Red Army casualties and performance

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
paulmacg
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 24 Sep 2005 19:45
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by paulmacg » 11 May 2006 20:24

According to Glantz (When Titans Clashed pg. 214-215) concerning Bagration and subsequent operations:
The destruction of 30 German divisions and the carnage wrought in a host of surviving divisions, accompanied by a Soviet mechanized advance in excess of 300 kilometers, had decimated Army Group Center, the strongest German army group, severely shaken Army Group South Ukraine, and brought the Red Army to the borders of the Reich.

German manpower losses during the two months were staggering. Army Group Center lost almost 450,000 men and its strength fell from 888,000 to 445,000, despite reinforcement from the flanks. Another 100,000 fell elsewhere.

The strategic success of Bagration did not come without cost for the Soviets. Of the 2,331,000 troops engaged in the Belorussian and Lublin-Brest operations, 178,507 were killed or missing and 587,308 were wounded. In addition, 2957 tanks and self-propelled guns, as well as 2,447 guns and mortars were lost in combat or for logistical reasons. Soviet casualties in the L'vov-Sandomierz operation totaled 65,001 killed or missing and 224,295 wounded, and meant the loss of another 1,269 tanks and self-propelled guns and 1,832 guns and mortars.
I'm not sure how to analyze this data, but one approach would be to look at irrevocable losses in terms of manpower permanently lost to the respective armed forces. Of course, this would be difficult to do accurately and would depend on several factors, but I would hazard to say that the outcome of this one could very easily be interpreted as MUCH more favourable to the Red Army than the outcome of, say, the Moscow counteroffensive.

Cheers

Paul

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 11 May 2006 20:41

Hello Paul

I don't there is any doubt that Bagration was vastly more favorable to the Red Army than the Moscow counteroffensive in every conceivable sense, except in the article of own losses, which were roughly twice as high in Bagration as during the Moscow offensive. Here however it must be borne in mind that Moscow lasted for roughly one month, while Bagration as commonly defined lasted for more than two. Hence, the intensity is roughly similar, as was the scope. The operational results were clearly more dramatic, and the cost to the Germans much, much higher.

cheers

ATH
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: 25 Mar 2006 21:40
Location: Canada

Post by ATH » 12 May 2006 07:46

How much of those casualties and tank losses could be attributed to the soviets' lack of a sufficient number of APC up to the very end of the war?

The Germans and Americans had their APC and found them very useful. It allowed them to have a much better cooperation between tanks and infantry.
The Soviet motorized infantry either came into the battle on top of tanks (or in trucks) which makes them particularly vulnerable, either they disembarked early, were quickly victims of enemy fire and inevitably fell behind the tanks and so were unable to accomplish their goals of protecting and supporting the tanks from enemy infantry and artillery. It's a pretty significant deficiency that lead to higher losses.

paulmacg
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 24 Sep 2005 19:45
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by paulmacg » 12 May 2006 16:02

ATH wrote:How much of those casualties and tank losses could be attributed to the soviets' lack of a sufficient number of APC up to the very end of the war?

The Germans and Americans had their APC and found them very useful. It allowed them to have a much better cooperation between tanks and infantry.
The Soviet motorized infantry either came into the battle on top of tanks (or in trucks) which makes them particularly vulnerable, either they disembarked early, were quickly victims of enemy fire and inevitably fell behind the tanks and so were unable to accomplish their goals of protecting and supporting the tanks from enemy infantry and artillery. It's a pretty significant deficiency that lead to higher losses.
I don't have any numbers, but Glantz does mention that submachine squads and infantry riding on tanks were "amongst the hardest hit". Tactics borne out of necessity tend to be costly and I have no problem imaging these exploitation units suffering heavy casualties. Undoubtedly, if the Soviets had had the means to transport infantry separately in even lightly armoured vehicles they would have taken fewer losses at the tactical level.

However, the Germans never had a surplus of APCs and, IIRC, usually only had enough to equip a few companies or, in a few isolated cases, as much as a battalion with them. On the tactical level there is little doubt that these units were effective and durable, but they were never numerous and I doubt that, on the strategic level, losses were effected to any great degree.
I don't think there is any doubt that Bagration was vastly more favorable to the Red Army than the Moscow counteroffensive in every conceivable sense, except in the article of own losses, which were roughly twice as high in Bagration as during the Moscow offensive. Here however it must be borne in mind that Moscow lasted for roughly one month, while Bagration as commonly defined lasted for more than two. Hence, the intensity is roughly similar, as was the scope. The operational results were clearly more dramatic, and the cost to the Germans much, much higher.
The Moscow counteroffensive and Bagration differed enormously in terms of troops committed by a factor of more than two.

Moscow Offensive (5 Dec.-7 Jan. 42) 658,279 lost from 1,021,700 strength (139,586 KIA or missing and 231,369 wounded)
Belorussian Offensive (23 June-29. Aug. 44) 770,888 lost from 2,441,600 strength (180,040 KIA or missing and 590,848 wounded)

Interestingly, the numbers for KIA and missing work out to about half (appr. 80,000 per month) while the numbers of wounded remain roughly proportionate (appr. 250,000 per month). Of course, Bagration represents a much larger commitment of forces both in terms of men and materiel and accordingly, tank, gun and aircraft losses are much higher. This reflects the nature of the Red Army in 1944.

Taking into account the respective lengths of the two offensives, the number of troops committed, the amount of support available, the relative losses to both sides and strategic gains I can see almost no comparison between 1942 and 1944. The Red Army has clearly improved in virtually every aspect.

Still, this is not an entirely fair comparison to make. Perhaps a better one would be to choose a more comparable offensive from 1943. The Right Bank of the Ukraine Offensive (24 Dec. 43-17 April 44) for example. Out of a strength of some 2,406,100 men the Red Army suffered 1,109,528 casualties (270,198 KIA or missing and 839,330 wounded). That is approximately 255,000 casualties per month (roughly 65,000 KIA or missing and 200,000 wounded per month). Not to mention 4,666 AFVs, 7,532 guns and 676 aircraft.

The Orel Offensive, which in part took place during the Battle of Kursk, proved more costly. From a strength of 1,287,600, the Red Army lost some 429,890 men (112,529 KIA or missing and 317,361 wounded). This offensive, although successful, was costly beyond the ground gained or damage caused to the Wehrmacht.

Of course, other factors need to be taken into account in order to make a somewhat accurate comparison. German losses and strength being a good starting point.

The L'vov-Sandomierz Offensive is comparable in size to the Moscow Offensive. Here, between 13 July and 29 August 1944, the Red Army suffered 289,296 casualties (65,001 KIA or missing and 224,295 wounded) from a strength of just over a million men. Here, once again, KIAs are much lower while the number of wounded, although lower as well, is not substantially different.

The Iassy-Kishinev Operation, frequently held up as a masterpiece of deep battle, lasted 10 days from 20-29 Aug. and saw 67,130 casualties (13,197 KIA or missing and 53,933 wounded) from a strength of 1,314,200. even extrapolating for a full month, the Red Army would not have taken more than 200,000 casualties (perhaps 40,000 dead or missing and 160,000 wounded).

What I see in these numbers is a Red Army that is no longer suffering the costly military disasters of 1941 and 1942. Instead, casualties are taken more gradually in longer periods of sustained offensive action. The Wehrmacht is stopped short of the strategic depths at Kursk for a relatively small price, for example, instead of being able to roam freely as in Fall Blau. On the offensive, by 1944 the Red Army has settled into a relatively stable pattern of actions that become consistently less costly. MARS is forgotten and flashes of operational brilliance become more and more the norm.

In fact, numerical superiority is not the only factor in this transition. The Red Army enjoyed a vast numerical superiority in 1942, but squandered it in a series of hapless defensive battles, costly city fighting and brutal offensives. Even in 1943, the Soviets continued to waste lives in a manner that even their vast population could not sustain, but by comparison, that year saw the steady evolution of an army very much able to achieve its goals even if often paying a heavy price in doing so.

By early 1945, Soviet operations reach a point unimaginable in 1941 or 42. The Vistula-Oder Offensive, for example, saw only 194,191 casualties from a strength of 2,203,600 men during a one month period. Of those losses, only 43,476 men were KIA or MIA and 150,715 were wounded.

More costly fighting, such as Berlin or Budapest, of course took its toll, but in general these operations were not nearly as brutal as comparable offensives in 1943.

Cheers

Paul
Last edited by paulmacg on 12 May 2006 16:47, edited 1 time in total.

paulmacg
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 24 Sep 2005 19:45
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by paulmacg » 12 May 2006 16:42

Also, it occurs to me that Soviet operations in 1944 and 45 would have suffered from many of the same difficulties faced by the Wehrmacht in 1941 and 42. At least a few of these factors would have somewhat offset the Red Army's numerical superiority. I'm not sure at all to what degree, but it seems to me that there at least a distinct possibility that improvements made in the tactical arena could have been offest to a degree by the inevitable problems faced by an invading army moving farther and farther away from its industrial and population centres.

And, to a lesser extent, it seems important to me to look at the nature of the geography of Western Europe. Would it be important to consider the increasingly urban terrain facing the Soviet advance throughout 1944 and 45? Certainly costly urban fighting drained the Wehrmacht of a good part of its strength and produced a significant strain on manpower.

Cheers

Paul

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 12 May 2006 17:00

Hi Paul
The Moscow counteroffensive and Bagration differed enormously in terms of troops committed by a factor of more than two.

Moscow Offensive (5 Dec.-7 Jan. 42) 658,279 lost from 1,021,700 strength (139,586 KIA or missing and 231,369 wounded)
Belorussian Offensive (23 June-29. Aug. 44) 770,888 lost from 2,441,600 strength (180,040 KIA or missing and 590,848 wounded)
That is true. What I implied by "similar scope" was rather geographical - they were both large scale offensives more or less along the length of the central sector of the front.
Interestingly, the numbers for KIA and missing work out to about half (appr. 80,000 per month) while the numbers of wounded remain roughly proportionate (appr. 250,000 per month). Of course, Bagration represents a much larger commitment of forces both in terms of men and materiel and accordingly, tank, gun and aircraft losses are much higher. This reflects the nature of the Red Army in 1944.
Certainly. The high proportion of killed and missing in MOO is unusual for an offensive operation, though it was I believe a bit of a see-saw affair at times which may have led to not unsignificant numbers of captured. The Germans reported some 130,000 Red Army POWs taken in January and December.
Taking into account the respective lengths of the two offensives, the number of troops committed, the amount of support available, the relative losses to both sides and strategic gains I can see almost no comparison between 1942 and 1944. The Red Army has clearly improved in virtually every aspect.
I'm sorry, there you've lost me I'm afraid - what is the logic here? Not that I disagree with the conclusion, I just don't see how it comes about from these data (that goes also for the later operations listed).

The fact that Bagration was undertaken at a vastly better force relation both in men and far more in weapons than MOO, as well as under summer conditions, ought in itself to produce better results even if there had been no improvement in the performance of the troops.
What I see in these numbers is a Red Army that is no longer suffering the costly military disasters of 1941 and 1942. Instead, casualties are taken more gradually in longer periods of sustained offensive action. The Wehrmacht is stopped short of the strategic depths at Kursk for a relatively small price, for example, instead of being able to roam freely as in Fall Blau. On the offensive, by 1944 the Red Army has settled into a relatively stable pattern of actions that become consistently less costly. MARS is forgotten and flashes of operational brilliance become more and more the norm.
Well, casualties still seem to be incurred at fairly similar rates as before, the improvement in 2nd half 1944 notwithstanding - as is evident from the quarterly losses posted above.
In fact, numerical superiority is not the only factor in this transition. The Red Army enjoyed a vast numerical superiority in 1942, but squandered it in a series of hapless defensive battles, costly city fighting and brutal offensives. Even in 1943, the Soviets continued to waste lives in a manner that even their vast population could not sustain, but by comparison, that year saw the steady evolution of an army very much able to achieve its goals even if often paying a heavy price in doing so.
Generally agree.
By early 1945, Soviet operations reach a point unimaginable in 1941 or 42. The Vistula-Oder Offensive, for example, saw only 194,191 casualties from a strength of 2,203,600 men during a one month period. Of those losses, only 43,476 men were KIA or MIA and 150,715 were wounded.

More costly fighting, such as Berlin or Budapest, of course took its toll, but in general these operations were not nearly as brutal as comparable offensives in 1943.
In general, they do tend to rank lower yes, except in the article of tank losses. That being said, some of the late operations were also very costly by several measures.

cheers

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 12 May 2006 17:36

It would be a waste of time to engage you in any debate when it comes to numbers. Your mind has already been made up and in the end numbers tell only a part of the story.
Perhaps it seems that way to you because my views are derived from arguments and data, and hence I have some confidence in them. I have frequently adjusted my views when presented by good arguments or new data, neither of which has been forthcoming from you. Then again, perhaps it seems that way to you because you evidently prefer to choose your arguments and data to suit your views. Except of course that you don't have much in the way of either of them. Not that this seems to be much of an obstacle for you to have made your mind up.

User avatar
Kunikov
Member
Posts: 4455
Joined: 20 Jan 2004 19:23

Post by Kunikov » 12 May 2006 18:01

Qvist wrote: Perhaps it seems that way to you because my views are derived from arguments and data, and hence I have some confidence in them. I have frequently adjusted my views when presented by good arguments or new data, neither of which has been forthcoming from you. Then again, perhaps it seems that way to you because you evidently prefer to choose your arguments and data to suit your views. Except of course that you don't have much in the way of either of them. Not that this seems to be much of an obstacle for you to have made your mind up.
The reason nothing is forthcoming from me is because the research I am talking about has yet to be done, thus I can't present any evidence from what I've already given. My mind most certainly hasn't been made up as can be seen by the fact that I've already adjusted my thought process when it comes to this issue. The only thing my mind has been made up about is you.

paulmacg
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 24 Sep 2005 19:45
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by paulmacg » 12 May 2006 18:03

Qvist wrote:I'm sorry, there you've lost me I'm afraid - what is the logic here? Not that I disagree with the conclusion, I just don't see how it comes about from these data (that goes also for the later operations listed).

The fact that Bagration was undertaken at a vastly better force relation both in men and far more in weapons than MOO, as well as under summer conditions, ought in itself to produce better results even if there had been no improvement in the performance of the troops.
Hi Qvist

Bagration was a sustained offensive fought over a two month period, much farther from Russia's industry and population centres, achieving considerable strategic gains at a relatively low cost and causing enormous damage to an enemy that could not afford it. Simply put, the Red Army could not have accomplished this in 1941 or early 1942 even with the materiel available in 1944. Why? They would not have been able to sustain or coordinate such a large force or such a complex effort for any similar length of time.

My argument is simple. Give the 1941 Red Army all of the "stuff" available for Bagration in 1944 and tell them to destroy Army Group Centre in Belorussia (prepared, dug-in and not facing winter conditions). While I think they might have had limited success, I do not believe for a second that fantasy army would have destroyed over 30 divisions and advanced over 300 kilometres. Nor do I believe that the same numerical superiority would have resulted in a similar reduction in casualties. In fact, I think it is likely that the entire operation would have either failed resulting in 500,000 to 1,000,000 casualties or succeeded but at a terrible cost.

At the tactical level, I am unsure how to convert these numbers into evidence of a Red Army using improved methods to conserve manpower. Certainly, the numbers show that the Red Army is getting much more from the men it is losing in terms of relative casualties, but is Bagration evidence of an answer to the question I posted earlier? I am sure it is, but that evidence will not come from such a superficial examination of overall casualties.

The effect of tactical improvements is something that, unfortunately, will not necessarily shine through the muddy waters of a hundred other factors that were in play in 1944 and 1945. In this I am fully in agreement with Kunikov in that a much more detailed study is necessary in order to isolate any tactical improvements and measure their effect in any quantitative sense.

In fact, I feel it is more than possible that both armies improved tactically during the war and that these improvements tended to offset each other. Certainly the Western Allies found themselves facing a very experienced enemy when they arrived in 1944 and found themselves confined to a relatively small bridgehead by a force lacking anywhere near the same levels of support. IMO, it is obvious that the Germans had learned, to a certain degree, how to defend against an enemy with air superiority and a crushing advantage in terms of artillery and manpower.

In other words, I find it almost impossible to draw any conclusions concerning the evolution of Soviet tactics from a general examination of overall casualties. It is ludicrous to think that the Red Army did not improve tactically during the war and that an effort was not made to reduce casualties, but unfortunately it is very difficult to isolate these factors and show the measurable effects they had.

Of course, I fully recognize that a massive advantage in terms of manpower, artillery and air superiority was a huge factor in Soviet success, but I am not at all convinced that success was the result of large numbers of men, guns, tanks and planes simply existing. In other words, I am very much in disagreement with any argument that would pretend to say that the Red Army won because it had more stuff. Yes, it definitely did have more stuff, but it also developed extremely sophisticated means for controlling its surplus of force.

Perhaps a different direction is necessary in this discussion?

Cheers

Paul

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 13 May 2006 01:55

Kunikov - this is beyond pathetic. I frankly do not give a putrid herring for for your personal opinion of me - and it is of no relevance whatsoever to the obligations you share with every other poster when it comes to rules of discussion, including avoiding ad hominem attacks on the board. If you are in a position to correct my data or challenge my interpretations with arguments, please feel free to do so.

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 13 May 2006 03:00

Bagration was a sustained offensive fought over a two month period, much farther from Russia's industry and population centres, achieving considerable strategic gains at a relatively low cost and causing enormous damage to an enemy that could not afford it. Simply put, the Red Army could not have accomplished this in 1941 or early 1942 even with the materiel available in 1944. Why? They would not have been able to sustain or coordinate such a large force or such a complex effort for any similar length of time.
True enough. One specific point - the cost of Bagration can not be called relatively low by any measure. In fact, it was one of the costliest operations of the whole war - it resulted in more than 770,000 casualties. Among Krivosheev's 50 listed operations, it places third in that regard. In terms of average daily losses, it was eighth.
My argument is simple. Give the 1941 Red Army all of the "stuff" available for Bagration in 1944 and tell them to destroy Army Group Centre in Belorussia (prepared, dug-in and not facing winter conditions). While I think they might have had limited success, I do not believe for a second that fantasy army would have destroyed over 30 divisions and advanced over 300 kilometres. Nor do I believe that the same numerical superiority would have resulted in a similar reduction in casualties. In fact, I think it is likely that the entire operation would have either failed resulting in 500,000 to 1,000,000 casualties or succeeded but at a terrible cost.
What reduction in casualties? Almost twice as many were incurred in Bagration as in the Moscow offensive. And it was not my argument that the same results would have occured in 1941 with a similar force relation. The point was that the much improved force relation is in itself an obvious explanatory factor for why Bagration was much more successful than MOO. There were clearly many others.
At the tactical level, I am unsure how to convert these numbers into evidence of a Red Army using improved methods to conserve manpower. Certainly, the numbers show that the Red Army is getting much more from the men it is losing in terms of relative casualties, but is Bagration evidence of an answer to the question I posted earlier? I am sure it is, but that evidence will not come from such a superficial examination of overall casualties.
I'm sorry, but I am still not with the best of will quite able to see the logic here. The measure of how successful they were at conserving manpower is the number of losses they suffered, no? Why attempt to draw general conclusions from one operation rather than from general figures? And Bagration is certainly one operation that is extremely poorly suited to indicate a tendency towards lower losses - as mentioned it was the third costliest operation of the war - and the only two ahead of it were the marathon-like Dniepr-Carpathian (116 days long) and Rzhev-Vyazma (103).
The effect of tactical improvements is something that, unfortunately, will not necessarily shine through the muddy waters of a hundred other factors that were in play in 1944 and 1945. In this I am fully in agreement with Kunikov in that a much more detailed study is necessary in order to isolate any tactical improvements and measure their effect in any quantitative sense.
Yes, certainly - I do not disagree with this as such either. I very much doubt BTW that it is possible to measure tactical improvement in isolation by quantitative methods.
In fact, I feel it is more than possible that both armies improved tactically during the war and that these improvements tended to offset each other. Certainly the Western Allies found themselves facing a very experienced enemy when they arrived in 1944 and found themselves confined to a relatively small bridgehead by a force lacking anywhere near the same levels of support. IMO, it is obvious that the Germans had learned, to a certain degree, how to defend against an enemy with air superiority and a crushing advantage in terms of artillery and manpower.
Yes.
In other words, I find it almost impossible to draw any conclusions concerning the evolution of Soviet tactics from a general examination of overall casualties.
Of course. I think there must be some misunderstanding here - the evolution of Soviet tactics cannot be analysed by recourse to casualty figures. But casualty figures can say something about the relative battlefield effectiveness of the two sides. That is something very different from the evolution of Soviet tactics. The only reason relatively far-reaching conclusions can be drawn from general data in this case is that the figures are so extraordinarily clear and lopsided.
It is ludicrous to think that the Red Army did not improve tactically during the war and that an effort was not made to reduce casualties,
Of course it is - I believe I have said the same at several points.
Of course, I fully recognize that a massive advantage in terms of manpower, artillery and air superiority was a huge factor in Soviet success, but I am not at all convinced that success was the result of large numbers of men, guns, tanks and planes simply existing. In other words, I am very much in disagreement with any argument that would pretend to say that the Red Army won because it had more stuff. Yes, it definitely did have more stuff, but it also developed extremely sophisticated means for controlling its surplus of force.
Well, let me put it this way - it clearly would not have survived, let alone succeeded without that advantage. That much is essentially simple mathematics. But no, of course other factors also played a role. But again, I do not believe there has ever been any disagreement on that point, so I am not altogether sure what we are discussing here.
Perhaps a different direction is necessary in this discussion?
Quite possibly! It seems we do not entirely understand each other at this point. I must have given the wrong impression somewhere, as sometimes happen when discussion evolves through response-toresponse-to response. I'll try to summarise my points more succinctly, and then perhaps we can take it from there.

cheers
Last edited by Qvist on 13 May 2006 16:51, edited 2 times in total.

Doppleganger
Member
Posts: 166
Joined: 11 Jun 2004 22:46
Location: UK

Post by Doppleganger » 13 May 2006 12:49

Qvist wrote:The fact that Bagration was undertaken at a vastly better force relation both in men and far more in weapons than MOO, as well as under summer conditions, ought in itself to produce better results even if there had been no improvement in the performance of the troops.
I've been following this thread with great interest. I thought that the above quote was probably the most insightful of the entire thread. I'm not in a position to add any more data than has already been posted but isn't the matter of the differing force relations between the 2 sides as the war went on one of the biggest factors for the eventual outcome of the Ostfront? There isn't any doubt that Red Army operational tactics, leadership, tactical nous and organisation improved markedly between 1941 and 1944 but still the biggest factor for success was the steadily diverging force relations between the 2 sides.

To me, this fact seem to be so glaring as to be obvious. The main question is how accurate are the casualty figures data being used.

pavle
Member
Posts: 143
Joined: 02 Dec 2005 17:05
Location: brabant

Post by pavle » 14 May 2006 11:27

I really cannot understand how somepeople think to find an explanation for the course of the Ostfront just by looking and discussing numbers, in my opinion numbers are very rational especially in a war...

But looking at Glant'z his book everything becomes o so clear... :lol: :roll:

User avatar
historynut
Member
Posts: 46
Joined: 08 Dec 2005 20:59
Location: Sweden

Post by historynut » 15 May 2006 10:47

Paulmac
You wrote:
"So, even in 1945 the Red Army managed to lose almost 3,000,000 men before ending the war. This is a shocking figure for me considering by that point in the war the RKKA should have been at the top of its game."

The high casualties during 1945 occured because of drive to seize Berlin. The attacks on berlin were hasty due to Political reasons (Stalin wanted to take Berlin before the western allies got there). Study of casulties during Opertion August storm in manchuria would be more approrite if you are trying to asses the quality of the red army.

User avatar
Qvist
Member
Posts: 7836
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 16:59
Location: Europe

Post by Qvist » 15 May 2006 10:52

The high casualties during 1945 occured because of drive to seize Berlin. The attacks on berlin were hasty due to Political reasons (Stalin wanted to take Berlin before the western allies got there). Study of casulties during Opertion August storm in manchuria would be more approrite if you are trying to asses the quality of the red army.
But it would not speak of the same thing. Performance is quintessentially a relative concept - it can only be understood as a relation between two specific opponents. There is no such thing as perfomance irrespective of opposition. Studying the Manchurian operation will yield insights about the relative performance of the Red Army and the Kwangtung Army, but it will not say anything of the performance of the Red Army against an entirely different opponent.

cheers

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”