Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

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stg 44
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 23 Dec 2021 19:35

Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:14
Since the Germans largely, AFAIK, didn't differentiate between combat write offs and abandonment write offs they'd all be lumped together in general loss reports
Again a fundamental misunderstanding of the way different Units recorded tank casualties.
For a Tank Regiment there were just 3 types of tanks, runners, minor damage and needing major repair. The first two were kept with the Unit and the last sent to workshops. As far as the Unit was concerned that was the end of the matter and the 'major repair' tanks were struck from the count and treated as a total loss.
So basically the same as the Germans.
Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:14
For the receiving Workshops those 'major repair' types were examined and detailed breakdowns of the repair needed made out with obvious total write-offs marked as scrap. It could be that mechanical issues were one reason for the repairs but as far as I am aware no Workshop was ever interested in finding out or recording if the damage was caused by the enemy or their own side. Friendly fire, enemy action or suicide played no part in the repair cycle and it is a completely-made-up classification invented by people who had wanted to minimise German tank losses to as small a number as possible by not counting the total of ALL written-off tanks.
Strawman. No one but you is talking friendly fire, suicides, or whatever else being recorded by anyone.
There is a rather important distinction though between mechanical maintenance/repairs and combat damage however, which is an issue that has been pointed out and apparently there are differentiations in the Germans records about. If the British didn't make that distinction that's on them, but if you're going to make that claim that they never differentiated between combat damage and mechanical repairs/maintenance I'd like to see some sourcing on that.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Dec 2021 19:59

stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 18:50


Unfortunately the canard that the Germans 'counted different so their numbers are inaccurate'

The Germans did count their tank casualties differently. A UK tank needing repairs expected to take 24 hours or more would be removed from the count and treated as a total loss to the Unit

A German tank is exactly the same condition would be kept and show up as 'in repair. No Allied Unit would drag seriously damaged tanks around with them.

The problems arise when people treat all stricken Allied tanks as a total loss and count the German tank casualties as available to the Unit. Its not an insignificant point because Allied last-light numbers are routinely used to validate German kill-claims.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 23 Dec 2021 20:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Dec 2021 20:06

stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35


So basically the same as the Germans.

No that is not correct.
UK units never had a pool of crocks sitting in the workshops and thus inflating the Unit total of tanks on hand. Basically all German ' long term repair' tanks would be an Allied write-off and a substantial number of the German 'short-term repair tanks' would also qualify as a total loss.
The only real way of making a like-for-like comparison of tank casualties would be to treat all the German 'in repair' tanks as total losses.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 23 Dec 2021 20:17

Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:59
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 18:50


Unfortunately the canard that the Germans 'counted different so their numbers are inaccurate'

The Germans did count their tank casualties differently. A UK tank needing repairs expected to take 24 hours or more would be removed from the count and treated as a total loss to the Unit

A German tank is exactly the same condition would be kept and show up as 'in repair. No Allied Unit would drag seriously damaged tanks around with them.

The problems arise when people treat all stricken Allied tanks as a total loss and count the German tank casualties as available to the Unit. Its not an insignificant point because Allied last-light numbers are routinely used to validate German kill-claims.
Do you have as source to confirm this claim? Since we have a manual about German repair methods it is only fitting we have about the British ones as well.
Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:06
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35


So basically the same as the Germans.

No that is not correct.
UK units never had a pool of crocks sitting in the workshops and thus inflating the Unit total of tanks on hand. Basically all German ' long term repair' tanks would be an Allied write-off and a substantial number of the German 'short-term repair tanks' would also qualify as a total loss.
The only real way of making a like-for-like comparison of tank casualties would be to treat all the German 'in repair' tanks as total losses.
You mean British write offs, assuming your point is actually correct. I'd like to read more though if you have a source to actually confirm this claim.
If we were talking about Normandy or Italy maybe you'd have a point, but this is a Kursk thread so we should be comparing Soviet methods to German ones here. Feel free to make a thread about this subject in the appropriate forum, but further talk of British methods and claiming they represented all the Allied methods is derailing this thread even more than it already has been.

If you have a point to make about Soviet vs German reporting methods then go ahead.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Dec 2021 20:21

stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
but if you're going to make that claim that they never differentiated between combat damage and mechanical repairs/maintenance I'd like to see some sourcing on that.
Again you misrepresent to get your strawman.
My actual words:

It could be that mechanical issues were one reason for the repairs but as far as I am aware no Workshop was ever interested in finding out or recording if the damage was caused by the enemy or their own side.

Which means though they might record different types of repairs there was never the obsessive sub-division of losses into the 'self-destroyed'/abandoned by crew'/lack of spare parts' excuses used to lower the German total loss numbers by excluding those types of loss from the 'combat-kill' count.

This repeated and deliberate distortion of my posts is tiresome and obviously a deliberate tactic.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 23 Dec 2021 20:33

Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:21
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
but if you're going to make that claim that they never differentiated between combat damage and mechanical repairs/maintenance I'd like to see some sourcing on that.
Again you misrepresent to get your strawman.
My actual words:

It could be that mechanical issues were one reason for the repairs but as far as I am aware no Workshop was ever interested in finding out or recording if the damage was caused by the enemy or their own side.

Which means though they might record different types of repairs there was never the obsessive sub-division of losses into the 'self-destroyed'/abandoned by crew'/lack of spare parts' excuses used to lower the German total loss numbers by excluding those types of loss from the 'combat-kill' count.

This repeated and deliberate distortion of my posts is tiresome and obviously a deliberate tactic.
Ok, so you don't have a source. Got it. Stop derailing the thread with your pet issue please.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Dec 2021 20:38

stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
So basically the same as the Germans.
Obviously not, are you trying to troll Michael?
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
There is a rather important distinction though between mechanical maintenance/repairs and combat damage however, which is an issue that has been pointed out and apparently there are differentiations in the Germans records about.
Great, can you point us to some primary sources? Oh no, you can't as in your directly preceding post you said that you hadn't seen any evidence for such a claim and then a post later you say that there are "differentiations in the Germans records about"! Which is it?
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 18:50
But for Kursk the comparisons I've seen are for total losses vs. total losses.
But then you admit you don't understand the Soviet process for recovering "crocks" and assessing which ones to repair and which ones not to. So you don't know that those comparisons are truly like for like either, do you?

On the first page of Dr Wheatley's article he states that "the Red Army lost a total of at least 6,064 tanks" but were they all written off, were some repaired and how many of those tank casualties were suffered by units facing II Pz Korps?

Hmmm, confusion reigns supreme. :lol: :lol:

Regards

Tom

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 23 Dec 2021 21:35

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:38
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
So basically the same as the Germans.
Obviously not, are you trying to troll Michael?
Wasn't my intention. My arguments with Michael are between he and I though, not your concern.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:38
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 19:35
There is a rather important distinction though between mechanical maintenance/repairs and combat damage however, which is an issue that has been pointed out and apparently there are differentiations in the Germans records about.
Great, can you point us to some primary sources? Oh no, you can't as in your directly preceding post you said that you hadn't seen any evidence for such a claim and then a post later you say that there are "differentiations in the Germans records about"! Which is it?
Great, now you're going to start acting giving attitude? You haven't provided any primary sources either, let alone anything like the document what I gave you upon your request, yet you're going to give attitude unprovoked?
The evidence I cited was Chris Lawerence's book about the battle of Kursk, the CMH study I provided for you, and the paper about the SS panzer corps that I cited to Michael at the start of this exchange, which has numbers from the primary documents of the repair units for the divisions and corps. Feel free to read for yourself, they're all in this thread including links to the paper about the state of SS vehicles and the maintenance system.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:38
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 18:50
But for Kursk the comparisons I've seen are for total losses vs. total losses.
But then you admit you don't understand the Soviet process for recovering "crocks" and assessing which ones to repair and which ones not to. So you don't know that those comparisons are truly like for like either, do you?

On the first page of Dr Wheatley's article he states that "the Red Army lost a total of at least 6,064 tanks" but were they all written off, were some repaired and how many of those tank casualties were suffered by units facing II Pz Korps?
What I said was if anyone has any specific points about the Soviet repair system vs. the German one they can make them as that is within the subject of this thread, but the British repair system isn't. If you have a specific point to make about the differences in the systems and how that might impact the way write offs are assessed by each side go right ahead.

6,064 Soviet AFV losses is every write off they took during Citadel and the two Soviet counteroffensives per Krivosheev. The numbers and link to the source are on wikipedia. Seems like a very basic thing you could have looked up yourself. If you want the damaged, but repairable number it is in Lawerence's book on Kursk. Some of the numbers are referenced in this thread from this forum:
viewtopic.php?t=219491

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Dec 2021 20:38
Hmmm, confusion reigns supreme. :lol: :lol:

Regards

Tom
Not really if you bother to even read things that were written in this very thread before you started posting in it or did a forum search. Maybe try that before resorting to snark.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 24 Dec 2021 02:11

Stg44, the TDI-Lawrence Kursk book has an abridged version for 10% of the price. This one also has a kindle version for even less. I think the abriged book has about 60% of the content but it's missing a lot of the data and other interesting material in the appendices. The information in the book is unique which makes it a must-have for the battle. But as of right now copies are going for around $330 with all costs included. When it first came out it around $280 with all costs.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 24 Dec 2021 02:57

Cult Icon wrote:
24 Dec 2021 02:11
Stg44, the TDI-Lawrence Kursk book has an abridged version for 10% of the price. This one also has a kindle version for even less. I think the abriged book has about 60% of the content but it's missing a lot of the data and other interesting material in the appendices. The information in the book is unique which makes it a must-have for the battle. But as of right now copies are going for around $330 with all costs included. When it first came out it around $280 with all costs.
Thanks, I did know about the abridged version, but I'd want the data tables. Yeah that price is what's holding me back.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Dec 2021 06:11

stg 44 wrote:
22 Dec 2021 15:05
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.
Yep and to continue the speculation, I'd posit it's not a matter of the utility of NOT doing something, rather the utility of doing something. I.e. why establish a separate loss reporting channel for intra-workshop losses? I mean I can see why but I can also see why the Germans wouldn't have seen why by mid-1943 (Vie shall never retreat!).
stg 44 wrote: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.
To reiterate, I'm not strongly attached to this position, only lean towards it. So you may be right, certainly good points.
stg 44 wrote:ammo stocks were badly depleted as a result of Citadel which had significant impact on the defensive operations in July-August.
That's certainly a big factor I've ignored. Recommended reading? I have Bhutar's book and GSWW vol. 8 though haven't read it all.
stg 44 wrote: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.
Soviets gain 3x as many personnel from "no Zitadelle" and ~5x the tanks though, 1-SS aside.
stg 44 wrote:Even their preemptive bombardment in the north failed:
That seems more a tactical than an intelligence failure.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Dec 2021 12:49

stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 21:35
Wasn't my intention.
Fine, I was probably a bit cranky anyway after reading Dr Wheatley's article. He seems to have come up with another term - "inventory" - which appears to cover both "operational" and "short- and long-term repair" AFVs. Not very helpful in my humble opinion.

Anyway, moving on...

I found a couple of mentions of Soviet Army tank recovery practice during Kursk here:

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2018 ... rt-1-of-2/

and

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2018 ... rt-2-of-2/

The latter includes:
The truly heroic effort produced results. Of the 420 damaged tanks in its [5th Guards Tank Army] brigades and regiments after the fighting of 12 July, 112 requiring minor or moderate repairs were restored to operation in the very first days after the battle. In addition, the Front command took other steps to assist the army. Already by 15 July, just three days after the engagement, the 5th Guards Tank Army began to receive new tanks. The 29th Tank Corps was the first to begin to received the new vehicles. The 31st Tank Brigade’s war diary notes, “15 July….An order arrived to pick up 16 T-34 tanks at Solntesevo Station. A procurement team had been sent.”
Now all we need to do is find out if the other 308 damaged tanks were repaired. :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 24 Dec 2021 16:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Dec 2021 06:11
stg 44 wrote:ammo stocks were badly depleted as a result of Citadel which had significant impact on the defensive operations in July-August.
That's certainly a big factor I've ignored. Recommended reading? I have Bhutar's book and GSWW vol. 8 though haven't read it all.
Those are the ones I've been going off of and Nipe's book on the summer 1943 campaign. I'd imagine if you want good numbers you'd need to find the relevant NARA rolls, but I don't have the time or resources to do that.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Dec 2021 06:11
stg 44 wrote: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.
Soviets gain 3x as many personnel from "no Zitadelle" and ~5x the tanks though, 1-SS aside.
3x reserves, not 3x number of units in the field. As I said there would be no increase in number of units the Soviets would field, they'd just have a deeper reserve pool without those losses. Problem is it takes time to integrate those reserves; several weeks after Citadel in fact is what it took for the Soviet forces of the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts. Hard to maintain momentum if you have to take a several week pause to make good losses assuming units are able to survive. My point about the 1st SS and a fresh SS Panzer Corps is that if the Soviets run the same play book for their offensive between Belgorod-Kharkov and the German encirclement happens then less units get out, which means less skeletons for reserves to be attached to in the aftermath of the battle.

So if the Soviets lose 1 or more tank armies they aren't going to be swiftly regenerated since the issue isn't the replacement manpower for combat elements, but all the other stuff including the HQ and supply elements, which could not be swiftly regenerated. The supply issue is also a major problem, as summer 1943 was the worst period of the war in terms of vehicle to number of troops ratio. HGW Davie has a good paper about how the supply system of the 7 Guards Army functioned during summer 1943 and it seems all units, including Guards armies, were chronically short about 25-30% of their vehicle allotments, which meant they heavily relied on captured enemy vehicles when they could be taken. If the Soviets lose armies in their offensives thanks to a Manstein type backhand blow those transport/supply elements are gone and won't be replaced even with LL, which really didn't make up as much of the Soviet supply apparatus as you'd think (again thank you Mr. Davie).

I can look up the paper and link it later if you want.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Dec 2021 06:11
stg 44 wrote:Even their preemptive bombardment in the north failed:
That seems more a tactical than an intelligence failure.
What in your view is the distinction between them? The reason I consider it an intel failure is that it basically hit nothing of value and just denied an area to movement during assembly for the offensive, which did nothing to disrupt the attack time schedule.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 24 Dec 2021 16:21

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
24 Dec 2021 12:49
stg 44 wrote:
23 Dec 2021 21:35
Wasn't my intention.
Fine, I was probably a bit cranky anyway after reading Dr Wheatley's article. He seems to have come up with another term - "inventory" - which appears to cover both "operational" and "short- and long-term repair" AFVs. Not very helpful in my humble opinion.

Anyway, moving on...
Inventory just means 'on hand', which isn't a new term. You need an accounting of your total stock of AFVs. Why is it not helpful?
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
24 Dec 2021 12:49
I found a couple of mentions of Soviet Army tank recovery practice during Kursk here:

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2018 ... rt-1-of-2/

and

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2018 ... rt-2-of-2/

The latter includes:
The truly heroic effort produced results. Of the 420 damaged tanks in its [5th Guards Tank Army] brigades and regiments after the fighting of 12 July, 112 requiring minor or moderate repairs were restored to operation in the very first days after the battle. In addition, the Front command took other steps to assist the army. Already by 15 July, just three days after the engagement, the 5th Guards Tank Army began to receive new tanks. The 29th Tank Corps was the first to begin to received the new vehicles. The 31st Tank Brigade’s war diary notes, “15 July….An order arrived to pick up 16 T-34 tanks at Solntesevo Station. A procurement team had been sent.”
Now all we need to do is find out if the other 308 damaged tanks were repaired. :D

Regards

Tom
Thanks for sharing the links. Based on the losses of the tank army and number of write offs per their own records that I've seen referenced elsewhere I think the entire 420 number includes the write offs, so of the 308 probably 90% were write offs. I'll double check when I have more time and post the loss info here.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Dec 2021 16:36

stg 44 wrote:
24 Dec 2021 16:21
Inventory just means 'on hand', which isn't a new term. You need an accounting of your total stock of AFVs. Why is it not helpful?
Because I would have thought the most important number would be that of tanks available for combat per day. Wheatley's "inventory" includes tanks which are in (or waiting for) short- and long-term repair and therefore not available for combat.

A panzer division's "inventory" could be large, but its fighting potential could nevertheless be small if a significant proportion of its tanks were not available for combat, i.e. operational.
stg 44 wrote:
24 Dec 2021 16:21
Based on the losses of the tank army and number of write offs per their own records that I've seen referenced elsewhere
Isn't it possible, though, that a tank "written off" by the Guards Tank Army was subsequently repaired by a higher level formation? And subsequently issued to front-line troops again?

Regards

Tom

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