Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

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Mori
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Mori » 08 Jul 2016 09:26

Guaporense wrote: In a sample of 78 engagements from 1943 and 1944 (mostly in Italy) we have that the Western Allies had 1,783,237 men while Germans numbered 940,198 men. Allied casualties numbered 47,743 while German casualties were 48,585. This roughly meant that German troops could inflict the same number of casualties with half the number of soldiers, in other words, German per capita "casualty inflicting power" was twice the Western Allies. This means that 1.4 Western Allies to 1 German would be a fair match using this aggregated data.
2 immediate remarks:

- doesn't the fact one side attacks and the other defends biaises the conclusion a lot? Most of German casualties take place when German attack or counter-attack - and the Allies primarily plan to kill German when Germans do their (scripted) counter attacks

- why ignore the 1945 battles, at least January-March? You leave aside the battles where German casualties are the most important. Also, these are the battles run by the largest armies, on both side. Including them would dramatically change your ratio. For example, Veritable-Grenade is ca. 23 000 Allied casualties vs. ca. 125 000 German casualties.

Mori
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Mori » 08 Jul 2016 09:33

Guaporense wrote: If you look at maps of the war you notice that all fronts were retreating at similar rates and while Allied numerical superiority was higher in the Eastern front the lower quality of those troops plus the lower quality of their air support, implies that the relative strength of German/Allied forces adjusted by quality was similar across the 3 fronts: Italy, Western and Eastern. If Allied performance in a relatively small front like the Western or Italian (20% and 10% of German strength, respectively) resulted into the fast collapse of that front they would reinforce it with forces from other fronts: Hitler was playing a game of minimizing the speed of territorial loss since the failure of Stalingrad.
Strange way to see things... The speed at which the front moves, when it moves after a breakthrough, is not related to manpower ratio but to logistical limits. When the Germans invade the USSR, just like when Russian exploit in 1943-44 or when the Allies breakthrough in Normandy, advance stops after 200-300km. It is not linked to quality of air support or number ratio in fighting personel.

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Aber » 08 Jul 2016 15:43

Guaporense wrote: In a sample of 78 engagements from 1943 and 1944 (mostly in Italy) we have that the Western Allies had 1,783,237 men while Germans numbered 940,198 men. Allied casualties numbered 47,743 while German casualties were 48,585. This roughly meant that German troops could inflict the same number of casualties with half the number of soldiers, in other words, German per capita "casualty inflicting power" was twice the Western Allies. This means that 1.4 Western Allies to 1 German would be a fair match using this aggregated data.
Assume you are quoting Dupuy.

Those numbers are problematic: eg Aprilla I claims 1058 British casualties, which looks wrong by an order of magnitude; German casualties do not include those treated at divisional level and returned to duty, undercounting their casualties by c20%; the Allied order of battle information has been described in some cases studied as 'highly suspect'

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jul 2016 17:17

Aber wrote:Those numbers are problematic: eg Aprilla I claims 1058 British casualties, which looks wrong by an order of magnitude; German casualties do not include those treated at divisional level and returned to duty, undercounting their casualties by c20%; the Allied order of battle information has been described in some cases studied as 'highly suspect'
Here we go again. :roll:

Some 25 years after the original "Aprilia" was done we went back and rechecked the data as we were redoing and expanding the database. I found some additional source materiel and decided that the original Aprilia was best split into two, because it was a British attack, followed by a German counterattack. Essentially it allowed us to look at the attack and counterattack separately.

Aprilia I on 7-8 February 1944 saw the British recording 15 KIA, 79 WIA, and 12 MIA, with 85 DNBI in the units of 1st ID engaged, and 117 Germans captured of various units, which helped clarify who opposed them. The Germans, while records were fragmentary, recorded 15 KIA, 21 WIA, and 152 MIA, while no British PW were captured.

Aprilia II on 9 February 1944 saw the British recording 37 KIA, 156 WIA, and 528 MIA, with 27 DNBI . They also recorded capturing 79 Germans. The Germans in turn reported their own casualties as 39 KIA, 132 WIA, and 106 MIA, with 410 Englander captured.

Note the close correlation between MIA on one side and reported captured on the other.

BTW, yes the Germans did record "those treated at divisional level and returned to duty" as "wounded, but remained with the troops".

Also BTW, after our complete review, the basis for the comment that "the Allied order of battle information has been described in some cases studied as 'highly suspect'" appears based upon the old canard that the "Big Red One wasn't at Aprilia"... :roll:

The original "1058" British casualties were the result of including some casualties in British units not actually engaged at Aprilia, apparently as well as including the DNBI, who were apparently lumped into some of the aggregate reports used. I was unable to recreate the "1058" figure with the records I used, so I'm not sure exactly, but I am also not sure how 827 or 939 vice 1058 correlates to an "order of magnitude"?
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jul 2016 17:18

Mori wrote:Strange way to see things...
Not if you know or recall who is seeing it that way... :wink:
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 08 Jul 2016 21:49

Richard,

Sorry, can you expand DNBI for me? I've tried all sorts of different acronyms but none that I know match this one. I know that DNB normally expands in English to Did Not Bat in cricket, but I don't think even the Guards were that casual about describing their casualties.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 08 Jul 2016 22:06

Disease and non-battle injuries?

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Jul 2016 22:30

ljadw wrote:You forget the Panther batallion of Panzerlehr that on 6 june was moving to the east .
Except it was turned around as soon as the invasion took place.

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jul 2016 23:14

Michael Kenny wrote:Disease and non-battle injuries?
Yep.
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jul 2016 23:18

Sheldrake wrote:
ljadw wrote:You forget the Panther batallion of Panzerlehr that on 6 june was moving to the east .
Except it was turned around as soon as the invasion took place.
Well, it was yet another example of the Germans having to rob Peter to pay Paul, which g for some reason has never been able to fathom. You see, it wasn't Lehr's Panther battalion, it was 3. Panzer division's. It just trained with Lehr. I./Pz.-Regt. 6 was actually a part of 3. Pz.-Div. and as of 5 June it was en route to the Eastern Front, with the leading train at Magdeburg and the last train at Paris. It was ordered to rejoin the division and arrived at the front on 10 June and went into action on 11 June. I./Pz.-Lehr-Regt. 130 was not formed until 7 August and did not fight with the division in Normandy.
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Aber
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Aber » 09 Jul 2016 07:23

Richard Anderson wrote: Also BTW, after our complete review, the basis for the comment that "the Allied order of battle information has been described in some cases studied as 'highly suspect'" appears based upon the old canard that the "Big Red One wasn't at Aprilia"... :roll:
Actually Salerno:
On the other hand, the numbers and details are highly suspect for the Allied major items of equipment
TDNI newsletter Dec 1998 :D
BTW, yes the Germans did record "those treated at divisional level and returned to duty" as "wounded, but remained with the troops".
See TDNI newsletter June 1997 p25
Aprilia I on 7-8 February 1944 saw the British recording 15 KIA, 79 WIA, and 12 MIA, with 85 DNBI in the units of 1st ID engaged, and 117 Germans captured of various units, which helped clarify who opposed them. The Germans, while records were fragmentary, recorded 15 KIA, 21 WIA, and 152 MIA, while no British PW were captured.
Aprilia I is listed as on 25-26 January in Numbers, Predictions and War; Aprilia II on 9 February. Other sources give 188 British battle casualties, and 39 German battle casualties with 211 captured for 25th January. There was a German counterattack on 26 February, but according to D'Este the Guards brigade held their ground and so it is unclear where over 500 MIA/410 captured would come from.

Aprilia II on 9 February originally listed 270 German casualties and 311 British.
The original "1058" British casualties were the result of including some casualties in British units not actually engaged at Aprilia, apparently as well as including the DNBI, who were apparently lumped into some of the aggregate reports used.
As I said, some problems with the data. 8-)

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Jul 2016 08:10

Coming back to the OP.

One difference between the relative combat effectiveness in Normandy is the disparity in ammunition supply. Eberbach in the post war interviews described how his artillery commander managed to scrape together 2,500 rounds for a concentrated surprise fire in support of II SS Corps West of Caen in July. The immediate British counter battery fire amounted to 22,500 rounds. Many British and Canadian batteries of eight guns fired more than 2,500 rounds in a day and the army group fired 100,000 rounds per day for the second half of july 1944.

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Jul 2016 15:32

Aber wrote:Actually Salerno:
Sorry, but no, the coment about the 1st ID in NPW is given WRT Anzio, not Salerno.
On the other hand, the numbers and details are highly suspect for the Allied major items of equipment
TDNI newsletter Dec 1998 :D
OTOH it's always nice when you don't quote mine. And its always silly to attempt quote mining with the person who wrote the original you're quoting from. 8-) The full quote from the passage I wrote in the TNDM Newsletter Is:

"In general it appears that the original QJM Database got the numbers of major items of equipment right for the Germans, even if it flubbed on the details. On the other hand, the numbers and details are highly suspect for the Allied major items of equipment. Just as a first order “guestimate” I would say that this probably reduces the German CEV to some extent; however, missing from the formula is the Allied naval gunfire support which although negligible in impact in the initial stages of the battle, had a strong influence on the later stages of the battle."
BTW, yes the Germans did record "those treated at divisional level and returned to duty" as "wounded, but remained with the troops".
See TDNI newsletter June 1997 p25[/quote]

IIRC, Chris and I had a long argument about that. It was true as a general case, However, it wasn't always true, especially in Italy where the Germans records usually reported troops "wounded, but remaining with the troops" separately from "wounded". I know for all those battles in late 1943 they are included...but not IIRC for most of the Anzio battles.

And it is TNDM Newsletter. 8-)
Aprilia I is listed as on 25-26 January in Numbers, Predictions and War; Aprilia II on 9 February. Other sources give 188 British battle casualties, and 39 German battle casualties with 211 captured for 25th January. There was a German counterattack on 26 February, but according to D'Este the Guards brigade held their ground and so it is unclear where over 500 MIA/410 captured would come from.
The original Aprilia listing was pretty much a mess and required quite a bit of correction, as did many of the Anzio battles. The casualties for both sides were taken directly from the relevant war diaries and were re-checked by me a number of times, especially since the review was not done "for fun" but under contract for our EPW Report. The German attack at Aprilia on 26 February was part of the "Caves" battles of the latter part of FISCHFANG and is a different subject.
Aprilia II on 9 February originally listed 270 German casualties and 311 British.
As I said, we completely renamed the series of Anzio battles, as well as many of the other Italian battles, based on our review in 1999-2000. The actual figures reported for 9 February were 721 British and 187 German. If anything, the British come off looking slightly worse than in the original.
As I said, some problems with the data. 8-)
No, problems in organizing the data, not the data itself.
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Aber
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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Aber » 09 Jul 2016 17:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
OTOH it's always nice when you don't quote mine. And its always silly to attempt quote mining with the person who wrote the original you're quoting from. 8-) The full quote from the passage I wrote in the TNDM Newsletter Is:

"In general it appears that the original QJM Database got the numbers of major items of equipment right for the Germans, even if it flubbed on the details. On the other hand, the numbers and details are highly suspect for the Allied major items of equipment. Just as a first order “guestimate” I would say that this probably reduces the German CEV to some extent; however, missing from the formula is the Allied naval gunfire support which although negligible in impact in the initial stages of the battle, had a strong influence on the later stages of the battle."

IIRC, Chris and I had a long argument about that. It was true as a general case, However, it wasn't always true, especially in Italy where the Germans records usually reported troops "wounded, but remaining with the troops" separately from "wounded". I know for all those battles in late 1943 they are included...but not IIRC for most of the Anzio battles.

The original Aprilia listing was pretty much a mess and required quite a bit of correction, as did many of the Anzio battles. The casualties for both sides were taken directly from the relevant war diaries and were re-checked by me a number of times, especially since the review was not done "for fun" but under contract for our EPW Report.

No, problems in organizing the data, not the data itself.
Is there anywhere that sets out the revised data for Italy?

If not, I stand by my comment that the data included in Numbers, Predictions & War are problematic; I'm not claiming the conclusions are wrong, just that there are a range of known issues, as you have described.

I'd love to be able to play around in Excel to understand the sensitivity of results to key assumptions, but given the proprietary nature of the database it isn't going to happen. :(

As to 'quote-mining' - yes I was well aware that I was quoting you :D ; I tend to keep quotes brief to show that I have a source to hand (especially when responding to the author), as longer quotes end up in a discussion going in random directions.

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Re: Relative combat efficiency - Normandy 1944

Post by Michate » 09 Jul 2016 18:32

BTW, yes the Germans did record "those treated at divisional level and returned to duty" as "wounded, but remained with the troops".

See TDNI newsletter June 1997 p25
IIRC, Chris and I had a long argument about that. It was true as a general case, However, it wasn't always true, especially in Italy where the Germans records usually reported troops "wounded, but remaining with the troops" separately from "wounded". I know for all those battles in late 1943 they are included...but not IIRC for most of the Anzio battles.
As someone who has studied German casualty reports for years I can say that those wounded that were treated at divisional facilities, or remained with the troops were reported, though the exact reporting practice in this aspect varied from army to army, and sometimes from period to period.

They were not included in the Abgänge figures, but these explicitly refer to "wounded and ill, who are transported off theatre and transferred to the replacement army".
2 immediate remarks:

- doesn't the fact one side attacks and the other defends biaises the conclusion a lot? Most of German casualties take place when German attack or counter-attack - and the Allies primarily plan to kill German when Germans do their (scripted) counter attacks
These engagements (I assume they have been taken from the Dupuy engagement database) do include examples of German attacks, and the German effectiveness superiority holds true in these cases as well (factoring in the same defensive advantage factors as in those cases when the Allies attack).
- why ignore the 1945 battles, at least January-March? You leave aside the battles where German casualties are the most important. Also, these are the battles run by the largest armies, on both side. Including them would dramatically change your ratio. For example, Veritable-Grenade is ca. 23 000 Allied casualties vs. ca. 125 000 German casualties.
Perhaps because different time frames and different situations merit separate treatment. Most of the German army on the Western front in February/March 1945 was only a shadow compared to that in 1943 or early 1944. As even Wehrmacht high command had to admit in early February 1945 (recorded in the OKW war diary) concerning the troops in the West: "Der Soldat hat im Allgemeinen die Schnauze voll."
If not, I stand by my comment that the data included in Numbers, Predictions & War are problematic; I'm not claiming the conclusions are wrong, just that there are a range of known issues, as you have described.
Seems they are still better then the data you have to offer.

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