The German Campaign in Russia - Planning, Opns. [1940-42] by G. Blau

By G. Blau

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The oil produced in the Caucasus region would be essential for the exploitation of any territories occupied in Russia. e. By occupying European Russia, Germany would seize 75 percent of the total Soviet armament potential and almost 100 percent of the precision-tool and optical industries. The study was submitted to Hitler who, though recognizing its intrinsic value, failed to make any basic changes in his overall military- political plans. Directive BARBAROSSA (18 December 1940) On 6 December General Jodl requested General Warlimont to draw up a directive for the campaign against Russia on the basis of the preliminary plan that had been approved by Hitler.

It was intended to organize long-distance truck transportation units to haul supplies to distribution points in the field. All transportation matters would have to be coordinated with the Luftwaffe so that no motor vehicle would remain unused. Even then, supply bases were being established in former eastern Poland, and similar installations were to be set up in Romania. Halder also explained the plans for the strategic concentration of forces. The first echelon was then being moved into the theater.

The Russian artillery, though numerically strong, was considered relatively ineffective. Among Russian leaders only Timoshenko was outstanding. But, on the other hand, the Soviet plans were unknown. Near the border were massed strong Red Army forces whose voluntary withdrawal would be limited if the Soviets wanted to keep the Baltic States and the Ukraine in their possession. And the Russians were constructing fortifications, particularly along the northern and southern sectors of the border. Halder then summarized the instructions issued to the three army groups in the operation order.

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