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Ebusitanus
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Post by Ebusitanus » 06 Jan 2004 18:53

Hi Qvist,
I´m trying to locate units in and south of Novosokolniki (just west of Veliki-Luki) for Oct 1943. This area seems to fall under the 16th Army.

Any report of activity in this sector during Oct 1943?

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 06 Jan 2004 20:13

Sorry, can't help you there.

cheers

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Post by Qvist » 13 Jan 2004 19:47

This has also been posted as a separate thread. However, since it impinges directly on the subject matter under discussion on this sticky, I thought it would be well to post it here too. I suggest that we confine any discussion of it here to the more general effect of the condition of the WH in 1943, while points pertaining more directly to its immediate content or the battle of Kursk specifically would be best posted on the other thread (titled "German operational tank strength Kursk")
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Niklas Zetterling and Anders Franksson's "Kursk 1943" contains an appendix giving the tank strength in HG Sud on 1 July and 1 August. I thought it might be interesting to compare the figures for 1 July and 1 August respectively, not just as an indication of tank loss levels, but also to illustrate the condition of the German Panzer Divisions after the battle, and the extent to which this was a product of the battle itself. It is not unusual to come across statements giving the strength of these formations after the battle without taking into consideration the state they were in before it started. The assumption of many readers will be that most German formations were at or near full strength at the start of the battle. As we shall see, this was far from the case - in fact, none of the Panzer Divisions are even close to fitting that assumption. Flammpanzers and StuGs are included. Note that "in workshops" refers to vehicles classified as in short term repair, ie, expected to be returned within 3 weeks.

(Date....Operational....in workshops....total)

Grd

1 July.....156...6...................164
1 Aug.....74...60...................134
Drop.......82 (-52,6%)...........30 (-18,3%)

11th PzD

1 July........86...23................109
1 August....62...43................105
Drop.........24(-27,9%).............4 (-3,7%)

3rd PzD

1 July.........86...3..................89
1 August.....24...55................79
Drop...........62 (72,1%).........10 (11,2%)

6th PzD

1 July.........101..5.................106
27 July.......24....60...............84
Drop..........77 (-76,2%).........22 (20,8%)

7th PzD

1 July........105...7.................112
1 August.....81....5.................86
Drop..........24 (-22,9%).........26 (23,2%)

19th PzD

1 July........81....0...................81
1 August....44....29.................73
Drop.........37 (-45,7%)...........8 (-9,9%)

1 SS PzD

1 July.........126...6.................132
1 August.....none (see below)

2 SS PzD....134...18...............152
(see below)

3 SS PzD....143...21...............164
(see below)

For I SS Pz Corps, the problem is complicated by the fact that LAH handed over all of its remaining tanks to TK and DR before departing for Italy near the end of July. We will therefore compare the total of the three divisions on 1 July with the total of DR and TK on 1 August:

July 1.........403....45...............448
August 1.....202...169..............371
Drop...........201 (-50%)...........78 (-17,4%)


The conclusions are several.

1. Not one of the Panzer Divisions of HG Süd that fought at Kursk were at full strength, or even very close to full strength, as the battle started. Normal establishment strength for a two-batallion Panzer Division was around 170-190 tanks. Among the units here, 11th, 3rd, 6th , 7th and 19th Panzer Divisions had that structure and their tank strength was 109, 89, 106, 112 and 81 respectively - thus they were all at around half strength in tanks as the battle started - including vehicles in workshops. For 3rd and 6th Panzer Divisions, the explanation is in part that they fielded only a single Panzer Batallion at this time, but this of course they were not meant to do according to their establishment strength.

For the three divisions of II SS Panzer Corps and GrossDeutschland, it must be taken into account that they fielded a StuG batallion in addition to the two Panzer batallions, and also a heavy company. If this is taken into account, they should each field about 250 vehicles. In light of this, they too fall well short of full strength, and only marginally less so than the previous units mentioned: They had 132, 152, 164 and 164 vehicles respectively.

2. The drop in tank strength (including vehicles in short term repair) is not dramatic. The range of reduction in percentage is from 3,7% (3rd PzD) to 23,2% (7th PzD), with all the rest between 10 and 20%.

From a casualty point of view, the missing piece is of course any replacements received during July. These are listed in Appendix 5, and are thus for the units concerned:

1st SS PzD: 16
GrD: 3
HG Süd unspecified: 45

But from a point of view of determining the condition of the German Panzer forces after the battle, this is of course irrelevant, what matters is the number of tanks at hand.

3. Despite the absence of a strong drop in tank strength, the effect on operational tank strength due to short-term damages is very significant. The outliers are 7th PzD (22,9%) and 6th Pzd (76,2%).

The special circumstances of the period should be borne in mind. Generally the proportion of tanks in workshops on 1 July due to battle damage, mechanical problems or maintenance were abnormally low, not surprising considering the very long lull that preceeded that date. On 1 August on the other hand, the situation is inevitably the opposite, given the intense activity level in the preceding weeks. The situation however could be expected to rapidly improve due to repairs. That of course was scant consolation to a unit that had to go into action on 1 August. We are in other words talking about a serious but essentially temporary effect.

4. It is true that most of the Panzer Divisions of HG Süd that participated in the Kursk battle were quite weak in tank strength after the battle. However, a very large part of the explanation for that is obviously that they were already quite weak before it. If one takes into account the large number of short-term damaged vehicles, the picture is still more modified.

5. It is not difficult to how a largely misleading picture of the effects of the battle are easily created (and by no means neccessarily intentionally) if only parts of the data is quoted. If for instance, I did not note the strength of the units at the start of the battle, leaving the reader with the (not unreasonable, considering that the Germans had been preparing for the battle for months) assumption that most units were at about full strength on 5 July, and then noted that 3rd and 6th Panzer Divisions were down to 24 tanks in running order each, with no mention of vehicles in short term repair, the impression would inevitably be that overwhelming tank losses had been inflicted on these units - something which does not emerge from the totality of the figures.


cheers

Panzeralex
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Post by Panzeralex » 14 Jan 2004 00:44

Hi, Qvist

What you think of the following?

a) Operational status of panzers on the Eastern Front in 1943.(From Jentz Panzertruppen 1943-1945)

Tanks – Available (Operational)
28 Feb. – 1686 (902)
31 Mar – 1742 (1052)
30 Apr – 1837 (1371)
31 May – 2209 (1846)
30 Jun – 2584 (2287)
10 Jul – 2609 (1565)
20 Jul – 2471 (1471)
31 Jul – 2274 (1176)
10 Aug – 2065 (987)
20 Aug – 2020 (926)
31 Aug – 2022 (821)
10 Sep – 1922 (775)
20 Sep – 1964 (709)
30 Sep – 1953 (605)
10 Oct – 2013 (661)
20 Oct – 2232 (866)
31 Oct – 2198 (962)
10 Oct – 2085 (949)
20 Oct – 2149 (961)
30 Oct – 2287 (817)
10 Dec – 2210 (885)
20 Dec – 2280 (915)
31 Dec – 2053 (1043)

Note:
30 Jun – 88,5% tanks were operational
31 Jul – 51,7%
31 Aug – 40,6%
30 Sep – 31%
In October - December the operational tanks made only about 30- 40 % from number available.
After battle of Kursk the number of operational German tanks began to be reduced, that shows in what situation were Panzerwaffe.

b)After soviet began counteroffensive at the end of July - beginning of August 1943, German had not time to repair tanks which are taking place under repair (short-term repair) and were compelled to throw or to blow up them.

Best regards, Panzeralex

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Post by Qvist » 14 Jan 2004 09:10

Hello Panzeralex, thanks for those figures (damn, I really have to acquire thos Jentz books).

It is clear that the proportion of German tanks who were operational at any given time declines markedly after 1 July. But here we need to bear in mind that the condition on that date was abnormal and due to the absence of any notable activity in a long period preceding it - the commencement of activity would inevitably reduce the percentage of operational vehicles, which would stay at a much lower level for as long as large scale activity continued. As such, the 1 July percentage is not a "normality reference", but rather an aberration.

b)After soviet began counteroffensive at the end of July - beginning of August 1943, German had not time to repair tanks which are taking place under repair (short-term repair) and were compelled to throw or to blow up them.


To an increased extent compared to earlier, at least. But there are limits to the phenomenon, as evidenced bu the fact that the proportion of of vehicles in workshops increases during the same period.

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Post by Darrin » 14 Jan 2004 13:14

Panzeralex wrote:Hi, Qvist

What you think of the following?

a) Operational status of panzers on the Eastern Front in 1943.(From Jentz Panzertruppen 1943-1945)

Tanks – Available (Operational)
28 Feb. – 1686 (902)
31 Mar – 1742 (1052)
30 Apr – 1837 (1371)
31 May – 2209 (1846)
30 Jun – 2584 (2287)
10 Jul – 2609 (1565)
20 Jul – 2471 (1471)
31 Jul – 2274 (1176)
10 Aug – 2065 (987)
20 Aug – 2020 (926)
31 Aug – 2022 (821)
10 Sep – 1922 (775)
20 Sep – 1964 (709)
30 Sep – 1953 (605)
10 Oct – 2013 (661)
20 Oct – 2232 (866)
31 Oct – 2198 (962)
10 Oct – 2085 (949)
20 Oct – 2149 (961)
30 Oct – 2287 (817)
10 Dec – 2210 (885)
20 Dec – 2280 (915)
31 Dec – 2053 (1043)

Note:
30 Jun – 88,5% tanks were operational
31 Jul – 51,7%
31 Aug – 40,6%
30 Sep – 31%
In October - December the operational tanks made only about 30- 40 % from number available.
After battle of Kursk the number of operational German tanks began to be reduced, that shows in what situation were Panzerwaffe.

b)After soviet began counteroffensive at the end of July - beginning of August 1943, German had not time to repair tanks which are taking place under repair (short-term repair) and were compelled to throw or to blow up them.

Best regards, Panzeralex

It might be your numbers str and op don't include such common ger vehicles as stugs. Its funny that the numbers you quote from jentz are so low since I've heard other refer to 60+ op % numbers for all ger tanks even into 44. This higher number seems preety stnadard it was 70-75 % in normandy at the end of july using numbers from zetteling normandy 44 book. Maybe your op numbers are those in workshop instead that would match.

Even with the small number of op tanks from aug to dec the ger still manged to des 3000 rus tanks a month from jul-dec. Thats a huge number considering they only made 2000 a month by the end of 43 the number of tanks on the front had dropped in half total tanks not just op. Also the des of ger tanks did not increese that markedly either it was about 650 tanks des a month during this fall period.

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Post by Qvist » 14 Jan 2004 13:27

Maybe your op numbers are those in workshop instead that would match.


Darrin, in that case, about 90% of all German tanks would be in workshops on 30 June :D

cheers

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Post by Panzeralex » 14 Jan 2004 13:43

Hi, Qvist
Qvist wrote:It is clear that the proportion of German tanks who were operational at any given time declines markedly after 1 July. But here we need to bear in mind that the condition on that date was abnormal and due to the absence of any notable activity in a long period preceding it - the commencement of activity would inevitably reduce the percentage of operational vehicles, which would stay at a much lower level for as long as large scale activity continued. As such, the 1 July percentage is not a "normality reference", but rather an aberration.
[
It’s clear, that the 1 July percentage operational panzers is not a "normality reference", but rather an aberration.
However in second half of 1943 percent of operational tanks was reduced much faster, than in second half 1942 г, and was at much smaller level.
From Jentz – Panzer strength on the Eastern Front July 1942 to March 1943:
Jul 1942 – 2060 (1337)
Aug 1942 – 2644 (1669)
Sep 1942 – 2705 (1702)
Oct 1942 – 2731 (1789)
Nov 1942 – 2677 (1907)
Dec 1942 – 2803 (1475)
In second half of 1942 60-65 % tanks were operational, while in second half 1943 only - 30-40 % tanks were operational.

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Post by Panzeralex » 14 Jan 2004 13:44

Sorry, the previous post has repeated.
Last edited by Panzeralex on 14 Jan 2004 14:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Panzeralex » 14 Jan 2004 13:48

Sorry, the previous post has repeated.
Last edited by Panzeralex on 14 Jan 2004 14:07, edited 1 time in total.

Panzeralex
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Post by Panzeralex » 14 Jan 2004 13:48

Qvist wrote: To an increased extent compared to earlier, at least. But there are limits to the phenomenon, as evidenced bu the fact that the proportion of of vehicles in workshops increases during the same period.
I meant, that in first half of August compelled to throw or to blow up vehicles in work-shop which having not time to repair after operation a Citadel.

For example:
a) Panther, it’s status and losses during end of July – beginning of August.
1) The status of the Panther Pz.Rgt. 39 on 20 July.
44 ready for action
58 total losses
16 need a repair in Germany
82 need a repair within 3 weeks.
Location of the tank repair shop: Borissovka
2) Pz V - situation in 10th Pz. Bde.
(as of 12 August 1943)
Availible to the 10th Pz Bde when it arrived: - 200 Pz V
Total losses during "Citadel": - 65 Pz V
Situation after replenishment by 51st Pz Bn: - 135 Pz V,
of which 19 were ready for action
Sent to Germany: - 15 Pz V
Sent to Dnepropetrovsk: - 27 Pz V
Newly arrived from Germany: +12 Pz V
Situation at the start of the withdrawel: - 105 Pz V

Destroyed in battle or demolished and burned
during the withdrawel from Borissowka,
Golowtschie, and Graiworon: - 75 Pz V
Knocked out in Trostjanez: - 1 Pz V
Currently Available: - 29 Pz V
Of those, number bieng repaired: - 15 Pz V
Still not recovered: - 5 Pz V
In action with "Grossdeutchland": - 6 Pz V
Unknown location: - 3 Pz V
Note:
75 Panthers, which having not time to repair were compelled to throw or to blow up them in Borissowka, Golowtschie, and Graiworon.
How many still was of German tanks, which is like Panthers were are thrown, because them having not time to repair prior to the beginning Soviet counteroffensive?

b) From Zetterling N, Frankson A Kursk a statistical analysis., P.142.
During the first ten days of July during the German offensive 7th Pz. D lost 10 panzers as a total losses and 11 Pz.D lost 3 panzers as a total loses, while during the first ten days of August during the soviet offensive towards Belgorod – Kharkov 7th Pz.D lost 29 panzers as total losses and 11 th Pz.D lost 38 panzers as total losses.

Best regards, Panzeralex.

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Post by Darrin » 14 Jan 2004 15:09

Qvist wrote:
Maybe your op numbers are those in workshop instead that would match.


Darrin, in that case, about 90% of all German tanks would be in workshops on 30 June :D

cheers

I realized that after I pushed submit....Even the kursk data base numbers point to 60+% after the first week or two in the south. It certainly seems an army that had as few op tanks as the above poster suggested would have a hard time achiving the very high kill ratio 5-1 achived for 6 entire months during this period.

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Post by Qvist » 14 Jan 2004 22:21

Hello Panzeralex, and thanks for taking the time to post both highly relevant figures from Jentz and valuable comments.
It’s clear, that the 1 July percentage operational panzers is not a "normality reference", but rather an aberration.
However in second half of 1943 percent of operational tanks was reduced much faster, than in second half 1942 г, and was at much smaller level.
From Jentz – Panzer strength on the Eastern Front July 1942 to March 1943:
Jul 1942 – 2060 (1337)
Aug 1942 – 2644 (1669)
Sep 1942 – 2705 (1702)
Oct 1942 – 2731 (1789)
Nov 1942 – 2677 (1907)
Dec 1942 – 2803 (1475)
In second half of 1942 60-65 % tanks were operational, while in second half 1943 only - 30-40 % tanks were operational.
Interesting! And also indicative of the point you mention of how retreat leads to not only a higher proportion of total write-offs among tank losses, but also a lower rate of operability.

meant, that in first half of August compelled to throw or to blow up vehicles in work-shop which having not time to repair after operation a Citadel.

For example:
a) Panther, it’s status and losses during end of July – beginning of August.
1) The status of the Panther Pz.Rgt. 39 on 20 July.
44 ready for action
58 total losses
16 need a repair in Germany
82 need a repair within 3 weeks.
Location of the tank repair shop: Borissovka
2) Pz V - situation in 10th Pz. Bde.
(as of 12 August 1943)
Availible to the 10th Pz Bde when it arrived: - 200 Pz V
Total losses during "Citadel": - 65 Pz V
Situation after replenishment by 51st Pz Bn: - 135 Pz V,
of which 19 were ready for action
Sent to Germany: - 15 Pz V
Sent to Dnepropetrovsk: - 27 Pz V
Newly arrived from Germany: +12 Pz V
Situation at the start of the withdrawel: - 105 Pz V

Destroyed in battle or demolished and burned
during the withdrawel from Borissowka,
Golowtschie, and Graiworon: - 75 Pz V
Knocked out in Trostjanez: - 1 Pz V
Currently Available: - 29 Pz V
Of those, number bieng repaired: - 15 Pz V
Still not recovered: - 5 Pz V
In action with "Grossdeutchland": - 6 Pz V
Unknown location: - 3 Pz V
Note:
75 Panthers, which having not time to repair were compelled to throw or to blow up them in Borissowka, Golowtschie, and Graiworon.
How many still was of German tanks, which is like Panthers were are thrown, because them having not time to repair prior to the beginning Soviet counteroffensive?
This represents an interesting problem. These tanks were clearly ultimately lost, but who should be considered to have lost them? 10th Panzer Brigade, in combat? The repair facilities at Borisovka etc? :D

cheers

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Post by Panzeralex » 15 Jan 2004 00:07

Hi, Qvist
Qvist wrote:This represents an interesting problem. These tanks were clearly ultimately lost, but who should be considered to have lost them? 10th Panzer Brigade, in combat? The repair facilities at Borisovka etc? :D
According teletype 11.08.43, 17.30 hours from the 4 Pz.A to the Inspector General of Armor:
a) 52 Pz. Abt lost (as total loses) 35 Pz. V to blow up by German in Borissovka and 31 Pz. V lost (as total loses) destroyed in battle, or totally lost during the withdrawal.
b) Current tank situation of 52nd Panzer Abt:
Ready for action - 5 Pz V
Undergoing short-term repairs: - 3 Pz V
Undergoing long-term repairs: - 12 Pz V
Still to be recovered: - 6 Pz V
Note:
I consider, that in fight the smaller part Panther was lost, and the majority was thrown or blown up by German during first 12 days of August.

Best regards, Panzeralex

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Post by Wasa » 28 May 2004 08:38

Hm...dead topic? .. 8O sad..

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