Comparative tank losses, June/July 44 Normandy

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Andreas
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Comparative tank losses, June/July 44 Normandy

Post by Andreas » 12 Jul 2005 20:58

I have just come across a (for me anyway) astonishing set of tables in Jentz 'Panzertruppen Vol. II', dealing with tank losses in the period 6-6 to 3/8-7 (3-7 for Allies, 8-7 for Germans). sorry if the below is tricky to read

German claims by tank division (by tank/Stug-SPAT/AT-AA/Arty/Close assault weapons):
2. Pz - 24 (0/15/4/0/5) 4.4%
Lehr - 154 (85/48/7/4/40) 28.7%
21. Pz - 101 (37/15/41/3/5) 18.8%
12. SS - 144 (105/0/16/0/23)
17. SS - 17 (0/7/5/0/5) 26.8%
Total 440 (227/55/73/7/78) 100%

Share by weapon:
Tank 51.6%
Stug-SPAT 12.5%
AT-AA 16.6%
Arty 1.6%
Close assault weapons 17.7%

Jentz table does not work out, so while it would be tempting to assume that the 537 refers to all claims by all units, and he has only extrated the armoured formations for his table, this is likely not correct, because the Tigers are missing here, unless their claims are counted under the division they were attached to most of the time, 12.SS. Tricky.

For the full 537 the kill numbers by weapon are:

Tank 227
Stug-SPAT 61
AT-AA 105
Arty 36
Close assault weapons 108

Share by weapon:
Tank 42.3%
Stug-SPAT 11.4%
AT-AA 19.6%
Arty 6.7%
Close assault weapons 20.1%

The remaining 97 kill claims are distributed as follows:

Tank 0
Stug-SPAT 6
AT-AA 32
Arty 29
Close assault weapons 30
Total 97

Share by weapon:
Tank 0%
Stug-SPAT 6.2%
AT-AA 33.0%
Arty 29.9%
Close assault weapons 30.9%

Note how much more important artillery is for the rest of the kills. There is an interesting difference - while towed artillery including AT-AA was responsible for 26% of armoured division kills, it accounted for 63%, or 2.4 times as many kills in the other formations.

So far, so good. Remember that IIRC according to Michate a 50% haircut was applied to these claims, but it is not clear from Jentz whether this had already been done. My guess is no, since the data is still very detailed. Since most of the claims originate from defensive fighting, it is arguable that this is the upper boundary of kills, and the real number for these divisions is almost certainly lower. On the other hand, units not included in the table who had seen combat are sSS-Pz-Abt 101, 9.SS, 10.SS, and the infantry formations.

The really surprising thing follows however.

German total write-offs by division and type:
Division Total - Stug/PzIV/Panther/Tiger Kill ratio (Tanks claimed destroyed vs. total write-offs) Share
2.Pz 23 0/3/20/0 1:1 6.6%
21.Pz 54 0/54/0/0 1.9:1 15.5%
Lehr 80 3/41/36 (1.9:1) 22.9%
1.SS 1 0/0/1/0 n/a 0.0%
2.SS 31 0/28/3/0 n/a
9.SS 39 9/18/12/0 n/a
10.SS 13 4/6/3 n/a 11.1%
12.SS 84 0/47/37/0 1.71 24.1%
sSSPzAbt101 15 0/0/0/15 n/a 4.3%

Total 349 25/197/112/15 1.8:1 (only for the units listed in the allied table) 100%

Losses by type:
Stug 7.2%
PzIV 56.5%
Panther 32.1%
Tiger 4.3%

These are only the total write-offs, additional to these would be tanks going into repair (e.g. for the Tigers of sSSpzAbt 101 the number requiring repair was 8 (17.8% of available tanks) on 1st June, and 7 (or 25% of available tanks) on 8 July (when an additional 2, not included in the table were written off). But on 5 and 7 July, all 30 Tigers were in repair, operational unit strength was 0. For mechanically more reliable tanks than the Tiger this number would be higher, of course.

I think this is painting a rather different picture from the one that is often talked about regarding the comparative performance of Allies and Wehrmacht in Normandy. I was certainly very surprised to see that the Germans lost 349 real tanks (obsolete models are extra) in just over a month, and achieved a kill ratio of not more than 1.8:1 for their losses.

The real killer month for the allies appears to be July, when by 27 July only another 101 German tanks are total write-offs, while the Allies in the meantime have suffered the tank losses of GOODWOOD, and COBRA, together with other operations.

Comments, criticism, and further education on the matter most welcome.

All the best

Andreas

Michael Kenny
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Posts: 5874
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jul 2005 21:55

From Rich at http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopi ... sc&start=0


this is on page 3


"Okay, here we go again.

It is very difficult to determine the ‘exchange’ ratios in terms of effectiveness between two opposing weapons systems, even in a generalized sense. And the ‘ratios’ bandied about in this case are simply not relative measure of effectiveness, but rather they are relative measures of loss, which are not the same thing. In other words, if the Allies lost 300 tanks and the Germans 100, then a 3-to-1 loss ratio exists. But that does not mean that there was a 3-to-1 ratio of effectiveness. However, if we could know that that 100 Allied tanks were lost to German tanks and 100 German tanks were lost to Allied tanks, then we possibly could say that there was a 1-to-1 ratio of relative effectiveness between them. Unfortunately, as in some many cases of such historical analysis, the data simply can’t support such a conclusion one way or another and can be manipulated virtually any way one desires - all in quite a reasonable and logical manor.

Overall cause of loss for tanks varies according to time period and the reports cited. Thus, according to WO 291/1186 in the ETO it was:

Mines 22.1%
AT guns 22.7%
Tanks 14.5%
SP Guns 24.4%
Bazooka 14.2%
Other 2.1%

This may be compared to a sample of 506 US First Army tanks lost (destroyed and damaged) between 6 June and 30 November 1944.

Mines 18.2%
AT/Tank guns 46.2%
Artillery 7.3%
Mortars 1.8%
Bazooka 13.6%
Other 12.9%

Now as far as American tank losses in Normandy go we have the following data from various reports:

In terms of the cause of loss, in June of 32 tanks examined, 18 were to ‘AT guns’ (56.25%), 9 to PF/PS (28.13%), 1 to mines (3.13%), and 1 to ‘artillery’ (3.13%). Unfortunately we do not know if the AT guns were just that or if they were mounted on armored vehicles of some type. However, we do know that 6 of those 18 were lost on D-Day, so cannot have been lost to anything other than the emplaced guns of the beach defenses.

In July, of 73 examined, 41.1% were lost to AT guns, 32.88% to PF/PS, 16.44% to mines, 4.11% to mines and 4.11% to unknown causes.

In August, of 130 examined, 55.38% were lost to AT guns, 18.46 to unknown causes, 13.08% to mines, 6.15% to artillery, 5.38% to PF/PS, and 1.54% to mortars.

Overall, losses to ‘AT guns’ appear to have been somewhere around 50% in Normandy (the monthly average is 50.91%) and were not far off the ‘norm’ of 46.2%.

From 6 June to 1 July (26 days), First Army wrote off 187 M4-75mm and 44 M5.
From 2 to 29 July (28 days), First Army wrote off 208 M4-75mm, 12 M4-76mm, 4 M4-105mm, and 67 M5.
From 30 July to 2 September (35 days), First Army wrote off 237 M4-75mm, 38 M4-76mm, 6 M4-105mm, and 69 M5.
From 3 to 28 September (26 days), First Army wrote off 123 M4-75mm, 33 M4-76mm, 10 M4-105mm, and 34 M5.
From 1 August to 2 September (33 days), Third Army wrote off 221 M4-75mm and 94 M5.
From 3 to 30 September (28 days), Third Army wrote off 48 M4-75mm, 61 M4-76mm, 2 M4-105mm, and 37 M5.
From 9 September to 5 October (27 days), Ninth Army wrote off 2 M4-75mm.

Thus roughly:
‘June’ 231
‘July’ 291
‘August’ 665
‘September’ 350
Total = 1,537

From the above we could presume that roughly 780 were due to tank and AT guns. Using the WO figures, then perhaps 223 were to 'tank guns.'

For the British cause of loss in Normandy we have but a single document that appears relevant. That is O.R.S. 2 Report No. 12, Analysis of 75mm Sherman Tank Casualties Suffered Between 6th June and 10th June 1944. That document reports that of 45 Sherman tanks examined a total of 40 or 89% were lost to ‘AP shot,’ 4 or 9% to mines and 1 or 2% to unidentified causes.

British losses are given as:

June – 146
July – 231
August – 834
September - ?
Total = 1,211 (est. 1,568)

Unfortunately I have been unable to determine the British September totals, but given the overall similarity with the American figures it is probably not unreasonable to suppose that they were about 350 as well (if the proportionality with June-August were maintained, then it would be 357. If we presume that the above cause of loss was consistent for June and July, then about 336 were probably lost to ‘AP shot,’ which is probably an underestimate. If we presume that percentage applied throughout, then a total of 1,396 were possibly lost to ‘AP shot,’ which is probably an exaggeration. Using the total ‘AP shot’ weapons from WO 292/1186 (61.6) we would probably derive a more accurate estimate of 966. On the other hand, if we accept the figures from WO 291/1186 by type of AP weapon, then we can estimate that only 227 were lost to ‘tank guns’ and if that figure is applied to the Allied total loss, then perhaps only 450 were lost to ‘tank guns.’

Thus, we may estimate that the upper limit of Allied tanks lost to ‘AP shot’ (tanks, AT guns and assault guns) was perhaps 2,176, while probably the lower limit lost to ‘tank guns’ was about 450.

German losses were:

June – 1 Pz-IV(k), 124 Pz-IV(l), 80 Pz-V, 19 Pz-VI (L56) = 224
July – 149 Pz-IV(l), 125 Pz-V, 14 Pz-VI (L56) = 288
August – 49 Pz-IV(l), 41 Pz-V, 15 Pz-VI (L56) = 105
September – 12 Pz-IV(k), 581 Pz-IV, 540 Pz-V, 72 Pz-VI (L56), 23 Pz-VI (L70) = 1,228
Total = 1,845

Cause of loss for German tanks is given for a select set in O.R.S. 2 Report No. 17, Analysis of German Tank Casualties in France, 6th June 44 – 31st August 1944. In that report, for the period of 6 June-7 August a sample of 53 tanks resulted in 48% lost to ‘AP shot.’ For 8-31 August 1944 that dropped to just 11% due to the high number of abandoned tanks in that period. From that we may presume that the June-July total loss to ‘AP shot’ may have been about 246, while for August-September it may have been about 147, for a total of about 393.

Thus, using these very rough methods, we can assume that the upper limit of the ratio of Allied to German tank losses to ‘AP shot’ may have been as high as 2,176-to-393, or about 5.54-to-1. Probably closer would be an ‘AP shot’ ratio of roughly 1,746-to-393, or about 4.44-to-1. The tank-versus-tank ratios are possibly similar although it could be argued to be as low as 673-to-393, or 1.71-to-1, aboutthe same as the overall loss ratio. Nevermind that this comparison is probably irrelevent.

Overall then we may postulate a total of about 3,105 Allied to 1,845 German tanks written off, or about a 1.68-to-1 ratio of losses, again, a number that has nothing to do with the relative effectiveness of the Allied versus the German tanks. However, it is probably very relevant in terms of the overall Allied-versus-German combat effectiveness"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Rich on Goodwood (from page 3) http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopi ... sc&start=0


"Here's what I have for GOODWOOD - originally this was a posting I made at TankNet. Sorry, but the middle is missing because I had a disk problem and haven't been able to go back and correct it yet (and can't find the archived thread at TankNet ). Hope it supplies some more food for thought. Can't wait for a Mortain discussion.

One of the recent mental excursions I have wandered into regarding Normandy is the generally accepted view of the results of Operation GOODWOOD. The general consensus regarding the battle is that - regardless of Montgomery's initial intent - it was an unmitigated disaster for British arms...right? But, when I began digging into the actual results of the battle - in terms of the relative numbers of casualties inflicted - I began to see a very different picture. The following is a summary of my research to date.

It is difficult to directly compare German and Commonwealth strengths and losses in GOODWOOD, mostly because there is a dearth of accurate and timely casualty reports for the German units involved. However, we do have extensive data for the UK forces and (thanks largely to the untiring work of Niklas Zetterling) a considerable body of data on the German forces.

To summarize, UK forces began with approximately 139,000 men, 1,369 tanks, and at least 732 artillery pieces. Losses were 4,120 men (2.97%) (844 KIA, 2,951 WIA, 325 MIA) and 493 tanks (35%). Only 361 of the tanks were knocked out - that is, they were either written off or were so damaged as to require long-term repair, 132 were damaged - that is, they required less than 24 hours for repair. At the end of the battle tank strength was 1,047.

German strength may be estimated with some accuracy as 79,750 men, 325 tanks, assault guns, and SP AT, and 291artillery pieces (not including infantry guns), 160 heavy Pak (including at least 51 8.8cm Pak 43/41), 56 8.8cm Flak (note that the generally accepted "144" 88's on Bourgebuis Ridge may include both the Pak 43/41 and an exaggeration), and about 230 Nebelwerfer. Our primary source for German casualties for the battle actually covers the period 11-20 July. However, it is likely that few of the casualties in that report were actually incurred prior to start of GOODWOOD on 18 July and none of them appear to be inconsistent with the minimums that would be expected. The exception is the losses of 16th LW FD (51 WIA and 8 MIA). Zetterling estimated that it lost a total of 2,500 men in Normandy, of which about 500 were lost in operations around Caen in early July. The casualties reported by the division for the month of July (in a 5 PzAOK report) were 368 KIA, 759 WIA, and 2,496 MIA, which is probably closer to the actual total casualties of the division in Normandy. Also, it is well documented that the division was broken up and used as replacements after GOODWOOD, being formally disbanded on 4 August 1944. Furthermore, all of the regimental commanders, most of their staff, and 36 company commanders were counted as losses in GOODWOOD, implying that 50+ officers alone were casualties in GOODWOOD. The report for 11-20 July gives the number of officer casualties as one, while the July report gives officer casualties of 92. Finally, the British PW reports indicate that the German MIA are undercounted by at least 1,495 (8 Corps alone reported 1,628 EPW while all 2 Army units involved reported 2,827 EPW for the battle) and it appears likely that most of these were incurred by 16th LW. From this, I conclude that the casualties of the 16th LW FD during GOODWOOD totaled about 3,100 men, over 1,500 of those being prisoner. Total German losses were about 6,500 men (8.15%), 86 tanks, assault guns, and SP AT (26.5%), and at least 72 Nebelwerfer, Pak, and artillery pieces (9.77%). Unlike the British losses, it appears that almost none of the German personnel losses were replaced before the Germans began their withdrawal from Normandy. And, it appears that the German AFV losses were more or less permanent as well, the majority of those recovered and repairable were abandoned when the German retreat began. The artillery losses were also irrecoverable (9th Werfer Brigade lost 47 Nebelwerfer during GOODWOOD, nearly one-half its operational strength).

Armor losses to AT mines cannot be definitely excluded, however, it is interesting to note that no vehicles losses were recorded for the two specialized mine clearing units that participated in the battle (22nd Dragoons and 1st Lothians). Furthermore, the total personnel losses in the two were 2 KIA and 10 WIA, or 0.79 percent (0.26 percent per day) of the 1,513 man strength of the units. Engineer troops totaled 4,457, losses were 6 KIA and 48 WIA, or 1.21 percent (0.40 percent per day).

And now to dig further into the British (or in this case, Commonwealth) casualties. The heaviest hit - in terms of whole percentages - was 2 Canadian Infantry Division. On 18 July 2 Canadian Division had a succesful day, partly clearing Louvigny, west of the Orne, and successfully bridging the Orne at two locations at Caen by 1200 on 19 July. The division suffered moderate losses of 21 KIA, 43 WIA, 3 MIA - mostly in 4 and 5 Brigade. There were an additional 43 KIA and 75 WIA suffered by the Royal Regiment of Canada in the two-day battle for Louvigny, which was not cleared until late in the morning of 19 July. Operations to cross the Orne at Caen and clear the western edge of Vaucelles cost the division an additional 39 KIA, 136 WIA, and 3 MIA on 19 July. In the first two days of the battle the inexperienced division, with minimal armor support, had achieved most of it's objectives for a loss of 363 casualties. Based on a divisional strength of roughly 17,000, that equates to about one percent per day, an unremarkable rate of attrition for a division. Even the hardest hit battalion, the Royal Regiment of Canada at Louvigny, only suffered a loss of 7.05 percent per day, less than the 9.50 percent per day norm found for battalions in World War II.

However, the picture changed on the last two days of the battle. On 20 July the reserve 6 Infantry Brigade was brought up to continue the attack south towards the tiny village of Verrieres, perched on a 88 meter height just west of the Falaise Road. The advance of 6 Brigade was up an open, gentle rise and was exposed to observation and flanking fire from Hill 112, west of the Orne, and to the German positions in Verrieres itself. To make matters worse, shortly after the attack kicked off in the afternoon, a torrential rain began. The fields were quickly reduced to quagmires, limiting vehicular movement to the hard-surfaced roads. As a result, when the Germans counterattacked from Verrieres with an estimated four tanks (which may have been Panthers since they retained some mobility off road) the leading battalion (South Saskatchewan Regiment) was unable to get AT or tank support forward and was quickly overwhelmed. The brigade reserve, the Essex Scottish was overrun in turn when it tried to recover the position. Significantly perhaps, it was only at this time that 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade was placed under command of 2 Canadian Division. The losses on 20 July were 98 KIA, 294 WIA, 50 MIA, exceeding the combined casualties of the previous two days. On the morning of 21 July, with the heavy rain still falling, the Germans continued their armored attack, inflicting heavy casualties again on the Essex Scottish and on the Camerons of Canada and the 27 Armoured Regiment at St. Andre. In the evening the division counterattacked, supported by 6 and 27 Armoured Regiments of 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade. Losses for the day were 78 KIA, 260 WIA, and 143 MIA, another very intense day of combat. These two days did tremendous damage to the infantry of the division. The Essex Scottish had only lost 11 men on 18 and 19 July. But, on 20 and 21 July, 318 men were lost or 19.09 percent per day. The South Saskatchewans, which had only lost one man earlier, lost 201 on 20 and 21 July or 12.06 percent per day. Overall, the division lost an average of 2.71 percent per day on 20 and 21 July, over two-and-one-half times the rate of 18 and 19 July.

Meanwhile, 3 Canadian Division attacked on the right flank of 8 Corps, attempting to seize the Columbelles steel factory complex on the east bank of the Orne, and then drive south towards Vaucelles. The division paid heavily for it's success, losing 60 KIA, 234 WIA, 9 MIA on 18 July, a loss of about 1.8 percent, significantly higher than the divisional norm of 1.0 percent. However, once Columbelles was captured the advance went well. Vaucelles was seized against light resistance on 19 July and only 7 KIA, 35 WIA, and 7 MIA were lost. On 20 July the division was lightly engaged in mopping up and occupying the positions seized by 11 Armoured Division, and suffered only 6 KIA and 20 WIA. It was more heavily engaged on 21 July - mostly by intense German shelling - and suffered 17 KIA, 84 WIA, and 11 MIA.

On 19 and 20 July it appears (my source, The Victory Campaign, is hazy on the actions of 10 Armoured Regiment) that 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade supported the attack of 3 Canadian Division on Columbelles with the 6 Armoured Regiment (1 Hussars), holding the 10 Armoured Regiment (Fort Garry Horse) in reserve, while the attack by 2 Canadian Division on Louvigny was supported by 27 Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers). The armor units lost 7 KIA and 32 WIA, 10 tanks knocked out and 1 damaged on 18 July. After Louvigny was secured on 19 July, it appears that 27 Armoured crossed to the east side of the Orne, supporting attacks on Fleury and St. Andre. The rest of 2 Brigade supported mopping up operations in Vaucelles and Ifs. The operations on 19 July cost 1 KIA and 3 WIA, only 2 tanks were knocked out, although 10 were damaged. On 20 July, when the German counterattack so roughly handled 2 Canadian Division, 27 Armoured remained defending St. Andre, while the rest of the brigade remained in the 3 Division sector east of the Falaise Road. The brigade suffered 3 KIA and 3 WIA to German shelling, while apparently losing no tanks. On 21 July the brigade, finally attached to 2 Division, counterattacked to stabilize the division front, losing 5 KIA and 12 WIA, 17 tanks knocked out and 7 damaged.

Overall, it does not appear that the Canadian losses can be attributed to a lack of armor support or to inadequate tanks. Rather, it appears that the heavy losses on 20 and 21 July were more attributable to poor decision making. The 6 Brigade attack was executed without armor support, even though the supporting armor was close at hand, available, and unengaged. Failing to attach 2 Armoured Brigade to 2 Division on the morning of 20 July when the attack to Verrieres was ordered is inexplicable. The apparent failure of the division commander to request armored support for an advance up the open gentle slope of Verrieriers Ridge is equally inexplicable. Also, the fact that the AT guns of the South Saskatchewan's were overrun while trying to move up can only partly be attributed to bad luck. Trying to move forward the vulnerable guns and prime movers in poor visibility, in the face of the enemy was simply asking for trouble. So, would the presence of Churchills have made any difference? It's doubtful, since no tank has value in combat unless it's where it can actually particpate in the combat.

Organization
8 Corps (64,448 men: 255 KIA, 922 WIA, 59 MIA = 1,236; frm 8 Corps rpts 1,357 cas)
11 AD (14,389 men: 159 KIA, 531 WIA, 55 MIA = 745; frm 8 Corps rpts 930 cas)
29 Arm Bde (Start 214, End 132, KO 140, DMG 30) (2,826 men; 67 KIA, 189 WIA, 33 MIA)
159 Inf Bde (2,599 men; 55 KIA, 261 WIA, 6 MIA)
2 N.Yeo. Recce Rgt (Start 72, End 46, KO 32, DMG 5) (662 men; 14 KIA, 26 WIA, 10 MIA)
Other (19 KIA, 50 WIA, 1 MIA)
Inns of Court AC Rgt (782 men; 1 KIA, 5 MIA)
22 Dgns (Sherman Crab) & 26 Asslt Sqn RE (att frm 79 AD) (705 men; 3 KIA, 5 WIA)
7 AD (15,183 men: 39 KIA, 154 WIA, 2 MIA = 195; frm 8 Corps rpts 154 cas)
22 Arm Bde (Start 216, End 199, KO 15, DMG 33) (22 KIA, 89 WIA, 2 MIA)
131 Inf Bde (5 KIA, 31 WIA)
8 Huss. Recce Rgt (Start 72 )

Well here is where my disk failed and corrupted the data.

101st SS Pz Bn (~ 500 men: start 1 Tiger I? End 6 Tiger I, KO&DMG 0?)
272nd ID (~12,700 men: losses 11-20 July; 44 KIA, 131 WIA, 153 MIA, July; 242 KIA, 951 WIA, 982 MIA)
16th LW FD (Start 2? StGIII)
(~ 9,300 men: losses 11-20 July; 51 WIA, 8 MIA, July; 368 KIA, 759 WIA, 2,496 MIA)
7th Werfer Bde (110 werfer on 1 July)
(~3,700 men: losses July; 58 KIA, 204 WIA, 25 MIA)
101st SS Art Bn (~500 men: 4 21cm, 6 17cm)
LXXXVI AK (-) (~24,750 men)
346th ID (Start 8 StGIII & 6 Marder? End 8 StGIII & 6 Marder? KO&DMG 0?)
(~[1/2 7,500] = 3,750 men: losses 11-20 July; 121 KIA, 531 WIA, 219 MIA, July; 152 KIA, 627 WIA, 192 MIA)
21st PzD (Start 50 PzIV, end 22 PzIV, KO&DMG 28, 16 Pak40 SP, 24 10.5cmStG)
(~12,900 men: losses 11-20 July; 162 KIA, 394 WIA, 832 MIA, July; 239 KIA, 714 WIA, 996 MIA)
503rd Pz Bn (~500 men: start 39 Tiger, End 20 Tiger, KO&DMG 17)
9th Werfer Bde (~120 werfer, 47 lost 18-21 July)
(~3,700 men: losses July; 46 KIA, 153 WIA, 163 MIA)
1039th PzJg Bn (~400 men: 27 Pak 43/41 8.8cm, 12 lost 18-21 July)
1053rd PzJg Bn (~300 men: 16 Pak 40, 13 lost 18-21 July)
Art Rgt Staff Autun (ARKO 118?) (Losses July: 39 KIA, 96 WIA)
555th Art Bn (~400 men: 12 12.2cm how)
763rd Art Bn (~400 men: 9 17cm)
1151st Art Bn (-) (~300 men: 8 12.2cm how)
1193rd Art Bn (~400 men: 12 14.9cm how)
625th Art Bty (~200 men: 3 17cm)
III Flak Korps (~1,500 men)
11700th FlakKG (8-12 8.8cm)
12400th FlakKG (8-12 8.8cm)
13399th FlakKG (8-12 8.8cm)
Strength ~79,750 men
~325 tanks, assault guns, SP AT
Losses (personnel losses for 11-20 July)
~6,500 men (8.15%)
(Note: 8 Brit Corps rpt 1,628 EPW, all PW rpt 2,827 for period)
~86 tanks, assault guns, SP AT (26.5%)


GOODWOOD planning:

1000 hrs 13 July Dempsey meets with O'Connor (8 Corps), Crocker (1 Corps), and Simonds (2 Cdn. Corps). At that time 59 ID withdrawn from 8 Corps and 7 AD substituted. Reason was Monty's instruction of 10 July to Dempsey and Bradley:

"Second Army will retain the ability to operate with a strong armoured force east of the River Orne in the general area between Caen and Falaise,
For this purpose a corps of three armoured divisions will be held in reserve, ready to be employed when ordered by me.
The opportunity for the employment of this corps may be sudden and fleeting. Therefore the study of the problems arising will begin at once."

Following was a second conference on the morning of 14 July at Creully. Then on the morning of 15 July Dempsey visited O'Connor and delivered to him a copy of Monty's:

"Notes on Second Army Operations
16th July-18th July

1. Object of this operation.
To engage the German armour in battle and 'write it down' to such an extent that it is of no further value to the Germans as a basis of the battle.
To gain a good bridgehead over the River Orne through Caen, and thus improve our positions on the eastern flank.
Generally to destroy German equipment and personnel.
2. Affect of this operation on Allied policy.
We require the whole of the Cherbourg and Brittany peninsulas.
A victory on the eastern flank will help us to gain what we want on the western flank.
But the eastern flank is a bastion on which the whole future of the campaign in North West Europe depends; it must remain a firm bastion; if it became unsatble the operations on the western flank would cease.
Therefore, while taking advantage of every opportunity to destroy the enemy, we must be very careful to maintain our own balance and ensure a firm base.
3. The enemy.
There are a lot of enemy divisions in the area south-east of Caen:
21 Panzer Division 16 GAF Field Division
1 SS Panzer Division 272 Infantry Division
12 SS Panzer Division
Another one [116 Panzer Division] is coming and will be here this week-end.
4. Operations of 12 Corps and Canadian Corps - 16th and 17th July.
Advantage must be taken of these to make the Germans think we are going to break out across the Orne between Caen and Amaye.
5. Initial Operations 8 Corps.
The three armoured divisions will be required to dominate the area Bourgebus-Vimont-Bretteville, and to fight and destroy the enemy.
But armoured cars should push far to the south towards Falaise, and spread alarm and dsepondency, and discover 'the form.'
6. 2 Canadian Corps.
While para 5 is going on, the Canadians must capture Vaucelles, get through communications and establish themselves in a very firm bridgehead on the general line Fleury-Cormelles-Mondeville.
7. Later Operations 8 Corps.
When 6 is done, then 8 Corps can 'crack about' as the situation demands.
But not before 6 is done.
8. To sum up for 8 Corps.
Para 5.
Para 7.
Finally.
Para 6 is vital.

B.L. Montgomery
15-7-44

At 0300 hours 16 July the 8 Corps Operations instruction was issued. The intention laid down in the instruction was:

"On 18th July, 8 Corps will debouch from the existing bridgehead east of the River Orne with a view to:
(a) Dominating the area Bourgebus-Vimont-Bretteville-sur-Laize.
(b) Destroying any enemy armour or other forces encountered en route to this area.
(c) If conditions are favourable, subsequently exploiting to the south."

On 17 July Dempsey issued the following summary to all of his corps commanders:

"Second Army Operations
Commencing on 18th July

West of the Orne.
1. 12 Corps will hold the whole of the commanding ground on the general line Evrecy-Esquay-Eterville. They will establish a force on the spur south-east of Evrecy and develop a strong threat on the axis Evrecy-Amaye.
They will do all they can to lead the enemy to believe that Second Army intends to cross the River Orne on their front.
2. 30 Corps will improve their positions on the front Vendes-Noyers-Missy, and operate with light forces in the direction of Villers Bocage. Their operations will be designed to draw enemy reserves into the thick country on their front and to contain them there.
East of the Orne.
3. 1 Corps will establish 3 Division in the area Bivres-Traorn-St.Pair-Emieville-Touuffreville, and will hold this area against enemy attack from east and south-east.
1 Corps will also occupy and hold the villages of Cuverville and Demouville.
Patrolling and exploitation will be carried out to the east and north-east of 3 Division area, but main bodies will not be moved from this area without reference to me.
4. 8 Corps will establish armoured divisions in the areas:
(a) Vimont
(b) Garcelles-Secqueville
(c) Hubert-Folie-Verrieres.
The task of these three divisions will be to get their main bodies so establsihed that there can be no enemy penetration through the ring, to destroy all enemy troop concentrations and installations in the area; to defeat enemy armour which may be brought against them.
Vigorous patrolling and exploitation will be carried out to the east and south-east to the line of the Dives-to the south in the direction of Falaise-to the south-west as far as the River Orne at Thury Harcourt.
Main bodies of the three divisions will not be moved from areas (a), (b) and (c) without reference to me.
5. 2 Canadian Corps will capture and hold Vaucelles and Gibreville with one division and build bridges over River Orne at Caen. This is a vital part of the whole Army operations.
They will be prepared, on instructions from me, to advance their front to the line Fleury-Cormelles and may start to employ another division for this task.
Their operation of expanding the Caen bridgehead will include a junction of their forces east and west of the River Orne on the line Eterville-Fleury.

M.C. Dempsey,
Lieutenant-General,
Commander, Second Army
17th July, 44"


And this on the 'massive' Goodwood losses:

"361 tanks lost seems like rather a lot to me though! Reminds of the Western Desert given the proportion to German losses.


Well only something like 146 were write offs, the rest were recovered and likely eventually repaired. OTOH virtually all of the German armor loss was irrecoverable and they were receiving few replacements for them. So proportianately it was a near disaster for the Germans in terms of men and equipment."

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Post by Andreas » 12 Jul 2005 22:22

Michael

Thanks for this -the numbers in the first post by Rich are quite interesting, since they almost allow a direct comparison between German claims and Allied write-offs. German claims to 8 July 537 - Allied write-offs in June 377, in July 522. That would mean that the German claims are actually not as far off as I would have thought. Interesting.

BTW - what is the story with the 834 August write-offs for the British? Is it certain that not a lot of July losses were initially qualified as recoverable, but then written off after the break-out? If that were the case it may affect the GOODWOOD picture (see below).

Michael Kenny wrote:And this on the 'massive' Goodwood losses:

"361 tanks lost seems like rather a lot to me though! Reminds of the Western Desert given the proportion to German losses.


Well only something like 146 were write offs, the rest were recovered and likely eventually repaired. OTOH virtually all of the German armor loss was irrecoverable and they were receiving few replacements for them. So proportianately it was a near disaster for the Germans in terms of men and equipment."


146 total write-offs plus another 215 in long-term repair (of which a number may later have been written off?) in a 2-day operation are massive losses by anyone's standard, there is no need to put this into inverted commas in my view.

I also do not agree that it was a near desaster proportionally for the Germans, since it needed another 4-division operation, some great inventiveness and three more weeks to turn them out of their position along the Route Nationale, and operation SPRING to clear the flanks, IIUC, which was also a costly bit of, err, fun.

Clearly the Germans could not afford to lose a single tank, while the Allies could afford their losses, but it appears to me you are trying to downplay what a FUBAR GOODWOOD really was. Clearly there is a myth about GOODWOOD created by the Germans, but it can not be corrected by the creation of another myth, namely that somehow these losses did not matter, or that it was a loss for the Germans. It is a bit difficult to try and understand Rich's post without the context, and I am not in the habit of reading Feldgrau.

I'll deal with the rest of your post next week when I am back from Italy.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Michael Kenny » 12 Jul 2005 22:38

Quote:

"146 total write-offs plus another 215 in long-term repair (of which a number may later have been written off?) in a 2-day operation are massive losses by anyone's standard, there is no need to put this into inverted commas in my view."


No what I mean to get at is the way German losses are calculated. It is a point of honour that any RECOVERED German tank-no matter if it is never repaired-is not counted as an Allied kill. By applying the same reasoning to the Goodwood losses then a recovered Allied tank is not a 'kill'

Quote:

"(e.g. for the Tigers of sSSpzAbt 101 the number requiring repair was 8 (17.8% of available tanks) on 1st June, and 7 (or 25% of available tanks) on 8 July (when an additional 2, not included in the table were written off). "


Do you not see the pattern? It would be strongly argued by many that the 2 Tigers 'written off' can not be said to be kills.
As many Allied tanks were recovered and thus only damaged then like for like comparison would include all DAMAGED German tanks.
I merely want the ground rules set before we get on to calculations!

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Post by Andreas » 13 Jul 2005 08:14

Michael Kenny wrote:Quote:

"146 total write-offs plus another 215 in long-term repair (of which a number may later have been written off?) in a 2-day operation are massive losses by anyone's standard, there is no need to put this into inverted commas in my view."


No what I mean to get at is the way German losses are calculated. It is a point of honour that any RECOVERED German tank-no matter if it is never repaired-is not counted as an Allied kill. By applying the same reasoning to the Goodwood losses then a recovered Allied tank is not a 'kill'

Quote:

"(e.g. for the Tigers of sSSpzAbt 101 the number requiring repair was 8 (17.8% of available tanks) on 1st June, and 7 (or 25% of available tanks) on 8 July (when an additional 2, not included in the table were written off). "


Do you not see the pattern? It would be strongly argued by many that the 2 Tigers 'written off' can not be said to be kills.
As many Allied tanks were recovered and thus only damaged then like for like comparison would include all DAMAGED German tanks.
I merely want the ground rules set before we get on to calculations!


Michael

I am not sure there is a good way to calculate these things. Clearly just looking at total write-offs (TWOs) is understating the matter, certainly for the Germans, who then lost tanks in repair workshops to Allied advances, and probably for the Allies, if my suspicion that many of the 834 TWOs in August were long-term repair cases from earlier is correct.

My point was that even if we use a calculation that is clearly favourable to the Germans (only TWOs, accept their claims), the nonsense of 'the allies lost 4-5 tanks for every Tiger/Panther they killed' is exposed for this period. They probably lost somewhere around 2:1 for these heavy tanks alone (not all German tanks would have fallen prey to allied tanks), and in tank vs. tank combat the loss figure was probably somewhere between 1.5:1 and 1:1.

I think we are in quite some agreement on the matter Michael, and my idea is not to calculate loss ratios that could stand up to scientific examination, but ones that tell a reasonable story. 4 Shermans for 1 Panther is not a reasonable story, in this period.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by RichTO90 » 13 Jul 2005 14:26

Michael Kenny wrote:Quote:

"146 total write-offs plus another 215 in long-term repair (of which a number may later have been written off?) in a 2-day operation are massive losses by anyone's standard, there is no need to put this into inverted commas in my view."


Thanks Michael for saving me some time. :)

Andreas wrote:I am not sure there is a good way to calculate these things.


Exactly.

Andreas wrote: Clearly just looking at total write-offs (TWOs) is understating the matter, certainly for the Germans, who then lost tanks in repair workshops to Allied advances, and probably for the Allies, if my suspicion that many of the 834 TWOs in August were long-term repair cases from earlier is correct.
Andreas


Andreas, that is an assumption put forward by Niklas Zetterling based upon the apparent "inconsistancy" in the monthly numbers. However, I am actually beginning to suspect that the real "inconsistancy" is in the way people compartmentalize the Normandy Campaign as "Beachs = June", "Hedgerows = July" and "Breakout and Pursuit = August". I would question if the trevails of 4 Canadian Armoured Division and the Polish Armoured Division in Tractable and Totalize could be characterized as "breakout and pursuit" and the same for the operations of the US 2nd and 3rd AD in the first week of August (note that the US figures are similarly "inconsistant." After my last trip to the PRO I had hoped to be in a better position to answer these questions, but unfortunately although I was able to locate and copy the AFV Daily States for June and July only thos of the FDS appear to be extant for August (which means another trip someyear to go through the brigade reports). Overall I think it is safer to assume that the monthly totals reported for the Allies are just what they appear to be, albeit with minor overlaps at the beginning and end of the month.

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Post by Andreas » 18 Jul 2005 20:27

Hi Rich

I was hoping you would weigh in. I am not quite sure I understand you correctly - what you are saying is that in your view the British managed to accumulate 834 TWOs from combat action (give or take a few) in August?

Even allowing for FUBARs like Worthington Force that seems high to me, but you are the person who went to the archives, so you clearly have an edge on me in terms of back-up for your opinion. My hypothesis would have been that with the rapid moving away of the frontlines, and the need to move the logistical operation, a lot of the heavily damaged by repairable long-term repair cases were moved to TWO status, since it would have been easier to ship a new tank than to repair the old one. But I have zero evidence other than 'that's what I would have done', to back this up.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 26 Aug 2005 03:36

And something tht is missing here - tank crew losses.

The Allies could and did have large stocks of tanks to replace what was being destroyed or damaged and they had the necessary crews to use them. The Germans suffered shortages of vehicles and fuel to train their replacement crews (as well as problems producing the vehicles and maintaining them in the field - losses due to mechanical failure when retiring were very high). The Germans tank crews were a wasting resource.

(Unfortunately I don't have the figures to back me up on this but it is evident anecdotally in the various histories)

Edward

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Post by RichTO90 » 29 Aug 2005 15:10

Andreas wrote:Hi Rich

I was hoping you would weigh in. I am not quite sure I understand you correctly - what you are saying is that in your view the British managed to accumulate 834 TWOs from combat action (give or take a few) in August?


Sorry for being so late replying to this Andreas, I missed it somehow.

What I am saying is that neither answer is truly satisfactory. The best evidence is that write offs were done fairly quickly, although like air force "hanger queens" many were still utilized for parts after write off. But it is a little odd that losses in August were so high. Sadly though I have not found time to compare the actual reported daily losses for June and July to those cummulative monthly reports, nor have I been able to locate the August daily reports except for the FDS. As soon as I can get to it I will post the results of my research here.

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Post by Andreas » 29 Aug 2005 15:22

edward_n_kelly wrote:And something tht is missing here - tank crew losses.


For the Germans this should not have been much of a concern, since I believe they received only very little by way of replacement tanks during the battle for Normandy, so losing tank crew members in destroyed tanks would not have an effect on the battle, since they would not be required to crew a replacement tank.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Andreas » 29 Aug 2005 15:23

RichTO90 wrote:Sorry for being so late replying to this Andreas, I missed it somehow.


Hi Rich

It is not a problem, and there is no urgency. Anything you can come up with over time would be interesting.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 30 Aug 2005 03:20

Andreas wrote:
edward_n_kelly wrote:And something tht is missing here - tank crew losses.


For the Germans this should not have been much of a concern, since I believe they received only very little by way of replacement tanks during the battle for Normandy, so losing tank crew members in destroyed tanks would not have an effect on the battle, since they would not be required to crew a replacement tank.

All the best

Andreas



Are you saying that they received NO vehicle replacements for the period from D-Day to around mid-SEP45 (when the pursuit was in full swing) ? That is, a complete breakdown of the German logistics and administration systems in Normandy? I suggest you read some tomes as van Creveld's Supplying War and Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present by John A. Lynn (Editor).

German logistics and personnel movement while hampered by Allied airpower (and that was mainly its effect on the rail system) still managed to keep their forces supplied. It was a wasting effort as they could not procure (produce) nor feed forward sufficient to make up for expenditure or wastage (casualties) - that is the reason that the Allies won the war of attrition that is called the Normandy Campaign.

Then we have the longer term effect. Similar to the fall of the Luftwaffe (they produced enough aircraft and generally very good ones at that) but they could not train them to allow them to survive, so it went with any of the specialised crews in the army.

Edward

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Post by JonS » 30 Aug 2005 04:38

AIUI, not many replacement tanks made it to Normandy. Certainly far less than the number that could be manned from the crews of tanks KOd earlier. So, the pool of tank crews was larger than the pool of tanks for them to man. So, there was no (major) shortage of tank crews.

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Post by Andreas » 30 Aug 2005 06:56

edward_n_kelly wrote:Are you saying that they received NO vehicle replacements for the period from D-Day to around mid-SEP45 (when the pursuit was in full swing) ? That is, a complete breakdown of the German logistics and administration systems in Normandy? I suggest you read some tomes as van Creveld's Supplying War and Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present by John A. Lynn (Editor).


And I suggest you read what I wrote instead of making up random stuff.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by RichTO90 » 30 Aug 2005 15:07

edward_n_kelly wrote:Are you saying that they received NO vehicle replacements for the period from D-Day to around mid-SEP45 (when the pursuit was in full swing) ?


Not no replacements, but certainly few were sent and fewer yet received. Totals received in June, with most received by units prior to the invasion (so technically not replacements) were:

PzIV 121 of which at least 82 were to unit TE, i.e., 39 were "replacements"
PzV 256 of which at least 64 were to unit TE, i.e., 192 were "replacements"
Tiger 48, all assigned to unit TE

So approxiamately 231 replacements. But in the same period losses were reported as:

PzIV (all types) 125, shortfall of 86
PzV 80, surplus of 112
Tiger 19, shortfall of 19
27 StuG, shortfall 27
0 StuH
0 PzJgIV
0 PzJgV

In July the situation became worse.

31 PzIV received, 149 lost, shortfall of 204
83 PzV received, 125 lost, surplus of 70
42 Tiger received, 14 lost, surplus of 9
56 StuG received, 68 lost, shortfall of 39
9 StuH received, 0 lost, surplus of 9
21 PzJgIV received, 0 lost, surplus of 21
0 PzJgV

And in August worse still.

11 PzIV received, 49 lost, shortfall of 242
0 PzV received, 41 lost, surplus of 39
14 Tiger received, 15 lost, surplus of 8
59 StuG received, 98 lost, shortfall of 78
0 StuH received, 0 lost, surplus of 9
24 PzJgIV received, 0 lost, surplus of 45
12 PzJgV received, 0 lost, surplus of 12

And of course the losses in August were grossly undercounted, with most of the loss being counted in September. Further, many of those "received" did not actually appear at the front, for instance it appears that none of the 45 PzJgIV sent were engaged before about 18 August.

Hope that helps.

Rich

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