Stalingrad

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thom
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by thom » 18 Apr 2010 08:58

According to Veit Scherzer's unit history of 113.ID 6.Armee reported in Mid November 1942 an "Ist" of 51,780 Hiwis
I have long been wondering about this apparent high 6th army Hiwi strength. After looking at some original documents it turned out that (as so often) someone misinterpreted some figures. The 6th army strength report of 13th Nov. 1942 talks about 30,765 Hiwis and 21,015 "Zugeteilte Einheiten" (assigned units), a total of 51,780. Kehring (in his book on Stalingrad) quotes this as "Hiwis and Assigned (probably POWs)", and Overmans (in his article on 6th army losses) translates this into "51,780 Hiwis".

But what do the documents tell us about the composition of the assigned units? 3 examples from the 18th October strength reports - 44th ID: 880 assigned (including 2 Hiwis/POWs), 376th ID: 3,302 assigned (incl. 338 Hiwis/POWs), 384th ID: 420 assigned (incl. 70 Hiwis/POWs). It follows that total Hiwi strength was probably in the range of 35,000 which would be consistent with later strength reports from inside the pocket, considering that appr. 50-60% of 6th army personnel got encircled.

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Qvist
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Qvist » 19 Apr 2010 09:18

Sorry Thom, but it seems that in this case it is you who misinterpret the report. ;) 44.ID did report 2 Hiwi among its Zugeteilte Einheiten, but ALSO 3,964 among its divisional units. (Actually, Hiwi, KgF and non-German Wehrmachtsgefolge). Ditto 376. and 384. ID (2,072 and 1,670 respectively). The reports from other corps than XI give clearly marked Hiwi/Kgf figures, without mixing them up with Weh.Gef., to the tune of a total for the whole army of 28,594 (with a divisional average of 1787). Since this does not include Hiwis employed by the Corps or directly by the AOK (which, judging from the ration strength reports of Army Group North tended to be numerous, and quite plausibly so since these were mainly supply and support units), it seems to me quite possible that the army might have had as many as 50,000 Hiwis and POWs prior to its encirclement (which does not of course automaticaly amount to the same number inside the Stalingrad pocket). It seems clear enough that 6th Army by this time employed Soviet volunteers on a scale that was much, much larger than normal - possibly unique. In this last sense, this runs counter to Overmans' assumption, which is that 6th Army's circumstances were such that other armies must be assumed to have had much larger numbers still, an assumption he would have found universally contradicted if he had looked at the reporting of those other armies.

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thom
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by thom » 19 Apr 2010 19:09

Sorry Thom, but it seems that in this case it is you who misinterpret the report. ;) 44.ID did report 2 Hiwi among its Zugeteilte Einheiten, but ALSO 3,964 among its divisional units.
Perhaps I was not clear enough. The divisions reported their own Hiwis/POWs (eg, 3,964 for 44th ID) and also Hiwis which belonged to the assigned units ("Zugeteilte Einheiten", eg 2 Hiwis for 44th ID out of 880 Zugeteilte Einheiten). The divisional Hiwis are correctly quoted by Kehring et al. but not so the small portion of Hiwis of the Zugeteilte Einheiten. Instead, he and others assume that the Zugeteilte Einheiten consist entirely of Hiwis which is wrong. Please have another look at the respective document:
HiwisXIAK.jpg
But you may be right that a significant number of Hiwis were attached to the Heeres- and Korpstruppen which made up appr. 20-25% of 6th army's strength.
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Qvist
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Qvist » 19 Apr 2010 22:06

Ah, sorry. In that case I did misunderstand you.

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mezsat2
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by mezsat2 » 20 Apr 2010 08:10

randwick wrote:.

It is conventional and something I too believe but
could 4th panzer army have taken Stalingrad by itself in late July early August
the city is impossible to encircle without making a long hook with a major water crossing ,
it is stretched over kilometers of river banks cut by deep gullies
fighting in build up area is in favor of the defender ...always
and the tank assembly line were still churning machines
with a half competent Soviet commander , 4th Pz Army would have been stopped I reckon

.
Perhaps if Hitler had committed the 1st and 4th Pz armies initially to the drive on Stalingrad, they may very well have been able to prevent the Russians from escaping into the city (mainly 64th and 62nd armies- which ultimately became the primary defenders of Stalingrad in the crucial initial phases). 6th army would take care of mopping this up while the panzer armies siezed the largely undefended city and the crucial Don/Volga isthmus. Once this was goal was firmly accomplished, the Caucasus would be ripe for the picking. As usual, however, Hitler aimed for too many ambitious objectives simultaneously which led to failure everywhere.

The defense of the northern flank on the Don was ultimately fatal as well. The bridgeheads all along the river were not reduced during the initial advance and became the jumping off points for the devastating counterattacks in Dec./Jan. Hitler would have been wiser to commit German forces to this vital sector (maybe Manstein's Army in the Crimea which was inexplicably dissolved) rather than a motley crew of satellite armies. The Rumanians could have defended Kerch and the Crimea against the shabby Russian forces in that theater.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Michate » 20 Apr 2010 12:58

I have long been wondering about this apparent high 6th army Hiwi strength. After looking at some original documents it turned out that (as so often) someone misinterpreted some figures. The 6th army strength report of 13th Nov. 1942 talks about 30,765 Hiwis and 21,015 "Zugeteilte Einheiten" (assigned units), a total of 51,780. Kehring (in his book on Stalingrad) quotes this as "Hiwis and Assigned (probably POWs)", and Overmans (in his article on 6th army losses) translates this into "51,780 Hiwis".
I noticed that some time ago. thom, do you happen to have the complete 6th army strength report of 13th November 1942? Kehrig drew some information from it, but it seems incomplete.
BTW, do the figures complied in this link ( http://ww2stats.com/cas_ger_var_abwa.html ), 1. table, include hiwis etc., or do these come on top of these figures?

Michate
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Michate » 20 Apr 2010 15:36

But you may be right that a significant number of Hiwis were attached to the Heeres- and Korpstruppen which made up appr. 20-25% of 6th army's strength.
Would not part of these already be included in the "assigned" category of the divisions?

thom
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by thom » 21 Apr 2010 11:10

Yes I think so.
I noticed that some time ago. thom, do you happen to have the complete 6th army strength report of 13th November 1942?
Yes, are you interested in specific details or would you like to have a copy?
BTW, do the figures complied in this link ( http://ww2stats.com/cas_ger_var_abwa.html ), 1. table, include hiwis etc., or do these come on top of these figures?
According to Overmans, Hiwis and other non-German personnel are not included in the Abwicklungsstab figures.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Michate » 21 Apr 2010 17:23

Yes, are you interested in specific details or would you like to have a copy?
Honestly (but immodestly), I would prefer the latter :)

I am trying to get a detailed figure, to compare to the figures provided by Kehrig and (few ones, but often quoted) Schröter and the Abwicklungsstab and, if possible, to get some comparison with Soviet strength.
According to Overmans, Hiwis and other non-German personnel are not included in the Abwicklungsstab figures.
Ah yes, I remember, somewhere I have his article with his estimates of Stalingrad losses, which are largely based on the Abwicklungsstab figures.

thom
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by thom » 21 Apr 2010 19:22

18 pages or so. Please send me your email via pm.

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