Would an earlier Kursk have made a difference? (article)

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Would an earlier Kursk have made a difference? (article)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Nov 2021 05:55

KDF33 wrote:
29 Nov 2021 23:47
Here's the corrected table:
Good work catching that Krivosheev provides the RFSR breakdown and connecting that to Schadenko's Central Asia and Caucasus reserves in the 1.1.1943 report.

One thing clear from this report is the incredible churn of those newly-liberated soldiers. Net growth in [Ukrainians+Belarussians+Baltics+Moldovians+Poles] between 1.1.1943 and 1.1.1945 was only 2.125mil, which means ~45% of the net recruits were already gone before the Vistula-Oder offensive (plus those in hospitals).

Presumably most of the new guys were fed into the meatgrinder as infantry - the easiest/quickest to train from scratch. Stalin probably would have preferred this given his suspicion of men who remained behind enemy lines. By trying to estimate booty soldiers from average/expected casualties, I neglected how ruthless Stalin was.

Another Schadenko report from 1.9.42 (reproduced in Lopukhovsky's The Price of Victory) breaks down the lost soldiers (also 5.61mil in that report), stating that 3.6mil were from the 1890-1904 age groups. So men aged 40-55 by 1945.
Schadenko report 1.9.1942.png
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Re: Would an earlier Kursk have made a difference? (article)

Post by History Learner » 30 Nov 2021 06:08

KDF33 wrote:
29 Nov 2021 23:47
History Learner wrote:
29 Nov 2021 08:40
Also, on a personal note, would you care to post your sources for this? It would definitely be useful for future debates haha.
Here's the corrected table:

Image

I built it using various sources.

To start with, this page provides Soviet archival data for yearly mobilization. It shows:

1943: 5,901,436 conscripts, of whom 4,046,803 from the RSFSR
1944: 4,646,250 conscripts, of whom 1,890,967 from the RSFSR
1945 (January - April): 551,243 conscripts, of whom 288,830 from the RSFSR

Total: 11,098,929 conscripts, of whom 6,226,600 from the RSFSR

This leaves 4,872,329 from outside the RSFSR. We know from Schadenko's report that on 1/1/1943, 1,027,140 men were available for frontline and rear duty in the Central Asian and Caucasus republics. Assuming all were conscripted, this leaves 3,845,189 for the non-RSFSR liberated territories.

Vast RSFSR territories were also liberated in 1943/44, however. To arrive at an estimate for these, let's look at the percent of the pre-war population that was conscripted in the liberated territory of the 6 western republics:

3,845,189 / 57,698,000 = 6.66%

In late 1942, Germany occupied territories with a pre-war population of 79,972,000. This means that RSFSR territories with a pre-war population of 22,274,000 were occupied at the time.

Let's assume the same ratio held for conscription within those liberated territories:

22,274,000 x 0.0666 = 1,484,414

We can now rank four of the five sources of conscripts for the second half of the war:

1. Recovered territories, other republics: 3,845,189
2. 1925 - 1927 age classes, RSFSR: 2,188,420
3. Recovered territories, RSFSR: 1,484,414
4. Central Asia / Caucasus republics: 1,027,140

For a total of 8,545,163 conscripts. The balance, 2,553,766 men, would have been conscripted by combing out the RSFSR.

***

Let's test our balance sheet against Soviet archival data:

1. Combing outs, RSFSR: 2,553,766
2. Central Asia / Caucasus republics: 1,027,140

Total: 3,580,906

Which can be compared to 3,557,751 men still available (excluding 1925 - 1927 age classes) on 1/1/1943 according to Schadenko, a 99.4% match.

***

This means that over 1/1/1943 - 5/1/1945, about 5,329,603 men were conscripted from liberated territories and 5,769,326 from territories held on 1/1/1943. But then 1,891,200 men were also demobilized to work in industry / staff the NKVD over the same period, so the net manpower additions amounted to:

1. Recovered territories: 5,329,603
2. Territories held on 1/1/1943: 3,878,126

For a total of 9,207,729 net conscripts, of whom 58% came from the liberated areas.

Of the new age classes conscripted within the RSFSR, the periods of mobilization were:

1925: January - March 1943
1926: November 1943 - January 1944
1927: November 1944 - January 1945

The class of 1927 was only partially called-up, with (presumably) men in reserved occupations never getting their mobilization papers.
Amazing work and thank you so much!

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Re: Would an earlier Kursk have made a difference? (article)

Post by KDF33 » 30 Nov 2021 07:09

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Nov 2021 05:55
Good work catching that Krivosheev provides the RFSR breakdown and connecting that to Schadenko's Central Asia and Caucasus reserves in the 1.1.1943 report.
Thanks!
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Nov 2021 05:55
Presumably most of the new guys were fed into the meatgrinder as infantry - the easiest/quickest to train from scratch. Stalin probably would have preferred this given his suspicion of men who remained behind enemy lines. By trying to estimate booty soldiers from average/expected casualties, I neglected how ruthless Stalin was.
That would be my first assumption. IIRC, Soviet Fronts in the latter part of the war had 'traveling replenishment units' to train conscripted soldiers in-theater, mainly for the infantry.

However...
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Nov 2021 05:55
One thing clear from this report is the incredible churn of those newly-liberated soldiers. Net growth in [Ukrainians+Belarussians+Baltics+Moldovians+Poles] between 1.1.1943 and 1.1.1945 was only 2.125mil, which means ~45% of the net recruits were already gone before the Vistula-Oder offensive (plus those in hospitals).
One question I'm pondering lately is who exactly were the men demobilized to industry / the NKVD. We know from Krivosheev (overall figures) and Schadenko (1941-42 figures) that:

Image

I wonder who these men were. I find it especially remarkable that only 142,800 of them were remobilized later (see here, below the main table).

One theory: for the first half of the war, they were skilled workers that were conscripted in the chaos of the German invasion and the loss of territory, and were then sent to the relevant industries in 1942 after the Soviets first (temporarily) stabilized the front in the winter.

Then, for 1943-5, they were skilled workers conscripted in the liberated territories by the advancing Fronts. Once identified, they were exchanged for less skilled personnel working in industry.

If true, this would account for some of the 'missing' Ukrainians et al. Although obviously not to the extent that it would contradict the idea that the men of the liberated western republics were over-represented among the poor, bloody infantry.

Anyway, I wish there was a thorough book on Soviet manpower during WW2. Maybe in Russian there is?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Nov 2021 05:55
Another Schadenko report from 1.9.42 (reproduced in Lopukhovsky's The Price of Victory) breaks down the lost soldiers (also 5.61mil in that report), stating that 3.6mil were from the 1890-1904 age groups. So men aged 40-55 by 1945.
Another theory: some of Krivosheev's 'missing 3 million' (when trying to balance manpower intake, losses, and starting and ending strength) is that some (most?) of them show up as mobilized in Soviet records but were in fact never taken on strength during the chaotic first months. Ergo, they are not in fact 'casualties' as properly understood and therefore, Krivosheev's casualty figures aren't in fact missing millions of unrecorded casualties as alleged in 'The Price of Victory'.

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Re: Would an earlier Kursk have made a difference? (article)

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Nov 2021 07:28

KDF33 wrote:One question I'm pondering lately is who exactly were the men demobilized to industry / the NKVD.
Agreed this is a huge missing piece of the data. Unfortunately we have very clear conscription stats and even GKO decrees enumerating many sources of conscripts, but very little about the substantial reverse flow.
KDF33 wrote:One theory: for the first half of the war, they were skilled workers that were conscripted in the chaos of the German invasion and the loss of territory, and were then sent to the relevant industries in 1942 after the Soviets first (temporarily) stabilized the front in the winter.
This has to be at least partially true. You can see them pumping the breaks on net conscription after the first mid-Winter, surely there's some skilled worker exodus in that period. It also aligns with emerging concerns about the crisis in heavy industry - I've noted some of the GKO decrees that would have involved "reverse conscription" (releasing coal workers) here but haven't drawn a topline data picture.
KDF33 wrote:Then, for 1943-5, they were skilled workers conscripted in the liberated territories by the advancing Fronts. Once identified, they were exchanged for less skilled personnel working in industry.
I doubt this is a big part of the picture simply because SU was good at evacuating skilled workers from Ukraine - often against their will. Probably a lot of men well past 40 were immediately dragooned by zealous field commanders, then released to work - skilled or not. As Schadenko notes, men >40 were the majority of those lost to occupation.
KDF33 wrote:Another theory: some of Krivosheev's 'missing 3 million' (when trying to balance manpower intake, losses, and starting and ending strength) is that some (most?) of them show up as mobilized in Soviet records but were in fact never taken on strength during the chaotic first months.
I can't imagine this not being true. Impossible so far to say how many it covers.

It could also be true that, knowing the foregoing to be true, Schadenko was understating the number of prime-age men lost to occupation - it would reflect poorly on him or close associates. The 1.9.1942 report admits of ZERO trained, prime-age men lost to occupation, which is absurd. A lot of men - particularly Ukrainians and particularly in the early months before everyone realized these weren't your father's German occupiers - were abandoning the fight or even seeking to support the Germans.
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