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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:25 am 
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Circling back to the prior discussion that we had (either in this thread or elsewhere) on the general topic of "Could Germany have won WW 2", I ran across the following article that may be of interest to some:

Too Little, Too Late: An Analysis of Hitler's Failure in August 1942 to Damage Soviet Oil Production
by Professor Joel Hayward

A short bio of him from Amazon:

Quote:
Professor Joel Hayward (ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS) is a New Zealand-born British scholar, writer and poet. He joined the National Defense College of the United Arab Emirates as Professor of Strategic Thought in 2017. He previously held two academic leadership positions within Khalifa University, which is also in Abu Dhabi. Already a full Professor, between November 2012 and December 2016 he was both the Director of the Institute of International and Civil Security and the Chair of the multidisciplinary Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He joined Khalifa University as a full Professor of International and Civil Security in 2012, after having enjoyed a Fellowship at the Cambridge Muslim College.


His career highlights include having been the Dean of the prestigious and historical Royal Air Force College for five years (2007-2011), Director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies for four years (2008-2012), Head of King's College London's Air Power Studies Division for six years (2005-2011), as well as Program Coordinator, Centre for Defense Studies, and Senior Lecturer in Defense and Strategic Studies, Massey University (both in New Zealand). He has also been the lead air power academic for King's College London's MA degree, Air Power in the Modern World, which was the UK's first specialist degree programme in air power studies. He is also honoured to be Professor of Strategy (Adjunct) at the Indonesian Defense University in Jakarta. Further, he is an "expert" contributor to Think Africa Press.

His bio continues at: https://www.amazon.com/Joel-S.-A.-Haywa ... scns_share

Some snippets from his article:

Quote:
On 1 June 1942, four weeks before the summer
campaign began, Hitler told the assembled senior officers of Army Group
South: "If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny then I must end this
war."5

Page 771

Quote:
The specific oilfields that Hitler mentioned lay in the North Caucasus, a region in present-day Russia comprising mainly steppes, rolling
hills and desert lands. During the Second World War it produced grain,
cotton, and heavy farm machinery. Its two main oilfields-Maikop, near
the Black Sea, and Grozny, near the Caspian-produced about 10 percent of all Soviet oil.6 South of the Caucasus Mountains lies the densely
populated region of Transcaucasia, today comprising the nations of
Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. In 1942 this heavily industrialized
region had a population density almost as great as the state of New York.7
Baku, capital of Azerbaijan and situated on one of the world's richest oilfields, alone produced 80 percent (in 1942, twenty-four million metric
tons8) of all Soviet oil. Baku's oil flowed by pipeline westward through
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, to Batumi, a major oil transit port on the Black
Sea. Oil going to Moscow, Gorkii, and the main industrial centres in the
west went by ship to Astrakhan at the mouth of the mighty Volga River,
then up the Volga to its destinations. Oil bound for the industrial areas
of the Urals and Siberia went by ship up the Caspian to Gurev, where it
travelled by pipeline to Ufa, almost a thousand kilometres to the north.
From there it went by rail to its destinations.9

Page 772
My bold emphasis above

Only one pipeline carried oil westwards and then only as far as the Black Sea port of Batumi.
They would then have to ship it across the Black Sea to Romania for refinement, then ship the refined petroleum via river tankers up the Danube.
But as mentioned in this article, all available river tankers were already being used to carry refined petroleum from Romania to Germany.
An alternate route would be through the Bosporous and then through the Mediterranean to Greek or Italian ports, from which it would still need to be somehow transported to Germany.



Quote:
Throughout this period Hitler and his military advisers apparently
never discussed in detail the important question of how Caucasus oil
would be transported to the Reich.
A quarter of a century earlier, this
problem had also vexed General Erich Ludendorff and the German High
Command, who never arrived at an adequate solution.11 The over-worked
Fiihrer may not even have realized the importance of this matter, considering it best simply to cross that bridge when he came to it. Apparently
he supposed Axis convoys would carry much of the oil across the Black
Sea to Rumanian ports, while the rest would travel by ship across that
sea, through the Bosporus and Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea. From
there it would continue on to Italian and occupied Greek ports.12
Hitler had almost certainly not read the March 1941 report by Lieutenant General Hermann von Hanneken of the War Economy and
Armaments Office, which was appended to a letter sent by Generalfeldmarschall (Field Marshal) Wilhelm Keitel to the High Command of the
Army (OKH). This report warned that, even if the Caucasus oilfields
could be captured intact, very little oil (only ten thousand tons per
month) could be carried overland to Germany.13 Moreover, even if the
Black Sea could be made safe for shipping, there would be no ships available for the transport of Caucasus oil up the Danube because the Danube
river tankers were already working to capacity transporting Rumanian
oil.14 The only remaining route was across the Black Sea, through the
Dardanelles, and on to Mediterranean ports. Accordingly, the report concluded, "the opening of the sea routes and the security of the tankers in
the Black Sea is the prerequisite for the use of Russian supply sources in
sufficient quantity to support the further continuation of the war."

Clearly, to attain this prerequisite was virtually impossible by early
1942; the Germans would have had to wipe out the powerful Soviet
Black Sea Fleet (which still had, according to Groladmiral Raeder,
"naval supremacy . .. [allowing] great freedom of movement"15) and to
eliminate British air and sea power from the eastern Mediterranean.

Pg 773-774

So even if Germany had captured the Soviet oil wells in the Caucasus intact, they had no way of transporting more than a pittance of it from the region.

Quote:
Only Rumanian
refineries, which still had a considerable surplus refinement capacity,'6
could handle large quantities of additional crude, but (for the reasons
mentioned above) it would be extremely difficult to ship significant
amounts of oil from the Caucasus to Rumania.


Continued below.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:25 am 
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Quote:
On the evening of 9 August, the 13th
Panzer Division stormed Maikop, taking around a thousand prisoners
and capturing fifty undamaged aircraft.
The Fiihrer's initial joy at Maikop's seizure was shared by many of
his cohorts. According to Count Galeazzo Ciano's diary, Mussolini
"attributes a great deal of importance" to its capture. It will have the
effect, the Italian Foreign Minister wrote, "of relieving the Axis, but not
immediately, and not altogether, of the pressing oil problem."24 However,
their delight soon turned to bitter disappointment when they learned
that Soviet rearguards had already destroyed hundreds of wells, wrecked
oil storage facilities, and crippled the refineries by removing vital components.25 Although this was always a likely result, the damage was far
more extensive than the Axis leaders had naively hoped. Twelve days
after the city fell, the Inspector of Air Defenses reported that only two oil
wells were "capable of being developed for use. One well is still burning,
although it may soon be possible to extinguish the fire. The other wells
have been rendered useless by having cement poured down the bores."26
The Soviets had also destroyed the large refinery in Krasnodar, he added.

Pg 779

Quote:
On 8 September 1942-that is, a full month after German troops
first entered the Maikop oilfield, choking on thick smoke billowing from
burning storage tanks-Dr. Schlicht of the Mineralol Brigade reported to
Thomas on progress at Maikop.28 Difficult terrain ("extremely suitable
for partisan warfare") prevented the transportation of cumbersome
drilling equipment, at least until new transportation routes could be created. In the meantime, Schlicht said, German specialists had to determine which wells would be easiest to unblock. This would not be easy;
the Soviets had inflicted massive damage, even to pipelines. "Until now,"
he emphasized, "only 4,000 cubic meters of oil stocks have been uncovered. It will take at least another six months until regular production can
resume." Accordingly, "it is essential we give the Reichsmarschall
[Imperial Marshal-Hermann G6ring, Plenipotentiary of the Four Year
Plan and, in effect, Germany's economics czar] a completely accurate
picture of Maikop." Goring's understanding of the situation, he added,
was grossly over-optimistic: "questions are already being raised about
whether the southern army groups can now be supplied with fuel
directly from Maikop."
Schlicht was right: Gdring's grasp of matters relating to oil production was extremely weak. For instance, two months later, on 21 November, he presided over an oil conference in Berlin. Maikop, which had yet
to produce oil for Axis troops (and never would, except a few dribbles),
remained at the forefront of his mind. "I'm fed up," he exclaimed.
"Months have passed since we captured the first oil wells, yet we still
aren't getting any benefit."29

Page 780

So even for the areas that Germany did manage to capture, the oil wells had been vandalized/sabotaged.
2 months after capture the German oil specialist units tasked with repairing the oil wells still had not managed to get any of them working to produce any significant quantity.

Quote:
Even Hitler could see that his grand plans for the Caucasus were
rapidly proving illusory. On 23 August, two weeks after Maikop fell,
Halder recorded that Hitler was "extremely frustrated" by the rate of
progress. His frustration intensified on 26 August when List, Commander in Chief of Army Group A in the Caucasus, reported that, unless his
forces received reinforcements, fuel, and air support, they would soon
have to take up winter positions.32 Yet Hitler failed to come to grips with
reality. After seeing that he had no chance of gaining the main oilfields
intact or with little damage, and little chance of even reaching them during 1942, whatever their state, he should have made the hard but logical
decision to order their destruction, or at least their disablement, by air
attacks.

Pg 782

----

The article goes on to fault Hitler/Germany for failing to use air power to bomb/damage the Caucasus oil fields/refineries once the realization set in that they could not capture the wells/refineries. They still could have attempted to deny them to the Russians by damaging them.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:22 am 
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Except for grandiose pie-in-the-sky dreams of Imperial Germania replete with monumental architecture celebrating the glory of pan-Germanism, Hitler and his gang didn't seem to be too much into INFRASTRUCTURE, LOGISTICS, and TRANSPORT. Well, they did do the first autobahns that is true.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:07 pm 
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Anthropoid wrote:
Except for grandiose pie-in-the-sky dreams of Imperial Germania replete with monumental architecture celebrating the glory of pan-Germanism, Hitler and his gang didn't seem to be too much into INFRASTRUCTURE, LOGISTICS, and TRANSPORT. Well, they did do the first autobahns that is true.



Autobahns, without sufficient fuel to power those autos, are pretty useless...unless you want to speed up horse drawn wagons.

Hitler overlooked a lot of important “details”, details that would be crucial to his plans having any hope of success.

All of his conquests (Poland, Denmark, Norway, The Benelux countries, France, Yugoslavia, Greece(not by choice but due to Italy’s incompetence)) were predicated on being fast in execution/short in duration.
IIRC, even during the Sitzkrieg period between Poland and France, the German economy was under strain because the manpower necessary to run the economy was busy serving in the Wehrmacht (the reservist call ups). Once Barbarossa was decided on the Germans were forced to employ millions of non-Germans in forced labor in German factories and farms because those farmers and factory workers were serving in the military.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:53 pm 
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The Soviet Union's nuclear missile train:


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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:39 pm 
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Not exactly a new concept but it is good to see that US Naval leadership are exploring different options (i.e. running an amphibious landing ship with 20 F-35B Lightnings).

I remember reading a military fiction novel back in the 1980s/90s where the US and Soviet Union got into a shooting war.
(I am not certain of the title of the novel but it mght have been The Sixth Battle by author Barrett Tillman).

The US Navy had a couple task forces in the waters off South Africa/south Atlantic, one was a CV TF and the other TF was based around an amphibious landing ship (I think it was an LHD) that was equipped with a half dozen Harriers. The Russian Navy had TF's consisting of a CV, along with (IIRC) one or two of their hybrid cruiser/carriers as well as some amphib invasion force.
The Russians had damaged, and thought they sunk the US Navy CV, but in reality it had been repaired underway. The Russians were then hunting for the LHD and left the invasion force uncovered. The US CV went electronically "silent", meanwhile they had the LHD radar mimicking the radar of the CV; they had the LHD issuing radio messages to imitate a CV, and had the Harriers flying the sort of missions that a CV might conduct. This was to lure the Soviet fleets into a trap.

------

A "Lightning" carrier could be used to serve with and supplement a CV, or it could be used in a smaller operation in which a normal fully equipped CV might be overkill.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 pm 
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https://warisboring.com/electric-boat-n ... ive-years/


Quote:
Electric Boat, Navy agree to a minimum of nine submarines over next five years

November 5, 2019 Staff Writer 0

The Navy and Electric Boat have come to an agreement on a multi-year contract for the next group of Virginia-class attack submarines the service intends to buy.

The value of the contract will not be released until it is finalized, which is expected at the end of this year, but it will include a minimum of nine submarines, yielding $1.8 billion in savings, a Pentagon official said.


Congress, during budget negotiations in 2018, authorized up to 13 submarines to be built between fiscal years 2019 and 2023, the period the contract covers. The Trump administration requested that 11 submarines be bought during that time, and the Navy and EB discussed that number during negotiations.

But the Pentagon, in notifying congressional defense committees last week of the proposed contract, indicated that budget “shortfalls” in the coming years restrict the number of submarines the Navy can commit to buying.

While overall there are “sufficient funds” to execute the program, there are “shortfalls” in fiscal years 2022 and 2023, which the Navy has committed to addressing in its next budget proposal, Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense, said in a letter sent last week to lawmakers.

“We have been working closely with the Navy and stand ready to support their needs. The contract being contemplated allows us to maintain a stable Virginia-class build rate,” spokeswoman Liz Power said by email Monday.

EB, which employs about 17,000 people, is currently operating off an “undefinitized contract action,” meaning work is being performed despite the contract terms, specifications, or price not being agreed upon yet.

Negotiations on the contract have gone on longer than expected due, at least in part, to the Navy’s concern about whether EB and its partner Newport News Shipbuilding and their suppliers can build more attack submarines while also building 12 new ballistic missile submarines, a top priority of the Navy and the Pentagon.

The proposed contract includes the option to buy a 10th submarine, which likely would happen in 2023. That would maintain the current rate of building two Virginia submarines per year, which has the support of Congress. The Navy buys submarines in groups known as blocks, and the previous contract included 10 submarines for $17.6 billion, the largest shipbuilding contract in Navy history.

“Today’s news that the Block V contract is reaching the final backstretch with a framework that will be built around a minimum of nine subs and an option for a tenth to maintain the program of record shows real progress in terms of getting a stable workload for this critical program,” U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, whose district includes EB, said in a statement Monday.

Courtney was behind the proposal to authorize up to 13 submarines to be built, saying that it would help address a dip in the size of the attack fleet expected in the late 2020s due to the older versions of attack submarines being retired at a faster rate than newer ones are being built.

He said by phone Monday that he has sent a host of questions to the Navy about adding the 10th boat and how that would work.

“At a minimum, I want to make sure the option for the extra boat is really a workable option, not just a gesture,” he said.

Courtney, chairman of the congressional subcommittee that oversees Navy shipbuilding, and Rob Wittman, the ranking Republican on that subcommittee, met recently with Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, who indicated that the possibility of buying 11 attack submarines over the next five years is “not off the table.” Previously, there was talk of funding the 11th submarine outside of the Navy’s shipbuilding budget.

“We’ll know more once the contract materializes,” Courtney said.

Eight of the nine submarines included in the contract will feature an added 85-foot section called a Virginia Payload Module that will increase payload capacity on the submarines. Given this, the submarines are expected to cost more to build than the current Virginia submarines, which cost about $2.7 billion each.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, in a statement issued Monday, said while the contract is “good news” and “a strong vote of confidence” in the submarine builders, “the nine boats are less than our nation needs.”

“The Navy will have to budget more funding in future years, which I will fight to achieve. Our goal continues to be a total of 11 submarines, as Electric Boat is more than capable of producing, and the American people should be expecting,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, in his statement, said Monday’s announcement is “an investment from the Navy in the future of Connecticut manufacturing, and a testament to the amazing work that the men and women of Electric Boat are doing in New London and Groton.”

He said he would continue to use his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee “to keep these wins for Connecticut coming.”

———

©2019 The Day (New London, Conn.)

Visit The Day (New London, Conn.) at http://www.theday.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:34 pm 
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https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnav ... 91107.aspx

Quote:
Naval Air: South Korea Improvises

November 7, 2019: In October South Korea announced it was buying 20 more F-35 stealth fighters. There are already 40 on order and South Korea will have received 13 by the end of 2019. Those 60 F-35s will cost $9.7 billion and a decision still has to be made as to whether any of the second 20 will be the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) F-35B version. The first 40 will all be the basic F-35A which just operates from land based airfields. But South Korea has ships that F-35Bs could operate from.

By 2018 South Korea had two 14,500 ton Dokdo class large amphibious ship. These South Korea LPHs (Landing Platform Helicopter) are similar in appearance and operation to the larger American amphibious ships. The LPH flight deck can handle helicopters, as well as vertical takeoff jets like the F-35B. The Koreans deny that the ship will be used with these jets, but the capability is there. The LPH normally carries 720 combat troops and their heavy equipment. Dokdos also carry fifteen aircraft; two V-22 vertical takeoff transports and 13 helicopters. Marado, the second Dokdo, has a redesigned flight deck that can handle two V-22s at once instead of just one. In addition to a more powerful 3-D surveillance radar for tracking aircraft, Marado has to Phalanx anti-missile system.

South Korea is also planning to build one or more 30,000 ton ships that look like the Japanese DDH (destroyer helicopter carrier) and could handle a dozen F-35Bs. Neighboring Japan has already ordered some F-35Bs so that it can experiment with some of these aircraft aboard the existing Japanese DDHs. Since 2017 Japan has had two 27,000 ton “destroyers” (DDH type ships) that look exactly like an aircraft carrier. These Izumo class ships can carry up to 28 helicopters or up to ten vertical takeoff aircraft. The carriers are armed only with two 20mm Phalanx anti-missile cannon and launcher with sixteen ESSM missiles for anti-missile defense. The DDH have powerful engines capable of destroyer-like speeds of over fifty-four kilometers an hour. Izumo has considerable cargo capacity, which is intended for moving disaster relief supplies quickly to where they are needed. Apparently, some of these cargo spaces can be converted to carry additional weapons and equipment needed to support F-35B fighter-bombers. Izumo could carry and operate at least ten F-35B s once modifications were made to the flight deck to deal with the extremely high temperatures the F-35B generates when taking off or landing vertically (like a helicopter). When the first DDH entered service in 2015 Japan made no mention of buying F-35Bs or modifying the LPH flight decks to handle the very high temperatures. The Izumos already have an elevator (to the hanger deck under the flight deck) powerful enough to carry an F-35B fighter.

Another factor that makes operating F-35Bs from an LPH or DDH is the availability of smart bombs and small air-to-ground guided missiles for warplanes. A LPH or DDH was not designed to haul a lot of munitions for aircraft but the amount of smart bombs and missiles needed to make five or ten F-35Bs effective would not be large. These ships already carry a lot of fuel for helicopters and have space for maintenance gear to support many helicopters. South Korean and Japanese naval planners noted this when they suggested using LPHs and DDHs as platforms for F-35Bs.



Continued at above link

More carrier naval aviation in the region is a good thing (to counter China)

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:38 pm 
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Does this mean 6.5CM is now a "military" cartridge ?? :D

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/11/04/ussocom-to-buy-m110k1-upper-receivers-in-6-5cm-from-knights-armament-co/

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:09 pm 
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125lbs 5'6" warrior recounts his Marine Corps experiences . . .

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