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Old 15th May 2017, 03:22 AM   #81
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Well, that's a tad unlikely, having had their 6th army annihilated at Stalingrad, and a ton of other casualties during the Soviet counterattack during the winter.

Or did you mean 1942? Which might be at least arguable, if you don't analyse the situation too closely.
Quite so. In early 1943, the Germans began to withdraw and consolidate their positions in the (Caucusus) region due to setbacks elsewhere. They established a defensive line (Kuban bridgehead) in the Taman Peninsula from which they hoped to eventually launch new operations in the Caucasus. The fighting remained reasonably static until September 1943 when the Germans ordered fresh withdrawals which effectively ended the period of fighting in the Caucasus.
See Battle of the CaucasusWP.

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Old 15th May 2017, 06:50 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
... The Germans were beginning to penetrate through the Caucasus. They might have broken through in the spring of 1943 ...
Here is what was happening in the Caucasus in early 1943.
3 January 1943 - Red Army retake Mozdok
21 January 1943 - Red Army retake Stavropol
23 January 1943 - Red Army retake Armavir
29 January 1943 - Red Army retake Maykop
4 February 1943 - Soviet marines beat off a German attempt to land at Malaya Zemlya
5 February 1943 - Soviet forces landing in Novorossiysk
12 February 1943 - Red Army retake Krasnodar
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Old 15th May 2017, 07:56 AM   #83
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There was a clip on that World at War documentary on British TV from 1973, which keeps being repeated, of Sir Stafford Cripps, British ambassador to Russia 1940-42, saying to the camera that the Russians don't want to interfere in the affairs of other countries and he has heard that from the lips of Stalin himself. That was being a bit naÔve as subsequent events have proven. That's a bit like Bush in America saying watch my lips. The Russians prefer plain speaking.
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Old 15th May 2017, 08:27 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There was a clip on that World at War documentary on British TV from 1973, which keeps being repeated, of Sir Stafford Cripps, British ambassador to Russia 1940-42, saying to the camera that the Russians don't want to interfere in the affairs of other countries and he has heard that from the lips of Stalin himself. That was being a bit naÔve as subsequent events have proven. That's a bit like Bush in America saying watch my lips. The Russians prefer plain speaking.
Which Russians have you been watching or listening too? The ones who developed the Potemkin Village, or the ones who airbrush people out of photographs after they have been purged and alter the record to claim they were never there?

Stalin may very well have said such a thing - the actions of the USSR speak a lot louder then those words and their actions in Spain, Finland, the Baltics, and Manchuria drown out that statement. Mr. Cripps' statement may simply have been what is commonly referred to as a "polite fiction."
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Old 15th May 2017, 08:57 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Quite so. In early 1943, the Germans began to withdraw and consolidate their positions in the (Caucusus) region due to setbacks elsewhere. They established a defensive line (Kuban bridgehead) in the Taman Peninsula from which they hoped to eventually launch new operations in the Caucasus. The fighting remained reasonably static until September 1943 when the Germans ordered fresh withdrawals which effectively ended the period of fighting in the Caucasus.
See Battle of the CaucasusWP.
You may be right there. All this is getting into dangerous waters and we don't know what was discussed behind closed doors. There have been several mentions in the past that Stalin might have threatened to make a separate peace with the Germans if Britain and America didn't launch a cross-channel invasion at the time. I don't know if that is just politics by Stalin.

The diaries of Field-Marshal Alanbrooke give an insight into the situation in the Caucasus on August 22nd 1942:

Quote:
It is imperative that something should be done quickly as the Germans are pushing on into the Caucasus rapidly. Our defences in Iraq-Persia are lamentably weak. "Jumbo" Wilson will have an uphill task.
It looks like the Caucasus became static, as you say, after Stalingrad in the intense cold of the 1942-3 winter, and better for the Russians after the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Guderian, the German tank expert was complaining at the time that German reserves, and some of their best troops, were being diverted from Russia to deal with the Allies who were landing in Italy and threatening Greece at the time of Kursk. That affected the German concentration of force.

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Old 15th May 2017, 09:01 AM   #86
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Seriously, have a look at the map of the front in May 1943 compared with August 1942, when Alan Brooke made that comment in his diary.
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Old 16th May 2017, 08:42 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Seriously, have a look at the map of the front in May 1943 compared with August 1942, when Alan Brooke made that comment in his diary.
The map of the front in Russia was constantly changing every day at the time. The fact remains that Alan Brooke, who didn't suffer from a lack of vision, had strenuous business worries that our defences in Iraq and Persia were lamentably weak against any German attack through the Caucasus. These strenuous business worries continued until after the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. The Americans tried to help out at the time by suggesting American air bases in Russia, which Stalin refused, presumably for political reasons.

It's a bit like dealing with the half-mad North Koreans now. Hitler has been described mockingly on TV in the past as Corporal Hitler.

There is a bit of background waffle about all this in that Russian Outlook book published in 1947 by Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard Martel:

Quote:
As it turned out the Germans did not make much headway and the line stabilised in the autumn of 1942. The Russians made a magnificent stand for the defence of Moscow. What should the Germans have done at this stage? For the second summer in succession they had failed to smash the Russian Army, though they had caused them great casualties and losses. Possibly a third attempt might succeed in the summer of 1943. The Germans however were now extended on a long front and with very long lines of communication. This was no position from which to launch a great offensive in the following summer. They should have withdrawn several hundred miles that winter and stabilised a position on a shorter front and with shorter communications. They could then have collected reserves and prepared for a great and final offensive. Hitler would not, however, hear of such a plan.

As a result the Germans stood their ground, but once again the Russians launched a winter counter offensive. Great German armies opposite Stalingrad were surrounded and captured. The German front was driven back to a position 150 miles west of Moscow. They retained Orel farther south in a pronounced German salient. Farther south again the Russians held a salient round Kursk and then the line of the Upper Donetz and to the sea of Azov.
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Old 16th May 2017, 09:15 AM   #88
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No Brooke's worries didn't continue until after the Battle of Kursk.
They continued until the German withdrawal in early 1943, caused by Zhukov's massive counterattck in late 1942 that isolated Stalingrad (Uranus) and finalised by Saturn in early 1943, which pretty much sealed off the Caucasus.

Months before Kursk.
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Old 16th May 2017, 02:34 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
No Brooke's worries didn't continue until after the Battle of Kursk.
They continued until the German withdrawal in early 1943, caused by Zhukov's massive counterattck in late 1942 that isolated Stalingrad (Uranus) and finalised by Saturn in early 1943, which pretty much sealed off the Caucasus.

Months before Kursk.
Indeed,

And, of course, the Germans provided the Russians with perfect targets for attack: the sixth Army (at Stalingrad) had Romanian armies on either side, and further north were Italian and Hungarian Armies.

At best, these were second class troops.
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Old 16th May 2017, 04:02 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The Americans tried to help out at the time by suggesting American air bases in Russia, which Stalin refused, presumably for political reasons.:
The USA did in fact have air bases in the USSR.
Poltava was designated as USAAF Station 559 and became headquarters, Eastern Command, headed by General Alfred Kessler. Two smaller nearby U.S. fields, also along the Kiev railway, were Mirgorod and Piryatin (Stations 561 and 560).
Their main purpose was to facilitate shuttle bombing.
Operation Frantic began with 325th Reconnaissance Wing flights from England and Italy in late May 1944, and a photo lab and reconnaissance detachment with a few F-5 Lightnings were based at Poltava. Bombing runs (FRANTIC-1) began from Italy (15th Air Force) on 2 June 1944, returning four days later. The concept of operations was for American aircraft to use England (8th Air Force), Italy, and the Ukrainian bases as vertices of a triangular bombing campaign against Axis targets in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
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Old 16th May 2017, 05:33 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
And this anti-democratic feeling in Germany was fueled by the first great mistakes the Allies made, and that was on 11 November 1918. When the German army command sued for an armistice, the Allies allowed it to be signed in German side by a MP, the catholic Centre party member Matthias Erzberger, and not by the military....

Hmmmm ...interesting. I guess to the Dutch/Calvinist Hammer everything looks like an RCC Nail ...
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Old 17th May 2017, 12:54 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post

At best, these were second class troops.
Yes.
The Romanians were especially poorly positioned as they had precious little in the way of anti-tank equipment. The troops weren't bad, but they simply had nothing they could counter the T-34s with and so were overrun.
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Old 17th May 2017, 02:30 AM   #93
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The thing is Churchill and Eden were amateur strategists, like Trump and Mrs. May now, and Cameron and Tony Blair. Churchill was continually trying to invade Norway during the war, and he tried to get the Canadians to do it, but they refused.

It's true that the Russians were not fighting the war on our behalf. They despised us. They had their own political plans for Eastern Europe, and the Baltic states. It's just that the oil from Iraq and Persia was vital because the Americans could not replace that oil supply due to the U-boat menace, and any German attack through the Caucasus could have linked up with the Japanese and threatened India.

There is a bit about the insincerity of politicians in the diaries of Alan Brooke. It's a bit like Chamberlain's spooferies piece of paper saying it showed the determination of our two peoples never to go to war again:

Quote:
Four days later, on May 26th 1942, he was present when the treaty with Russia was signed. "........Went out to lunch at Russian Embassy to meet Molotov again. A memorable lunch party held prior to signing of new Anglo-Russian Treaty. Lunch attended by P.M., Eden, Attlee, Stafford Cripps, Oliver Lyttelton, Evatt (Australian Minister for External Affairs), Bevin, John Anderson, Chiefs of Staff, etc. Many toasts and many speeches. Somehow the whole affair gave me the creeps, and made me feel that humanity has still many centuries to live through before universal peace can be found." 'I had evidently,' he commented, not yet become hardened to the insincerity of statements contained in the speeches of statesmen and politicians on such occasions.

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Old 17th May 2017, 02:37 AM   #94
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Posted in error.

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Old 17th May 2017, 02:40 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
... any German attack through the Caucasus could have linked up with the Japanese and threatened India.
That may well be, and it's not in dispute. What is being denied is that the Germans were still capable of such an operation in early 1943.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:00 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The USA did in fact have air bases in the USSR.
Poltava was designated as USAAF Station 559 and became headquarters, Eastern Command, headed by General Alfred Kessler. Two smaller nearby U.S. fields, also along the Kiev railway, were Mirgorod and Piryatin (Stations 561 and 560).
Their main purpose was to facilitate shuttle bombing.
Operation Frantic began with 325th Reconnaissance Wing flights from England and Italy in late May 1944, and a photo lab and reconnaissance detachment with a few F-5 Lightnings were based at Poltava. Bombing runs (FRANTIC-1) began from Italy (15th Air Force) on 2 June 1944, returning four days later. The concept of operations was for American aircraft to use England (8th Air Force), Italy, and the Ukrainian bases as vertices of a triangular bombing campaign against Axis targets in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
That may have happened in negotiations later on in the war. It was different in the 1942 -3 period.

From that 1947 The Russian Outlook book by Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard Martel:

Quote:
We looked round to see how we could help the Russians in preventing the Germans from penetrating the Caucasus. After discussion with America we thought the best chance would be to send an Anglo-American air force to land on Russian soil and operate against the Germans who were advancing in that direction. Very friendly meetings took place between our senior air-force officers and the Russians, but it soon became apparent that they had no intention of allowing such a large force to be established on their soil. The position for Russia was very critical at that time, and yet they preferred to risk disaster rather than allow a large party of foreigners to land on their soil. There were two reasons for this. First of all, it might affect the prestige of the Communist Party if the people saw foreign forces coming in to protect them. Secondly, the Russians hated the fact that their troops and people would inevitably see the far higher standard of living and equipment in the foreign forces. This gives a clear idea of Russian mentality. It seemed almost impossible to us that any nation should take such foolish risks.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:08 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That may have happened in negotiations later on in the war. It was different in the 1942 -3 period.
No doubt it was, but the uninformed reader of your
The Americans tried to help out at the time by suggesting American air bases in Russia, which Stalin refused, presumably for political reasons.
would be surprised to learn that such bases were permitted by Stalin a year later, at a time when the danger to his regime had abated, or even been dispelled, post Stalingrad and Kursk. Your comment would indicate an perpetual unyielding refusal by Stalin, but it could be and was temporarily overcome.

That is not to argue that Stalin was motivated by sincere friendliness towards the Western Allies. He certainly was not.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:30 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That may well be, and it's not in dispute. What is being denied is that the Germans were still capable of such an operation in early 1943.
I agree with you that after Stalingrad that the Caucasus was not a priority for the Germans. The point I am trying to make is that an attack in the Caucasus by the Germans was still a threat to the British in 1943 until after the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. It was touch and go in Russia at the time and territory was constantly being taken and retaken, a bit like Syria now. It was not like the static warfare of the 1914-18 war.

There is a bit about this matter on the internet which I can't seem to link to this forum:

Quote:
Abstract

This thesis examines German and Soviet operations in the Kuban area of southern Russia during January – October 1943. As the bulk of German Army Group A withdrew from the Caucasus in early 1943 to avoid encirclement following the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad, Seventeenth Army was ordered to hold a bridgehead on the Kuban Peninsula as a jumping-off point for a future resumption of the German offensive into the Caucasus.

In early February, the Soviets attempted to eliminate the German bridgehead through a combined amphibious and ground operation. The ground operation did not achieve any significant gain, and the main amphibious landing operation was a catastrophic failure, but a secondary landing succeeded in gaining a foothold in the southern suburbs of the port city of Novorossiysk that was quickly expanded and became known as Malaya Zemlya (The Small Land).

Early April saw the launch of Operation Neptune, a German effort to eliminate the Malaya Zemlya beachhead. This failed utterly due to the weakness of the German assault groups and the tenacious Soviet defence. The Soviets then launched a series of attempts through the spring and summer to break the German line, with minimal success. The final phase of operations in the Kuban was the withdrawal of Seventeenth Army by sea and air across the Kerch Strait to the Crimea. Almost a quarter of a million men and the bulk of their equipment were successfully evacuated, with very light losses.

The thesis examines some factors that contributed to the success or failure of these operations and also considers why a region that was of key strategic interest in both German and Soviet planning in the first period of the war quickly diminished in importance and has been largely neglected in the published history of the war.

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Old 17th May 2017, 04:24 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's just that the oil from Iraq and Persia was vital because the Americans could not replace that oil supply due to the U-boat menace, and any German attack through the Caucasus could have linked up with the Japanese and threatened India.
They simply didn't have the forces to do that, or the logistics.
The forces put into the Caucasus were in no way strong enough to get over the mountains and into Iraq. The big fear was a rebellion (again)...and that still wouldn't have provided enough to threaten India.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The point I am trying to make is that an attack in the Caucasus by the Germans was still a threat to the British in 1943 until after the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943.
And, again, that wasn't the situation at all. Post Uranus and Saturn there was no threat to Iraq. None. And the British knew it.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It was touch and go in Russia at the time and territory was constantly being taken and retaken, a bit like Syria now. It was not like the static warfare of the 1914-18 war. :
No it wasn't "touch and go". Post Stalingrad the Germans were in no position to win.
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Old 17th May 2017, 05:12 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree with you that after Stalingrad that the Caucasus was not a priority for the Germans.
I'm not saying that at all. In early 1943 the Causasus was indeed an urgent priority.
Meanwhile, early in January 1943, only just in time, Hitler acknowledged that the encirclement of the Germans in Stalingrad would lead to an even worse disaster unless he extricated his forces from the Caucasus. Kleist was therefore ordered to retreat, while his northern flank of 600 miles was still protected by the desperate resistance of the encircled Paulus. Kleistís forces were making their way back across the Don at Rostov when Paulus at last surrendered. Had Paulus surrendered three weeks earlier (after seven weeks of isolation), Kleistís escape would have been impossible.
(From Britannica.) What I am saying is that a German breakthrough, link up with Japan, occupation of Iran and invasion of British India were completely out of the question. It was not a non-priority, it was a fantasy. German troops were being pulled out of the Caucasus as speedily as possible, lest they be overwhelmed by the Red Army.
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Old 17th May 2017, 08:01 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Hmmmm ...interesting. I guess to the Dutch/Calvinist Hammer everything looks like an RCC Nail ...
How did you get to that conclusion? First of all, I'm not a calvinist. More importantly, I didn't said anything disparagingly about Mr. Erzberger. My mentioning his party affiliation had no intention to be disparaging, nor can I see how it could be seen as such.
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Old 17th May 2017, 08:20 AM   #102
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Oh yes, oops.
Replace Iraq above, with Iran, in my posts.
Except where I talk about rebellion, which was in Iraq.
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Old 18th May 2017, 02:16 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That may well be, and it's not in dispute. What is being denied is that the Germans were still capable of such an operation in early 1943.
That's official complacency and wishful thinking. There was no guarantee the Russians would come out on top at the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 and that the Germans could then be able to try again through the Caucasus. That was a serious matter for the British, and even for the Americans.

The Germans made inroads of about 20 miles at Kursk. It was only when Hitler heard that the Allies had landed in Sicily, and on to Italy, that Hitler abandoned his offensive at Kursk because that news put him in to a bit of a panic. Hitler then diverted troops and military equipment away from the Russian front to Italy, and even to Greece, in a dangerous dispersal for him.

There is a bit of information about the lamentably weak military situation in Persia and Iraq for the British in a book called The Turn of the Tide by Arthur Bryant published in 1957:

Quote:
Two divisions were in Palestine and Syria to lend moral support to Turkey and prevent an Axis descent on the Levantine coast from the Italian Dodecanese, while four more, three of them Indian, were in Iraq and Persia to counter a possible German advance through southern Russia and the Caucasus against the oil-wells of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company on whose refineries, tankers and desert pipe-lines all the British forces operating in the region depended.
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Old 18th May 2017, 02:46 AM   #104
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I'm going to hazard a guess that you haven't actually studied Kursk.
There was no chance of any meaningful breakthrough.
They only achieved 20 miles in the south of the salient...the salient was over 100 miles wide. The north achieved less than 10 miles. Overall they covered less than a quarter of the distance they need to to cut it off, and even had that succeeded, there were insufficient forces to exploit it.

It was at this point that OKH start to count divisions with little regard to how strong they actually were. So the units deployed for Kursk were woefully understrength.
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Old 18th May 2017, 04:30 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The Germans made inroads of about 20 miles at Kursk. It was only when Hitler heard that the Allies had landed in Sicily, and on to Italy, that Hitler abandoned his offensive at Kursk because that news put him in to a bit of a panic. Hitler then diverted troops and military equipment away from the Russian front to Italy, and even to Greece, in a dangerous dispersal for him.

There is a bit of information about the lamentably weak military situation in Persia and Iraq for the British in a book called The Turn of the Tide by Arthur Bryant published in 1957:
So you take the view that the Germans were doing fine at Kursk, and abandoned the offensive solely to confront the Allied landings in Sicily. I've never been convinced by that. But let me have a look at the evidence. Up to now your various statements haven't been holding up well in the face of evidence.

ETA The Allies landed in Sicily on 9 July 1943. On that same day on the Kursk front
... a meeting between Kluge, Model, Joachim Lemelsen and Josef Harpe was held at the headquarters of the XLVII Panzer Corps. It had become clear to the German commanders that the 9th Army lacked the strength to obtain a breakthrough, and their Soviet counterparts had also realized this ...
See Battle of KurskWP

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Old 18th May 2017, 09:02 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
I'm going to hazard a guess that you haven't actually studied Kursk.
There was no chance of any meaningful breakthrough.
They only achieved 20 miles in the south of the salient...the salient was over 100 miles wide. The north achieved less than 10 miles. Overall they covered less than a quarter of the distance they need to to cut it off, and even had that succeeded, there were insufficient forces to exploit it.

It was at this point that OKH start to count divisions with little regard to how strong they actually were. So the units deployed for Kursk were woefully understrength.
I have never made a profound study of Kursk. Much of my information in the past about it has come from TV documentaries, and books, and stuff on the internet. It's just it's patently obvious that landings were not an easy task as the Americans found out fighting to the death in their island hopping in the Pacific, and nearly another year's hard fighting after the landings in Normandy.

Amateur strategists like Churchill and Eden thought these landings were easy. Blue collar workers in the UK were only interested in beer, cigarettes and football, and not far off countries like the Czechs, of which few people had ever heard. Chamberlain was right.

Kursk was a big battle and it was important to Britain and America that the Russians were not defeated there. There is information about this at this website:

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...attle-of-kursk

Quote:
For the attack on Kursk, Germany had grouped 900,000 soldiers in the region, 10,000 artillery guns, 2,700 tanks and 2,000 aircraft. About 1/3rd of all Germany’s military strength was concentrated in the area. Elite Luftwaffe units were ordered there.

Hitler ordered that “there must be no failure". Reconnaissance planes photographed all the defensive systems that the Russians had built.
“No offensive was ever prepared as carefully as this one." General Mellenthin.

However, Russia’s military leaders had not been sitting idly by. Their intelligence had alerted them to a massive German offensive; they knew where it would be, the numbers involved and near enough when it would start. They decided on a defensive strategy to allow the Germans to wear themselves out. The defence of Kursk was put into the hands of two generals – Rokossovsky and Vatutin. In preparation for a massive counter-offensive (and also to be used if the Germans were initially successful) a huge force of reserves was based in the rear led by Koniev. In charge of all these men was Marshall Zhukov.

The Russians had also placed vast numbers of men and equipment in the Kursk bulge. 1.3 million soldiers were based there, 20,000 artillery pieces, 3,600 tanks and 2,400 planes. The Russians had guessed where the Germans would try to use their tanks in depth – and placed a large number of their anti-tank artillery guns there. Trenches and other anti-tank traps were dug. The depth of defences included the laying of 400,000 mines, which equated to 2,400 anti-tank and 2,700 anti-personnel mines every mile – more than at the Battle of Moscow and the Battle of Stalingrad. By June 1943, 300,000 civilians were helping the Russians build defences around the Kursk salient. They repaired 1.800 miles of road and dug thousands of miles of trenches.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 18th May 2017 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 19th May 2017, 01:28 AM   #107
Tolls
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What have landings got to do with Kursk??

That's a complete non-sequitur!

Are you sure you're not some AI?

And that link pretty much aligns with what I said...the Soviet defences were formidable, and backed by a massive reserve.
All it misses is the bit that the units those 900,000 German troops came from were almost 500,000 under strength.
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Old 19th May 2017, 02:20 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
What have landings got to do with Kursk??
"Landings" are the least of the puzzles.
Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I have never made a profound study of Kursk ... Amateur strategists like Churchill and Eden thought these landings were easy. Blue collar workers in the UK were only interested in beer, cigarettes and football, and not far off countries like the Czechs, of which few people had ever heard. Chamberlain was right.
What had the Czechs and Chamberlain (by then dead for three years), or beer and football, to do with Kursk? The first sentence of Henri's post is very credible, however.
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Old 19th May 2017, 02:51 AM   #109
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Isn't Kursk where brave Tommy Atkins sent his men over the top with a kick of a football into No Man's Land?

Oh hang on, wrong war.
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Old 19th May 2017, 03:16 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Isn't Kursk where brave Tommy Atkins sent his men over the top with a kick of a football into No Man's Land?

Oh hang on, wrong war.
No. This was where a German u-boat sank its Soviet counterpart. This was known beforehand by Chamberlain, but he didn't warn the Soviets, because he didn't want to alienate the Germans after Dunkirk.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:12 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
No. This was where a German u-boat sank its Soviet counterpart. This was known beforehand by Chamberlain, but he didn't warn the Soviets, because he didn't want to alienate the Germans after Dunkirk.
Sorry - but this is also wrong....

It was where the gallant RAF beat off the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor....
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:23 AM   #112
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Churchill was not a strategic genius, as TV documentaries now portray him, and neither was Eden. After the war Churchill allowed German war criminals to advise the Egyptians, which was approved by the Nazi civil servants and lawyers who had carried on as normal after the war, so that they could compete with British manufacturing.

The Americans by then thought those war criminals were on our side, while the Germans proposed an amnesty for German war criminals, and Interpol did nothing about it, like they do nothing about internet fraud now.

It's like the appeasement of Saudi Arabia now for 9/11, and the lack of respect for international law by Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the support for Al Qaeda groups in Syria by Trump and Mrs. May and the CIA and FBI.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:48 AM   #113
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I don't think Eisenhower was a strategic genius either. His theory of a small bridgehead on the north-west coast of France would have been a ghastly failure on the beaches, a bit like the Dieppe raid.

From Eisenhower's book Crusade in Europe:

Quote:
I personally favoured, at that time, the third course of action; that is, the attempt to seize a small bridgehead on the north-west coast of France. However, I told General Marshall that the project was a hazardous one and that my only real reason for favouring it was the fear of becoming so deeply involved elsewhere that the major cross-Channel attack would be indefinitely postponed, possibly even cancelled. Almost certainly any 1942 operation in the Mediterranean would eliminate the possibility of a major cross-Channel venture in 1943. Later developments have convinced me that those who held the "Sledgehammer" operation to be unwise at the moment were correct in their evaluation of the problem. Our limited-range fighter craft of 1942 could not have provided sufficiently effective air cover over the Cotentin or Brittany peninsula against the German air strength as it then existed.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:56 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Isn't Kursk where brave Tommy Atkins sent his men over the top with a kick of a football into No Man's Land?

Oh hang on, wrong war.
I see that you have never made a serious study of the battle of Kursk either.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:59 AM   #115
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Is anyone arguing that Churchill was a strategic genius?
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Old 20th May 2017, 02:16 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Is anyone arguing that Churchill was a strategic genius?
It's just that we are not being told the pure unadulterated historical truth. It's like bugging is never reported by the mainstream media.

As I have said before there was a recent TV documentary with an American commentary saying that Churchill won the war on his own, and that Churchill would have intervened when Hitler took over the Rhineland in 1936, and Austria in March 1938. With what? The United States recognized the German occupation of Austria.

Recently, also, there was an American goon on TV who quoted Churchill as saying Chamberlain had a choice between war and dishonour and Chamberlain chose dishonour. That was a silly remark.

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Old 20th May 2017, 03:04 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's just that we are not being told the pure unadulterated historical truth. It's like bugging is never reported by the mainstream media ... there was a recent TV documentary with an American commentary ... Recently, also, there was an American goon on TV ...
Do you consider such TV documentaries and "goons" to be dependable sources of information?
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Old 20th May 2017, 07:47 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Is anyone arguing that Churchill was a strategic genius?
I think Henri is watching telly and live-blogging his critique.
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Old 21st May 2017, 04:23 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's just that we are not being told the pure unadulterated historical truth. It's like bugging is never reported by the mainstream media.

As I have said before there was a recent TV documentary with an American commentary saying that Churchill won the war on his own, and that Churchill would have intervened when Hitler took over the Rhineland in 1936, and Austria in March 1938. With what? The United States recognized the German occupation of Austria.

Recently, also, there was an American goon on TV who quoted Churchill as saying Chamberlain had a choice between war and dishonour and Chamberlain chose dishonour. That was a silly remark.
Henri, maybe you should stop watching what passes for documentaries on the History channel and read some modern scholarship on WWII. You keep referring to books written when huge amounts of info about the war were still classified or unavailable.
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Old 21st May 2017, 09:18 AM   #120
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It's not just me who thinks this about Churchill. This is Peter Hitchens writing in the Mail on Sunday today about the matter:

Quote:
Will we EVER be honest about the Second World War?

HOW we love to wallow in the Second World War. Though it ended more than 70 years ago, it is the bit of our past we refer to most, in politics and fiction.

The film Their Finest is no exception to the usual rule: lots of smoking, lots of sirens, lots of joy snatched in the midst of grief and danger. Though it mocks ever so slightly some of the pretences of propaganda, it still treads delicately around what has become our national religion.

And it is accompanied by trailers for yet more of the same. Here comes another film about Winston Churchill, and a movie about Dunkirk. Will either tell the truth, that Dunkirk was a dreadful, needless defeat caused by political posturing, which almost cost us the war; and that after 1940 and the 'Finest Hour', Churchill's leadership was often gravely mistaken?

I doubt it. Because we lost so much wealth and power in the Second World War, we still have to keep telling ourselves that we won it. Or did we - as my father ( who served in a pretty rough bit of it) used to ask from time to time, as he contemplated the state of the country he had helped to save.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 21st May 2017 at 09:20 AM.
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