The tank battle of Lauban, 1-8 March 1945

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 26 May 2007 16:02

Kamen Nevenkin wrote:I suppose that the figures posted by Alex are taken from the newly published history of 3 GTA, but only Alex himself can confirm that. Anyway, excellent information, indeed.

All of the three pics posted on the previous page have nothing to do with Lauban. The first one is a well-known SS-propaganda photo taken in the vicinity of Warsaw in the summer of 1944; the second one shows a SU column ambushed and destroyed in Moravia (Brno area?), Apr 45, while the third one even is not a German by origin - it portrays a Soviet tank column in Silesia resting near a destroyed German vehicle.

Kamen


Здравейте Камен.

You are right. They are data from the new book. Its price about 15 dollars. The archival information shows, that losses 3 GTA under Lauban were rather small. On the average in day 3 GTA lost 10-20 tanks.

Regards.

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 26 May 2007 16:12

Alex

A friend of mine in Ukraine has tried to get the book. Any idea how he can get a hold of it?

Thanks a lot.

Thanks also to Kamen for placing the pictures correctly.

All the best

Andreas

mars
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Post by mars » 26 May 2007 17:40

Alex Yeliseenko wrote:
Kamen Nevenkin wrote:I suppose that the figures posted by Alex are taken from the newly published history of 3 GTA, but only Alex himself can confirm that. Anyway, excellent information, indeed.

All of the three pics posted on the previous page have nothing to do with Lauban. The first one is a well-known SS-propaganda photo taken in the vicinity of Warsaw in the summer of 1944; the second one shows a SU column ambushed and destroyed in Moravia (Brno area?), Apr 45, while the third one even is not a German by origin - it portrays a Soviet tank column in Silesia resting near a destroyed German vehicle.

Kamen


Здравейте Камен.

You are right. They are data from the new book. Its price about 15 dollars. The archival information shows, that losses 3 GTA under Lauban were rather small. On the average in day 3 GTA lost 10-20 tanks.

Regards.


Alex, lost 120 tanks/SG guns written-off in a week were serious losses, by the way, according to the German armor strength before and after the battle, German panzer losses must be far more than 10

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 27 May 2007 06:07

Alex, lost 120 tanks/SG guns written-off in a week were serious losses, by the way, according to the German armor strength before and after the battle, German panzer losses must be far more than 10
[/quote]

It were serious losses. But it was easily possible to fill them. It it is impossible to tell about D.Heer. To replace the destroyed technics of the German army in 1945 there was almost nothing.

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Baltasar
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Post by Baltasar » 27 May 2007 08:39

mars, any information about reasons for losses on the German part? I imagine it'd be hard to find spare parts for mechanically broken down vehicles. Not all losses might have been due to combat / air attack activities.

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Post by Art » 27 May 2007 11:23

And here are some additional figures of Soviet losses. Tank losses of 3rd GTA 1st February - 12th March 1945:
IS-122:
Total put out of action - 38
From them due to artillery fire and Panzerfausts - 29
Mines - 5
Aviation - 4
From 38 lost tanks burned down (i.e irrecoverable losses) - 5
T-34: 818/784/17/17/277
ISU-122: 53/ 50/-/3/26
SU-85: 73/66/4/3/29
SU-76: 45/42/1/2/23
SU-57 (lend-lease T48 GMC): 15/15/-/-/10
On 10th March the following number of tanks was available:
T-34-85: 120 servicable/5 require short-term repair/21 medium repair/60 long-term repair
T-34 mine sweepers: 11/-/2/-
IS-122: 4/-/-/-
ISU-122:14/-/-/8
SU-85:28/-/1/1
SU-76: 44/-/5/3
SU-57: 36/-/2/-
It's seen that the tank strength of the army was seriously reduced due to the losses in preceding battles.
The personnel losses from 1st February till 12th March were 1883 KIA, 6527 WIA and 326 others. The army lost 248 guns and mortars and 342 motor vehicles.

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Post by Art » 27 May 2007 12:50

mars wrote:Alex, lost 120 tanks/SG guns written-off in a week were serious losses

If to compare them with normal level losses of Army in 1945, they were surely very high.
See the graphs showing AVF's losses of 3rd GTA in January-March 1945 (the upper graph - irrevocable losses of tanks+ SP guns, the middle - tanks, the bottom - SP guns):
Image
For comparison - the similar graphs for losses in April-May:
Image
So on 4th March 3rd GTA suffered the heaviest losses for all the capmaign.
Last edited by Art on 27 May 2007 12:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 27 May 2007 12:50

BTW, the question on the Soviet losses in armour is almost finished. Now the problem - to define German losses in armour.

Thus we should understand, that German and Soviet techniques/metodics of account of losses were different.

mars
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Post by mars » 27 May 2007 17:11

Alex Yeliseenko wrote:BTW, the question on the Soviet losses in armour is almost finished. Now the problem - to define German losses in armour.

Thus we should understand, that German and Soviet techniques/metodics of account of losses were different.


Yes, the definition of Soviet armor total losses were :
1, destroyed
2. be sent to repair shop in the rear for repairing

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Post by Andreas » 27 May 2007 19:52

The OKW KTB reports 162 Soviet tanks destroyed, and 10 German tanks lost.

All the best

Andreas

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Yuri
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Post by Yuri » 27 May 2007 20:01

Andreas wrote:The OKW KTB reports 162 Soviet tanks destroyed, and 10 German tanks lost.

All the best

Andreas

For what period losses of Germans are taken into account, and what German units are taken into account in these data in OKW?

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Post by Andreas » 27 May 2007 20:04

It seems to refer to the battle of Lauban as a whole. There is no date indication, it is just one sentence, noting the end of the operation, and the losses. It also states that most Soviet soldiers got out of the encirclement.

All the best

Andreas

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Kamen Nevenkin
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Post by Kamen Nevenkin » 27 May 2007 22:38

That 162:10 definitely do not represent the results from the actual tank-kills "scoreboard".

1.After every such tank battle it was of crucial importance who possess the battlefield. In that situation the Soviets withdrew and therefore were not in position to take with them the heavily damaged AFVs. In a vice versa situation the loses of the German side would have been many times higher.

2.The German Command tolerated the vicious practice of reporting only the total write-offs as losses. Recently I came across a very interesting document (Morgenmeldung from early Feb 45) that says literally the following: "Today we repulsed a strong Russian tank attack and destroyed 23 enemy tanks at the cost of only one friendly." At the bottom of the document, however, there is a remark saying that as a result of that action "22 friendly tanks were damaged". So, if we follow the official result the score was 23:1 in favor of Germans, but in reality it was 23:23 and maybe the final result was even in favor of the Russians because those 23 Russian tanks were only claims, and moreover, no one can tell whether they were reparable or not. But this approach was adopted by the postwar western historians, in which books the Russian tanks are burning by hundreds and the German losses were always symbolic or due to mechanical breakdowns. I'm almost 100% sure that if one access the diaries of 3 GTA he will find claims that at least 100 German tanks had been knocked out. So we can only guess about the actual German losses during the Lauban battle, but despite the fact that the repairable losses are still unknown, it could be safely concluded that the German armor losses (as reported tank kills) were several times higher than ten.

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 28 May 2007 00:27

Excellent example, Kamen.

I shall add: to compare German and Russian losses in tanks not so correctly. I saw in a photo almost completely destroyed German tanks, they appeared in the column " long repair ". With such damages nobody sent the Soviet tanks in repair. Them sent in breakage.

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Post by mars » 28 May 2007 01:17

Andreas wrote:It seems to refer to the battle of Lauban as a whole. There is no date indication, it is just one sentence, noting the end of the operation, and the losses. It also states that most Soviet soldiers got out of the encirclement.

All the best

Andreas


in the battle of Lauba (mar 1 - Mar 8) , FBD had 39 Pz IV (16 operational) on Mar 1, and on Mar, it had 10 PZIV (7 operational) and 19 PzV (6), see below:
FBD
(1 March):
39 Pz IV and Pz IV/70 (16 operational), 20 PzV (10) and 29 StuG (10)

(8 March):
8 PzIV (6 operational), 2 BefPzIV (1), 19 PzV (6), 38 StuGIII (8), 20 StuGIV (3), 5 StuH (0), 3 FlakPzIV/2-cm Flak-Vierl (2) and 2 FlakPzIV/3.7-cm (0).

if we only count operational Panzers, there were 10 short : 9 PzIV and 1 PzV(may be that was the original source of the loss of only 10 panzer), but notice there were also short of 29 Pz IV, so where were those panzers ? could there be possible that at least part of those panzers became operational and were lost in the combat.
and also in the battle of labau, Soviet 3rd guard tank army not only fought FBD, they also combated FGD, 8.PzD, 16 PzD, 17 PzD, Pz.Brig. 103, and part of 21. Pz.Div, Soviet lost 120 tanks and SP guns written-off (about 70 were tanks), how many panzers lost from all above German armor units ? 0 ? could that be possible ?

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