What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

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RedRight
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What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by RedRight » 11 Jul 2019 13:25

Wikipedia seems to contradict itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_F ... II)#Forces
The table states:
June 1941 80%
June 1942 80%
July 1943 63%
May 1944 62%

However the text below says:
June 1941 51%
July 1943 57%
April 1944 50%

Another source (I know that division strength is not constant) -
Number of German divisions by front in World War II - https://www.axishistory.com/books/134-c ... rld-war-ii

June 1941 70%
October 1942 70%
July 1943 66%
May 1944 55%

Adjusting that to Glantz's figure for 1941:

June 1941 80%
October 1942 80%
July 1943 75%
May 1944 63%

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stg 44
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by stg 44 » 11 Jul 2019 17:40

Maybe if all you're talking about is the army and leaving out the various other branches that make up the Wehrmacht. In terms of manpower something less than half of the overall mobilized Wehrmacht in 1941 participated in Barbarossa.
https://www.feldgrau.com/WW2-Germany-St ... nd-Numbers
In Wehrmacht Service*, 1941: 8,154,000+
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation ... eparations
The entire Axis forces, 3.8 million personnel,[2]
Glantz 2001, p. 9.
Glantz, David (2001). The Soviet-German War 1941–1945: Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay.
3.8 million wasn't even all Germans either, rather the entire Axis.

Art
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 11 Jul 2019 18:06

You should define what is "the percentage of forces" exactly. Percentage of divisions, personnel, tanks, aircraft, other weapons? Does the question relate to the field ground forces, total ground army, entire armed forces including air and navy? Otherwise it is a very ambiguous question.

RedRight
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by RedRight » 11 Jul 2019 18:35

Art wrote:
11 Jul 2019 18:06
You should define what is "the percentage of forces" exactly. Percentage of divisions, personnel, tanks, aircraft, other weapons? Does the question relate to the field ground forces, total ground army, entire armed forces including air and navy? Otherwise it is a very ambiguous question.
Total personnel. And total ground forces.

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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Jul 2019 21:32

OH = Ostheer
W = Wehrmacht

1 June 1941 - W 7,300,000, OH 3,206,000 (including OKH reserves)

1 September 1941 - W 8,254,000, OH 2,539,110

1 September 1942 - W 9,568,000, OH 2,490,000

1 September 1943 - W 11,120,000, OH 2,498,000

1 September 1944 - W 12,240,000, OH 2,046,000
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by mars » 12 Jul 2019 03:32

Art wrote:
11 Jul 2019 18:06
You should define what is "the percentage of forces" exactly. Percentage of divisions, personnel, tanks, aircraft, other weapons? Does the question relate to the field ground forces, total ground army, entire armed forces including air and navy? Otherwise it is a very ambiguous question.
We should also consider the quality of the German troops deployed on the Eastern Front and the quality of German troops deployed on the other Fronts

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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Stiltzkin » 12 Jul 2019 04:55

We should also consider the quality of the German troops deployed on the Eastern Front and the quality of German troops deployed on the other Fronts
And the type of the given strength (in many cases, the actual strength). Also, the number of "engaged" (the units which are actually in contact) troops is always smaller than the number of total troops on the respective front. Neither can the total number of military personnel tell you something about how many men are available for combat duty (well, occasionally it can). "Gefechts und Kampfstärken" would be more relevant for "engaged".

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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 12 Jul 2019 10:34

From Muller-Hillebrand:
June 41 - 3 206 000 men on the Eastern Front (without SS and troops in Northern Norway/Finland) versus total field army of 3 800 000 men. Other sources ("Germany in the Second World World") give 3 960 000 men in the German Field Army.
July 1942 - total 3 948 000 men in the field Army (without SS). Of them 2 847 000 men in the East plus 150 000 in Northern Norway/Finland, 166 000 in Norway, 520 000 in the West, 55 000 in Africa, 80 000 in Balkans, 130 000 unassigned.
July 1943 - 4 484 000 in the field Army (without SS). Of them 3 115 000 on the Eastern Front plus some 150 000 in the 20 Mountain Army in Northern Norway/Finland.
You should also consider the Reserve Army (Ersatzheer) in Germany which comprised military hospitals, training and replacement troops, schools, security, depots, administrative agencies etc. It size grew from 1.2 million men in June 41 to more than 2 million in 1943.

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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 12 Jul 2019 11:37

Situation after summer 43.
Personnel strength of the German field army (including SS and Luftwaffe ground forces):
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
Personnel strength of the field army on the Eastern Front (including SS and Luftwaffe ground forces):
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
Note that "Eastern Front" here doesn't include geographically and logistically separate 20 Mountain Army in the Arctics which had some additional 150 000 men.

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Yuri
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Yuri » 12 Jul 2019 14:30

Art wrote:
12 Jul 2019 11:37
Situation after summer 43.
Personnel strength of the German field army (including SS and Luftwaffe ground forces):
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
Personnel strength of the field army on the Eastern Front (including SS and Luftwaffe ground forces):
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/n ... ect/zoom/8
Note that "Eastern Front" here doesn't include geographically and logistically separate 20 Mountain Army in the Arctics which had some additional 150 000 men.
I reproduced these diagrams in this forum 12 years ago
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=31600&start=75

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Yuri
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Yuri » 12 Jul 2019 14:45

In TSAMO there are two magnificent album of (for Soviet European front and for the Western European front), in which referred on every month 1941-1945 where has been each division and brigade Germany, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Slovakia, Spain.
These albums are not stored in the 500 Fund, but in the TSAMO library. I hope they will be published too.

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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 12 Jul 2019 16:41

Yuri wrote:
12 Jul 2019 14:30
I reproduced these diagrams in this forum 12 years ago
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=31600&start=75
That set ends at February 1944. Ok, below is the distribution of personnel as of 1 June 1944, which in general corresponds to graphs posted above (from NARA T78 R414):
1.jpg
The strength of LW ground component and SS is a little suspect - there were several parachute divisions in France and 4 SS divisions and 1 brigade in the Army Group North, but it still must give a rough idea.
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Art
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Art » 12 Jul 2019 20:06

Finally, deployment of the field army as of 1 November 1943, figures without SS and LW ground troops (from "Germany and Second World War"):

Army Deployment 1Nov1943.jpg
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Jul 2019 01:11

Art wrote:
12 Jul 2019 16:41
The strength of LW ground component and SS is a little suspect - there were several parachute divisions in France and 4 SS divisions and 1 brigade in the Army Group North, but it still must give a rough idea.
There were actually only two in France. 2. Fs.Jg.Div. was actually at Köln-Wahn on 1 June and only Fs.Flak-Abtl. 2 and Fs.Jg.Regt. 6 were in France. 3. and 5. Fs.Jg.Div. and some elements of 1. Fs.Armee were in France, all told maybe 45,000. I'm not sure why the question mark, since both divisions gave strength reports on 22 May. The SS reported in HG-D is odd as well, certainly the strength of 1. and 12. SS was known and while 2. SS was in flux as replacements came in, they should have reported as well. Very odd.
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Re: What was the percent of total German forces engaged on the Eastern Front?

Post by Stiltzkin » 13 Jul 2019 04:57

I would propose a different approach, via casualties (can be overall more meaningful). Of course, fronts can be static and units might be prepared or diverted to be deployed elsewhere, but it is certainly more relevant to the question of engaged forces.

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