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WW2 #3: Eastern Front

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The strategic movement into the Crimea and the Battle of Sevastopol was another one of Hitler’s grand schemes into which he bullied the German General Staff. At its center were the oil fields in the Caucasus, but it was a plan that should have waited until the Russian forces were soundly defeated.

The Germans were coming up against better Russian equipment as the war ground slowly on. The appearance of the superb Russian T-34 tank and newer field guns should have tipped the Germans off. Sound war management dictated the destruction of the Russian Army first; then the new industrial facilities beyond the Ural Mountains. To do this effectively the Germans would have needed a bigger and more powerful Luftwaffe, with true strategic capabilities—including four engine bombers and long range fighters to escort the bombers to and from their targets.

Of course, Germany had none of these; instead they concentrated on overrunning as much Russian territory as they could. As their forces spread out over the vast Russian land mass, their strength was slowly dissipated. Pushed back and concentrated by the German advance, the Russians were conserving and building up their strength.

Russia is unforgiving to an invader that comes to do battle unprepared for its immense size and merciless climate. Napoleon waged such a war, leaving behind a history lesson to those who wish to learn it, and a horrible fate to those who do not.

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Genre: Military/War


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