Overview

Description and Objectives of the Work Operation Barbarossa:
the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis

On 22nd June 1941 the Wehrmacht launched the largest invasion in recorded history, under the code name Operation Barbarossa. Barbarossa needs no introduction to students of the Second World War, as it is unrivalled in military history for size, speed of operations, and the magnitude of its geographic objectives. The Wehrmacht’s objective was no less than the complete defeat of the USSR, a country possessing by far the largest army and air force in the world at that time. This study focuses on the period from 22nd June 1941 to 31st December 1941, the period when the Soviet Union came closest to defeat, and arguably the only period when Germany could still win WWII outright. Since the end of WWII, debate has raged about the key operational and strategic decisions made by the German and Soviet high commands, especially during the critical period from July to September 1941.

The objective of Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis is ambitious: to create the most historically accurate, advanced and comprehensive quantitative model, of the first six months of the largest and costliest military campaign in history. The work includes a full statistical analysis of the belligerents’ military, economic and logistical capabilities, as related to their war effort on the East Front in 1941. Furthermore, the work presents what amounts to a large ‘data warehouse’ of historical data, and in the final (separable and optional) part uses it to construct, what I believe to be, the most comprehensive operational-strategic military simulation of Operation Barbarossa yet.

The work’s pedagogy is best described as a combination of: military history, military organisations and command structures, operational research, applied physics and mathematics, statistical analysis, and analytical methodology as related to modern military simulations.

The key rationales behind this work are:

  • To bring together an immense amount of information from disparate sources, and present it in the form of a large database in a single body of work. The professional researcher or amateur scholar of WWII is provided with a comprehensive data source, containing the details of all the armed forces involved on the East Front from 22nd June to 31st December 1941. Currently there is no single source detailing the actual land, air and naval forces involved in Operation Barbarossa.
  • To fully analyse each of the belligerents’ military, economic and logistical capabilities, as related to the East Front during 1941 and in the strategic context of their overall war effort.
  • To bring an in-depth quantitative analysis to bear on probable outcomes resulting from different operational and strategic decisions by the German and Soviet high commands in 1941. For the first time, a single work presents the advanced student of this campaign with a mechanism for quantitative analysis of the actual forces, logistics and economies involved. Even more significantly, the work enables an examination of the probable outcome of various ‘what if’ scenarios. In so doing, many of the historically accepted ‘myths’ surrounding Operation Barbarossa are questioned, while other less appreciated historical factors are shown to have been far more significant than commonly perceived.
  • The application of quantitative analysis to military history, and to demonstrate the potential power of modern military simulations in the study of military history. The purpose here is to demonstrate why sophisticated operational-strategic military simulations provide one of the most powerful methods of studying military history available today. In so doing, the reader is provided with a generic methodology for researching, cataloguing and building the elements needed to create a realistic simulation of a historical military event.

Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis does not assume the reader has detailed knowledge of the history of WWII, or extensive knowledge of the various disciplines mentioned. The approach includes an analytical methodology for analysing a country’s armed forces and its overall war effort. The methodologies defined in this work are designed to be generic, in that they can be employed to analyse a military campaign other than Barbarossa. In this sense Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis is also a guide to designing and building a quantitative analysis of a military campaign to the level needed to create a realistic military simulation. One of the distinguishing features of this work is that it is one of the first to formalise and document such a methodology.

The large bulk of the work then applies these methodologies (although the methodology itself is transparent to the reader in the various volumes) to the various belligerents involved in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. By selecting such a massive military operation as the historical case study, it is able to demonstrate the power of quantitative analysis as well as military simulations in studying military history. In so doing, Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis produces a new and unique perspective on a very famous, immensely important and tragic historical event.

***

Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military
Simulation will be published in six volumes (in eight separate books) as follows:

  1. Volume I – (Part I) The Concepts and General Structure of the Integrated Land and Air Resource Model, and (Part II) The Methodology Used for Analysing Weapon System Effectiveness, and the Structure of the 1941 Soviet and Axis Resource Database.
  2. Volume IIA and IIB – The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), Mobilisation and War Economy from June to December 1941. The size of Volume II dictates it is published in two separate books (each, 500 -700 plus pages).
  3. Volume IIIA and IIIB – The Soviet Armed Forces, Mobilisation and War Economy from June  to December 1941. The size of Volume III dictates it is published in two separate books (each, 500 -700 plus pages).
  4. Volume IV – The Finnish, Rumanian, Hungarian, Slovakian and Italian Armed Forces Involved on the East Front in 1941.
  5. Volume V – Relative Overall Combat Proficiency (ROCP): the ROCP of Soviet and Axis Forces on the East Front during WWII.
  6. Volume VI – The Science of War Gaming, and Operation Barbarossa, the Complete Operational – Strategic Level Simulation from 22nd June to 31st December 1941