Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943?

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KDF33
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Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943?

Post by KDF33 » 27 Apr 2013 00:20

Hello,

Looking at different Soviet data points, it seems to me that the USSR was running out of replacement manpower by the end of 1942, and gravely so by the middle of 1943, i.e. it was more or less down to the new age classes and some combing out / swap measures. Thus, I'd argue that the reconquest of significant territories (in particular the Ukraine) was vital to the Soviet war effort in the second half of the war.

Here are my three data points:

1. Soviet mobilization data, showing that the total number of call-ups from the RSFSR, as well their relative proportion in relation to total call-ups, was substantially falling during the second half of the war.

2. This thread, which cites Russian data indicating that the Soviets were down to 7,719,000 "unused manpower resources" by 1.9.42, of which 4,102,000 were employed in important economic activities and 1,156,000 were prisoners, giving a total of 2,461,000 easily mobilizable men, of which 900,000 were of limited fitness. This data doesn't account for the 1926 and 1927 age classes, however.

3. "Balance manpower intake" data derived from Krivosheev. I subtract Soviet strength from the beginning of a quarter to that of the end of the same quarter, to which I add the losses (irrecoverable + estimate of discharges) during this quarter as given by Krivosheev. This can't account for replacements for demobilized soldiers (often to the economy), but then I'm not really interested in those because they were more "swapped manpower" than "manpower additions".

This gives me:

1941 3 quarter: 6,362,000 recruits taken on strength
1941 4 quarter: 1,875,000 recruits taken on strength
1942 1 quarter: 2,617,000 recruits taken on strength
1942 2 quarter: 1,372,000 recruits taken on strength
1942 3 quarter: 1,020,000 recruits taken on strength
1942 4 quarter: 970,000 recruits taken on strength
1943 1 quarter: 1,564,000 recruits taken on strength -> effect of territorial gains during winter fighting
1943 2 quarter: 965,000 recruits taken on strength
1943 3 quarter: 488,000 recruits taken on strength -> USSR effectively down to new age classes and combing outs
1943 4 quarter: 1,393,000 recruits taken on strength -> effect of retaking the East bank Ukraine

Note that 1941 recruit intake is probably too low due to unregistered casualties. This probably explains why 1942 1 quarter is higher than 1941 4 quarter.

So, what do you think? Is the assumption that the Soviets avoided a significant manpower crunch during the second half of the war by reconquering territories reasonable? If anyone has data to add, especially of Soviet discussions / management of the manpower issue, I'd be glad to read it!

Regards,

KDF

Paul_Atreides
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by Paul_Atreides » 27 Apr 2013 12:00

Wow! My post(s) on the VIF2NE is read abroad :D

Well, look here, point 8

http://www.vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/0/archiv ... 447327.htm

In total I agree with you, though comrade Tschadenko was little alarmist.

Another two reports from him

http://www.vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/0/archiv ... 443508.htm

http://www.vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/0/archiv ... 444597.htm
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 27 Apr 2013 20:55

Thanks a lot Paul.

As usual, your contribution is much appreciated.

I wonder, however, if there were Soviet contingency plans in case the RKKA failed to retake significant territories during 1943? Did they have an idea of how to prevent the RKKA from shrinking, or were they just assuming that they would succeed in breaking the German front?

I also wonder how much this "manpower crunch" contributed to Stalin's acquiescence to a defensive strategy in the spring of 1943. If I had to guess, I'd tend to assume that Stalin's knowledge that large losses in premature offensives could no longer be easily covered probably contributed to the avoidance of a repeat of spring 1942.

Regards,

KDF

ljadw
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by ljadw » 27 Apr 2013 22:12

As far as I know,there is no proof that at any moment during wwii,the SU was faced with a manpower crisis,and that this was solved by mobilizing manpower of liberated territories .

Between the end of 1941 and the end of 1942,the strength of the Red Army was going up,which means :no manpower crisis.

The figures of the call up of new recruits are proving nothing,as the Soviets did not know what the loss figures would be during a certain period .

In 1942 6 million of new recruits were called up,while the irrecoverable losses were 3.25 million : no manpower crisis.

In 1943 4.4 million of new recruits were called up,while the irrecoverable losses were 2.3 million.

Unless you can prove that without the manpower of the liberated territories,there would be a serious deficit,your argument is flawed .

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 28 Apr 2013 00:03

Well, the Soviet data indicates quite clearly that a large majority of Soviet call-ups in the second half of the war came from outside the RSFSR. Since the Transcaucasus and Central Asia had been substantially tapped by then, and since Tschadenko also provides estimates of their residual manpower (i.e. effectively none for the Transcaucasus and about half-a-million for Central Asia by 1.1.1943), by inference we can conclude that the manpower must have come from the liberated republics (i.e. Ukraine, Byelorussia, less so the Baltic states).

So the question turns to whether or not the RKKA could tap some unused reserves in the RSFSR instead. Tschadenko's reports, generously provided by Paul, tend to indicate that this wasn't the case.

Regards,

KDF

ljadw
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by ljadw » 28 Apr 2013 07:20

Who was writing the following ?

in 1943:the following were called up :
1.854.000 non Russians
4.046.000 Russians

in 1944:

2.755.000 non Russians

1.8 million Russians

Total for the second half of the war :4.61 million non Russians and 5.846.000 Russians,thus a majority of Russians .

ljadw
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by ljadw » 28 Apr 2013 09:00

The OP is swarming with meaningless,questionable and wrong statements;

1)A technical one :the use of "recruits taken on strength" which implies that these men had no military instruction,for which there is no proof

2)The use of "calling up" figures to prove a manpower shortage

3)The use of "quarters" :why not weeks,10 days,months ? In the 4th quarter of 1941,6.3 million men were called up,in the following quarter 1.8 million :as such,this is proving nothing,unless one can prove that in each of the months od the last quarter of 1941,2.1 million men were called up

4)The conclusions that were drawed from the fact that in the different quarters,different numbers were called up are unproved

5)The report on Stalin that only a 3 + million unused reserve was available is meaningless,wrong and nonsens,unless there are informations about the meaning of "unused reserve",because,and this is elementary,:

on 1 january 1943,the non occupied territories of the SU had a population of 130 million,the occupied ones 65 million.
In the non occupied territories,there were at least 65 men,of which at least 35 million who could be used by the military.
On that date,the Red Army had 10.4 million men,irrecoverable losses were 6.4 million = 17 million,of which 5 million belonged to the population of the occupied territories,which means that there were still 23 million (=35- 12) million men that could be called up by the military .
If needed.
Following the possibilities of the replacement army to train them
Following the possibilities of the industry to equip them
Following ...
Etc .
Conclusion :the figures used to claim that in the summer of 1943,the SU was faced by a manpower crisis and escaped collaps by the manpower of the liberated territories are insufficient,meaningless,of topic,wrong .
Last edited by ljadw on 28 Apr 2013 12:26, edited 1 time in total.

ljadw
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by ljadw » 28 Apr 2013 09:06

KDF33 wrote:Hello,



Here are my three data points:

1. Soviet mobilization data, showing that the total number of call-ups from the RSFSR, as well their relative proportion in relation to total call-ups, was substantially falling during the second half of the war.

2.
KDF
These mobilisation data are not proving your claim .

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 28 Apr 2013 19:45

Any single piece of evidence taken in isolation proves nothing. The accumulation of evidence, however, at the very least indicates that this is an area to explore. You focus on each on my points individually, forgetting that what makes my thesis plausible (or at least worthy of exploration) is how the different pieces of evidence reinforce and contextualize each other.

Ultimately, why this topic makes you go ballistic is lost on me.
on 1 january 1943,the non occupied territories of the SU had a population of 130 million,the occupied ones 65 million.
In the non occupied territories,there were at least 65 men,of which at least 35 million who could be used by the military.
On that date,the Red Army had 10.4 million men,irrecoverable losses were 6.4 million = 17 million,of which 5 million belonged to the population of the occupied territories,which means that there were still 23 million (=35- 12) million men that could be called up by the military .

If needed.
Following the possibilities of the replacement army to train them
Following the possibilities of the industry to equip them
Following ...
Etc .
The highlighted part is just an unproven assumption, and is in fact in direct opposition with Tschadenko's report to Stalin, which you brush off as "meaningless, wrong and nonsensical". Well then, I'm gracious that you took the time to teach me how the Soviet state was staffed with idiots who couldn't count their own manpower pool.

By the same token, the Germans must really have been stupid not to mobilize all those perfectly available millions of men sitting idle in Germany. I guess they couldn't count either, heh?

Ultimately, a lot of men cannot be called up for the military, and this for various reasons:

a) They're too old / not fit enough to serve effectively in the military;
b) They have skills useful to the war economy;
c) They're simply needed in general to man different economic sectors.

Now this doesn't mean that some can't be combed out, but this process is naturally limited. There's only so much slack a nation can mobilize en masse before it's down to the "hard core" sustaining the economy, plus the new age classes.

Regards,

KDF

ljadw
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by ljadw » 28 Apr 2013 22:31

The Soviet Union had a manpower of 50 million + FACT

At the end of the war,it had mobilized 34 million FACT

In february 1943,it had mobilized 18 million FACT

Unless you can prove that they mobilized 16 million from the liberated territories,your claims are flawed .FACT

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 29 Apr 2013 00:55

The Soviet Union had a manpower of 50 million + FACT
There were 24.5 million German men in the civilian labor force on 31.5.39. There were still 14 million on 31.5.44. Do you think those 14 million men could have been pulled out of the economy without serious disruptions?
At the end of the war,it had mobilized 34 million FACT
Factually correct, yet irrelevant to the argument at hand.
In february 1943,it had mobilized 18 million FACT
You're way off here. The USSR had mobilized over 25 million men by 1.1.43.
Unless you can prove that they mobilized 16 million from the liberated territories,your claims are flawed .FACT
I'm not sure where this "16 million" come from. In any case, even a cursory look at the data indicates that from the second half of 1943, the majority of Soviet replacements came from outside of the RSFSR.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 29 Apr 2013 06:39

Very interesting thread and I can see what you are trying to say. The argument is that the SU started to slow down the number of men it took into the RKKA because they were running out of men by 3rd quarter 1943.

I think in order to prove that you need to show the 'flow' of men as the slow down could simply be because they had enough men in the armed forces and now had to replace losses not grow the army anymore.

So in 1941, the pre-war army 4-5 million men is largely destroyed. Your figures show 8.2 million men net called up in 2 qtrs 1941 to form a new armed forces which eventually reaches 12 million men strong by 1942. 1942 sees another 5.9 million men net called up. Total call up by end of 1942 14.1 million of net (25 million gross). Which would seem to indicate that the armed forces had risen to a size that was supportable from an military, economic and logistical point of view and did not need to grow anymore, so the slow down is due to a need simply to replace losses and not support expansion?

Secondly were these new men available in the liberated territories? The Germans killed a lot, sent a lot off to the Reich as workers, or took them with them when retreating in the early days. Did the early liberations really unlock a huge new source of fit young 20-25 year old? And were they able to process these men between August and December 1943?

So in order to advance you argument, you have show DEMAND (ie the armed forces growing or large numbers of casualties) and secondly that the Ukraine/Russia between Kiev and Dnepr had the SUPPLY. Net figures just show you what happened not why.

As Comrade I. Stalin said "@***# Shchadenko!"
"на которой И. Сталин «Обругать ЩАДЕНКО »"

pugsville
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by pugsville » 29 Apr 2013 07:12

Just Raw numbers arnt everything. How bout the Question did the soviets really want to Mobilise more replacements in 1943 -1945. Other wars and nations 3 years into major wars, it wasnt that unusual to demobilise manpower from the Army to the Factory. By 1943 MAYBE the Russian priorities had changed and they now needed move of the available manpower in the factory rather than the front, so mobilised manpower to the army drops, though they maybe could have put more manpower into the army but chose to put some of what they could have put into the front into the factory.

NOT saying this is the case, dont know anything about soviet manpower at all, but saying just looking at the raw number of men mobilised data isnt nesscarily the whole story, it's conceivable that the Russians could chose to mobilises less than the maximum amount of manpower, as by 1943 the factory was also drawing on those same reserves and drawing more of the manpower. (You'd need that manpower in factories statistics as well as the army manpower statistics.)

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 29 Apr 2013 14:43

Some data on the manpower working in the economy to put things in context. Data is in millions, covering agriculture / industry + construction & transport / services:

Germany:

1942: 11.2 / 15.7 / 8.4 = 35.3
1943: 11.3 / 16.9 / 8.3 = 36.5
1944: 11.2 / 16.6 / 8.3 = 36.1

USSR:

1942: 24.3 / 12.6 / 6.5 = 43.4
1943: 25.5 / 12.9 / 6.8 = 45.2
1944: 31.3 / 15.1 / 8.6 = 55
1945: 36.1 / 17.4 / 10.2 = 63.7

As you can see, during the critical years of 1942 - 1943, Soviet manpower barely exceeded Germany's by 25%. Most of it was working on the farms, the "modern" economy (industry + services) actually being smaller than it's German counterpart. The Germans could rely on slave labor to replace men in the war industries, whereas the Soviets couldn't. Despite this advantage the Germans could barely mobilize 3 million men a year, of which a substantial part (4 million for the war overall) were not additions but swaps (i.e. soldier went into industry and worker into the Wehrmacht)

In light of this I would naturally expect severe manpower conscription problems for the Soviets by 1943, unless one is to believe that the Soviet worker was massively more productive than his German counterpart.

Regards,

KDF

KDF33
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Re: Was the USSR running out of replacement manpower by 1943

Post by KDF33 » 29 Apr 2013 14:57

Secondly were these new men available in the liberated territories? The Germans killed a lot, sent a lot off to the Reich as workers, or took them with them when retreating in the early days. Did the early liberations really unlock a huge new source of fit young 20-25 year old? And were they able to process these men between August and December 1943?
The Soviet data is pretty clear on this. In 1943, 1,854,633 men were mobilized outside of the RSFSR (31%). In 1944, this grew to 2,755,283 (59%). In 1945, this was 262,413 (48%). Tschadenko's report gives roughly half-a-million eligible men in the non-RSFSR republics still under Soviet control at the beginning of 1943. By inference this would indicate that a little under 4.5 million men were conscripted in the liberated republics during 1943 - 1945. This, of course, is without men mobilized on liberated RSFSR territory, so the true total would actually be higher. Overall, an estimate of 5 million men mobilized on liberated territorites seem reasonable.

Regards,

KDF

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