Russian Military losses

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Michate
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Post by Michate » 01 Sep 2004 14:27

Can't complain. But not everything is clear for me about the German losses. Correct the figures if I am not right. German army counted 3.214k servicemen as for March 1, 1939; Also 17.893k were drafted during the period from June 1, 1939 till April 30, 1945; Sum: about 21,1k servicemen total; 2.000k were directed to the industry; 2.310k were invalided from service, charged, deserted etc; About 3.357k got POW before May 9, 1945; Also 4,500k surrended after May 9, 1945; KIA and died of wounds - 3.810k. We have about 4.500k people disappeared. Where are they?
I have seen a similar estimate at RMF, and it seems to be based on Krivosheev, or any other "official" Soviet estimates, but that does not make the figures correct.

The German army did not number 3.2 million men at March, 1, 1939, but much less. It numbered 4.7 million men on 1. September 1939 (including auxiliary services), after mobilisation in summer.

Also, IIRC, the men mobilised before the war are included in the 17.9 million men number (which also included men from auxiliary services and so on), but I will look that up.

"Germany and the 2nd World War", vols. 5.1 and 5.2 have the numbers.

EDIT

As to the casualty exchange rate in 1944, it must have been considerably less favourable than 3:1 for the Germans in 1944 IMHO, considering all the types of casualties the number does not include.

Best regards,
Michael
Last edited by Michate on 01 Sep 2004 14:56, edited 1 time in total.

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 01 Sep 2004 14:48

I think it is quite easy to see what happened to a number of German soldiers who were neither killed, nor officially discharged, nor taken POW, and therefore may not appear in the statistics.

The war ended on German soil. A lot of desertions happened at the end (amongst them my grandfather in Denmark), sometimes with tacit approval by unit leaders (he and two of his mates told their company commander that they were off now). Many of these men will have managed to evade patrols on their march home. My grandfather became POW for a few days, but I am uncertain whether he was ever registered. He knows a few cases who managed to evade capture completely, and according to what he said, he was never once stopped on the road, walking from south of Hamburg for ~150km, once he had changed into civvies provided by a friend. I think the allies had bigger fish to fry at the time then to make sure that they got a hold of every last member of the Wehrmacht.

Michate
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Post by Michate » 01 Sep 2004 15:05

Andreas,

Interesting story of your grandfather, my grandfather ended the war in Norway and was released a few months after the war. I do not know what was the general status of German soldiers in Norway at war`s end, whether they were taken POWs, as there were only very few Allied troops in that country?

Generally one should not forget the number of German POWs in Allied captivity was around 11 million after the war, although this number most probably included many civilians.

Best regards,
Michael

mars
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Post by mars » 01 Sep 2004 15:58

Andreas wrote:And it is completely ignoring Axis Allied losses.

3.53 - what lovely precision. Arrived at ignoring hundreds of thousands of Axis Allied losses in 1944 but including the losses inflicted on the Soviets by the Axis Allies.

As Jack Aubrey would say - 'What stuff.' :roll:
Andreas,the one very important thing Herr Darin always choose to ignore is that those Soivet losses already included those non-combat losses, but German's losses were only those combat losses

Karman
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Post by Karman » 01 Sep 2004 16:22

Qvist wrote:Hello Karman!

Hehe, these posts of ours are certainly examples of how easily misunderstandings can occur in this area.
Hello Qvist!

Sure they are.
Ok. Maksudov's point does not seem very reasonable
Krivosheev did not agree with him as well.
Anyway - not everything is clear to me either (or to anyone else for that matter) concerning the German losses. But the same type of data that Krivosheev uses for the soviet side - the internal documentation - does provide a coherent and internally consistent picture of strength, losses and personnel/unit movements, for as long as the system functioned ( until approximately december 1944). And these data leave no room for another 4.5 million casualties. I presumed your 3.8 million figure referred to Overmans' figure for the Eastern Front?
I took the figures from Gurkin V.V. Liudskie poteri na sovetsko germanskom fronte 1941 - 1945. (http://militera.lib.ru/opinions/0009.html). The author worked in the Russian Defense Ministry Commission on Russian Military Losses organized under Gorby.

Overmans is considered in this country but he himself wrote that German docs were not reliable (if my Russian variant puts it correct)
Nope. He claims that the total death rate is 43.448k and 26.548k are military death rate. (http://www.genstab.ru/kia39-45.htm) Unfortunatley in Russian. There is also the reference to the criticism of his method there. Which is 100% crap (I mean the method not criticism).
Good grief! I look forward to seeing how he can have arrived at that!
He was very persistant. First he just relied on KIA toll of Volkogonov (which is rather high). Then he said that is based on corrupted military reports. Chose out a month which he fought was less corrupted and used it for calculation of an average daily death rate. Then introduced a coefficent at random and came to the figures of 22 something million KIA. Plus dead POW made it 26 million. later he increased the military draft rate up to 50 million and the total poulation of USSR up to 209 million. he did not challenge much the non-combatants loss figures and moved at astra.
No! I meant Krivosheev's figure for overall military casualties (ie, dead, missing, wounded and sick) - 29.6 million through 1945. If you compare this with Krivosheev's figure of dead, and then the German overall casualties in the East with Overmans' figures for German deaths, the picture is anomalous in the sense that while Overmans' figure is more than 40% of the German casualties, Krivosheev's figure is less than a third of the Soviet casualties (with the approx. 3 million sick taken out)
OK. I think I got it. Krivosheev put the figure: 22,326,905 (according to hospital records) and 18.344.148 according to the reports of military units. But this is not the number of actual temporary losses but the number of registered hospitalization cases. It means that one same person could have been hospitalized more then once. So Krivosheev said that the actual number of temprary losses should be significantly less then 15 mln wounded people (http://soldat.ru/doc/casualties/book/chapter5_06.html)

Karman
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Post by Karman » 01 Sep 2004 16:47

Andreas wrote:And it is completely ignoring Axis Allied losses.

3.53 - what lovely precision. Arrived at ignoring hundreds of thousands of Axis Allied losses in 1944 but including the losses inflicted on the Soviets by the Axis Allies.

As Jack Aubrey would say - 'What stuff.' :roll:
Quote: Анализируя и сопоставляя все документы, следует утверждать, что с 22 июня 1941 г. по 9 мая 1945 г. Советская Армия захватила в плен 3 777 300 солдат и офицеров противника. Из этого числа учтено: немцев — 2 389 500, австрийцев — 156 800, венгров — 513 800, румын — 201 800, итальянцев — 48 900, финнов — 2400 человек. Остальные 464 100 военнопленных — других национальностей (французы, словаки, чехи, поляки, испанцы, хорваты, бельгийцы, голландцы и другие) из состава добровольных формирований, служивших в вермахте. http://militera.lib.ru/opinions/0009.html

Translation: After reviewing and juxtaposing all documents the following conclusion shall be made that for the period from June 22, 1941 till May 9, 1945 the Soviet Army got POW 3 777 300 enemy soldiers and officers. From that number there accounted: Germans – 2 389 500; Austrians – 156 800, Hungarians – 513 800; Rumanians – 201 800; Italians – 48 900; Finns – 2 400. Other 461 100 left POW are of other nationalities (French, Polish, Spanish, Croatian; Belgian, Dutch and others) of the staff of volunteer units servicing in Wermaght.

If Axis Aliies got more then 1/3 of POW then there should be respective representation in armed forces and death toll.

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 01 Sep 2004 17:05

Karman

A lot of these foreigners would presumably have been included in Wehrmacht losses already, namely Austrians, and SS-Volunteers of other nations (at least I hope that is the case). So that would leave just short of 770,000 Axis allied POWs, or ~20% of the total.

Still not a small number. The crux of the matter is however how many losses the Axis allies inflicted on the Soviets.

Michate
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Post by Michate » 01 Sep 2004 17:07

Karman,

these numbers most probably included many non-military personnel, just as with the Soviet POWs.

Best regards,
Michael

Michate
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Post by Michate » 01 Sep 2004 17:21

Karman,

the numbers of POWs most probably included many non-military personnel, just as with the Soviet POWs.

As to wounded soldiers, most (all?) armies report them on a case basis. The German army certainly did. There are some statistics from the Heeresarzt (army medical service chief) showing that around 50% of the wounded from the German-Soviet front during 1941/42 got back into full service and a further 20% or so became serviceable again, but only for limited duty.

Best regards,
Michael

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 01 Sep 2004 20:05

Hello Karman
I took the figures from Gurkin V.V. Liudskie poteri na sovetsko germanskom fronte 1941 - 1945. (http://militera.lib.ru/opinions/0009.html). The author worked in the Russian Defense Ministry Commission on Russian Military Losses organized under Gorby.
Well, there is still a huge margin for error here. See f.e. Michates comments to these figures.
Overmans is considered in this country but he himself wrote that German docs were not reliable (if my Russian variant puts it correct)
Yes he did, but here he is on very shaky ground. He touches only briefly on alleged discrepancies in casualty and strength reporting, but his examples have been demonstrated to be based on an insufficient misunderstanding of the scope of the reports he compares. More generally, he seems to proceed on the basis of assuming reports on deaths from different channels to indicate shortcomings if they give conflicting figures, which may not be altogether valid given that different channels worked according to different scopes and definitions. Niklas Zetterling has written a good critique of his book, which can be found here:

http://w1.183.telia.com/~u18313395/overmans.pdf
OK. I think I got it. Krivosheev put the figure: 22,326,905 (according to hospital records) and 18.344.148 according to the reports of military units. But this is not the number of actual temporary losses but the number of registered hospitalization cases. It means that one same person could have been hospitalized more then once. So Krivosheev said that the actual number of temprary losses should be significantly less then 15 mln wounded people
Yep - but as Michael pointed out, casualties as they emerge from loss reports are invariably recorded on a case basis, not a person basis, and the same would be the case with the German wounded.

cheers

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 01 Sep 2004 20:12

Hello Michael
Interesting story of your grandfather, my grandfather ended the war in Norway and was released a few months after the war. I do not know what was the general status of German soldiers in Norway at war`s end, whether they were taken POWs, as there were only very few Allied troops in that country?
That's an intersting story actually. There were no allied troops in Norway when the war ended (except the Soviet troops in Finnmark), and the supreme German commander in Norway was compelled to capitulate to the local head of the Norwegian resistance in Oslo.

This left the problem of how to deal with the 300,000 or so German troops in Norway, which could hardly be adequately interned or guarded by a couple of thousand resistance fighters and police troops that had been trained and formed in Sweden. So, in essence, AOK Norwegen disarmed and interned itself for a considerable period, until the neccessary minimum of forces could be brought over from England. They even continued to guard POW camps in Norway (with mainly Soviet and Yugoslav POWs). Amazingly, it all went like clockwork too.

cheers

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 01 Sep 2004 20:15

As to the casualty exchange rate in 1944, it must have been considerably less favourable than 3:1 for the Germans in 1944 IMHO, considering all the types of casualties the number does not include.
Could you expound a little on this Micahel?

cheers

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 01 Sep 2004 20:33

In which case I would have to consider asking you to meet me with your second at a place of your choosing.
:lol: Well, I should like that of all things :lol:
As you know, we seem to agree to a large degree on the matter of inclusion/exclusion of Allied casualties. I.e. it is unsatisfactory either way, and while the error introduced by not including them is certainly not irrelevant, it is unlikely to be very significant either. We just don't know.

Would that be an adequate summary?

What I object to is not the production of a casualty ratio on the basis of excluding Allied losses, but the air of absolute precision introduced by quoting a number to two decimals, when it is perfectly clear that the error will be significant at that level. If someone said, as you did '~3:1', or 'between '3-4:1', that would be a much better way of approaching the subject.
Adequate summary it is, and I do agree also with the final paragraph.

cheers

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 02 Sep 2004 08:11

Andreas wrote: Still not a small number. The crux of the matter is however how many losses the Axis allies inflicted on the Soviets.
That is very difficult to say (at least from a Romanian point of view), as the Germans, especially since 1943 on, broke up Romanian units and subordinated them directly to German units (this was very common in Crimea and Kuban). Thus it would be very difficult to say how many of the Soviets in that sector were killed by Germans and how many by Romanians.
Take for example an Order of the Day from 14 February 1943 of the 101st Jager Division, which subordinated until that date parts of the Romanian 9th Cavalry Division. It reported 8,500 killed in front of its position and 1,065 POWs and 31 tanks destroyed. Surely, part of tehse losses were caused by the Romanian cavalrymen, but how many it is practically unknown.

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Post by Andreas » 02 Sep 2004 08:47

Victor, thanks a lot for this info. I was not aware of that, and thought that Romanian units, like other Axis allies, would at least have been in unified Corps formations, with sometimes German units attached, not the other way round.

The case you cite makes an even stronger argument for inclusion of Axis allied losses into the calculation, at least at the times when the Axis allies were not operating in independent large-scale formations. In my view.

Just out of interest, do you know the respective losses of 101. Jaeger and the 9th Romanian Cavalry divisions on that day?

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