An aside on Casualties

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Peter H
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An aside on Casualties

Postby Peter H » 22 Jan 2005 03:29

Some interesting data from Winston Churchill's The World Crisis 1911-18,orginal four volume edition,1923-29.

British & Commonwealth losses on the Western Front per month,1914-18.
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Postby Peter H » 22 Jan 2005 03:49

French losses(Western Front & Orient) 1914-18.Note addition of 36,000 French officer deaths via footnote at bottom.
Orient =Balkans,Gallipoli,Middle East.
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Postby Peter H » 22 Jan 2005 03:58

German losses Western Front 1914-18 against French,British,Belgians.From Reicharchiv sources.

Note footnote 7 amending total German dead on Western Front to 1,493,000 men.
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Postby Peter H » 22 Jan 2005 04:16

German losses all fronts 1914-18,Land Forces.

These figures are from the more reliable Central Inquiry Office(Zentral Nachweiseamt) that continued postwar to also allocate the missing as dead as their findings continued.They worked separately from the Reichsarchiv by checking all hospital returns at both home and the front.The Reichsarchiv collected the casualty returns every ten days from units in the field,and did not investigate the fate of the missing.

German death toll of 1,834,524 as at 1923 excludes 170,000 in Footnote 4 still missing but presumed dead.These were later reclassified dead by 1930.Add these plus 50,000 deaths in the Naval Forces and a total of around 2.05 million dead seem correct.
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Postby monk2002uk » 22 Jan 2005 08:52

Thanks Peter

Here is a graph of the British casualties by month (I like pictures best):

Robert
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Postby TNT » 22 Jan 2005 18:45

we always knew the somme was bad of course, but somehow that graph puts it in a whole new perspective for me

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Postby monk2002uk » 22 Jan 2005 20:14

And note how the campaign of Third Ypres does not dominate the graph.

Robert

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Postby Landsturm » 23 Jan 2005 04:24

Very interesting statistics. I have this from French casualties, but since the source is obviously not the same, there are differences:

French casualties : (includes both the Western front and other theatres.)

The total casualties figures (dead+missing) are 1,798 000.

At the end of the war, when the prisoners went back, the figure for the dead only was corrected : 1,300 000 dead.

The worst months were the months of the war of movement, and not the trenches warfare :

August & September 1914 : 329,000 (Battle of the frontiers and the Marne)

October & November 1914 : 125,000 (Race to the sea)

December 14-January 1915 : 74,000 (French winter offensives)

February-March 1915 : 69,000 (French winter offensives)

April, May, June 1915 : 143,000 (French offensives in Artois and Champagne)

July & August 1915 : 48,000

September, October, November 1915 : 131,000 (French offensives in Artois and Champagne)

December 1915 & January 1916 : 22,000

So, at the end of January 1916, just before Verdun, the total casualties figures for dead and missing was 941,000 men !

February, March, April 1916 : 111,000 (Verdun)

May 1916 : 29,800 (Verdun)

June 1916 : 37,600 (Verdun)

July 1916 : 44,700 (Verdun and the Somme)

August 1916 : 26,500 (Mainly Somme)

September 1916 : 39,200 (Mainly Somme)

October 1916 : 23,800 (Verdun and the Somme)

November 1916 : 23,000 (Somme)

December 1916 : 14,600 (Successful offensive at Verdun)

January 1917 : 6,500

February 1917 : 10,300

March 1917 : 11,600

Just prior to the ill-fated Chemin des Dames offensive, the total casualties (dead + missing) had reach 1,319,000 men.

April 1917 : 51,700 (Chemin des Dames)

May 1917 : 29,100 (End of Chemin des Dames)

June 1917 : 13,500

July 1917 : 15,500

August 1917 : 19,000 (2nd battle of Verdun)

September 1917 : 10,000

October 1917 : 13,000 (battle of the Malmaison)

November 1917 : 5,000

December 1917 : 4,000

January 1918 : 6,000

February 1918 : 9,000 (the Germans sent 15,000 prisoners to France in February)

March 1918 : 30,000 (German offensive on the Somme)

April 1918 : 28,000 (German offensive on the Somme & Flanders)

May 1918 : 29,000 (German offensive at the Chemin des Dames)

June 1918 : 81,000 (German offensives : Chemin des Dames and Matz)

July 1918 : 52,000 (German offensive on the Marne and French counter-stroke)

August 1918 : 24,000 (Allied offensive)

September 1918 : 23,000 (Allied offensive)

October 1918 : 39,000 (Allied offensive)

November 1918 : 9,000 (Allied offensive)

Grand total : 1,798,000 including 18,000 prisoners released before the armistice.

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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby MG1918 » 20 Feb 2015 05:50

Great thread in that this is very interesting. Just some images to offer when these numbers being so large, just become numbers.
MG0 (13).jpg

MG0 (14).jpg

MG0 (17).jpg
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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby Alejandro_ » 24 Aug 2015 10:09

Allied losses during January-February 1918 are 3 times higher (see below), any explanations on why?

France and UK:
Jan-Feb 1918: 63851

Germany:
Jan-Feb 1918: 17678

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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby LineDoggie » 25 Aug 2015 05:55

MG1918 wrote:
MG0 (17).jpg
Canadian casualties.

They are laying in a Canadian motor machinegun carrier(Autocar Type XXI). Note the Vickers mounted on Colt-Browning Potato Digger mounts (Only the Canadian used it in the West)
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby Guaporense » 27 Aug 2016 22:04

Alejandro_ wrote:Allied losses during January-February 1918 are 3 times higher (see below), any explanations on why?

France and UK:
Jan-Feb 1918: 63851

Germany:
Jan-Feb 1918: 17678


Because the German army was the best in the world and was in the defensive.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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MG1918
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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby MG1918 » 13 Sep 2016 16:48

Guaporense not sure I follow the logic? Your figures show French and UK casualties in a 2 month period? Where did that come from and can you be more specific between UK and France? and influenza casualties and any US fatalities.
Yes offensive action will generally be more costly but again I am struggling with the phrase 'best Army in the world'? Apart from the March offensive please educate me where the Imperial German Army showed consistent offensive expertise v the successes (and yes many tragic failures) of Allied offensive action? Totally agree the Imperial German Army in many respects were excellent...but the best in the world?? Certainly not in machine gun warfare post 1916.
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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby Guaporense » 19 Sep 2016 07:36

Read Genius for War. The German army was consistently more effective than any other in both world wars.

And yes, even in 1918 they were the best in the world. For example. In the spring offensive, despite massive economic and manpower superiority the Allies lost 860,000 men to the Germans losses of 688,000 men, and the Germans were on the offensive, which means the Allies should have inflicted way more casualties given that they had massive superiority in every respect: manpower, economic, natural resources and defensive posture, yet they suffered 30% more losses.

Therefore, we can conclude that the German army was indeed superior. Niall Ferguson even estimated that in WW1 it cost 14,500 dollars for the Entente army to kill a German soldier but it cost 5,600 dollars for the German army to kill an Entente soldier.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: An aside on Casualties

Postby antwony » 19 Sep 2016 11:38

Guaporense wrote:Read Genius for War. The German army was consistently more effective than any other in both world wars.

And yes, even in 1918 they were the best in the world. For example. In the spring offensive, despite massive economic and manpower superiority the Allies lost 860,000 men to the Germans losses of 688,000 men, and the Germans were on the offensive, which means the Allies should have inflicted way more casualties given that they had massive superiority in every respect: manpower, economic, natural resources and defensive posture, yet they suffered 30% more losses.

Therefore, we can conclude that the German army was indeed superior. Niall Ferguson even estimated that in WW1 it cost 14,500 dollars for the Entente army to kill a German soldier but it cost 5,600 dollars for the German army to kill an Entente soldier.


How many of those 860,000 were Portuguese or guys that surrended? Almost all of those German casualties would have been from the designated "Assault" divisions, and many would have been stormtroopers, which/ who had been removed from the rest of the army and trained and equipped to a higher standard than the divisions that took over the line and "reaped the whirlwind" when the final German assault failed.

Germany had decided to go with a two-tier army (or not even two when consider they eventually deployed Landswehr divisions to the Western Front) and, in retrospect, we can say it didn't work out the best for them.

Your point about offensive's is wrong vis-a-vis WW1. Despite the enormous British losses on day one, casualties during the Battle of Somme were (probably) similiar on both sides. Artillery, nor machine guns, was the biggest killer of that war and the Entente hadn't destroyed their national economies to enable them to equip their armies i.e. they could make lots and lots and lots of shells and still feed their citizens

Guaporense wrote:
Alejandro_ wrote:Allied losses during January-February 1918 are 3 times higher (see below), any explanations on why?

France and UK:
Jan-Feb 1918: 63851

Germany:
Jan-Feb 1918: 17678


Because the German army was the best in the world and was in the defensive.


While best is a rather abstract term surely they were, at best, the fourth best? France, British Commonwealth, USA, in which ever order you prefer. Athough, on November 11, 1918, the Italian Army was still in the field and was going forward. They'd, actually, proved to be the fourth best. So, yeah, if we are making a league table, and Guaporense likes his tables, Germany would be the fifth best. Have chosen to disregard White Finland and the Soviet Union, both of which were in existance on the Nov 12 1918. The Belgium's deserve fourth place actually

2-0.


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