Author Topic: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST  (Read 2344 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« on: July 08, 2020, 08:12:37 AM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

For the Table of Contents and Introduction thread, click here.


For the grand finale (not counting any epilogues or addendums  ^-^ ), I'm going to switch over to the Nazi side of Barbarossa and the East Front campaign more generally.

Suvorov, quite typically, scatters a lot of information about the Nazi side of the fight, in relation to his thesis, across a bunch of topics. So stitching them back together chronologically, I realized I might as well create a parallel thread/chapter for this information.

This also helps in another way: Suvorov (as I've noted before) has a somewhat schizophrenic attitude toward both Stalin's and Hitler's competency.

In Hitler's case, Suvorov constantly treats Barbarossa as a crazy desperate unwinnable situation which Hitler simply felt forced to try anyway because he realized he was going to lose anyway so he might as well go down swinging. But Suvorov also, with some frequency, claims that Hitler nearly won. And not only once, but several times!

This contradiction can be resolved by accounting for Hitler's actual plan, which Suvorov himself acknowledges on rare occasion: NOT to conquer western Russia with this operation, but rather to instigate the fall of Stalin and his government by destroying most or (ideally) all their armies while still able to catch them out of position. This wasn't something Stalin was expecting either, so he was caught by surprise when Hitler lunged without making any winter preparations whatsoever -- preparations that Stalin and his most recent pre-GRU chief, Golikov, were watching sharply and closely for.

Consequently, there could easily be times when Hitler was in fact about to win Barbarossa, or even the East Front campaign more generally during the war; thus making sense of Suvorov's occasional acknowledgements that Stalin was about to lose numerous times.

I think it's also important and fair to acknowledge, that while the governments and leaders were supervillains of various shades, and the troops often followed suit (with various degrees of willingness, admittedly), both sides also fought heroically to protect their own people from the depredations of each other; and the achievements of each side magnify each other in being able to achieve prodigies against the prodigies of each other.

Suvorov likes to emphasize how weak and broken the blitzkrieg was, compared to the Soviet might arranged against it; and I understand the rhetorical point, that if Hitler's blitz was nevertheless so dangerous against such an outnumbering force of such (relative) quality, then Stalin's blitz would have been proportionately that much worse against not only Hitler's forces and territory, but against all of Europe.

Nevertheless, if Hitler's forces were really that weak (Suvorov never even implies they were incompetent), Stalin would have been able to turn the match around a lot more quickly, and his grossly outnumbering forces would have been able to fight their way out of trouble more successfully.

In effect, we're watching an army of grey wolves, as hard as steel and with hair as wiry as porcupines, maul a much larger army of giant bears to death! -- over and over again! -- until the bears, plowing over the fallen bodies of their forebears (so to speak!) are able to crush those steel wolven monsters far enough to win after all.

And that's freaking epic. On both sides.

So let's get to it.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 09:14:54 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 09:19:00 AM »
The Day of Decision
----------------------

June 22, 1941: Nazi engineers have successfully rushed to complete the first set of sketches for project Mk4501 -- which will eventually be the Panzer VI Tiger. Hitler doesn't expect to use heavy tanks against the Soviet Union, however.

Hitler started World War II with his industry at a peacetime level of war production; and on this day his industry remains at a peacetime level of war production. As before, he doesn't really have a choice: he lacks the bulk raw materials to shift into a wartime production regimen.

A communique from Hitler, written yesterday, will be given to Mussolini today or soon after: "Russia is trying to destroy the Romanian oil fields... The task for our armies is eliminating this threat as soon as possible."

In a speech to his High Command before the operation, Hitler reminded them (and specifically General Alfred Jodl) of the key theory of their invasion: after suffering the shock of massive initial defeats, Stalin's Soviet Union government would collapse. "We only have to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come tumbling down!" (Albert Speer, "Inside the Third Reich". Exactly whom Hitler said this to and when is disputed, suggesting this was a favorite declaration. Some sources suggest he will still be saying it in a speech from October 3rd, for example.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 09:43:17 AM »
In the early morning hours, Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa -- an operation intended to knock Stalin and the Soviet Union out of being a threat to Nazi Germany (and Europe more generally) in three weeks. It launches with two weeks of combat operation supplies (in some crucial categories necessary for continuing the blitz), and 3350 tanks, not much more than what Hitler invaded Poland, and then the Low Countries and France with! -- and while these are generally higher quality (by no longer having Panzer I tanks in appreciable amounts, and with higher proportions of PzIII and IV models), they have also been riding hard for months or even a couple of years by now. Moreover, Hitler has divided them up, not into six armored divisions (as in Case White against Poland), not into ten armored divisions (as in Case Yellow and Case Red vs France and the 'Benelux' nations), but into twenty-one divisions concentrated mostly as four 'Panzer Groups'!

To be more specific, 17 of Hitler's 21 'panzer divisions' are at the East Front in the four Panzer Groups -- in other words, 17 of Hitler's East Front's 153 divisions (as per for example the Soviet "History of the Second World War, 1939-1945", vol.3, p.328.)

Military historian Liddel Hart, in his "The Second World War", pp.152-53, and p.158, talks about this strategy: "This doubling in number of armored forces turned out to be sheer illusion, since it was achieved mostly at the expense of reducing the number of tanks in each division... Some of the qualified expert tankers attempted to argue against such a decision, since the result of such measures was to multiply the number of staffs and secondary units in the so-called 'tank divisions'..." He explains why he himself puts quote marks around 'tank divisions', "Tanks could continue an offensive, but they, just like all other track vehicles, made up only a small part of each so-called 'tank division'." Continuing, "Out of 17,000 people in the division, only 2600 were tankers." This by itself makes the tank numbers look larger than they actually were, by a lot! "But Hitler was stubborn. Seeing before him the vast Russian territory, he wanted to feel that he had more divisions, capable of delivering blows deep into the land, and counted on technological advantage over the Russians to serve as sufficient compensation for the 'dilution' of his tank troops... However, cutting the number of tanks in the divisions increased the main disadvantage of the German tank division -- the fact that its units and subdivisions mostly consisted of infantry, and could not move on difficult terrain."

While Suvorov quotes this extensively with approval, I suspect Hart is at least a little wrong about Hitler's motivation in spreading out the tanks among more divisions; after all, Hitler then went ahead and concentrated most of them anyway into only four Panzer Groups. Hitler likely meant to achieve what more-or-less happened: each Group concentrates its armored and mechanized (track infantry) forces in teams from each attached division, in the famous 'kampfgruppe' method, to surge forward in the classic blitzkrieg lunges while the infantry of the divisions (whether 'panzer' or not in designation) work up from behind by foot, horse, and automobile (not counting captured Soviet equipment). After all, as Suvorov's material argues (sometimes against Suvorov's own disdainful judgments), Hitler today on June 22nd isn't trying to conquer those "vast Russian territories"; that's a plan for later in the vague future. He's trying to incite the downfall of Stalin's Soviet government by destroying practically all their ability to make war in a giant shock-and-awe operation.

As German General Guenther Blumentritt reminds his readers (in "The Wehrmacht's Fateful Decisions", p.328), "In 1941, the German army still consisted mostly of plain infantry divisions, which moved on foot, and used animal transport." More specifically, on this morning of June 22nd, Hitler has 750,000 horses on the East Front (per Robert Goralski's "World War II Almanac", 1981, p.164.) Suvorov snorts, "Was it on carts that they planned to carry out the blitzkrieg?"

In a backhanded way, having relatively few armored vehicles, and mechanized or even motorized infantry, works to Hitler's advantage, precisely because he isn't trying to speed-run a conquest of western Russia before winter, but is only trying to knock out most or all of Stalin's military forces while they are gathered up close out of defensive arrangement where Hitler can get at them. For that purpose, while having more fuel and other supplies for his machines would be great, horse-powered horsepower can work just fine for most purposes, and horse formations don't take anything like the same amount of fuel. If the Russian steppes have anything other than mud and depressed futility, after all, it's grass! (As the hordes of steppe cavalry in the middle ages could attest.)

Still, the 3350 tanks on the Eastern Front, divided into their 17 divisions (thus averaging 197 tanks per division, more or less), don't operate (at first) outside the four Panzer Groups: there are no tanks (per Suvorov) anywhere other than those Panzer Groups. The rest of the Nazi army on the East Front didn't have a single tank. It consisted entirely of infantry and 750,000 horses with carts.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 09:51:02 AM »
Suvorov's biting humor tends to flail around a bit unfairly here: does each tank have "a convoy of 220 horses behind it"? -- or are all the horses outside the Panzer Groups!?

The true answer is in between, of course. The truth is also that each Panzer Group has a bunch of footbound infantry attached for what came to be called "the long walk"; and so also has those horses. Plenty of Nazi infantry have tanks, because the tanks have been spread out through seventeen divisions of infantry; and then there are also pure infantry divisions in the Panzer Groups. Plus there are armored cars, tank destroyers, and armored personnel carriers for the mechanized troops. Also, some formations wouldn't have benefited from tanks as a rule: Suvorov himself quotes Colonel-General Lotar Rendulic describing his 20th Mountain Army, a large and elite formation (per his memoir "Commanding the Troops", p.60), "With the exception of rear transport units, the army consisted entirely of infantry troops -- 200,000 soldiers and 70,000 horses."

Still again, not all the troops are elite mountain rangers or Panzer-grenadiers (armored infantry for supporting the tanks), not by far. The famous photo from "Der Spiegel" (#6, 1996, p.100-101) cited by Suvorov was certainly typical: the propaganda photo, of laughing Nazi troops walking into Russia (on their "long walk"), shows hundreds of horse carts in the background, while they themselves carry 1898 bolt-action rifles with bayonets. (And two light machine-guns, no submachine guns.)

Aside from 750,000 horses with their carts, however, are 500,000 cars and trucks of all types -- destined for disaster on what Suvorov quips as "the so-called Russian roads": unlike the horses, the motorized infantry (and mechanized infantry up with the panzers) aren't helping offset the fuel situation.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 10:00:52 AM »
Hitler topped out at 10,810 howitzers on June 1st -- admittedly not counting other tubes and mortars, but howitzers are the primary way of cracking enemy fortifications by attacking from above.

That isn't what he's invading Russia with today, however: that's all his howitzers everywhere, including the Africa theater (per Shirokorad's "The Genius of the Soviet Artillery", pp.169-70). Stalin, by comparison (same page), has almost all of his 15,464 howitzers sitting on the border ready to go! -- just not on defense to amount to anything. Stalin's howitzers are a lot more motorized and even mechanized than Hitler's, and Stalin's designs are more modern, too. Perhaps most importantly, Hitler doesn't have anything like enough special metals to manufacture as many artillery shells as Stalin. (Hitler has sort-of enough iron ore -- as long as Stalin's navy doesn't scotch that supply! -- but artillery shells need much rarer kinds of metals, too.)


Hitler is invading with exactly no long-range bombers. He has some very decent two-engine medium bombers, to try to fill the long-range role -- which is one reason why Hitler already failed to bomb Britain out of the war. (And meanwhile Britain has already started strategic-bombing Nazi territory, including Berlin itself.) Hitler does intend to harass the shattered successors of Stalin's government with long-range bombers later -- but that's later.


Such limitations hardly take the Nazi high command by surprise. They are some of the greatest military planners and executioners (in more than one sense) in human history! They knew from the start of their planning back in July 1940, and even before then, they could only expect to keep East Front operations going for three weeks. Today aircraft fuel is more-or-less in good supply; car and diesel fuel is predicted to be at a ten percent deficit in July, and by August the army settling down on the Eastern Front victoriously will have to be supplied directly out of Romania. Even then, by September the German petroleum reserves are predicted to be completely exhausted, with aircraft fuel for only 50 percent of aircraft, car fuel for only 25 percent, and diesel fuel at only 50 percent. (per Halder's "War Diary", Vol.2, pp.534, 536, 574, for entries of May 19 and 20th, and June 13th, 1941.) Plundering the Soviet front line is absolutely essential; so is a short campaign. And fuel is not their shortest crucial supply for war on the Eastern Front.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 11:17:20 AM »
Are Hitler and his commanders not aware of basic geography? Do they not know how vast even the smaller western portion of Russia is, on this side of the Urals?

Of course they do: they know how fast and how far their blitzkrieg can go, not only in theory, and not only from factory design experiments, but from ongoing combat experience since September 1st, 1939 (if not counting earlier in the Spanish Civil War). That is exactly why they know they cannot expect to keep the offensive going for more than three weeks.

Are they not aware of basic history? Do they not know how legendarily cold General Winter is, how muddy the Great Rasputista gets in the autumn? Have they never heard of Napoleon?

Of course they know. But they can only sustain combat operations for three weeks anyway -- which is why for climate purposes it doesn't matter much when they go in 1941, as long as they don't wait until the second week in September. Which, again, is why they were okay with delaying Barbarossa a few times to get some other things done.

Have they never heard of "manpower"? Do they not understand that Stalin has never had a need to worry about such puny limitations as "manpower"!?

Of course they know; Germany had fought Russia back in World War One, and Hitler himself had written afterward in Mein Kampf Part I (chapter 7, p.164), “The first endless columns of Russian prisoners began to file into Germany. From that moment, the flow did not stop. Endless transports of Russian prisoners moved through roads and railroads all the time. But it was of little use. In the place of each vanquished army, the Russians raised another one. The endless lands of the Tsars seemed to have unending human resources. How much longer could Germany stand against such competition? Will there not be a day, when Germany, regardless of the fact that it just achieved yet another victory, will be left without new troops, while the Russian command will again and again move new armies to the front? What will happen then?!”

Hitler and all Germany also knew Stalin had raised three million troops already back in the late 20s. General Günther Blumentritt will write, in "Fateful Decisions," pp.65-67, "In the course of the 20s and 30s, the Soviets created an enormous army, over three million strong in peacetime, and gradually expanded it. This preceded Germany's 1935 rearmament, hence cannot be deemed a response to Hitler's introduction of universal conscription. For what purpose was so enormous a military machine created? Hitler could reach but one conclusion: Stalin intended to conquer all of Europe... An attack on Russia Hitler began to contemplate in earnest in the summer of 1940. He wanted, first, to hit the Russians before they could come down on Germany... With that fateful decision, Germany lost the war."

Well, no, Germany lost the war when enough German people supported Hitler to ride the Nazi Party to ultimate power in Germany! -- thus declaring a principle of war against the world, to seize all property and means of production under the control of a militant revolutionary socialism.

But Hitler was able to do that by appealing to the very legitimate fear about those millions of Soviet troops and what Stalin (along with Lenin before him) had always publicly said he planned to do with them: take over the world, starting with Europe, starting with Germany ("the home of world revolution") as soon as he could get to it.

Hitler and his generals don't know on June 22nd just how far Stalin has already mobilized his manpower; but they know he enacted universal conscription for the first time in Soviet history back on very day Hitler started invading Poland, September 1st, 1939. So they have a fairly accurate idea what is looming up, over there upon the border; they chose last summer to go to war with Stalin sooner rather than later, back when significantly fewer troops on that border were still way too many!

They also know what configurations those troops are in, and not for defense: because the Nazi blitzkrieg generals obviously know what blitzkrieg preparations look like. So they have a good idea how hard they can kick butt up and down the line, if they manage to launch their blitzkrieg first before the Soviets have properly lined up to go.

And they know that that front line is longer than the entire East Coast of the United States of America from Maine to the tip of Florida. They have maps, they can look at them, and take little calipers out and count to scale. That monstrous line of advance is one big reason why they expect they can only operate for three weeks; and also why they think they will only need three weeks to totally defeat the Soviet Red Army. It's all up front (they think), all outside of defensive preparations, and they correctly expect this because they know how Stalin, the militant Marxist revolutionist par excellence, thinks: he thinks like they do, who are the currently most successful militant Marxist revolutionary socialists! This is how you do it; this is how Lenin did it; this is how Stalin has continuously said he was going to do it; and there he is, getting ready to do it.

So, let's go get it while the getting is still good! We can even pick up their own supplies and use them ourselves! -- for an extra, third week of combat operations. We only have enough, ourselves, for two weeks, across the longest front line in world history, against the largest modern-capable army in world history, ten times our size. Maybe less time than that, depending on how hard Romania's oil fields get hit anyway, despite our pre-emptive attack.

But (despite Suvorov's constant snorfing about Hitler's plans) Hitler isn't being lucky. He knows those supplies MUST BE piled up there at the border; in some cases they are even close enough for his scouts to see! By inference, they must be where he can't see them, too.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 12:31:03 PM »
Hitler is bringing more than three thousand tanks, to fight and defeat sixteen armies with each more than three thousand tanks -- some with a lot more than that! This should be kept in mind when evaluating every Nazi success on the East Front, especially during Barbarossa.

True, not all those Soviet tanks are KV-1 or T-34 models; there are less than a thousand of each of those ready to fight, and not all by any means are ready to fight at the front yet.

But Hitler has nothing at all like the KV-1 (no Panzer V or VI models yet, no "Panthers" or "Tigers"), and not even quite two thousand of the Panzer III models, which are currently his only competent anti-tank tank -- most of which still have dreadfully incompetent anti-tank cannons (the “door-knocker” 37mm)! His Panzer IV tanks weren't designed to fight other tanks, and have barely been upgraded yet on June 22nd. About a third of Hitler's tanks are Panzer II models plus some Panzer T-38 models from captured Czech factories (no T-35s anymore); and even a few remaining Panzer I models.

Hitler is bringing no less than 180 tanks below the six ton category, in order to help destroy Stalin's Soviet Union. Stalin is bringing more than FORTY-TWO HUNDRED tanks below the six ton category, equivalent in specs to Hitler's 180 generally speaking. But aside from sheer numbers, there's one big difference: each of these dinky Soviet tanks is capable of swimming above water far enough to cross the English channel -- in stormy weather! And they're almost totally useless on defense.

To be fair, Germany does vastly outnumber the United States in tanks today: less than four hundred units over there in America, all weak, old-fashioned machines, very tall, with light armor and completely obsolete weapons. The most powerful American tank gun today is the 37mm cannon, and mounted only on some of their tanks! The majority of American tanks are armed only with machine guns. By that standard, Hitler's panzers are world-class.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2020, 12:34:22 PM »
Against the power standing in the East, Hitler and his generals can only expect to blitz for three weeks -- on two weeks of supplies! But against that power, they correctly estimate they can gain the victory, thanks to how that power is standing, and walking and riding, at the moment.

Against the power that is rising in the East, there can be no victory -- not for a Nazi regime which has declared the future is a human face being stomped down forever by a jackboot.

But they don't know about that power rising in the East yet. They do know that some huge strategic movement is going on -- the June 13th TASS Statement alone told them that! But they think it's the grand finale for filling out the border armies; which is true but not true enough.

Striking now, as they know, while the armies are still largely entrained will make them easier to destroy; which is also true! -- and also, not true enough.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2020, 08:05:40 AM »
Eastbound and Down
-----------------------

June 25, 1941, Galder's diary, "Reports say the area [of the Valdai Heights] is impassable for us, but our foe keeps using it as a springboard for counterattacks..."

So far those Soviet counterattacks are ineffective, but neither can the Nazis root them out yet.

And those ineffective counterattacks will soon have a much more effective target -- Galder's supply lines!

Still, the Nazis are only three days into their three week war. They still have plenty of time, to do what they say can't be done.  ^-^


(For a bunch of Icebreaker-related details on how much the Nazis are winning over the first three days, go back one thread to The Day of Truth.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 11:07:04 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2020, 08:33:57 AM »
June 29, 1941, one week into the start of the East Front war, the Nazis are doing reasonably well curbstomping the first wave of 5.5 million Soviet troops.

They're doing so reasonably well, that they very nearly win today!

After a whole week of frantic management activity, Stalin is receiving the most complete description so far of the true extent of failure across all his border Fronts -- a line longer than the eastern coastline of the United States from Maine to the tip of Florida. Stalin explodes so hard he brings Zhukov himself to tears, and declares that they have flushed Lenin's legacy down the toilet. He'll leave for his private fortress-dacha, under a full expectation that his own government will arrest him and have him shot.

All the deputation has to do is shoot Stalin in the head tomorrow, staging a coup thereby and collapsing the Soviet government, and Hitler will have won today.

Still, even in the supercritical conditions of this week, the Soviet system of mobilization is working perfectly, and an additional 5.3 million people have joined the ranks. These will of course mostly fill out the green Third Strategic Echelon; but on the other hand, Hitler has no idea yet that he still has to deal with 5.5 million First and Second Strategic Echelon troops already massing in the Soviet backfield!

Fortunately for Hitler -- in the short run -- around two million of those total troops will be kept by Stalin for training and gearing up in the backfield; and many of the rest are scattered on trains across all Soviet Russia.

But even with that reservation, the Nazis have a lot more work cut out for them than they did one week ago. So, can Hitler win against 10.8 million troops?

No, don’t be silly: mobilization isn't just going to stop today after one week -- unless the government collapses tomorrow. Mobilization will continue past this week into July, August, September... almost 20 percent of the Soviet population is subject to mobilization, and that’s THIRTY-FOUR AND A HALF MILLION TROOPS!

This resource will be fully used, and will even be surpassed.

Hitler and his generals are far from unaware of this potentiality, but they’re still hoping the whole rotten structure will collapse first. They don’t have to beat thirty-four-and-a-half million Soviet troops (they think). They only have to beat Stalin and the Soviet government. Which would be a lot easier if Hitler wasn’t Hitler and the Nazis didn’t insist on being Nazis...
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 08:35:36 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2020, 10:43:39 AM »
June 30, 1941, the deputation of ministers arrives at Stalin's dacha today. Did Hitler win yesterday, one week into Barbarossa...?!

Not yet: the ministers aren't there to have Stalin shot but to insist he take the public responsibility he insisted upon seizing for himself back on May 4th -- back when he thought for sure he was about to take credit for starting the final worldwide war to seize control of all property and means of production (under his management of course, for the good of the people).

Even this shows how close Hitler has come to winning in the first week, however. The situation is so bad for the Soviet government, that they feel like they need to keep the ultra-tyrant murderous Stalin as their promotional figurehead to raise the morale of the people, rather than have him shot to raise the morale of the people!


Colonel-General Halder writes in his War Diary today, "The Fuehrer noted that the objective of gaining control of the Finnish Gulf is paramount, because free navigation in the Baltic Sea and direct delivery of ore from Lulea becomes possible immediately after the liquidation of the Russian fleet. Taking over Russian ports from the mainland will require three to four weeks. Only then can the enemy's submarines be paralyzed. Four weeks of fighting means 2 million tons of iron ore."

The Nazis are eight days into their three week war (on two weeks of supplies), and projections already require four weeks to secure naval supply lines on the Northern Front. The door has been kicked in, but the whole rotten structure might not collapse within the projected schedule.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2020, 10:51:16 AM »
July 17, 1941, Chief of General Staff of German Ground Forces, Colonel-General Franz Halder reports, "Air force superiority is on the side of the enemy. The number of our units [that are] active on the front has been drastically reduced."

Twenty-five days into their twenty-one day war, Nazi Germany has lost not only air supremacy but even only air superiority in at least one front under Halder's oversight. The Germans calculated that rather precisely! -- the blitz cannot be sustained without air supremacy (much less without air superiority); but the Soviet Union's government didn't collapse, and Stalin turned out to have a lot more reserves than the Nazis expected.

Still, the Nazis are only a few days over the line of their three week war. Even if they don't regain air superiority (much moreso supremacy) soon, perhaps something can be worked out.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2020, 10:55:02 AM »
July 25, 1941, Nazi High Command authorizes 17th and 20th Tank Divisions, assigned to 2nd and 3rd Panzer Groups respectively, to be sent back home to Germany for a major overhaul.

Four weeks and three days into their three week war, with two weeks of supplies, two key armored divisions in two of their only four Panzer Groups are so badly mauled that it's more practical to send them all the way back to Germany, than to replenish and restore them near the front.


From Galder's diary today, "We have to forego far-ranging tank force raids. Must put them to tactical use. Seize territory piece by piece. Tiring job -- but the only way to destroy enemy troops." This means Galder's Panzer Group has to abandon blitzkrieg.

Hitler only had around 3600 tanks to start with, far too close to zero tanks for blitzing any longer than two weeks, maybe three if supplies are captured, along a continent-wide line. They've been running a week beyond their red line, and now are falling apart, partly because no tanks can be spared to keep on blitzing instead of finishing off and forcing Soviet armies in pockets to surrender.

On the same day in Galder's diary, he writes about a shortage of artillery shells. "For maneuvers," he complains, "you need fuel; for sitzkrieg, ammunition!" They don't have tanks enough to blitz; they don't have shells enough to sitz!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2020, 10:58:48 AM »
July 30, 1941, Galder's diary, "Central sector of the front must switch to defense. On the Lake Ilmyen-Kholm-Toropyets line, leave only minor rear-guard units! Tank forces to be pulled from the front for repair and replenishment." He means tank division losses are so heavy from the all the fighting that the relatively weak and worn-out Nazi tanks have been doing, that the Wehrmacht's strongest spearheads, 2nd and 3rd Panzer Groups, have to be pulled from action, and the Nazis are going on operational defense for the very first time in World War II!


Guderian in his diary (p.254) describes the end of July, "Around Yelnya heavy fighting continued, claiming prodigious amounts of ammunition. Thrown into battle here was our last reserve, our tank group command post guard company." A little more than five weeks into their three week war on two weeks of supplies, the Nazis are starting to run out of reserves. Scouting ahead with a divisional headquarters unit might be the very essence of blitzkrieg, as I joked to Barthheart during our match of DECISIVE CAMPAIGNS: BLITKRIEG; but committing the command post guard company of a whole Panzer Group to try to win a fight, can only be ultimate desperation.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron XI: AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2020, 11:03:37 AM »
August 4, 1941, Galder's diary, "The current fuel situation bars us from using motorized units for a southbound offensive. To replenish and rest up our tank units will take fourteen days."

Top commanders meet today with Hitler at Army Group Center Headquarters in Borisov. From captured documents of the meeting: "Colonel-General Guderian's report on 2nd Tank Group front situation: officer, NCO, soldier, and equipment losses; needs replacements; if new engines supplied, can restore tanks to 70-percent combat capability for far-ranging operations; if only spare parts, then only for limited action. Colonel-General Hoth's report on 3rd Tank Group front situation: stresses further operations confined to limited goals unless new engines supplied."

The Nazis have gotten not quite 420 miles, before their tank engines have failed so hard that they cannot be repaired but need replacing. Did they have none in reserve? Of course they did; those have already been used up, six weeks into a three week war. Fighting ten times your number in tanks will do that!

Four hundred and twenty miles advance, to capture Smolensk (after the first major defensive Soviet battle), in six weeks, may not sound like much; but against, over, and around so many hostile troops with modern tanks and guns and cannons, across a line stretching thousands of miles, on no good roads but usually more like goat paths? Suvorov radically dismisses the achievement, but looked at in context it can only be one of the greatest military gains in all human history!

Near Smolensk itself, 310,000 Soviet troops have been surrounded and slain or otherwise neutralized! That doesn’t happen by accident, nor could that be a mere drive-by shooting (so to speak).

Guderian in "A Soldier Remembers", p.256, will recall, "After some hesitation Hitler promised the entire Eastern Front 300 tank engines -- an amount I found absolutely unsatisfactory. As for getting new tanks, we were turned down outright." Woo-hoo, new engines for ten percent of our worn out Panzer II and Czech tanks! Plus a few Panzer III and IV engines, hopefully. These motors don't exist yet, of course; the reserves have been used already, which is why Hitler says he has none to send. They have to be built, and then successfully transported up and out to where the broken down tanks are at, and then replaced successfully by someone who knows what they're doing.

The Nazis are admittedly better prepared than the Soviets for this; the Soviets had so many tanks, and could replace whole tanks so quickly, they simply regarded them as expendable. But then they weren't expecting their own supply lines and forward-base factories to be overrun, nor to fight with their autobahn tanks and creeping mobile siege engines, on Soviet goat tracks.

August 4, 1941, Adolf Hitler in one of his table talks, after his panzers have rolled over a local tank factory: "If I had known that the Russians really possessed such a number of tanks... I think I would not have started this war."

August 5, 1941, Galder's diary, "The troops are exhausted. The Führer has declared (something to which we brought him around, through back-channels), that developments are now leading, as they did during the last world war, to stabilization of the fronts." That means no more progress for the blitzing anywhere.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.