Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Dec 2021 17:26

PunctuationHorror wrote:
21 Dec 2021 16:49
Please. A decline in operational tanks from 408 to 220 just means 188 were not operational in that given time interval. Not operational doesn't equal casualty or total loss.
Operational numbers is the single most important fact for a tank Unit. If a tank is not available and is 'out of action' then it is a casualty. No one is conflating total losses with casualties but you and I think that is the (usual) deliberate tactic to confuse things to distract from the high number of tank casualties in the tables I provided..

PunctuationHorror wrote:
21 Dec 2021 16:49
Casualties and total losses are unknown unless there are reports that state 'x tanks got destroyed' or 'y tanks are a total loss'. However, a tank that got reported as 'destroyed' sometimes could be repaired, which makes the 'destroyed' accounting unreliable.

Great explanation. Now we all know how to suck eggs. However once we learn to use the correct terms the accounting system is extremely reliable. The problem is that very few surviving records have the level of detail needed to get accurate counts. This leads to deliberate misrepresentation of (mainly) German casualty totals where fans recognise only 2 class of panzer casualty. Total losses and everything else where even tanks listed in long-term repair are counted as if they were in service.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 21 Dec 2021 17:48

Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 15:34
stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 14:53

That reveals nothing. It is a single data point from your chosen date without any source cited. A running tally from the 5th to 30th would be much more useful.
It reveals quite a lot-the number of German tank casualties rather than the usual trick of only counting German total losses. 408 operational panzers on July 5th and by July 17 this is down to 220 operational. That is 188 tank casualties.
The fuck are you babbling about? Having a running tally for each day or every other day would show you what was a long term repair vs. a short term repair. If something falls out due to mechanical issues or hit a mine it could be back in action within hours or a few days at most depending on the damage. Just picking a single day/time/data point tells you nothing about any of the above, especially when your sources are actually wrong about the numbers in question.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 15:34
stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 14:53

I have no idea where your numbers came from, but the paperwork says they're wildly incorrect.
Then it should be easy for you to publish the 'correct' counts for July 5th-17th and prove the numbers I gave as 'wrong' but strangely you did not do that. Care to post what numbers you prefer for those dates?
I linked a paper by a British researcher which was accepted for publication by a respected history journal which cites the SS panzer corps' reports over the course of the operation and has the actual tally of numbers for several days. You haven't even cited a source just posted random numbers that don't match what the original reports even say. At this point you're just embarrassing yourself.

Check table 6 in the paper for the actual numbers on the 18th as quoted from numerous reports associated with the divisions and corps.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 16:18
I think you should have read your source more carefully. For example the tank totals I gave for July 5th were 408. Your source says 399.
And?

Plus you still haven't actually cited your sources.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 16:18
I gave a 220 total for July 17 and your source for July 18 says 240. Note that the biggest discrepancy is in 1st SS where my count includes Pz IIs (none counted in your source) and the Bef. are counted in your source but not mine.
No, it says 350 on table six when adding up the operation AFVs for all three SS divisions in the corps.
I'm not sure if you have a reading comprehension issue or are just a pathological liar.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 16:18
It would appear it your claim of 'wildly incorrect' is actually very wildly incorrect.
See above.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Dec 2021 17:51

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 17:48

The f**k are you babbling about?
Oh dear.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Dec 2021 18:46

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 17:48
Having a running tally for each day or every other day would show you what was a long term repair vs. a short term repair. If something falls out due to mechanical issues or hit a mine it could be back in action within hours or a few days at most depending on the damage.
Pathetic excuses to explain away German tank casualties as anything other than enemy action.


stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 17:48
, especially when your sources are actually wrong about the numbers in question.
My numbers are a close match with the numbers you used to try and discredit them. Given your obvious inability to understand the numbers I will overlook your mistaken belief they have to match exactly.



Check table 6 in the paper for the actual numbers on the 18th as quoted from numerous reports associated with the divisions and corps.
Here is table 6 with the numbers I provided in the top table.

NOTE: One is dated July 17 and the other July 18th. They are not the same day.
VVVVV294-vert.jpg
No, it says 350 on table six when adding up the operation AFVs for all three SS divisions in the corps.
I'm not sure if you have a reading comprehension issue or are just a pathological liar.
I only list tanks. You do understand that SP guns are not tanks and should not be counted as such?

I have noticed that the numbers I give for 1st SS are more likely to be the 16/7/43 numbers but none of this would have much impact on the scale of the German losses between July 5th-17th. c 400 tanks at the start and in 12 days they have c. 220 runners. That is a lot of knocked out tanks!
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 21 Dec 2021 19:13

Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 18:46
stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 17:48
Having a running tally for each day or every other day would show you what was a long term repair vs. a short term repair. If something falls out due to mechanical issues or hit a mine it could be back in action within hours or a few days at most depending on the damage.
Pathetic excuses to explain away German tank casualties as anything other than enemy action.
You haven't demonstrated that they were actual enemy action related combat casualties. Certainly there were many, but you are claiming all were, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...of which you've provided none. Not even the source of your numbers.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 18:46
stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 17:48
, especially when your sources are actually wrong about the numbers in question.
My numbers are a close match with the numbers you used to try and discredit them. Given your obvious inability to understand the numbers I will overlook your mistaken belief they have to match exactly.
Check table 6 in the paper for the actual numbers on the 18th as quoted from numerous reports associated with the divisions and corps.
Here is table 6 with the numbers I provided in the top table.

NOTE: One is dated July 17 and the other July 18th. They are not the same day.

VVVVV294-vert.jpg
What is the source of your numbers? Funny you keep ignoring that very simple request.

Do you not realize that your claims are disproven by the differences in numbers between your numbers on the 17th and the numbers on the 18th?
Many of those AFVs you claimed were destroyed were somehow repaired and operational again on the 18th. How could that be if you were correct that they were all destroyed? The answer is for the reasons both I and Punctuationhorror listed: minor damage and mechanical issues that were quickly repaired. Pick another later date and you'll probably see even more operational AFVs once repair and maintenance work was done.
You just ignore basic logic repeatedly to claim your nonsense points about the Germans hiding destroyed AFVs.
Michael Kenny wrote:
21 Dec 2021 18:46
No, it says 350 on table six when adding up the operation AFVs for all three SS divisions in the corps.
I'm not sure if you have a reading comprehension issue or are just a pathological liar.
I only list tanks. You do understand that SP guns are not tanks and should not be counted as such?
AFV is an AFV, if you have to cherrypick a category to make your point you are clearly engaged in lying with statistics, which we can see from how none of your points hold up to actual numbers from the records. Not that even by just looking at tanks alone would support your point. See the LSSAH Panzer IV numbers from your numbers on the 17th and what the record shows for the 18th. 42 vs. 55. They weren't destroyed, they were being worked on and were ready the next day. Not only that, but your numbers entirely disregard the command tanks that LSSAH had and were operational on the 18th.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Dec 2021 19:23

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 19:13

You haven't demonstrated that they were actual enemy action related combat casualties. Certainly there were many, but you are claiming all were, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...of which you've provided none. Not even the source of your numbers.
I said no such thing. I very carefully use the correct terminology and it is your knee-jerk automatic reaction to oppose and discredit (by using foul and obscene language) anything that suggest the Russians might be knocking out a lot of panzers that is the problem

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 19:13

Do you not realize that your claims are disproven by the differences in numbers between your numbers on the 17th and the numbers on the 18th?
What an absurd claim. Just another desperate attempt to deflect from the c 180 Panzer casualties in 12 days.

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 19:13
How could that be if you were correct that they were all destroyed? The answer is for the reasons both I and Punctuationhorror listed: minor damage and mechanical issues that were quickly repaired. You just ignore basic logic repeatedly to claim your nonsense points about the Germans hiding destroyed AFVs.
Hell hath no fury like a man parted from his uber-panzer myth. I never at any time claimed the tanks were destroyed. You are now reduced to making things up. 180 panzers knocked out in 12 days must be a hard pill to swallow.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Dec 2021 20:08

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 19:13

Not only that, but your numbers entirely disregard the command tanks that LSSAH had and were operational on the 18th.
Which I mentioned in a post and they also disregard the 9 PzBeo III but let us use the most favourable figures and just use Pz III & Pz IV numbers for July 4-18th. for the 3 SS Divisions.

July 4th 275 tanks , July 18th 181 tanks. that is a 33% drop.

The figures I used in my first post would give a 45% drop in runners. As I said earlier it is not the EXACT number of knocked out tanks that is the point but the proportion of knocked out tanks. I wont quibble over the difference between 45% & 33%.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Westphalia1812 » 21 Dec 2021 20:52

Chris Lawrence gives the following operational numbers for 04.07. and 17.07. (p.52 and p.534).
The drop in XXXXVIII. and III. Korps is more heavy I guess...

Note: Sfpg included
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2021 22:43

Cult Icon wrote:
21 Dec 2021 04:47
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 04:02
For somebody with a tenuous interest in operational/tactical history in which material/demographic destinies dominate the broad scope of events, I rapidly lose interest and want to get back to reading about factories and labor forces.
The tactical/operational is linked to the strategic, you would be able to see how the economic/strategic position is effecting the tactical environment and vice versa.
Of course the tactical/operational and strategic are linked; this is a criticism I level against economic determinists like O'Brien and Tooze.

Nonetheless, a certain magnitude of strategic/economic/demographic preponderance dictates destiny regardless of tactical/operational moves. IMJ WW2 shifted to this level of preponderance at some point between Barbarossa and Stalingrad. After that there's no level of tactical/operational excellence that would have mattered to the war's outcome or even much to its course. This degrades my level of interest in the particulars of post-Stalingrad fighting.

That's not to say I'm uninterested in other tactical/operational aspects, just to say that limited free time has to be prioritized and the later war fighting seems less interesting.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 21 Dec 2021 22:47

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
21 Dec 2021 20:52
Chris Lawrence gives the following operational numbers for 04.07. and 17.07. (p.52 and p.534).
The drop in XXXXVIII. and III. Korps is more heavy I guess...

Note: Sfpg included
It should be noted that the 5th Tank Army was added in the July 17th numbers, but was not included in the July 4th numbers. That rather badly skews the stats since Soviet reinforcements numbers after losses were including in one but not the other.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2021 22:49

stg44 wrote:AFV is an AFV, if you have to cherrypick a category to make your point you are clearly engaged in lying with statistics
To the extent that Kenny disagrees with the excellent scholarly publication you reference, Kenny is obviously wrong. He's just doing what he always does - wehraboo-hunting. It's a waste of time to engage with it.

Nonetheless, Kenny is probably right about overall German tank losses being higher than recorded combat losses. I still haven't seen any proper accounting of Germany's AFV production, which exceeded its recorded combat losses. It is likely, as I and Bhutar suggest, that Germany was losing many more tanks via abandonment than they recorded. Kenny's proposed mechanism is basically that the workshops wouldn't have reported as "totalausfalle" tanks they were working on but abandoned as they fled. That seems reasonable even though it's hard to believe that certain people are capable of making sense.

EDIT- this is only true when Ostheer is retreating. During Kursk the German figures would have been accurate (contra Kenny). This is why I suggest that pre-empting Kursk may have been the right move. Aside from tanks, Ostheer (all armies really) lost enormous amounts of equipment and supplies when retreating. Success begets success.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Westphalia1812 » 21 Dec 2021 23:13

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
21 Dec 2021 20:52
Chris Lawrence gives the following operational numbers for 04.07. and 17.07. (p.52 and p.534).
The drop in XXXXVIII. and III. Korps is more heavy I guess...

Note: Sfpg included
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.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 21 Dec 2021 23:19

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
stg44 wrote:AFV is an AFV, if you have to cherrypick a category to make your point you are clearly engaged in lying with statistics
To the extent that Kenny disagrees with the excellent scholarly publication you reference, Kenny is obviously wrong. He's just doing what he always does - wehraboo-hunting. It's a waste of time to engage with it.
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.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
Nonetheless, Kenny is probably right about overall German tank losses being higher than recorded combat losses. I still haven't seen any proper accounting of Germany's AFV production, which exceeded its recorded combat losses. It is likely, as I and Bhutar suggest, that Germany was losing many more tanks via abandonment than they recorded. Kenny's proposed mechanism is basically that the workshops wouldn't have reported as "totalausfalle" tanks they were working on but abandoned as they fled. That seems reasonable even though it's hard to believe that certain people are capable of making sense.
Without question to some degree that is true. Question is to what degree? His claimed number is insanely high of course.
Combat losses too is rather nebulous as a term, it needs a definition. If you mean damaged then we know that it was about 1600 AFVs for the Germans under Manstein thanks to Chris Lawrence's huge tome on the subject, but many of those were repeated repairs during the course of the operation. Throwing a track would count as damage. IIRC even mechanical issues not caused by enemy action would count as well.

I've also seen some claims that the Germans refused to return damaged AFVs that needed a spare part that wasn't available to factories since they wouldn't likely get it replaced in a timely fashion if they weren't an SS panzer division, so held on to these as long as practical until they could get said part. I'd imagine in time if it were likely to be out of commission for a while it would get harvested and then would get all the spares that came in later assuming enough were available. So they weren't destroyed, they were hamstrung from the lack of spares that Germany was producing since they fixated on maximizing chassis output.

It would actually rather stupid for them to hold on to an actually destroyed AFV even after harvested for parts though, which was Michael's initial claim, since once it was harvested it would be useless, but if written off it would be replaced...eventually.
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. Kenny's proposed mechanism is basically that the workshops wouldn't have reported as "totalausfalle" tanks they were working on but abandoned as they fled.
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.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2021 22:49
EDIT- this is only true when Ostheer is retreating. During Kursk the German figures would have been accurate (contra Kenny). This is why I suggest that pre-empting Kursk may have been the right move. Aside from tanks, Ostheer (all armies really) lost enormous amounts of equipment and supplies when retreating. Success begets success.
Agreed. The standard claim has been the damaged AFVs from Citadel and the Mius battles were still in workshops when the Orel and 4th Kharkov retreats happened were then written off later. Question is why they were still in for long terms repairs and how many was that actually? Very hard to tell given the combat losses over the course of July and August then would blend together and be indistinguishable from later reports that were accurately able to assess how much was lost in the retreat.

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.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 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.
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.
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.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2021 01:52

stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:19

Combat losses too is rather nebulous as a term, it needs a definition. If you mean damaged then we know that it was about 1600 AFVs for the Germans under Manstein thanks to Chris Lawrence's huge tome on the subject, but many of those were repeated repairs during the course of the operation. Throwing a track would count as damage. IIRC even mechanical issues not caused by enemy action would count as well.
The term 'tank casualty' is what it says it is, all tanks that become a casualty of war. The term 'combat loss' is a euphemism used to parse German tank casualties and exclude huge numbers of their tank casualties from the record and claim that those tanks were 'not really' knocked out. They were.
I note the usual way all sorts of qualifiers are introduced. Your 'damage', 'mechanical issues' 'enemy action' are just distractions used to try and reduce the actual number of German tank casualties to a number more palatable to those who cling to the myths. There is already a term for those types of tank. They are called casualties.


stg 44 wrote:
21 Dec 2021 23:19

The standard claim has been the damaged AFVs from Citadel and the Mius battles were still in workshops when the Orel and 4th Kharkov retreats happened were then written off later. Question is why they were still in for long terms repairs and how many was that actually? Very hard to tell given the combat losses over the course of July and August then would blend together and be indistinguishable from later reports that were accurately able to assess how much was lost in the retreat.
A tank lost because the final drive has been blown to bits is just as much a loss as one blown completely apart by 20 enemy shells. A tank knocked out on the battlefield in July does not transform itself into a 'non-combat loss' just because you have to leave it behind when the Unit has to run for its life in August. If a tank is knocked out for any reason and can not be repaired then it is a 'combat loss'.

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