stg 44 wrote: ↑
26 Nov 2021 15:44
Zamulin says otherwise:
Taking it as face value, Zamulin states the ratio was 1.3 to 1; compare that to the July figure of 2:1 and this still, in a relative sense, massively favors the Germans by reducing the Soviet advantage in half.
That said I still think artillery was more important, but that was still pretty decent for the Soviets at least in terms of tube strength by May:
Beyond Central Front lacking a fifth of its July start position, it's important to remember that even with their large scale artillery park the Germans got the better of them in this area even in July:
The Voronezh Front, according to the 1944 Soviet General Staff Study, had 8,356 guns and mortars as of 4 July of which 1,944 were 76mm and larger divisional artillery. In contrast, the German units involved in the offensive started with 4,630 guns and mortars, of which 1,336 were 105mm or larger artillery. This gives the Soviet force a “tube count” advantage of 1.8 to 1.
Still, what is significant is not the number of tubes, but the weight of firepower. In the cases of the Germans, it is estimated that they fired a total of 51,083 tons of ammunition during the course of the battle. It is estimated that 49% by weight of the ammunition consumed was from the gun artillery. In the case of the Soviet forces of the Voronezh Front and the two reinforcing Steppe Front armies, they consumed a total of 21,867 tons of ammunition during the course of the battle. It is estimated that 36% by weight was from the gun artillery….
Overall, this means that while the Soviet forces outnumbered the Germans forces 1.8 to 1 according to tube count, they in fact were out shot according to weight of fire calculations, 2.34 to 1. This is a significant difference and certainly so, with artillery usually responsible for 50 to 70% of the killing on the battlefield. This may be a major factor in the measurable performance differences (especially casualty effectiveness) between the two armies.
So, relative to July, the German tube count is better and we know that historically they still beat the Soviets in throwing artillery down range. Given the former, I still see this exchange as being much more in favor of the Germans than historical.
However infantry were also a big problem for Model:
Model only received 2,906 new soldiers from May to July; a statistically irrelevant increase and essentially meant he jumped off in July with the same number he already had in May. Likewise, even the gain of those ~3,000 troops was offset by the massive growth in Soviets facing them, reducing Model's infantry strength from 54% compared to the Soviets in May to 47% by July. In this regard, we can thus state Model was of the same strength effectively but his advantage would come in terms of facing significantly fewer Soviet infantry, AFVs and artillery along with an incomplete defensive line.