4 September 1941

4 September 1941

4 September 1941

September 1941

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Eastern Front

Finnish troops reach the pre Winter War border. The Finnish advance stops at this point

Mediterranean

Air raids hit Malta



Ted Williams becomes last player to hit .400

On September 28, 1941, the Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams plays a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and gets six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406 and become the first player since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit .400. Williams, who spent his entire career with the Sox, played his final game exactly 19 years later, on September 28, 1960, at Boston’s Fenway Park and hit a home run in his last time at bat, for a career total of 521 homeruns.

Williams was born on August 30, 1918, in San Diego, and began his major league career with the Red Sox in 1939. 1941 marked Williams’ best season. In addition to his .406 batting average–no major league player since him has hit .400–the left fielder led the league with 37 homers, 135 runs and had a slugging average of .735. Also that season, Williams, whose nicknames included “The Splendid Splinter” and “The Thumper,” had an on-base percentage of .553, a record that remained unbroken for 61 years, until Barry Bonds achieved a percentage of .582 in 2002.

In 1942, Williams won the American League Triple Crown, for highest batting average and most RBIs and homeruns. He duplicated the feat in 1947. In 1946 and 1949, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player and in June 1960, he became the fourth player in major league history to hit 500 homers. He was selected to the All-Star team 17 times.

Williams played his last game on September 28, 1960, and retired with a lifetime batting average of .344, a .483 career on-base percentage and 2,654 hits. His achievements are all the more impressive because his career was interrupted twice for military service: Williams was a Marine Corps pilot during World War II and the Korean War and as a result missed a total of nearly five seasons from baseball.


4 September 1941 - History

ReSignalman Joe Moll with Greer ensign, ca. 1942.

Greer, named for Rear Admiral James A. Greer (1833&ndash1904), was one of 48 flush-deckers built at William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co., Philadelphia. She was launched 1 August 1918, commissioned 31 December and initially served with the Atlantic Fleet, transferring to the Pacific Fleet in 1919 and to the Asiatic Fleet in June 1920.

Greer decommissioned in 1937 and was placed in reserve at Philadelphia Navy Yard but recommissioned in October 1939, shortly after the start of World War II in Europe. She retained her general appearance at this time, but in 1941 had one stack removed.

In February 1940 Greer was assigned to the North Atlantic Neutrality Patrol. After a cruise to the Caribbean Sea beginning in October, she returned to the North Atlantic in early 1941, operating generally between Newfoundland and Iceland with a good crew under LCdr. H. L. Frost and Cmdr. G. W. Johnson, ComDesDiv 61, embarked.

At 0750 on the morning of 4 September 1941, she contacted a British plane five minutes later, the plane reported a submarine. Greer closed and gained sonar contact. At 0930, the bomber attacked the target with four depth charges, then returned to base.

Greer continued tracking her contact over the next two hours while a relief plane arrived. At 1140, with the submarine on her port bow, Greer sighted two torpedoes and turned toward them, successfully evading. Ten minutes later, she dropped ten depth charges on the submarine but in so doing lost contact.

U-652, a German Type VII-C submarine, was laid down at Hamburg on 5 February 1940 and commissioned on 3 April 1941. In eight war patrols in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, she sank five ships including British destroyer HMS Heythorp off Libya on 20 March 1942.

At 1230, not having regained contact, Greer resumed course for Iceland. A British destroyer appeared and then departed. Five minutes later, Greer regained submarine contact and dropped nine more depth charges. The submarine, U-652, was undamaged.

One week later, President Roosevelt described this &ldquoGreer incident&rdquo in a radio address, in which he articulated the doctrine of &ldquoshoot on sight.&rdquo

Greer remained on patrol in the Atlantic and Caribbean until 1944, when she was assigned to coastal duties. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia July 1945 and sold for scrap that November.

Sources: Greer deck log for 4 September 1941, conversations with Greer shipmate Joe Moll Morison, DANFS.


On This Day: September 4

On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

On Sept. 4, 1908, Richard Wright, whose books "Native Son" and "Black Boy" exposed the harsh effects of American racism, was born. Following his death on Nov. 28, 1960, his obituary appeared in The Times.

On This Date

1781 Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers.
1888 George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera and registered his trademark: Kodak.
1917 The American expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World War I.
1951 In the first live coast-to-coast TV broadcast, President Harry S. Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.
1957 Ford Motor Co. began selling its ill-fated Edsel line.
1972 Swimmer Mark Spitz became the first person to win seven gold medals at a single Olympic Games when the United States won the 400-meter relay in Munich.
2002 Singer Kelly Clarkson was voted the first "American Idol" on the Fox TV series.
2006 "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, 44, died after a stingray&aposs barb pierced his chest.
2007 Toy maker Mattel Inc. recalled 800,000 lead-tainted, Chinese-made toys worldwide, a third major recall in just over a month.
2008 Sen. John McCain accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party&aposs convention in St. Paul, Minn.
2008 Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a sex scandal, forcing the Democrat out of office.

Historic Birthdays

Richard Wright 9/4/1908 - 11/28/1960 American novelist and short story writer.Go to obituary »
79 Francois Chateaubriand 9/4/1768 - 7/4/1848
French author and diplomat
72 Anton Bruckner 9/4/1824 - 10/11/1896
Austrian composer, organist and teacher
65 Daniel Burnham 9/4/1846 - 6/1/1912
American architect and city planner
75 John Dillon 9/4/1851 - 8/4/1927
Irish leader of the Irish Nationalist Party
78 Simon Lake 9/4/1866 - 6/23/1945
American inventor built the submarine "Argonaut"
45 La Argentina 9/4/1890 - 7/18/1936
Spanish dancer
78 Mary Renault 9/4/1905 - 12/13/1983
English-born South African novelist
90 Edward Dmytryk 9/4/1908 - 7/1/1999
American film director one of the "Hollywood Ten"
70 Henry Ford II 9/4/1917 - 9/29/1987
American industrialist head of Ford Motor Co. (1945-79)

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You were born on a Saturday

September 20, 1941 was the 38th Saturday of that year. It was also the 263rd day and 9th month of 1941 in the Georgian calendar. The next time you can reuse 1941 calendar will be in 2025. Both calendars will be exactly the same.

There are left before your next birthday. Your 80th birthday will be on a Sunday and a birthday after that will be on a Tuesday. The timer below is a countdown clock to your next birthday. It’s always accurate and is automatically updated.

Your next birthday is on a Sunday


Stalin Moves Against the ‘Volga Germans’

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 38, 20 September 1941, p.ن.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

On September 8, the Kremlin finally made public the text of the ukase which exiles Soviet citizens en masse to Siberia because of their racial origin! This monstrous ukase reads:

“THE PRAESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE USSR HAS FOUND IT NECESSARY TO RESETTLE THE ENTIRE GERMAN POPULATION OF THE VOLGA REGIONS TO OTHER DISTRICTS.” (N.Y. Times, September 8)

During the first world war, bloody Czar Nicholas resorted to repressive measures against his subjects of German birth. Toward the end of 1916, the Czarist regime, fanning racial hatreds, began preparations to exile all Volga Germans to Siberia. The date set for this mass expulsion was April 1917. Here is how Stalin’s official Soviet Encyclopedia, summed up the fate of the Czarist ukase:

“The overthrow of the autocracy prevented the execution of this barbaric measure. When the colonists appealed to the Provisional Government to repeal this law, Kerensky agreed only to ‘suspend the execution of this ukase.’ This ukase was repealed only by the Great October Socialist Revolution which put an end to national oppression and which opened up the broad highway for the development of national culture, socialist in content and national in form” (Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopedia, vol.㺩, p.𧍓, Moscow 1939).

These lines were printed two years ago in 1939 – the year of the Stalin-Hitler pact. Now Stalin reminds the Volga Germans that the Czar has found an emulator.
 

Background of the Volga Germans

The German settlements on the Volga date back to the middle of the Eighteenth Century when Catherine the Great invited foreigners to settle there. Deep in the interior of the country, this territory of 28,000 square kilometers, now bordered by Saratov and Stalingrad oblasts (areas), is even further removed today from the arena of military operations than it was in the days of Czar Nicholas. The original settlers predominantly came – between 1764 and 1864 – from Westphalia, Bavaria, Saxony, Swabia, Alsace-Lorraine and Switzerland. The privileges originally granted them were gradually pared away. At the outbreak of the first imperialist slaughter their status was that of another oppressed nationality in what Lenin called “the Czarist prison of nations.” The October revolution emancipated them.

The Volga Germans were among the first to be granted autonomy in the federation of the Soviet republics. On October 19, 1918, Lenin signed a decree establishing the autonomous oblast (area) of the Volga Germans. Stalin was then the Commissar for Nationalities. The above-quoted article in the Soviet Encyclopedia does not fail to underscore that:

“Comrade Stalin paid from the very beginning great attention to the question of self-determination of the Volga Germans.”

These descendants of the original colonists fought staunchly against the White Guards. The extent of their participation in the Civil War may be gauged by the fact that in the last year of the Civil War, the population of this area dropped from 453,000 in 1920 to less than 350,000 in 1921, i.e., a loss of more than 20 per cent. In 1926 the Autonomous Volga German Socialist Republic was formally established.

According to official 1936 figures, the population of this territory numbered about 500,000 of whom a little less than two-thirds (66.4 per cent) were of German origin 20.4 per cent, Russians and 12 per cent Ukrainians. Today, there are not more than 300,000 German-born inhabitants in this region whose advancement constituted one of the boasts of Stalin’s regime.
 

What the Stalinists Said Yesterday

The German-born Volga peasants were only yesterday hailed as models of collective farming. The Stalinist tales of successes of mechanized agriculture in this area would fill a whole library. Suffice it to quote the stereotyped panegyrics with which the article in the Soviet Encyclopedia concludes:

“The further development of the national economy and culture of Volga German Autonomous Socialist Republic and her rapid progress to a better and a still happier life are guaranteed by the Stalinist Constitution, by the firm Stalinist leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and by the boundless devotion of the toilers of the Autonomous Volga German Socialist Republic to the cause of communism.”

In 1941, this Autonomous Republic is abolished as a danger to the state. What an admission of bankruptcy!

Today Stalin violates Article 13 of his own “Constitution” which “guarantees” the rights of national minorities. Why? The official explanation reads:

“According to reliable information received by the military authorities, thousands and tens of thousands of diversionists and spies among the German population of the Volga are prepared to cause explosions in these regions at a signal from Germany.” (N.Y. Times, September 8)

Let us grant for the moment that the Kremlin, contrary to its custom, is this time telling the truth. Could there be a greater condemnation of Stalin’s regime than this admission that after all the “successes” there remain thousands, nay, tens of thousands who await only a signal from the Nazis to rise against the Soviet power? Why should the loyalty of these thousands be swayed so easily? What better material for propaganda could Hitler expect than that now supplied him by the Kremlin?

And this ukase comes on the heels of assurances on the part of all of Stalin’s pen prostitutes that his blood purges and his frameups have “rooted out the enemies of the people.”
 

A GPU Confession

The Times dispatch relating to the ukase against the Volga Germans contains the following comment, passed by the Kremlin censors:

“No Germans from the Volga have reported the existence of purportedly large numbers of dissidents who have been uncovered.”

This terse statement is as revealing as the tell-tale formulas of the Kremlin concerning “diversionists” and “spies.”

Here we have an official admission that the G.P.U. is uncovering “dissidents” in large numbers. In the language of the Kremlin every dissident, everyone critical of Stalin is a “diversionist and a spy.” Today they are being discovered in the Volga region. And tomorrow?

The ukase of August 28 constitutes a “warning” to all dissidents that they will suffer the fate of the Volga Germans. Henceforth, every dissident wherever “discovered” will be officially linked with “diversionists and spies.” By the mass expulsion to Siberia of these German-born Volga scape-goats, Stalin seeks to stir up racial hatred and with this as a cover to prepare the ground for similar mass purges in other areas.

But at the same time, the latest ukase of the Kremlin reveals that the opposition to the bureaucratic regime is growing among the population. The Soviet masses areheroically defending the Soviet Union. They are not fighting for the perpetuation of the bureaucrats.


4 September 1941 - History

Conference at the Kremlin on July 30, 1941, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Between Harry L. Hopkins and Mr. Stalin

Also present were Ambassador Steinhardt and Mr. Reinhardt, 53 American Interpreter

I told Mr. Stalin that I came as personal representative of the President. The President considered Hitler the enemy of mankind and that he therefore wished to aid the Soviet Union in its fight against Germany.

I told him that my mission was not a diplomatic one in the sense that I did not propose any formal understanding of any kind or character.

I expressed to him the President’s belief that the most important thing to be done in the world today was to defeat Hitler and Hitlerism. [Page 803] I impressed upon him the determination of the President and our Government to extend all possible aid to the Soviet Union at the earliest possible time.

I told Mr. Stalin that I had certain personal messages from the President 54 and explained my relationship to the Administration in Washington. I told him further that I just left Mr. Churchill in London who wished me to convey to him the sentiments which I had already expressed from the President.

Mr. Stalin said he welcomed me to the Soviet Union that he had already been informed of my visit.

Describing Hitler and Germany, Mr. Stalin spoke of the necessity of there being a minimum moral standard between all nations and without such a minimum moral standard nations could not co-exist. He stated that the present leaders of Germany knew no such minimum moral standard and that, therefore, they represented an anti-social force in the present world. The Germans were a people, he said, who without a second’s thought would sign a treaty today, break it tomorrow and sign a second one the following day. Nations must fulfill their treaty obligations, he said, or international society could not exist.

When he completed his general summary of the Soviet Union’s attitude toward Germany he said “therefore our views coincide”.

I told Mr. Stalin that the question of aid to the Soviet Union was divided into two parts. First, what would Russia most require that the United States could deliver immediately and, second, what would be Russia’s requirements on the basis of a long war?

Stalin listed in the first category the immediate need of, first, antiaircraft guns of medium calibre, of from 20 to 37 mm., together with ammunition. He stated that he needed such medium calibre guns because of the rapidity of their fire and their mobility. He stated that all together he needed approximately 20,000 pieces of anti-aircraft artillery, large and small. He believed that if he could acquire such a quantity it would immediately release nearly 2,000 pursuit ships which are today required for the protection of military objectives behind the Soviet lines and such planes, if released, could be used as attacking forces against the enemy.

  • Second, he asked for large size machine guns for the defense of his cities.
  • Third, he said he heard there were many rifles available in the United States and he believed their calibre corresponded to the calibre used in his Army. He stated that he needed one million or more such rifles. I asked Mr. Stalin if he needed ammunition for these rifles and he replied that if the calibre was the same as the one used by the Red Army “we have plenty”.

In the second category, namely, the supplies needed for a long range war, he mentioned first high octane aviation gasoline, second, aluminum for the construction of airplanes and, third, the other items already mentioned in the list presented to our Government in Washington.

At this point in the conversation Mr. Stalin suddenly made the remark, “Give us anti-aircraft guns and the aluminum and we can fight for three or four years.”

I referred to the 200 Curtiss P–40’s which are being delivered to the Soviet Union and, in reply to a question from Mr. Stalin, I confirmed the fact that 140 were being delivered by way of England and 60 from the United States.

In connection with the delivery of these planes I referred to Lt. Alison’s 55 presence in Moscow and said he was an outstanding expert in the operation of this type of plane. I asked if he would care to have Lt. Alison stationed in Archangel in an advisory capacity, to which Mr. Stalin replied affirmatively.

Mr. Stalin stated that he would be glad if we would send any technicians that we could to the Soviet Union to help train his own airmen in the use of these planes. He stated that his own airmen would show us everything about the Russian equipment, which he stated we would find very interesting.

He described at some length, but not in great detail as he did in the conference the next day, the planes which he had available. Mr. Stalin said the plane he needed particularly was the short-range bomber, capable of operating in a radius of 600 to 1100 kilometres, or with a total range of 1200 to 2200 kilometres.

I asked Mr. Stalin what he thought was the best route to ship supplies from the United States to the Soviet Union. Mr. Stalin stated that the Persian Gulf-Iranian route was not good because of the limited capacity of the Iranian railways and highways. He stated “Furthermore we do not yet know the view of the Iranian Government on this subject.”

Mr. Stalin stated that the Vladivostok route was not a favorable one. I emphasized the danger of its being cut off by the Japanese and Mr. Stalin in turn emphasized the great distance from the scene of battle.

Mr. Stalin believed that the Archangel route was probably the most practicable. Both Mr. Stalin and Mr. Molotov stated that the Archangel harbor could be kept open in the winter by the aid of ice breakers. Mr. Stalin pointed out that the only two absolutely ice free ports in the north were Murmansk and Kandalaksha.

I told Mr. Stalin that my stay in Moscow must be brief. I wished to accomplish as much as possible in the short time which I had at my disposal. I asked Mr. Stalin whether he wished to carry on the conversations personally or would prefer that I would discuss some of the details with other representatives of the Soviet Government. I said that, of course, I would prefer to confer directly with him but I realized he had a great many responsibilities at the moment. I told him that I had some personal messages from the President which I wanted to deliver at an appropriate time.

Mr. Stalin replied, “You are our guest you have but to command.” He told me he would be at my disposal every day from six to seven. It was then agreed that I confer with representatives of the Red Army at ten o’clock that night.

I reiterated to Mr. Stalin the appreciation of the people of the United States of the splendid resistance of the Soviet Army and of the President’s determination to do everything to assist the Soviet Union in its valiant struggle against the German invader.

Mr. Stalin replied with an expression of gratitude of the Soviet Government.

I told Mr. Stalin that I expected to interview the representatives of the Anglo-American press following my meeting and asked whether Mr. Stalin had any wishes in connection with what I should say or whether he would prefer that no interview be held at all. I told him that under any circumstances the correspondents’ stories would be subject to the control of his censorship.

To this Mr. Stalin replied that anything I might have to say would require no censorship by his Government.

I expressed to Mr. Molotov my desire to call upon him and it was arranged that I should see Mr. Molotov at three the next day.


The Southwestern News (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 4, No. 39, Ed. 1 Friday, September 19, 1941

Weekly newspaper from Houston, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

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eight pages : ill. page 18 x 13 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

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  • Main Title: The Southwestern News (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 4, No. 39, Ed. 1 Friday, September 19, 1941
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Weekly newspaper from Houston, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Apr 2021, 02:31

You read the chart on page 1012 wrong, it says an average of 21 days to recover from sickness in 1941. The claim on p.1014 refers to the sick from the entire period of September 1941-August 1942, but the chart says the sick in 1942 recovered on average after 40 days. So the 49% within 1 month recovered mostly refers to the sick of 1942 not 1941. I'm guessing that the majority of those in 1941 who were sick for an extended period of time were the frostbite cases of the winter of 1941-42, so mostly those well after the period we are discussing.

The chart on page 1020 specifically says only 56,800 departures due to the illness, so the vast majority stayed and if the average recovery time for 1941 was 21 days, then at least 50% recovered within 21 days and probably at least 2/3rds within 30. Only the more extreme illness cases were evacuated. Exhaustion was probably a significant case for some people to drop out of action and there is no indication that it was the combat arms that were disproportionately hit for that. They might have even been less likely to be hit due to casualties chewing up those that might have gotten sick and fresh replacements who were less likely to get sick filling their slots.

Your mistake seems to have been taken every departure for July 1941 and multiplying by 1.75 rather than just the casualties caused by weapons (which did not include missing either, so remove them from your calculations). So you've doubled counted all the evacuated sick and added in other categories that should have not have been included.

So yeah, basically what I thought, you were misreading your own source.

To get the number of sick, I multiplied by the 1.75 by total departures, and arrived at more than 300,000. You are correct that I should have multiplied by the number of wounded (about 125,000 from what I can see in the blurry Kindle edition, I don't have the hardcopy on me atm). Multiplying 125,000 by 1.75 gives us 218,750 soldiers out sick at any given moment in July (and presumably a similar number in August). Even if the period of sickness only averages 21 days, that is still over 200,000 soldiers out of action on any given day. Which means the combat strength of the infantry division is still only 60%, and the combat strength of the panzer and motorized divisions is only 50%.

Also per this thread the Soviets are evacuated anyway, so that just makes the job of AG-South and Center easier, as their opponents are running east away from them anyway.

The Soviet reserve armies were mobilized in advance where they were needed, which was Ukraine and Leningrad they would have time to be mobilized in front of Moscow if Stalin opted to retreat since the mobilization process would have been started well before August 19th when you say the decision to evacuate would have been made. Later on they could have been mobilized around Moscow, but that's a longer process and one that won't be perceived as necessary until after the evacuation is underway. Too late to redirect mobilization for August and likely the majority of September given how much transport will be needed to evacuate Ukraine. If anything that might just break down the mobilization process as trains are diverted to saving their armies rather than creating new ones.

December 1941 is not August 1941. Trying to compare the situations is utterly absurd. What house to house fighting in Moscow? After Vyazma there is no reserves to fight for Moscow in the city and there is no mud to slow down the Germans either. New armies weren't mobilized in the city, just passed through it.

You're WAY overestimating Soviet abilities in August-September and underestimating AG-Center's abilities in the same period. We can look at what happened to Soviet forces that tried to stop the Leningrad and the Kiev encirclements. Hint: they were destroyed.

In a situation where Moscow is seized in September (I'm assuming given that the march on Moscow would start later in August) the Soviets lack the ability to move reserves to counter attack Moscow, they would lack their central rail and telephone line hub (pretty vital to organizing reserves hard to do it on the fly from Kubyshiev, the planned new capital if the government fled in time), and they'd lack the industry to make the necessary weapons that equipped forces in December historically. Meanwhile the Germans have all the airfields of Moscow, the captured supplies and rail lines/rolling stock, have a flood of refugees fleeing east and into Soviet infrastructure that couldn't handle them, have 10% of Soviet industry that was concentrated around Moscow and provided much of the specialized weapons and equipment that wasn't made elsewhere, and more importantly have eliminated the bulk of Soviet forces that might threaten them. The only sizable force left would be the force fleeing from Ukraine, which still has to deal with AG-South chasing them down. The Leningrad forces are still on the Luga and now split between also screening the Moscow axis, but now without the rail lines to supply them.

The timelines and ATLS are, again, getting confused in this thread. But if we just stick to Stolfi's ATL, in which AGC, including all of Panzer Group 2 and Panzer Group 3, drive east in the middle of August, then the 11 new Soviet armies that were mobilized in August and 3 armies that were mobilized in September (all but 2 of which were deployed to Leningrad and Ukraine in the OTL), would have been sent to the Moscow theater. If AGC's assault performs as well as Operation Typhoon did in the OTL, then it will encircle 4-5 Soviet Armies. Even not counting the 14 new armies mobilized in August and September, the Soviets still have 5 other armies in the Moscow region, plus the forces of the Central/Briansk Front and forces at Velikiye Luki that will have a free hand in Stolfi's ATL because Panzer Groups 2 and 3 aren't attacking them. Source for mobilization of Soviet armies is Map 2 in David Glantz's Barbarossa.

Please explain how the encirclement of 4-5 Soviet armies in late August/early September leads to Moscow falling in September, given the more than 20 other armies that the Soviets will be able to assign to countering this offensive (before another 5 Soviet armies arrive in October, and another 11 arrive in November-December)?

Also note that Army Group Center was holding its portion of the front in August and September with almost no reserves. How is it then going to have the manpower to hold the two/three sides of a salient protruding toward Moscow, against 20+ Soviet armies? When it tried this in the OTL in December, it was forced to retreat.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 03 Apr 2021, 03:30

1.2 million men. Registered combat and non-combat losses for June - August amounted to 500,859, and replacements to 215,000, including 40,000 non-evacuated convalescents.

That's a net loss of 285,859 men. Even if we assume that 100% of the casualties occurred among personnel included in the Kampfstärke, that still leaves 914,141 men - 76% of the initial figure.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 03 Apr 2021, 03:35

I have. Stolfi is hardly a reputable source. The paragraph you have quoted contains no archival data on readiness. Stolfi's figure of 72% of the initial "striking power" of 2,792 operational tanks on August 13th is backed by nothing, and would require us to believe German tanks had a 74% readiness rate at the time.

How he derives his figures is anyone's guess, but it is clearly contradicted by strength reports, which, as I have shown previously, indicate far lower levels of operational readiness among long-engaged Panzer formations.

Beyond that though, using figures from September-while 3rd and 2nd Panzer were getting use by AGN and AGS-for a mid/late August estimate is a pretty bad standard. Looking at your data, you're pulling it from Panzertruppen by Jentz, which makes it all the more odd because August returns are presented for several of the divisions, but also I am not sure why you are citing them the way you are?

Case in point is 3rd Panzer, which started Barbarossa with 229 tanks and by September 4th total losses were only 70, meaning that even in September, they had a roughly 70% rate of tanks either in operation or repairable. If we take your suggestion of a few days halt, most-if not all-of those under repair would be put back in position. However, as stated, looking at September returns seems odd to me.

  • XXXIX. Armeekorps (mot.): En route to Heeresgruppe Nord, with 12. Panzer , as well as 18. and 20. Infanterie (mot.)
  • LVII. Armeekorps (mot.): 3 days away (22 August) from launching an attack on Velikiye Luki, with 19. and 20. Panzer
  • VIII. Armeekorps: Defending north-east of Smolensk, with 7. Panzer , as well as 14. Infanterie (mot.)
  • XXXXVI. Armeekorps (mot.): Defending south-east of Smolensk, with 10. Panzer , as well as Das Reich
  • XXXXVII. Armeekorps (mot.): Pushing south against 13th Army and holding the right flank of Panzergruppe 2, with 17. and 18. Panzer , as well as 29. Infanterie (mot.)
  • XXIV. Armeekorps (mot.): Pushing south against 21st Army and about to take Starodub, with 3. and 4. Panzer , as well as 10. Infanterie (mot.)

1. You still have produced no data on the impact of the loss of Moscow on Heeresgruppe Nord. Your assertions regarding supply are speculation.

To buttress your claim, you would need to:

1. Detail the amount of supplies needed by the northern Fronts.
2. Detail the capacity of the remaining railways.

As for Glantz, you're misconstruing his claim. The importance of Tikhvin lay in constituting the last remaining link with the USSR in general, not just with Moscow. He was also speaking of the cut off Leningrad Front. In this scenario of ours, no Soviet forces are cut off in the north.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Apr 2021, 04:07

1.2 million men. Registered combat and non-combat losses for June - August amounted to 500,859, and replacements to 215,000, including 40,000 non-evacuated convalescents.

That's a net loss of 285,859 men. Even if we assume that 100% of the casualties occurred among personnel included in the Kampfstärke, that still leaves 914,141 men - 76% of the initial figure.

At the end of July 1941 the German army in the east had already sustained more casualties than during the whole of the campaign in the west. By mid-September 10 per cent of the 142 divisions involved in the campaign against the Soviet Union had lost over 25 per cent of their strength of June 1941. In 28 per cent of the divisions the losses were over 20 per cent, while in another 21 per cent the losses were 12 per cent or higher. Barely half of the divisions employed had suffered casualties of less than 12 per cent. Owing to the tremendous wastage, measured according to the operational capability of men and material, the combat strength of the divisions had been reduced still further. In the second half of August it fell to 60 per cent among the infantry divisions, and to 50 per cent among the mobile troops.

Bernhard R. Kroener Rolf-Dieter Muller Hans Umbreit. Germany and the Second World War: 5 (Germany & Second World War) . OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Apr 2021, 04:08

I'm not misconstructing them, given I directly cited it with picture evidence so there could be no claim of me misquoting him. He directly notes the loss of the railway links with Moscow-he directly specifies Moscow, not the USSR as a whole-would be fatal.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 03 Apr 2021, 07:38

The entire quote is this: "[Leeb] was to attack through Tikhvin to Lake Ladoga to sever Leningrad's last rail links to Moscow and completely encircle the city."

As far as he's shown, he feels this single quote validates his view that, without Moscow, the entire northern direction would collapse.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 03 Apr 2021, 15:42

For September the chart says about 99,000 wounded. It is over 100,000 for August.
Again though remember that within the same month the majority of the sick would have recovered and returned to their units and never even left their armies only about a quarter were evacuated and they are already present in the chart.

I hate to break it to you, but your math doesn't check out for the 50 and 60% even with the sick.

As an aside I read more of Askey's book and he claims that the numbers in the chart we're discussing on p.1020 is in error and that the 509,000 arrivals in 1941 are actually just recovered wounded and sick, not replacements. He bases that claim on using the medical data in the chart on p.1012 and adding up all the sick and wounded for 1941 and using the recovery rate data he gets to about 509,000 recovered for the year with then over 545,000 replacements on top of that. I don't necessarily think he's right, but given that the DRZW uses some dubious numbers like the 50% and 60% states based on a letter sent to Halder by another officer without any context in a single throw away line in the text, maybe his argument has some merit.

Guderian drove south non-stop through August and into September. On August 8th he completed the destruction of the Soviet 28th army in his march south to Roslavl and then helped with the destruction of further Soviet forces in the Central Front on the 12th-14th during the Gomel fighting, and then continued further south. So Guderian would be driving south as of August 19th in this scenario because that is what he was already doing historically, though most of his army was still further north and it was a couple of corps that were pushing south while the rest were securing the flank and waiting for clarification from Hitler about where to go, east or south. So they could effectively turn on a dime if given the order to head east/northeast from Roslavl and the corps helping destroy Central Front could return north pretty quickly. At that point then there would be no threat to AG-Center from the south and 2nd army under von Weichs could maintain the pressure by continuing the march south as they already were.

So the pressure would be on, Central Front would be collapsing per OTL, and Guderian's forces would be able to switch to the East as soon as the order was given. And again you're completely discounting the collapsing position of SW Front on the Dniepr as a reason to get out of Ukraine. Otherwise why would Kiev be evacuated in August/early September? As to the reserve armies it seems like you completely just ignored my point about them needing to be mobilized in a specific point well in advance of their ability to become operational, so the Soviets cannot simply divert them on a dime, they'd need to select a mobilization point a month in advance and go with that, so reserve armies of August and most of September would already have their mobilization points set and changing them would disrupt the entire process and result in major delays, not least of which is due to the need to evacuate Ukraine. If they don't evacuate Ukraine though due to AG-Center attacking East then the new armies are still already set in their mobilization points unless STAVKA really wanted to introduce the disruption and delays from switching them in the process, as they'd have to then completely rework their train schedules and hope they can redirect trains already in motion plus move out units already showing up in their original mobilization sectors.

The timelines and ATLS are, again, getting confused in this thread. But if we just stick to Stolfi's ATL, in which AGC, including all of Panzer Group 2 and Panzer Group 3, drive east in the middle of August, then the 11 new Soviet armies that were mobilized in August and 3 armies that were mobilized in September (all but 2 of which were deployed to Leningrad and Ukraine in the OTL), would have been sent to the Moscow theater. If AGC's assault performs as well as Operation Typhoon did in the OTL, then it will encircle 4-5 Soviet Armies. Even not counting the 14 new armies mobilized in August and September, the Soviets still have 5 other armies in the Moscow region, plus the forces of the Central/Briansk Front and forces at Velikiye Luki that will have a free hand in Stolfi's ATL because Panzer Groups 2 and 3 aren't attacking them. Source for mobilization of Soviet armies is Map 2 in David Glantz's Barbarossa.

Please explain how the encirclement of 4-5 Soviet armies in late August/early September leads to Moscow falling in September, given the more than 20 other armies that the Soviets will be able to assign to countering this offensive (before another 5 Soviet armies arrive in October, and another 11 arrive in November-December)?

Also note that Army Group Center was holding its portion of the front in August and September with almost no reserves. How is it then going to have the manpower to hold the two/three sides of a salient protruding toward Moscow, against 20+ Soviet armies? When it tried this in the OTL in December, it was forced to retreat.

All of the 11 armies would have had their mobilization points set so couldn't shift without badly disrupting the entire mobilization process and introducing major delays while then the Fronts that were supposed to get them would be deprived of them at vital moments. I might give you the September armies being able to be diverted since there were so few of them, but then they arrive in time to be swept up in the retreat/defeat as there would be no mud to stall the Germans like in October. Soviet reserve armies did not perform well with limited time to organize after being officially mobilized sometimes even with time they didn't do well, see the Reserve Front and the militia divisions.

Unfortunately your scenario for the Soviets requires them to have a teleportation device, which seems to be why you're having a problem understanding why it was impossible for the Soviets to achieve what you're claiming. You're also forgetting that historically it wasn't just 5 armies lost to the Soviets in Typhoon, but rather 1 million men out of the 1.25 million they had defending Moscow (that's from Glantz and a Russian historian citing actual Soviet sources). Technically HQs survived, but basically without men or equipment, so they were rendered useless for a while even if still technically existing on paper. You're getting into Hitler in the Berlin Bunker in April 1945 territory moving paper armies around. Also again December 1941 is not August-September 1941.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Apr 2021, 18:20

For September the chart says about 99,000 wounded. It is over 100,000 for August.
Again though remember that within the same month the majority of the sick would have recovered and returned to their units and never even left their armies only about a quarter were evacuated and they are already present in the chart.

I hate to break it to you, but your math doesn't check out for the 50 and 60% even with the sick.

As an aside I read more of Askey's book and he claims that the numbers in the chart we're discussing on p.1020 is in error and that the 509,000 arrivals in 1941 are actually just recovered wounded and sick, not replacements. He bases that claim on using the medical data in the chart on p.1012 and adding up all the sick and wounded for 1941 and using the recovery rate data he gets to about 509,000 recovered for the year with then over 545,000 replacements on top of that. I don't necessarily think he's right, but given that the DRZW uses some dubious numbers like the 50% and 60% states based on a letter sent to Halder by another officer without any context in a single throw away line in the text, maybe his argument has some merit.

The conclusion that by late August 1941 the combat strength of German infantry divisions was down to 60%, and that of mobile divisions was down to 50%, is made by Bernhard R. Kroener. Kroener is a native German whose father was an officer during WW2 and later a ministerial director for the German ministry of defense. Kroener served in the German armed forces, studied military history at the Sorbonne, worked for the German Military History Research Office, taught at the University of Freiburg, published extensively, and taught from 1997 to 2013 as a professor for military history at the Historical Institute of the University of Potsdam where he held the chair in military history. From 2004 to 2010, Kroener was dean of the Philosophical Faculty, set up the “Military Studies” master’s course at the University of Potsdam, and has a long list of students who are themselves academic professors of history.

The claim that Kroener is wrong is made by Nigel Askey . a guy with a bachelors degree from the University of Sussex . who served as a consultant for a video game about the eastern front. I'll let the readers of this thread form their own judgment about who to trust.

Guderian drove south non-stop through August and into September. On August 8th he completed the destruction of the Soviet 28th army in his march south to Roslavl and then helped with the destruction of further Soviet forces in the Central Front on the 12th-14th during the Gomel fighting, and then continued further south. So Guderian would be driving south as of August 19th in this scenario because that is what he was already doing historically, though most of his army was still further north and it was a couple of corps that were pushing south while the rest were securing the flank and waiting for clarification from Hitler about where to go, east or south. So they could effectively turn on a dime if given the order to head east/northeast from Roslavl and the corps helping destroy Central Front could return north pretty quickly. At that point then there would be no threat to AG-Center from the south and 2nd army under von Weichs could maintain the pressure by continuing the march south as they already were.

So the pressure would be on, Central Front would be collapsing per OTL, and Guderian's forces would be able to switch to the East as soon as the order was given. And again you're completely discounting the collapsing position of SW Front on the Dniepr as a reason to get out of Ukraine. Otherwise why would Kiev be evacuated in August/early September? As to the reserve armies it seems like you completely just ignored my point about them needing to be mobilized in a specific point well in advance of their ability to become operational, so the Soviets cannot simply divert them on a dime, they'd need to select a mobilization point a month in advance and go with that, so reserve armies of August and most of September would already have their mobilization points set and changing them would disrupt the entire process and result in major delays, not least of which is due to the need to evacuate Ukraine. If they don't evacuate Ukraine though due to AG-Center attacking East then the new armies are still already set in their mobilization points unless STAVKA really wanted to introduce the disruption and delays from switching them in the process, as they'd have to then completely rework their train schedules and hope they can redirect trains already in motion plus move out units already showing up in their original mobilization sectors.

All of the 11 armies would have had their mobilization points set so couldn't shift without badly disrupting the entire mobilization process and introducing major delays while then the Fronts that were supposed to get them would be deprived of them at vital moments. I might give you the September armies being able to be diverted since there were so few of them, but then they arrive in time to be swept up in the retreat/defeat as there would be no mud to stall the Germans like in October. Soviet reserve armies did not perform well with limited time to organize after being officially mobilized sometimes even with time they didn't do well, see the Reserve Front and the militia divisions.

Unfortunately your scenario for the Soviets requires them to have a teleportation device, which seems to be why you're having a problem understanding why it was impossible for the Soviets to achieve what you're claiming. You're also forgetting that historically it wasn't just 5 armies lost to the Soviets in Typhoon, but rather 1 million men out of the 1.25 million they had defending Moscow (that's from Glantz and a Russian historian citing actual Soviet sources). Technically HQs survived, but basically without men or equipment, so they were rendered useless for a while even if still technically existing on paper. You're getting into Hitler in the Berlin Bunker in April 1945 territory moving paper armies around. Also again December 1941 is not August-September 1941.

Since you have dropped Stolfi's mid-August plunge for Moscow, I will focus on the ATL originally set up in this thread. According to Glantz's Barbarossa, Hitler made the decision to send Guderian's Panzer Group 2 to the Ukraine on August 18. The directive did not reach Bock at Army Group Center until August 23. Guderian returned from his personal appeal to Hitler on August 24. Meanwhile, Kirponos and the Soviet Stavka identified the growing threat to Southwestern Front's northern flank on August 18. On August 19, Soviet 5th Army was ordered to retreat across the Dnepr, while Soviet 37th Army was ordered to hold the western bank at Kiev. On August 26, Guderian's Panzer Group 2 reached Shostka and Korop, disrupting the three Soviet Armies that were deployed there to halt his advance. Guderian approached the Desna River on August 30 and crossed it on September 3.

Even if Stalin had ordered the 37th Army to retreat to the eastern bank of the Dnepr on August 18, that alone would not have caused Hitler to order Guderian to halt his advance south. Even if, as the threat from Guderian became apparent on August 26, Stalin had ordered the entire Soviet Southwestern Front to withdraw from its salient and abandon Kiev, that would not cause Hitler to change his directive for Guderian to drive south. Hitler still wanted the Ukraine for economic reasons and would have insisted on it being captured. The withdrawal of the Soviet Southwestern Front at this early date would mean that Guderian would be driving into the retreating Soviet forces as he drove south. His panzer group would have been bogged down in fighting east of Kiev for weeks, just as he was in the OTL, only this time he's not fighting encircled Red Army units who are simply trying to flee east.

So there really is no room in the ATL originally proposed in this thread for an advance on Moscow any time earlier than when it actually took place in the OTL at the start of October.


Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 31 Mar 2021, 16:00

I have seen that. That's one of the most egregious mistakes made by Askey. The idea that the Ostheer was short by just 223,587 men at the end of the year is ludicrous, and also contradicted by German primary documents detailing the Iststärke of their armies:

June 1941: 2,765,276
July: 2,650,626
August: 2,579,879
September: 2,539,110
October: 2,381,347
November: 2,362,463
December: 2,112,002

Strength decreases by a little over 100,000 per month, which matches known casualties and replacements.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 31 Mar 2021, 16:56

Your chart doesn't cover most of 1941 though, just December and on and is different than the one that HG posted.
The DRZW chart that historygeek posted did include wounded returned estimates them at exactly 20,000 per month every month. Askey has a larger, more complex estimate with justifications for his calculations.

It isn't simply returned wounded that came back though, but also the sick and people out for other reasons. Not only that but the Genesene AFAIK doesn't cover returned wounded who were not evacuated from the theater for longer term treatment, which only included those that took 8 weeks or more to recover (IIRC the number of weeks). So some wounded counted as casualties, but were not evacuated and only later returned, but stayed with the army for a shorter recovery before returning to their units. German casualty accounting is rather complex.

I have seen that. That's one of the most egregious mistakes made by Askey. The idea that the Ostheer was short by just 223,587 men at the end of the year is ludicrous, and also contradicted by German primary documents detailing the Iststärke of their armies:

June 1941: 2,765,276
July: 2,650,626
August: 2,579,879
September: 2,539,110
October: 2,381,347
November: 2,362,463
December: 2,112,002

Strength decreases by a little over 100,000 per month, which matches known casualties and replacements.

Iststärke (actual strength)
The Iststärke, usually written as Ist (is), was the actual number of personnel supported by the unit, regardless of their status. This included personnel on leave, lend out to other units, and those wounded or fallen sich in the past eight weeks.

The difference between the Soll and the Ist was referred to as Fehlstellen (unfilled positions), usually written as Fehl. If a unit was overstrength, it was referred to as über Soll (in excess of authorized strength). It could be possible for a unit to have one section that had unfilled positions and another that was overstrength, but the Fehl only counted the net difference.

So units in June might not have been the actual numbers on hand and later on corrected downwards.
Why the drop off in September-October given the relative dearth of fighting? 150k is a lot since there was a LOT of fighting in August to September, but only a 40k drop off.

Qvist noted something similar for 1942 in the link you provided:

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 31 Mar 2021, 21:48

800,000 men out of a total of

3 million. Given how just the 88 Infanterie divisions deployed had an establishment strength of 858,000 men in their infantry regiments, I don't see how this can be true, unless the definition of "combat strength" used is ridiculously narrow.

Kampfstärke (combat strength)

The Kampfstärke was the strength of the personnel available for actual combat. This excluded the drivers of all non-combat vehicles, horse keepers, administrative personnel, staff of artillery and mortar regiments, and staff of tank destroyer and engineer battalions. Excluded was also signal personnel that did not work either directly alongside, or received signals from, units that were part of the combat strength.

The number included the staff companies at the regimental level and below, messengers, field replacement units, as well as field medical personnel.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 31 Mar 2021, 22:41

How do you arrive at the 90% replacement figure? This chart from DRZW Volume V shows that only 23% of OstHeer losses were replaced through July 1941, and only 37% through August 1941.

DRZW states that by the second half of August, the combat strength of the OstHeer's infantry divisions had fallen to 60 percent, and that of the mobile divisions had fallen to 50%.

Fair question, the answer is that the number you quote doesn't cover all replacements, especially all those in the 'march battalions'. Those on average had 790 per battalion before the fighting even started. For AG-North 24 of their 28 divisions had such a battalion. They covered a bit over 2/3rds of AG-North's losses in June and July. On top of that AG-North received 35,000 replacements from June-August and another 20,000 in September. In their situation this meant that the average infantry battalion was still at 78% strength by October and for motorized battalions it was 82% as their losses were generally lower and they were favored for replacements. That's based on averages given replacements and casualties for the AG. That is all from Liedtke's "Enduring the Whirlwind". AG-North still had 73% of their starting armor strength during the encirclement of Leningrad in September.

AG-Center was doing even better with 161,340 replacements including those from the march battalions vs. 198,398 casualties, so nearly 82% of casualties replaced. Liedtke does some maths and comes up with the figure of over 90% of combat strength retained assuming all replacements were directed toward combat battalions.

Also remember none of those numbers covers wounded returning to units, which were not counted as replacements. This is where Nigel Askey's books come in as he covers the full spectrum of losses (including sick and unfit for non-combat reasons, which was nearly 400,000 men by the end of December) and recovered/replacements 509,000 sick/wounded men were returned to units from July-December 1941, so counting replacements/recuperated vs. all losses for Barbarossa forces there was only a shortage of 223,587 men by the end of December 1941, aka considerably less than 10% of Barbarossa forces. P.178 of his volume IIB of the Operation Barbarossa series with a table breaking everything down by month.

DRZW apparently only counts a very specific category of replacement and makes some very flawed assumptions based on that.

According to DRZW, there were only 90,000 men in field replacement battalions at the start of the campaign. Despite using them all up, there were still 132,000 vacancies in the OstHeer at the start of August.

Even if we include the 20,000 recovered wounded each month, that is still a replacement rate of only 37.9% by the end of July, and 50.34% by the end of August (and this does not taken into account the massive numbers of sick OstHeer personnel who were not evacuated to rear areas).

We are left with the inescapable conclusion of DRZW that by the end of August the combat strength of the OstHeer's infantry divisions had fallen to 60%, and the combat strength of the panzer and motorized divisions had fallen to 50%.

Thus, Stolfi's proposal for Army Group Center to dash ahead into the most powerful concentration of Soviet forces on the Eastern Front, leaving Army Group North and Army Group South to stall out their advances, thereby creating a massive salient stretching from Gomel to Moscow and then back to Velikiye Luki, while the Soviet Union is pouring all its newly created reserve armies around the flanks of an overstretched and badly understrength Army Group Center . seems like a recipe for the disaster at Stalingrad to take place a year earlier at Moscow.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 01 Apr 2021, 16:09

AG-North would be helping by destroying the Northwest Front and 22nd army of the Western Front on the flank of AG-Center while the majority of the infantry corps hold the Luga Line. AG-South would breach the Dniepr line and exploit that breach per OTL, which was achieved without the help of Guderian since his forces only fought Central and Bryansk Fronts to that point. It was only during the exploitation phase of AG-South's breach of the Dniepr line that Guderian started hitting Southwest Front from the north, but AG-South didn't necessarily need their help, Guderian just sped up the collapse of SW Front. So the flanks wouldn't be stalled or endangered given that Guderian and von Weichs defeated Central and Bryansk Front historically and would be fighting them on the flank here too while helping close/liquidate the Vyazma pocket in August. At that point Central Front was basically defeated anyway and being overrun by von Weichs while Bryansk Front was still forming and what units it did throw against Guderian's flank in his march to Ukraine in August-September were defeated with little effort.

Any reserve armies being created, most of which were immediately occupied against AG-North and South anyway, would be of limited ability to attack and given their history during defense they aren't particularly combat capable, just speed bumps. So the flank threat is heavily exaggerated given actual Soviet historical combat capabilities. Read Glantz's Stumbling Colossus about how bad things were in June and then realize by August Soviet abilities had degraded to levels much worse than even in June and they were desperately throwing the kitchen sink at German forces to little/no avail.

I hate to break it to you, but August 1941 is not November 1942, not least of which due to the lack of experience, Lend-Lease (didn't start until October), and a well grooved mobilization system. Nor is the German army anywhere near as worn down in August-September 1941 as they were by November 1942 after the fighting in Stalingrad and the preceding 16 months worth of losses. You're vastly overestimating Soviet capabilities and overstating German losses.

Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 01 Apr 2021, 22:01

Which are not counted as replacements in the chart or most sources discussing Barbarossa replacement flows. Can you cite the page in the book with the number of vacancies so I can see the context? Out of a starting force of nominally over 3 million men 132,000 vacancies is extremely low given the scale of the fighting to that point and results achieved. Even taking KDF's Iststarke number for June of 2.7 million that is 4.8% meaning as of August Barbarossa forces were still at 95.2% of their pre-invasion strength. That is even higher than what I claimed.

As I read the chart it says an estimated 20,000 returned combat wounded (not sick or unfit for non-combat causes) of men treated within their armies who were never evacuated. That is on top of recuperated wounded who left their armies for longer term treatment and were shipped back in later, which Askey claims is a specific number per month I have sent him an email so as soon as I get clarification for his source on the claimed number of returned recovered I will post the info here. Askey did document the number of sick/unfit in total, which was about 395,000 from June-December 1941. Over 90% of them returned to their units in less than 30 days.

I don't see how that is accurate given that 132,000 vacancies in August is only 4.8% of the Iststarke of June. Also you haven't demonstrated that all the vacancies were in combat arms either or that it was for infantry in particular. What page of the DRZW volume are you citing for those percentages?

The discussion of the OstHeer's manpower problems begins on page 1009 of Volume V/IB. The cite for combat strength is page 1011.

On page 1014, DRZW states that only 49% of sick troops returned to duty within one month, and another 23% after 2 months.

If you compare the charts on page 1112 (ratio of sick to wounded) and page 1020 (departures and arrivals), you will see that the number of sick in July was roughly 1.75 times the number of wounded, which gives roughly another 300,000 men each month who were out of action due to sickness. Even if most of them returned to readiness in a month or two, there are still roughly 300,000 cases of sickness each month - 300,000 men on top of wounded, missing and killed who are not able to participate in combat.

AG-North would be helping by destroying the Northwest Front and 22nd army of the Western Front on the flank of AG-Center while the majority of the infantry corps hold the Luga Line. AG-South would breach the Dniepr line and exploit that breach per OTL, which was achieved without the help of Guderian since his forces only fought Central and Bryansk Fronts to that point. It was only during the exploitation phase of AG-South's breach of the Dniepr line that Guderian started hitting Southwest Front from the north, but AG-South didn't necessarily need their help, Guderian just sped up the collapse of SW Front. So the flanks wouldn't be stalled or endangered given that Guderian and von Weichs defeated Central and Bryansk Front historically and would be fighting them on the flank here too while helping close/liquidate the Vyazma pocket in August. At that point Central Front was basically defeated anyway and being overrun by von Weichs while Bryansk Front was still forming and what units it did throw against Guderian's flank in his march to Ukraine in August-September were defeated with little effort.

Any reserve armies being created, most of which were immediately occupied against AG-North and South anyway, would be of limited ability to attack and given their history during defense they aren't particularly combat capable, just speed bumps. So the flank threat is heavily exaggerated given actual Soviet historical combat capabilities. Read Glantz's Stumbling Colossus about how bad things were in June and then realize by August Soviet abilities had degraded to levels much worse than even in June and they were desperately throwing the kitchen sink at German forces to little/no avail.

AG North couldn't even destroy the Northwest Front in the OTL when it had the help of Panzer Group 3.

AG South was stretched out trying to find a point on the Dnepr to break through. Its breakthrough at Dneptrotovsk was struggling under Soviet counter-attacks in much the same way as the AGC was at Yelnia (Stahell discusses this in his book on Kiev). In the absence of Guderian's Panzer Group 2, the AG South's bridgehead at Kremenchug was planned to be used for the aid of the panzer corps struggling at Dnepropetrovsk. Zeitzler estimated the combat strength of Panzer Group 1 in early September to be down to one third. Maybe AGS would have captured Dnepropetrovsk, but that would just be extending AG South's salient even further to the east, at a time when the Red Army's strength was rapidly increasing and the OstHeer's was diminishing.

The Soviet reserve armies went where the Germans were attacking. In the OTL, this was Leningrad and the Ukraine. In Solfi's ATL, it would be against AG Center, which the Soviet reserve armies successfully bludgeoned to a halt at Smolensk in the OTL and would do the same in Solfi's ATL. AGC might keep pushing east, but its flanks would get longer and longer while its combat strength got weaker and weaker, while the Red Army's strength got stronger and stronger (thanks to the Southwestern Front not being destroyed in this ATL and no encirclement at Briansk).

Perhaps you should look at what happened to the OstHeer when it overextended in December 1941. Now picture an AGC bogged down in house to house fighting in and around Moscow, the Soviets securely holding Leningrad, and the Southwestern Front intact. All while AGC is holding a long, narrow corridor from Smolensk to Moscow. In the OTL, the Germans could not hold their overextended positions. Why would they be able to do so in Stolfi's ATL?

Even if Germany somehow does hold the Moscow salient, where does that leave the OstHeer in 1942? By May 1942 the Red Army had 5.4 milliion men at the front, and they would be even stronger in this ATL without the encirclements at Kiev and Briansk and the Sea of Azov. Germany only had 2.5 million men at the front in May 1942. How do 2.5 million Germans hold a front with long, narrow salients protruding toward Moscow and Dnepropetrovsk against 5.4 million Red Army soldiers (whose numbers are growing every month)? November 1942 is still coming. The Red Army is still getting stronger. What has Stolfi's ATL accomplished, even if the Germans succeed in capturing and holding Moscow?