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Germany's odds of winning WW2 were lower than 50% in December 1942.


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Round 1
For one, the soviets had far more soldiers than the Germans. On February the second 1943 Germany and the other Axis powers had an army consisting of 3,000,000 million men on the eastern front, but the Soviets and the other nations fighting with Russia on the eastern front had 6,101,000 million men. These numbers don't appear to change significantly from December 1942 to February 1943. However, the German numbers are a bit misleading because many of these soldiers are starving inside of Stalingrad.

But it's not just troop counts, From 1942 to 1943  the Soviets appear to hold 2 times more tanks than Germany. If you observe the model of tanks you'll find the Soviets predominantly using the T-34 and T-34/85, while the Germans were using the Tiger H1 and Panzer 4, shortly  after December 1942 the Germans also began producing Panther tanks.

The Soviet tanks could deal with these tanks to varying degrees. The T-34 couldn't penetrate a Panther, but could easily go through the Panzer 4, the Tiger 1 could only be penetrated at very close ranges. But, the T-35/85 could easily penetrate a Tiger and Panzer 4, however the panther was still too tough. But, all German tanks can pierce Russian armour easily. However the Tiger and Panther weren't very reliable. Tigers could barely go 150km without breaking down for example.

Oil was also a huge burden on the German military. As early as 1941 the German army had started to rely on horses to transport their troops. This wasn't a problem for Russia however. The Soviet Union produced the second most amount of oil just behind their ally, America, which produced just under 70% of the worlds oil.

Then there is Stalingrad, at this point the 6th army had been encircled. Many say the Germans could break out, but the German forces had been very poorly supplied, on the 23rd of November 1942 the German food ration had been cut to 600 calories per day. This is 1900 calories short of what a man needs daily. But, these soldiers should be far more active than the average male so they may need more than 2500 calories.

Thanks for Trent for starting this debate

Pro has not cleared up what 50% is, hopefully he does just that in R2

Resolved:Germany's odds of winning WW2 were lower than 50% in December 1942.

Let’s begin!


A1-More troops>Yes this is true, but they are many factors with this, 1 is technology, Germany had the best machine gun, MG-42,{1} Also, the ratio of German to Soviet combat effectiveness would be 2.50 to 1{2} As well as USSR suffering more casualties in general,The Soviet to Axis loss ratio was 1.3:1{3} make the manpower factor not as strong

A2>Tanks-Germany had better tanks and more high quality, in fact while throughout the war, the number of tanks for the Soviets decreased, while the Germans stayed the same or increased!, last in 1942, USSR had 6,940 out of 28k tanks at the start of Operation Barborossa!, while Germany had 300 more tanks at the time than at the time of the invasion.Clearly tanks didn’t effect the german war machine too much as they destroyed 20,000 of them in 1941.{4}

A3>Oil and resources-Firstly, my opponent has claimed that by 1941, Germany used horsepower when they were using them the entire war, this is false as they were always using horses.The German Army entered World War II with 514,000 horses{5},SECOND, until my opponent explains why this is a downside and contributes to the percentage of winning, it is useless, as well as Germany’s oil shortage didn’t kick in until 1943{6}

A4>StalinGrad-This is one point I will concede, However the Airlift did help the army last a little longer but there’s no way I can argue this, HOWEVER my opponent has not told why this is such a big deal in lowering Germany’s percentage of winning the war

A5>Economy-A well established predictor of military victory in great power warfare is GDP, Germany’s GDP was 417 while the USSR’s GDP was only 274.{7}
That should be all, I look forward to your reply

Sources in Comments to save space post #11

Round 2
lower than 50%= an unfavorable chance of victory.

Your statement about the casualty ratio is true, 1 German would kill 2.5 Soviet soldiers. But, that is misleading, those numbers are inflated by 1941 where 1 German would kill or capture 12.2 Soviet soldiers. The Soviets had time on their side and they mobilized millions of men. You said the soviets suffered more casualties In general which is true but a lot of that came from the citizens. 

The MG-42 was an effective weapon but scale is very important. Only 420,000 were produced through out the whole war. Russia also had effective machine guns. The PPSh-41 for example. Remember the scale of production though, 6,000,000 were made during the war.

I agree that the Germans had better tanks if they were functional. But, there tanks weren't really performing well. Tigers broke down a lot for example because of it's terrible transmission. The point about the soviet tank casualties is moot in my opinion, these losses were largely made up of the obsolete t-26 and bt-7 which were replaced by medium and heavy tanks. To prove how much these light tanks inflate the numbers, 11,000 t-26 tanks were destroyed on the eastern front before being discontinued, this often inflates tank kill ratios.

The Germans using horses left there infantry open to encirclement because of their reduction in speed, especially in December of 1942 where Russia now had the initiative. It also makes attacking much harder, especially for Germany which relied on their war of movement, and Blitzkrieg tactics.

Germanies oil crisis didn't start in 1943, Germanies oil reserves only lasted until August of 1941. This led to a giant shift in tank warfare as many German tanks were overrun or blown up to stop the soviets from stealing their unfueled tank. 

After the Soviet air force and the Luftwaffe suffered heavy casualties in operation Barbarossa, my source states "the successes of the German air arm were offset by the losses which unlike the Soviet Air Force could not be replaced easily as the German economy had not yet been put on a full war footing." Casualties don't tell the whole story, even though Russia suffered more casualties, they could regroup much better than Germany could.

Stalingrad shows how many thousands of German soldiers are ineffective. 

Thanks for Trent for the swift reply and providing a definition for 50%


A1>Soldiers and MG-42-First, my source only included soldier casualties, my opponent has claimed the opposite.My opponent has then conceded the rest of the point.then you say that the soviets had time, but only to December 1942 due to the debate. Then, my opponent talks about the PPSh-41, which is a SUB MACHINE GUN, MG-42 is a stationery, my opponent has very misleading claims, and the german submachine gun-/MP_40/ which were proven to be just as effective as the PPSh-41{1}, second the MG-42 claim was about German technology, which was better than the Russian's.As well as having a better quality of life.Last,Germany has better coal, steel and industrial output{2}

A2>Tanks-If you are going to exclude the t-26 and bt-7 then you have to exclude those from the tank count, Soviet tanks were not reliable, The Soviets had actually done a study and found out that the lifespan of their tanks was less than 6 months. For the Soviets to live and fight in critical situations, they threw every machine into battle. The machines were often loaded with problems. So yes, naturally Soviet tanks were unreliable.{3}

A3>Horses-Actually Blitzkrieg was a combination of Traditional German tactics and interwar, yes the armored pierced through, but horses were needed after, Horses were key and as mentioned before in 1939, Germany started the war with over 500k horses WITH Blitzkrieg{4},

A4>Oil-”Even before the Russian prospects had come to naught, Romania had developed into Germany’s chief overland supplier of oil. From 2.8 million barrels in 1938, Romania’s exports to Germany increased to 13 million barrels by 1941, a level that was essentially maintained through 1942 and 1943”

As you can see, the Germans were still getting oil to maintain war efforts in the east until 1944. The Battle of Kursk is an example of German oil supplies able to supply an offensive.{5}

A5>Manpower and Air warfare-> at this time, Germany was no short of manpower but the manpower only was an issue in 1943 and on{6},The German air force was more trained,equipped and overall superior, I don’t have space to argue this but I can leave a source for it{7}

Am out of space but sources in comments
Round 3
Thank you Dr. Franklin for a productive debate.

You state that the MP-40 is just as good as the PPSh-41, thus conceding that the Germans don't have better sub-machine guns. Also, my scale of production argument proves that the Russian counterpart is superior, only 1.1 million MP-40s  were made. As previously stated 6 million PPSh-41s were made. When looking at pure machine guns, Russia produced 1,477,000 machine guns, but Germany only produced 1,000,700 machine guns. Also, the allies produced 5 million machine guns but the axis only produced 1.3 million machine guns

Germany did produce more essential resources than Russia, But Germany ran a 21 million metric ton iron ore deficit in 1938, that's before a British blockade, and a costly war with Russia.

my source only included soldier casualties, my opponent has claimed the opposite.My opponent has then conceded the rest of the point.then you say that the soviets had time, but only to December 1942 due to the debate
The Soviets did have time on their side, I didn't concede the point. On the 22nd of June 1941, Germany outnumbered Russia by over 1 million men. But, as previously stated, Russia outnumbered Germany by 3 million men around December of 1942. So, as I stated Russia had time on their side and mobilized millions of men. 

Sure Romania produced a lot of oil, but, it clearly wasn't enough. in 1942, Germany had lost a substantial amount of horses, and had to cut the oil ration to the Wehrmacht. Speaking of horses, "being horse dependent meant lesser rate of advance, retreat, more need of fodder, more manpower required, but less oil needed."
Kursk wasn't well supplied, "the Germans found themselves outnumbered, outgunned, extremely low on food and medical supplies and surrounded by Russians.

Your point about the German aircraft is assuming the planes can function. The Luftwaffe was short of fuel, and surprised by Allied tactics.

Deciding which side was better tank wise is balancing act between quantity an quality. 1 German tank from November 1942 to March 1943 would result in 1.3 Soviet tanks casualties. But, Russia appears to produce 2 times more tanks than Germany from 1942 to 1943.

I just want to say thanks to Dr. Franklin for accepting such a niche specific debate takes a lot of guts, It's been very productive

To finish off your R2

A6>Stalingrad-Stalingrad casualties for Germany was 300k while the soviets suffered 1.2 million, Germany’s troops were superior there.

A7>Economy-Claims untouched,extend argument

Now R3

A1-Machine Guns> First of all the Russians had more manpower and guns but I have to bring up another one of my arguments, the Russian gear were not good, The tanks were often without color and not even loaded with machine guns!,The soviets were in dire situations, the allie numbers are misleading because America contributed to most of them AFTER 1942{1}

A2-Resources>Yes they had an iron ore deficit but they still had a better industrial output and better loaded tanks, again this is before the heavy allied bombings in 1943 and up, extend argument and the bulk of it was untouched 

A3-Manpower>But again, a soviet soldier was not as effective as a german one, sure they and the manpower advantage but every other advantage Germany had, and For the Soviets to live and fight in critical situations, they threw every machine into battle.

A4-Oil,Horses and Kursk-Kursk took place in the Summer of 1943, not before December 1942, thus I don't need to respond,But Yes the oil was short, BUT the Battle of StalinGrad was fueled with no oil shortages, and just MOBILIZING was the problem, but the Eastern front at the time was already deep into Russian military, why do they need to mobilize they are already close to Moscow?, also the lesser rate of advance and retreat didn't matter because they were already deep into russian terroitory, also the food shortages didn't kick in until 1943, and the horses could be fed.

A5-Luftwaffle-Your source actually helps me by saying that German air superitory lasted until the fall of German forces in Stalingrad.{2{

A6-tank Production-Extend Argument about how tanks were not as effective as this seems to be dropped from my opponent

Good debate!