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MH-14: Germany Arrested. WWII: Germany Arrested : Strategic Overview. Germans restored tactical mobility with Blitzkrieg Poland, Norway, France (1939-40) German tactical improvements impressive: Applied WWI Lessons Learned effectively 1918 Weapons technology & tactics refinements

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MH-14: Germany Arrested

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wwii germany arrested strategic overview
WWII: Germany Arrested:Strategic Overview
  • Germans restored tactical mobility with Blitzkrieg
    • Poland, Norway, France (1939-40)
  • German tactical improvements impressive:
    • Applied WWI Lessons Learned effectively
    • 1918 Weapons technology & tactics refinements
      • Made & adapted
  • Developed effective doctrine for mobile warfare:
    • Integrated: Infantry, artillery, aircraft, & tanks
      • Effective combined arms tactics
    • Innovative tactics & clear common doctrine to all:
      • Speed, exploitation, decentralized C2;
      • Aggressive independent leadership from the front;
      • Initiative with full knowledge of commander’s intent
the problem
The Problem
  • Downside was also evident
    • (But apparently not to Hitler)
  • Crossbred & mismatched military organization:
    • 80% of German Army built on WWI equipment
      • Horse drawn guns, supplies, & baggage
    • Serious potential supply & logistics problems
  • German poor logistics systems remained weak link
    • Striking victories hid ever looming logistics problems
  • Instead of correcting this problem, what did Germany do?
limits of german expansion
Limits of German Expansion
  • Germany tested the limits of its expansion:
    • Flush w/victory over France, it appeared unbeatable
    • Everything now seemed possible for the 3rd Reich:
      • From strictly tactical & operational perspective =>
        • Hitler may have had some bragging rights =>
        • But his hubris was setting him up for a fall- why?
  • From Political & strategic perspective =>
    • Trouble was just over the horizon
    • Initial signs should have alerted Hitler & his generals:
      • (Dunkirk evacuation & Churchill’s firm resolve)
    • Conclusion to be drawn: ?______ ______ war likely ahead =>
      • and… Germany had better get ready for it - soon
hitler s slow reaction
Hitler’s Slow Reaction
  • Germany should have recognized the signs & their implications:
    • Should have concluded: time was essential=>
    • Need to start preparations now:
      • Exploit industrial resources of West/Central Europe
      • Address its glaring industrial & logistic shortfalls
      • Consolidate Germany’s position in Europe
  • Unfortunately for Germany => Hitler slow to react:
    • After Battle of Britain failed (w/high costs): =>
      • (Pilots, 1200 A/C, & expended limited industrial assets)
    • What did Hitler do instead?
front war again
?_____ Front War- again!
  • Hitler turned German Army East to start a new front!
    • Operation Barbarossa:
    • Strategic blunder of the first order - (why?)
      • (Remember WW1?)
  • Compounded this mistake by wasted men & material =>
    • Propping up ?_____________and his 3rd rate army:
      • Italian troops were poorly trained & led worse!
      • Tend to retreat or surrender after sharp engagement
  • The only worst mistake that could be made... he made!
    • What major strategic blunder was even worse than launching Operation?________________?
    • He declared war on the ?_____ ______following Pearl Harbor
early success vs long term weakness
Early Success vs. Long Term Weakness
  • NTL:German tactics & Operational Art proved superior early on:
    • But Germany was weak in key areas where it counted –
      • Particularly unprepared for a prolonged war – why?
      • German strategy and logistics - seriously flawed
  • In contrast theses areas were a key US strength vs.
    • Significant weakness for German Army
  • Several of Hitler’s & his army’s miscalculations about enemy’s resolve were demonstrated in:
    • Battle of Britain:
      • “The Blitz,” Churchill, and the “ Never so few…”
battle of britain lead up
Battle of Britain- lead up
  • Churchill’s role:
    • Transform Britain from… ?
    • To Churchill’s determined & inspiring warrior spirit
  • Royal Navy’s role:
    • Command of the ?___________
  • British resolve
    • Demonstrated by destruction ofFrench Fleet under Vichy control


hitler s response
Hitler’s response
  • Hitler’s response to British resolve:
    • 2 related but separate plans:
    • Luftwaffe’s Air Offensive to be followed by Sea Lion
  • Assessment Germany’s invasion plan?
    • ?_____________________________________________
initial target priorities
Initial Target Priorities
  • Luftwaffe ‘sinitial target priorities:
    • 1. Establish Air ?________________
    • 2. AttackGround support & Britain’s ?_________ industry
    • 3. Attack RAF in general
    • 4. Conduct ?___________ bombing (cities), and...
    • 5. Protect Sea Lion?___________ landings
  • Goering was convinced Luftwaffe could do it all without need of other service
    • German Navy thus expected no realistic air support from the Luftwaffe
    • Worse: treated Channel crossing like a simple river crossing- only a little bigger
german order of battle
German Order of Battle
  • Luftflotte 2nd & 3rddeploy to Calais in northern France
    • FMKesselring commands 2600 A/C
    • Soon assigned more
    • Comprised main portion of German air striking force
  • Luftflotte 5to Norway
    • (300 A/C)
    • Long range constrains strikes & makes them vulnerable to Fighters due to tactical shortfalls
tactical shortfalls
Tactical Shortfalls
  • Key tactical weakness of German Operational strategy:
    • BF109 – very limited range
    • BF110 - inferior to British Spitfire
  • As a result any Luftwaffemissions conducted beyond London had be conducted at night – why?
    • In order to avoid being intercepted by superior ?___________
british air defense system
British Air Defense system
  • Status of British AirDefense system?
    • Effective tactical execution of Brit Air Defense
  • Key role played by Air Marshall ?___________
    • Designed, programmed, developed and trainedall components of the system
      • All hardware & human components integrated effectively into full system
    • In contrast to his German counterpart- Goering
      • (noted more for unsupported assertions & bluster)
operational strategy tactics
Operational Strategy & Tactics
  • German Operational Objective
    • During Luftwaffe strikes July – Aug 1940
    • Objective: RAF industrial Base
  • Operational strategy & tactics:
    • Strike RAF Fighter Command & protect Luftwaffe’sbombers
      • When raids attract fighters => BF109s were to attack them
  • German Campaign operational priorities:
    • 1. Fighter command aircraft & bases
    • 2. Bomber command
    • 3. Imported (US) logistics stockpiles
    • 4. British population centers (cities)
aldlertag the blitz
“Aldlertag” & The Blitz
  • On “Eagle Day” Germans attack British Radar sites:
    • Heavy losses both sides (148 Brits vs. 286 for Germans)
    • Decide (erroneously) not worth it
  • Germans shift to strategic bombing (London & other cities)
    • Impact?
    • Desired effect on British population?
      • ?___________________________
      • RAF aggressively attacks
      • Poor German ?____________ contributes to failure
  • Contributing to successful British outcome:
    • German Intel failure (British Air Defense Ops)
    • Gross underestimates of RAF fighters’ capabilities in Northern region
    • Goering’s poor leadership & tactical errors
    • British Defense System: effective & flexible
    • Churchill’s & Dowding’s leadership & British resolve
strategic bombing lessons learned
Strategic Bombing Lessons Learned
  • Impact on Hitler’sStrategic objectives?
    • Target priorities: all fall short & in the end failure
    • Germany lacked adequate A/C strength, capability (range) & capacity
      • Day light strikes:could not protect bombers from Spitfires
  • What were the major Lessons Learned of “Blitz”?
  • Blitz (strategic bombing) Lessons Learned:
    • Modern economies very ?___________
      • Modern economies absorb great punishment & don’t give up
    • Strategic bombing is ?___________
      • Accuracy & sustained operations extremely difficult
    • Costly: A/C. crews, industrial resources
war in the med 1941 42
War in the Med (1941-42)
  • British Strategic Motivation:
    • ProtectSuez & Gibraltar=> key toIndia & Far East
  • Mussolini’s role: (Mare Nostra)
    • Reclaim past glory of Roman Empire
    • Force Brits to go around Cape of Good Hope
      • Instills incentive for Brits to re-open Med (Suez canal access)
    • Mussolini concerned Hitler may have strategic aims in Med
      • (Hitler in reality is focused where?)
      • To the ?___________________!
  • Italian Army’s role: wrt planning, preparation, leadership
    • Virtually non existent=> incompetent leadership
    • Untrained & undisciplined army
      • Only effective against unarmed 3rd class (mostly defenseless) enemy
  • Italian Navy versus British Navy
    • Italian Navy aware of its limitations=> avoids Royal Navy
hitler s actions mussolini s reaction
Hitler’s Actions & Mussolini’s Reaction
  • Hitler’s action to protect Germany’s access to Oil:
    • Sends “advisors” to Romania to stabilize situation
    • Reality: panzer division, motorized inf. Div, etc.
  • Mussolini response to Germany’s deployment:
    • Nov 1940: launched Offensive into Greece
      • (Overconfident but insecure opportunist & a bully)
    • Italian’s Army & Air Force performance?
      • ?_______________________________
      • No preparation or logistic support & poor cmdrs & leadership
italy vs britain in north africa
Italy vs. Britain in North Africa
  • Result: Italy’s invasionupset balance of power in Balkans:
    • Worse for Axis: it opened the door for British & Soviet attacks
    • Therefore presented obvious potential Brit threatto Romanian Oil=> impact
      • Delay – Hitler forced to protect southern flankfirst
  • What soon ensues for Italy & its incompetent Army?
    • Series of ?_______ ________befall Italian Army & Navy
    • Taranto:British CV Torpedo A/C attack Italian Fleet
      • Italian battleship fleet lost half its strength in one night
    • Sidi dl Barrani:
      • Gen Wavell’s 7th Amour routed Italian defenders & sent them fleeing West
germany to the rescue
Germany to the Rescue
  • Germany to the rescue:
    • Hitler then sends in “1st string” under command of whom?
  • Hitler’s motivation & strategic aim?
    • 1. Motive: Stabilize situation & restore status quo
    • 2. Prevent ?______’s collapse & secure ?____________ flank
    • 3. Protect German South Flank during ?____________
afrika corps the desert fox
Afrika Corps & the “Desert Fox”
  • Rommel:considered by many to be best armored general of war
    • (Patton might disagree)
  • Rommel’s philosophy of war:
    • Operational & tactical offense
    • Flexibility & initiative
    • And… he doesn’t always follow orders
      • Many times to his benefit (Ultra* intercepts)
  • Soon chased Brits out of Libya =>
    • Back to their starting point
enigma ultra
Enigma & Ultra
  • British captured U-Boat & its onboard Enigma
    • Enigma was used to encrypt message traffic from & to higher headquarters
    • Impact: Brits were able to read enemy’s plans
  • Bletchley Park’s& the puzzle solvers:
    • Advantage afforded to Allies by decrypted operational directives
    • Decrypted product (SIGNINT) was called:Ultra
germany in the balkans
Germany in the Balkans
  • Serb officers overthrew Yugoslav gov’t:
    • Hitler ordered a punitive Operation Punish
  • Germany’s Balkan Campaign:
    • 2 separate operations: Yugoslavia & Greece:
    • 1stLuftwaffe bombed Belgrade & 17K die:
      • Yugoslavia failed to mobilize
      • Attempted to defend everything= > nothing
      • Collapsed in five days
    • OKH quickly re-deployed for Barbarossa- impact?
    • Tito’s guerillas continued to fight as ?____________
  • A similar situation then ensued in Greece:
    • XXXX Panzer Corps outflanked Greeks & Allies
    • Key support provided by Luftwaffe
    • Greek Army collapsed & Allies retreated to South:
      • Brits withdrew by sea under heavy fire from Luftwaffe
    • Germany soon occupied Athens & other cities
      • Greek resistance then commenced guerilla warfare
fall of crete
Fall of Crete
  • Crete offered a key strategic position in the Med (Map):
    • RAF posed athreat to Balkans & Romanian oil for the Germans
    • Germany finally realized strategic significance of Crete
    • Decided to act to preclude Brit potential threat to its oil
  • Plan’s Concept of Operations:
    • German Airborne Assault:
      • Gen Student’s 7th ABN division
    • 7th ABN was tasked to take key operational objectives & hold (Map):
      • Then await relief by 5th Mountain Division deployed by air & sea:
    • Transported by JU-52 to secured airhead
  • Any problem with plan?
  • Obstacles complicating German attack:
    • Bad intelligence on allied situation in Crete
    • Britintercept & Ultra’s decryption of Enigma forewarns British
    • Royal Navy able to lay in wait for German transports
    • Hostile local population
    • But Friction is an equal opportunity phenomenon…
  • British problems:
    • Commander’s focus on attack from the sea:
      • (few defenders concentrated at airfields)
    • Defenders on Crete recently retreated from Balkans
      • Defeated British, Australian, & New Zealand troops (morale)
    • Luftwaffecontrols air in the MED & is ready to attack Royal Navy
battle of crete execution
Battle of Crete - Execution
  • Murphy’s law runs amuck on both sides
    • 7th Airborne Div. Commander’s glider toll rope snaps
    • German paratroops land directly on enemy positions & taken under fire
    • No C3 between ABN troops at Meleme & their support in Greece
    • Reinforcements await word in Greece
      • (Student’s HQ)
  • Time lost by Allies during fragile early phase of airborne assault:
    • Timely counter-attack would have precluded German foothold
    • Allies do manage to evade & escape
  • Results: very high casualties
    • (Critical moments- Map legend):
    • German Operational victory at very high costs
    • Hitler now down on risky airborne ops
    • But Alliesvery impressed (Normandy)
german successes libya egypt 1941 42
German Successes: Libya & Egypt (1941-42)
  • Rommel’s mission was accomplished:
    • Libya situation restored as directed
  • Balkan’s now also stabilized & Crete captured:
    • Royal Navy driven out of Med by Luftwaffe
  • Long-term Downside:
    • Greek & Yugoslavian resistance continue to war’s end
    • Germans unable to exploit their success in Med
  • Italian liability:
    • Hitler determined to keep Italy in war- Why?
      • Protect Germany’s ?____________ flank
rommel continues to prevail
Rommel Continues to Prevail
  • Rommel isleft to fend for himself:
    • Long, tenuous & vulnerable LOCs across Med
    • Fought & won against larger British numbers
  • RAF provides superior combat air support
    • Ultra alerts allies of tactical ops & re-supply efforts:
      • (but Rommel often ignored orders=> and confused the Brits)
    • Rommel able to take prevail over superior numbers
      • Rommeldefeats a series of British Cmdrspitted against him
  • British are forced to retreat back to Egypt:
    • DefeatsGenWavell who is too cautious & inflexible
    • OutflanksBrits attempt to relieve Tobruk in Operation Battleaxe
      • Wavellessentially defeated and lose91tanks to Rommel’s12)
  • FM Auchinleck appointed to replace Wavell
    • Auchinleck builds up his supply & equipment
    • While Germans unable to get much thru to Rommel
operation crusader 11 nov 41
Operation Crusader (11 Nov’41)
  • Auchinleck attempted to flank Rommel
    • But he splits his force & begins his execution too slow
    • XXXCorps is isolated by Rommel’s anti-tank guns:
    • Auchinleck also commits his armor in piecemeal fashion
    • This allows Rommel todefeat XXX Corps in detail
  • NTL Brit superior #s & Rommel’s lack of supplies=>
    • Tip balance & force Rommel’s retreat to El Agheila Line
recurring theme dynamics of loc s
Recurring Theme- Dynamics of LOCs
  • As Rommelfalls back on LOC - what happens?
    • Afrika Corps strength versus British strength
  • Jan’42: Rommel attacks the 1st Armored Div (just arrived )
    • Employed superior tactics (leapfrog) w/Panzers & anti-tank 88s
    • Destroyed 3 greenBritish cavalry Regimentsin detail;
    • Pushed Brits back to Gazala Line & Rommel occupies Benghazi
british retreat to el alamein
British Retreat to El Alamein
  • By Spring’42: Churchillwas very unhappy =>
    • Pushes his commanders for counter-attack:
    • Ultra intelligence indicated huge Brit numerical lead
      • (What doesn’t Ultra tell Churchill on the match-up?)
  • Gazala Line, 8th Army, & Rommel’s readiness to ?________ ____:
    • 26 May’42: Despite inferiorOB, Rommelattacks British left flank
    • Led attack off by a diversion to Brit center - what happened?
  • Brits retreat 30 miles East of ?_____ Line& soon surrenderTobruk
    • Rommel continues to press & forces Brits back to El Alamein (Brits will hold)
superior tactic leadership defeats numbers
Superior Tactic & Leadership Defeats Numbers
  • Rommel wins despite superior Brit numbers & new tanks
  • Major reasons why Brits lose?
    • Lack of aggressive ?____________________
      • (Auchinleck tentative & too cautious)
    • No Common Doctrine among disparate allied forces
    • Inferior Tactics & execution
  • Rommel forced Brits to retreat back to Egypt:
    • But his attempt to drive Auchinleckout of Egypt failed
    • Brits established Defense line at El Alamein& held it
  • Churchill concluded it was time for a change again:
    • He would replace FM Auchinleckwith yet another commander
    • Next time => an inspired choice takes command of 8th Army
  • Meanwhile => Eastern Front heats up…
operation barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
  • Hitler’s Strategic & ideological aims:
    • As laid out inMein Kampf
    • Conquer & enslave Soviet Union –reasons why?
      • Raw materials & perceived need for ?____________
      • Destroy “hated” Bolsheviks & Jews
      • Enslave “inferior” Slavs
    • Role of German SS?
      • ?____________ Hitler’s ideological campaign in wake of German Army
  • What was Hitler’s strategy & the German plan?
    • Short campaign w/attack focused near ?____________
      • (Germany’s logistics & re-supply considerations)
    • Why? (Prevent Russia from tradingwhat for what?)
      • ?____________ for ?____________! (Hint: look at a map of Russia)
conflicting operational objectives
Conflicting Operational Objectives
  • Germans pursued conflicting Operational objectives:
    • OKH: take Moscow
    • OKW: secure flanks- (clear Baltic& occupy Ukraine)
    • Who else favored what operational objective? – and as a result…
  • Operational Plan- OKHavoided clearly defined objectives
    • Army Group North (von Leeb)=> aims toclear Baltic states
    • Army Group Center (von Bock)=> moves to Smolensk
    • Army Group South (Rundstedt)=> heads to Kiev - then Dnieper
    • 11th Army => sentto secure Romania & Germany’s oilneeds
  • Leningrad, Ukraine, & Moscow were all potential objects
    • Problem w/ no clearly defined operational objectives?
      • No clear ?____________ – opened to conflicting appraisals:
      • Each cmdr could follow his own preference (…and they did)
german army weaknesses
German Army Weaknesses
  • Generally, German Army well trained, tested & led
    • NTL => it did have certain serious weaknesses
    • What were the Army’s major weaknesses?*
  • German Army in Russia major weaknesses included:
    • Equipment ?____________
    • Logistic & supply ?____________
    • Russia’s vast geographic distances=>
      • Stretched out German Army’s LOCs
    • Faulty intelligence =>especially on enemy capabilities
      • Usually grossly underestimated enemy capabilities & intent
soviet army weaknesses
Soviet Army Weaknesses
  • Soviet Army weaknesses:
    • Too many ineffectual leaders & officer corps
      • Stalin’s 1937-38 purges eliminated most competent officers
  • Soviet Army unprepared & out of date
    • No defense preparations made in defense against a potential invasion
      • (and all preparations were forbidden by Stalin)
    • Soviets even continued to provide Germany with raw materials on the very day of invasion
operation barbarossa execution
Operation Barbarossa- Execution
  • 22 June 1941: Germans launch offensive on broad front:
    • Russian forces surprised, overwhelmed & routed
    • Resistant pockets surrounded & bypassed (as per tactical doctrine)
  • Germans press on toward Operational objectives:
    • Army Group North (von Leeb) clear Baltic states
    • Army Group Center (von Bock) move to Smolensk
    • Army Group South (Rundstedt)=> Kiev - then Dnieper
    • 11th Army => to secure Romania & Germany’s oil needs
    • All would gain initial tactical & operational objectives
problems emerge
Problems Emerge
  • But as German advance proceeds, problems emerge:
    • 1. Logistics strained as LOCs stretched as advance moved fwd
    • 2. Group Cmdrs become unclear of next priority =>
      • Advance IAW their own tactical considerations
    • 3. Russians refuse to surrender & instead trade space for time
    • 4. Then Germans overextend LOCs & reveal stress of logistics shortfalls+
    • 5. Intel underestimates of Soviet OOB=>
      • (USSR still has 5.3 Million man strategic reserve)
  • Soviets make fierce (but disjointed) counterattacks
    • Force Germans to halt advance– casualties mount
      • Equipment & all ammo/supplies consumed daily
stalin interferes
Stalin Interferes
  • Stalin interferes at tactical level– no failure (or initiative):
    • NKVD shoots slackers (no good deed goes unpunished);
    • All requests for tactical withdrawal (from cities) denied
    • Stalinorders: “hold to the last” (and pays the price);
  • NTL: Germans suffer heavy casualties (440K of 3.78M):
    • By 1 Sept 1941, Germans short of 200K replacements
    • Army Group Center halts just outside Moscow:
  • Debate rages over operational objectives argued again:
    • OKH:Moscow vs. Hitler:Leningrad & Ukraine:
      • Accordingly=>Army complies w/limited success
  • Hitler then concluded that USSR about to collapse:
    • AG North had almost entirely encircled Leningrad & start siege
    • AG South had destroyed 4 Soviet Armies in Kiev pocket
    • So Hitler finally approved the advance on Moscow
      • (now believed Soviet’s center of gravity)
battle of moscow late sept 1941
Battle of Moscow (late Sept 1941)
  • Operation Typhoon – Army Group Center:
    • Mission: destroy remainder of Red Army +
      • Capture Moscow:
    • Strategic Objective: fall of Soviet Gov.
  • But Warning signs of trouble for Germans emerge:
    • Winter rapidly approaching
    • German Army =>
      • “hand to mouth” supplies consumption evident
      • No margin for unexpected or additional tasking
  • Von Bock(Army Group Center) orders attack on Moscow to begin in late Sept
    • By Dec 4: Germans at Moscow suburbs
      • But also too exhausted to fight further & now are stalled
soviet counter attack
Soviet Counter-Attack
  • Then Zhukovtakes command of Moscow’s defense:
    • Establishes forward defense:
    • Builds growing Reserve from vast manpower
    • Awaits opportunity to attack;
    • German intelligence analysis of changing situation: (oblivious)
  • 6 Dec: Zhukov counter-attacks Von Bock as temp. falls -25F:
    • Plans limited offense against Army to Moscow’s front
    • Stalin orders general offensive on broad front
    • German Army appears desperate
luck runs out
Luck Runs Out
  • Elsewhere other Army Group commanders order withdrawal:
    • Hitler countermands his generals & fires most of them
    • Names himself as CINC
      • Takes over operational command & control:
    • Orders everyone to hold every inch gained at great costs
      • Precluded orderly withdrawal (and high casualties result)
  • Situation rapidly deteriorated for Germans:
    • NTL Hitler remained firm: hold every inch taken
    • (And Hitler was probably right to prevent panic=> rout)
situation stabilizes
Situation Stabilizes
  • Gradually German’s situation slowly stabilized:
    • Stalin’s broad offensive was too ambitious to begin with
    • Offensive soon became overextended:
      • NTL: saved Moscow & frustrated German Objective
      • Inflicted huge casualties – Germans Unable to recover
  • Germans now suspend operations & await spring thaw:
    • Must invest another year trying to conquer Russia
    • Germans prepare for upcoming Battles of 1942
    • Battle of Stalingrad is next…
  • Germany failed to immediately exploit victory over France:
    • Instead of exploiting Europe’s industrial potential=>
      • By immediately preparing for pro-longed war =>
      • Hitler focused Wehrmacht on invading Britain
        • With no realistic chance of success
  • Op Sea Lion lacked required doctrine & train for ALCON:
    • German Navy had no viable Amphibious capability (ships)
    • Luftwaffe overestimated its capability to support it
    • Intelligence collection and analysis total failure
  • Brits w/RAF defended themselves well=>
    • German air offensive operationally & strategically ineffective
    • Germans not able to solve emerging problems of Battle of Britain
    • Gross Intel failure with regard to strategic impact of Air
      • Lesson that should have already been learned during Spanish Civil War
assessment 2
Assessment- 2
  • Italian incompetence created more drain on Ger resources:
    • Even with Ger assistance limited to mere prop-up Mussolini
    • Aim: protect German Southern Flank (Barbarossa & Balkans)
  • German major Political & strategic mistakes of 1941:
    • 1. Failure to consolidate & mobilize Europe for long haul
    • 2. Invasion of Russia (open another Front- stretch army)
    • 3. Declare war on US! (major industrial power added to fight)
  • In contrast, situation for Allies was very different in 1941:
    • Only need to hang on & defend until mobilized & industrial resources kick in =>
    • Reverse German success & the current tactical & operational course of war
assessment 3
Assessment- 3
  • Germany’s major weakness was Allied key strength:
    • i.e. (long term strategy & logistics/industrial resources)
  • Germany fights Operations & tactical battles well=>
    • but => extremely vulnerable as war’s grows longer in duration:
    • With time => more strain on its limited resources & logistics
  • For WWII => ultimate victory would depend more on=>
    • Nation’s economic and industrial capacityfor long term
    • (Much like it did inWW1!)
  • Bottom line:
    • Germans learned tactical & operational lessons of WWI
    • But failed to learned strategic & logistical lessons
faulty intelligence
Faulty Intelligence
  • Major problem: faulty intelligence about comparative aircraft capabilities & Brit defenses:
    • Spitfire & Hurricanes estimated to be inferior toBF-109 & BF-110 Messerschmitts
    • German Intel also failed to appreciate effect of Radar & British Ground control system – impact?
  • Unrealistic operational Intelligence estimates:
    • Poor German Intelligence analysis:
    • Only 4 day strikes required defeat Brit fighter command
    • Only 4 weeks required to destroy rest of RAF & A/C industry
aldlertag 13 august 1940
“Aldlertag” - 13 August 1940
  • On Eagle Day Germans attack British Radar sites:
    • Heavy losses both sides (148 vs. 286 for Germans)
    • Decide (erroneously) not worth it
  • Goering’s role mostly negative:
    • Lack of leadership, focus & direction=>
      • Conducts piecemeal attacks
    • Tactical errors: tie BF109s to Stukas
      • (no flexibility afforded to fighter pilots)
  • British air defense flexibility:
    • Adjust strategy as required =>
      • Focus on bombers
    • Still suffer significant attrition –
      • Desperately need break
germany in the balkans51
Germany in the Balkans
  • Serbia: following political confusion
    • Serbian officers’ overthrow of Yugoslavia government:
    • Hitler orders punitive action: Operation Punish
  • Germany’s Balkan Campaign:
    • Two separate operations: Yugoslavia & Greece:
    • Luftwaffe bombs Belgrade, Yugoslavia (17K die):
      • Yugoslavia fails to mobilize & attempt to defend all
      • (Defense too thin to matter) =>
      • Collapse in five days follows
  • OKH quickly re-deploy forces for Barbarossa- impact?
    • Tito’s guerillas continue to fight in the hills as insurgency
  • A similar situation then ensues:
    • XXXX Panzer Corps outflanks Greeks & its Allies
    • Key support provided by Luftwaffe
    • Greek Army collapse & Allies retreat South:
      • Brits withdraw by sea while under heavy attack by Luftwaffe
  • Royal Navy able to withdraw 51K of 62K troops
    • Large majority evacuate to Crete
  • Soon Germany occupies Athens & other major cities
    • Greek resistance commences guerilla warfare campaign
operation typhoon execution
Operation Typhoon- Execution
  • Von Bock(Army Group Center) orders attack on Moscow to begin in late Sept
    • General Hoepner(4th Panzer Grp) leads attack
    • Germans encircle & capture 2 huge Army Groups:
      • 600K Russian POWs =>
      • Moscow citizens in panic
  • Then Russia’s historic ally comes to rescue – who?
    • Rains => mud=> impassable roads =>
    • Germans literally stuck in mud & advance stalls
    • Severe strain on German logistics escalates w/each mile forward:
    • No rations, re-supply, or winter uniforms
  • By Dec 4: Germans at Moscow suburbs
    • But troops too exhausted to continue fight