How well would the Soviets have done if they had prepared for operation Barbarossa

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Noscoper, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Say Stalin takes the warning for operation Barbarossa seriously sometime in late April or early may 1941

    How prepared could the Soviets be for operation Barbarossa

    What would preparations entail

    Would the Soviets do better and could they have pushed farther West
     
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  2. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    With or without hindsight?
     
  3. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Without hindsight
     
  4. Catspoke Member

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    1) The Soviets would stop economic transfers right then instead of right up till June 22.
    2) Aircraft dispersal
    3) Perhaps come up with a political accommodation with the Finns.
     
  5. Catspoke Member

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    So your the Soviets. Its April 41, you see all these airfields being build in Poland and the forces marshaling up. I know by 1942 I will have the strength to defend much easier, and by 1943 should be completely safe. The logical thing to try is appeasement, would have probably worked in November 1940, but may not now.

    1) Sign the November 40 treaty now, without any additional demands.
    2) Return Buknovia to Rommania, Viborg and Hango to Finland and offer to give up the region around Lemberg containing oil to Germany. (None of that hurts you really strategically)
    3) Offer a new economic agreement, lots of give and not much get
    4) At the same time, arrange a Soviet military demonstration on the border, show off a big number of T34 tanks.
    5) Show off to the Germans the size of your military and the expected size of the reserves you can generate.
    6) Allow axis agent to flaunt themselves all over the Soviet union to see for themselves.
    7) At the same time, tell the Germans you see their build up and wont be surprised, and will be fully prepared.
     
  6. Hammerbolt Well-Known Member

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    Well... it's Stalin we're talking about, so... enraged by german treachery, order a preemptive atack asap. How well that would work...
     
  7. Dennis Dean Matta Active Member

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    Leave only covering forces on the border and draw back to the stalin line.
     
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  8. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Stalin tended to be cautious.

    I would do the following
    1_ Use the front line in Poland mainly to bleed the Germans a bit and make a number of fall back positions , trading space for time
    2. Use a number of dummy units. Use fake tanks and artillery with actual dummies for infantry. Mix them in where they would be the most effective.
    3. Order the fighters to patrol the skies at all times and shoot down any plane entering Soviet territory.
    4. Give permission to the Red Army to engage any troops that enter Soviet territory
    5. Build up the fall back lines with as much fortifications as you can .
     
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  9. Drunkrobot Well-Known Member

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    This is probably the most important thing they could do, take the prospect of fighting in 1941 seriously and quickly think of how they can mitigate the impact of the German offensives. Encirclement by the Germans was the source of the bulk of Soviet casualties, and it being done to the better-trained and equipped regulars in the prewar Red Army made an impact beyond even the huge numbers of men lost. Knowing to pull back and avoid encirclement in 1942 may have contributed to the Red Army having the surprise reserve for Operation Uranus, a Red Army that is doing this from the start is going to be in incalculably better shape to approach parity with the Axis in 1942, certainly if the Winter Offensive at the end of 1941 is more successful in forcing the Germans out into the cold and trapping them in pockets, which might happen with a larger and better-armed Red Army.
     
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  10. Catspoke Member

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    I could see doing that south, the Pripet marshes would only help focus the defence. Up north you wouldn't want the Germans to get all the way into Estonia for free, You would want to hold the Dvina up North, then perhaps the old Stalin line to the south of that.
     
  11. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    That makes things more difficult. Soviet doctrine was to do exactly what they historically tried: fortified regions right up on the border and a second echelon mobilizing behind them for a defense-in-depth. With warning, the planning and execution for the defense can be better rationalized but the Soviets will still run into stark limitations in logistics and their own messed up organization that will still ensure they suffer catastrophic defeats on the border, although perhaps they might manage to do more damage to German forces that has knock-on effects later down the line. The biggest difference the Soviets could do without violating their pre-war is mobilize the reserves earlier and deploy them in the second strategic echelon so the Germans encounter much stiffer resistance when they reach Smolensk and Kiev. Historically, the German victories during these battles were very close run things and stronger Soviet forces thanks to earlier mobilization might cause them to fail. A Barbarossa failing at (approximately) the Luga-Smolensk-Kiev would leave the Soviets retaining much of the industry and resources they historically lost in 1941-42 and set them up to roll into Berlin by late-'43/early-'44.

    The worst thing that the Soviets might do in response to figuring out the Germans are going to hit them, however, is push the second strategic echelon up to join the first along the border. Getting both echelons destroyed along the border would badly compromise the Soviets ability to outlast the German attack.
     
  12. Karelian Well-Known Member

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    Far too late for that option by then - when Molotov blocked the Swedo-Finnish state union plans in 1940, the Soviets effectively left the Finns with the options to either submit to them or court the Nazis.
     
  13. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    It's Stalin, who is the problem. Shoot him first and then apply some rather basic common sense. For example, shoot Grigory Kulik, too.