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Subject: Case Blue, Stalingrad and Caucasian Oil
CJH    6/12/2005 12:25:55 AM
In 1942 the Germans executed their Case Blue plan for overunning the Caucasus and seizing control the Caucasian oilfields from the Soviet Union. The view of the role of Stalingrad I got was that it was originally not an objective but became one through Hitler's altering the battle plan in mid course. Yet some say that control of Stalingrad was necessary to enable the Germans to get supplies to their advancing columns as the columns raced towards the Caucasus as Stalingrad was a railway network hub. 1. Could the Germans have simply left a screening force in front of Stalingrad instead of capturing it, concentrated their forces on the Caucasus and then have succeeded in capturing the oil fields? 2. Had the Germans gained control of the oil fields of the Caucasus could the Soviets still have stayed in the war?
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Caesar Maximus    RE:Case Blue, Stalingrad and Caucasian Oil   6/22/2005 11:03:10 PM
I think given the massive reserves Stalin had to deploy, no variation save not launching the offensive could've saved the 6th army. The massive counteroffensive launched by the Soviets was beyond the means of the Nazis and their allies to contain. If they'd gone for the Caucasus, they'd have simply been trapped there instead.
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S-2    RE:Case Blue, Stalingrad and Caucasian Oil   7/19/2005 12:21:40 AM
It was worthwhile to attempt the capture of Stalingrad. The decision to do so simply came a bit late. It was also a worthy goal to attempt to interdict the Volga River traffic, though this could have been accomplished either to the north (preferable) or south of the city. However, it clearly wasn't wise to become invested within the city, and upon the early September failed attack, 6th Army should have pulled back. How far, and how much of the Army to pull back? It's possible that if the infantry divisions of 6th Army had not been seriously hurt by mid-September, that they could have fortified the Don to a portion of its lower length, allowing its Panzer Korps free access to fighting a mobile defense within the landbridge between the Don and Volga rivers. Still, that dicey issue of axis partners on flanks, and the frontage for which they were responsible. Perhaps the Italians, Rumanians, and Hungarians should have been given the job of Stalingrad, with the 6th Army laying back. Wouldn't that be interesting? At the least, they would have served as a screen for 6th Army. Short of oil deposits of which I may be unaware, developed and active at the time, I can't imagine the Soviet Union sustaining itself while losing the Caucasus. No way lend-lease can make that up.
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Ghostrider    RE:Case Blue, Stalingrad and Caucasian Oil   12/16/2005 2:27:36 PM
Well we all know what happened, and there are all of these what if scenarios, however I think that the OKW, main priority should have been the "Fuel" in the Caucasus. The German Land Warfare Doctorine was that of Mobile Warfare, however 60% were still horse drawn and moved by foot, so the Infantry was slow moving, unlike the PanzerKorps. This could have been rectified in the early 30's by producing large stockpiles of Transports both tracked and wheeled. Ok so not to get off the subject here you can see where Im going, if the Germans had more mobile forces I think they could have easily taken Leningrad, this would have improved relations with the Finn's and led to more troop strength and a "Vital" port in the North, and could have been easily Defended, as the North had various Forests, swamps, lakes and such. Meanwhile Army Group Center could have done the expected in the early stages by encircling large amounts of Soviet Forces, as was actually done. Thus the ArmyGroup south with more mobile forces (proper amount of transports) could have been the Spearhead to reach the Caucasus in a shorter amount of time than actually done in the War. Army Group North holds and Defends the North with the Finns, and its Reserves, while Army Group Center holds the middle and creates diversionary attacks and probes into the Russian destabalized lines...and bombing rear echelon forces with its Luftwaffe to try and keep them hemmed in and Reconing their movements, thus leaving Army Group South to attack the Caucasus in force rapidly taking Stalingrad and the Volga in Force... then moving its PanzerKorps to the south with its "now" mobile forces to take the oil before the end of 1942. Reserve Panzerkorps with reserves being the I and II SSPanzerKorps could and most likey would have wreaked havoc on any Russian attempts at retaking Stalingrad. The Volga could have been dominated by Artillery and Aircraft, as at the end more aircraft could have been transferred to Army Group Souths area of Operations... However this is all still relative as forces were transfered to Italy because of Rommels' defeat in Afrika. If the shipping lanes could have been opened more in 1941, and had the British been defeated a few more times in the Meditereanean, they could have sent Rommel the necessary extra supplies and much needed Mobile Korps consiting of 2 mobile infantry divisons and at least another Regmt in Panzers. Therefore at least holding out, or taking Alexandria, and again.. its all relative until the Allied forces landed in North Africa. By 1943 the Germans would have needed to crush the Red Army to offer a stronger resistance to either North Africa, Italy or Western Euprope. In the end it was lack of fuel that spelled disaster for any hopes at defeating 2 large superpowers. (USA, and the Soviest) that is just my two cents.:)
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