Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

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TheMarcksPlan
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Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 May 2020 22:26

In Zetterling's book on Taifun and its aftermath, he mentions that a single panzer corps in Guderian's group captured ~2,400 PoW over a few days in latter October '41 - so after Taifun's operational encirclements. Most of these were from 6th Guards Rifle Division, so not green militias whose tactical surrender would be less surprising. Was this a representative sample of Soviet morale, post-Taifun?

Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by Art » 19 May 2020 08:13

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Anybody does:
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/6

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 May 2020 23:44

Art wrote:
19 May 2020 08:13
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Anybody does:
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/6
Vielen dank!
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 May 2020 11:57

Art wrote:
19 May 2020 08:13
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Anybody does:
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/ru/ ... ect/zoom/6
The statistics are broken down conveniently into the periods I'm wondering about. Thanks again.

AGC's total PoW haul from October 19 to November 14 was

116,073


That's an extremely high total for an army crawling forward amidst the rasputitsa. It's ten times the number of Germans reported missing in all of 1941.

More relevant to the morale issue, it's far in excess of the missing/PoW captured by other German formations earlier in the war, absent operational encirclements. AGN captured only 35,000 PoW through August 6, for example (From Glantz's Leningrad, citing AGN communique on page 27).

During the immediate post-Taifun period, AGC captured ~4,500 PoW/day.

During November 15 to Jan 12, 1942 AGC captured only 71,827 PoW or ~1,260/day. Although the Red Army was advancing for most of the later period, the Ostheer was launching frequent counterattacks.

This seems pretty clear evidence that Red Army soldiers were much more willing to surrender tactically during the post-Taifun period than either earlier in Barbarossa or later, after the Red Army started pushing the Germans back. It indicates that the Red Army may have been on the brink of morale collapse in October '41, which the fall of Moscow might have accelerated.

------------------------------------------

As an aside:

Interesting that of the 673,000 PoW's listed as the German total for Taifun, AOK 2 and PzGr 2 accounted for only ~147k or ~22% of the total. Taifun was mostly about Vyazma, with a Bryansk kicker. Given Guderian's task of a single-envelopment in the southern sector, it's to be expected that he had less success bagging PoW's. But 25 divisions were in his encirclement at one point or another and only 8 of these were disbanded after the battle. The rest escaped with sufficient personnel to merit rebuilding. Probably Guderian would have done his country better by sealing his pocket instead of sending much of his group on the deep raid towards/through Mtsensk. Just as in Minsk and Smolensk, he was always more focused on racing ahead than on destroying the enemy.

Given the outcome of the Bryansk battle, it seems more likely that the Ostheer would have been better served had it stuck with Hitler's original plan and committed PzGr2 to AGS's battle during October. They probably could have achieved a big encirclement around Kharkov and/or Donbas. Of course the logistical situation may not have allowed for that (no rail ops beyond the Dniepr until November).

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 May 2020 12:24

Hi Art,

I've spent some time perusing the German docs in Russian site for something similar to the doc you linked, but for AG's North and South. Wondering whether they also saw higher tactical surrenders by the Red Army during latter October and November... Couldn't find a similar doc but have to confess I only opened 100 or so files... If you know of a good file, would be much appreciated.

I know the info would be in the 10-day reports from the field but AFAIK those are only available at BAMA?
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 May 2020 12:40

Also compare the 116k Soviets who surrendered post-Taifun to the Red Army strength in the field.

Per Zetterling and others, Red Army had at most 400k men facing AGC immediately after Taifun, rising to 785,000 by November 15.

If we take the average strength as the mean of those two figures we get ~600k men facing AGC during the period it captured 116k.

In other words, about 1 in 5 defenders of Moscow surrendered to AGC during the month after Taifun, without any large-scale encirclements. That's pretty compelling evidence of a morale crisis.
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by Max Payload » 20 May 2020 17:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 May 2020 11:57
During the immediate post-Taifun period, AGC captured ~4,500 PoW/day.

During November 15 to Jan 12, 1942 AGC captured only 71,827 PoW or ~1,260/day. Although the Red Army was advancing for most of the later period, the Ostheer was launching frequent counterattacks.

This seems pretty clear evidence that Red Army soldiers were much more willing to surrender tactically during the post-Taifun period than either earlier in Barbarossa or later, after the Red Army started pushing the Germans back. It indicates that the Red Army may have been on the brink of morale collapse in October '41, which the fall of Moscow might have accelerated.
You are mis-quoting the figures (page116).
71,827 prisoners is for the period 15 Nov - 1 Dec (15.11 - 1.12.41), i.e. 16 days, not the 58 days to 12-Jan.
This equates to 4,490 per day, not 1,260, and is pretty much identical to the earlier post-Typhoon rate of late Oct - early Nov.
So the surrender rate of the ‘demoralised’ Soviet armies post Typhoon was the same of that of the resurgent armies of late November that brought AGC’s advance to a halt.

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 May 2020 23:48

Max Payload wrote:
20 May 2020 17:52
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 May 2020 11:57
During the immediate post-Taifun period, AGC captured ~4,500 PoW/day.

During November 15 to Jan 12, 1942 AGC captured only 71,827 PoW or ~1,260/day. Although the Red Army was advancing for most of the later period, the Ostheer was launching frequent counterattacks.

This seems pretty clear evidence that Red Army soldiers were much more willing to surrender tactically during the post-Taifun period than either earlier in Barbarossa or later, after the Red Army started pushing the Germans back. It indicates that the Red Army may have been on the brink of morale collapse in October '41, which the fall of Moscow might have accelerated.
You are mis-quoting the figures (page116).
71,827 prisoners is for the period 15 Nov - 1 Dec (15.11 - 1.12.41), i.e. 16 days, not the 58 days to 12-Jan.
This equates to 4,490 per day, not 1,260, and is pretty much identical to the earlier post-Typhoon rate of late Oct - early Nov.
So the surrender rate of the ‘demoralised’ Soviet armies post Typhoon was the same of that of the resurgent armies of late November that brought AGC’s advance to a halt.
Ugh you're right that I'm misreading. I keep mixing up the American dating convention under which 1.12 is "January 12" with the rest of the world's.

This actually reinforces my fundamental point. The Germans were still advancing, albeit slowly, up to December 1 and the PoW figures show that the Russians were still surrendering tactically at historically abnormal rates. The 72k PoW's during two weeks of latter November are twice as many as AGN captured during the first 6 weeks of the war, when its advance was much more rapid than AGC's in late November.

On page 113 of the document we're examining, a handwritten notation gives 94,774 PoW's for November 15 through December 31. Combined with your correction of my misreading, that means AGC took only 22,947 PoW's between December 1 and 31. As AGC was still attacking until December 5 and was taking ~4.500 PoW/day during the immediately-preceding period, it probably took the bulk of these PoW's in early December. That would mean AGC took only a a few hundreds of PoW's daily during the December German defensive.

So your correction of my misreading helps make the picture even more clear: the post-Taifun Soviet morale crisis endured until at least the end of November and probably until the Red Army's counteroffensive.

AGC's ~175k PoW during 6 weeks of battle is probably the highest rate of tactical surrenders of the whole Eastern war. That's more PoW's than in all but 5 of the Ostheer's operational encirclements. The only candidate that might rival it is Blau, during which AGS captured ~340k but many of these were operationally encircled (e.g. 80k at Milerovo) and the Red Army forces opposing Blau were about twice as large as those opposing AGC in our studied period.
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by Max Payload » 21 May 2020 10:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 May 2020 23:48
The 72k PoW's during two weeks of latter November are twice as many as AGN captured during the first 6 weeks of the war, when its advance was much more rapid than AGC's in late November.
In drawing conclusions from such comparisons it is important to take all relevant factors into account. For example, the personnel strength of N-W Front on 22 June was less than half that available to Zhukov on 15 November. That in itself reduces the proportional daily loss rate to German PoW camps from 3:1 to 1.5:1. Also the left flank of N-W Front (the southern wing of 11th Army on the Olita axis) was attacked by Third Panzer Group of AGC, not by AGN, so AGN’s haul of PoW’s would not have included much of 11th Army’s losses in the opening phase. Then there is the question of what price German forces paid for their prisoner haul. How did AGC’s daily losses in the second half of November compare with AGN’s daily losses to 8 August - greater or less than 3:1? I don’t have the figures to hand, but they would relevant to any attempt to correlate PoW numbers to Soviet combat morale pre- and post-Typhoon.
I do, however, accept your point that a high rate of advance, as was achieved by AGN in the opening phase of the war, might be expected to translate into a higher PoW count.

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 May 2020 12:30

Max Payload wrote:he personnel strength of N-W Front on 22 June was less than half that available to Zhukov on 15 November. That in itself reduces the proportional daily loss rate to German PoW camps from 3:1 to 1.5:1.
AGC took >2x the PoW in ~1/3 the time - that's a ~7x daily capture rate.
Adjusting for Soviet manpower - assuming your 2:1 ratio is correct for now - reduces it to ~3.5x the rate.

I accept your point about PzGr3 engaging the left wing of Northwest Front but it was only one corps so ~10% of AGN's 29-division strength.
We haven't quantified our mutual point about the PoW rate for a force whose front has been shattered (as was NWF's in June-August '41) versus one slowly yielding ground (AGC in our period). But it has to be highly significant.

Just consider: How often do we see a slowly-yielding defender lose >20% of its forces to tactical surrender in a few weeks? I don't think the Germans saw this magnitude of "giving up" until the Wallies were well into Germany.

An army losing 20% of its forces to tactical surrender every 6 weeks will have lost ~half its strength in tactical PoW's alone over three months. If that's not a morale crisis I don't know what is.
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 21 May 2020 14:38

Max Payload wrote:
21 May 2020 10:57

In drawing conclusions from such comparisons it is important to take all relevant factors into account.
It is normal trick by tmp.

1.Was give datas on pow on place and time
2.Was give dates on pow on different place and time
3.Was make mostest biggest jump for to conclude = compelling evidence of a morale crisis.

Pow datas was not be any evidence of morale crisis.

I can to make exact same tosh analysis and conclusion.

1.i give datas on pow on place and time
2.i give dates on pow on different place and time
3.i make mostest biggest jump for to conclude = compelling evidence of highest morale on Soviet soldier what was not retreat 1cm and was only surrender when was no more bullets or bombs.

My tosh analysis is best for to explain why was slow advance and why was fail Germany attack.

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by stg 44 » 21 May 2020 22:27

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
In Zetterling's book on Taifun and its aftermath, he mentions that a single panzer corps in Guderian's group captured ~2,400 PoW over a few days in latter October '41 - so after Taifun's operational encirclements. Most of these were from 6th Guards Rifle Division, so not green militias whose tactical surrender would be less surprising. Was this a representative sample of Soviet morale, post-Taifun?

Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Wasn't AG-Center still picking up stragglers from the Vyazma and Bryansk pockets for weeks after the pockets were supposedly dealt with?

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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 May 2020 01:02

stg 44 wrote:
21 May 2020 22:27
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
In Zetterling's book on Taifun and its aftermath, he mentions that a single panzer corps in Guderian's group captured ~2,400 PoW over a few days in latter October '41 - so after Taifun's operational encirclements. Most of these were from 6th Guards Rifle Division, so not green militias whose tactical surrender would be less surprising. Was this a representative sample of Soviet morale, post-Taifun?

Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Wasn't AG-Center still picking up stragglers from the Vyazma and Bryansk pockets for weeks after the pockets were supposedly dealt with?
Not so sure about that. The Taifun encirclements were, unlike Minsk and Smolensk, fairly compact.

In addition, as I mentioned up-thread, 34th Panzer Corps captured 2,400 PoW over 5 days in late October. This formation was at the head of Guderian's drive, not cleaning up the rear. Its PoW's came mostly from 6th Guards Rifle Division. So a major lead element of the German drive was taking abnormally high numbers of tactical prisoners - and from an elite Soviet unit.

It's occurred to me that there might be lag in the reporting of PoW figures.
But the PoW rate was at least as high in the second half of November as in the immediate post-Taifun period. If there was a straggler or delayed-reporting effect, we'd expect the early post-Taifun weeks to show higher numbers than latter November. But we don't.

I welcome these questions because we should be cautious about my thesis and subject it to the greatest scrutiny. AFAIK no historian/analyst has identified the trend in Soviet tactical surrenders that I'm discussing.
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 May 2020 01:24

stg 44 wrote:
21 May 2020 22:27
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 May 2020 22:26
In Zetterling's book on Taifun and its aftermath, he mentions that a single panzer corps in Guderian's group captured ~2,400 PoW over a few days in latter October '41 - so after Taifun's operational encirclements. Most of these were from 6th Guards Rifle Division, so not green militias whose tactical surrender would be less surprising. Was this a representative sample of Soviet morale, post-Taifun?

Does anyone have access to AGC's PoW hauls in latter October and November 1941?
Wasn't AG-Center still picking up stragglers from the Vyazma and Bryansk pockets for weeks after the pockets were supposedly dealt with?
You got to admire the logical disconnects. For example, the 12th Army Group G-1 mentions that a single division in First U.S. Army captured 3,813 German PoW over a single day in latter August '44 - so after Cobra's breakthrough. They were from many different German SS and Heer divisions, so not green militias whose tactical surrender would be less surprising. Was this a representative sample of German morale, post-Cobra? Or another division that captured 4,853 in early September.
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Re: Statistics on German PoW hauls in latter October 1941?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 May 2020 01:54

Richard Anderson wrote:Was this a representative sample of German morale, post-Cobra?
OF COURSE IT WAS

German morale was in the pits in August '44.
You got to admire the logical disconnects.
In your mental universe arguments proceed only based on allegiances to this or that position. You assume that I won't recognize dips in German morale because I should behave like you and only recognize facts that comport with some allegiance imputed to me. It's a History Dad approach that substitutes sentiment for analysis.
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