Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

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Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by kon » 18 Sep 2009 00:10

Because of the miscalculation investigation were killed about 8000 Soviet soldiers.
Article in Russian
http://kraj.vitebsk.net/?page=vov&sod=_bru_06

translation
http://translate.google.com/translate?p ... e0=&swap=1

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by Denis1973 » 18 Sep 2009 17:21

Wery funny. Why only 8000? Maybe here is mistake and we must read 80000 or 800000?
Just for reference:
1. At 31/12/43 average division's manpower of 11 Guards Army was only 4000 men. From which only 700-1200 men were "baionet strenght" - i.e. figths at battlefield.
2. There is no 18 Guards Div in Army.
3. 16 and 235 div were to the east of Losvido lake and can't suffered losses there.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by kon » 19 Sep 2009 00:09

16 and 18 divisions have been destroyed completely by fire with armour train.235 a division has lost one of three regiments.7 regiments have been completely destroyed together with rear parts, it is exact more than 4000. Under the certificate of the veteran 235 divisions about 8000 were lost.

http://kraj.vitebsk.net/?page=vov&sod=_bru_06
On December, 24th, 1943 armies of 1st Baltic front (ordering general Bagramjan I.H.) Developing prompt approach, storm have seized a city and large railway station Small town - the important strong point of defence of the opponent on a Vitebsk direction. In fights for mastering by a city Small town armies of II Guards Army of lieutenant general Galitskogo K.N. and 43 Armies have especially caused a stir. Inspired with this success, the commander of army decides to give a New Year's gift: to release Vitebsk. It sends army investigation on the southern coast of lake Losvido occupied with fascists, to area of the former village Moguchevo. Scouts have reached to German передовойю. In траншее Germans for some reason have not appeared. Army investigation, having returned to the, has reported that trenches empty - Germans have receded. The commander of 11 Guards Army, without having checked up a military information, orders to three divisions - 235 shooting, 16 and 18 Guards shooting - early in the morning, for Christmas, directly, through lake ice to catch up receding Germans.

- Ours 235 shooting divisions, - Misjurov V. A (the former assistant to the chief of 6 branches 235 СД), - wrote in the letter-in area v.Zaluchje on a lake left edge one of three regiments without artillery has had time to leave only. Other two regiments still were on the way. 16 and 18 Guards shooting divisions came at this time on ice to lake more to the right. Germans have admitted our fighters more close, have adjusted from outside village Batali an armored train, and from long-range tools and mortars our coming parts have over open sights covered. Our thousand eight fighters it is necessary to lie on lake ice.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by kon » 19 Sep 2009 00:27

18 Guards division 36 Guards сorp for January, 1st, 1944 was registered as a part of 11 armies
http://velikvoy.narod.ru/voyska/voyskac ... armiya.htm
Denis1973 wrote: Just for reference:
1. At 31/12/43 average division's manpower of 11 Guards Army was only 4000 men. From which only 700-1200 men were "baionet strenght" - i.e. figths at battlefield.
Contrary.700-1200 In rear parts and 3000 fighters

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by frontowik » 20 Sep 2009 16:19

Denis1973 wrote:2. There is no 18 Guards Div in Army.
This is only partially true. On December 1st 1943 there’s no 18th Guards RD in 11th Guards Army, but on January 1st 1944 18th GRD already been attached to 36th GRC of the 11th GA. Remember, 11th GA started attack on morning December 24th (a day after Sokolovsky’s Western Front), this is a lot of time to transferred such unit (even whole army) on the battlefield, especially because 18th GRD on December 1st was a part of the 100th RC of the 3rd Shock Army in the 2nd Baltic Front (so it was very close to the 1st Baltic).
Denis1973 wrote:3. 16 and 235 div were to the east of Losvido lake and can't suffered losses there.
Really? Well, high stabs documents and maps very often doesn’t equal to real situation on the front. Only division or regiment stab’s documents could give answer, and even then there’s no 100% sure. Have You any? Besides, what’s Your source?
Denis1973 wrote:Wery funny. Why only 8000?
It’s not funny at all. It’s SAD, VERY SAD. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if losses were even higher. And most probably that’s not losses for only one day, but whole army’s or front’s operation in period of couple days.

I can’t show You documents concerning of the 1st Baltic Front, but there are documents concerning 2nd Baltic and Western Fronts, right and left neighbors of the 1st Baltic. They shows real military “skills” of the soviet commanders. And I’m sure that Bagramian (commander of the 1st Baltic Front) wasn’t better than Sokolovsky and Popov. Documents are in original.

About Western Front:

1. Доклад Комиссии ГКО № М-715 от 11.04.44
2. Приказ СВГК СССР № 220076 от 12.04.44

source:
http://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%94%D0 ... 2_11.04.44

http://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D1 ... 2_12.04.44

Results:
1. Eleven (11) front’s and army’s operations failed (in period of six months).
2. Losses: 281 745 (62 326 dead) only on „active” segments of the front. Total losses: 330 587.
3. Sokolovsky, Kamera and Ilnycky were dismissed from the post.
4. Pokrovsky, Bulganin and Gordov were reprimanded.
5. Western Front disbanded, created two fronts: 2nd and 3rd Belorussian.

And 2nd Baltic Front:
1. Постановление ГКО № 5689сс от 20.04.44
2. Приказ СВГК СССР № 220087 от 20.05.44

source:
http://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0 ... 2_20.04.44

http://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D1 ... 2_20.05.44

Results:
1. Fourteen (even more than Western Front !!!) front’s and army’s operations failed (in period of six months).
2. There’s no data about losses. Of course were huge, as always.
3. Popov and Bulganin dismissed from the post.

And here’s some about sPA 501 and sPJA 519, which operated in area of Vitebsk at the time:

1. From war diary of the sPA 501:
12 December 1943: Detrainment in Witebsk.
15 December 1943: Assembly area near Senskowa (10 kilometers west of Witebsk).
19 December 1943: Assembly near Losovka in preparation for a counterattack with the 14. Infanterie-Division (mot.) against enemy approaching the Witebsk-Welisch road.
20 December 1943: Attack is launched near Losovka and scatters an enemy tank assembly, destroying or knocking out 21 tanks. Continuation of the advance and destruction of several artillery fire positions (28 guns destroyed). The supporting infantry cannot follow and the attacking force has to withdraw. 2 tanks of the 1./schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501 are lost. Fierce fighting in the following days. All company commanders are wounded.
Total tanks: 43.
23 December 1943: During a counterattack, the battalion commander's tank is knocked out. The commander changes tanks. A short time later, he is reported missing. Hauptmann Hammerstein, the commander of the headquarters Company, assumes acting command.
Total tanks: 41.
24 December 1943: Within five days, the battalion destroys 81 tanks.
26 December 1943: The 3./schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501 carries out support missions northeast of Witebsk.
28 December 1943: The company is relocated 15 kilometers south of Witebsk.
31 December 1943: 16 tanks are operational; 2 Tigers fall into Soviet hands intact.
Total tanks: 39.
1 January 1944: 17 Tiger I tanks operational.
January 1944: Support of local attacks of Kampfgruppe "Feldherrnhalle."
12 January 1944: The 3./schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501 is in defensive positions south of Witebsk.
13 January 1944: An enemy tank attack is repulsed. The turret roof of a Tiger (Leutnant Schroder) is penetrated by an artillery shell.
Total tanks: 38.
January 1944: Several missions in the Orscha region. Major von Legat becomes new commanding officer.
1 February 1944: 19 Tiger I tanks operational. The battalion is attached to the VI. Armee-Korps.
12 February 1944: One Tiger is employed in the Nowiki Bridgehead at the Lutschessa River with the 131. Infanterie-Division.
13 February 1944: Abortive counterattacks, resulting in 9 destroyed Tigers.
Total tanks: 29.
25 February 1944: Several Tigers and elements of Grenadier-Regiment 481 clear a wooded area 500 meters east of Wichni but have to pull back.
1 March 1944: 17 Tiger I tanks operational; lack of spare parts.
12 March 1944: Employment in Operation "Hubertus," a counterattack of the 256. Infanterie-Division north of Nipinzy. Mter breakthrough southeast of Sabory by enemy forces, they are contained southeast of Ssiwizkije.
13 March 1944: The operation is concluded successfully. The encircled enemy forces are completely destroyed.
1 April 1944: Mter delivery of spare parts, 27 tanks are operational.
1 May 1944: 29 tanks operational. The battalion is attached directly to the 3. Panzer-Armee.
Oberleutnant Kriepahle is the new commander of the 2./schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501. His "radio operator" is a female Russian! The commander of the 3./schwere PanzerAbteilung 501 is reported missing in action.
source: Wolfgang Schneider “Tigers in Combat I”, pp. 45

2. About victories of the Leutnant Albert Ernst (from 1./sPJA 519)
The most notable Nashorn ace was platoon commander of 1st company of sPzJagAbt 519, Junior Lieutenant Albert Ernst. He later commanded the 1st company of sPzJagAbt 512 (equipped with Jagdtigers). On December 23rd of 1943, he destroyed some 14 Soviet tanks in a single day using only 21 round of ammunition. The engagement took place near Vitebsk and Albert Ernst received a nickname "Tiger of Vitebsk". In December of 1943, Ernst destroyed total of 19 enemy tanks and on January 22nd of 1944, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross.
source:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=18347
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerjage ... fz-164.htm

And here Mr. Glantz about these forgotten operations around Vitebsk (“The Soviet-German War 1941-1945. Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay”, pp. 62-64):
In brief, in late September 1943, the Stavka ordered the Kalinin, Western, Briansk, and Central Fronts to penetrate German Army Group Center’s defenses across the expanse of their front and advance to capture Minsk and most of Belorussia. The ensuing Belorussian strategic offensive lasted for over three months and involved heavy fighting, particularly along the Dnepr River and on the approaches to Vitebsk, Orsha, and Bobruisk. Although historians have written about fragments of this massive offensive under the rubric of the Nevel’ and Gomel-Rechitsa operations, no works detail the full extent and ambitious intent of the offensive. Worse still, historians have totally ignored the Western Front’s many costly and futile offensives against German Fourth Army’s defenses in eastern Belorussia. (...)

(...) Likewise, the failure of the Kalinin, Western, and Central Fronts to defeat Army Group Center in Belorussian during the fall was, in part, masked by the spectacular Smolensk, Briansk, and Chernigov victories that preceded it in late summer 1943 and by the dramatically successful Belorussian offensive (Operation Bagration) the Red Army conducted in June 1944. In this case, unlike the other strategic setbacks, while Soviet and Russian historians could and did write about operations imbedded in separate sectors of this grand offensive, such as the victories as at Nevel’ and Gomel’, they largely ignored the overarching strategic failure.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by Art » 22 Sep 2009 14:09

frontowik wrote: About Western Front:[/b]
1. Доклад Комиссии ГКО № М-715 от 11.04.44
See:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3#p1157683
In general as the document demonstrates the West Front was lossing about 10 thousands killed a month. The average level of losses of the 1st Baltic Front was in fact even somewhat smaller, according to Krivosheev in 1944 it lost slightly less than 10 thousands killed a month. That makes an alleged loss of the same number of killed by a couple of divisions in one day a very very improbable event. In fact if you read the article linked carefully you'll see that this number was based on a pure hearsay and is not confimed by any documental sources. I'm afraid, that quotes from Glantz and other sources discussing operations in Belorussia in general are nor very useful for understanding this particular episode.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by frontowik » 22 Sep 2009 17:57

Art wrote:“That makes an alleged loss of the same number of killed by a couple of divisions in one day a very very improbable event.”
That’s why I wrote: “most probably that’s not losses for only one day, but whole army’s or front’s operation in period of couple days”.

You read carefully.
Art wrote:“1st Baltic Front was in fact even somewhat smaller, according to Krivosheev in 1944 it lost slightly less than 10 thousands killed a month”
You forget write: statistically. That’s means there could be months when 1st Baltic losses even 15-20 thousands (or more) killed a month. In other periods, when there were pauses on the front, of course losses fall to minimum.
Art wrote:I'm afraid, that quotes from Glantz and other sources discussing operations in Belorussia in general are nor very useful for understanding this particular episode.
The same I can tell about Krivosheev (all soviet period and many modern russian publications too) which wrote NOTHING about many operations of the soviet-german war (or VOv, how You call it in Russia), including this one. Glantz only give a sign that many very huge operations were forgotten, mainly because they ends with defeat. Including this one.

So, give us sources which are useful. Not soviet garbage, just sources which tell truth about this particular operation. Can You? 8-)

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by Art » 22 Sep 2009 18:35

Jupiter, are angry, therefore you are wrong. :)
frontowik wrote: That’s why I wrote: “most probably that’s not losses for only one day, but whole army’s or front’s operation in period of couple days”.
In other words this is the number which represent losses of nobody-knows-what and for nobody-knows-which period of time. I have no objection against this wording. Indeed it is.
That’s means there could be months when 1st Baltic losses even 15-20 thousands (or more) killed a month. In other periods, when there were pauses on the front, of course losses fall to minimum.
Sure. However, it all but statistically improbable that a couple of divisions suffered in one day the the same losses as the front consisting of 30-40 divisions in a month. It's somewhat less statistically improbable than all molecules of air in a room gathering in one of its half, but still.
So, give us sources which are useful. Not soviet garbage, just sources which tell truth about this particular operation. Can You?
I advice you to take polite tone before asking somebody a favor. I am sorry, but I see neither use no pleasure in talking with men who don't comply with elementary politeness rules.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by frontowik » 23 Sep 2009 10:11

Art wrote:I advice you to take polite tone before asking somebody of a favor. I am sorry, but I see neither use no pleasure in talking with men who don't comply with elementary politeness rules.
Yes, I’m sorry too, but I don’t see anything impolite in my words. If there lives any human beings which believe in soviet fairy tales about war it’s ok to me. But it don’t change fact that man is living in world of fantasy.

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by Art » 23 Sep 2009 16:03

Well, let us have a political meeting in some other thread, or even better on some other forum. Further offtopic post not dealing directly with the combat episode discussed will be deleted. The same applies to opinions about my humble personality, which in case of strong need can be sent via PM.

\\Art

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Re: Losses of 11th Guards army near Vitebsk 7.01.1944

Post by Denis1973 » 25 Sep 2009 17:19

Wow! Topic became more and more since my last visit. Sorry for long absence, I was busy at work.
What we have now? At first, I must sorry for some misunderstanding. When I read the article, I think that Christmas day is 25 December, and only some time after find that we speak about Orthodox Christmas – 7 January. Now see what happens on 7th January.
1. Why Russians attacked via ice?
Previous day offensive started against german's positions south of lake Losvida. Because of good defenses and some mistakes of russian's commanders progress of assault was very small. And the decision was make – take enemy's position by flank attack via frozen lake. So, enemy resistance were expected, and this are not "chase for retreating germans".
2. Who took part? Only 11th and 18th Guards Rifle Divisions. But even they not in full strength – 27GRR/11GRD and whole 18GRD.
16th GRD was situated on the axis of main advance south of lake Losvida in 16GRC and can't attack via lake.
235 RD arrived to shores of Losvida Lake only at evening of 7/1/44. It hasn't task to attack via ice. It must hold the north shore and frontline east of lake.
3. Where they attack?
There are two routes. The first – from Starye Dvory to Vostrenky (east shore). Here 2 GRR attacked – one from 11th and one (58th) from 18th GRD. Second – from Starye Dvory to Moguchevo (south shore). Here other two regiments (51st&53rd) of 18th GRD must attacked.
4. How all happens?
The first detachment with 27GRR in vanguard started at 1.30. When it was some 400-500 m from east shore, germans started to fire upon it. Regiment pinned. Then, after additional artillery strike, at 12.00 it repeated attack. Gains was very small – just 200-300 m. Some small groups managed to hold a part of shore, but forced to retreat because of strong enemy's counterattacks. Then both regiments retreated too. But 51st GRR (started at 5.30) have find it's way to Losvida's shores. It suddenly attack enemy positions north of Moguchevo village and captured some ground. At 13.00 it repulsed strong german's attack with force of 2 companies supported by 4 tanks. During the night 7-8 January it changed by 27th GRR. Fighting in area continues to 12 January.
5. What about 8000 KIA?
Of course, this isn't true. Unfortunately I haven't losses reports day-by-day, but have summarized month report (losses 1-31/1/44).
11th GRD: KIA 364, WIA 932 – summary 1296 men
16th GRD: KIA 486, WIA 1349, fall ill 126 – summary 1961 men
18th GRD: KIA 598, WIA 1041, fall ill 241, MIA 128 – summary 2008 men
235th RD: KIA 39, WIA 105, fall ill 120, non-combat losses 3 – summary 267 men.
Even if we count KIA&MIA for 11, 16, 18 and 235, we have only 1615 men lost killed. Far from 8000, isn't it?
6. To clear the "bayonet" or "trench" strength. This figure includes only the men that actually fight on battlefield – riflemen, SMG-gunners, some light mortar crews and so on. To simplify the count both sides on Eastern front used "average company manpower". In our case (data on 25/1/44):
11th GRD 6104 men total; 3 rifle Bns in Rgt; 23 companies total with average 59 men = 1357 men "bayonet strength".
16th GRD 6340, 24 Co's x 63 men = 1512
18th GRD 6310, 24 x 80 = 1920
235th RD 5070, 14 x 80 = 1120
7. Sources? TsAMO, files of 11 Guards Army, inventory list 5916, folders 423, 424, 553.
In Russian: ЦАМО, Ф. 11 Гв.А, оп. 5916, дела 423, 424, 553.

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