German Iststärke Eastern Front

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KDF33
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German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by KDF33 » 16 Dec 2015 04:57

Hello,

I'm trying to complete the Iststärke for the Ostheer. I have the following data points:

07.42: 2.700.000
08.42:
09.42:
10.42:
11.42:
12.42:
01.43:
02.43:
03.43:
04.43:
05.43:
06.43:
07.43: 3.138.000
08.43: 2.985.000
09.43: 2.676.000
10.43: 2.568.000
11.43: 2.579.000
12.43: 2.619.000
01.44: 2.528.000
02.44: 2.366.000
03.44: 2.391.000
04.44: 2.340.000
05.44: 2.444.000
06.44: 2.620.000
07.44: 2.235.000
08.44: 2.104.000
09.44: 2.022.000
10.44: 1.833.000

Anyone has the rest? Especially for the 2nd half of 1942 / 1st half of 1943.

Thanks!

KDF
Last edited by KDF33 on 17 Dec 2015 01:00, edited 1 time in total.

Art
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Art » 16 Dec 2015 17:20

According to Muller-Hillebrand on 1.07.42 the German ground forces in the East had 2.847.000 men. That doesn't include SS and forces in Northern Norway/Finland

KDF33
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by KDF33 » 17 Dec 2015 01:00

IIRC from Mueller-Hillebrand, Germany had 2,700,000 men in the field army + 150,000 in Finland on 1.7.42, including W-SS and Luftwaffe ground units. This doesn't include formations in the rear sectors, which are included in the figure of 2,847,000.

The only issue I have with July's figures from BMH is that they're too rounded to be more than approximations. I'd rather use a precise figure, like Iststärke.

Regards,

KDF

Art
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Art » 17 Dec 2015 07:08

KDF33 wrote:IIRC from Mueller-Hillebrand, Germany had 2,700,000 men in the field army + 150,000 in Finland on 1.7.42, including W-SS and Luftwaffe ground units. This doesn't include formations in the rear sectors, which are included in the figure of 2,847,000.
It is said most unequivocally that SS and Finland are not included in the 2.847 thous number yet occupied territories are. On the same day (1.7.42) there were 971 thous. men in the OKW theaters, 150 thous in Finland, 166 in Norway, 520 in Western Europe, 55 in North Africa and 80 in Balkans.

KDF33
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by KDF33 » 17 Dec 2015 07:23

Hello Art,

You mistook my comment - the figure of 2,700,000 + 150,000 in Finland is distinct from the figure of 2,847,000. IIRC, the total German strength in the east on 1.7.42 was 2,635,000 Heer + 65,000 W-SS + 212,000 Heer in occupied areas + 150,000 Heer in Finland + whatever W-SS soldiers were in the 6 SS Gebirgs-Division in Finland, for a grand total approaching 3,100,000.

Regards,

KDF

Art
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Art » 17 Dec 2015 20:24

I didn't understand your comment then. There is a report of the German General Staff's organizations department from 14.12.1943. According to the document total strength of the German army in the East was:
1.11.1942 - 3 100 000
1.12.1942 - 3 037 000
1.11.1943 - 2 850 000
That includes SS and LF ground formations, 20 Army in Finland and WB Ukraine and Ostland. The last number is in good accord with the number you posted for November 1943 (2 579 thous on the Eastern Front proper,about 170 thous in 20 Army and 100 thous in WB Ukraine and Ostland).
The document was published in appendices to KTB OKW Bd.III HB 2

Michate
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Michate » 18 Dec 2015 11:42

Hello,

the document attached below is taken from NARA T78, Roll 419.
Its shows Ist- and Verpflegungsstärken of the German ground forces of army, SS and Luftwaffe in the East (without Finland) in 1942-43 and is in this regard the most complete (and therefore useful) listing I am aware of. It seems to have escaped historians so far, some of these figures cannot be found in any historical book I am aware of.
0498_A498_Ist-Verpfleg-Stärken_Ostheer_42-43_430918.gif
Additional data points: The Fremde Heere Ost strength comparison for April 1943 shows a German strength of 2,732,000 (obviously referring to Istsärke without SS/Lw), which may be compared to the figure of 2,719,000 in the table.
The Fremde Heere Ost strength comparison for the date 20 July 1943 shows a German strength of 3,064,000.
The figures for October 42 and January 43 are in complete agreement with other documents.
I am at a loss to explain the increase in army Iststärke in late 1942, compared to the summer of that year.

As to Müller-Hillebrand's figures for 1 July 1942: Original documents give an Iststärke (without Finland and SS/Lw) of 2,635,000 in the rea of operations and just 99,000 (instead of 212,000) additional soldiers in the rear zone. They are in good agreement with the attached document.
maybe M.-H.'s figure includes the replacement army formations moved to this area in summer 1942, which were incorporated into the field army at a later date (autumn 1942? Would have to look that up)

Regards,
Michate

PS: Glad to see you back, KDF33.
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KDF33
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by KDF33 » 18 Dec 2015 12:46

That's a great find, Michate!

Regarding the increase in Army Iststärke, I would surmise that it was primarily due to the addition of security units in the Reichskommissariate. There's also the Luftwaffe field divisions that arrived late in the year, which apparently are being counted as Heer personnel until spring 1943. What this shows is that German forces deployed against the Soviets (putting aside the RKs) remained remarkably stable between summer 1942 and spring 1943, at roughly 2.9 million (2.7m+ in the east proper and 150,000+ in Finland).

Looking at NARA T78/415, BA/MA RH 2/1343, though, German losses exceed replacements by 266,400 between 1.7.42 and 30.9.42. I know the Germans shifted a lot of divisions East post-Stalingrad, but I am unaware of significant German units being added to the EF during the summer campaign. 266,400 would be roughly 13-14 divisions at full complement. Do you have any data on this?

PS: Good to be back, and great to have you back too!

Michate
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Michate » 21 Dec 2015 13:38

Regarding the increase in Army Iststärke, I would surmise that it was primarily due to the addition of security units in the Reichskommissariate. There's also the Luftwaffe field divisions that arrived late in the year, which apparently are being counted as Heer personnel until spring 1943. What this shows is that German forces deployed against the Soviets (putting aside the RKs) remained remarkably stable between summer 1942 and spring 1943, at roughly 2.9 million (2.7m+ in the east proper and 150,000+ in Finland).
Hello KDF33,

the Luftwaffe field divisions' personnel strength is listed in the third column "Lw" (short for Luftwaffe) from April 1943 on.
It may however have been included in Heer for earlier dates.

The "security" units in the Reichskommisariate were mostly SS/Police forces, not Heer personnel, and a lot were not even German.

ML59
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by ML59 » 09 Jan 2016 15:58

Michate, you did a great job in finding those documents! A question: do you know if any document exists about the overall strength of all LW units on Ostfront? As you know, RKKA-VVS personnel is included in the Soviet figures, it'd be nice to confront them with total German manpower.

Michate
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Michate » 10 Jan 2016 19:25

The best figures for Luftwaffe personnel strength are already available at this forum, thanks to Larry D.:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 18#p852218

In 1943/44, Luftwaffe strength in the East dropped considerably.

ML59
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by ML59 » 12 Jan 2016 11:11

Thank you very much for the link, I missed it. I see that for late 1942 total LW manpower in the East was close to 500K (by chance a figure close to my estimation). However, it seems that a lot of LW personnel was recalled to Germany during 1942, having completed the construction of airfields and other infrastructures needed by the three Luftflotte operating in Russia. Has anybody a figure of LW manpower in the East for June-July 1941?

Michate
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Michate » 12 Jan 2016 11:22

I have never found a solid figure for summer 1941 either in original documents nor the literature. My personal guess is 500,000 - 600,000.

Take into account that, as Larry D. explains, the figures he provides include Luftwaffe field forces, whos personnel strength is already included in the figures I provided above, as well as attached civilian personnel.

KDF33
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by KDF33 » 12 Jan 2016 11:55

This website provides the following breakdown for the beginning of Barbarossa:

1. 146,300 men in LW air units (aircrew and maintenance);
2. 145,400 men in LW supply units;
3. 54,800 men in LW Flak units;
4. 20,500 men in LW-Army liaison units.

For a grand total of 367,000 men in the Luftwaffe, not including attached civilian personnel.

Regards,

KDF

Michate
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Re: German Iststärke Eastern Front

Post by Michate » 12 Jan 2016 13:11

Hello KDF,

Interesting, however unfortunately the author provides no detailed sources for his figures, he just refers to another of the books/documents he has created. Would be time to delve deeper into this most interesting project.

The numbers seem a bit small for my taste. Take men in Flak units. The DRZW Vol. 4 gives a distribution of Flak iunits that shows that roughly 20% of all Flak units were in the east in June 1941.
Gröhler's data show that the Flak arm in total included 500,000 men at the time (just Luftwaffe personnel). From that one would expect roughly 100,000 (instead of just 54,800) Flak personnel in the East, though there are some complicating issues, like Radar installations or long distance communications that would service almost exclusively the Flak hom defense.

Gröhler also provides a number in excess of 100,000 men in Lw construction units, which at the time were in all probability deployed almost exclusively in the East. These seem to be missing from the data you referenced. (PS after a further look at the document: On the last page of the document, he specifically excludes them from his calucations. He also seems to have very good command of the various strnegth figures. The figures for aircrew and service personnel however, AFAICS, seem to be based on allocating this personnel evenly between the theaters based on the sahre of aircraft, including training aircraft).

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