Question about tanks, 1943!

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Sean Oliver
Member
Posts: 60
Joined: 14 Sep 2007 18:18
Location: Wisconsin USA

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Sean Oliver » 29 Apr 2019 02:52

Art: As we all know, works published by Soviet historians were functionally equivalent to government propaganda due to the tireless efforts of Glavlit, with additional editing assistance from the KGB whenever military subjects were involved.
Despite this, such production figures are probably "in the ballpark", and are the best we have.
Russia's authorities must be applauded for their recent efforts. However, access to foreigners seems to have been curtailed since the 90's.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 29 Apr 2019 15:37

Sean Oliver wrote:
29 Apr 2019 02:52
Art: As we all know, works published by Soviet historians were functionally equivalent to government propaganda due to the tireless efforts of Glavlit, with additional editing assistance from the KGB whenever military subjects were involved.
Despite this, such production figures are probably "in the ballpark", and are the best we have.
First, Soviet histories despite being strongly censored and influenced by political control still remain scientifically relevant today. They have also different periods, with different quality, and also classified literature not available to common public. Then, you know, it is almost 30 years have gone, since dissolution of the Soviet Union, and there is a large body of post-Soviet works mostly free from these limitations, much of it written by private enthusiasts.
Access to foreigner: I guess, very much depends on specific archive, there are many of them and with different rules and regulations. I strongly doubt that e.g. TsAMO RF used to have a more liberal rules for foreign citizens.

Sean Oliver
Member
Posts: 60
Joined: 14 Sep 2007 18:18
Location: Wisconsin USA

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Sean Oliver » 07 May 2019 02:45

I must say that most recent (past 10 years or so) Anglo/Western as well as Russian books on the GPW + WW2 published by most well-known academic and mainstream writers these days are not very good. Many of them are written by people who don't know WW2 very well, and they frequently jump to erroneous conclusions because they simply don't understand the events. They also seem to start their research with their conclusions already decided. They completely ignore important evidence which disagrees with their agenda, and confine their research to sources they know ahead of time will confirm their agenda. That is not history scholarship, it's opinionated misinformation.

Ironically, I find online private researchers like you Art - and all of us posting here and on other discussion fora - we are much more committed to accuracy and honest debate + discussion than many so called professional historians (with some exceptions).
Anyway, enough of this, it's off topic. :thumbsup:

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1009
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Stiltzkin » 07 May 2019 06:59

Anglo/Western as well as Russian books on the GPW + WW2 published by most well-known academic and mainstream writers these days are not very good.
I highly agree, add German literature on top of that, which is very apologetic and often hypocritical. Other eras suffer less from this phenomenon but there are exceptions.
Ironically, I find online private researchers like you Art - and all of us posting here and on other discussion fora - we are much more committed to accuracy and honest debate + discussion than many so called professional historians (with some exceptions).
I disagree, a lot of users have shown signs of intense nationalism and bias, they may be here to obfuscate, to falsify information rather than doing the opposite, do not expect to find a lot of transparency in the Federation (their youth or from scholars for that matter, especially not now). Denying Soviet crimes, political murder, expansionism and aggression (e.g. "Finland and Poland were not better"), while selling the picture of the clean "liberator", the "saviour of the Jews" (while imprisoning thousands of them in camps and killing millions from other groups), morally on par of the Western Allies is not particularly accurate. The same applies to the so called "unreparedness" of the peaceful USSR for total war, or most believing in "we got better at the end", i.e. the "exchange rate being a result of a preemptive, sneaky attack" and not development and firepower differentials. Just steer a discussion towards these points, while visiting Russia or conversing with individual Russian researchers or representatives of various companies, or simply in here. I can attest that this is a very interesting experience, a true revelation. They have substituted Bolshevik barbarism with aggressive nationalism, which is of course a necessity to breed a new class of cannon fodder to restore the glorious Union. The reception of the recent movie on the Afghan war for instance is a prime example.
I have encountered multiple users patting each other on the back, praising their honesty - strangely this often comes from individuals with only very few posts. I must say that people judge prematurely.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 19 May 2019 07:26

A related piece of information: Soviet armored strength at the end of the war (1945):
https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/paul_at ... iginal.jpg
Note a large number of vehicle undergoing repair at factories. I wonder what "Reserve" means exactly and where SU-85 are.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 28 May 2019 07:47

Table corrected: instead of "SU-76" on should read "SU-76-152". Instead of "unidentified" - "BT"
https://www.vif2ne.org/nvk/forum/2/co/2894599.htm
So 25 000 tanks and SP guns in the Soviet Army on 1.5.45 not counting the Far East. With the Far East and Transbaikal Fronts included totals go to some 27 000, of which less than a half were actually on the front.

Kelvin
Member
Posts: 2472
Joined: 06 Apr 2007 14:49

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Kelvin » 02 Jul 2019 10:15

Sean Oliver wrote:
07 May 2019 02:45
I must say that most recent (past 10 years or so) Anglo/Western as well as Russian books on the GPW + WW2 published by most well-known academic and mainstream writers these days are not very good. Many of them are written by people who don't know WW2 very well, and they frequently jump to erroneous conclusions because they simply don't understand the events. They also seem to start their research with their conclusions already decided. They completely ignore important evidence which disagrees with their agenda, and confine their research to sources they know ahead of time will confirm their agenda. That is not history scholarship, it's opinionated misinformation.

Ironically, I find online private researchers like you Art - and all of us posting here and on other discussion fora - we are much more committed to accuracy and honest debate + discussion than many so called professional historians (with some exceptions).
Anyway, enough of this, it's off topic. :thumbsup:
Hi, Sean, I endore with your view that Art is more accurate in Eastern Front Research : e.g, Soviet casualties in Kiev, many old historians misinterpreted German figures on POW figures at Kiev for many years and then other historians copy and paste in their book and don't go to Archive. However, Art correctly Interpret that data in battle of Kiev, and also many data on Eastern Front help me a lot.

gracie4241
Member
Posts: 93
Joined: 03 Aug 2018 16:16
Location: USA

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by gracie4241 » 03 Jul 2019 16:41

Has it occurred to anyone here that data regarding Soviet tank production and on hand numbers are inflated? Personally I think they are by at least 20-25%.Remember the Soviet Union collapsed in part because the Politburo in the 80's(and probably before) thought their own GDP was 25% higher than it was.They lied to each other even in the tranquil peacetime, as opposed to the chaotic wartime 1941-45.German contemporary battlefield reports(not Goebbels propaganda) consistently reported Allied Lend Lease tanks as comprising@15% of the armor they faced, even in 1945.If Allied Tanks, especially Shermans(the non upgunned ones) were as inferior as claimed(another issue btw) why would that be so?Its worth noting that german intelligence( I know, but even a broken clock is right twice a day) in May 1944 estimated soviet domestic production-then peaking-at 1700 tanks and self propelled guns/month or 20,000/year.With 300-400 Lend Lease tanks a month that would have given the Russians @25,000/year.I think that was indeed roughly their true number;very large, but not as large as claimed.FWIW german production in 1944 was 19,000;the USSBS and Speer's ministry records show a direct loss of33% through Allied Bombing.So absent that their annual production would have been 25-26,000AFV.This excludes 12,000 APC produced compared to ZERO for the Soviet Union.In other words german production was running higher than the Soviets in AFV by then.Soviet tank programs were strong and effective, especially under the circumstances, but like many things Russian I believe somewhat overrated

Kelvin
Member
Posts: 2472
Joined: 06 Apr 2007 14:49

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Kelvin » 04 Jul 2019 08:46

Russian only focus on several items production : Tank, Assault gun, light arms like PPsH SMG, mortar and their artillery pieces and aircraft, they don't need to burden some item production. Why German produced less panzer, one reason is scale of industrial production or not perfect managment in production. But also German needed to turn out everything for war : Not only Panzer, but also SPW, Artillery pieces, light arms from rifles to infantry gun, motor vehicles, aircraft and submarine.
US sent 427000 motor vehicles to USSR during the war. That number accounted for two third of motor vehicles on the eve of Barbarossa. German produced a thousand U-Boats, Russia neither need to do that. You see German needed put effort on motor vehicles and U Boat also production of syntethic oil and Buna. Russian could put more resouces on tank production, I suppose it figure is trustful.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 08 Jul 2019 14:29

gracie4241 wrote:
03 Jul 2019 16:41
German contemporary battlefield reports(not Goebbels propaganda) consistently reported Allied Lend Lease tanks as comprising@15% of the armor they faced, even in 1945.
See the post above:
viewtopic.php?p=2204615#p2204615
There were about 1800 foreign medium tanks (almost exclusively Shermans) in May 1945 out of 25 000 tanks and SP guns (some 7%). The front-line forces had some 900 Shermans out of 12000 vehicles (also 7%). Which seems to be consistent with deliveries/production numbers.
I doubt the accuracy of 15% number, and even more induction made from some fragmented data samples. For example, in January 1945 the 1 Ukrainian Front fielded more than 3000 operational tanks and SP guns, of them not a single Sherman (although some number of Valentines):
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=111754376
Sure, 0% of Shermans was not a representative number when it comes to entire Soviet armored force.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 09 Jul 2019 17:46

One can estimate out of general curiosity how many Soviet tanks and SP guns remained on strength by the start of May 1945. According to my calculations wartime production of principal types plus availability in June 1941 plus lend-lease deliveries totaled to 127600 by 1.5.1945. Breakdown of losses in 1941-45 can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=79&t=176602
Correct summation gives 98241 total write-offs (in the original post numbers don't correspond to the tally). In addition 1032 tanks and SP guns were given to allied armies - Polish, Czechoslovak, Yugoslav (my calculation from various sources). Which leaves about 28300 tanks and SP guns present on 1 May 1945. Fedorenko reported 25 000 tanks/SPG without Far East present on 1.5.45. According to a Soviet official history there were 2340 operational tanks/SP guns in the Far East forces in May 45. If non-operational vehicles are included the number would probably be as large as 3000. So total about 28000 armored vehicles - a surprisingly good fit with the balance number above.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 09 Jul 2019 21:04

Also breakdown by type:
IS-1/2 - 3337 tanks produced by 1.5.45, 1235 lost, 73 given to allied armies, the balance is 2029
KV - 4742 produced by 1.5.45 (all types), 3755 losses, 3 to allies, balance 984
T-34 - 50975 produced until 1.5.45 (all types), 41971 losses, 648 given to allies, balance 8356
T-28 - 481 available in June 41, 370 lost, balance 111
BT (all types) - 7550 available in June 1941, 7124 lost, balance 426
T-26 (all types) - 10116 present at the war start and produced until 5.45, 9097 losses, balance 1019
amphibious tanks (T-37/38/40/30) - 4069 available until 5.45, 2675 lost, balance 1394
T-60/70 - 14151 produced during the war, 10881 lost, 56 given to Poles, balance 3214
M3 Stuart - 1232 received from LL, 696 lost, balance 536
M3 Lee - 976 received, 691 lost, balance 285
Matilda - 918 received, 783 lost, balance 135
Valentine - 3332 received, 2310 lost, balance 1031
Churchill - 263 received, 176 lost, balance 87
SU-57 - 650 received, 196 lost, 15 given to Poles, balance 439
ISU-152 - 1785 produced, 734 lost, 10 given to Poles, balance 1041
ISU-122 - 1860 produced, 672 lost, 22 to Poles, balance 1166
SU-152 - 670 produced, 409 lost, 3 given to Poles, balance 258
SU-122 - 638 produced, 507 lost, balance 131
SU-100 - 1350 produced, 381 lost, 2 to Poles, balance 967
SU-85 - 2654 produced, 1853 lost, 70 to Poles, balance 731
SU-76 - 11442 produced, 6452 lost, 130 to Poles, balance 4860
Other types - present on 1.6.41 and produced or received from 1.6.41 until 30.4.45 25 IS-3, 59 T-35, 190 T-44, 75 T-50, 75 T-80, 20 Tetrarchs, 52 M10, 21 SU-122I, 201 SU-76I. Their exact losses are not cited. Losses of 1671 misc.tanks and 1801 misc. SP guns for the most part should be distributed by major types listed above. One should also consider that some tank losses were suffered after 1 May 1945 - several hundred probably, so this balance is only an approximate estimate.
Worth to note that losses of T-26 and BT tanks seem overstated. In August 1945 there were 1220 BT-5/7 and 1461 T-26 deployed against Japan, not counting tanks that were still present elsewhere. So the breakdown of losses by types is probably skewed due to some errors.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 10 Jul 2019 07:37

A comparison with Fedorenko's report.
IS-1/2 and T-34: balance calculation arrives to 10 385 tanks present on 1.5.45, Fedorenko - 10 312 (without several dozen in the Far East), a very good match
"foreign medium tanks" - I'm pretty sure that these were Shermans, it's very unlikely that M3 medium were called "modern types". So 1860 Shermans from the balance calculation vs. 1817 according to Fedorenko
ISU-152/122 - 2207 (balance) vs. 2028 (Fedorenko)
SU-152/122/100/85/76 - 6947 (balance) vs. 5903 Fedorenko. Losses look understated, probably some actual losses are lumped with losses of misc. SP guns (1807 total)
BT - 426 (balance) vs. 299 without Far East (Fedorenko)
T-26 - 1019 (balance) vs. 424 without Far East (Fedorenko)
As said above losses of T-26 and BT tanks look overstated
'foreign light tanks" (I guess that must be Valentines) - 1031 (balance) vs. 914 (Fedorenko)
SU-57 - 439 (balance) vs. 340 (Fedorenko)
Other types - KV, T-35, T-28, T-37, T-38, T-40, T-30, T-50, T-60, T-70, T-80, M3 Stuart, M3 Lee, Matilda, Churchill, Tetrarch - balance with incomplete losses is 6975 or 5304 when 1671 misc. tank losses are subtracted. Fedorenko's report gives 2960, so quite a large difference, probably some types are not included in the tally.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 5297
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by Art » 10 Jul 2019 15:18

I've attempted to compare available information on tanks production and losses with information given in Russian official publication ("Soviet casualties and combat losses.." by G. Krivosheev). First, data on availability of tanks on 1.6.1941 wartime production (1.6.1941-31.05.1945) and lend-lease deliveries are summarized in the table below. These data are grouped by categories heavy/medium/light tanks and heavy/medium/light SP guns as indicated by the color. For comparison, numbers from Krivosheev are displayed at the bottom of the table. In general, it is a reasonable match but still there are some oddities in the official numbers:
- deliveries of heavy tanks in 1944 are too large
- T-35 and T-28 (more than 500 tanks on 1 June 1941) are ignored altogether
- distribution by categories is sometimes very odd. For example, T-44 are apparently counted as heavy tanks (based on the gun caliber, I guess), Matildas as light, SU-122 as medium SP guns. Shermans are normally counted as medium tanks, but in 1945 as light for unknown reasons. At least. I don't see other way to reconcile deliveries of 900 light tanks in 1945 according to K. with information on LL deliveries and production. There are some more minor discrepancies and artifacts due to rounded numbers.

Image

Also losses data from D.Shein are displayed in the same table. They are also grouped by heavy/medium/light tanks and heavy/medium/light SP guns. The result is a nearly perfect match with Krivosheev. Yet they make a different data set compared with delivery numbers. For example, T-28 tanks are not counted in availability, but are apparently counted in losses. Losses of M4 Shermans are always counted as losses of medium tanks. There is an oddity concerning light SPG losses etc.
Finally, Krivosheev gives 35 200 tanks and SP guns in the Soviet army as of 10.5.1945. In fact the number pertains to 1.6.45, then it is not a reported number but is rather calculated as a simple balance of two data sets - production/deliveries and losses. As said above these data sets are not completely equivalent. Also the balance includes inflated numbers of heavy tanks production in 1944, and doesn't account for tanks transferred to the allied armies (more than 1000) by the war end. The category "light SP guns" includes M15 and M17 machine-gun armed halftracks which were normally not considered self-propelled guns in the Soviet army. Finally, the losses are probably understated somewhat - the breakdown of losses by types provided by Shein includes some 1600 misc. tanks that somehow disappear from the sum. All that combined must explain the difference between 25000 AFVs given by Fedorenko and 35000 in the official publication.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

critical mass
Member
Posts: 487
Joined: 13 Jun 2017 14:53
Location: central Europe

Re: Question about tanks, 1943!

Post by critical mass » 18 Jul 2019 21:33

well done and convincing

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”