Russian Military losses

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 07 Apr 2009 21:24

Art wrote:
kon wrote:general demographic losses 27 million,6-7 million civil losses and 20 military

And how are the losses of civilians obtained? It must be said that Krivosheev an others used the opposite method, namely military losses were subtracted from the general losses on order to calculate civilians losses. In principle it is obvious why it was made so. Military losses were registered by military channels (how well is another question), while civilian losses on the occupied territories were not registered at all. So losses of civilians is a very difficult matter. Then I must repeat what I have allready said - 20 millions military losses dont' look reasonable at all. In all 30,665 million served in Soviet Armed forces during the war (excluding mobilized for labor employment). By June 1945 in the Army, Fleet, hospitals and military formations of civilian organizations there were roughly 12 million men. The difference is 18,7 million, which is allready less than 20. Then about 6 millions men were discharged from the Army and Fleet due to wounds and diseases, transferred to NKVD troops, allied troops, sentenced etc, about 1,8 POWs returned from captivity. Taking all this into account one should conclude that the Soviet Army simply couldn't lose 20 million men.


This is the official data and Krivoshein fantastically exaggerated number of victims of the civilian population to hide losses military.About Belarus, I already wrote that the real strength mobilized in the Red Army was 400 thousand more than the official figures 1.3 mln.Also explained that the number of victims of the civil population of Belarus overstated by 1 million.

18 million dead civilians USSR-absurd.As well as 3 million Poles, the real figure is no more than 300 thousand.Art, you can show the detailed statistics of civilian losses.What include the 18 million dead and you will see that figure Krivoshein ridiculous.
Last edited by kon on 07 Apr 2009 21:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 07 Apr 2009 21:33

antero59 wrote:In Encyclopedia of Otava (Finland, 1979) gave numbers of Soviet totall losses of 20 600 000. 13 600 000 were soldiers and 7 000 000 civilians. Souce they used was United Nations (1948) and completed later info.

We don't know exactly the reason why Soviet Union didn't want to give info about their population just after the war. Did they want to hide the huge numbers of casualties? There are indeed very very strong doubts about civilian losses being bigger than military losses.

And on the other hand it's very interesting that Rydiger Overmans has overestimated the German military losses (5,3 million while most realiable numbers are between 4,2-4,5 million).

Information about post-war population of the USSR no.First post-war census was conducted in 1959, 14 years after the end of the war.

In 90-s' there was colonel Krivoshein. He has told that losses of the USSR in war of 27 million, from which 18 million lost civilians. He lied

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by GaryD » 07 Apr 2009 22:42

kon wrote:I do not know who is Andreev,but read a good article Russian demographer


Name? And where was the article published?

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 08 Apr 2009 05:22

GaryD wrote:
kon wrote:I do not know who is Andreev,but read a good article Russian demographer


Name? And where was the article published?


Read my posts on the previous page.The author of article Mark Tolts

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by Art » 08 Apr 2009 14:33

Art wrote: Then Andreev with coauthors estimated the USSR population as of January 1941 using a projection of the population as of January 1939.

Oops, my mistake. Read mid-1941 instead of January 1941. Here is the brief description of the method used by Andreev, Darskiy and Kharkova (from "Economic transformation of the Soviet Union 1913-45"):
Image
Image

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by Art » 08 Apr 2009 15:15

kon wrote: It is clear that the population of the Soviet Union by the beginning of 1939 was less than 168 million, of which Stalin announced in 1934 at the XVII Congress of VKP (b). However, the final results of Census 1939, published by CSO in 1956, after Stalin's death, included a figure of about 170.6 mln19.

Stalin could say whatever he wanted, the point is that Andreev and his collegues relied not on Stalin's statements but on their own estimate of the USSR population at the beginning of 1939 namely 168,5 millions, which they obtained by correction of the census data. Stalin's words are irrelevant in this context. Toltz's statement theat the popluation in 1939 could not be higher than 178 millions must be attributed to his polemic ardour. The most widespread estimate is the one done by ADK (168,5 millions) which is more than 168 (but of course such a difference is close to margins of error).
In 90-s' there was colonel Krivoshein. He has told that losses of the USSR in war of 27 million, from which 18 million lost civilians.

Well, net demographic losses were calculated by demographers, not Krivosheev. The thing that Krivoshhev did was providing estimate of military losses, losses of civilians were obtaining by subtracting military losses from the net ones. I said why it was so: it's very difficult to find independent method to estimate civilian casualties.
Information about post-war population of the USSR no.First post-war census was conducted in 1959, 14 years after the end of the war.

Estimate of the population at the beginning of 1946 was made by back-projection of the 1959 census data. If course, it would be better to conduct census right after the war, but now it's a mere wish.
This is the official data and Krivoshein fantastically exaggerated number of victims of the civilian population to hide losses military

By now there are no reason to treat civilian losses as fantastically exaggerated. Pay attention that the losses of women according to ADK are about 7 millions, the absolute majority of them were civilian losses. It's reasonable to expect that male losses were comparable in size. So civlilan losses constitueted the majority of total demographic losses, though the exact number could be argued, of course.
Art, you can show the detailed statistics of civilian losses

I can't - I'm not professional demographer. Moreover, as I have allready said civilian losses are a delicate matter. The thing we know most precisely are total losses, their breakdown by categories includes some share of uncertainty. I can't comment issues concerning Belorussian population, I simply wasn't interested in that topic
As a short conlclusion - the basic estimate of war-related losses of population made by Andreev, Kharkova and Darskiy is unlikely to be revised, there are no reasons for it. One could expect that the military losses can be adjusted and the border between military and civilian losses will be probably shifted (my guess is by about 2 millions).

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by antero59 » 08 Apr 2009 16:24

I've heard one speculation that of soviet men born in 1923 only "20% came back home". Could somebody tell about the souce of that. In Carrell's book there is mentioned that before Zitadelle young men born in 1925 were recruited. So i quess that those men born in 1923 were in battlegrounds from late 1941 to end of the war.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 08 Apr 2009 17:45

Andreev in calculations used census of 1939, and Mark Tolts has explained that results of census have been forged, the population is overestimated on 3 million.
The unique proof of Art, from this that he has written, it
Art wrote:By now there are no reason to treat civilian losses as fantastically exaggerated. Pay attention that the losses of women according to ADK are about 7 millions, the absolute majority of them were civilian losses. It's reasonable to expect that male losses were comparable in size. So civlilan losses constitueted the majority of total demographic losses, though the exact number could be argued, of course.

It will be necessary to me to consider in detail this figure, then I will acquaint with conclusions 8-)

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 08 Apr 2009 17:55

antero59 wrote:I've heard one speculation that of soviet men born in 1923 only "20% came back home". Could somebody tell about the souce of that. In Carrell's book there is mentioned that before Zitadelle young men born in 1925 were recruited. So i quess that those men born in 1923 were in battlegrounds from late 1941 to end of the war.


40 % of this age group were lost in the war, accordingly 60 % remained are live
http://scepsis.ru/library/id_1260.html
Огромные человеческие жертвы тяжело сказались на демографическом развитии российского населения. По переписи 1959 г. наибольшие потери мужчин наблюдались в возрасте от 34 до 44 лет: они вступили в войну в возрасте 17 - 27 лет. Произошло сокращение доли мужчин и в более старших возрастах - 45 - 49 лет, испытавших на себе последствия не только Великой Отечественной, но и Первой мировой и гражданской войн. В итоге по окончании войны было нарушено соотношение полов в пользу женщин: в возрастных группах 40-44 года (1914-1918 годов рождения) на 100 женщин приходилось 61,6 мужчины-ровесника и 70,2 мужчины на 5 лет старше; 35-39 лет (1919-1923 годов рождения) соответственно - 62,6 и 59,6; 30-34 года (1924-1928 годов рождения) - 83,5 и 40,9 [8] Причем наибольшее нарушение в соотношении полов в пользу женщин имело место в сельской местности.

Huge human a victim have hard affected demographic development of the Russian population. On census of 1959 the greatest losses of men were observed at the age from 34 till 44 years: they have entered war at the age of 17 - 27 years. There was a reduction of a share of men and in more advanced ages - 45 - 49 years which have tested of a consequence not only the Great Patriotic War, but also the First world and civil wars. As a result upon termination of war the parity of floors in favour of women has been broken: in age groups 40-44 years (1914-1918 of a birth) on 100 women were necessary 61,6 men-coevals and 70,2 men for 5 years is more senior; 35-39 years (1919-1923 of a birth) accordingly - 62,6 and 59,6; 30-34 years (1924-1928 of a birth) - 83,5 and 40,9 [8] And the greatest infringement in the ratio floors in favour of women took place in a countryside.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by kon » 08 Apr 2009 18:12

In the USSR was about 60 million men 1890-1927 of a birth, 40 % from them were lost in the war

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by Art » 09 Apr 2009 11:05

kon wrote:Andreev in calculations used census of 1939

They used corrected census results and not the original ones. Toltz argues that the 170,6 figure is wrong, but as I said Andreev simply didn't use it and used the lower estimate (168,5). So i don't think that Totlz's critics compromises the results obtained by ADK.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by antero59 » 11 Apr 2009 09:02

About Overmans and German military losses. I copy&paste this quite good critical opinion of his proxy

There're many question marks over Overmans own investigation. First the fact that he has used two different sets of cards to create his sample. If these have identical distributions this causes no difficulty, but there are strong reasons to suspect they are not identical in their distribution over time. Also he has arrived at the overall casualty figure of 5,318,000 dead by adding together the 3.1 million in the "Totenkartei" with the result of a sample from the "Allgemeine Kartei". This means that the "Allgemeine Kartei" contains, according to Overmans sample, 2.2 million "deaths". However, since this is a sample it must be added that there is a margin of error on that figure of almost +/- 200,000. Since Overmans uses this total as a basis to calculate the losses for smaller periods, we have a case of two statistical errors of margin piled upon each other. If we look at the figures he gives for losses on the eastern front up to 31 August 1943, this means that the margin of error is in the order of +/- 250,000. Consequently, his losses for each month, often given down to the last digit, must be taken with a large grain of salt.

But these are problems of statistical nature only. These considerations apply for a case where there are no question marks over the set of data used and the methods of sampling. However there are many problems with Overmans set of data. First of all, there are the many ambiguities with those cases where there is no information available on the fate of individuals. Overmans equates these cases with deaths. This is far from safe. Overmans argues that the many other possibilities are small. Probably true, but many small factors can taken together be kind significant, if they mainly pull in the same direction. Since Overmans have assumed that, if there is no information available on the fate of a man after a certain date, he is dead, uncertainties can only pull in one direction. After all, a man can not be more than dead more
than once. Hence, there is a basic risk in the kind of investigation performed by Overmans.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by Art » 13 Jul 2009 17:16

I've just found how combat losses of the Red Army were estimated right after the war. I think that information can be interesting. That is from the memorandum on losses of Red Army personnel in the Great Patriotic War written in June 1945:
1. Killed and died of wound
Killed in action - 5 141 000
Died of wounds in hospitals - 1 190 000
Total - 6 331 000

2. Lost as wounded in action
Overall number of wounded (excluding those who died of wounds) according to units' reports - 13 960 000
of them disabled - 2 576 000

3. Lost as prisoners and missing in action
Prisoners of war registered by repatriational organs - 2 015 000
Missing in action - 1 196 000
Unregistered losses of the initial period of war - 133 000

Total prisoners and missing - 3 344 000
Total losses - 23 635 000

The document is signed by the chief of department of registration and control of the Armed Forces' strength colonel Pokrovsky. Reproduced in S.N. Mikhalev "Ludskiye poteri v Velikoy Otechestvennoy Voine. 1942-45" (Human losses in the GPW.1941-45), Krasnoyarsk, 2000.
Note that allready by that time the General Staff had the statistics on killed and wounded, which remained virtually unchanged over 60 years. At the same time estimating the number of missing still remains problematic.

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by tramonte » 11 Jun 2018 13:57

"The subject of Soviet losses in WWII is a very sensitive one in Russia. The military establishement appears bent on sticking to the numbers given in Krivosheyev's 1993 book, "Security Classification Removed" which was updated in 2001 as "Losses in the Armed Forces". This book gives a total military personnel permanent loss figure of 8,668,400. Others researchers give higher figures, sometimes fantastically higher. The issue of losses is intimately connected with the issue of the Red Army's performance during WWII, particuarly the performance of Zhukov.
Here is a short article which appeared about 18 months ago in Russia. If you are interested in receiving the chart which accompanies the article, tell me.

THE MEMORY OF MILLIONS OF FALLEN DEFENDERS OF THE FATHERLAND MUST NOT BE CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION

As the deputy chief editor of this journal I am constantly aware of the polemics which carry on in these pages on the subject of permanent [bezvozratnyy] losses of the Soviet Armed Forces during the Great Patriotic War. Having served more than thirteen years in the Central Archives of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation [TsAMO], three of them as chief of the Department for Registering Permanent Losses among Sergeants and Privates, I know the true situation in this area very well.

For some time I have been forced to observe in silence the bitter arguments between my comrades and their opponents. I justified this to myself because on-going research in the archives was not yet finished. But these arguments have reached a culmination, and the work at TsAMO to the count the losses still has several years yet to go, so I no longer have the right to remain silent.

Therefore, following my conscience, as an officer and the grandson of a man who, on 17 November 1941, as a tank mechanic-driver in the 26th Tank Brigade, died defending Moscow, I think it my civil duty to publish this article.

The older generation will well remember that for several decades after the war personnel losses in the Soviet Union were officially given as 20 million persons (this number includes military and civilian losses). With the declassification of many archives in the 90’s, this number grew to 27 million. Then, for the first time, the losses of the Armed Forces of the USSR were publicized. In an interview in March 1990 with the editor of the Journal of Military History [Voenno-istoricheskiy zhurnal, No. 3, 1990, page 14], the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR, General of the Army M. A. Moiseyev, stated that during the Great Patriotic War (including the campaign in the Far East against imperialist Japan in 1945) the number of military personnel killed, missing, captured but not returned, died from wounds, sickness, and accident, numbered 8,668,400, of them 8,509,300 in the Army and Fleet, 97,700 in the internal troops, and 61,400 in the border guards. These numbers mentioned by the Chief of the General Staff, were determined by a commission which worked in 1988-1989 with the reports of Fronts, Fleets, Separate Armies, rear services organizations, and checked against the count kept by the General Staff in the entire war.

This same number was given in a large investigation of personnel losses in the Great Patriotic War “Security Classification Removed” [Grif Sekretnosti Snyat] which came out in 1993 under the general editorship of G. F. Krivosheyev, Candidate of Military Science, General-Colonel (retired).

In the present article I would like to talk about another source which contains information about losses in the Armed Forces of the USSR during the war – about documents which are preserved in TsAMO.

On July 9, 1941, within the Chief Directorate for Forming and Outfitting the Red Army (GUFKKA) was formed a Department for Registration of Personnel Losses and Bureau of Letters. The department’s assignment was to keep a register of personnel losses in the Armed Forces, to maintain an alphabetical card file of losses, and to conduct scientific research related to this.

On February 5, 1943 the department became the Central Bureau for Registration of Personnel Losses in the Active Armies, still under the GUGKKA, and on April 19, 1943, it became the Directorate for Registration of Personnel Losses in the Active Armies. It consisted of eight departments: Registration-Statistical, Card File, Letters with Loss Information, Inquiries about Servicemen, Letters with Information for the Card File, Special Projects [prikaznyy], Inspection, and Miscellaneous. Because the responsibility for registering losses among officers was transferred to the personnel agencies of the People’s Commissariat for Defense in June 12, 1943, the Directorate was renamed as the Directorate for Registration of Personnel Losses Among Junior Commanders and Privates of the Red Army, and was put under the head of the Chief Directorate for Rear Services of the Red Army. As of March 26, 1946 the Directorate was subordinated to the Chief Staff of the Land Forces, and after the elimination of this Chief Staff, was turned into the Department for Registration of Killed and Missing Privates and Sergeants as part of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. On December 30, 1965, the Department was put under the Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (now TsAMO).

The Department preserves reports from active armies dating from the first days of the war concerning servicemen who were killed, missing, died from wounds and other reasons in large and small units as well as various military institutions. At the same time, information about servicemen who died of wounds or illnesses in hospitals or for other reasons came in from districts in the rear.

It must be clarified that, due to the difficult situation at the front, a full accounting of losses was not always possible, especially in the first years of the war. In such cases it was done not by name, but by overall totals. In order to identify the persons in such reports, starting in 1942 a registration was begun on the basis of reports from relatives of servicemen.

There were instances when military units could not conduct burials or include in loss reports permanent losses of dead privates and sergeants. Burial was carried out by the local population after liberation from the fascists, and the territorial military commissariats drew up lists of those interred based on personal documents of the deceased and soldiers’ medallions [a type of dog tag]. Immediately after the war and by 1949 the military commissariats conducted the so-called “canvass of yards” where they went to people’s yards and homes with lists of questions for relatives of frontline soldiers who did not return from the war, with the aim of identifying the missing. Such servicemen make up 60% of the card file. Lists and cards captured in 1944 which identify servicemen who died in captivity and other captured documents received in 1947-48 helped determine the fate of many.

All of the documents listed above make up the collection of more than 32,000 archival files at the Department for Registering Permanent Losses among Sergeants and Privates at TsAMO. On the basis of these, alphabetical cards for each serviceman – killed, died, missing, suicides, etc. - have been created with biographical information. Now in an alphabetical card file, they are the basic informational tool both for answering inquiries and for scientific research.

Additions to the card file as well as systemization and clarification of the information continue to this day. The last addition to the collection was made in 1993, when around 11,000 files with lists of servicemen who died from wounds in hospitals, medical battalions, and other treatment institutions were received from the archives of the Military Medical Museum in St. Petersburg. This resulted in a massive increase to the card file. Many servicemen who were counted as missing were re-categorized as died in hospitals and medical battalions after reviewing these files.

For some servicemen there are several cards. On one he is listed as missing, on another as died, etc. These cards are stapled together and counted as one person.

In the beginning of the 90’s a group was formed to update the card file of permanent losses and to prepare statistical data based on it. The members of this group scrupulously counted the cards by the first letter of the last name and category of loss. The count was divided into the following categories:

1. killed – from reports of military units
2. killed – from reports of military commissariats
3. missing – from reports of military units
4. missing – from reports of military commissariats
5. died in German captivity
6. died of illness
7. died of wounds – from reports of military units
8. died of wounds – from reports of military commissariats

Counts were also made of deserters, servicemen sentenced to correctional labor institutions, servicemen sentenced to death, servicemen removed from the count of permanent losses (i.e. turned out to be alive), servicemen suspected of collaborating with the Germans, and servicemen who were captured but survived.

As of November 1, 2000, last names starting with 20 letters of the alphabet were finished. These charts do not include counts of deserters, those convicted or executed, etc. They only include information from the eight categories listed above.

Preliminary counts have been made for the remaining six letters of the alphabet (B, L, S, T, Ch, Ya). They could change by 30-40,000 persons plus or minus after the work on the card file is completed (see chart).

From the 20 letters which have been counted, 116,513 person were removed from the total of permanent losses because they turned out to be alive according to reports from military commissariats. Of the remaining uncounted letters, it is reasonable to assume that there will be 30-40,000 more such people. The end result will be a number of around 150,000 persons who, according to reports from military units and military commissariats, were mistakenly counted as permanent losses, but who later turned out to be alive. They make up approximately 1.2% of the card file.

The movement and losses of officers of the Red Army was controlled by the Chief Personnel Directorate of the People’s Commissariat for Defense, which also created an alphabetical card file of permanent losses based on lists and reports. This card file is also preserved at TsAMO, and one cannot but agree that these two card files contain the most exact and complete information on personnel losses in the Great Patriotic War, because behind every report which caused a card to be written, at one time stood a live person, not an empty statistic.

At the present time the losses among officers with last names beginning with the letter “A” to the letter “O” have been counted. A preliminary count has been made for the rest of the letters (see chart).

A preliminary count of permanent losses of officers with last names beginning with the letters “P” through “Ya”, subtracting those sentenced to prison or execution, deserters, or who were alive, is around 350,000 persons.

Therefore, officer losses in the Great Patriotic War (killed, missing, died of wounds, illness, or in captivity) is around 1,100,000 persons.

Adding up all losses in the Armed Forces of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War, we have:

- losses of privates and sergeants in the Red Army, approximately 12,434,398;

- losses of officers in the Red Army, approximately 1,100,000;

- losses of naval personnel (officers and sailors) according to the Central Naval Archives in Gatchina, Leningradskaya Oblast, 154,771 (according to the book “Security Classification Removed”, page 133);

- losses in internal troops (NKVD), 97,700 (according to the book “Security Classification Removed”, page 129);

- losses in border troops 61,400 (according to the book “Security Classification Removed”, page 129).

We end up with a number for permanent losses of our Armed Forces in the Great Patriotic War of around 13,850,000 persons."


About the author

Sergey Aleksandrovich Il’enkov – Graduated from the Kalinnin Suvorov Military Academy, the Higher Military Academy, the Moscow State Historical-Archival Institute. Assistant chief for scientific work of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Co author of many scientific works on the history of the Great Patriotic War.

Voennno-Istoricheskiy Arkhiv
No. 7(22), 2001, pp. 73-80


----------------------------

Later ( i guess it was 2008) Il’enkov gave the figure of 14,241,000 Soviet military persons who have deceased (combat, non-combat, executed etc...) during 1941-45 war (related to war).
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front

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Re: Russian Military losses

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 22 Jun 2018 07:17

tramonte wrote:THE MEMORY OF MILLIONS OF FALLEN DEFENDERS OF THE FATHERLAND MUST NOT BE CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION
Voennno-Istoricheskiy Arkhiv No. 7(22), 2001, pp. 73-80
Please can you post the tables ans charts mentioned in this article, (if you do not know how to, then PM me and I will do it for you)

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