German Tank Losses In Normandy

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Timo
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Post by Timo » 01 May 2002 14:28

What little info you posted was unlike others generally correct. I didn't read every one of your posts in great detail though I may of missed something. Your claims about proving or disproving anything were totally baseless. Can you tell me how zetterling proved that there were 1500 ger tanks, TDs and AGs des in normandy. He didn't prove anything and he couldn't provide one shread of ger archive information either According to your std of proof his claim is baseless and obviously could be wrong.

…??? What are you talking about? All I said is that Zetterling wrote a great book but that he did make some mistakes. My main problem in this discussion, again, is that you added guessing and wrong calculations to his findings to come to a wrong interpretation of his findings. But you keep avoiding this. I even said that your assumptions could be right, but that the methods you used are wrong.

Zetterling nor I ever claimed our argument here was a proof behyond a shadow of doubt. I gave my opinion and what reason and info I have. You can disagree with me and point out that it might be incorrect but you certainly never disproved it beyond a shadow of a doubt eithier. Your attempt to force a higher std of proof on me then zitterling and you use is pointless.

…Again ridiculous nonsense. Looking at numerous archive documents is a higher standard of proof compared to extrapolation or reading one book.

Well I guess you will win another argument with yourself as I withdraw from commenting on your material in this thread again. In fact I don't have anything else to add to this thread right now and I certainly haven't had anything 'reveled' to me by you or any other experts. I'd much rather do a zillion other things like read a book than sling mud with you.

…Suits me.

Timo

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Post by Darrin » 01 May 2002 15:08

To revisit and explore a few other points at least trying to stay away from tanks.

Western perssonnal str. While zetterling does maintain that the div slice of the allies was about 40000:15000 or less than 3:1 overall. He does give a ratio of 4:1 for the begining of operation cobra. One obvious problem is that the 3rd army was not operational at this time. An even larger problem is that the allied army total that he uses may not be equivalent to the ger actual, manpower str. According to rich anderson who posted some data on another forum it would it would be more lke ger ration str. Rich works for the TDI instiute and has great data avilable to him esp about the US forces. Unfortunatly he tends to see things through red, white and blue glasses sometimes. So we might from his data expect the equivalent str of the the US (and CW?) army formation to be PERHAPS 30% less than what he used. Which would reduce the ratio to less than 3:1.

Too give two examples of how ration str affects ger str the 7th army actual str on 1 june 44 was a over 200,000 but ration str was over 300,000. AGN on the eastern front on the same day had a TOT actual str of around 550,000. But a ration str of almost 1 million. The hores in the 7tgh army on the same day were over 40,000. Not too bad for 1 of 4 armies defending france and the low lands. The inf divs may not have been flush with trucks or horses but they probably had enough of the later. All from zetterlings normandy book.

I might give a little summary next of persoonal losses in normandy next.

PS In case some people here suspect that I am one of those all american boys. I am not american in any way manner or form! I am only interested in finding out what probably happened during WWII.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 02 May 2002 09:38

"Western perssonnal str. While zetterling does maintain that the div slice of the allies was about 40000:15000 or less than 3:1 overall. He does give a ratio of 4:1 for the begining of operation cobra."

You are mixing things up here. The German divisional of slice of slightly less than 15,000 refers to an earlier point in time than Cobra, actually to the beginning of June as I recall. The main point however is that what Zetterling writes is that WHEN YOU HAVE AN APPROXIMATELY EQUAL NUMBER OF DIVISIONS this will produce roughly a 3-1 allied manpower superiority. This is not the same thing as presenting an actual force ratio at a given time, it is a general observation. The ratio at the time of Cobra is based on the number of troops present, and takes into account casualties minus replacements up until that time.

One obvious problem is that the 3rd army was not operational at this time.

Interesting point, which certainly might affect the viability of Zetterling's force ratios

An even larger problem is that the allied army total that he uses may not be equivalent to the ger actual, manpower str. According to rich anderson who posted some data on another forum it would it would be more lke ger ration str.

Firstly, would be most interested in a link. Secondly - my immediate reaction to his point is one of considerable scepticism. What makes German ration strength for higher formations (but much less so for divisions) an imprecise guide to strength, is that it often includes large numbers of auxiliary civilians, POWs, labor gangs, OT workers etc. I would be extremely surprised to learn that the allied armies in Normandy had significant numbers of same. However, I should like to hear more about this.

"The inf divs may not have been flush with trucks or horses but they probably had enough of the later."

Well, most were static divisions who lacked sufficient means of transport to move more than a limited a part of the division, be it by horse or engine.


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Post by Darrin » 02 May 2002 11:06

Qvist wrote:"Western perssonnal str. While zetterling does maintain that the div slice of the allies was about 40000:15000 or less than 3:1 overall. He does give a ratio of 4:1 for the begining of operation cobra."

You are mixing things up here. The German divisional of slice of slightly less than 15,000 refers to an earlier point in time than Cobra, actually to the beginning of June as I recall. The main point however is that what Zetterling writes is that WHEN YOU HAVE AN APPROXIMATELY EQUAL NUMBER OF DIVISIONS this will produce roughly a 3-1 allied manpower superiority. This is not the same thing as presenting an actual force ratio at a given time, it is a general observation. The ratio at the time of Cobra is based on the number of troops present, and takes into account casualties minus replacements up until that time.

One obvious problem is that the 3rd army was not operational at this time.

Interesting point, which certainly might affect the viability of Zetterling's force ratios

An even larger problem is that the allied army total that he uses may not be equivalent to the ger actual, manpower str. According to rich anderson who posted some data on another forum it would it would be more lke ger ration str.

Firstly, would be most interested in a link. Secondly - my immediate reaction to his point is one of considerable scepticism. What makes German ration strength for higher formations (but much less so for divisions) an imprecise guide to strength, is that it often includes large numbers of auxiliary civilians, POWs, labor gangs, OT workers etc. I would be extremely surprised to learn that the allied armies in Normandy had significant numbers of same. However, I should like to hear more about this.

"The inf divs may not have been flush with trucks or horses but they probably had enough of the later."

Well, most were static divisions who lacked sufficient means of transport to move more than a limited a part of the division, be it by horse or engine.


cheers



Quvist

Here is the link his name is rich and he replies with a little more info latter on the following pages.

http://www.onwar.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001323-6.html

I know his div slices are for the first of june but even these need to be reduced as well for the allies. Zetterling actually says a manpower sup of BETWEEN 2:1 or 3:1 based on his what may be incorrect def of US str used for thier slice.

Every army uses dif def of what is or isn't in the str reports. While the german Actual str was considered thier best indicator of combat str of the div there were obviously many other peole around to support the div as well because of the much larger ration str. Obvioly on 1 jun 44 in normandy the number of POWs making up this number is insignificant. But the ger did have many labours building def. Be they organization todt from ger or locals forced to work for wages or even outside slave pows/jews brought in. Very unlikly to be the case outside of ger I think. These people assisted the ger units in prep for combat and probably contributed zippo to actual combat here. But they may have helped to maintain and deliver supplies after the allies left or worked on rear fortifcations.

The US army again I am no expert seemed to have zero outside peloe to rely on. Almost every american who set foot in normandy was a soilder and they did not have outside help to rely on esp during normandy. So many of the US troops were doing things that the ger ration str peole were. The ger tooth to tail ratio may not have been that different from the american one if this is taken into account some how.

Out of the 26 inf div that took part in normandy or 50 inf div that were in france tell me the numbers of half that you consider static. To prove your most ger inf divs were static statement.

Darrin

PS Still waiting for your source for US inf divs beining FULLY motorized?

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 02 May 2002 11:52

Hello Darrin, and thanks for the link.

Is this the passage yo are referring to?

" As of 25 July (the beginning of the breakout period), US forces in First Army totaled 270,675 effective combat troops. Commonwealth forces on 26 July totaled 422,983, including all effective troops (combat and service support both) of Second Britsh Army and First Canadian Army, but not including 21st Army Groups Line of Communications troops. And measuring efective combat troops is the best comparison, since most German strength reports are such. The total German effective combat strength at about the same time is difficult to compute, but is probably on the close order of 180,000 men. The likely ratio between the two sides was thus somewhere close to three to one."

My thoughts on this: I do not neccessarily think that the number of "effective combat troops" constitutes the best comparison, because it fails to take account of the impact of larger supply services on combat power, ref. the artillery expenditure point. And that is without even considering whether definitions of "effective combat strength" for the three armies allow direct comparison. For the German side, I assume this
means Gefechtsstärke. This is of course a legitimately debatable point, and neither definition is incorrect as such, personally I am inclined to regard the inclusion of support services as the most relevant comparison.

"Every army uses dif def of what is or isn't in the str reports. While the german Actual str was considered thier best indicator of combat str of the div there were obviously many other peole around to support the div as well because of the much larger ration str. "

I don't really think you can regard the difference between Iststärke and Verpflegungsstärke as "people who are around to support the division". The support elements of formations are already included in Iststärke. The difference are simply associated, non-military individuals for whom the formation is responsible for feeding. In any case, Verpflegungsstärke normally does not deviate much from Iststärke for divisions - it is at the higher levels you get large discrepancies, as it was usually higher formations who carried these administrative responsibilities.

"Obvioly on 1 jun 44 in normandy the number of POWs making up this number is insignificant. But the ger did have many labours building def. Be they organization todt from ger or locals forced to work for wages or even outside slave pows/jews brought in. Very unlikly to be the case outside of ger I think."

This is explicitly referred to in the book, and to the extent that there were large discrepancies between Iststärke and Verpflegungsstärke, this could only have come from the presence of such personnel. Let me put it another way - anyone in a Wehrmacht (or W-SS) uniform would turn up in Iststärke. Which IMO is not unlikely at all, considering the fact that large scale work on the Atlantic wall continued right up D-Day.

"These people assisted the ger units in prep for combat and probably contributed zippo to actual combat here. "

Which is why they would clearly be irrelevant to include in German strength, and the way in which they differ from allied service and support elements, who did contribute to the fighting effort.

"But they may have helped to maintain and deliver supplies after the allies left or worked on rear fortifcations. "

Um, what do you mean "after the allies left"? Of course some of these may have contributed indirectly to the supply system in the form of labour to repair bridges etc or to German efforts in a broad sense in some other way, but it would still be unconventional, to say the very least, to include them in strength because of that - and remember, we are basically talking about non-military personnel here. Might as well then include the personell in Southern England who were somehow involved with the logistical effort in Normandy or the sailors on the merchantmen transporting the supplies across the channel.

". So many of the US troops were doing things that the ger ration str peole were. The ger tooth to tail ratio may not have been that different from the american one if this is taken into account some how. "

Rather, they were doing things the allies weren't doing at all, such as constructing fortifications before D-day. The "Ration strength people" were not part of the support or supply apparatus of the German army, and even if some non-military personnel may have contributed at times to maintenance of communications on an ad-hoc basis, they were in toto an added logistical burden rather than a logistical asset. They certainly make no sense to include in the tail element of force ratios - they were overwhelmingly engaged on tasks other than supporting the fighting formations, unlike the allied support apparatus.

"Out of the 26 inf div that took part in normandy or 50 inf div that were in france tell me the numbers of half that you consider static. To prove your most ger inf divs were static statement.
..........
PS Still waiting for your source for US inf divs beining FULLY motorized?"

For the static divisions part, you have all the info you need in Zetterling. I'll have a look through that, as well as the motorisation point, when I have both time and book-access.


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Post by Darrin » 02 May 2002 16:54

I don't have time right now for a long rely but will try to keep it short for now and respond point by point latter.

My main point is not that all ration str personnal in the ger army were support services. My main point with Zetterling compasion of allied and axis div str he describs what he is using for the ger normally actual or Iststarke str. But he provides no definition of what he is using for the allied forces. What he APPEARS to be using is the total manpower str of the western armies in Euope divide by the tot number of divs. This is like comparing apples and oranges. Comparing total allied str against only personnal included in ger div actual str. He by definition is including all US soilders and excluding many ger soilders. The situation is even more complicted by the fact that the ger were undoubtably supported by at least some people who were proably not soliders.

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Post by Marcus » 02 May 2002 17:03

Image
(click the cover)

Having read so much about Zetterlings book in this thread (one rarely sees a book analyzed in such detail), I simply have to buy it to see what all the fuss is about :-)

/Marcus

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Post by Qvist » 02 May 2002 23:33

" . This is like comparing apples and oranges. Comparing total allied str against only personnal included in ger div actual str. He by definition is including all US soilders and excluding many ger soilders. "

It is not like comparing apples and oranges. Iststärke is pretty much synonymous with "total strength" - it measures the number of troops in all types of units within a given formation, whether this formation is a division ar an army group. Firstly, it is clear as crystal that Zetterling is not counting only "ger div actual strength" - he devotes considerable space to ascertaining what percentage of total German strength could be found within the divisions, and how much of it was outside the divisional framework. There is basically an entire chapter devoted to this, didn't you notice? And the Iststärke of AG-level formations includes, needless to say, theater support, transport, supply etc., and are included in his GErman numbers. Secondly, it is my clear understanding that all German (army) SOLDIERS would be included in the Iststärke of a higher formation, and that any discrepancy between Iststärke and Verpflegungsstärke would be due to other types of personnel. Which means that Iststärke, like total allied strength, includes basically all army personnel. Would anyone be in a position to confirm this, or the opposite? Timo perhaps?

What I do not require any confirmation of I think, is that basing a force comparison on the Verpflegungsstärke of a higher formation on the German side would be an exotic approach, to say the very least. If you want to take issue with his method of comparison, it would IMO be far more relevant to question his omission of Sicherungs-divisions and LW FLAK units from German strength, although I personally think there are good reasons for that. Such as the fact that Sicherungs-divisionen did not fight in Normandy.

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Post by Darrin » 03 May 2002 08:39

Quvist,

I will have to disagree with you. I think tot US manpower and german actual str are very different things. And until you or someone else can supply a sourse or argument saying otherwise I will just disagree. I will try to outline some reasons why I think so.

Iststarke includes all men who are part of a unit according to zetterling. Although it does not specifically exclude higher level supply formations it does not spec include them. Esp if they are not actual ger army numbers. It seems from his comments that it is like an actual TOE for a unit.

Ration str If we look at the AGN numbers agin the number of actual str was around 550,000 but its ration str doubled to over 1 million. It seems to me the ger army is not going to give out double the number of rations as it needs to without getting something back in return. While I am sure not all these men were not supporting AGN a large part of them were.

At points in Zetterlings book he describes how ration str as discribed by the ger army has nothing to do wih the combat str of the ger army. But it does matter for supply purposes. In my view actual str is by definition only about actual 'combat strength' and by def excludes a large part of rear services supply forces. If you look at the ration str of formations it gets even more bloated as you get higher according to zetterling. This iis exactly what you would expect if ration str included rear area service troops.

The number of actual str forces in the west and east is only 3.5 million on 1 jun 44 but there are 12 million men in the whermact at this time. Only 30% of the germans were employed fighting the rusians and allies. While this does not include garrion, luff and kregs personnal either it seems obvious to me that there are milllions of whermact soilders who would be unaccounted for and must assumed to be serrevice and supply troops. These troops would be conc into the only two active fronts and would make up a bigger portion of these fronts then anywhere else in europe.

In manstiens lost victories he mentions combing trough rear services to get all german manpower out and using ukr volunteers instead.

Zetteling 'convcersion factor' does not include numbers of troops not in the actual str. What he did was det the actual div str of all units in france on 1 jun. Then he found the actual str for OB west at that time which was 19% higher then his div (and non div combat units) tot. While this may include some supply service personnal it does not by his description include all of them.

Rich anderson at one point also posted the allied pow camp ger monthly numbers. Not calims by front line units but actual mouths to feed. The ger suffered about 2 mil MIA up to the end of 44. 1 million in rus and 1 million elsewhere all other coutries and causes over a total of 6 years. The number of germans in western pow camps at this point was 1.3 million. So the number of mia reprted by the ger must be increased by around 50%. One possible cause of these higher numbers of pows taken then reported missing might be rear service troops. Who wouldn't be included in the actual str reports and the reporting system for losses might go through a different chanel.

It seems to me that the ger army used actual str to reflect a truer picture of a units current comabat abilities. In my opion it would exclude rear area support pesonnal since they do not contribut directly to combat shape of the front units. The ger probably used ger army and non ger army personnal in thier support so any report outlining just ger army levels is going to fall short as well.

Darrin

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Post by Darrin » 03 May 2002 10:04

Marcus Wendel wrote:Image
(click the cover)

Having read so much about Zetterlings book in this thread (one rarely sees a book analyzed in such detail), I simply have to buy it to see what all the fuss is about :-)

/Marcus



I like Zetterlings books a lot. You know you are going to get tons of well reserched ger archive data. I had a problem ordering it through amazon though it got delayed large chunks at least twice so I went straight to the publisher and got it cheaper than with amazon and no delays.

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Post by Qvist » 03 May 2002 10:31

" Iststarke includes all men who are part of a unit according to zetterling. Although it does not specifically exclude higher level supply formations it does not spec include them. "

Yes it does - if we are talking about the Iststärke of a higher level formation, and the report in question is not "fechtende verbände", in which case it doesn't. There is an example of the differences between these in Zetterlings excellent critique of Overmans which you yourself was kind enough to draw my attention to some time ago. Iststärke of any given formation naturally does not include anything else than the troops who are part of that particular formation, be it a division, corps, army or army group.

This is however in Zetterlings case a moot point, because he uses a different method to calculate higher level supply services, in the absence of a fully adequate report. This can be found in chapter 4. On June 1 1944, German ground forces (including W-SS and LW ground) in the Netherlands, Belgium and France numbered 880,000 men. Adding together the strength of the divisions accounts for about 680,000. From this he concludes that 77% of all men were found in the divisions, the remainder being GHQ troops. Since about 58,000 men belonged to GHQ combat units, this leads to the conclusion that about 16% of German forces in Western Europe were non-divisional non-combat troops - what you would call supply and service troops. For the rest, let me quote Zetterling directly:

"We can calculate the toral manpower strength by adding together the strength of the units that arrived in Nomandy and then multiply it by 1.19 (the inverse of 0.84)." And there's the Cobra ratio for you (with casualties taken into account). This is naturally not an ideally accurate way of calculating German strength, which Zetterling himself also states, but no-one has so far been able to come up with a better one given the state of the available documentation. Moving down your post, I see that you do address this (though you have a slightly wrong percentage). I am however a bit mystified by this:

"While this may include some supply service personnal it does not by his description include all of them. "

Because he doesn't describe them, except to say that it includes ALL army, W-SS and LW ground combat personnel, and does not include the LW and KM ground organisations. How you can deduce from this that there are supply service personnel who are not included eludes me.

"..oints in Zetterlings book he describes how ration str as discribed by the ger army has nothing to do wih the combat str of the ger army. But it does matter for supply purposes. In my view actual str is by definition only about actual 'combat strength' and by def excludes a large part of rear services supply forces. If you look at the ration str of formations it gets even more bloated as you get higher according to zetterling. This iis exactly what you would expect if ration str included rear area service troops. "

You have a bit of a misunderstanding there. It is correct that ration strength does matter for supply matters, and Zetterling I believe refers to the OKW order to discontinue the use of the term except in matters relating purely to supply. The reason why is very simple - it details the number of people that has to be fed, thus it is neccessary to report it to ensure that adequate rations are provided. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ration strength describing supply troops, it is the other way around, it gives the number of people who needs to be supplied. Iststärke provides the personnel strength of a given formation and does NOT differentiate between combat troops and supply and service elements - that would be Gefechtsstärke, who counts only troops in combat units (albeit including non-combat troops in combat units - like the company clerk of a panzer company).

"Ration str If we look at the AGN numbers agin the number of actual str was around 550,000 but its ration str doubled to over 1 million. It seems to me the ger army is not going to give out double the number of rations as it needs to without getting something back in return. While I am sure not all these men were not supporting AGN a large part of them were. "

What exactly do you mean "supporting"? They certainly were not feeding people out of the kindness of their hearts. But an AG covering vast amounts of space in hostile territory employs all kinds of auxiliaries, from OT construction workers working on infrastructure and fortifications to Railway labor gangs to the local kid employed by some lieutenant to mend and polish his boots and run errands. Also, sick, wounded and prisoners of war and so on.

Once again, most of the points you raise are dealt with in the book itself. Refer to the AG North example you yourself quote, on page 12. Ration strength is 1,012,000. All German personell - that is every single German person the AG is responsible for feeding, not just soldiers, numbers 670,000. which means that more than 1/3 of ration strength in this case consisted of Russian civilians or POWs. Furthermore, of these 670,000, only 550,200 belongs to divisions, brigades, GHQ combat units, security units and - REAR SUPPLY SERVICES AND MEN SERVING WITH INTELLIGENCE, CONSTRUCTION, ARMY JUSTICE, PROPAGANDA, MAP PRODUCTION, RAILWAYS AND VARIOUS TECHNICAL UNITS. Can you think of any group not named here that would be relevant to include in strength? If you then move to page 13, you will find table 2.1, which gives the strength of "Fechtende verbände" - ie without higher support services, for the same date. These numbered 434,749. Which again means that higher echelon support services accounted for about 20% of the strength of AG North, which is not significantly different from the 16% Zetterling finds in Normandy.

" The number of actual str forces in the west and east is only 3.5 million on 1 jun 44 but there are 12 million men in the whermact at this time. Only 30% of the germans were employed fighting the rusians and allies. While this does not include garrion, luff and kregs personnal either it seems obvious to me that there are milllions of whermact soilders who would be unaccounted for and must assumed to be serrevice and supply troops."

This is something that has always fascinated me too. However, what you certainly cannot do without a shred of source support is to assume that millions of these were supply and service troops. Firstly as you say, there are garrisons and the organisations of the LW and KM, both of whom were very large. Then you have huge amounts of people manning FLAK defenses on the home front and supplying that network - if I am not much mistaken, about every second German artillery tube in 1944 was that of a FLAK gun pointing skywards in Germany. You have a huge replacement army capable of turning out a seven-digit number of replacements yearly, not to mention the troops they are currently training. By late 1943, this factor alone accounts for about two million men. You have the entire military administration and staffs at home, and its communications apparatus. You have at any given time a very large number of wounded. You have Guard detachments at all military installations, POW camps and industrial plants utilising slave labor.

Of course, most of these contributed in some way to the German war effort, but this is something different from the strength of the organisation engaged in a particular campaign. The US army had a total strength of 8 1/2 milion (ref Hastings), the great majority of whom were similarly engaged in training, administration and so on outside the theatres were the fighting took place. They are no less relevant (or rather, no more) relevant in this context, even though they too contributed to the functioning of the armies in Normandy. Modern mass armies required huge organisations, and the German numbers in this respect are not unnormal.

"In manstiens lost victories he mentions combing trough rear services to get all german manpower out and using ukr volunteers instead. "

The HiWi factor. A thorny issue when it comes to strength ratios in the east, but hardly very relevant here.

"Rich anderson at one point also posted the allied pow camp ger monthly numbers. Not calims by front line units but actual mouths to feed. The ger suffered about 2 mil MIA up to the end of 44. 1 million in rus and 1 million elsewhere all other coutries and causes over a total of 6 years. The number of germans in western pow camps at this point was 1.3 million. So the number of mia reprted by the ger must be increased by around 50%. One possible cause of these higher numbers of pows taken then reported missing might be rear service troops. Who wouldn't be included in the actual str reports and the reporting system for losses might go through a different chanel."

The explanation for that discrepancy is completely obvious (and shouldn't that be 30% rather than 50%?). The higher number includes LW and KM ground personnel, which the MIA reports of the army does not include. Also, various German personnel of different administrative agencies. Considering catastrophic defeat in Africa in 43 and in France in 44, those are numbers one would expect to see, and certainly not something that requires fanciful speculation.

"It seems to me that the ger army used actual str to reflect a truer picture of a units current comabat abilities. In my opion it would exclude rear area support pesonnal since they do not contribut directly to combat shape of the front units. " and "I will have to disagree with you. I think tot US manpower and german actual str are very different things. And until you or someone else can supply a sourse or argument saying otherwise I will just disagree. I will try to outline some reasons why I think so. "

1. What Iststärke does and does not include is well known and very simple - it includes all personell who are part of the unit or formation in question. Contrary to your assumption, it is not designed to give a "truer picture of a units current combat capabilities", as it includes short-term sick and wounded (expected to return within 8 weeks), and even men on leave or temporarily detached to other units. Zetterling: "Thus, despite its name, this strength number does not give the actual number of men available for service with the unit at a given time". Tagesstärke, or daily strength, would be the category that gives you that. Refer p 11. And it does include supply and support personnel. If it didn't it would have been identical to Gefechtsstärke. Consequently, for the umpteenth time, it would not "exclude rear area support personnel".
2. So much for "your opinion", without any sort of source support whatsoever, either from you or anyone else that I've read. You can have opinions about football or music, but when you start having "opinions" about the meaning of precisely defined administrative terms that can easily be found in sources you have available, it might be prudent to take it down a notch or two what?
3. Your reasons for "thinking so" have been addressed in the above. And I have done so using almost exclusively the same book which you took as your starting point.
4. Those who are unconvinced of your speculations are not the only ones who require sources. In fact, since you are launching here into speculation that runs counter to the current state of research, you are the one who needs the sources. It is not OK to believe anything that is conceivable until someone disproves it.
Last edited by Qvist on 03 May 2002 13:47, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Qvist » 03 May 2002 11:29

Clearing up some old dues:

Infantry divisons in the west:

Of 36 such in the OB West area on 1 June listed by Zetterling on page 29, 22 (47, 48, 49, 243, 244, 245, 265, 266, 319, 326, 338, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 708, 709, 711, 712, 716, 719) are classed as static in Nafziger. I have not then counted the 7 reserve divisions, who were also static. In other words about 2/3 or about 3/4 of the total, depending on whether or not you count the reserve divisions. There were also 4 LW field divisions, all of whom were static, and two parachute divisions, neither of whom were.

Mobility of US Infantry divisions:

Richard Overy, "Why the allies won", page 224:

" Instead of fighting with two armies, one formed of the heavily armoured tank division, one based on infantry, the two were fused together to create, in effect, one vast Panzer army with the resources more evenly spread..... The armoured divisions had a larger complement of tanks....but were otherwise indistinguishable from the regular army divisions, all which were allocated a batallion of tanks and SP artillery AND WERE FULLY MOTORISED" (my capitalisation).

Further:

"The American decision to produce a completely mechanised and motorised army...."

Expressed somewhat more precisely by John Desch of Command Magazine in his comparative essay on the American and German armies in "Hitler's Army. the evolution and structure of German forces 1933-1945", page 90:

"With an attached tank batallion and enough wheeled vehicles to motorise all of its infantry, and at least four batallions of supremely efficient field artillery....they were, for all practical purposes, powerful "panzer grenadier" divisions".

cheers
Last edited by Qvist on 03 May 2002 14:07, edited 1 time in total.

Timo
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Post by Timo » 03 May 2002 13:40

Basically, what should be understood is that within a German unit there's a difference between:
- Sollstärke (supposed strenght according to KstN)
- Iststärke (actual strenght)

The Iststärke must be devided in:
- Kopfstärke (men in a unit, including Versorgungstruppen)
- Kampfstärke (fighting men in a unit)

For example an Aufklärungsabteilung had a Sollstärke of 937 men (24 officers/3 beamte/214 NCOs/696 men). But its actual strength in combat was smaller. The Versorgungskompanie was no combat unit, so here the Abteilungs lost (4/3/46/156). Same with the versorgungstruppen in the Kompanien, 15 men in total. Thus the Soll Kampfstärke was only 713 men.
Now, if you consider that the Aufklärungsabteilung of the LAH was send to Normandy without its 1.Kompanie (as its Sd.Kfz. 250/9 were never delivered), and was not upto Sollstärke at all, its Iststärke was even far below 713.

I use the AA LAH as an example, but it shows that there's a considerable difference between Iststärke and Kampfstärke. On a higher level (Division, Korps, Armee) this difference is even bigger as the supply train is a bulky unit.

You mentioned Verpflegungsstärke. Thats basically the Sollstärke of a unit, including all attached men (ranging from attached Heeres Flak or artillery to extra builders).

Last, there's the Gräberstärke. The trench strenght. Basically this is the number of Infantry within a unit, which excludes all vehicle of gun based men (tank crews, PSW crews, drivers, Kanoniere, etc.)

Hope this helps,
Timo

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 03 May 2002 13:55

Hello Timo, and thanks for your summary.

So, in your view, Verpflegungsstärke is the establishment strength of a unit, plus any associated or attached personell of any kind? That differs a bit from other definitions I have seen, including Zetterlings, who writes "the number of men the unit was ordered to provide with neccessary subsistence". It seems a tad odd, considering that it was used for supply purposes, that it should be based on sollstärke + associated personnel rather than Iststärke + associated personnell. Typo?

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Darrin
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Post by Darrin » 03 May 2002 16:05

Quvist

I guess I will have to agree to disagree. I don't believe his agrument/staments here. The idea is if you use tot western manpower of which he gives no def then he should use the same or similar def for the ger or it is apples and oranges. In my judgment ACTUAL ger manpower def is not what zetteling thinks it is and is not the correct str report to use in his comparisons. He is the expert on the ger army in normandy and elsewher but I can disagree with what he says.

It is interesting that such a persice administrative definition that zeterling provides is fuzzy. His definition seems just to include actual manpower within units that contribute directly to combat. It does not specifically say and all rear services. Plus while I can read zetterlings definition he provides NO SORCES for his definitions of ger manpower strs. Nor due you refer to any but his definations.

Do you have any other sources for your percisly defined definitions?

Darrin

PS Although I am uninterested going through this again and again you actually manged to get most of zetterlings points correct this time. Except for your lack of understanding of ger str definitons in summarry point one. Maybe you should go refer to the other def and how they do differ from Iststrake even if you subtarct rear/div services.

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