Did all of Hitler's dithering actually matter?

With the disaster at Stalingrad imminent, and the current focus on Hitler jerking his armies around to maximize their inefficiency, the question is: does any of this really matter? Were the Germans ever getting to Astrakhan anyway, and even if they had, would it have mattered at all?


I think you are right in that no matter how far south or how much of the Caucasus they occupied, the failure on the Stalingrad front was going to force them all the way back. Without Hitler’s interference they might have gotten to Stalingrad faster but that doesn’t win the battle.

how do the Germans anticipate and stop operation Uranus? I don’t think had the strength to do it.


Yeah, I watched the order of battle video after I posted this question, and the number of tanks the Soviets had alone makes this feel like an impossible task. It’s almost like Hitler was setting up his own encirclement, where he would move all of his armies into the Caucasus, letting the Soviets drive west and cut them all off.


“Were the Germans ever getting to Astrakhan anyway, and even if they had, would it have mattered at all?”

Very good question. I am not really a big fan of what ifs but I believe in "Goldratt, the goal strategy. One should always alleviate the constraint in a flow:

1 Fuel/Supplies were critical and thus the constraint, so any unnecessary movements eats into your options.
2 Uranus, profited from weak flanks and a very static Army in Stalingrad. With more fuel on site they could have extracted themselves, possibly? I don’t know if this makes sense numberwise.
3 Also they could have put more mobile defense on the flanks to at least launch spoiling counterattacks.
4 I am no expert on Stalingrad but apparently Hitler also wanted to “stay on the Wolga” and Stalingrads name became a goal in itself. Maybe but correct me if I am wrong he just couldn’t flee Stalingrad for propaganda reasons. (at least he thought his reputation was worth more that 300+ thousands German lives about to be lost).

Would the Germans have lost anyway, not sure. The Soviets had the advantage in Winter when the Luftwaffe was grounded and the Germans still had a lot of planes. BUT ironically like El Alamein, Gualdalcanal and the Kokoda trail the Axis was pinned down in faraway battles they did not want to lose but will lose because of supply deficiencies.

The Allies basically did the same in Normandy, the British kept grinding away and was hitting at the supplies and anything logistics while building up for Cobra.

Kinda worked


I guess we will have to dicuss this in the future after D-day. Was this a startegy or just a convenient explation for the british why they could not get going around Caen.


I think that at this point in 1942 it is only a matter of time. Germany is in at multifront war with US, The British Empire and Russia. The simple figures of ressources, men and materials available on both sides in combination with the rate of German casulties makes the German war effort unsustainable within a few years.