too conservative in counting the deaths
Define deaths. KIA is not a "death" but is defined as a battle fallen before evacuation and part of "bloody casualties". Death can be anything from accident, fatality, frozen, executed, starved to died of wounds etc. Contrary to popular belief KIAs lower during city fighting. Urban warfare favours the invader (if he enjoys superior firepower), causes a delay during operations and opens up a possibility of isolation (which occured).The encirclement is the reason for the high attrition rate the Wehrmacht sustained. Stalingrad was edged into peoples heads as this legendary battle, the fame notwithstanding. The Romanians and Italians suffered a terrible fate during Case Blue.
German KIA rose on the other hand steadily at the end of the war. The number of deaths in the Wehrmacht was disproportionally high during the Stalingrad operation (due to the cauldron and also certainly due to Rzhev-Sychevka in that particular quarter), but some of the claims are almost absurd. The vicinity of Stalingrad is actually more important than the city fighting itself. 100,000 KIA inside the city centre is therefore highly unlikely. KIA are usually 19-21% of total casualties (KIA+WIA+MIA), this would mean that the Wehrmacht would have sustained 500,000 casualties during this period, it would therefore surpass German casualties for the entire operation.
In total there might have been that many deaths during the operation if you sum up all axis nations losses, but that would not be exclusively tied to the city.
In any way you will not be able to establish an exact overview, because reports are unreliable under such circumstances, so in order to assess the total casualties you might look at the fatalities with Nachmeldungen (late registrations). Up to mid 1943 we can assume that most of them were indeed registered (due to a lull after the 3rd Kharkov) even though certain units were completely annihilated.
date, Accumulated monthly losses, total accumulated, difference
Nov. 1942 1.851.853, 1.893.447, 41.594
Dez. 1942 1.937.922, 2.008.023, 70.101
Jan. 1943 2.021.394, 2.095.461, 74.067
Feb. 1943 2.113.561, 2.371.119, 257.558
März 1943 2.237.656, 2.504.128, 266.472
April 1943 2.274.171, 2.553.579, 279.408
Mai 1943 2.317.272, 2.627.229, 309.957
Juni 1943 2.354.916, 2.666.870, 311.954
and from Overmans, Rüdiger: Das andere Gesicht des Krieges: Leben und Sterben der 6. Armee, in: Förster, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Stalingrad, München: Piper 1992, S. 419-455, hier S. 444.
, most of the remaining 170,000 of 6th Army are reported as casualties. That is then KIA plus to this have to be added MIA rates and all sorts of possible "deaths".
50,000 KIA is merely the number until reporting gets cut off. From there on one can only extrapolate and make assumptions.
So this means:
in total, this leaves 270,000 as total potential deaths since most MIAs are going to be a bloody casualty or a PoW one way or another.
There are two options to clear a pocket: If time is against you a quick liquidation is preferrable, but during the Winter, time was on the Soviets side, hence the number of wounded will be naturally lower and DOW can be expected to be greater. Most wounded will turn into MIA.
My assumption is that a substantial amount of men succumbed to their wounds and were left to die, which leaves my calculation for possible KIA inside
the city (and its immediate surroundings if you want), based on the 6th Army diary for the city fighting losses for the earlier period (2 months) and all possible KIA of the remaining forces if we assume that battle intensity remained the same
(this is the problem with this calculation):
2,507 + 1,329 + 6,870 + 37,486 = 48,192.
Now, not all men are going to be capable of fighting and the men who went missing before ending up in the Kessel were most likely dead.
(lets assume that all are potentially casualties and all of them fight to the death, which leaves our total manpower pool also as a total casualty figure)Calculations based on the nature of the EF yield:
32,000 perished due to their wounds during winter attrition. The Winter of 41-42 was assevere in relation to "Tote" and "Gefallene", which was a result of the poor preparation for the harsh conditions, so historically speaking the difference between killed and dead was 54 percent, which enables us to use such a modifier for our calculation (for 42/43).
Then a number of 95,000 would make much more sense considering that we are speaking about an encirclement.
Note that the majority of MIA would be dead, thus 89,000 men could be potentially capable of putting up a fight, resulting in 18,683 KIA.
Which then means that the Germans possibly suffered 29,389 KIA
inside the city (and its surroundings) up until anyone could have been potentially captured.
The average exchange rate for the entire front was approx. 4.7 (actually it was over 6 for the 4th quarter of 42, but German combat power shrunk), now KIA * ER = 138,128 if we compare this with the irrecoverable losses presented in Grif Sekretnosti Sniat
for the Stalingrad Front in the period of 19 November to 31 December (including Volga flotillas and such) of 108,520 this makes absolutely sense. The difference in losses can be perfectly explained by the lack of data for January 1943.
Now we only need to know how many prisoners the Soviets took after the 12th January and we can say something about fatalities.