could not keep up.

So, let’s look at Hitler’s plan.

Invade in November 1940 when the ground is frozen and your army can move just as easily as in Summer.

Halt around Smolensk until the thaw is over and the soil is solid again. Leave all your winterized equipment behind and move on Moscow.

Both sides would have been able to fortify their front lines but the Soviet supply lines would have been 400 km longer.

Hitler’s generals talked him out of it."
Why didnt hitler just drop a massive bomb on russia?
 
Hitler's original plan was to attack Russia in winter 1940, but his cuckservative generals talked him into waiting and attacking in summer 1941. The Germans could have won if they attacked the previous winter.

"If it wasn’t for the Russian autumn rains and the harsh winter, could the Germans have conquered the Soviet Union during WWII?

Yes.

The thing is Hitler was right, again.

He wanted to invade the Soviet Union in November 1940.

Why? Because the Wehrmacht was better prepared for a Winter War compared to the Red Army.

The problem in 1941 was not the lack of winter gear (including equipment to make vehicles run more efficiently in Winter), the problem was logistics could not keep up.

So, let’s look at Hitler’s plan.

Invade in November 1940 when the ground is frozen and your army can move just as easily as in Summer.

Halt around Smolensk until the thaw is over and the soil is solid again. Leave all your winterized equipment behind and move on Moscow.

Both sides would have been able to fortify their front lines but the Soviet supply lines would have been 400 km longer.

Hitler’s generals talked him out of it."
(((something's not adding up)))
why else would they interfere with the original plan? it was perfect, if they were generals of the dominant nation in europe at the time i think they should have been smarter jfl
 
if they were generals of the dominant nation in europe at the time i think they should have been smarter jfl
you didn't read thread starter:fuckingshit:


Most of Hitler's military decisions were better than those of his generals because they took into account military logistics:
(Original: It is said that Hitler's fixation on deciding over strategies and weapon/gear development had a negative impact on Germany's success in war. How true is this?)


Not true at all.

The German Officer Corps was very proud of its Prussian Tradition. One aspect was that the military did not meddle in, and was not interested in, economic aspects of warfare.

A direct result is that few top-ranking generals knew anything about war production.

Hitler, however, took a great interest in war production and was extremely well informed about what was needed.

Now, if you look at Hitler’s decisions from a natural resources point of view, they make a lot of sense.

Essential materials in war production are, for example, nickel, manganese, and chromium. That’s why Hiler wanted to hold on to the nickel mines of Petsamo in Northern Finland, the Manganese mines near Nikopol in Ukraine, and the Balkans as most chromium was imported from Turkey.

If you look at the places Hitler wanted to keep at all cost and you look at the local natural resources, his decisions suddenly make a lot of sense.

Another aspect is the fact that he was well aware of scientific studies his general were completely oblivious of.

Good examples are his unwillingness to withdraw from the lines outside Moscow and Stalingrad. Medical studies had shown that exposure to extreme cold is much more deadly to an army than lack of food.

Had the German Army withdrawn from its lines before Moscow in 1941, a lot more people would have frozen to death as the lines before Moscow had winter quarters.

Same with his refusal to allow the troops to break out of Stalingrad. Had they broken out successfully, there were no winter quarters available and they would have frozen to death again. At least in Stalingrad, they had some protection against the cold.

His decisions were pretty well-founded.

(Original: What would've been the outcome of WWII had Hitler actually listened to his General officers?)

Defeat in early 1944.

Hitler was no the idiot most people think.

The areas he so desperately wanted to defend held vital resources needed to keep the Gerrman war production going.

German generals were notorious for not knowing about war production and the wartime economy.

Hitler knew the economic statistics, his generals didn’t.

(Original: Which orders did Adolf Hitler give to his generals that showed his obvious incompetency to be giving them any strategic orders in the war? Did they then know or did they know already he was an "idiot" as one general called him openly? Why?)

None.

Hitler was far from incompetent, as a matter of fact, when it came to war production, it was the General Staff who was incompetent.

The General Staff of World War Two was by no means of the same calibre as that of World War One.

The German generals of World War Two took pride in NOT knowing about war production.

If you look at a map and you look at the natural resources, Hitler’s orders make an awful lot of sense.

When he ordered his troops to hold Petsamo in Finland, Nikolayev in Ukraine and the Balkans, he did so for strategic reasons.

Petsamo had vital nickel mines, Nikolayev vital manganese mines ad the Balkans were needed to transport chromium from neutral Turkey.

Had Hitler listened to his generals, Germany would have lost the war a lot sooner.
 
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why did he even hire them then? germany is a pretty populous country and it isn't full of dumbfucks so i guess there had to be plenty of options to choose from
He didn't hire them, the generals had already careermaxxed within the Wehrmacht when he took over. He was definitely too lenient and trusting of his generals, until they fucked everything up and the Waffen-SS had to be deployed.
 
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