Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

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Von Bock
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Von Bock » 02 Apr 2024 12:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Mar 2024 17:53
Oh dear, we have a severe problem of understanding...

Number of Germans airlift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 81,021
Number of Germans sealift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 56,128
Number of Germans in Africa 1 November 1942 - 49,415 (note: not including Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and LoC Troops not part of Panzerarmee-Afrika)
Total - 126,564+

Number of Italians airlift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - unknown
Number of Italians sealift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 71,282
Number of Italians in Africa 1 November 1942 - unknown, but Rommel's Italian contingent numbered c. 48,000 when he withdrew from Tripoli
Total - 119,282+

Grand Total - 245,846+ additional Luftwaffe, Regiaeronautica, Kriegsmarine, Regiamarina, and German and Italian LoC troops evacuated from Tripoli to Tunis, and additional Italian troops airlifted to Tunis
Richard, of all your posts I think this is the most valuable one. I am still interested in the matter and I like your elaborate responses very much. I think this is a more than excellent calculation.

Although I can understand your frustration with Ljadw’s answers and all the ad hominems, I think he asks some valuable questions.

So first of all:

1. What are the sources for the airlifts and sealifts? Primary German sources?
2. I thought 70,000 Axis soldiers were killed during the Tunisian campaign? How is that explainable?
3. If we take the 70,000 into consideration, am I correct that 245,846-70,000= 175,846 is the right amount of prisoners or do I still miss something?
4. Do you take into account that a lot of wounded troops (maybe as much as 20,000) were actually evacuated by air?

ljadw
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 02 Apr 2024 13:04

There is no proof for the claim that 70000 Axis soldiers were killed during the Tunisian campaign.
A '' lot '' of wounded troops ,sick and not wounded, not sick were evacuated by ship and by air : see Stauffenberg
The claim of 250000 Axis PW,of whom the half were Italians ,can not be true :the number of Italians in Tunisia was 90000 coming from Libya and 22000 coming from Italy =112000 .A '' lot ''of them were KIA or evacuated and following the US source 125000 were captured .This cant be true .
Or the number of Italians in Tunisia is wrong and should be some 140000, or the number of Italian PW is wrong and should be less than 112000, maybe 100000.
It is the same for the Germans .
German sources can be accepted for air and sea lifts of German soldiers, but not for air and sea lifts of Italian soldiers .
Would you accept American sources for the number of British losses in Normandy ?

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Apr 2024 18:06

Von Bock wrote:
02 Apr 2024 12:11
Richard, of all your posts I think this is the most valuable one. I am still interested in the matter and I like your elaborate responses very much. I think this is a more than excellent calculation.

Although I can understand your frustration with Ljadw’s answers and all the ad hominems, I think he asks some valuable questions.
Corrected figures (note: in the first post I accidentally double-counted the Germans with the Italians. Another 1,035 Germans and Italians arrived in Libya in November and December 1942.):

Number of Germans airlift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 81,021
Number of Germans sea lift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 49,334
Number of Germans in Africa 1 November 1942 - 49,415 (note: not including Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and LoC Troops not part of Panzerarmee-Afrika)
Total - 179,770+

Number of Italians airlift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - unknown
Number of Italians sealift to Africa 1 November 1942-11 May 1943 - 22,912
Number of Italians in Africa 1 November 1942 - unknown, but Rommel's Italian contingent numbered c. 48,000 when he withdrew from Tripoli
Total 70,912+

Number of Germans and Italians undifferentiated sealift to Africa 1,035

Total 251,717 + additional Luftwaffe, Regiaeronautica, Kriegsmarine, Regiamarina, and German and Italian LoC troops evacuated from Tripoli to Tunis, and additional Italian troops airlifted to Tunis
So first of all:

1. What are the sources for the airlifts and sealifts? Primary German sources?
The sources are:
Data Statistici, which are no doubt drawn from the same figures found in: OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt (II), Afrika-A 11 Kräfte, 1.I.-28.V.43; OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt (II), A IV-Afrika-Transporte-Allgemein, 10.XII.42-1.VII.43; and OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt (II), Italienische Kräfte, Tunis, 10.XI.42-2.V.43. You will find some of the figures nicely summarized in Howe, Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative on the West https://history.army.mil/html/books/006 ... index.html, Appendix B, Axis Troop and Supply Shipments.
2. I thought 70,000 Axis soldiers were killed during the Tunisian campaign? How is that explainable?
I doubt very seriously that 70,000 were killed on the roughly four and a half months of intensive campaigning (c. mid-December to the end of April). For November 1941-November 1942, German deaths in Africa averaged just 494 per month. During the most intense period recorded, May-November 1942, the average was 683 per month. So you might suppose for a force roughly five or six times the size, perhaps as many as 4,000 deaths per month - call it 18,000 for the entire campaign, although I think that is probably excessive.

Unfortunately, I have never seen a complete German accounting of casualties in Africa. The closest would be to extract the total casualties for Ob Südwest for 1 April 1941-31 May 1944 and subtract from it the known losses in Italy. Thus:

25,367 KIA, 94,040 WIA, 144,965 MIA
Minus
24,765 KIA, 91,943 WIA, 138,924 MIA
Equals
612 KIA, 2,097 WIA, 6,041 MIA

Which is obviously wrong, given through 31 December 1942 they reported 7,543 deaths, 14,028 MIA, and 148,460 wounded and sick, of whom 40,837 were evacuated to Europe. :lol:
3. If we take the 70,000 into consideration, am I correct that 245,846-70,000= 175,846 is the right amount of prisoners or do I still miss something?
Again, that figure of 245,846 does not include many unknowns.

We do not know what the total Luftwaffe strength in Africa was, although the Heer figures likely include Luftwaffe Flak. At best, we know that 20,366 Luftwaffe personnel were reported in Tunisia on 31 January 1943. So add that.

We do not have figures for the strength of the Köruck in Africa, which was the Kommandant der rüuckwartiges Armeegebiet or Army Rear Command, which was the logistical underpinnings of the German presence in Africa. While German rear operations were much "leaner" than Allied, it is still likely to have accounted for something between 15 and 20 percent of the total, based on other German force organizations, so add about 6,000 to 8,000 for the rearward part of Rommel's Panzergruppe in Tripolitania.

We do not have exact figures for the number of Italian troops with Rommel when he evacuated Tripolitania. The total is supposedly somewhere between 48,000 and 90,000. So add that.

We do not know what the strength of the shore establishment of the Regiamarina and Kriegsmarine were. While not huge, it was still likely in the thousands.
4. Do you take into account that a lot of wounded troops (maybe as much as 20,000) were actually evacuated by air?
No, since we do not have exact figures or even estimates, but yes, air and sea evacuation of wounded and sick was extensive - 27.5% of all sick and wounded Germans up to 31 December 1942. Sadly, those in ships and aircraft lost to accidents and Allied action are difficult to count.

So anyway, the only fixed figure we have - even if ljadw doesn't believe it - is the number of Axis PW captured in Tunisia.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

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ljadw
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 02 Apr 2024 20:30

180000 Germans and 70000 Italians can not result in 250000 PW (the unknown number of LoC, RM ,LW ,etc troops can not be included as no one knows their number ),because not all Germans were PW and not all Italians were PW:an unknown number was killed or evacuated to Italy ,thus the number of PWs must be lower than 250000,much lower .
If the number of Axis troops in Tunisia was 180000 Germans and 112000 Italians (following Italian sources ) ,a total of 292000 ,than and only than can the number of PW reach the number of 250000,but it depends on the number of Axis soldiers that were killed and evacuated.
The problem is that the use of the number of PW does not give us the number of Axis soldiers in Tunisia .
It is the opposite : from the number of Axis soldiers in Tunisia, one can try to calculate the number of PW .
The number of German PW must be lower than 180000 and the number of Italian PW must be lower than 112000 .
The number of German PW determines the number of Italian PW and the opposite . The less Italian PW,the higher the number of German PW .
If there were 100000 Italian PW ( in my opinion the maximum that was possible ) than there should be 150000 German PO,but 150000 POW from a total of 180000 is in my opinion too high .
The problem is that we don't know the number of Axis KIA and evacuees ,the only thing that is certain is that the higher the number of KIA and evacuees,the lower the number of POW .
The establishment historians tells us since 1945 that 12500 Germans and 125000 Italians were captured in Tunisia .This has been proved to be wrong .

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Apr 2024 22:05

Insanity. Why is this nonsense allowed? Zero creditable sources. Zero creditable analysis. Zero logic. It is magical thinking.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Georg_S » 02 Apr 2024 23:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Apr 2024 22:05
Insanity. Why is this nonsense allowed? Zero creditable sources. Zero creditable analysis. Zero logic. It is magical thinking.
Hello Richard

Who are you addressing? What is insanity? If you think it crazy why are you participating in the discussion?

./Georg
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Apr 2024 23:34

Georg_S wrote:
02 Apr 2024 23:00
Hello Richard

Who are you addressing? What is insanity? If you think it crazy why are you participating in the discussion?

./Georg
Good questions. Frustration I suppose. I made the mistake of trying to answer ljadw, which I long ago realized wasn't worth it. I suppose I will ignore them again and let them twist themselves into metaphysical knots.

Cheers!
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
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ljadw
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 03 Apr 2024 06:37

Richard Anderson wrote:
02 Apr 2024 22:05
Insanity. Why is this nonsense allowed? Zero creditable sources. Zero creditable analysis. Zero logic. It is magical thinking.
Sources have been given.
And, is it not magical thinking to add unknown strength of LoC, KM, LW, RM,RE to the number of fighting troops, while it is very possible that these numbers are included in the German and Italian totals .
From ''Italian soldier in North Africa ''
P 14 total Italian strength on 1 August 1942 was 136000 ( + 13000 Libyans ) of whom logistic and rear-area 40000 .
also on P 14 :total Italian strength at the start of Alamein bis was 128000
P 15 : total Italian strength in mid-December was less than 99000
P 15 :total strength on 5 February 1943 : 90000
If all of these 90000 men were captured , thus if no one was killed or evacuated,the number of German POW was 160000.160000 on a total of 180000 !
Is this credible ? NO
But : not all 90000 Italians were captured ,thus more Germans were captured which is very unlikely .
Conclusion :
or the numbers of Germans and Italians in Tunisia are wrong, or the number of 250000 Axis PW is wrong .The lower the number of Italian PW, the higher the number of German PW .

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Von Bock » 14 Apr 2024 17:06

I found a new source that claims 74,500 Germans missing in May 1943. Since there were no POW's on the Eastern Front during that period, we know that all of these POW's must have been taken in Tunisia. Again, very interesting and much lower compared to earlier estimates.

Source: Deathride, John Mosier.
After the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, the threat
to Hitler was very real, and he responded accordingly. In January 1943 the
Wehrmacht recorded 125,596 men missing in action, which is consistent
with the generally accepted figure of 90,000 prisoners of war taken when
Stalingrad capitulated. In May 1943, the same documents record 74,500 men missing, the German soldiers trapped in Tunisia and forced to
surrender there.

ljadw
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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 14 Apr 2024 20:09

Was 74500 the number of Germans taken POW in May 1943,or the total number of German POW since November 1942 in Tunisia ?

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by Von Bock » 15 Apr 2024 12:51

ljadw wrote:
14 Apr 2024 20:09
Was 74500 the number of Germans taken POW in May 1943,or the total number of German POW since November 1942 in Tunisia ?
May 1943, still a lot more realistic than the exaggerated 150,000 or more. And shines a new light on the campaign, since 75,000 is not a very shocking amount in my opinion.

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Apr 2024 13:48

Two points
1 74500 MIA is not the same as 74500 POW s ,because a (small?/big ? ) number of these 74500 could be KIA
2 If the number was the German soldiers MIA in May 1943,the total of POW s must be higher than 74500 ( there were also POW s before May 1943 ) ,but still the total number of POW s must be inferior to the number of 150000 ,because there is no proof that between November and May 75000 Germans were captured .
The number of 150000 ( unproved and unlikely ) is used to '' prove '' that the German losses in Tunisgrad ( November-May ) were bigger than the German losses in Stalingrad ( November-February ) ,which is an invention .
I am convinced that the total losses of Tunisgrad ( November-May and February -May for the AK ) were much lower than 150000 .

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Re: Axis losses of men in the Tunisian campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Apr 2024 14:06

Only German figures about the Tunisian losses should be used,because allied figures are not reliable .
In November 1941 Stalin said that the Germans had lost 4,5 million men in the first four months of Barbarossa ,while in reality these losses were 660000
men .
The number of 150000 POW s in the first 15 days of May 1943 is as serious as what told Stalin . Good for under the bus .

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