Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

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Michael Kenny
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 02:14

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
It is likely, as I and Bhutar suggest, that Germany was losing many more tanks via abandonment than they recorded.
This subject has been contentious for decades. Both you and Bhutar are very late to the party, welcome to the club. Moreover that is not what Bhutar is saying.

https://youtu.be/bm7twFaUaIg?t=1542

He clearly says that a lot of tanks that were placed in the repair category never appear as 'official losses' and that means they are not recognised as victims of enemy action. They could simply drop out of the record at some later date as an 'abandoned' tank and thus get used on forums like this (as a fictional 'non combat losses') by those who want to reduce German loss numbers to a figure more suited to their way they think it should be rather than actual reality.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 22 Dec 2021 02:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 02:32

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:19
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
Nonetheless, Kenny is probably right about overall German tank losses being higher than recorded combat losses...............
Without question to some degree that is true. Question is to what degree? His claimed number is insanely high of course.
So when I post saying there were 188 German tank casualties July 5th-17th my numbers are 'insanely high' but when someone posts Chris Lawrences calculations that July 4th-17th 163 tank were casualties you meekly accept the numbers.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2021 03:33

Michael Kenny wrote:
22 Dec 2021 02:14
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
It is likely, as I and Bhutar suggest, that Germany was losing many more tanks via abandonment than they recorded.
This subject has been contentious for decades. Both you and Bhutar are very late to the party, welcome to the club. Moreover that is not what Bhutar is saying.

https://youtu.be/bm7twFaUaIg?t=1542

He clearly says that a lot of tanks that were placed in the repair category never appear as 'official losses' and that means they are not recognised as victims of enemy action. They could simply drop out of the record at some later date as an 'abandoned' tank and thus get used on forums like this (as a fictional 'non combat losses') by those who want to reduce German loss numbers to a figure more suited to their way they think it should be rather than actual reality.
I'm tempted to explain to Kenny that there is no disagreement. But I also know this is waste of time. A truly remarkable character.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 22 Dec 2021 04:45

On the tank kill claims of German aircraft, in reading Hs 129 Panzerjager, Pegg it is written that in Nov 1942 II./Sch.G 1 pilots in that time used (what was considered..)the wrong tactics and fired at Soviet armor until they burned, thus depleting a lot of ammunition in sorties. It was more correct to force them to stop and register hit flashes (implying that the crew was eliminated/disabled). The rounds they used were Tungsten core 30mm, and this was designed to penetrate the roof of the tanks and spread thousands of splinters into the compartment.

This may have something to do with the use of Anti-tank HS-129 and Stuka in OP Citadel and their claims and actual write-offs. IF the pilots only knocked out the crew they could (??) claim this as a "tank kill" regardless if it burned or not.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 22 Dec 2021 05:28

An indication of how close HS-129 pilots could fly when shooting at tanks was an incident in Jan 1943 where during a training demonstration, the experienced Oblt. Kent (4./Sch.G.1) strafed an abandoned T-34, scoring a hit. On the second pass, he hit it again but his plane struck the T-34's turret and broke away, killing the pilot.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 05:41

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2021 03:33


I'm tempted to explain to Kenny that there is no disagreement.
There is.
You seem to believe the problem was tanks being 'abandoned' and it went unrecorded. What was actually happening is that 'combat losses' were being wrongly listed as 'abandoned'.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2021 05:53

Michael Kenny wrote:
22 Dec 2021 05:41
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2021 03:33


I'm tempted to explain to Kenny that there is no disagreement.
There is.
You seem to believe the problem was tanks being 'abandoned' and it went unrecorded. What was actually happening is that 'combat losses' were being wrongly listed as 'abandoned'.
It would be great if you could reference actual evidence rather than your persecution at the hands of Wehraboos.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 06:17

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2021 05:53


It would be great if you could reference actual evidence .....................
Look up the panzer wrecks at Uman/Potash and see it for yourself. Here is your starter for 10.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130556552 ... otostream/

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2021 06:18

Michael Kenny wrote:
22 Dec 2021 06:17
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2021 05:53


It would be great if you could reference actual evidence .....................
Look up the panzer wrecks at Uman/Potash and see it for yourself. Here is your starter for 10.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130556552 ... otostream/
Ah ok, some pictures. As I said, a waste of time. Need to take my own advice.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 06:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2021 06:18


As I said, a waste of time.
I agree, you are a total waste of time.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 22 Dec 2021 15:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:40
stg44 wrote:I know, but I'm not trying to convince him, just show everyone else how ridiculous his claims are as well as his 'debating tactics'. He's gone to the point of being the mirror image of a Wehraboo.
Well you're doing God's work. From personal experience it's sometimes helpful to be reminded that our opponents are not behaving in good faith.
Thanks. You're right, it is helpful to keep that in mind.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:40
stg44 wrote:Why though? What actually benefit would it have given them to do that? See above for my point about the problem of harvesting wrecks for spares, but not written them off.
It's just a theory that seems reasonable and perhaps explains where all the German AFV production went. The "why" would be simple chaos in retreat. If there are records of the workshops extensively categorizing their abandoned vehicles then obviously this theory is wrong. Do we have such records? IIRC the tank loss reports functioned similarly to personnel loss reports: they categorized only the flows out of the combat units. So if a man listed as "verwundete" later died (as of course happened and was of course was expected to happen) this isn't a fault of the "gefallen/verwundete" reporting system but rather something not intended to be captured by that system. Just as we need to look to different set of records to see who actually died among the verwundete, I'd guess we'd need a different set of records to see which tanks reported "damaged" ever actually returned to combat (or were abandoned, cannibalized, etc.). Do we have such records? The excellent new Kursk/II-SS-Pz-Korps article is an attempt to create an alternate record, IIRC, by tracing the fates of the actual tanks involved, in addition to tracing the flows to/from the combat units. I can't think of another such attempt.
Seems like we're just reduced to speculation, it's just that I'm still not getting what the benefit of not writing off a truly destroyed chassis would be.
Yeah this sort of 'deep research' generally isn't done by researchers.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:40
stg44 wrote:I agree, from the Soviet perspective pre-empting Kursk in May would have been better all things being equal, but based on what Zamulin has turned up about the logistical situation and what I've been able to find about the interdiction campaign against the rail system being waged from the air in April-July as well as the lack of rail lines into Kursk very well could have meant the Soviets would not have been in a good position to launch their offensives in May. If the Germans then were able to retreat in good order then the advantages of forcing the enemy to rapidily retreat wouldn't have been gained.

Had Citadel gone per the Soviet defensive plan then the decision to wait and counterattack would have been the correct one; contact with the enemy though tends to toss plans out the window.
I'm thinking the Soviets preempt Kursk later - perhaps as late as July 3 when the Germans have all their supplies moved forward to support Zitadelle and probably can't move them back if they're suddenly back-footed. They had near-perfect intelligence as to German intentions. By then the logistics should be sufficient at least for one offensive from the Kursk salient. Combined with offensives in other areas - Mius, Donets, north of Orel - they'll gain ground somewhere and begin earlier the OTL process of capturing (or causing the destruction of) enormous German material/supplies. They'll pay a butcher's bill for it, of course, but they were going to pay that bill regardless.

The virtue - if it goes well of course - is RKKA's summer offensives begin rolling immediately rather than stalling west of Orel and around Donbas, then breaking through around Kharkov.
By then it would be far too late. The Germans already have defensive positions built, enough air parity to keep air surveillance of Soviet defenses so the ability to see them shift to an offensive posture in Kursk (not to mention signals intercepts), and could transition to a defensive posture more quickly than the Soviets could switch to an offensive one. They'd telegraph what they were doing and give the Germans more than enough time to respond. Zamulin's work on Kursk demonstrates the serious issues with the Soviet side within the Kursk bulge, so I don't expect that that would actually play out in their favor this late. For example see how badly the Soviet counterattacks faired within Kursk when they had all the benefits of a defensive posture and superior numbers. Imagine if that happened through the teeth of the Orel trench system, which was good enough to allow for the infliction of enormously lopsided casualties despite Citadel being run at the same time.

Not only that, but without all the damaged chassis laying around from Citadel there is a lot less to leave behind assuming the Soviets can even do as well as they did IOTL on the offensive. Without Citadel could the 4th Kharkov counterattack work? Forgetting the tank loss issue infantry units and ammo stocks were badly depleted as a result of Citadel which had significant impact on the defensive operations in July-August. The Soviets didn't gain any more units after Citadel, they just had a deeper replacement pool that allowed them to refill Citadel casualties, so it's not like the Germans would be facing more units if fighting defensively instead of launching Citadel; they'd gain a break if the Soviet offensives failed while the Soviets refilled and they could withdraw to more defensive lines if needed or if the counterattacks around Kharkov still happen and work without Citadel casualties and ammo expenditures it is possible that the Soviets lose a tank army or two. That would take them a lot longer to recover from and disjoint their plans in Ukraine for summer 1943.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgorod% ... _operation
After nine days the SS Division Das Reich and the SS Division Totenkopf arrived and initiated a counterattack against the two Soviet Armies near Bogodukhov, 30 km northwest of Kharkov. In the following armoured battles of firepower and maneuver the SS divisions destroyed a great many Soviet tanks. To assist the 6th Guards Army and the 1st Tank Army, the 5th Guards Tank Army joined the battles. All three Soviet armies suffered heavily, and the tank armies lost more than 800 of their initial 1,112 tanks.[13][14] These Soviet reinforcements stopped the German counterattack, but their further offensive plans were blunted.[14]

With the Soviet advance around Bogodukhov stopped, the Germans now began to attempt to close the gap between Akhtyrka and Krasnokutsk. The counterattack started on 18 August, and on 20 August "Totenkopf" and "Großdeutschland" met behind the Soviet units.[13] Parts of two Soviet armies and two tank corps were trapped, but the trapped units heavily outnumbered the German units. Many Soviet units were able to break out, while suffering heavy casualties.[13][15] After this setback the Soviet troops focused on Kharkov and captured it after heavy fighting on 23 August.
1st SS division wouldn't leave to Italy if the Soviets attacked, which if coupled with no Citadel casualties would mean they have a lot more manpower for the counterattack described above, perhaps twice as much given the extra full strength SS panzer division and no casualties from Citadel and the Mius counterattack. That would potentially be enough to tip the balance. Also if the Soviet exploitation units had to meet the Panthers for the first time in open fields rather than after they had to fight through minefields and defensive belts it would be an extremely rude shock given how well they did in worse circumstances. Though I'd expect GD and the Panthers would end up in Orel first.

Perfect intel on German intentions? The Soviet troops fighting Manstein would disagree:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... thern_face
Though they had been provided superb intelligence, the Voronezh Front headquarters had still not been able to pinpoint the location where the Germans would place their offensive weight.[117]
Even their preemptive bombardment in the north failed:
To the north, at Central Front headquarters, reports of the anticipated German offensive came in. At around 02:00 5 July, Zhukov ordered his preemptive artillery bombardment to begin. The hope was to disrupt German forces concentrating for the attack, but the outcome was less than hoped for. The bombardment delayed the German formations, but failed in the goal of disrupting their schedule or inflicting substantial losses. In the early morning of 5 July, the VVS launched a large raid against German airfields, hoping to destroy the Luftwaffe on the ground. This effort failed, and the Red Army air units suffered considerable losses.[t][184][177] The VVS lost 176 aircraft on 5 July, compared to the 26 aircraft lost by the Luftwaffe.[185][184]

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 22 Dec 2021 15:20

Michael Kenny wrote:
22 Dec 2021 02:32
stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:19
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
Nonetheless, Kenny is probably right about overall German tank losses being higher than recorded combat losses...............
Without question to some degree that is true. Question is to what degree? His claimed number is insanely high of course.
So when I post saying there were 188 German tank casualties July 5th-17th my numbers are 'insanely high' but when someone posts Chris Lawrences calculations that July 4th-17th 163 tank were casualties you meekly accept the numbers.
You said they were all destroyed, not simply damaged. If you said damaged then I wouldn't have really taken nearly as strident a position against your claims, even though they are leaving out other considerations like mechanical issues, lack of a spare part, long term repairs that there isn't time for due to triage, etc. Lawrence's numbers include all combat damage, including tanks repeatedly repaired during the course of the operation due to minor damage. Given your complete lack of nuance or even consistency in your position we might have come to some sort of agreement without acrimony, but you seem to be incapable of that.
Michael Kenny wrote:
22 Dec 2021 02:14
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
It is likely, as I and Bhutar suggest, that Germany was losing many more tanks via abandonment than they recorded.
This subject has been contentious for decades. Both you and Bhutar are very late to the party, welcome to the club. Moreover that is not what Bhutar is saying.

https://youtu.be/bm7twFaUaIg?t=1542

He clearly says that a lot of tanks that were placed in the repair category never appear as 'official losses' and that means they are not recognised as victims of enemy action. They could simply drop out of the record at some later date as an 'abandoned' tank and thus get used on forums like this (as a fictional 'non combat losses') by those who want to reduce German loss numbers to a figure more suited to their way they think it should be rather than actual reality.
I think you're seriously misunderstanding the issue. What he is referring to is tanks needing longer term repairs getting left behind in retreats and being written off later; things is they weren't actually destroyed in the initial combat operation where they were damaged, as you claimed, but were waiting to be repaired for whatever reason (I listed several above) and only actually became losses when they were left behind later on. So it would be accurate to say they weren't combat losses in that sense of being destroyed in combat, just abandoned when they couldn't be evacuated; similar thing happened at Korsun during the attacks to help the encircled forces breakout, there were a bunch of mechanical breakdowns in the mud and lack of fuel and recovery vehicles prevented their recovery so they were blown up. They weren't combat losses in the sense of being lost due to combat per se even though they were lost in the course of combat operations, but they were lost when they had to be left behind or blown up.

In terms of total lost on both sides as a result of a specific operation, in this case Citadel, total write offs on both sides are accurate, but that isn't the full story. Damaged was another category, but most of those were repaired and returned to service. The long terms repairs later written off due to retreats would more accurately be counted as losses in other operations, as those later operations is when they became write offs, though technically they wouldn't be combat losses.

I highly doubt WW2 record keeping cared about what 21st century forum argument would be, so don't worry about 80 year old plots by the Wehrmacht to irritate Michael Kenny. Just understand that the issue is more how modern history books report numbers than the German record keeping system. Well that and your obsession with 'proving' the Germans were crap at fighting or whatever your goal is.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 22 Dec 2021 16:02

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:13
SSTK suffered very heavy casualties in the Psel bend. 57 tank and spg losses (12.07.-13.07.). On 13.07. TK lost 29 tanks and 5GA. 45 tanks. Compared to the exchange ratio of LAH and Das Reich on 08/09.07. and 12.07., thats quite a poor exchange. Makes one wonder how XXIV. PzK would have fared attacking over the difficult terrain in the Psel bend.
How about this for you and anyone else:

When did German tank losses "really" matter in Operation Citadel to the point where the attack/all future assault activity by various units in question were stopped due to tank losses instead of Strategic position (both at the grand level and regarding Soviet concentration in the region)?

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Westphalia1812 » 22 Dec 2021 16:30

Cult Icon wrote:
22 Dec 2021 16:02
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:13
SSTK suffered very heavy casualties in the Psel bend. 57 tank and spg losses (12.07.-13.07.). On 13.07. TK lost 29 tanks and 5GA. 45 tanks. Compared to the exchange ratio of LAH and Das Reich on 08/09.07. and 12.07., thats quite a poor exchange. Makes one wonder how XXIV. PzK would have fared attacking over the difficult terrain in the Psel bend.
How about this for you and anyone else:

When did German tank losses "really" matter in Operation Citadel to the point where the attack/all future assault activity by various units in question were stopped due to tank losses instead of Strategic position (both at the grand level and regarding Soviet concentration in the region)?
Probably only in the III.PzK sector but even then not entirely. In the Prokhorovka sector the arrival of 5GTA and 5GA was the most severe hinderence for the Germans. I guess they could have chewed through them but that would lead to a lot of casualties and a long grind. Maybe 'restricted' is a better word to describe the German operations between 11.07-15.07.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 17:52

stg 44 wrote:
22 Dec 2021 15:20

You said they were all destroyed, not simply damaged. If you said damaged then I wouldn't have really taken nearly as strident a position against your claims,
That is completely untrue. You are now flat out lying.
I have never at any time in this thread said 'they were all destroyed'
I am very careful with the terminology and its your intemperate manner that leads you to tilt at windmills.

I repeat you are lying.
I never said 'they were all destroyed'

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