And although this is not significant, you have a typo here. Not the 34th Panzer corps, but the 24th Panzer corps (3rd and 4th Panzer divisions).TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑22 May 2020 01:02Not so sure about that. The Taifun encirclements were, unlike Minsk and Smolensk, fairly compact.
In addition, as I mentioned up-thread, 34th Panzer Corps captured 2,400 PoW over 5 days in late October. This formation was at the head of Guderian's drive, not cleaning up the rear. Its PoW's came mostly from 6th Guards Rifle Division. So a major lead element of the German drive was taking abnormally high numbers of tactical prisoners - and from an elite Soviet unit.
Now to the point, that is, about the morale of the Red Army. To determine the morale of troops only by the number of prisoners of war is an incorrect method. More precisely, this is determined by the ratio of the number of killed per prisoner. If three prisoners and one killed is one situation, and if three prisoners and ten killed is another, although the number of prisoners will be the same.
However, if you take only this parameter, then in this case you will most likely make an incorrect conclusion. If Your goal is to determine the morale of the Red Army in different periods of the Soviet-European war, you should distinguish two periods and consider them separately.
First period from June 22 to July 31, 1941.
Second period from August 1, 1941 to May 9, 1945
The period from June 22 to July 31, 1941 is very, very different from other periods of the Soviet-European war ,as well as from other wars: the German-Polish war, the German-French-British war.
In the period from June 22 to July 31, 1941, the strategic situation as a whole for country and for the entire red Army and the operational situation in various sectors were very, very different from all other periods. This period of the Soviet-European war can be compared to the German-Yugoslav war in April 1941
I have been studying the topic "The Fighting spirit of the Red Army during the Soviet-European war of 1941-45" for more than two years and have not yet completed the collection, study and analysis of all documents. However, some preliminary conclusions are already available.
The morale of the Red Army in different periods is very clearly seen in the documents of the Red Army.
The lowest state was in two periods: 1) from 15 to 31 October 1941; 2) from 1 to 31 July 1942.
You are right about the decline in morale of the Red Army between October 15 and 31, 1941, but you are wrong about the low morale of the 6th Guards Rifle Division.
For the fighting near Mtsensk in the period from 21 to 25 October, 1941 all the personnel of the 6th Guards Rifle Division, and therefore including those who were captured, received a commendation from the Commander of 26th Army.
For comparison, we can give an example with the 17th Rifle Division. In these very days, the Commander of the Western front, General Zhukov, ordered the commander of the 17th Rifle Division to be shot in front of the personnel of this division.
Why did the personnel receive a commendation, despite the fact that some of the soldiers and officers were captured?
At least because the main mass of prisoners is the rear units of the 6th guards rifle division and the 11th Tank Brigade, including the wounded in the regimental medical center of the 11th Tank Brigade and the medical-sanitary battalion of the 6th Guards Rifle Division in the village of Dolmatovo.
It's better to look at it from the documents.