German Surrendered in Normandy

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Sep 2021 01:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Sep 2021 23:06
Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Sep 2021 21:35
jpz4 wrote:
15 Sep 2021 09:03
Yes, under the B.d.E.
I would assume they became subordinated to Ob.West, but I've not seen actual orders to confirm that.
I believe that was the general orders applying for all Wehrmacht forces in the event of invasion. ...
I recall more than a few references to Rundsteadt & his staff arguing about the navy personnels inclusion in this, as late as May 1944. The Navy was of course reluctant to see their near irreplaceable training units sent off into infantry combat. OB Waet argued every man who could be trusted with a weapon had to be in a Alarm Unit. My impression is this was never settled between OB West & the Navy to anyones satisfaction.
Well, it must have been settled given that at least as early as March 1944, the excess KM personnel at Brest were fully integrated into ground defense units. I suspect the same was true in Cherbourg and Toulon as well as other "fortified" ports.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Sep 2021 02:07

These were probably not the 'excess' personnel. One reference was to staff in training units. I suspect the KM preferred plan was to evacuate those away from combat while the Army plan was the opposite. This would come up as Im departing my library for Philadelphia.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Oct 2021 01:21

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Sep 2021 02:07
These were probably not the 'excess' personnel. One reference was to staff in training units. I suspect the KM preferred plan was to evacuate those away from combat while the Army plan was the opposite. This would come up as Im departing my library for Philadelphia.
Sorry Carl, I've been on vacation and only had spotty internet. I'm am still confused by what you mean. What Kriegsmarine "training units" are you referring to? As far as I can tell, none of the major KM training units: Schiffs-Stamm-Abteilungen, Marine-Stamm-Abteilungen, Schulflottillen der Unterseeboote, Schulflottillen der Schnellboots, or other school units were based in western France, so would not be subject to dispute.

However, I do know that in May 1944 the excess crews and support personnel at the naval base at Brest were organized as emergency ground combat troops with a total strength of 4,778, indicating that was the lower limit of that type within the fortress. A report of 27 August gave total Wehrmacht strength in Brest as 37,058, of which 11,523 were Heer personnel while probably no more than about 7,500 were Luftwaffe personnel of 2.FJ-Div. Thus, about 18,000 were naval personnel, including about 3,000 in Marine-Flak and Artillerie units. Those are the "excess personnel" I was referring to and most definitely they were utilized as ground combat troops.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by AriX » 19 Dec 2021 14:22

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Aug 2021 07:01

The PW reported were (UK/US/Total):

June - 12,683/17,017/29,700
July - 451/52,369/52,820
August - 42,105/106,898/149,003
Total - 55,239/176,284/231,253

Add to that about 23,019 killed and 67,060 wounded. Unfortunately, the German MIA figures are impossible to reconcile with the Allied PW reports. However, I suspect in round figures the German loss was c. 330,000-350,000.
OB WEST had reported 54.695 MIA on 8/31/44
LWF - 8.900 on the same date.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Dec 2021 17:56

AriX wrote:
19 Dec 2021 14:22
OB WEST had reported 54.695 MIA on 8/31/44
LWF - 8.900 on the same date.
Yes, but, again, the total PW reported by SHAEF as of 31 August 1944 were:

June - 5,662/17,017/29,700
July - 7,472/52,369/52,820
August - 42,105/106,898/149,003
Total - 55,239/176,284/231,253

That is why I say 63,595 Ob.West and Luftwaffe MIA are "impossible to reconcile" with 231,253 SHAEF prisoners.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by AriX » 19 Dec 2021 19:09

Richard Anderson wrote:
That is why I say 63,595 Ob.West and Luftwaffe MIA are "impossible to reconcile" with 231,253 SHAEF prisoners.
We can try. Do you have number of pows taken in Sept-December'44 ? If OB West losses reports were late, in those months number of MIA should be bigger than number of pows taken.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Dec 2021 20:16

AriX wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:09
We can try. Do you have number of pows taken in Sept-December'44 ? If OB West losses reports were late, in those months number of MIA should be bigger than number of pows taken.
Sure we can. This is an old email I sent to Niklas about a dozen years ago or so... :D

The question of the total German casualties in Normandy has continued to perplex me, since I cannot reconcile the total number of German PW reported by the Allies with the total number of German MIA as reported by the Heeresarzt summary of 10 January 1945 as found in T78, R414, F6383234~. Nor can I reconcile the differences between that report and the earlier report from November 1944 in the OKW/WFSt/Op(H)/Org.Abt. file (T77, R826, F3126~) I alluded to in my earlier e-mail. However, I feel I have arrived at a possible answer to the question of why these various reports differ so much. The reasoning may be a bit torturous, but I hope you will be able to follow and comment on it.



There are two possible conclusions that may be made. One is that the 10 January report is simply a correction of the earlier report and that the reduction in the total casualties was simply due to personnel assumed lost that were accounted for as returned to duty (and of course as KIA or MIA, since the January counts of those categories are higher than the November counts). However, the second conclusion that may be drawn is that both the January 45 and November 44 counts are correct, but that they report different things. My reasoning is based upon attempting to show that this second assumption is in fact correct.



I believe that it is possible that the November 44 report partly included total Wehrmacht losses for the period, rather than just Heer losses. Furthermore, I believe that the January 45 report both corrected the ‘bloody’ losses (KIA and WIA) and excluded those losses of non-ground forces personnel (Kriegesmarine, Luftwaffe troops not dedicated to ground combat, Organization Todt, and RAD personnel) who were almost certainly included in the Allied PW counts.



First, note that the major discrepancy between the two reports is found in the difference between the MIA and nicht aufgeschluesselte (referred to as NA below) totals in the November report and the MIA totals in the January report. The differences in bloody losses are minor between the two reports. For the period from 6 June through 31 October 44 the differences are as follows:



Nov Report Jan Report Difference

KIA 34165 39675 +5510

WIA 110001 125761 +15760

MIA 184357 318306 +133949

NA 215981 - -215981

Total 544504 483742 -60762



So it could be assumed that the January accounting found 60762 returned to duty, and additional casualties of 133949 MIA, 15760 WIA and 5510 KIA for the period.



Looking at a more narrow period, that of the Normandy Battle from 6 June through 31 August 44, we find the following differences:



Nov Report Jan Report Difference

KIA 19554 23019 +3465

WIA 61008 67060 +6052

MIA 66326 198616 +132290

NA 187349 - -187349

Total 334237 288695 -45542



So it could be assumed that the January accounting found 45542 returned to duty, and additional casualties of 132290 MIA, 6052 WIA and 3465 KIA.



The Allies counted a total of 235367 German PW captured in Normandy and Northern France in the period from 6 June through 31 August 44. That is 36751 higher than the maximum number that could be accounted for by the German MIA. Now, from the report of the garrison strengths found in T78, R411 we have the following:

Noted as accounted for in the August casualties.

OKW Total Heer Only Difference

Brest 37058 11525 17982

St.Malo 8488 6168 2320

Toulon 18000 9676 8324

Marseille 13000 6400 5100

Total 76546 33769 33726



Now of course the Allied PW counts would not have included those of Toulon or Marseille. Extracting those figures we have:



OKW Total Heer Only Difference

Brest 37058 11525 17982

St.Malo 8488 6168 2320

Total 45546 17693 20302



It is also noted in the November report that the losses for June include those of Cherbourg. Unfortunately, the report of garrison strengths did not of course include those of Cherbourg, since they were already lost. However, perhaps we can come up with a possible estimate of the numbers in that garrison and the distribution between OKW totals and Heer.



The units lost in Cherbourg included:

Max Strength Est Min Strength

Stellungs Werfer Regiment 101 1800 900?

MG Bn 17 632 632?

Cherbourg Festungs Stammtruppen 1355 1355

Sturm Batallion AOK 7 1106 500?

Panzer Batallion 206 385 385?

elms ID 77 70? 70?

elms ID 243 8189 2000

ID 709 8320 8320

Totals 21857 14162



These units had a maximum nominal strength when they were isolated on 17 June (assuming zero losses) of 21857 and a minimum strength of about 14162. An average of the two would be 18009. However, in the period 17 June through 3 July the US VII Corps reported capturing a total of 34,295 Germans during the operations directed against Cherbourg. Thus, it may be assumed that a maximum of 20133 and a minimum of 12438 or an average of about 16286 of these prisoners were non-Heer. Note that these closely match the Heer estimates of about 15000 lost in Cherbourg that appear in other documents.



For Cherbourg, St. Malo and Brest we may account for possibly 36588 non-Heer personnel as potential prisoners. However, this may be reduced by the number of personnel potentially in FJD 2 in Brest, 7551 men, reducing the non-Heer total to 29037. Again, the discrepancy between the Allied PW total and the January report MIA total for the period June-August is 36751 and the difference between the November and January report for the period is 45542.



Note also that in the September casualties the losses of the Channel ports are included and account for 32971 Wehrmacht personnel of which 20253 were Heer, a difference of 12718. Added to the June-August difference of 36751 we have a total of 49469, compared to the total difference between the November and January reports of 60762.



Now it is obvious that the November casualty report and the report on the strength of the garrisons are related. Both note that the Cherbourg losses are included in the June casualties, St. Malo, Brest, Marseille and Toulon in the August casualties, and that Calais, Boulogne and Le Havre are included in the September casualties. It is less obvious that the January casualty report is also similar to the November report, but only because the totals are so different. However, I strongly suspect that those totals are simply accounted for by the non-Heer and non-Luftwaffe ground troops be subtracted from the totals in the January report. Of course, contradicting this view is the note that the November report did not include die von in Erdkampf Teilen der Luftwaffe. Also it is possible that the additional 60762 men had been returned to duty or otherwise accounted for in units by the end of October. That would possibly account in part for the notoriously negative divisional strength reports from the 16 October OKH Org.Abt. report in T78, R432, F6403685~ that you remark on in your book a number of times.



Overall, I must say that I am torn between the two possible points of view regarding these reports. However, I tend to believe that it is very possible that the November casualty report is substantially correct and that the only major difference between it and the January report is that the casualties of the non-Heer, non-Luftwaffe Feld and Fallschirm troops were simply subtracted from the totals. Likely that was done to clarify the numbers of trained ground combat personnel potentially available.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Dec 2021 02:45

Is it possible that the Allied PW totals include all sorts of people in German uniforms that were not part of the Wehrmacht - foreign construction workers, security guards for the organisation Todt etc?

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 20 Dec 2021 07:34

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2021 02:45
Is it possible that the Allied PW totals include all sorts of people in German uniforms that were not part of the Wehrmacht - foreign construction workers, security guards for the organisation Todt etc?
I would think so, too. The Red Army did so, too.

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2021 08:43

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2021 02:45
Is it possible that the Allied PW totals include all sorts of people in German uniforms that were not part of the Wehrmacht - foreign construction workers, security guards for the organisation Todt etc?
Sure. They also included HiWi, Freiwilliger, Sicherungstruppen, and Wehrmachtsgefolge...but I don't think there were enough in the zone to account for the discrepancy in June-August and they simply do not appear frequently enough in the unit identifications that I have seem to make up the difference.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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