17th Army and the Crimea '44

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 29 Oct 2005 11:29

Victor -

Qvist, do the losses of the 17th Army you posted refer only to German troops or do they also include Romanians?


These reports would normally not include personnell from other armies, so my strong assumption is that thay do not include any Romanians. But the more I see of these things the less willing I am to be categorical about things like that.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 29 Oct 2005 14:25

The reason I ask is that if we add the figures I found: 23,397 Romanians, 31,700 Germans plus the roughly 20,000 HiWis we have around the 75,000, very close to the number of casulties of the 17th Army that you posted. The 70-75,000 casualties can also be roughly obtained by substracting the number of evacuated personnel from the initial stregth of the 17th Army.

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Post by Qvist » 29 Oct 2005 17:21

That is interesting. If these figures (the ten-day in general I mean) should include not only HiWis but also subordinated allied forces, it would put a new complexion on things. There are no words of clarification in the reports themselves, unfortunately.

The 31,000 German casualties you quoted was not just killed and missing then? I thought that might be the case, and then the discrepancy would not have been all that big. Incidentally, one has to wonder about the accuracy of figures for specific parts of the battle, given that most of the losses were recorded only after the battle was over.


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Victor
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Post by Victor » 29 Oct 2005 18:48

I don't know for sure if the 31,700 figure includes also the WIA. The 23,397 (or 23,854 depending on the source) Romanians do include the WIA.

You may have a point here. During April-May 1944, over 21,000 men (both Germans and Romanians) were evacuated by air, some being wounded soldiers. They are included in the roughly 150,000 that were evacuated. Among those evacuated by sea were also several thousand civilians, who I don't know if they were included in the 230,000 the 17th Army had before the fighting began, and POWs. Also, when the 17th Army did most of the casulaties counting, the Romanian troops that had been under its command were already reassigned so it may have just counted casualties for German and Hiwi units still within its reach.

Having these in mind it is quite possible that German casualties may have been larger. It would really help if an exact figure for the strength of the 17th Army prior to the 4th Ukrainian Front's offensive existed.

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Post by Anglian » 29 Oct 2005 19:37

Slightluy OT, but this was when the German commander (Schorner?) offered a 3 week leave on the mainland to any soldier who destroyed a Russian tank with hand-held weapns. As this was tantamount to salvation, as everyone could see that the area was about to fall, there was a surge in destruction of tanks.

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Post by Qvist » 29 Oct 2005 20:35

Having these in mind it is quite possible that German casualties may have been larger. It would really help if an exact figure for the strength of the 17th Army prior to the 4th Ukrainian Front's offensive existed.


Actually, the Iststärke of AOK 17 appears to have been considerably lower than the figures quoted. According to the OKH Org.Abt. "Iststärke des Feldheeres"-Notizen, AOK 17 had :

85,945 men on 1 March
94,602 men on 1 April
88,060 men on 1 May

Source; BA-MA RH2-1341.

But I suppose 230,000 would include the Romanians, which this clearly does not. Also, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine personnell would be additional to this figure. Whether it includes HiWi or not is, as always, difficult to say.


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Post by Andreas » 02 Nov 2005 00:31

Qvist wrote:Victor -

Qvist, do the losses of the 17th Army you posted refer only to German troops or do they also include Romanians?


These reports would normally not include personnell from other armies, so my strong assumption is that thay do not include any Romanians. But the more I see of these things the less willing I am to be categorical about things like that.

cheers


Didn't 17. Armee command the Romanian forces on Crimea, i.e. the personel would not be from 'other armies', but from 17. Armee?

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Andreas » 02 Nov 2005 00:32

Anglian wrote:Slightluy OT, but this was when the German commander (Schorner?) offered a 3 week leave on the mainland to any soldier who destroyed a Russian tank with hand-held weapns. As this was tantamount to salvation, as everyone could see that the area was about to fall, there was a surge in destruction of tanks.


Anglian

Do you have a source for that?

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Qvist » 02 Nov 2005 08:16

Didn't 17. Armee command the Romanian forces on Crimea, i.e. the personel would not be from 'other armies', but from 17. Armee?

All the best

Andreas


Hi Andreas

Yes they did, and this was not an uncommon phenomenon, but they are still from "other armies", in the sense of "Romanian Army" rather than the "German Army". :) I do not think they would normally report the casualties of these through the ten-day channel. But absolutely positive I am not.

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Post by Anglian » 02 Nov 2005 21:10

Andreas wrote:
Anglian wrote:Slightluy OT, but this was when the German commander (Schorner?) offered a 3 week leave on the mainland to any soldier who destroyed a Russian tank with hand-held weapns. As this was tantamount to salvation, as everyone could see that the area was about to fall, there was a surge in destruction of tanks.


Anglian

Do you have a source for that?

All the best

Andreas


Hi Andreas,
Yes - page 345 of "Hitler's Field Marshalls and Their Battles" (Guild Publishing, 1988). The notes at the end of the book say the sources are Irving, 1977 pp626-27, and Ziemke (Earl F Ziemke "Stalingrad to Berlin; The German Defeat in the East" US Dept of Army 1966) p293.

The book says "...only 26,000 of the 64,700 men trapped at Sevastopol had escaped. Almost 26,000 Rumanians were also lost."

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Post by Andreas » 02 Nov 2005 21:20

Hi Anglian

Thanks for coming back on this. My question was relating to the tank destructions. No mention this in Ziemke (I just checked), and I do not consider Irving a reliable source.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 06 Jul 2007 10:56

The Retreat to Sewastopol:

Source:

Wolfgang Pickert Vom Kuban-Brückenkopf bis Sewastopol- Flakartillerie im Verband der 17.Armee - Appendix Map 12

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 16 Aug 2007 20:25

Pickert gives on pages 126 the following numbers:

Verpflegungsstärke per 8th April 1944:

Wehrmacht-----Romanian

128,500----------66,000

Evacuated:

96,800----------40,200

of them were wounded:

33,400-----------5,800

The source he mentions is:

Oberst i.G. Fhr. von Weitershausen Die Verteidigung und Räumung von Sewastopol, printed in the WWR May and June 1954

Jan-Hendrik

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Post by Yuri » 17 Aug 2007 20:03

Jan-Hendrik wrote:Pickert gives on pages 126 the following numbers:

Verpflegungsstärke per 8th April 1944:

Wehrmacht-----Romanian

128,500----------66,000

Evacuated:

96,800----------40,200

of them were wounded:

33,400-----------5,800

The source he mentions is:

Oberst i.G. Fhr. von Weitershausen Die Verteidigung und Räumung von Sewastopol, printed in the WWR May and June 1954

Jan-Hendrik


The most full data on operations on clearing Crimea from German-Romanian-Slovak troops can be found in work of Soviet historian Litvin G.A.

The book contains the big number of documents from German archive. In these documents it is given detailed enough data on structure and figures of the grouping, in the taking place spring of 1944 in Crimea

During war Litvin the participant of battle in Crimea in 1943-1944. He was air-riflemen by shturmovik IL-2. He well knows German language and after war worked in German archive in Potsdam.

Big help Litvin rendered the colonel of NVA of GDR Witzleben – the nephew it is known the German field marshal.

Litvin G.A, Smirnov E.I. Clearing of Crimea (November, 1943 - May, 1944)

File WF-03/50075. pp.137-138:

The appendix # 6 to the order on 17-th Army,
operations section # 38/44, top secret from 9/04/1944.
Simultaneously the appendix # 7 to the order on 17-th Army,
operations section # 18/44, top secret from 14/03/1944.

Preliminary instructions on the organization of a withdrawal and the further evacuation on continent.

1. As the order on the organization of a withdrawal and the further evacuation on continent from higher instances for carrying out of operations "Tiger" and "Adler" the following preliminary instructions are given till this moment is not received.

2. After reception of a signal " the Tiger begins " or " Adler begins " Korjuk 550 creates " a staff of the further management Constanta " for parts of 17-th Army acting to Constanta.

3. Korjuk 550 from the beginning of operation "Tiger" immediately establish communication(connection) with German and Romanian military authorities to report him(it) on the problem(task). It is especially important to come into contact to German military mission in Romania (Bucharest).

4. Through Korjuk 550 the following tasks carried out:

a) To provide fast landing from arriving courts and an immediate march of military units from harbours. It is necessary to take into account precisely arriving officers, corporals and private soldiers, and also to establish the name of parts.

b) Fast unloading planes in air stations and a conclusion of people for limits of air stations. To make simultaneously that, as in seaports.

c) To organize information bureau, where to direct arriving on I exhaust also to air.

d) To organize instructions, where to direct people for an arrangement in shelter. All this to do for units of 17-th Army, taking into account number
connections, namely:

50-n ID — 14,000 men
73-n ID — 8,000 men
98-n ID — 12,000
336-n ID — 10,000 men

Mountain - shooting regiment "Crimea" and the separate battalions which are included in group " Kriger " — 400 men
" east battalions " together with a staff "Ost" at 17-th army — 7,000 men
Staff 5 AK with corps units — 15,000 men
Staff 49 mountain - shooting AK with corps units — 1,000 men
Staff 17 A with army units (without units of supply, including overland engineering units and building units) — 9000 men
Harko 304 (a staff of artillery with overland and sea artillery) — 10,500 men
Units of supply of army — 27,000 men
Units SS and police-führer — 6,000 men
Lüftwaffe (9 antiaircraft battalions here are included) — 15,000 men
Staff of 1-st mountain - rifle corps the Romanian with corps units — 2,500 men
1 mountain – rifle division the Romanian — 9,000 men
2 mountain - rifle division the Romanian — 9,000 men
3 mountain - rifle division the Romanian — 8,000 men
10 ID Romanian — 11,000 men
19-n Romanian ID — 10,000 men
6-n Romanian Cav. Div — 7000 men
9-n Romanian Cav.Div — 7000 men

(All in submission of 17-th Army at this time was, not considering force Kriegsmariene 199,700 men — the note of the translator)


Thus it is necessary to mean, that updating and holidayers continued to arrive to Crimea till May, 9 inclusive.

It is natural, that my return translation cannot guarantee accuracy in a semantic part of the document, but figures should be contain.
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 17 Aug 2007 20:30

Units SS and police-führer — 6,000 men


Schuma-Btls.. 147, 148, 149, 150, 154

Would be interesting to estemish their real personal strength :wink:

Jan-Hendrik

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