The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Richard Anderson
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 01:33

KDF33 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 18:16
The figure of 2.9 million is merely the best estimate I can arrive at. It happens to match the usual given figure of 2,635,000 men in the Heer + 70,000 in the Waffen-SS + 212,000 men in the "Ostgebiete".
Then I suspect it is more or less correct. Other figures fir 1 July 1942 are:

2,734,000 - AL1574-55 and 65 Handakten OrgAbt. The figure is described as preliminary.
2,847,000 - Müller-Hillebrand (also in RW6/518 "Menschenverluste im Kriege“, WVW 2836/43, 12.5.43).
2,730,000 - MI14/650-3117 "Abschrift. Kräfteverhältnis.“ 25.9.43 states that this includes “aller Kräfte in den rückwärtigen Heeresgebieten und in den Gebieten der Reichskommisariate (in den Kommisariaten sind 99,500 Mann”.
2,635,000, with 212,000 men in the Ostgebiete - RH2/429, "Überschlägige Kräfteberechnung für das Jahr 1943 und ihre Auswirkung auf die Kampfkraft der Ostfront", 8.8.42 quoted in Zetterling/Franksson, "Kursk 1943“, p.2.
As for the divisions mentioned, I'd be greatly interested if anyone had data on their individual strength returns. For arrivals, they are:
Infanterie: 81., 82., 83., 88., 205., 208., 211., 212., 215., 216., 218., 223., 225., 227., 246., 250., 305., 323., 328., 329., 331., 336., 339., 340., 342., 370., 371., 376., 377., 383., 384., 385., 387., 389., 707.

Jäger : 5., 8., 28.

Gebirgs : 5., 7.

Sicherungs: 201., 203.

Infanterie (mot.): Grossdeutschland (expanded from the Regiment already deployed)

Panzer: 2., 5., 22., 23., 24.
Almost all of these units were fresh formations that had not yet seen combat. I don't know their exact establishment strength, but I see no reason to believe they arrived in the East understrength. Hence my manpower estimate of 15,000 - 17,000 men per division, admittedly based on the average Infanterie establishment for the first half of the war.

Now for departures:
Infanterie: 5., 8., 15., 17., 23., 28., 106., 162., 167., 239.

Jäger: 99. leichte Infanterie

Kavallerie: 1.

Infanterie (mot.): SS "Das Reich"

Panzer: 6., 7., 10.
Note that 5., 8., 28. Infanterie, as well as 99. leichte Infanterie and 1. Kavallerie, had returned in the East by the time of Blau - the Infantry Divisions as Jäger (or leichte Infanterie as they were first called), the 99. leichte Infanterie as the 7. Gebirgs, and the cavalry division as the 24. Panzer.

The 239. Infanterie was not, in point of fact, a departure. It was dissolved and its residual strength was absorbed by the 294. Infanterie, which stayed on the Ostfront. From a manpower outflow standpoint, thus, it is more accurate to speak of a net loss of 15 divisions.
There are some other confusions...or perhaps I am missing what you are getting at?

5. Inf-Div, 5. leichte Inf-Div, and 5. Jäg-Div are all one and the same. It was withdrawn from the Ostfront 5 November 1941 and rebuilt in France before returning in February 1942. 8. and 28. Jäg-Div are similar.

99. leichte Inf-Div was organized 16 November 1940 and committed to the Ostfront in June 1941, then was withdrawn to Germany 22 October 1941 for reorganization as 7. Geb-Jäg-Div.

1. Kav-Div was withdrawn and returned as 24. Pz-Div.

And so on. Am I missing something? It looks like double-counting? Or I am misunderstanding what you are getting at.
If anyone knows the strength returns of these 15 divisions before they left the East, I would be grateful.
I'll see what I can dig out, but I am not sure what I might have for that period.
Another way to determine strength in 1942 would be to look at individual Armies Iststärke. The book Enduring the Whirlwind (p228) gives the following data for July 1st:

2. Armee: 280,482
4. Panzerarmee: 85,643
6. Armee: 317,896
1. Panzerarmee: 226,688
17. Armee: 135,504
11. Armee: 164,648

For a total of 1,210,861 men. We could complete the picture with data for the Armies deployed in Heeresgruppen Nord and Mitte on or around the same date, if anyone has it.
Detailed dekade figures for the Verpfleugungsstärke of 11. Armee are available and do not match that given. As of 30 June it was 217,029 Heer, 32,000 Luftwaffe, and 2,526 Kriegsmarine, 92,137 Romanians, 1,100 Baustad Speer, 900 OT, 45 NSKK, 1900 Reichsbahn, 350 SD, and 500 "Tataren". They were also feeding 29,539 Kriegsgefangenen.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by KDF33 » 20 Dec 2020 03:09

Hi Richard,
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 01:33
KDF33 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 18:16
The figure of 2.9 million is merely the best estimate I can arrive at. It happens to match the usual given figure of 2,635,000 men in the Heer + 70,000 in the Waffen-SS + 212,000 men in the "Ostgebiete".
Then I suspect it is more or less correct. Other figures fir 1 July 1942 are:

2,734,000 - AL1574-55 and 65 Handakten OrgAbt. The figure is described as preliminary.
2,847,000 - Müller-Hillebrand (also in RW6/518 "Menschenverluste im Kriege“, WVW 2836/43, 12.5.43).
2,730,000 - MI14/650-3117 "Abschrift. Kräfteverhältnis.“ 25.9.43 states that this includes “aller Kräfte in den rückwärtigen Heeresgebieten und in den Gebieten der Reichskommisariate (in den Kommisariaten sind 99,500 Mann”.
2,635,000, with 212,000 men in the Ostgebiete - RH2/429, "Überschlägige Kräfteberechnung für das Jahr 1943 und ihre Auswirkung auf die Kampfkraft der Ostfront", 8.8.42 quoted in Zetterling/Franksson, "Kursk 1943“, p.2.
All these datapoints are virtually the same, to the thousand/hundred man.

1) 2,734,000 - 99,500 = 2,634,500
2) 2,847,000 - 212,000 = 2,635,000
3) 2,730,000 - 99,500 = 2,630,500
4) 2,635,000 + 212,000 = 2,847,000

It suggests that they are all based on the same initial report. Given that your first source mentions how the figure of 2,734,000 men is preliminary, I wonder if the additional 212,000 men corresponds to units arrived in June, and not yet calculated in the Heeresgebieten.

In any event, I see three important questions:

1) What units are included in the 212,000-strong "Ostgebiete" area?
2) What units are included in the 99,500-strong Reichskommissariate area?
3) Is there overlap between the Ostgebiete and the Reichskommissariate figures?

Historically speaking, Ostgebiete refers to Eastern German territories lost after the war. Is this what is meant here, or does it refer to a different administrative category specific to the war era?

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 01:33
KDF33 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 18:16
As for the divisions mentioned, I'd be greatly interested if anyone had data on their individual strength returns.

[...]

Note that 5., 8., 28. Infanterie, as well as 99. leichte Infanterie and 1. Kavallerie, had returned in the East by the time of Blau - the Infantry Divisions as Jäger (or leichte Infanterie as they were first called), the 99. leichte Infanterie as the 7. Gebirgs, and the cavalry division as the 24. Panzer.

[...]
There are some other confusions...or perhaps I am missing what you are getting at?

5. Inf-Div, 5. leichte Inf-Div, and 5. Jäg-Div are all one and the same. It was withdrawn from the Ostfront 5 November 1941 and rebuilt in France before returning in February 1942. 8. and 28. Jäg-Div are similar.

99. leichte Inf-Div was organized 16 November 1940 and committed to the Ostfront in June 1941, then was withdrawn to Germany 22 October 1941 for reorganization as 7. Geb-Jäg-Div.

1. Kav-Div was withdrawn and returned as 24. Pz-Div.

And so on. Am I missing something? It looks like double-counting? Or I am misunderstanding what you are getting at.
I count a unit leaving the Eastern Front as 1 departure, and its return as 1 arrival. Given how the units in question took on replacements in the West during their refreshment, I feel like the proper way to account for the manpower outflow/inflow would be to count the number of men at the moment of departure (outflow) and to count the number of men of the refreshed formation on its return (inflow).

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 01:33
KDF33 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 18:16
If anyone knows the strength returns of these 15 divisions before they left the East, I would be grateful.
I'll see what I can dig out, but I am not sure what I might have for that period.
That would be very appreciated. Thank you!

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 01:33
KDF33 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 18:16
Another way to determine strength in 1942 would be to look at individual Armies Iststärke. The book Enduring the Whirlwind (p228) gives the following data for July 1st:

[...]
Detailed dekade figures for the Verpfleugungsstärke of 11. Armee are available and do not match that given. As of 30 June it was 217,029 Heer, 32,000 Luftwaffe, and 2,526 Kriegsmarine, 92,137 Romanians, 1,100 Baustad Speer, 900 OT, 45 NSKK, 1900 Reichsbahn, 350 SD, and 500 "Tataren". They were also feeding 29,539 Kriegsgefangenen.
The figures in the book are Iststärke for German Heer/Waffen-SS ground forces only. Could that, and the fact that the second set of figures is Verpflegungsstärke, account for the difference? I believe it makes sense for Verpflegungsstärke to be somewhat higher than Iststärke.

Thank you for your input!

Richard Anderson
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 04:07

KDF33 wrote:
20 Dec 2020 03:09
All these datapoints are virtually the same, to the thousand/hundred man.
Yep.
It suggests that they are all based on the same initial report. Given that your first source mentions how the figure of 2,734,000 men is preliminary, I wonder if the additional 212,000 men corresponds to units arrived in June, and not yet calculated in the Heeresgebieten.
Yep.
In any event, I see three important questions:

1) What units are included in the 212,000-strong "Ostgebiete" area?
2) What units are included in the 99,500-strong Reichskommissariate area?
3) Is there overlap between the Ostgebiete and the Reichskommissariate figures?

Historically speaking, Ostgebiete refers to Eastern German territories lost after the war. Is this what is meant here, or does it refer to a different administrative category specific to the war era?
Sadly, the three questions may not be answerable with existing records? I haven't looked into it before. Fundamentally, in this sense the Ostgebiete were the rear areas of the Ostfront, including WB Ostland, Ukraine, Transnistrien, and the General Gouvernment.
I count a unit leaving the Eastern Front as 1 departure, and its return as 1 arrival. Given how the units in question took on replacements in the West during their refreshment, I feel like the proper way to account for the manpower outflow/inflow would be to count the number of men at the moment of departure (outflow) and to count the number of men of the refreshed formation on its return (inflow).
Okay, so you are looking at the ebb and flow of personnel, rather than the actual movement of units. I think that would be easier to track by the monthly totals? Strength, minus losses, plus replacements = next month, with the delta, if any, being unit movements. I just don't see a good reason to challenge the monthly figuers?
That would be very appreciated. Thank you!
Okay.
The figures in the book are Iststärke for German Heer/Waffen-SS ground forces only. Could that, and the fact that the second set of figures is Verpflegungsstärke, account for the difference? I believe it makes sense for Verpflegungsstärke to be somewhat higher than Iststärke.

Thank you for your input!
Sure, Ist-stäarke is a subset of V-stärke, but I would not anticipate such a big difference. At least the Heer figures should be close?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 05:41

Just a note, the Ostgebiete in 1 July 1942 was 212,000 and was planned as 210,000 for May 1943, so seems to have been a pretty stable figure. AL1603-3 "Überschlägige Kräfteberechnung für das Jahr 1943 und ihre Aufwirkung auf die Kampfkraft der Ostfront“, OrgAbt 948/42, 8.8.42
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by KDF33 » 20 Dec 2020 06:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 05:41
Just a note, the Ostgebiete in 1 July 1942 was 212,000 and was planned as 210,000 for May 1943, so seems to have been a pretty stable figure. AL1603-3 "Überschlägige Kräfteberechnung für das Jahr 1943 und ihre Aufwirkung auf die Kampfkraft der Ostfront“, OrgAbt 948/42, 8.8.42
Interesting. This would militate against the theory that it consists of units about to be recategorized as belonging to the Heeresgebieten, although it would be useful to have an idea of what they are exactly. Apart from the "Das Reich" division which was in late June - early July departing the East, I am unaware of any division-sized units that were present anywhere between occupied Poland and the front - and 212,000 men is a large number. Maybe field army supply elements?

In any event, a total German strength of 2,635,000 Heer and 70,000 Waffen-SS still doesn't mesh well with known casualties and reinforcements, and if taken at face value cannot account for the significant jump in strength in the autumn (+187,881 men). The latter strength data fits much better with latter known strength fluctuation, and is better corroborated than the oft-quoted 1 July figure.

Maybe another approach is in order. Do you have data on total Field Army strength on 1.7.1942, either across the different theaters or as an overall number?

P.S.: As an aside, the German strength reporting system for the Ostfront appears to have been quite a mess before 1943.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 06:39

KDF33 wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:13
Interesting. This would militate against the theory that it consists of units about to be recategorized as belonging to the Heeresgebieten, although it would be useful to have an idea of what they are exactly. Apart from the "Das Reich" division which was in late June - early July departing the East, I am unaware of any division-sized units that were present anywhere between occupied Poland and the front - and 212,000 men is a large number. Maybe field army supply elements?
Sorry, yes, the "Ostgebiete" was a general term for the Ostfront Wehrmacht Befehlshabern and were administrative rear-area entities, primarily concerned with military governance. Some rear-area logistic services would be located there, but primarily they would be Sicherungs and Landesschützen units.
In any event, a total German strength of 2,635,000 Heer and 70,000 Waffen-SS still doesn't mesh well with known casualties and reinforcements, and if taken at face value cannot account for the significant jump in strength in the autumn (+187,881 men). The latter strength data fits much better with latter known strength fluctuation, and is better corroborated than the oft-quoted 1 July figure.

Maybe another approach is in order. Do you have data on total Field Army strength on 1.7.1942, either across the different theaters or as an overall number?
Norway 166,000
West and Germany 520,000
Italy and Africa 55,000
Balkans 80,000
Finland 150,000
Eastern Front 2,635,000
Ostgebiete 212,000
Sonstige 130,000
Total 3,950,000

Here is the 30 June 1942 strengths (probably Ist) by army from a series of reports on sickness (RW6-552-50, RW6-535., RW6-552, RW6/573):

AOK 2 175,209
AOK 4 159,166
AOK 6 320,929
AOK 9 266,867
AOK 11 166,010 - that is a better match for your earlier figure
AOK 16 185,829
AOK 17 167,521
AOK 18 323,212
PzAOK 1 170,515
PzAOK 2 200,709
PzAOK 3 129,037
PzAOK 4 141,013
LIX AK ?
Ostheer 2,450,929

Geb. AOK 20 115,193
P.S.: As an aside, the German strength reporting system for the Ostfront appears to have been quite a mess before 1943.
Not the system, but the records. Like the records for the 1940 campaign and the Balkans, I believe there was some loss in the bombing of the Potsdam archives in 1942 that affected some of the Ostfront records.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by KDF33 » 20 Dec 2020 08:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:39
KDF33 wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:13
Interesting. This would militate against the theory that it consists of units about to be recategorized as belonging to the Heeresgebieten, although it would be useful to have an idea of what they are exactly. Apart from the "Das Reich" division which was in late June - early July departing the East, I am unaware of any division-sized units that were present anywhere between occupied Poland and the front - and 212,000 men is a large number. Maybe field army supply elements?
Sorry, yes, the "Ostgebiete" was a general term for the Ostfront Wehrmacht Befehlshabern and were administrative rear-area entities, primarily concerned with military governance. Some rear-area logistic services would be located there, but primarily they would be Sicherungs and Landesschützen units.
Interesting. You mentioned previously a planning document that projected a total of 210,000 men in the Ostgebiete by May 1943. Do you have any data from 1943, so that we could compare actual strength there between 1942 to 1943?

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:39
KDF33 wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:13
[...]

Maybe another approach is in order. Do you have data on total Field Army strength on 1.7.1942, either across the different theaters or as an overall number?
Norway 166,000
West and Germany 520,000
Italy and Africa 55,000
Balkans 80,000
Finland 150,000
Eastern Front 2,635,000
Ostgebiete 212,000
Sonstige 130,000
Total 3,950,000
This strength listing would indicate that the 99,500 men in the Reichskommissariate are included in the 212,000-man figure for the Ostgebiete. Is the original document clear that this includes the entirety of the active army?

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:39
Here is the 30 June 1942 strengths (probably Ist) by army from a series of reports on sickness (RW6-552-50, RW6-535., RW6-552, RW6/573):

AOK 2 175,209
AOK 4 159,166
AOK 6 320,929
AOK 9 266,867
AOK 11 166,010 - that is a better match for your earlier figure
AOK 16 185,829
AOK 17 167,521
AOK 18 323,212
PzAOK 1 170,515
PzAOK 2 200,709
PzAOK 3 129,037
PzAOK 4 141,013
LIX AK ?
Ostheer 2,450,929

Geb. AOK 20 115,193
That's amazing!

Question: Is the total figure of 2,450,929 in the original? Summing up the different armies, I get a total of 2,406,017.

If one adds LIX. A.K. and Gruppe Wietersheim/XIV. Panzerkorps (the latter under direct HGS command on 30.6.1942), we must add the manpower of roughly 9 additional divisions to the above total. There are also the 11 Sicherungsdivisionen directly under Heeresgruppe command. Adding miscellaneous Heeresgruppe/Korps rear and supply units, this would match with the oft-cited figure of 2,635,000 Heer + 70,000 Waffen-SS personnel.

Do you have similar data for the months immediately afterward, i.e. 31.7, 31.8, 30.9, 31.10, etc.?

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 08:13

KDF33 wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:44
Interesting. You mentioned previously a planning document that projected a total of 210,000 men in the Ostgebiete by May 1943. Do you have any data from 1943, so that we could compare actual strength there between 1942 to 1943?
Sadly no.
This strength listing would indicate that the 99,500 men in the Reichskommissariate are included in the 212,000-man figure for the Ostgebiete. Is the original document clear that this includes the entirety of the active army?
It is a strength accounting of the theaters of war and does not distinguish between Feldheer and Ersatzheer elements.

That's amazing!

Question: Is the total figure of 2,450,929 in the original? Summing up the different armies, I get a total of 2,406,017.

If one adds LIX. A.K. and Gruppe Wietersheim/XIV. Panzerkorps (the latter under direct HGS command on 30.6.1942), we must add the manpower of roughly 9 additional divisions to the above total. There are also the 11 Sicherungsdivisionen directly under Heeresgruppe command. Adding miscellaneous Heeresgruppe/Korps rear and supply units, this would match with the oft-cited figure of 2,635,000 Heer + 70,000 Waffen-SS personnel.
That is possible, except that XIV. Panzerkorps was not under Heeresgruppe Süd, it was at the disposal of Ob. Süd, in Italy so was not included in those figures in any way shape or form. At most, you are looking at two divisions plus in LIX. Armeekorps.

201. Sicherungs-Division was at the disposal of 3. Panzerarmee
203. rückw. Heeresgebiet Mitte.
207. rückw. Heeresgebiet Nord.
213. rückw. Heeresgebiet Süd.
221. rückw. Heeresgebiet Mitte.
281. rückw. Heeresgebiet Nord.
285. rückw. Heeresgebiet Nord.
286. rückw. Heeresgebiet Mitte.
444. was a Stab only by this time, at the disposal of HG Süd.
454. rückw. Heeresgebiet Süd.

It is likely that except for 201., which was likely counted with 3. Panzerarmee, the rest made up a large part of the count for the "Ostgebiete".
Do you have similar data for the months immediately afterward, i.e. 31.7, 31.8, 30.9, 31.10, etc.?
I wish. There is a Stand for 1 October 1943, but for Verbänden (divisions and brigades) only. I'll see if I can find any others.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by KDF33 » 05 Jan 2021 03:36

Getting back to this topic!
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 08:13
That is possible, except that XIV. Panzerkorps was not under Heeresgruppe Süd, it was at the disposal of Ob. Süd, in Italy so was not included in those figures in any way shape or form. At most, you are looking at two divisions plus in LIX. Armeekorps.
I believe you're thinking of 1943?

In June 1942 XIV. PzK formed Gruppe von Wietersheim, which, like LIX. AK was separate from individual armies. On June 27th it had 73., 125. and 298. Infanterie, as well as 13. Panzer, LSSAH and Wiking.

LIX. AK had 83., 205. and 330. Infanterie on the same date.

There were also a few divisions not assigned to any particular army. I'm unsure if my list is complete, but I count at least 323., 340. and 371. Infanterie with Heeresgruppe Süd. IIRC 12. Panzer was also undergoing R&R in Estonia, although nominally I believe it was still under control of 18. Armee, albeit not in its area of operation.

Do you know if the figures you provided per army include W-SS? I know the document titled Iststärke von Verbänden nach dem Stande vom 1.10.1943, which you mentioned previously, does not. I would tend to assume the former document doesn't either.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 08:13
I wish. There is a Stand for 1 October 1943, but for Verbänden (divisions and brigades) only. I'll see if I can find any others.
To give an idea of where I come from on this, I first note that there is very consistent data for Ostheer strength in 1943 - 1944. Namely, the document Entwicklung der Iststärke des Ostheeres (thereafter referred to as just Entwicklung), dated July 9th, 1944, shows Heer/Luftwaffe field divisions/Waffen-SS force development over the preceding year.

It shows:

07.1943: 3,138,000
08.1943: 2,985,000
09.1943: 2,676,000
10.1943: 2,568,000
11.1943: 2,641,000
12.1943: 2,619,000
01.1944: 2,528,000
02.1944: 2,366,000
03.1944: 2,391,000
04.1944: 2,340,000
05.1944: 2,444,000
06.1944: 2,620,000
07.1944: 2,235,000

Entwicklung doesn't outright states what it's counting, but a further document, dated July 24th, 1944, shows a total of 2,635,000 men (Heer+SS, without Hiwis) on 1.6.1944 for the 4 Heeresgruppen deployed in the East, without 20th Gebirgsarmee. This is virtually the same as the figure of 2,620,000 cited above, and thus, presumably, Entwicklung is tracking force development across the different Heeresgruppen over the period it covers.

Another document, dated 18.9.1943, tracks force development in 1942-3. It seems to generally include more than just the forces in the Heeresgruppen. For instance, it gives a total of 3,207,830 men for 1.7.1943, rather than 3,138,000. Then again, it appears to be less internally consistent than Entwicklung. For instance, it gives a figure of 2,681,092 men for 1.9.1943, which virtually matches Entwicklung's figure of 2,676,000 for the same date... So, presumably for that date it's only counting the forces in the Heeresgruppen.

Regarding the question at hand in this thread, the latter document shows a big jump from 2,804,448 men on 1.7.1942 to 2,992,329 on 1.10.1942. I can only explain it by assuming that the data for those two dates is counting different things.

My best guess is that the figure of 2,635,000 men on 1.7.1942 is only counting forces in the Armeegebieten, whereas the figures shown in Entwicklung are tracking force development in the wider Heeresgebieten. Thus, to adjust the figures to make them comparable, we would have to do the following: 2,635,000 + 212,000 (rear) - 99,500 (Kommissariate) = 2,747,500 + 70,000 W-SS = 2,817,500.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2021 04:28

KDF33 wrote:
05 Jan 2021 03:36
Getting back to this topic!
Two weeks later! I gotta do a brain reset to figure out what we were talking about.
I believe you're thinking of 1943?
Du-uh! Sorry, I did look at the wrong year.
In June 1942 XIV. PzK formed Gruppe von Wietersheim, which, like LIX. AK was separate from individual armies. On June 27th it had 73., 125. and 298. Infanterie, as well as 13. Panzer, LSSAH and Wiking.
I'll see what I might have for strengths at that time.
LIX. AK had 83., 205. and 330. Infanterie on the same date.
Ditto.
There were also a few divisions not assigned to any particular army. I'm unsure if my list is complete, but I count at least 323., 340. and 371. Infanterie with Heeresgruppe Süd. IIRC 12. Panzer was also undergoing R&R in Estonia, although nominally I believe it was still under control of 18. Armee, albeit not in its area of operation.
In May, 323. Inf-Div was at the disposal of OKH, 340. was in route from France and at the disposal of HG_S, 371. was still in France and was not placed at the disposal of OKH until 8 June. 12. Panzer was HG-N and was under command XXVIII AK 10-23 May when it was at the disposal of 18. Armee until 9 July.
Do you know if the figures you provided per army include W-SS? I know the document titled Iststärke von Verbänden nach dem Stande vom 1.10.1943, which you mentioned previously, does not. I would tend to assume the former document doesn't either.
Possibly not, but it is not always explicit.
To give an idea of where I come from on this, I first note that there is very consistent data for Ostheer strength in 1943 - 1944. Namely, the document Entwicklung der Iststärke des Ostheeres (thereafter referred to as just Entwicklung), dated July 9th, 1944, shows Heer/Luftwaffe field divisions/Waffen-SS force development over the preceding year.

It shows:

07.1943: 3,138,000
08.1943: 2,985,000
09.1943: 2,676,000
10.1943: 2,568,000
11.1943: 2,641,000
12.1943: 2,619,000
01.1944: 2,528,000
02.1944: 2,366,000
03.1944: 2,391,000
04.1944: 2,340,000
05.1944: 2,444,000
06.1944: 2,620,000
07.1944: 2,235,000

Entwicklung doesn't outright states what it's counting, but a further document, dated July 24th, 1944, shows a total of 2,635,000 men (Heer+SS, without Hiwis) on 1.6.1944 for the 4 Heeresgruppen deployed in the East, without 20th Gebirgsarmee. This is virtually the same as the figure of 2,620,000 cited above, and thus, presumably, Entwicklung is tracking force development across the different Heeresgruppen over the period it covers.

Another document, dated 18.9.1943, tracks force development in 1942-3. It seems to generally include more than just the forces in the Heeresgruppen. For instance, it gives a total of 3,207,830 men for 1.7.1943, rather than 3,138,000. Then again, it appears to be less internally consistent than Entwicklung. For instance, it gives a figure of 2,681,092 men for 1.9.1943, which virtually matches Entwicklung's figure of 2,676,000 for the same date... So, presumably for that date it's only counting the forces in the Heeresgruppen.

Regarding the question at hand in this thread, the latter document shows a big jump from 2,804,448 men on 1.7.1942 to 2,992,329 on 1.10.1942. I can only explain it by assuming that the data for those two dates is counting different things.

My best guess is that the figure of 2,635,000 men on 1.7.1942 is only counting forces in the Armeegebieten, whereas the figures shown in Entwicklung are tracking force development in the wider Heeresgebieten. Thus, to adjust the figures to make them comparable, we would have to do the following: 2,635,000 + 212,000 (rear) - 99,500 (Kommissariate) = 2,747,500 + 70,000 W-SS = 2,817,500.
I will try to spend some time going through those and see what strikes me. The main problem so often with German figures is determining just what they encompass - Ist? Gefechts? Fechtende Verbände? Heeres u. Armeetruppen? That may be a factor in some of these variations.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

per70
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by per70 » 05 Jan 2021 15:51

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 06:39
Here is the 30 June 1942 strengths (probably Ist) by army from a series of reports on sickness (RW6-552-50, RW6-535., RW6-552, RW6/573):

AOK 2 175,209
AOK 4 159,166
AOK 6 320,929
AOK 9 266,867
AOK 11 166,010 - that is a better match for your earlier figure
AOK 16 185,829
AOK 17 167,521
AOK 18 323,212
PzAOK 1 170,515
PzAOK 2 200,709
PzAOK 3 129,037
PzAOK 4 141,013
LIX AK ?
Ostheer 2,450,929

Geb. AOK 20 115,193
Two old posts from Qvist gives the same numbers for June '42, and also provides numbers for the following months.

viewtopic.php?p=774947#p774947
viewtopic.php?p=1393218#p1393218

Qvist was unsure about the specific point in time - do your reports clarify that, Richard?

Unfortunately, the document is not clear on which specific point in time the monthly strengths refer to - they could be the start or the end of the month, the 10th, the 20th, or an average of the 10th, 20th and 30th.

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2021 16:46

per70 wrote:
05 Jan 2021 15:51
Qvist was unsure about the specific point in time - do your reports clarify that, Richard?
Sadly no, since they are the same reports.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

per70
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Location: Norway

Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by per70 » 05 Jan 2021 17:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Jan 2021 16:46
Sadly no, since they are the same reports.
Ah, I suspected as much.

Qvist provided monthly (July to Nov) strength data for AOK 2, AOK 6, AOK 11, AOK 17, PzAOK 1, PzAOK 4, LIX AK, XXIX AK and XXIV PzK.
Do you have the same data for AOK 2, AOK 4, AOK 9, AOK 16, AOK 18, PzAOK 2 and PzAOK 3 for August, September and October?

And perhaps for some of the previous months as well if it's not too much to ask?

Regards

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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 05 Jan 2021 18:01

*zwischenruf*

Sometimes you wait 10 or 20 years the neccessary document/ Information etc. ist discovered/ revealled!

I have threads/ questions here on AHF running for 15 Years and more....

Just a comment by myself...sometimes you might never find a definitive answer!

Jan-Hendrik

Richard Anderson
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Re: The State of the Ostheer - May 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2021 20:09

per70 wrote:
05 Jan 2021 17:47
Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Jan 2021 16:46
Sadly no, since they are the same reports.
Ah, I suspected as much.

Qvist provided monthly (July to Nov) strength data for AOK 2, AOK 6, AOK 11, AOK 17, PzAOK 1, PzAOK 4, LIX AK, XXIX AK and XXIV PzK.
Do you have the same data for AOK 2, AOK 4, AOK 9, AOK 16, AOK 18, PzAOK 2 and PzAOK 3 for August, September and October?

And perhaps for some of the previous months as well if it's not too much to ask?

Regards
Sadly, no, there is no real data for August-October except for total Ostheer figures that have already been addressed.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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