But on the other-hand if Harry Hun had thought he was going to get captured by the nice western Allies, who, chances are, weren't going to shot him out of hand, bundle him off to their equivalent of Siberia or rape every woman age 8-80 they might not have put up such a struggle.....
As I understand it, a great deal of the 'fighting to the end' which made such a bloodbath of Berlin, didn't involve native-born Hermans, rather it was Reichsdeutsch or Volksdeutsch troops enlisted in Wehrmacht or SS units, who were either (a) Dyed-in-the-wool Fascist traitors to their own motherlands, or (b) Certain that capture and repatriation would inevitably result in execution, or (c) A combination of both.
That said, I can't recall ever reading anything that made an attempt to quantify the scale of this Auslander component of the Berlin defence.
Check "10 Myths of the Wehrmacht" on my Scribd page (referenced and linked upthread) for a detailed sketch of the extraordinary array of ramshackle vehicles that was the MT fleet of a (nominally) mechanised Reconnaissance battalion in Normandy in the summer of 1944.
Not even that. The M3 75mm, with capped AP shot, would get through about 70mm of armour (sloped at 30°, varied slightly between face-hardened or homogenous) at 500m; the T-34's 76mm F-34 gun would get through about 60mm at similar range and conditions. (they did have some APCR / HVAP which did better at shorter range, dropped off quite quickly to be no better at 1000m)
If this was going to be your signature operation, along a route, which XXX Corp knew to be narrow, would YOU not rush as many men as you can, to cover the flanks of XXX Corp ?? if necessary, comb out the support units, or even issue captured German rifles to local civvies, just to boost the mass either side.
The only conclusion I can come to, is you are right, it was utter chaos and we did the best we could. Or, it was a punt and monty was nervous about putting all his eggs in one basket, so ensued sufficient forces for other operations (didn't support his own idea and it was a vanity project conceived on a whim to outdo patton).
The biggest danger to Soviet shipping was US submarines. While the Japanese sank the odd ship off Alaska, (they were very anxious not to annoy the Russians), USN submarines operating in the La Perrouse straight north of Japan, (the Summer route): and south of Japan and in the Sea of Japan, (the Winter route) sank a fair few.
Having read much the same sources as others, maybe after awhile, you start to critique decisions and probably start to see history through a modern lense. So I apologise, it was not my intention to besmirch Monty or anyone, just not a fan of his, read his biography, which didn't form a favourable impression on me. Whereas, Frosts Biography, made a much more favourable impression.
If anyone has read the war diary of 116th Panzer Division, you see how stretched the German Army really was, even in a well equipped and well led unit. Its staggering, they were able to get so much out of so much poor material (very young, middle aged men) and keep fighting for so long.
On tanks, one of big what ifs for me, was if we could have got say a 150 Matilda IIs in France 1940. Given the tank was designed years earlier, it could have made a massive difference.