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Thread: The world holds its breath... an EastAARn Front

  1. #1

    The world holds its breath... an EastAARn Front

    Unternehmen Barbarossa

    Quote Originally Posted by Adolf Hitler
    When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment.
    The greatest movement of men and arms began on the morning of June 22, 1941, when slightly more than 3 million German troops invaded the USSR. Although German preparations had been visible for months and had been talked about openly among the diplomats in Moscow, the Soviet forces were taken by surprise. Stalin, his confidence in the country's military capability shaken by the Finnish war, had refused to allow any counteractivity for fear of provoking the Germans. Moreover, the Soviet military leadership had concluded that blitzkrieg, as it had been practiced in Poland and France, would not be possible on the scale of a Soviet-German war; both sides would therefore confine themselves for the first several weeks at least to sparring along the frontier. The Soviet army had 2.9 million troops on the western border and outnumbered the Germans by two to one in tanks and by two or three to one in aircraft. Many of its tanks and aircraft were older types, but some of the tanks, particularly the later famous T-34s, were far superior to any the Germans had. Large numbers of the aircraft were destroyed on the ground in the first day, however, and their tanks, like those of the French, were scattered among the infantry, where they could not be effective against the German panzer groups. The infantry was first ordered to counterattack, which was impossible, and then forbidden to retreat, which ensured their wholesale destruction or capture.


    Hitler at his Fuhrer Headquarters


    In preparation for the attack, Hitler moved 3.2 million German soldiers and about 1 million Axis soldiers to the Soviet border, launched many aerial surveillance missions over Soviet territory, and stockpiled materiel in the East. The Soviets were still taken by surprise, mostly due to Stalin's belief that the Third Reich was unlikely to attack only two years after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Soviet leader also believed that the Nazis would likely finish their war with Britain before opening a new front. He refused to believe repeated warnings from his intelligence services on the Nazi buildup, fearing the reports to be British misinformation designed to spark a war between the Nazis and the USSR. The German government also aided in this deception, telling Stalin that the troops were being moved to take them out of range of British bombers. The Germans also explained that they were trying to trick the British into thinking they were planning to attack the Soviet Union, while in fact the troops and supplies were being stockpiled for an invasion of Britain. As a result, Stalin's preparations against a possible German invasion in 1941 were half-hearted.[citation needed] The spy Dr. Richard Sorge gave Stalin the exact German launch date; Swedish cryptanalysts led by Arne Beurling also knew the date beforehand.

    The Germans set up deception operations, from April 1941, to add substance to their claims that Britain was the real target: Operations Haifisch and Harpune. These simulated preparations in Norway, the Channel coast and Britain. There were supporting activities such as ship concentrations, reconnaissance flights and training exercises. Invasion plans were developed and some details were allowed to leak.

    Hitler also researched into Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia. At Hitler's insistence, the German High Command (OKW) began to develop a strategy to avoid repeating these mistakes. The strategy Hitler and his generals agreed upon involved three separate army groups assigned to capture specific regions and cities of the Soviet Union. The main German thrusts were conducted along historical invasion routes. Army Group North was assigned to march through the Baltics, into northern Russia, and either take or destroy the city of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). Army Group Center would advance to Smolensk and then Moscow, marching through what is now Belarus and the west-central regions of Russia proper. Army Group South was to strike the heavily populated and agricultural heartland of Ukraine, taking Kiev before continuing eastward over the steppes of southern Russia all the way to the Volga and the oil-rich Caucasus.

    Hitler, the OKW and the various high commands disagreed about what the main objectives should be. In the preparation for Barbarossa, most of the OKW argued for a straight thrust to Moscow, whereas Hitler kept asserting his intention to seize the resource-rich Ukraine and Baltics before concentrating on Moscow. An initial delay, which postponed the start of Barbarossa from mid-May to the end of June 1941, may have been insignificant, especially since the Russian muddy season came late that year. However, more time was lost at various critical moments as Hitler and the OKW suspended operations in order to argue about strategic objectives.



    OKW plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union


    Quote Originally Posted by Adolf Hitler
    We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down


    A German squad attacking on the first shots of Barbarossa


    Intro sourced from Wikipedia and History Channel. Everything below this line is originally written
    Last edited by Merlowe; 21-03-2008 at 03:47.

  2. #2
    *Plants flag as first commentAAR*

    Nice first post, and welcome to the forums.
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  3. #3
    Second Lieutenant JonReb's Avatar
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    Looks good, I like the writing style already. Subscribed.

  4. #4
    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    Yes, very nice intro, and nice title too. I am holding my breath
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  5. #5
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    oh man, this should be good!

  6. #6
    Unternehmen Barbarossa

    Of course, the situations and developments on the Eastern Front cannot simply focus on German efficients and defecits in terms of manpower, material and firepower. The Red Armys failings in its command structure and the gutting of its officers corps in the Great Purge played a heavy role in the disaster that Barbarossa represented to our Russian comrades.

    In 1941, Russia (or the Soviet Union, whichever you prefer) was by no means a weak country, contrary to popular belief. Rapid industrialization by Stalin meant that the Soviets possesed significant economic assets. Its industrial was second only to that of the United States and roughly equal to the production of the German Reich. In the late 30's and early 40's the Soviet economy focused mainly on the production of military systems and technologies. The lesser of these was Stalin's Great Fleet program, an attempt by the Soviet Union to gain a navy on par with that of Great Britian and America. Although the basis of the idea was the still significance of the battleship, (which unknowingly was inferior to the power and might of the aircraft carrier).

    Quote Originally Posted by Friedrich von Mellenthin
    "We had nothing comparable."

    T-34's rolling off the production line at Kursk

    The army's strategic planning was not as deficient as previously believed. A modern operational doctrine was developed in the early 1930's and presented for the first time in the Red Army Field Manual 1936. In 1941, the Soviet armed forces in the western districts, mostly promigated along the Stalin line (abandoned after the conquest of western Poland via the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) were outnumbered by their Axis counterparts. 4.3 million Axis soldiers were stationed on the demarcation line before the invasion facing 3.6 million Red army men. Total Red Army strength had a small advantage in manpower: 5 million men, 2.6 in the Western military districts, 1.8 in the Russian Far East with the rest deployed between military insignificant fronts or on training in the Soviet heartland. Although vastly improved over the armed forces of January 1939, with total increases in divisions, personnel, guns, tanks, and aircraft averaging more than 100%, equipment was frequently outdated. Many units were below their nominal strength, throwing away the myth of Soviet manpower advantage in June 1941. As the Axis fought the campaign with a slight advantage in manpower. That, coupled with the efficiency of the blitzkrieg style of warfare and the destruction of any initiative and planning in the Soviet armed forces made a delicious recipe for disaster.

    Last edited by Merlowe; 21-03-2008 at 03:46.

  7. #7

    interesting intro

    so far so good

  8. #8
    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    looking good!

    the last part was a cliffhanger!
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlowe
    <snip>In 1941, Russia (or the Soviet Union, whichever you prefer)...</snip>
    Soviet Union/USSR/CCCP. And subscribed. (Great start, btw.)

  10. #10
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    this looks very good, I like it so far.
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  11. #11
    Excellent! Keep it up!!

  12. #12
    Unternehmen Barbarossa


    Composition of Axis forces on the eve of Barbarossa

    Halder as the Chief of General Staff OKH concentrated the following Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe forces for the operation:

    Army Group North (Heeresgruppe Nord) (Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb) staged in East Prussia with (26 divisions):
    16th Army (16. Armee) (Ernst Busch)
    4th Panzer Group (Panzergruppe 4) (Hoepner)
    18th Army (18. Armee) (Georg von Küchler)
    Air Fleet 1 (Luftflotte einz) (Alfred Keller)

    Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte) (Fedor von Bock) staged in Eastern Poland with (49 divisions):
    4th Army (4. Armee) (Günther von Kluge)
    2nd Panzer Group (Panzergruppe 2) (Guderian)
    3rd Panzer Group (Panzergruppe 3) (Hoth)
    9th Army (9. Armee) (Strauss)
    Air Fleet 2 (Luftflotte zwei) (Albert Kesselring)

    Army Group South (Heeresgruppe Süd) (von Rundstedt) was staged in Southern Poland and Romania with (41 divisions):
    17th Army (17. Armee) (Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel)
    Slovak Expeditionary Force
    1st Panzer Group (Panzergruppe 1) (von Kleist)
    11th Army (Eugen Ritter von Schobert)
    Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia (CSIR) (Messe)
    6th Army (6. Armee) (Walther von Reichenau)
    Romanian 3rd Army (Dumitrescu)
    Romanian 4th Army (Constantinescu)
    Hungarian "Fast Moving Army Corps" (Szombathelyi) known as the Korpat Gruppe in the Royal Hungarian Army.
    Air Fleet 4 (Luftflotte vier) (Alexander Löhr)

    Staged from Norway a smaller group of forces consisted of:
    Army High Command Norway (Armee-Oberkommando Norwegen) (Nikolaus von Falkenhorst) with two Corps
    Air Fleet 5 (Luftflotte funf) (Stumpf)

    Numerous smaller units from all over Nazi-occupied Europe, like the "Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism" (Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévisme), supported the German war effort.


    Composition of Soviet forces on the eve of Barbarossa

    At the beginning of the German Reich’s invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 the Red Army areas of responsibility in the European USSR were divided into four active Fronts. More Fronts would be formed within the overall responsibility of the three Strategic Directions commands which corresponded approximately to a German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) Army Group (Heeresgruppen) in terms of geographic area of operations.

    On Zhukov's orders immediately following the invasion[citation needed] the Northern Front was formed from the Leningrad Military District, the North-Western Front from the Baltic Special Military District, the Western Front was formed from the Western Special Military District, and the Soviet Southwestern Front was formed from the Kiev Special Military District. The Southern Front was created on the 25 June 1941 from the Odessa Military District.

    The first Directions were established on 10 July 1941, with Voroshilov commanding the North-Western Strategic Direction, Timoshenko commanding the Western Strategic Direction, and Budyonny commanding the South-Western Strategic Direction.[38]

    The forces of the North-Western Direction were:[39]
    The Northern Front was commanded by Colonel General Markian Michailovitch Popov bordered Finland and included the 14th Army, 7th Army, and the 23rd Army as well as smaller units subordinate to the Front commander.
    The North-Western Front was commanded by Colonel General Fyodor Kuznetsov defended the Baltic region and consisted of the 8th Army, 11th Army, and the 27th Army and other front troops(34 divisions).
    The Northern and Baltic Fleets

    The forces of the Western Direction were:
    The Western Front was commanded by General Dmitri Grigoryevitch Pavlov had the 3rd Army, 4th Army, 10th Army and the Army Headquarters of the 13th Army which coordinated independent Front formations(45 divisions).[citation needed]
    The Pinsk Flotilla

    The forces of the South-Western Direction consisted of:
    The South-Western Front was commanded by Colonel General Mikhail Petrovitch Kirponos was formed from the 5th Army, 6th Army, 12th Army and the 26th Army as well as a group of units under Strategic Direction command(45 divisions).
    The Southern Front was commanded by General Ivan Vladimirovitch Tyulenev created on the 25 June 1941 from the 9th Independent Army and the 18th Army with 2nd and 18th Mechanized Corps in support(26 divisions).
    The Black Sea Fleet

    Beside the Armies in the Fronts, there were a further six armies in the Western region of the USSR: 16th Army, 19th Army, 20th Army, 21st Army, 22nd Army and the 24th Army which formed, together with independent units, the Stavka Reserve Group of Armies which was later renamed the Reserve Front nominally under Stalin's direct command.


    Sourced from: Wikipedia

    This is going to be the last solely text based update. The actual Barbarossa campaign will be composed of gameplay images and historically accurate information and details gleaned from accurate sources.

  13. #13
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    Great few intros, learned a lot!
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  14. #14
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    Looks interesting...
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  15. #15

  16. #16
    Unternehmen Barbarossa


    Quote Originally Posted by Adolf Hitler Radio Adress
    Weighted down with heavy cares, condemned to months of silence, I can at last speak freely-German people! At this moment a march i taking place that, for its extent, compares with the greatest the world has ever seen. I have decided again today to place the fate and future of the Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.


    May God aid us, especially in this fight


    Four hours earlier, the glare from six thousand gun flashes had lit the eastern dawn, overwhelming the Russian frontier guards in a maelstrom of flame and destruction. Thousands of soldiers woke up to the screech of tank tracks and the thud of artillery.


    Quote Originally Posted by Intercepted Radio Transmission, Brest-Litovsk
    We are being fired on, what are we to do?

    You must be insane. And why is your signal not in code?
    At 3:15 am on June 22, 1941, the Axis attacked. It is difficult to precisely pinpoint the strength of the opposing sides in this initial phase, as most German figures include reserves slated for the East but not yet committed, as well as several other issues of comparability between the German and USSR's figures. A reasonable estimate is that roughly three million Wehrmacht troops went into action on 22 June, and that they were facing slightly fewer Soviet troops in the border Military Districts. The contribution of the German allies would generally only begin to make itself felt later in the campaign. The surprise was complete: Stavka, alarmed by reports that Wehrmacht units approached the border in battle deployment, had at 00:30 AM ordered to warn the border troops that war was imminent, only a small number of units were alerted in time.

    The shock stemmed less from the timing of the attack than from the sheer number of Axis troops who struck into Soviet territory simultaneously. Aside from the roughly 3.2 million German land forces engaged in, or earmarked for the Eastern Campaign, about 500,000 Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian and Italian troops eventually accompanied the German forces, while the Army of Finland made a major contribution in the north. The 250th Spanish "Blue" Infantry Division was an odd unit, representing neither an Axis or a Waffen-SS volunteer formation, but that of Spanish Nazis and sympathisers.

    Reconnaissance units of the Luftwaffe worked at a frantic pace to plot troop concentration, supply dumps, and airfields, and mark them for destruction. The task of the Luftwaffe was to neutralise the Soviet Air Force. This was not achieved in the first days of operations, despite the Soviets having concentrated aircraft in huge groups on the permanent airfields rather than dispersing them on field landing strips, making them ideal targets. The Luftwaffe claimed to have destroyed 1,489 aircraft on the first day of operations[40]. Hermann Göring, Chief of the Luftwaffe distrusted the reports and ordered the figure checked. Picking through the wreckages of Soviet airfields, the Luftwaffe's figures proved conservative, as over 2,000 destroyed Soviet aircraft were found[41]. The Luftwaffe had achieved temporary air superiority over all three sectors of the front, and would maintain it until the close of the year, largely due to the need by the Red Army Air Forces to manoeuvre in support of retreating ground troops. The Luftwaffe would now be able to devote large numbers of its Geschwader (See Luftwaffe Organization) to support the ground forces. Wikipedia



    Disposition of forces- pre invasion


    Operation Barbarossa Phase 1






  17. #17
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    Well, Hitler was wrong this time. Barbarossa is fully working and we keep talking. So, the world is making some comments

    Good work, keep working like that. Welcome to the forum!
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  18. #18
    Roman LibrAARian comagoosie's Avatar
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    Very nicely done!
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  19. #19
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    fifteen divisions destroyed in that pocket, not bad at all.
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  20. #20
    Unternehmen Barbarossa


    0800 July 1st 1941
    Heeresgruppen Sud HQ
    Southwest Russia - Ukraine

    The German army is facing stiff resistance in the southern front of Russia, mostly this is due to the inept troop placements by STAVKA which left Heeresgruppen Mitte to exploit the gap in the usual blitzkrieg manner. Unnoticed in the excitement of the initial assaults, Soviet forces were penetrate into Rumania proper, threatening our precious oil supply in Ploesti. An attack on Iasi was launched in order to encircle and destroy the three rifle divisions wandering through the Rumanian countryside.




    2100 July 1st 1941
    Heeresgruppen Mitte HQ
    Central Russia - Belarus - Borderland Lithuania

    Speaking of exploiting weak concentrations, Abwehr Army Intellegence has discovered the relatively light screen of divisions on the path of Minsk-Smolensk. German troops are pressed forward in order to secure the 1st 'rest' (by which is meant a decent days nap, outfitting etc) zone of Operation Barbarossa, the Dnieper-Smolensk-Zapadnaya Drina.

    On the fringes of Mitte HQ an attack on the province of Alytus was ordered in all haste to prepare Herresgruppen Nord to pick up the slack in the Northern section of the front, a job currently held by Mitte.








    2300 July 1st 1941
    Fuhrer Headquarters
    Wolfsshanze East Prussia - Grossdeutschland

    The current battle reports from Wehrmacht Headquarters. Wehrmacht divisions are encountering light resistance by vanguard elements of the Red Army. More resistance is expected during deeper penetrations.




    0000 July 3 1941
    Herresgruppen Mitte HQ
    Central Russia - Belarus

    General Guderian is personally ordered to complete the encirclement of the Minsk salient. Three to five Soviet divisions are expected to be remaining at the closing of the trap.





    Who is really in charge, the hat or the mustache, currently the pool at HQ stands at 400 Reichsmarks in favor of the mustache.

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