Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

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Vaeltaja
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Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 27 Jul 2010 21:31

Hi,

I hope people could help a bit. I have been interested in Finnish defense in the Karelia in 1944 for quite some time (and yes, I am a Finn). And i am not proficient at all in Russian making it very painstaking and difficult to read even the best of sources. What i have read has left me quite confused from the values and from their interpretations.

I have tried to to read the online version of Krivosheyev's data and i think i have understood what it is saying but the information in there is confusing. First the Krivosheyev's data - assuming the data in here is valid - seems to terminate the Leningrad Front offensive already on 20th June though fighting continued in there until mid-July at least - and the data seems to lack the 59th Army which joined only after the 20th June. Second is that from other books i have understood that Soviets had quite a bit more than 1 separate armor regiment - more like 1 or 2 armor brigades and ~4 regiments without counting the artillery - as a support for the offensive. And some claim that Soviet strength would have been closer to 22 divisions instead of reported 15.

So is the Krivosheyev's data accurate? Is it accurate within the timeframe it gives for the Leningrad Front (until 20th June)? If the Leningrad Front participation was cut in that 'main section' of that page or source can any one give ideas how valid the 'armor, artillery and aircraft' losses for that time are - that is are they only valid for 9th - 20th June or for 9th June - mid July?

Now is there some better online source (in any language) for these or is the only source for such some archive data. Or could some one help me compile one from the Soviet/Russian sources (i suppose any Finnish/Western source is likely to be biased or if it is not then it is likely the be claimed to be biased).

And the idea is also to get some valid sources for the data to be used in for example wikipedia.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Art » 28 Jul 2010 07:59

Well, from what I understand Finnish authors worked on that topic and it seems that in the present time there is more info on Karelian Isthmus battles in Finnish-language literature than in Russian. I haven't seen detailed information on overall losses including action after 20 June in Russian sources. From my side I posted information on losses of the 59th Army in July 1944 here:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1488768
Losses in August 1944 were small: 81 killed in action, 176 wounded in action, 420 sick, 1 missing, 5 others for a total of 683 (TsAMO f. 416, op. 10453, d.86, l.202)
I also had info on numerical strength of the army from ten-days reports.
In principle, I would be interested to have the same information regarding the 21st and 23th Army, but now I have nothing to offer.
It should be added that files with losses reports of the 59th Army were declassified on 23 December 2009 (just a half year ago), that can explain research difficulties. I don't know about situation with other armies.
And some claim that Soviet strength would have been closer to 22 divisions instead of reported 15.
Total number of divisions deployed on the isthmus in June-July was 29, of them 4 didn't took much part in actions. By 20 June there were 23 divisions in the 21st and 23th Armies. It doesn't influence losses statistics, since what mattered for losses reports was where a certain unit was in the end of reporting period (say 10-20 June). If it was subordinated to the army between 10 and 20 June that its losses were included in the army ten-days sum. I hope this explanation is clear.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 28 Jul 2010 09:14

Art wrote:Well, from what I understand Finnish authors worked on that topic and it seems that in the present time there is more info on Karelian Isthmus battles in Finnish-language literature than in Russian. I haven't seen detailed information on overall losses including action after 20 June in Russian sources. From my side I posted information on losses of the 59th Army in July 1944 here:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1488768
Losses in August 1944 were small: 81 killed in action, 176 wounded in action, 420 sick, 1 missing, 5 others for a total of 683 (TsAMO f. 416, op. 10453, d.86, l.202)
I also had info on numerical strength of the army from ten-days reports.
Yes, i saw that post. Its pretty much exactly what i was after. Those ten-days reports seem to be very valuable sources indeed.
In principle, I would be interested to have the same information regarding the 21st and 23th Army, but now I have nothing to offer.
It should be added that files with losses reports of the 59th Army were declassified on 23 December 2009 (just a half year ago), that can explain research difficulties. I don't know about situation with other armies.
Yes indeed, data still being classified would have made the research 'a bit' more difficult than usual. I had thought that data would have been declassified earlier. At least we can hope that there would be sources using that data in the future.
And some claim that Soviet strength would have been closer to 22 divisions instead of reported 15.
Total number of divisions deployed on the isthmus in June-July was 29, of them 4 didn't took much part in actions. By 20 June there were 23 divisions in the 21st and 23th Armies. It doesn't have influence losses statistics, since what mattered for losses reports was where a certain unit was in the end of reporting period (say 10-20 June). If it was subordinated to the army between 10 and 20 June that its losses were included in the army ten-days sum. I hope this explanation is clear.
Ok, i think i understand how that works. Thank you for the answers.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Art » 08 Aug 2010 10:34

For information: the 13 Air Army/Leningrad Front lost 160 airplanes in June 1944: 89 to fighters, 35 to AA guns, 36 - missing in action. See C.-F. Geust in Aviation&Time No.4, 1997, pages 25-27 with reference to "Review of operations of the 13 Air Army in June 1944", TsAMO RF. There were also Baltic Fleet Air Forces, but their losses were smaller - as far as I informed 48 planes for the entire operation.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 09 Aug 2010 08:33

Hmm... If i understand correctly Krivosheyev claims that Soviet AC losses for 10.6. - 9.8.1944 would have been 311 in total in the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation but given the discrepancies his data already shows with regards to especially the Leningrad Front operation area in 21.6. - 9.8.1944 i am not sure i really trust Krivosheyev's value. His 311 apparently includes 7th, 13th and Baltic Fleet aviation losses.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Slava_M » 30 Aug 2010 11:28

Vaeltaja wrote:So is the Krivosheyev's data accurate? Is it accurate within the timeframe it gives for the Leningrad Front (until 20th June)?
No, it is incomplete.
In general - I studied the Soviet losses reports and collected 7605 names of fallen Soviet soldiers for 10-20.06.44 in Karelian istmus - and still there are not complete data because I didn't still finished studying losses of 109 and 286 RD, officers of 72 abd 92 RD, and also may be only 50% of DOW had been put into my table. Plus the losses data on some minor units is almost absent - 276 and 534 Mortar Regts, 31 Guards Heavy tank regt, 46 AntiTank Brgd for example.
The source of incompleteness is the incomplete list of units.
In Krivosheev's table he wroye about 15 Rifle Divs, 1 Tank Brgd and 2 FortifDistr. But more divisions had taken part in this assault - 10, 13, 45 Guard, 46, 63 Guard, 64 Guard, 72, 90, 92, 109, 142, 168, 177, 178, 265, 268, 281, 286, 314, 358, 372, 381 - so 22, not counting 125 and 382 RD, which lost several soldiers on 20.06. Also - 1 and 152 Tang Brgds.
Also - 4 Eng-PionBrgds, 3 Artil.Divs, and a lot of separate units.

For Art - in Russian - my study in our team LJ:
http://karel-val.livejournal.com/17924.html

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 30 Aug 2010 13:09

Hmm... Given that Krivocheyev listed Leningrad Front casualties at 6018 'irreversible casualties' that 7605 already is a rather significant change to the value - over 25 % increase in irreversible losses.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Art » 04 Jul 2011 19:16

After a certain search I've found the source of official numbers for the Vyborg operation. There is a document in the files of the Leningrad Front with information on losses during the ten-day period 10-20 June 1944 (TsAMO f.213, op.1244, d.643, ll.487-489) which gives the following sum figures:
Image
Calculating the sum for the 21, 23 and 13 Air Army and units directly subordinated to the Front HQ we've got:
5682 killed, 21 535 wounded, 2 476 sick, 269 missing and 67 others, total 30 029 losses (6 018 irrevocable and 24 011 sanitary). Which coincides exactly with data provided in "Soviet Casualties and combat losses...". Then regarding some questions on these data:

1. Units included. The sum for the 21 Army includes 15 rifle divisions, 1 artillery division (5 Guards), two tank, two artillery and two engineer brigades and separate smaller units. 23 Army - 8 rifle divisions, one fortified region (17th) and separate units. Combat losses of the units subordinated to the front for the most part belong to the 17 Assault Engineer Brigade (70 killed, 244 wounded, 11 missing) and various artillery units (about a hundred combat losses), also there are 220 Tank and 21 Engineer Brigade, 22 Fortified Region plus many other units. Noncombat losses belong to the units which hardly had anything to do with the operation, such as 36 Replacement Division - 672 sick, Leningrad PVO Army - 159 sick, misc.units - 299 sick etc. In other words virtually all the relevant units are included, and many non-relevant too.

2. Period covered. Although in various documents the reporting the period of reporting was called 10-20 June and 11-20 June, it was in fact 10-19 June inclusively (or from 18.00 9 June to 18.00 19 June to be completely precise). That is absolutely clear from comparison with daily records. That means that losses on 20 June and the evening of 19 June are not included. On the other hand losses sustained by the 23 Army on 9 June were for the most part included in this report due to delay (that was about 180 killed).

3. Other issues concerning completeness. From analysis of the records for the 21 Army it can be see that losses of the 97 Rifle Corps with three divisions are given for the period 16-19 June when it was subordinated to the Army. Due to shuffling of the coprs losses for the previous period were missing (that was at least 1200 men total, mainly in the 358 Rifle Division). Then there was already mentioned delay which resulted in part of losses for the period of interest being registered later. I'm not ready to tell how much was it but strongly suspect that it happened for some units. Then regarding comparison with personal registration data from Slava_M it must be added that men dying of wounds or diseases in hospitals are included in the sanitary losses, not irrevocable. A more detailed comparison is needed to find reasons for other discrepancies.
Hope this clears up thing a bit.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by thom » 11 Jul 2011 19:09

Very interesting. Can these documents on the level of Fronts now be researched in Podolsk? Previously they were restricted. Do you know if foreigners now have access to these files?

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Art » 21 Jul 2011 17:16

thom wrote:Very interesting. Can these documents on the level of Fronts now be researched in Podolsk? Previously they were restricted. Do you know if foreigners now have access to these files?
These files were declassified several years ago (after 2005 or so). Generally speaking most reports on losses from the staff of the Leningrad Front and from armies' staffs to the front are in open access. Everything declassified must be accessible for all researchers regardless of citizenship. The real difference is in the procedure of getting permit to work in the archive. Russian citizens can receive it in literally 5 minutes, foreign citizens must submit an application to the Defense Ministry, I don't know much about details but they say that the answer can return in several months. It's better to consult with foreign researchers who had relevant personal experience in recent years.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Mika68* » 14 Aug 2011 10:52

I wonder so small losses of Soviet troops between 10th and 20 th June 1944 on Karelian Isthmus.
Always the attacker loose more men than the defender. Ratio is often: 1 dedenfer dead : 2 attacker dead.
You claim that Soviets losted only 6000 as dead 10-20 th June 1944 in Karelian Isthmus. That is unbelievable. I know that overall Finnish military dead was about 30000 on summer 1944, most of them in Karelian Isthmus. Most of that amount between 9 th June and 12 July 1944.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 14 Aug 2011 11:05

Are you certain of those numbers? http://kronos.narc.fi/menehtyneet/index.php lists just above 20 000 casualties from January 1st to September 14th 1944 and 3634 casualties between June 9 - 20 1944 (on all fronts, not limited to the Isthmus).

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Art » 14 Aug 2011 19:18

I don't believe that the 2:1 law really exists, anyway it is not meaningful to compare different time periods.
You claim that Soviets losted only 6000 as dead 10-20 th June 1944 in Karelian Isthmus.
I claim that there are such numbers in the document. Other documents provide similar results. For example, according to reports sent from armies to the front staff the 21 Army lost 17 660 men total during the same timeframe, 23 Army - 10 338. The sum of daily losses for both armies (divisions only and somewhat incomplete) recorded by the front staff from 10 to 19 June inclusively was 25 436 men. Regarding completeness - I tried to explain as I see it in the pots above. Accuracy - for a short period such as ten days one should always expect certain inaccuracy due to time lag.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 14 Aug 2011 20:50

Well Finnish database gave result of 3031 Finnish KIA (June 10 - June 19 1944) to ~ 6000 Soviet KIA, if we assume that some of the Finnish KIAs were from elsewhere than from Karelian Isthmus then the ratio is pretty much exactly the claimed "2:1" ratio, though i seriously doubt that it has any practical value.

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Re: Finland and Soviet strength & losses in 1944

Post by tramonte » 28 May 2018 17:50

Vaeltaja wrote:Hmm... If i understand correctly Krivosheyev claims that Soviet AC losses for 10.6. - 9.8.1944 would have been 311 in total in the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation but given the discrepancies his data already shows with regards to especially the Leningrad Front operation area in 21.6. - 9.8.1944 i am not sure i really trust Krivosheyev's value. His 311 apparently includes 7th, 13th and Baltic Fleet aviation losses.

I have tried to check pilot losses of 13.Air Army and studied also some facts even we Finns should accept - captured pilots and becoming even more convinced that at least 13.Air Army combat losses have not even near been as high as FiAF, Finnish AA-units and Luftwaffe unit Kuhlmey pilots have claimed. Captured pilots and crew members are not best indicator (because so small sample) but having just 35 captured crew members both in Karelian Isthmus and Karelia is surely not suggesting dramatic aircraft losses.

BTW there was not a single captured pilot of VVS KBF and just one pilot of POV. I have also list of KIA and MIA pilots of these units:

275th Fighter Division.........................46 names suggesting Karelian Istumus + 2 Estonian area, 2 June to 16 July 1944
277 ShaD (Il-2 units)..........................70 names suggesting Karelian Istmus (?), 9 June to 19 July 1944
281 ShaD (Il-2 units)..........................42 names suggesting Karelian Istmus (?), 9 June to 2 July 1944
276 BAD (Pe-2 units)..........................25 names suggesting Karelian Istmus (some showing Lake Ladoga), 13 June to 8 July 1944
113 BAD (Il-4 units)..........................27 names suggesting Karelian Istmus (some showing Lake Ladoga), 9 June to 3 July 1944

However i'm not so sure how complete those list of names of KIA or MIA (or captured) pilots was. Nor am i sure are all personal losses in Karelian Isthmus or even in Karelian Front. So the list of captured pilots are my only real 100% confirmed source.

With those names i'm now 100% sure that claims of FiAF, Kuhlmey and AA-units from 9 June to late July 1944 are exaggerated by some 1:3 rate if not even more.
"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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