Battle of Kursk Losses

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Qvist » 23 Sep 2008 07:30

To illustrate the above, here is a comparison I made of AOK 18 daily reports from the IIa and IVb channels 5-10 March 1942 (an arbitrarily chosen period)
5 March

II a contain a total of: 81 KIA, 219 WIA, 6 MIA=306. Of these, 3/11/0-14 are Nachmeldungen from I AK for 25-28 February, 11/43/0-54 are NM from XXXVIII AK for 2 and 4 March. There’s a –2 Berichtigung for 2 March. Reports from 291 ID and 285.Sich.D. are missing. Hence, without the Nachmeldungen and Berichtigungen, the total for the day is 236.

IV b gives a total of 46/122/1=169 for the day, plus 278 sick and a Krankenbestand of 3739. It also lists 22 Frostbites (these NCL will not be referred for following days). In addition to these, he reports a Nachmeldung for 4.3. of 48/99/5=152.

In the end, with the Nachmeldungen, the differences are not great – 306 and 321. But of course, the NM refers to different dates. Hence, there is another way to compare, namely to check if there are similar NM for the same date in the other channel, but included in another day’s report.

Can we find 152 NM casualties for 4 March in the II a reports? There is just 1 on 5 March. Then a further 2 on the 6th, but on the 7th there’s a large NM From Gr. V. Basse, covering 1-6 March – 73/154/0-227. On the 8th, there is a similarly sized NM covering various stretches of 4-7 March. Several more turn up on 12 March. Then it trickles down to minor additions from Heerestruppen, f.e. on 16 March, when Strassenbau-Btl. 510 is listed with 2 wounded NM for 4 March, also on 18 March.

See 6th for IV b nachmeldungen for the 5th.

The conclusion seems obvious; While the two reports do not necessarily contradict each other it is very clear that it is futille to seek to reconcile them. The reason for this is that they recorded their Nachmeldungen in such different ways. With the II a reports, they trickled in gradually and are not always recorded for a specific day but rather for a group of days, but they are unit-specific. In the Heeresarzt reports, Nachmeldungen are always given for a specific day, but is not broken down on unit. This is not surprising, as the former relied on reports from units, and the latter on reports from medical installations.

6 March

II a gives a daily total of 70/180/0=250. Of these, 19/30/0=39 are Nachmeldungen for I AK early March and XXVIII AK between 17 January and 7 February, leaving a daily total of 211.

IV b gives just 108 combat losses for the day. They also however report a NM of 159 combat losses for 5 March. If we add these to those reported for that day, it comes to 328, now considerably more than the total in the 5 March II a report. There is also a further Nachmeldung of 143 for 4 March.

7 March

For this day the II a report gives 159/431/5=599. Of this, 94/214/0=308 are Nachmeldungen from Gr.v.Basse in early March and 126.ID on 16 February (just 1 wounded). Hence, the total for the day is 291. Reports from 93. and 212.ID are missing.

Heeresarzt reports 129 combat losses. He also gives a NM for 6 march of 154, which brings his total for that date to 262 – again higher than the 211 reported by the II a.

8 March

II a gives 172/514/34=720. 98/287/15=400 are NM, for various days in early March, hence the total for the day is 320.

Heeresarzt gives just 62. There is also a NM for 7 March stating 270 losses, bringing that day’s total to 399. A further 39 NM for 6 March brings that day’s total to 301.

9 March

II a gives 86/288/7=381. Only 11 of these are NM, pertaining to the previous day. 291. and 217.ID are missing.

Heeresarzt gives 155. A NM for 8 March adds 383, bringing the total for this day to 345.

10 March

II a gives 55/186/7=248. 9/33/1=43 are NM, -1/2/-1 berichtigungen, so the total for the day is 205.

IV b gives 95, with a NM for 9 March of 363, bringing the 9 March total to 518.
If you're a healthy, sane, normal person (particularly interested researchers excepted of course), your head will start swimming at the latest half-way down this paragraph, accompanied by strong pangs of nausea. :) Hopefully this gives some inkling of what it is to work with Tagesmeldungen, and how realistically we can expect them to reliably break down the losses on single days. ;)


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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Art » 18 Oct 2008 14:36

Let's retun to aircraft losses. That is info on Soviet side taken from "Nad ognennoy dugoy" by V. Gorbach.
During defensive phase of the battle the follwoing losses were suffered.
16th Air Army (Central Front) from 5 to 11 July reported
18 bombers, 15 ground-attack aircrafts and 24 fighters in all 57 aircrafts lost in air combat and to AA fire.
17/72/234/323 aircrafts didn't returned from combat missions
3/2/4/9 were lost in catastrophes
1/1/-/2 in accidents
In all 39 bombers, 90 ground-attack aircrafts, 262 fighters, total 391.
The losses in the entire July were 224 in air combat, 82 missing in combat sorties, 154 destroyed at emergency landings, 17 destroyed on airfields, 2 lost to AA fire, 26 others, total 505 combat losses. In addition 30 aircrafts were lost due to noncombat reasons. Of this 535 aircrafts 48 were Pe-2s, 38 - A-20, 13 Po-2, 161 Il-2, 269 fighters, 6 recon planes.

On the southern part of the salient the 2nd (Voronezh Front) and 17th (South-West Front) Air Armies lost according to daily reports:
5.7. 2nd AA 83 aircrafts/17th AA 76
6.7. 50/29
7.7 43/41
8.7 47/13
9.7 36/9
10.7 22/0
11.7 18/0
12.7 27/3
13.7 27/1
14.7 20/6
15.7 8/1
16.7 29/6
17.7 6/0
18.7 7/0
19.7 3/0
Total 436/179

In July 1943 the 2nd Air Army lost:
In air combat - 12 Pe-2, 2 A-20B, 59 IL-2, 38 La-5, 23 Yak-1, 23 Yak-7, 10 Yak-10;
To anti-aircraft fire from the ground 9 Pe-2, 1 A-20B, 65 IL-2, 12 La-5, 11 Yak-1, 12 Yak-7;
missing in action 15 Pe-2, 1 A-20B, 42 IL-2, 20 La-5, 37 Yak-1, 35 Yak-7, 7 Yak-9, 3 Po-2 (aka U-2)
In all 437 aircrafts were lost in combat, 43 - to non-combat reasons, 75 were sent to repair, 117 transferred to other units.

17th AA lost :
18 fighters, 33 IL-2s, 3 B-3 (British A-20) in air cobmat
6 fighters and 2 IL-2on the ground
6 fighters, 51 IL-2, 8 B-3 to AA fire
38 fighters, 82 IL-2, 6 B-3, 2 night bombers missing
Total 255 (incorrect sum 244 in the original table) combat losses, plus 16 non-combat. It must be said that only part of them were lost in the battle of Kursk, since beginning from 17th July the 17 AA was engaged in independent operation in Izyum sector

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Art » 27 Oct 2008 15:30

Some more info on aircraft losses, this time in the offensive phase of the Battle of Kursk

Losses suffered by 1st (West Front), 15th (Bryansk Front) and 16th (Central Front) Air Armies in the Orel offensive operation (12 July - 18 August 1943).
Comment: beginning from 29th July the Bryansk Front took over all ground units formerly belonging to the West Front, which operated against the Orel salient, and a part of air units. Thereafter the West Front didn't participate in the Battle of Kursk. Also in the course of the operation the Long-Range Bomber Air Forces performed 4 545 night sorties and suffered some losses too. As an additional information in July 1943 the 15 Air Army lost 186 fighters in combat/14 as non-combat losses, ground-attack - 126/6, U-2 night bombers - 20/4, recon - 5/2, IL-4 bombers -16(estimated)/0. In all about 353 aircrafts lost in combat and 26 to noncombat reasons.

Combat losses of the 2nd Air Army (Voronezh Front) in August 1943:
Explanation of abbreviations: GC=Ground-Attack Corps, FC=Fighter Corps, GD = Ground-Attack Division, BD = Bomber Division, NBD = Night Bomber Division, RR = Reconnaissance Regiment.

Losses of the 5th Air Army (Steppe Front) in August 1943:

Source: V. Gorbach again with refenrece to archival files of the respective air armies, except for the first table which is reproduced from B.A. Ageev, S.E, Pentyukov "Air forces in the defeat of the German Orel grouping", Moscow, 1949

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Art » 29 Oct 2008 15:21

And that is the information on losses in the defensive period of the battle reported by the staff of the Voronezh Front to the Chief of the General Staff on 24 July 1943.

1. In the period from 4 to 16 July:
a) Personnel: killed - 18 097, wounded - 47 272, missing in action - 24 851, captured - 29. Total 90 249.
b) Horses: killed - 1 295, wounded - 333. Total losses - 1 628.
c) AFVs: tanks lost irrevocably - 1 204, damaged - 655. Total - 1 859. SP guns lost irrevocably - 29.
d) Rocket launchers - 16
e) Aircrafts destroyed and damaged - 347.
f) Artillery armament: artillery pieces - 1 605, mortars - 1 734, light machineguns - 4 381, heavy machineguns - 1 634. sub-machineguns - 35 026, rifles - 40 520, anti-tank rifles - 3 247.
g) Automobiles - 137

2. In the period from 16 to 22 July
a) Personnel: killed - 2 481, wounded - 7 155, missing in action - 1 047. Total losses - 10 683.
b) Horses: killed - 550, wounded - 107. Total losses - 657.
c) AFVs: tanks lost irrevocably - 367, damaged - 179. Total - 516. SP guns - 28 irrevocably, 15 damaged, total 43.
d) Rocket launchers - 4.
e) Aircrafts: destroyed and damaged - 40.
f) Artillery armament: artillery pieces - 108, mortars - 162, light machineguns - 399, heavy machineguns - 161, submachineguns - 872, rifles - 1 612, anti-tank rifles - 212.
g) Automobiles - 41.

Source: Russkiy Arkhiv, Vol. 15 (Battle of Kursk), Moscow, 1997

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Art » 30 Oct 2008 16:09

Some more on personnel losses. These are losses on the southern sector of the Kursk salient in July 1943:
The table reproduced from "Prokhorovka bez grifa sekretnosti" by L. Lopukhovsky. Comment: 69th and 7th Guards Armis were taken over by the Steppe Front in the second part of July, an accordingly their losses are not shown in the July figures of the Voronezh Front. At the same time the Steppe Fronts reported its losses only for the last ten-days of July. That's why the author added the losses suffered by the abovementioned armies for the period 1-19.07 to the sum losses of the Voronezh Front.

For comparison that is an alternative breakdown by armies from the document compiled by the staff of the Voronezh Front in October 1943:
5-15 July:
1 Tank Army 13874 killed, missing, wounded and sick
2 Air Army 515
5 Guards Tank Army 5257
5 Guards Army 8896
6 Guards Army 24921
27 Army 740
7 Guards Army 23390
38 Army 956
40 Army 2283
69 Army 29267
Total: 110099 men

15 July - 1 August:
1 Tank Army 389
2 Air Army 70
5 Guards Tank Army 10002
5 Guards Army 13926
6 Guards Army 9533
27 Army 601
38 Army 861
40 Аrmy 1680
47 Army 1178
Total: 38240 men.

The sum is in more or less good agreement with Lopukhovsky, while the breakdown by armies is quite different, probably it's due to the way how divisions and smaller units were distriuted by armies in the documents. Interesting that Lopukhovsky has another table for the losses of the Voronezh Front with identical figures:
1-15.07 Officers - 7 648, NCOs - 31 574, Privates - 70 877, Total - 110 099
15.07-1.08 Officers - 2 911, NCOs - 10 035, Privates - 25 294, Total 38 250
Pay attention that the time period is different, I don't know who is right.

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by bruno.reinhold » 19 May 2009 06:31

It is indeed a wonderful thing that the former soviet archives have been opened up ( selectively) . Now historians can study the (approved for release) documents which will shed new and objective light on the Great Patriotic War against the Fascist Hordes. Although it is said that nobody can lie like a bolshevik, I'm sure the archives are completely devoid of fabrication and not written with any thought to propaganda value. Especially considering that they were written at a time when failure was rewarded with a bullet, and talk of failure was rewarded with the gulag. But times and governments have changed, and of course the new managment will not shy away from releasing everything that makes their native motherland look less than heroic. Yet of all the historians and books mentioned in this post, Glantz is widely renoun for being able to wade through the spin, and differentiate the facts from the fantasy. His books on the topic, The Battle of Kursk, and The Battle for Kursk 1943, The Soviet General Staff Study (both co-authored) are among the best that can be read on the topic. He is objective and appropriately critical. Some other historians are unfortunately..... more easily led down the garden path. Just thank the lord nobody quoted Martin Caidin.

The Soviet archives. "If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head"

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Re: Battle of Kursk Losses

Post by Art » 18 Mar 2021 12:20

German reports on POWs captured and destroyed and captured weapons

Army Groups Center and South
9 Army:
from NARA T78 R464.
So the 9 Army captured some 7,000 prisoners in the offensive phase (5-12.7.43) which correlates with relatively moderate losses suffered by the Central Front (some 15,000 killed and missing in action according to Krivosheyev).
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