It's clearly not a prerequisite of comedy to be inaccurate. And with this topic, the misunderstanding is potentially even dangerous.
Even ignoring the "Russian Winter" example, it's seemingly been absorbed into popular understanding that Germany didn't really lose against the Soviet Union in a complete sense.
Of course Germany had the best troops, the best technology, great logistics, the smartest minds, etc. It was just the damn Asiatic hordes, or the barren wastes of Russia, or the oh so brutal "scorched Earth", which we should all consider as not a legitimate defeat.
To continue the idea that Germany was defeated not by the men and women actively facing an existential threat, but by inhuman elements, allows the idea that Germany was the greater power. That the political and military structure of Germany was not inherently flawed, but that if things had gone just a little differently, maybe Nazism would have triumphed.
Obviously, those who spread the idea of the Russian Winter being so critical, especially those who do it for comedy's sake, aren't usually attempting to portray Nazi Germany in a good light. But it should be made clear that these excuses can stem from a more dangerous effort to misrepresent the conflict for ideologically driven reasons.
We've had our disagreements, but I can just say amen to this.
The mud, the winter, all of these things that people blame for the German defeat that were "out of their control" all stem from Nazi Generals making up excuses after the war to protect their own reputations. Germany lost because the Allies and the Soviet Union had a better strategy than they did.
The Wehrmacht are the most revered losers since the Confederacy.
Generaliteit boven alles behalve Oranje
No wonder Toys-R-Us closed down. Geoffrey had a tumor.
While the winter of '41 did undeniably have an impact on the German Army and its performance, it's heavily over-exaggerated and ignores many of the other crucial effects that impacted the German Army. The effects commonly attributed to winter and commonly believed to have beaten Germany are actually much more complex. Around a million German soldiers perished during the winter, however, Germany managed to replace every single one of those losses. As a matter of fact, the German army grew in size throughout the entire war, peaking in 1943. The casualties sustained during the winter were replaceable. The other effect commonly attributed to winter was that it ground the German advance to a halt, giving the Red Army time to recover. What this ignores is the logistical situation of the German Army in November. German logistics could only effectively keep up with the Army for around 300 km. But by November, the Germans were well over 800 km into Russia. This meant that the German frontline troops were so starved of supplies that they couldn't advance, even if it had been in the middle of summer. Another factor about this was the German fuel crisis. Germany had been running a massive oil deficit since the war started in '39, and had only been able to survive by eating up her oil reserves. By the estimations of Georg Thomas, the head of the War Economy and Armaments Office, Germany only had enough fuel to be able to sustain 2 months of full scale offensive operations against the USSR The war started on the 22nd of June, so, the fuel supplies would last until late September-Early October.
Germany had to capture the Caucasian oil fields before that deadline, or else their oil reserves would be depleted, and the army would be ground to an halt. So, around the same time that winter started coming, Germany ran out of fuel. This, combined with the overstretched logistics, is the actual reason why the German advance ran out of steam in October-November, not the winter. As a matter of fact, most German units had stopped advancing even before they ordered to dig in for the winter. The Winter didn’t do any permanent damage to the Wehrmacht or it’s chances of victory. The casualties sustained during the winter could all be replaced, and the inability to advance would had happened even if the weather was perfect. So, in conclusion, the Russian Winter did have an effect, but it did nothing to the German Army that the Oil Crisis and the logistical situation wasn’t already doing to it. But, even with all of that being said, it must be pointed out that even if the winter had been devastating, it still wouldn’t had mattered. Why? Because of the aforementioned Fuel Crisis. A lot of people argue that the tide of the war turned at Stalingrad, or maybe even at Kursk. However, I would put forward that Germany’s last chance of victory slipped away in October 1941, when her oil reserves ran out. The moment the German oil reserves ran out, the Wehrmacht immediately found itself being extremely limited in terms of offensive capabilities. They could no longer launch grand offensives, sweeping over hundreds of kilometers of enemy territory, encircling entire armies, and riding off into the sunset. Instead, they had to spend months rationing to save up fuel for even just a few weeks of limited offensive operations. Luftwaffe pilots had to spend weeks just sitting around on the ground because there was no fuel to run their planes with, tanks had to stop in the middle of a battle and wait several days for fuel.
After the oil reserves ran out in 1941, Germany never again had the ability to launch an offensive large enough to be able to knock the USSR out of the war. Instead, German offensives got smaller and smaller from that point onwards, both in scope and the amount of men involved. Without the fuel to be able to launch grand offensives, Germany stood no real hope of beating the USSR and winning the war. Some argue against this idea by pointing out that Germany managed to continue the war until 1945 without ever capturing the Caucasian oil fields, but to quote Dr Anand Toprani “Synthetic Fuel allowed Germany to wage war but not to win it. Germany’s economically illiterate Generals scoffed at economic advisers who urged the conquest of the Caucasus by pointing out that Germany “managed to carry on the war until 1945 without ever scouring the Caucasus oil.” But at no point after the failures of 1941/42 did Germany ever possess the opportunity to win the war on favorable terms. Rather, Axis Europe had to spend the rest of the conflict laboring under constant constant shortage of energy, which constrained economic productivity and military effectiveness.” Anything beyond October 1941, including winter, was a formality. Germany no longer possessed the opportunity to win the war. And without being able to win the war, it was only a matter of time before they lost. The Winter didn’t have a permanent impact on the Wehrmacht, but even if it had had one, it still wouldn't had mattered. The war had been lost before the first snowflake fell.
To soon man, I'm still in mourning
Additionally, every German soldier and tank cost a lot more and had more exp, logistics, time, everything than a Russian conscript inside an assembly-line t34. And even with 2 to 1 casualties, which isn't even the case for the most parts of war, by battle of Moscow - most German divisions weren't fully capable and lost a lot of veterans. Germans could not sustain a war of attrition from day 1, it's more of a hats-off to Germans for how long they managed to but up a fight. No matter how hot your knife is, it won't be able able to go deeper than the length of its blade.
German economy had the problem of being very decentralized and competitive with itself for all the wrong reasons. When it came to production and innovation months passing before final decision could be made for a new model of this or that to enter production. And even when it happened, there wasn't enough standardization due to the history of industry in Germany as well as sabotage and lack of common production ways in occupied countries, to the point that sometimes specific parts between 2 identical tanks from different factories weren't interchangeable.
And the Caucasus oil is a red herring of sorts, Germany had very few ways to actually use it besides capturing it and having it. Not to mention Brits and soviets were 100% ready to bomb the shit out of oil fields if this ever was to happen. Soviets had plenty reserves.
The joys of colonialism
We need FTL travel already so we can do it again
Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the stars!
Then he found the indies. And Japan!
When boys surprise you with unexpected visits..
Axis not central powers.
[Insert standard "not a crook" joke]
As a Minnesotan I can relate
Hastings originally, Shoreview recently. You?
That's interesting, don't folks usually argue that Europeans "settled" and "civilized" the West?
It is odd how most popular conceptions of the war skirt around and undermine the way Russia went from dysfunctional quasi-feudal state in a state of total military defeat, revolution, and civil war to industrial power house capable of defeating Europe's premier military force head on, all in the space of about 20 years.
Whoops, I mean ~ ａｓｉａｔｉｃ ~ ｈｏｒｄｅｓ ~
It's wonderful what you can do when you have a huge workforce, plentiful natural resources, and a perennial disregard for human rights.
Exactly. This is the reason why German generals were so keen to blame everything on mud and winter after the war, it was a way to divert blame from themselves and protect their own reputations. Everyone, even the beloved Manstein, did this, blaming the winter, and mud, and Hitler, and Paulus, and everyone else, for their own mistakes.
That's something entirely different than pretending like the soviets lost.
He'd rather slay some vampires