German Losses (KIA)

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Bergveen
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Bergveen » 27 Jun 2008 22:50

Sources.

Because you all insist on naming the sources, I will write no further and first pick up and describe all sources on the subject with all statements given about losses. I do realize the importance of this, because the sources are an important "context" for explaining the many differences. Losses has to do with definitions, scope, time and place aso.

But for myself I already can explain and attribute 3 million battle KIA's and about 4+/- million losses (because there is a clear breakdown of 3,9 million losses of the WASt to country and I have a sharp picture of all the battlefields in Europe.

I really want the case closed with a sound and reliable explanation what happened with the last 1 million+ soldiers. Rüdiger Overmans is the only person which gave a rough breakdown of all 5,3 million. His 2 million MIA however remains open for discussions.

bobbyhill
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by bobbyhill » 28 Jun 2008 04:31

It's not between D-day and the final surrender where half of German casulties occured. It was between Bagration and the fall of Berlin where the casulties occured. The majority of German casulties occured on the eastern front. Operation Bagration was the most destructive Allied offensive during the war. But the offensive lacked a "clear symbol" such as a famed city (Stalingrad, Leningrad.....) so it was not as well known in the West. But for the sheer destructive power, Bagration claimed the most casulties on the Germans. Army Group Center simply evaporated and many German civilians/refugees in the east met their ends.

And it was Bagration and subsequent Berlin offensive the world witnessed Red Army's awesome destructive power (atrocities as well).

Bergveen
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Bergveen » 28 Jun 2008 08:39

To Bobbyhill. Totally agreed that most German losses in WWII occurred in the East and after june 1944. Bagration (28 divisions lost) was shortly followed by an equal destructive offensive in the South against Rumania (16 divisions lost). The Soviet also smashed Army Group Northern Ukraine near Brody (encirclemnet of 13th corps). In 1945 the Soviets unleashed 4 other very destructive offensives: the East-Prussia/Wisla operation (1); the clearance of the "Wings": Pomerania and Silesia (2); the crossing of the Oder and encirclement of Berlin (3) and the remaining armygroup around Prague (4).

To give an impression of the terrible/ huge losses:

Brody/ Lemberg/ Sandomierz/ Dukla Pass operation: about 50.000 KIA in wehrmacht and 75.000 MIA (mainly because of Brody). Soviets used all 4 Tank armies to break trough. 5th Gds tank army moved to area of Vitebsk (Bagration). Germans used almost all their armor to stop the Soviets. First Königstiger arrived at the front, but their debut was no success! Soviet drive stops at the southern Wisla and Dukla Pass.

Bagration: Germans 670.000 (192.000 KIA; 158.000 MIA of which 50% died/killed as POW) and wounded (rest); Soviets: 765.000 (178.000 KIA), rest wounded. So at least 270.000 German soldiers died or were killed as a result of Bagration (compared to the 210.00 killed from the worst battle before Bagration: Stalingrad). Today 250.000 graves of German soldiers are found in Beylo-Russia alone. Of this total a minor number can be attributed to earlier combat. Note that there were 10-of thousands of encircled Germans which were cut-off and decided to go West and try to reach the own lines through the dense forests of Beylo-Russia. In desparate battles most were hunted down, but these desparate men took with them many enemies!!! Note 2; the Soviet Army had only 1 Tankarmy and used frontal assaults through minefields as standard attack mode. This cost them huge numbers of soldiers. The German Army list 350.000 men as MIA. Soviet drive ended with German encirclement & destruction of Soviet 11th Gds Tank Army near Gumbinnen. It stops in front of East Prussia and Warsaw. Causes of disaster: to few mobile divisions/too static defenses, virtually no air power and retreating armies had too few or no radio sets to communicate with the German High Command. So they were encircled, without air support or air cover and could not communicate to relief forces (4,5 and 6th panzer divisions).

In the offensive against Rumania the KIA/captured were about 75-80.000 and 90-120.000 of which many died in Soviet custody. 2 causes: Rumanian defection and almost all units were non-motorised. No armor/ air power present. On Rumanian soil 38.000 graves are found,in Moldavia (Soviet side) many more graves were found. In Bulgaria 1800 died. The German Army list 200.000 men as MIA. The first Soviet offensive which cost them less KIA/MIA than the Wehrmacht. Soviet casulaties: 180.000 (see Krivosheev). Loss of Ploesti means great parts of Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe were without sufficient fuel. Movement restructed. Soviet drive ended with German encirclement & destruction of Soviet 6th Gds Tank Army near Debrecen. The offensive stops before Budapest.

As a result of the Soviet offensives against Poland (General-Gouvernement), East-Prussia, Pommerania & Silesia: 450.000 Germans rest in the ground there and up to 200.000 more in the Baltic states. To this must be added the killed POW's. So this produced even far more killed German soldiers than Stalingrad & Bagration together!!!!
Key-note: THIS was the dying ground of the German Wehrmacht. Many soldiers of the Germans Reserve Army (40 reserve "Volksgrenadier" divisions) were drafted into combat to close the line after Bagration and here they met their end!!! Also many of the Volkssturm were in these statistics. Reinforcements: Panzer Korps Grossdeutschland, Herman Göring Fallschirmjäger panzerkoprs but also reinforcements from North Europa, like the 18th Mountain Corps.
The Soviet offensive ends before the Oder/ Neisse and Küstrin.

The Berlin operation did cost the Germans at least 125.000 KIA more with many from the Volkssturm, Hitlerjugend, Marine. To this must be added the killed POW's. Here all reserve Panzer-divisions were thrown in the line and met their end. Huge Soviet losses before the Seelow Heights, in the Spree fur forests near Halbe and in Berlin (2000 tanks knocked out).

Finally the encirclement of Army Group Centre (second time) around Prague: at least 178.000 bodies were found all over Tjecho-Slovakia: this total also comprises those killed in 1944 in battles for the Dukla Pass, the furious battles for Ostrava, Kosice). To this must be added the killed POW's. The Soviets captured over 2000 tanks and about 4500 of the most advanced planes which were used in WWII, all without gas. Soviet losses: moderate.

All above battles did cost the Germans a terrible number of casualties: more than the whole war before and the Westfront after june 44 together!!!

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Jun 2008 10:57

Hi Bergveen,

You cannot ever rely on the internet as a source as it is open to fraud, manipulation and error because it cannot be corrected by peer review.

The Internet is useful as a method of tracking sources down. It is not reliable as a source in itself.

If you simply go around collecting the highest casualty figures available on the internet you are just going to accumulate a set of untested and unverifiable extremes posted by who knows who for who knows what reason.

The only way you are going to reach any useful conclusion is to go beyond the internet. For example, if you simply go on using greatly exaggerated figures for German POWs who died clearing mines in France after the war when you have been given a sound, published source on the subject, then you are simply going to discredit yourself.

Please consult Mike Croll's The History of the Landmine before spreading other people's internet fantasy figures. Croll is an expert on the subject who gives his sources. If necessary, follow them up as well to the primary documentation.

This is just one test case I have used to point out that your methodology is flawed and is leading you to exaggerated conclusions that can be questioned. (I did the same earlier with your Charlemagne executions exaggeration). Far better to keep to the verifiable facts. They are often damning enough to make a case perfectly well.

Cheers,

Sid.

Bergveen
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Bergveen » 28 Jun 2008 11:58

Hi Sid,

Yes, right. But I already admitted that. As said many times before I was out for an explanation of the missing million if the others were KIA in battles I already mentioned. In this respect I was too eager to accept exagerated on a few Internet sites with respect to German POW's. As for the military side I studied more than 1000 of books and already had a lot of writings with David Glantz about the losses on the Eastern Front. The POW issue is fairly new for me. I did read Baque, Carell and papers from Rummel. I simply can not explain the lost million in more battle casualties. These are already very high.
One article seems on this subject tries to explain the exagerated views (f.e. Baque). Please read (search on) "US & French abuse of german POW, 1945-1948" of Hugo S. Cunningham of 2005. See: www.cyberuser.com.
He explains some of the exagerations.

So my studies on battlefield losses are based on crossing and analyzing many sources; for the POW's that proces have to start now. I will certainly read the articles you put forward to me.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Jun 2008 12:27

Hi Bergveen,

I see what has happened - you have been misled by Bacque into believing there are a missing million German POWs.

Before going any further, I would refer you to the following link, which is a review of Bacques' book by Stephen Ambrose:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/b/bac ... e-001.html

It will make pretty clear where Bacque's fictitious "missing million" came from.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by David Thompson » 28 Jun 2008 13:22

For discussions of Bacque's claims in the H&WC section of the forum, see:

Mal-treatment of German POWs
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=78538
50,000 Germans died in US captivity in one small area??
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=12779
James Bacque's work on the deliberate starvation
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=49317
Guess who’s Bacque
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=43792
One million German POWs killed by US/UK?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=27723
Chock Full of Death; German POWs by James Baque
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=17360
American and Franch (post) war crimes
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=8288
German POW treatment by Americans
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=8614
German POWs
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=141
Newspaper clipping file on postwar POW release controversy, beginning at:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 904#602904

Bergveen
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Bergveen » 28 Jun 2008 20:34

Sid & david,

Ok, you cleared the sky of all accusations by Baque. Remaining question: how many actually died in the Rhine camps? Overmans & Maschke use numbers. Are these numbers still valid? Which number is most reliable?

3 other questions:

The Soviets and the German POW's.
Overmans agrees on the Soviet number of killed/ died POW's of 363.000 , while Soviets themselves talk about 479.000 names given to the Germans as died in Soviet custody. Overmans also supposes 50% of the 2 million remaining MIA may be killed as Soviet POW's. This means that Overmans thinks of 363.000 + 1.000.000 may be died in soviet custody. the number of the Mascke commission was 1.090.000. Which articles are written on this subject to clear the sky here?

The French and German POW's
Present studies say: 34.000, Maschke: 25.000. There are articles on Internet which state far higher numbers. IF the number of 34.000 is correct, by which causes can the 239.000 burried German Soldiers in France because of WWII be explained, since we know that 43.000 died in 1940 and about 80.000 because of the battles in Normandy in 1944.
And these were the two main causes of death, besides the 34.000 which died as POW between 1945 and 1948.
So which causes explain the gap (= 84.000 soldiers) between the total burried and KIA in the 2 main campaings?

The Yugoslavs and German POW's
Present studies say 11.000. Mascke: 80.000. Are there reliable sources or articles which can shine light on this big difference?
Overmans presents 103.000 KIA on the Balcans, where all burried Germans in Yugoslavia (but not all found!!!) are about 57.500, 3.600 in Albania and about 7.900 in Greece. There are 68.000 burried soldiers. In respect to Overmans there is a gap of 35.000 KIA/MIA. If Overmans is correct the 35.000 fit perfectly as a number which lies in between the two given numbers. If this may be true, why didn't Overmans use the number of 35.000 instead of 11.000???

Note: to my personal opionion the number of 11.000 is (too) low (?) in respect to what the German prisoners had to endure on the "death marches in the sun". Carell speaks of 40.000 dead on these marches. Then there is the story of the many shot prisoners of the 1st Mountain Division. Are here relaible articles?

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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by David Thompson » 29 Jun 2008 00:14

Bergveen -- You wrote:
The Soviets and the German POW's.
Overmans agrees on the Soviet number of killed/ died POW's of 363.000 , while Soviets themselves talk about 479.000 names given to the Germans as died in Soviet custody. Overmans also supposes 50% of the 2 million remaining MIA may be killed as Soviet POW's. This means that Overmans thinks of 363.000 + 1.000.000 may be died in soviet custody. the number of the Mascke commission was 1.090.000. Which articles are written on this subject to clear the sky here?
I haven't been able to get a satisfactory answer to this problem. Here's the short version:

(1) Apparently, in 1945 the Soviet Union announced that it had taken 3.5 million German POWs.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 08#p602908

(2) The GUPVI (Soviet POW camp administration) apparently only registered 2,388,443 German POWs. Of these, according to Soviet records, 356,687 died in captivity.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 07#p183007

(3) According to Soviet press releases, the USSR had repatriated 1,939,063 German POWs by Oct 1950, with 8,717 being held as war criminals + 3,815 more German POWs being investigated for war crimes + 14 too sick to repatriate (total = 13,546) at that time. These (less those who died) were released by 1955-56.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 08#p602908

(4) According to the West German government in 1950, that left 1,285,494 German POWs unaccounted for.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 12#p602912

I haven't seen any studies which account for the numerical discrepancy. Other Axis countries had similar complaints about POWs held by the USSR. See generally, the New York Times clipping file on the postwar Soviet POW release controversy, beginning at:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 904#602904

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Qvist
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Qvist » 29 Jun 2008 07:43

Sorry Bergveen, but the data you quote for German losses here are completely nonsensical. Where do they come from?

1. Bagration: German losses of 670,ooo is pure fantasy.

Niklas Zetterling and Anders Franksson discuss the Bagration casualties in their JSMS article "analyzing WWII E.Front battles", as an example of how the German reporting system coped with catastrophic defeats that made regular, periodical reporting incomplete. The ten-day reports of the armies have some gaping holes in them.

PZAOK 3 reported 7,851 KIA, 31,125 WIA and 7,076 MIA 21 June-31 August. there is no report for the period 1-10 July.

AOK 4 reported 3,411 KIA, 16,583 WIA and 5,540 MIA. Again there is no report for the period 1-10 July.

AOK 9 reported 2,438 KIA, 11,756 WIA and 2,662 MIA. Reports for all of July are missing.

AOK 2 reported 7,080 KIA, 32,833 WIA and 12,976 MIA. Reporting is complete.

Totals: 20,780 KIA, 92,297 WIA, 28,254 MIA. Total casualties: 141,331.

This is of course not the totality of the German losses. For AOK 4, there is a supplementary report of 14 September, which adds another 4,604 KIA, 13,255 wounded and 107,615 missing. A report of 14 November provides the balance of the remaining losses: 517/1,814/62,100 in AOK 9, 460/2383/64,990 in PzAOK 3. Totals would then be:

PzAOK 3: 8,311 KIA, 33,508 WIA, 72,076 MIA - TOTAL: 113,885
AOK 4: 8,015 KIA, 29,838 WIA, 113,155 MIA - TOTAL: 151,008
AOK 9: 2,955 KIA, 13,570 WIA, 64,762 MIA - TOTAL: 81,287
AOK 2: 7,080 KIA, 32,833 WIA, 12,976 MIA - TOTAL: 52,889
TOTAL: 26,361 KIA, 109,749 WIA, 262,969 MIA - TOTAL: 399,079

What source have you been using? And how exactly do you know that 50% of the German MIA died in captivity? That conclusion makes absolutely no sense, for two reasons. Firstly, nobody knows how many of the German MIA were actually dead as opposed to captured, but it is clear that it was many. Secondly, nobody is very sure about the incidence of death in capture in the East either. Which is one reason why you still have almost a million men unaccounted for.

The rest of your data quite frankly seem rather fanciful to me. They include firm deaths figures for operations for whom I have never seen any figures given, much less something as precise as this, in periods of the war when it is generally accepted that the German records, such as exist, no longer provide clear and reliable answers. I assume that it is not neccessary to point out the obvious reasons why estimated Soviet figures for GErman losses should never be used. So before I am inclined to take them seriously at all, you need to explain where they are coming from, please?

There are few things more pointless than discussing history on the basis of quantified data that are not adequately accurate. Point 1 on the agenda is to take care of that.

cheers
Last edited by Qvist on 29 Jun 2008 08:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Qvist » 29 Jun 2008 07:47

Overmans agrees on the Soviet number of killed/ died POW's of 363.000 , while Soviets themselves talk about 479.000 names given to the Germans as died in Soviet custody. Overmans also supposes 50% of the 2 million remaining MIA may be killed as Soviet POW's. This means that Overmans thinks of 363.000 + 1.000.000 may be died in soviet custody. the number of the Mascke commission was 1.090.000. Which articles are written on this subject to clear the sky here?
This is where the matter stands, I believe. Unless new information should emerge from Russia, there is hardly much that can be done to improve on the basis created by the Maschke commission. An obvious grey area is soldiers who were captured, but who died before being formally recorded on the Soviet side.

cheers

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Qvist
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Qvist » 29 Jun 2008 08:33

Sources.

Because you all insist on naming the sources, I will write no further and first pick up and describe all sources on the subject with all statements given about losses. I do realize the importance of this, because the sources are an important "context" for explaining the many differences. Losses has to do with definitions, scope, time and place aso.
When it come to this subject, there are some things that are vital to understand. One is that the issue of German losses, as a result of the destruction of much German documentation and its unfinished state as a result of the collapse of the Third Reich, is and always will remain a tentative field. The basis for any rock solid final figures simply does not exist, and never will. Overmans study, while certainly one that has advanced the field, is no exception. Also, his methodology is not beyond objection. Michate touched on some of them on page 1 of this thread. Another is that almost no serious work has been done on the subject. The vast majority of information you can find about German losses on the web and in books is simply wrong, and frequently by an order of magnitude or more. Usually they derive from old estimates which have almost invariably proven of no value.

What I am getting at is this. The sources in this field are not "important context". They are 99.9% of the issue. Unless the source is reliable, the figure is absolutely worthless. Worse, it is probably misleading. "Reliable" in this context means in effect "derived from original documentation, correctly understtod and viewed against enough context from other original documentation to be considered plausibly accurate." You mention later that
As for the military side I studied more than 1000 of books and already had a lot of writings with David Glantz about the losses on the Eastern Front.
If that is so, it will come as no surprise to you how few of those books deal in a serious and systematic way with the issue of German losses, though no doubt lots of them will have contained statements about it. In fact, I would say that Overmans' remains the only book to ever address the issue as such, plus the tomes of the Maschke Commission of course. Only a handful of other works - notably Müller-Hillebrand, Zetterling and Dupuy does so in a more limited way, while many others at least quotes from relevant documentation. Glantz I am sorry to say I would not consider one of the authors who has demonstrated much grasp on this issue, which remains perhaps the chief shortcoming of his otherwise excellent work. If you are really interested in the subject, you need to look at the original documentation, not a literature that has largely ignored th subject.
But for myself I already can explain and attribute 3 million battle KIA's and about 4+/- million losses (because there is a clear breakdown of 3,9 million losses of the WASt to country and I have a sharp picture of all the battlefields in Europe.
Sorry, but this is a frankly ridiculous statement. The whole point of Overmans work is that the WASt figures are incomplete, particularly for the last year of the war. So is the other documentation. If you think that you or anyone else can give a clear and final figure for German losses in the last year of the war and give it a breakdown between different categoruies of losses that is anything but speculative, you simply have no idea of what the state of the evidence is.
I really want the case closed with a sound and reliable explanation what happened with the last 1 million+ soldiers. Rüdiger Overmans is the only person which gave a rough breakdown of all 5,3 million. His 2 million MIA however remains open for discussions.
Heh, who doesn't. One cannot however conjure up a source basis which isn't there. Overmans breakdown is also highly susceptible to critique (Again, see Michates points on page 1).

cheers

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Qvist
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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Qvist » 29 Jun 2008 08:56

Hi Bergveen,

As promised, below are German losses in the Balkans, June 1941 - May 1945:

Date=Cumulative Total
6/41-4/42=1,449
5/42-4/43=5,373
5/43-10/43=16,306
30/11/43=19,785
31/12/43=22,215
31/1/44=24,456
29/2/44=25,670
31/3/44=28,007
30/4/44=30,741
31/5/44=34,328
30/6/44=37,959
31/7/44=42,736
30/8/44=47,296
30/9/44=51,983 or 53,482
31/10/44=61,931 or 63,016
30/11/44=69,970 or 74,760
31/12/44=78,581 or 80,887
31/1/45=84,099
28/2/45=94,316
31/3/45=105,220
20/4/45=109,817

The confused totals for September-December 1944 reflect the confusion of the long German retreat from the Balkans. It appears that only when the front had stabilised again did the staff manage to bring order back to strength returns.

The above figures do not include probably relatively severe losses over 21 April - 8 May 1945 or final surrenders.

Some two-thirds of recorded German losses in the Balkans seem to have occurred after June 1944.
Hi Sid

- These are KIA, WIA and MIA totals?
- What reports are these? The figures are completely different from the Heeresarzt OKH summaries. Which isn't a bad sign really.
- Overmans' Balkans total however goes only to up to October 44, after which all losses on the Balkans have been included under "Ostfront". See page 174.

cheers

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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Bergveen » 29 Jun 2008 19:00

Hi Qvist,

First thank you for your precise data on losses of the German armies which formed one Army Group Centre.
For a change I presented the losses of both side as given bu Soviet sources, because the German sources are based on log-books of army units which presented KIA as too low and MIA as too high. Many of those missing soldiers actually died in battles, on retreats in the thick forests of White Russia or as German POW's.

But please note that I only use clear cut "facts" of the official WASt who found 250.000 corpses of dead German soldiers of WWII in the present state of White Russia!!! These are the KIA and killed/ died POW's of 1941 until 1955. These numbers can be explained for a part using German reports on losses (and simulations of battles to reconstruct possible losses). The losses of 1941 in the area of White Russia can be retrieved easily. The remainder are the killed POW's. So here are no other sources I use than official statistics of the WASt and some recordings on losses in the months of Barbarossa and the losses you present of armies of the battles in the summer of 1944. What do you think of this approach? The WASt also found 100.000 dead corpses in Latvia and 468.000 on the territory of the Poland of today (which contain large parts of former Germany). These found corpses fit in the total number puzzle very well and the totals can be attributed to certain campaigns, periods aso. Of course the total found is still not the real total which died (a number what is theoretically higher than the number of corpses found there).

You are right to point at a grey area of surrendered Germans which died before reaching the POW-camp to be registered. As I can remenber the 108.000 Germans which surrendered at Stalingrad (almost starved, many ill): many died on the the cold and long routes to the first camps and even there many thousands died. Less than half of them boarded trains to Siberia and again many thousands could'nt stand the cold long transport and died. So the Soviets present a number of POW's which was substantial lower than the Germans which surrendered themselves. Of these 2 million were repatriated (and obviously 98% of the rest died). Curious that Overmans only refer to 363.000, while looking at the discrepancy presented by the Soviets themselves the number of death POW's easily reach 800.000. Then there is still that "grey-zone". This is a number between 800.000 and the estimated 1.363.000 (or less, or more).

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Re: German Losses (KIA)

Post by Qvist » 29 Jun 2008 19:27

First thank you for your precise data on losses of the German armies which formed one Army Group Centre.
For a change I presented the losses of both side as given bu Soviet sources, because the German sources are based on log-books of army units which presented KIA as too low and MIA as too high. Many of those missing soldiers actually died in battles, on retreats in the thick forests of White Russia or as German POW's.
Certainly. That does not mean that MIA are too high. "Missing in Action" means just that - it is not synonymous with "Prisoner of war". And I do hope you realise that this is a trivial problem compared to the kind of vast inaccuracy and complete lack of any reliability that normally attaches to German casualty figures that derives from Soviet estimates, or worse still, from official figures. The figures you quoted are in essence completely worthless. I do not mean to be harsh, but it is important that you realise that this is a fundamental methodological error.
But please note that I only use clear cut "facts" of the official WASt who found 250.000 corpses of dead German soldiers of WWII in the present state of White Russia!!! These are the KIA and killed/ died POW's of 1941 until 1955. These numbers can be explained for a part using German reports on losses (and simulations of battles to reconstruct possible losses). The losses of 1941 in the area of White Russia can be retrieved easily. The remainder are the killed POW's. So here are no other sources I use than official statistics of the WASt and some recordings on losses in the months of Barbarossa and the losses you present of armies of the battles in the summer of 1944. What do you think of this approach? The WASt also found 100.000 dead corpses in Latvia and 468.000 on the territory of the Poland of today (which contain large parts of former Germany). These found corpses fit in the total number puzzle very well and the totals can be attributed to certain campaigns, periods aso. Of course the total found is still not the real total which died (a number what is theoretically higher than the number of corpses found there).
I take it that you do not actually mean WASt, but Deutsche Dienststelle? WASt ceased to exist in 1945. As for the method you propose, I must admit I can see several problematical points.

1. Reliability of the figure for German graves
2. Difficulty of separating clearly between soldiers killed in 1941, soldiers killed in 1943/44 and dead POWs.
3. Soldiers dead as hospital patients in Belorussia, without being related to the fighting there
4. What recordings of losses from Barbarossa? I am working with the reporting from this period myself just these days, and I know that the figures for dead are far from clear cut.

You are right to point at a grey area of surrendered Germans which died before reaching the POW-camp to be registered. As I can remenber the 108.000 Germans which surrendered at Stalingrad (almost starved, many ill): many died on the the cold and long routes to the first camps and even there many thousands died. Less than half of them boarded trains to Siberia and again many thousands could'nt stand the cold long transport and died. So the Soviets present a number of POW's which was substantial lower than the Germans which surrendered themselves. Of these 2 million were repatriated (and obviously 98% of the rest died). Curious that Overmans only refer to 363.000, while looking at the discrepancy presented by the Soviets themselves the number of death POW's easily reach 800.000. Then there is still that "grey-zone". This is a number between 800.000 and the estimated 1.363.000 (or less, or more).
Overmans is simply quoting the GUPVI figure, but he also clearly thinks the Maschke commission has a credible estimate As far as I can see, this represents a possible problem for his figures and his breakdown. The "grey zone" phenomenon does not resolve it, in effect he would be treating such deaths as killed in action.

cheers

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