German Tank Losses In Normandy

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 25 Apr 2002 09:37

So?

As long as the amount of supplies actually sent to Normandy is known (which it is), what is the point of speculating about this?

And ferries were in many cases relied upon rather than temporary bridges because the allied air forces kept the Somme bridges under continual attack, something that did not occur in the east.

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Post by Darrin » 25 Apr 2002 09:46

Qvist wrote:"Plus he mentions the avg daily us forces comsuming 4 times as much arty by weight than ger in july. He doesn't include the CW but that would push it up to at least 6 times which sounds like a whole lot. But the allied forces in france at the end of july out number the ger by almost 4-1 in men, prob less in guns. It seems that allies only consumed more ammo becasue they had a larger army with more guns. "

Incorrect, and this is made clear in the text, where the number of guns on each side is listed. The number of US guns was not significantly higher than German guns, and yet they consumed 4 times as much ammunition. So your conclusion appears unfounded AFAICS.

So, I have to say that some of your points seem to be based on an imprecise understanding of what the book in question actually says. Also, I have to agree with Timo that countering research with what basically amounts to speculation doesn't really cut it - stuff like this:

"-ger may have lost more tanks than reported even in june/july. I'm not saying it was more than the number he listed per see but that some of his number might not be just in aug as he says. "

- based on what?

" Logistics to/at the front esp in june and july were probably not as bad as he might think. "

What enables you to raw that conclusion?

" the number of ger tanks etc abn or des by crew was proably not as high as he suggest. And the reason may have more to do with the general retreat and pockets in aug then any major logistics failings."

Based on what exactly? And obviously this has has to do at least as much with the general retreat and pockets (including their impact on logistics) as with the logistical system in general, and Zetterling does not claim otherwise.

" in comparing tank numbers and des ger omit 'obsolete' ones in 44 from comparison but the US includes light stuarts in thiers. Probably gives an overly efficent view of the ger tank forces"

Firstly, I don't see that Zetterling does something as simplistic as drawing conclusions on efficiency based simply on the correlation of tank losses. Secondly, it is clear that the book does not attempt to draw any firm conclusions on the number of German tanks lost - for this there are insufiicient data. Thirdly, The percentage of obsolete tanks in the German arsenal was too small to significantly affect the picture, included or not. Their contribution to German combat power were even less. Fourthly, the stuart's German counterpart would mainly be wheeled Recon AFVs, which aren't included either.

cheers



But Zetterling and you fail to take account for all those CW guns and ammo. Plus the guns he mentions for the gers at one point are total there or sent in he does not take any losses into account. You are the one who seems to impersicly undertstand zetterlings books. I've already explained most of these points already. If you wish to consider light tanks equal to wheelled recon you can continue with your own misconceptions. If they were equvalent all coutries would have built whelled recon sine they are much cheaper to produce train and operate.

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Post by Qvist » 25 Apr 2002 10:01

sigh....

Yes, CW guns are not considered. And so what? The point is that a number of American guns roughly equal to the total number of German guns consumed about four times the amount of ammunition SENT to Normandy, not what arrived, and note also that this includes all types of ammunition, not just artillery shells. What does this tell you? The point is made to illustrate the fact that larger allied supply services did contribute to the fighting power of the allied armies, and cannot be considered unnecessary organisational fat, which it sometimes has been. Now, how exactly does the failure to bring CW guns into the picture detract from this point?

Casualties in artillery pieces, BTW, occur mainly when the front collapses, and cannot be considered a significant factor within the time frame of this particular example. If you read the various unit histories, these will show that usually, a division still had most of its artillery strength intact even after suffering debilitating personnel casualties in June and July.

And disregard the Stuart/Recon point if you want, it is of course debatable - and of minor importance, unlike some of the other points I raise, and which you do not address.

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Post by Darrin » 25 Apr 2002 10:24

Qvist,

You are imprecisly reading Zetterlings normandy book again. Read p 33 to see what he actually says about ger and US arty and ammo in july.

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Post by Qvist » 25 Apr 2002 10:47

Since I am not at home, I do not have it available. Perhaps you would like to enlighten us all on this point?

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Post by Qvist » 25 Apr 2002 19:07

Now, on the other hand, I am at home and have the book available, and as far as I can see, the page you refer to confirms what I wrote. I am still curious as to how exactly you think not considering CW guns affects the point in question?

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Post by Darrin » 25 Apr 2002 20:15

Qvist wrote:Now, on the other hand, I am at home and have the book available, and as far as I can see, the page you refer to confirms what I wrote. I am still curious as to how exactly you think not considering CW guns affects the point in question?

cheers


Well I guess you didn't undestand this statment. It says 'US arty consumed 1500 tons of ammuntion'. This only refers to arty ammo consumed by US not the rest of the ammuntion consumed by the other US forces. Then at the end of the paragraph zetterling sums up with US arty consumption was probably 4 times ger consumption.

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Post by Qvist » 26 Apr 2002 08:12

"This only refers to arty ammo consumed by US not the rest of the ammuntion consumed by the other US forces. Then at the end of the paragraph zetterling sums up with US arty consumption was probably 4 times ger consumption."

Really, how hard can this be to understand? Let me go through this for you one last time. American artillery consumed on average 1500 tons a day. The German army had on average 480 tons of ammunition - of all types- sent, not delivered, to them each day. Assuming that some of it never arrived due to air attacks, and that some of it was other types of ammunition than artillery, enables the statement "American arty consumption may have been as high as 4 times the German". Of course, it may have been even more, but it can hardly have been less. The point being that larger allied supply services contributed directly to their combat power. You can of course make exactly the same point by considering CW guns and all types of ammunition and so on, it just makes the example more complicated, but does not change it, unless US artillery had a much different consumption of ammo per unit than the CW forces. This is elementary logic.

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Post by Darrin » 26 Apr 2002 10:19

Qvist wrote:The point is that a number of American guns roughly equal to the total number of German guns consumed about four times the amount of ammunition SENT to Normandy, not what arrived, and note also that this includes all types of ammunition, not just artillery shells.


Your stament about what is said in the book was wrong. Maybe you should actually check what the book says before critizing my reading ability. Don't tell me Zetterling does or doesn't say this based on your foggy memory.

I agree that better supply services increased the combat effectivness of the american div. But If you think that a one time look at arty ammo in july somehow proves that the ratio was 4-1 I don't think so. Even Zetterling calculates div slices for the US of 40,000 and ger of 15,000 The US including all those rear suplly services still less than 3 times as big. But whenit comes to actual combat troopps the numbers are much closer. An american arm div was normally smaller than ihe ger divs in 44 and the only significant attachment that ger did not have was a TDs bat with around 35 M10/18/36.

The biggest adv the us had was its inf div were nomalllly larger than the ger inf divs in 44. The allies only sig adv in att that the ger could not mathch was armour. The allies outnumberd the ger in large ammounts when it comes to tanks and TDs. But most of these indep armoued units were not found in the arm divs nor was the number of arm divs in normandy sig more. The US arm divs only had more tanks becase they had a third bat of light stuarts that the ger did not even try to copy. The US had 7 arm div including the frech and the CW/polish forces had 5 for a grand total of 12 at the time of normandy. The ger deployed 11 PD or PGD to normandy. The triclk was that every US inf usually had an independent bat of tanks att to it of around 75 tanks. They often had a bat of TD att to them as well which would bring tthe number of 100 tanks and TDs for each american inf div. Although it was not motorized like a ger panzer grenadier div it had a similar number of tanks normally.

If you compared the number of gefechtstarke (fit men in combat uinits) or kampfstarke (fit men in combat units up front riflemen, tankcrew etc..) you would pobably not find a big difference. There would def be more but not more then twice as much I would guess.

With arty the ger manufactured and fired quite a few of them in general in 44. They were having a very high day if they fired 25 rounds. The US planned on making better use of theier guns by supplying them with more rounds. It would be a pretty slow day if they only fired 25 rounds in general in 44. Even if a guns fires 100 rounds a day that is only one every 15 min a riduculously slow and east pace for arty. The ger guns might fire 1 an hour on avg!

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Post by Qvist » 26 Apr 2002 11:37

"Your stament about what is said in the book was wrong. Maybe you should actually check what the book says before critizing my reading ability. "

And maybe you should actually point out just exactly what you imagine is wrong, which I have now tried to wring out of you about three times. I did check the page reference, as is bloody obvious from my above posts, and it says exactly what I said it says. It might be wiser to discuss properly and possibly even adjust ones views rather than resort to this sort of silly stonewalling which only creates an eventually irresistible impression that you simply haven't understood what you've read properly.

An impression which is frankly only reinforced by your following comments:


"I agree that better supply services increased the combat effectivness of the american div. But If you think that a one time look at arty ammo in july somehow proves that the ratio was 4-1 I don't think so."

What on earth are you mixing up here? Who says anything anywhere about a 4-1 american superiority in combat effectiveness? This is about artillery firepower and the contribution of logistics to same, not about combat effectiveness.

" Even Zetterling calculates div slices for the US of 40,000 and ger of 15,000 The US including all those rear suplly services still less than 3 times as big. But whenit comes to actual combat troopps the numbers are much closer. An american arm div was normally smaller than ihe ger divs in 44 and the only significant attachment that ger did not have was a TDs bat with around 35 M10/18/36. "

And here you are mixing in yet another factor which has precisely zip to do with the artillery point, and manage to misunderstand it to boot. The divisional slice is the total number of troops divided by the number of divisions. As such, it takes into account both support services and non-divisional combat units. Of course the number is closer in actual combat troops, how could they not be, given the fact that the allies had a larger supply organisation (which again contributed to the fighting power of those combat troops)? The size of divisions is neither here nor there, because a very large proportion (and a much larger proportion than on the German side) of allied combat units were non-divisional. The British, for example, had more than half their tanks deployed in non-divisional units. Consequently, chalking up the number of divisions and taking their TOE into account does not provide you with a meaningful basis for comparison. Thus the usefulness of looking at divisional slices. All of which is perfectly clear from the narrative.

" If you compared the number of gefechtstarke (fit men in combat uinits) or kampfstarke (fit men in combat units up front riflemen, tankcrew etc..) you would pobably not find a big difference. There would def be more but not more then twice as much I would guess. "

Firstly, isn't 2-1 a "big difference"? Secondly, those included in Gefechtsstärke are not the only ones that contributes to combat power. And thirdly, since you have apparently not understood one of the basic points in Zetterling's book, namely that since a very significant portion of allied combat units were found outside the organic divisional framework allied combat power cannot be understood adequately either in the light of
number of divisions nor their TOEs, what you "would guess" in this respect seems of scant importance.

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Post by Darrin » 26 Apr 2002 12:25

Qvist

You obviously can't speak for what zetterling does or does not say. Everytime you try in this thread and in our kursk discussion on RBF you seem to get what he is actually saying wrong. If you so throughly checked this minor point asnd still can't admit that you were mistaken in what is written then you are obvoisly not worth discussing this with.

This is at least the third or fourth time that you keep misreading what he says by telling me that I am wrong. But when I go check his books I was correct. I can certainly make mistakes but far less frequently then you do it seems. At least I don't go around saying 'zetterling never said that' like the boy who called wolf.

Still getting xetterling wrong I see. The Only non div groups that zetterling actually shows to be much more common for the allies is tanks and TDs. Not everything else as you and zetterling at one point claims. Your point and zetterlings that the ger and us guns in tot div and non div were very similar to each other makes the point for me. Plus I have already acknowledge the non div armour unit point go back and read my last post.

Darrin

PS The second panzer div had almost 200 panthers, panzer IVs and jagpanzers IVs in total at the beginng of normandy. The 6th us arm div would have around 260 tanks but 1/3 would be stuarts. Even with an att TD bat the american arm divs had around 295 tanks at the very most in tot not operational. But a 1/3 of them are stuarats. Very similar numbers of MBTs from one to the other.
Last edited by Darrin on 26 Apr 2002 12:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Qvist » 26 Apr 2002 12:53

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well, I'll just go and sit down here on the "annoying people who don't understand me"-bench then shall I, right next to Timo and similar amateurs who fail to fail to grasp the brilliance of the kid wonder?

Perhaps if you could understand one or two points, and then string them together into something vaguely resembling a coherent argument without mixing the two up, then possibly you would experience less frustration.
And your accusation that I fail to understand Zetterling properly just MIGHT have had a little more sting to it if you had at least attempted to provide an alternative understanding intelligible to people not in possession of your particular brand of foggy generalism. Still, no skin off my back. Anyone else want to try and get the point through to the kid?

And write out your words for christ sake, don't they teach you anything in school these days?

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Post by Qvist » 26 Apr 2002 13:48

I really don't know why I bother, must be the old teacher's streak, but since you've edited your last post I guess I might as well comment on it.

"Still getting xetterling wrong I see. The Only non div groups that zetterling actually shows to be much more common for the allies is tanks and TDs. Not everything else as you and zetterling at one point claims. "

I refer you to the information in book detailing what percentage of the two sides' forces were made up by non-divisional combat units. As you will see, the allied percentage is much higher (and that would, of course, be a higher percentage of a higher total). And where exactly does either I or Zetterling say that this applies to every single category of forces?

"Your point and zetterlings that the ger and us guns in tot div and non div were very similar to each other makes the point for me. "

I'm not sure exactly which point that might be as you omit to say so, but assuming that you think that this shows that armour apart, there weren't any great differences in the number of non-divisional units, I must remind you that the comparison here is between American guns and ALL German artillery. In this respect, it should be perfectly obvious that you have to consider CW guns as well. I don't know if this is connected to your insistence on including them in the ammo comparison issue, if so, you are confusing two entirely different issues - ammo consumption per gun employed, and relative force levels respectively.

"Plus I have already acknowledge the non div armour unit point go back and read my last post. "

And then you go on to analyse the situation by comparing the strength of divisions, as if the non-divisional armour point had eluded you entirely. I found this passage in your previous post particularly amusing:

"The allies only sig adv in att that the ger could not mathch was armour. The allies outnumberd the ger in large ammounts when it comes to tanks and TDs. But most of these indep armoued units were not found in the arm divs nor was the number of arm divs in normandy sig more. "

Well, quite. Actually, none of them were found in armoured divisions. If they had been part of the armoured divisions, they wouldn't have been independent, now would they? And when a very large percentage of allied armour is found outside the divisions, what exactly is the point of comparing number of divisions and their respective TOEs? Those 5 CW armoured divisions, f.e., contained less than half the tanks fielded by the CW forces, most of the remainder belonging to armoured brigades. US Infantry divisions were fully motorised. With attached TD/Tank batallions they were more than the equivalent of a Panzer Grenadier Division, which had no tanks at all. What they were not was the main recipient of independent armor, so this was clearly not the whole "trick", although I am unsure as to what you exactly you are trying to say with this.

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Post by Timo » 26 Apr 2002 14:04

The other division for which some info is available is the 12th SS Panzer-Division and up to 9 July it reported 84 tanks destroyed (IVs and Vs). But to estimate losses to the end of july requires the extension of loss rate from only 4 to 7 weeks. If this was true this division would have around 140 tanks destroyed by the end of july. Using this lower figure than above still causes losses for June and july to be estimated at much above 500.


Still Darrin did not answer my simple question as it is probabely hard to answer:

Why did he use extrapolation? He doesn't take into account that the situation changed from week to week. A Division could lose 30 Panzers in one week and none in the following week. Because of that extrapolation is useless.

Reported to be with the 12. SS-Panzer-Division on 1 June 1944 (BA-MA RH 10/321):
98 Panzer IV (of which 7 in repair);
66 Panthers;
10 Jagdpanzer IV;
The 'HJ' received 17 Panzer IV as replacements on 8 July (BA-MA RH 10/349)
Thus the Division could field a total of 191 Panzer and Panzerjäger.
Left on 30 July (Pz.Gr. West Ia Nr. 665/44 g.Kdos, 31.7.44, Nachtrag zur Tagesmeldung 30.7, T313, R420, F8714049):
51 Panzer IV (of which 12 in repair)
33 Panthers (of which 11 in repair)
Meaning they had 84 Panzers left. No figures are available for the Panzerjäger.

98+17-51= 64 Panzer IV;
66-33= 33 Panthers;
Thus the division lost 97 Panzers. If they lost all 10 Jagdpanzer IV (but that's not documented), this would mean they lost 107 Panzer and Panzerjäger. That’s not the 140 he calculated through extrapolation. His calculations destroyed a staggering 33 extra Panzers, perhaps even 43. And thats just one Division.

Timo

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Post by Darrin » 26 Apr 2002 14:56

Qvist wrote:US Infantry divisions were fully motorised. With attached TD/Tank batallions they were more than the equivalent of a Panzer Grenadier Division, which had no tanks at all.


At least you have moved off zetterling. Motorized US inf divs? SS 17th PGD was supposed to have 685 motorcycles 1126 cars and 1686 trucks 255 primemovers, according to zetterling p365. Do you have any source to prove that the us inf divs were supposed to be so well equipped with transport in 1944?

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