How easy would it be for Germany to capture Moscow in 1941?

The 9th aren't going anywhere until the 24th Oct
Not sure why you think that. Stahel's maps (which are largely derived from Wehrmacht daily situation maps) show portions of the 9th army unengaged in Vyazma and advancing behind 41st corps. On the 16th they were covering what would be 3rd Panzer's flank ITTL, as well as the rest of 3rd Panzer being freed up at that point to do so too:
oct 16.jpg


9th Army HQ is in an area directing the liquidation of the Vyazma pocket, but at least 1 corps (XXIII on the map) was around Rzhev attacking what remained of the 22nd, 29th, and 31st Soviet armies.

No it you not reading my posts I know the 41st aren't involved in the pocket, but read what I posted about the issues with making moves in conjunction with other units that are!
I'll go back and try to find an argument about that, but going by at least two books that detail the actions at this point, including one focusing on the Kalinin battles, there really isn't any problem other than what direction the 41st corps is ordered to attack.

To wit if you are going to block the north off with the 9th you can't do that until the 9th is done with the pocket, and without the 9th blocking the north your albeit free to move 41st going east risks getting flanked from the north as it hits the line. Now you can of course ignore the pocket and not crush it freeing up the 9th, but then you are left with a bunch of Russians (who were still fighting pretty tenaciously through most fo Oct) who you are going to have to either leave free or redirect other forces to contain/crush them.
Yeah you're just looking at HQ positions, not what the entire army was doing, same with the rest of 3rd Panzer. At least 1 corps of 9th army was not involved in Vyazma and was in fact attacking north of Rzhev on the 16th and earlier never was involved in Vyazma. It was a flank defense corps keeping contact with AG-North.

Plus Soviet forces as of mid-October on the flanks were badly worn down and disordered from the retreat. The only reason they gave 41st corps an issue in Kalinin is that it was on top of Soviet supply lines and was well forward of the rest of German positions and deep in Soviet rear areas, so they could cut them off from ground supply quite easily. Advancing East wouldn't create that issue, as the Soviets would still have to deal with the elements of the 9th army that were attacking them on the flank and their whole supply issues that would stem from trying to attack away from the main rail line from Moscow. The book "Defense of Moscow: the Northern Flank" really gets into the details of Soviet forces in the area and what they were capable of, attacking Rzhev was beyond their abilities at that point, they could just contest Kalinin basically and ultimately failed to do even that IOTL.

It sounds like you're hung up on a general narrative without understanding the details of what actually happened and what forces were actually where and what their capabilities were, rather than where army HQs were on a map. Which is ironic considering you're accusing me of just looking at pieces on a map.
 
I have to saying having buts out my copies of Barbarossa to Berlin by Brain Taylor
Well there's your problem.
75% 1 star reviews:
While the title and format of two volumes seem to lay claim to this work being a successor to those of Erickson, I have found this book to be a complete disappointment. I will start with the positives. The book is nicely bound and printed on very fine paper with a thickness approaching cardstock. The book does appear to attempt to follow the time and subjects proposed in the title. In the first several pages there are several glaring misspellings which indicate either that this was not subjected to significant pre publishing review or that it was somehow transcribed by scanning for publication. The work cites no sources inline but a brief bibliography of third party sources is included. The author attempts a day to day format of what happened in each of three regions, but despite the volume occupying two rather expensive volumes, explanatory maps are almost non-existent. Other reviewers have pointed out that there are factual errors scattered throughout the text and having read many of the referenced works I find that I agree with the other reviewers. Inline citations would help to make this text more of a research volume, but as it stands as an attempted spiritual successor to "The Road to Berlin" this work falls flat on its face.
 
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What you suggested was peace in the West. On what terms would a peace with the West be made?
I think some mix up over who posted what here - it was I who queried about the difference Peace in the West might make - see post:
 
It sounds like you're hung up on a general narrative without understanding the details of what actually happened and what forces were actually where and what their capabilities were, rather than where army HQs were on a map. Which is ironic considering you're accusing me of just looking at pieces on a map.
And frankly you are ignoring the reality of the German army in Oct41 (you apparently only think the Russian were worn down) and your now just finding some combination of split off corps that are magically going to bust through or hold of Russian defences and deliver you Moscow by the end of Oct .
 
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And frankly you are ignoring the reality of the German army in Oct41 (you apparently only think the Russian were worn down) and your now just finding some combination of split off corps that are magically going to bust through or hold of Russian defences and deliver you Moscow by the end of Oct .
The Soviets lost 1 million men in two weeks. The German 50k. Tell me again about who was worn down?
Plus the Soviet 16th army was a glorified reinforced division holding a 41km front, when a regular division was meant to handle 8-9km, a situation worse even than the defenses at Kalinin!

First of all that is a 4 star review of the book that also says this:
However the book is quite biased against the germans in particular and somewhat pro-soviet. It also imposed what I view as a pre-determined set of conclusions and has allowed this to conflict with the facts which it brings to light.
Despite the fuel situation 3rd Panzer Army completed the Vyazma pocket, took Kalinin, and until the mud made further movement impossible in late October even breached the Mozhiask line. The problem was misdirection of effort given the limited time frame before the mud problem strangled logistics. Complete lack of fuel is simply wrong, as they captured some, had access to their own, and had Ju52 supply drops to help as well.
 
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The Soviets lost 1 million men in two weeks. The German 50k. Tell me again about who was worn down?
Only numbers in isolation dont tell us much do they a two week period out of 6 month campaign period and ignoring mobilisation during that period :rolleyes:) , I've posted the losses by front graph twice now I won't bother a third time since you clearly refuse to look at it.

But OK yeah the Germans were as fresh as they were in June no loses, lots of fuel all the rest but nasty ole Russian winter came along and thwarted them and if it hadn't been for that pesky Panzer corp going to Kalininn they would have got away with Moscow
 
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Only numbers in isolation dont tell us mush do they, I've posted the losses by front graph twice now I won;t bother a third time since you clearly refuse to look at it.
Because it doesn't mean anything to the discussion other than a pathetic attempt to try and deflect from the reality of the situation in October. If you really want to play that dumb game, the Germans as of October 14th suffered about 700k casualties in all three army groups, while the Soviets had suffered around 4.5 million, mostly unrecoverable losses (POWs, missing, dead). Not only that, but the Soviets just around Moscow were still losing huge numbers of PoWs after Vyazma and Bryansk relative to the number of forces left:
AGC's total PoW haul from October 19 to November 14 was 116,073
That's an extremely high total for an army crawling forward amidst the rasputitsa. It's ten times the number of Germans reported missing in all of 1941.

More relevant to the morale issue, it's far in excess of the missing/PoW captured by other German formations earlier in the war, absent operational encirclements. AGN captured only 35,000 PoW through August 6, for example (From Glantz's Leningrad, citing AGN communique on page 27).
During the immediate post-Taifun period, AGC captured ~4,500 PoW/day.
....
Also compare the 116k Soviets who surrendered post-Taifun to the Red Army strength in the field.

Per Zetterling and others, Red Army had at most 400k men facing AGC immediately after Taifun, rising to 785,000 by November 15.

If we take the average strength as the mean of those two figures we get ~600k men facing AGC during the period it captured 116k.

In other words, about 1 in 5 defenders of Moscow surrendered to AGC during the month after Taifun, without any large-scale encirclements. That's pretty compelling evidence of a morale crisis.
But OK yeah the Germans were as fresh as they were in June no loses, lots of fuel all the rest but nasty ole Russian winter came along and thwarted them and if it hadn't been for that pesky Panzer corp going to Kalininn they would have got away with Moscow
Other than being as fresh as in June and having lots of fuel with the spearhead units and if you replace winter with mud, then yeah.
German numbers in AG-Center as of October were about 2/3rds of June strength on average. Fuel was a problem, but since they deleted about 70% or more of Soviet front strength in two weeks in front of Moscow for minimal losses (50k out of 1.2 million), they had a short window in which they could have bounced the weaker part of the Soviet defense lines before the Soviet capital. There is a reason there was mass panic in the capital and the Soviet government started evacuating. If not for the mud the USSR would have been f-ed.
 
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Because it doesn't mean anything to the discussion other than a pathetic attempt to try and deflect from the reality of the situation in October.


If you really want to play that dumb game, the Germans as of October 14th suffered about 700k casualties in all three army groups, while the Soviets had suffered around 4.5 million, mostly unrecoverable losses (POWs, missing, dead). Not only that, but the Soviets just around Moscow were still losing huge numbers of PoWs after Vyazma and Bryansk relative to the number of forces left:

Other than being as fresh as in June and having lots of fuel with the spearhead units and if you replace winter with mud, then yeah.
German numbers in AG-Center as of October were about 2/3rds of June strength on average. Fuel was a problem, but since they deleted about 70% or more of Soviet front strength in two weeks in front of Moscow for minimal losses (50k out of 1.2 million), they had a short window in which they could have bounced the weaker part of the Soviet defense lines before the Soviet capital. There is a reason there was mass panic in the capital and the Soviet government started evacuating. If not for the mud the USSR would have been f-ed.
and yet despite all that it only took a panzer corp going zig instead of zag to not happen, huh?

Just the mud, a memetastic summery!

But you forget meddling Hitler, and the timorous cowards at OKH for that authentic post war panzer commander memoir feel though
 
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and yet despite all that it only took a panzer corp going zig instead of zag to not happen, huh?
When they misdirected the force they focused their supplies they lost their window of opportunity when Soviet defenses were at their weakest and the mud hadn't crippled movement yet. I'm not saying that the Germans had an unlimited chance to win and inexplicably failed, they had a narrow window thanks to the weather in which to break Soviet defenses and advance to Moscow, but apparently didn't realize that and instead acted as though they had all the time in the world and could focus on mopping up the flanks.

Had they had a more accurate understanding of the situation they could have acted more rationally.

Just the mud, a memetastic summery!
If you read the book you cited the review of that is the reason cited for the fuel problems. The mud got worse as time went on, so while a frustrating inconvenience by mid-October by late October it was a crippling handicap. The Soviets suffered from it badly too when Stalin ordered stupid offensives in early November against Zhukov's orders and their forces got slaughtered:
Although 100,000 additional Soviet soldiers had reinforced Klin and Tula, where renewed German offensives were expected, Soviet defenses remained relatively thin. Nevertheless, Stalin ordered several preemptive counteroffensives against German lines. These were launched despite protests from Zhukov, who pointed out the complete lack of reserves.[57] The Wehrmacht repelled most of these counteroffensives, which squandered Soviet forces that could have been used for Moscow's defense.
 
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What you suggested was peace in the West. On what terms would a peace with the West be made?
Oops, I misread the prior post! Hess was either dispatched or left on his own to secure meetings with the British government to negotiate such terms, unfortunately I only have rumors about what he had in mind and little hard evidence.
 
Doing maths for the entire campaign on the assumption that it's all going to be like the first 24 days is not going to work. Leaving aide all other issues yes I imagine the German logistics chaps did achieve pretty good delivery rates during June/July since at that point their supply lines were at their shortest and the roads they were delivering on wee in good condition

Out of interest what's the cite on the "Wehrmacht motorised supply system was able to deliver 3-4 times as much munitions as the RED ARMY did" claim though?
ASKEY .OB VOL-IIB pp 298-315

The closer the route of the RED ARMY is to this 24 day standard for 750km drive, which is 2/3 distance to MOSCOW - the more that model lessons apply . Remember the rail lines network to MINSK were converted and established by early JULY including supply depot , that was processing 6300 tons per day by mid July. This was 210km into central Russia and could increase at > 140km per week per rail conversion battalion. Historically 6 of 10 RR battalions converted 32,000km by end of 1941 out of a pre invasion network of 106,102km or 1/3 of this network. There are maps showing how much of this network covered Russia out to MOSCOW....I don't have the links.

More RR battalion's would have helped.
 
Because it doesn't mean anything to the discussion other than a pathetic attempt to try and deflect from the reality of the situation in October. If you really want to play that dumb game, the Germans as of October 14th suffered about 700k casualties in all three army groups, while the Soviets had suffered around 4.5 million, mostly unrecoverable losses (POWs, missing, dead). Not only that, but the Soviets just around Moscow were still losing huge numbers of PoWs after Vyazma and Bryansk relative to the number of forces left:



Other than being as fresh as in June and having lots of fuel with the spearhead units and if you replace winter with mud, then yeah.
German numbers in AG-Center as of October were about 2/3rds of June strength on average. Fuel was a problem, but since they deleted about 70% or more of Soviet front strength in two weeks in front of Moscow for minimal losses (50k out of 1.2 million), they had a short window in which they could have bounced the weaker part of the Soviet defense lines before the Soviet capital. There is a reason there was mass panic in the capital and the Soviet government started evacuating. If not for the mud the USSR would have been f-ed.
When comparing raw numbers of casualties on both sides there's a critical factor your not taking into account. Because the Soviets suffered mass encirclements whole divisions, and armies were lost. For their part German loses were overwhelmingly from combat elements, primarily infantry. The Red Army was raising whole new formations, and throwing them into battle. German Divisions retained their logistical, administrative, and staff elements largely intact, while their combat elements were being exhausted. So while most Soviet Casualties in 1941 were from support elements, most German losses were combat troops. German Divisions fought on while growing weaker, and weaker fighting against mostly fresh, but inexperienced new units.
 
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When comparing raw numbers of casualties on both sides there's a critical factor your not taking into full account. Because the Soviets suffered mass encirclements whole divisions, and armies were lost. For their part German loses were overwhelmingly from combat elements, primarily infantry. The Red Army was raising whole new formations, and throwing them into battle. German Divisions retained their logistical, administrative, and staff elements largely intact, while their combat elements were being exhausted. So while most Soviet Casualties in 1941 were from support elements, most German losses were combat troops. German Divisions fought on while growing weaker, and weaker fighting against mostly fresh, but inexperienced new units.
I don't get what point you think you're making here. Yes, in combat both sides lose overwhelmingly among their infantry and forward combat elements. Germany mostly kept their losses to combat elements which means that their replacements were largely replacing, get this, their losses in combat elements! Of course there weren't enough replacements to go around, but since the combat elements were being what was lost they got nearly all the replacement manpower:
German casualties to the end of September were actually 140k less than I thought, only 559k, but they received 475k replacements for the army and luftwaffe in that period. The biggest problem was replacing the losses after September, which largely doesn't matter to this topic given that the decisive point was in mid-October and casualties until then were quite a bit lower than the previous months, because they hadn't planned on having to fight into October pre-invasion.
 
I don't get what point you think you're making here. Yes, in combat both sides lose overwhelmingly among their infantry and forward combat elements. Germany mostly kept their losses to combat elements which means that their replacements were largely replacing, get this, their losses in combat elements! Of course there weren't enough replacements to go around, but since the combat elements were being what was lost they got nearly all the replacement manpower:
German casualties to the end of September were actually 140k less than I thought, only 559k, but they received 475k replacements for the army and luftwaffe in that period. The biggest problem was replacing the losses after September, which largely doesn't matter to this topic given that the decisive point was in mid-October and casualties until then were quite a bit lower than the previous months, because they hadn't planned on having to fight into October pre-invasion.
My point should be obvious to anyone who reads military history. Units that take nearly 100% combat casualties have to replace them with less experienced replacements. By October 1941 The German Army was rapidly declining in combat power. They were short of supplies, men, and equipment. Do you really think the Germans failed to take Moscow because they made some tactical mistakes? It was a larger strategic failure on the part of the high command. They were demanding more from their troops then they could expect. In war you always ask men to do the impossible, but you don't ask them to do the absurd. It's the responsibility of the generals to tell the difference.
 
My point should be obvious to anyone who reads military history. Units that take nearly 100% combat casualties have to replace them with less experienced replacements. By October 1941 The German Army was rapidly declining in combat power. They were short of supplies, men, and equipment.
The Operation Barbarossa book actually covers this topic extremely well and even gets into the recovery rate for both wounded and sick personnel. Effectively when coupled with replacements, which at this point in the war were mostly fully trained, the recovered wounded and sick returning to active duty (combat or frontline duty) basically meant that the shortage of personnel was actually extremely small, less than 50k; killed and wounded were about 200k for all arms by the end of the year, which included naval and luftwaffe losses, plus of course rear area personnel, so irrecoverable losses were actually extremely manageable. Now that said the return of personnel to the front was lagging so at the bleeding edge as of October first there were shortages at the front, but again on average fully manageable amounts, units were roughly at 2/3rd of ration strength. Some of course were worse than others, but they were mostly combat capable, much more so than their Soviet foe.

German forces were not rapidly declining in combat power at this point, as the fighting over winter demonstrated. Their ability to fight was very much still there. In October the problem was the mud and operational mistakes that dispersed their combat power during the short window before mud stopped movement and caused and operational pause that gave the Soviets time to move up enough forces to secure Moscow against attack. The Soviets ruthlessly stripped other areas of the front in October to provide the necessary men and equipment, because they fully understood where the main effort was. That led to situation like around Leningrad where German forces managed to penetrate to Tihkvin and in the South to Rostov, but new Soviet reserve units built up then launched the counterattacks that pushed them back to logistically sustainable defensive lines.

Again as of October the Germans had sufficient supples, men, and equipment, the problem was the ground conditions that made movements of supplies forward difficult and eventually impossible and the movement of attacking forces off road near impossible. That was the problem and ultimately due to operational errors prevented the Germans from capitalizing on their victories at Vyazma and Bryansk to take Moscow before Soviet reserves arrived in sufficient strength to hold the city.

Do you really think the Germans failed to take Moscow because they made some tactical mistakes? It was a larger strategic failure on the part of the high command. They were demanding more from their troops then they could expect. In war you always ask men to do the impossible, but you don't ask them to do the absurd. It's the responsibility of the generals to tell the difference.
Operational mistakes yes. Several in fact including not close the Bryansk pocket so major Soviet forces escaped with their equipment and were vital in halting Guderian.
There were absolutely strategic mistakes as well both in planning and in the choices made during August, but those might have been surmountable had the October mistakes not been made. Germany clearly did not demand too much of their troops as evidenced by the low loss rates in October relative to previous months and them achieving the greatest pocket battle of the entire invasion, wiping 1 million men off the Soviet roster in about 2 weeks; the problem was the leadership misused them, sending forces off on flights of fancy like the Kalinin operation, which was somehow supposed to encircle and wipe out multiple fronts with a single corps.

I certainly agree that the generals, well really Hitler who put them all in positions of power so he could have loyalists in all the top command slots, failed not the troops. It's telling that the corps commander tasked with taking Kalinin even pointed out the stupidity of his orders and was ignored. Call it victory disease or whatever, but clearly AG-Center's command and OKW were not thinking straight.
 
The Operation Barbarossa book actually covers this topic extremely well and even gets into the recovery rate for both wounded and sick personnel. Effectively when coupled with replacements, which at this point in the war were mostly fully trained, the recovered wounded and sick returning to active duty (combat or frontline duty) basically meant that the shortage of personnel was actually extremely small,
And you are again missing the point. The Russian losses are of absolutely everyone wearing a uniform in the area of operations from bottle washers and sanitary clerks all the way up to command officers. The German losses are almost exclusively concentrated in the actual fighting soldiers and junior officers, the ones who actually constitute the teeth of the units. So every combat pulls more teeth while leaving the tail unharmed.

The allies saw this exact same situation play out later in the war with many regiments in 1945 looking pretty OK on headline numbers but the rifle companies being ground down to a fraction of their manpower, with that constituted mostly of green replacements and a “stiffening” of veterans who had survived by going to ground at the first shot. So lots of paper strength but pretty much combat ineffective.
 
And you are again missing the point. The Russian losses are of absolutely everyone wearing a uniform in the area of operations from bottle washers and sanitary clerks all the way up to command officers. The German losses are almost exclusively concentrated in the actual fighting soldiers and junior officers, the ones who actually constitute the teeth of the units. So every combat pulls more teeth while leaving the tail unharmed.
Again you're missing the point. That is a bullshit argument. German replacements were also concentrated in the combat units, while the wearing down of Soviet forces meant that badly trained conscripts or militia were the bulk of remaining troops the Soviets had at that point. Especially given that Soviets losses were at a minimum 4 million, probably over 4.5 million by mid-October while German casualties were about 550k by October and most of them were replaced by October. Not only that, but given most histories leave it out tens of thousands of sounded and sick recovered every month and were sent back to the front, which was a greater number than even replacements that were received by September, as it hit over 100k in that month. So Germany wasn't really experiencing a manpower crunch as much as casualty figures suggest.


The allies saw this exact same situation play out later in the war with many regiments in 1945 looking pretty OK on headline numbers but the rifle companies being ground down to a fraction of their manpower, with that constituted mostly of green replacements and a “stiffening” of veterans who had survived by going to ground at the first shot. So lots of paper strength but pretty much combat ineffective.
1941 was not '45 in terms of replacements and recovered returning to units. We know what actual combat strengths were for a large number of units and other than the worst hit divisions the vast majority were still hovering around 2/3rds of effective combat strength. You're also leaving out the kind of important issue of rear area actions in the East in 1941, which hit supply and noncombat units as well, so the casualties were more distributed than you'd think relative to other campaigns.
 
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You know, it’s odd how every single one of these threads seems to turn into an extended dissertation on how the Germans had no logistical, manpower or industrial handicaps that couldn’t have been overcome, how every apparent German numerical disadvantage disappears if examined closely enough, how every apparent soviet advantage similarly disappears if examined hard enough, and how the soviet regime was apparently ready to instantly collapse if only a particular German unit had turned left instead of right or whatever.

It would be strange enough if it was the same POD being discussed each time but it’s literally Every. Single. One.

Someone could ask what would happen if Feldwebel Schmidt went for a dump before having his lunchtime erzwurst instead of afterwards and three pages later we would be well across the border into The Land of Woo reading about how once the panzers inevitably roll into Moscow, a city with a population 150% of Berlin, all they need to do is disperse a handful of NKVD battalions and its all over except the victory parades.
 
You know, it’s odd how every single one of these threads seems to turn into an extended dissertation on how the Germans had no logistical, manpower or industrial handicaps that couldn’t have been overcome, how every apparent German numerical disadvantage disappears if examined closely enough, how every apparent soviet advantage similarly disappears if examined hard enough, and how the soviet regime was apparently ready to instantly collapse if only a particular German unit had turned left instead of right or whatever.
Might be the problems were exaggerated in pop histories and as part of the effort by German generals to hide their mistakes. Going through some work done by Niklas Zetterling on the Normandy campaign wherein he actually worked with the original German records rather than relying on received wisdom in earlier history books showed that the US forces dramatically exaggerated the number of German forces they faced and how many casualties they inflicted. It is hardly unique that post-war histories by the principles involved would be written to tell the narrative they want; Churchill is notorious for this as one example.

That's not to say that German forces didn't have serious challenges in 1941, but you have to balance those against what the Soviets were facing too to get a real picture of what the situation was, plus what mistakes both sides made.

The USSR was on the ropes in October 1941 and heavily covered up just what a disaster they were facing. I really suggest reading some modern translated Russian historian works that have come out in the last 10 years after they got a chance to actually work in the archives, things were quite near run in 1941.
This is an excellent book that has come out in English finally that has a lot of bearing on the topic:

It would be strange enough if it was the same POD being discussed each time but it’s literally Every. Single. One.
Maybe that is a matter of your own biases?

Someone could ask what would happen if Feldwebel Schmidt went for a dump before having his lunchtime erzwurst instead of afterwards and three pages later we would be well across the border into The Land of Woo reading about how once the panzers inevitably roll into Moscow, a city with a population 150% of Berlin, all they need to do is disperse a handful of NKVD battalions and its all over except the victory parades.
When you devolve into strawmanning, it's clear you're not capable of supporting your argument.
 
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