German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Miles Krogfus
Member
Posts: 471
Joined: 08 May 2015 19:54
Location: San Diego, CA

German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Miles Krogfus » 29 Oct 2016 19:26

Using OKH/Gen Std Heer data, here are the June 1944 through April 1945 monthly destroyed numbers for Panzers and Assault Guns (as per Krivosheev's "irrecoverable losses"):
June 130, July 161, August 649 (and 588 abandoned), September 598, October 32, November 152, December 338, January 1945 150, February 135, March 141, April 72 for a total of 1893 Panzers, 665 Assault guns and 588 abandoned Pz/AG.

SHAEF as well as 12th and 21st Army Group destroyed figures total for June 1944 through April 1945: 6443 main battle tanks and tank destroyers, 298 US and 317 21st Army Group light tanks.
Last edited by Miles Krogfus on 29 Oct 2016 20:13, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German ETO armor destroyed 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Oct 2016 20:00

Miles,

U.S. Army losses in the ETOUSA (12th and 6th Army Group) were 4,389 75mm & 76mm Medium Tanks M4, 1 Heavy Tank M26 (T26E3), 178 105mm Medium Tanks M4, 1,507 Light Tanks (all series M3, M5, and M24). Tank Destroyer losses were 540 M10 3" GMC, 217 M18 76mm GMC, and 152 M36 90mm GMC. Total 6,075 tanks and 909 GMC.

Commonwealth losses in NWE were 2,712 Sherman, 609 Cromwell, 39 Challenger, 26 Comet, 656 Churchill, 433 Stuart, and 2 Chaffee. Total 4,477 tanks.

Note however some problems. US GMC were not used doctrinally like Jagdpanzer or Sturmgeschutz. To be an accurate comparison, all German losses of Marder-type vehicles should be included as well. For the British, tank destroyers were a Royal Artillery asset, so losses of 3" and 17-pdr M10 and Archer are not included. However, Challenger is, which was actually more like a GMC/Tank Destroyer/Marder than a tank, but doctrinally the British used them in tank regiments...mind you they were so bad mechanically i suspect most of that loss was due to breakdowns. On top of that it is unclear if the US total includes those tanks lost by French units in 6th Army Group - I suspect they do not.

We could also get into the argument about when a "abandoned tank" is a battle loss, which is extremely problematic. For example, the US Army reported at least three Medium Tank M4 lost because they were abandoned and "unrecoverable"...until the ground was recaptured a few days later aand they were, of course, recovered. :thumbsup: It is impossible to be sure now, but it is possible they were never accounted for as "not lost" in the cumulative totals above.

Anyway, I suspect the comparable figure is on the order of 10,500 Allied tanks lost to about 3,200 German tanks and doctrinally similar armored vehicles. Including all "tank-like" AFV such as GMC and Marders, its probably around 12,500 versus 4,000 or so...somewhere around a 3:1 to a 4:1 ratio. Which is pretty meaningless ratio.
"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

Miles Krogfus
Member
Posts: 471
Joined: 08 May 2015 19:54
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Miles Krogfus » 29 Oct 2016 20:27

Richard, as usual, is profoundly rational. However, in continuing to read this forum's posts from past years I have not seen any German "destroyed" armor figures, so wanted to remind certain AHF members that "Totalausfalle" is not just destroyed but also totally lost to units because sent far, far away to repair.
I will continue to post actual data taken from Panzer veterans material (documents from their units unfortunately not in any archive, answers to my pestering questions) and archive primary documents to illustrate my interest: tank versus tank and/or anti-tank gun shootouts. Yes, this is an indulgence, but boys will be boys, even at my age . . .

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1095
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Coruscant

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Stiltzkin » 29 Oct 2016 23:01

I agree, these comparisons are somewhat artificial, a lot of German armour in the ETO was abandoned as well, but what Mike is looking for are Totalausfälle, basically destroyed tanks, corrupted beyond repair, which participated in direct confrontations (this kind of information is scarce).

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 210
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by MarkF617 » 29 Oct 2016 23:32

Rich,

I have recently finished reading A30 Challenger a technical history by P.M.Knight. This book is a very detailed account of the development and service of the Challenger tank using many primary sources. The Challenger was not unreliable, the problem was that they widened the tracks by about an inch and a half ( I'm in London at the moment so can't check the exact amount ) which caused mud to build up between the tracks and the rear most road wheels when reversing which caused damage. This problem was identified, solved, and rectified. By 1945 the Challenger was pretty decent but was not continued as Comet was coming off the production line. I would really recommend these technical histories, I have read the Challenger and the Covenanter one which are really good with the Crusader one next on my reading list.

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Oct 2016 18:24

MarkF617 wrote:Rich,

I have recently finished reading A30 Challenger a technical history by P.M.Knight. This book is a very detailed account of the development and service of the Challenger tank using many primary sources. The Challenger was not unreliable, the problem was that they widened the tracks by about an inch and a half ( I'm in London at the moment so can't check the exact amount ) which caused mud to build up between the tracks and the rear most road wheels when reversing which caused damage. This problem was identified, solved, and rectified. By 1945 the Challenger was pretty decent but was not continued as Comet was coming off the production line. I would really recommend these technical histories, I have read the Challenger and the Covenanter one which are really good with the Crusader one next on my reading list.

Mark.
Hi Mark,

Mine was a quick throwaway comment based on memory. I find after looking into my notes, the problem wasn't lack of reliability, it was design issues leading to problematic serviceability. One issue wasn't the width of tracks - at least that I can find - but the length of track. To accommodate the enlarged turret on the A27M hull required a longer hull with an additional bogie assembly and greater track length, which made steering difficult and stressed the idler wheel causing it to fail (a problem not uncommon in Cromwell and Comet as well). It also suffered from stability issues on slopes due to the high turret and in the initial batch were considered thinly-armored (later corrected from vehicle 41 on for the mantlet and from vehicle 101 on for the hull applique).

However, fundamentally it was a crudely designed stop gap, which was never considered fully satisfactory. In WO165/136 a summary from July 1944 stated "further production not contemplated due to high silhouette and thin armour." DCIGS Weeks commented It was "a temporary and rapid means of putting a 17 Pr into Cromwell formations…It is not considered as a suitable mass production job; it is also too thin skinned." In December 1943, WO165/134 (the RAC Six Monthly Progress Report) stated, "This vehicle is a Cromwell with scaled down armour and a 70 in turret ring. It mounts a 17 Pdr gun…It has an additional suspension assembly on either side." There were, "a number of defects, which still require attention before the tank is issued to units."

That assessment is reflected by the issue history as well. The first few (8?) were issued in July to 7th Armoured Division. It is a bit murky as to exactly what happened (I have to track down the relevant 21st Army Group RAC report), but after a few weeks of service with 7th Armoured during which 2 were lost, all were withdrawn for additional fixes to the suspension, before being re-issued in October to 7th AD (12), Guards Armoured (6), 11th AD (13), and the Polish AD (1). Peak unit issue holdings was not until the week ending 7 April 1945, with 47 versus a UE of 45 and another 44 on hand. Peak on hand was 113 for the week ending 21 April 1945, but significantly the UE did not change. Even more significantly, the UE actually peaked the week ending 3 February 1945 at 64, after that the requirement was withdrawn in many units, despite the vehicle being available for issue.

Another clue to the Challenger's worth is the number built - 200 - versus the actual number issued. The rosiest assessment of Challenger was probably AVIA11/30, which in early 1945 stated, "After a period of unpopularity, mainly due to trouble with front idlers, the Challenger is now generally popular. One or two instances of this tank withstanding an attack by Faustpatrones without damage have given it a reputation for immunity which is probably not justified."

Cheers!
"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

User avatar
Cult Icon
Member
Posts: 2978
Joined: 08 Apr 2014 19:00

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Cult Icon » 31 Oct 2016 17:41

Interesting stats. However, in the major armor battles, allied armor loss ratios were not that high. So perhaps it is from day to day actions and small movements that caused this high figure?

If the allies lost 10,500 then there were just 3 major armor clashes in the west (Normandy, Lorraine, and Ardennes) that accounted for the greater half of this number.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Oct 2016 18:20

Cult Icon wrote:Interesting stats. However, in the major armor battles, allied armor loss ratios were not that high. So perhaps it is from day to day actions and small movements that caused this high figure?

If the allies lost 10,500 then there were just 3 major armor clashes in the west (Normandy, Lorraine, and Ardennes) that accounted for the greater half of this number.
10,500 divided by 336 days = 31.25 versus an establishment averaging something on the order of 7,000 to 8,000 on average for the period = a loss rate of perhaps 0.41666666666667% per day. :milwink: Or, to be more exact, for US Army 75 and 76mm armed medium tanks it was a loss rate of 0.36% per day.

"Major armor clashes" has as little to do with the realities of World War II in the West as does the "major armor clash" at the Battle of Kursk has to do with the the realities of World War II in the East.
"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

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 7351
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 Oct 2016 19:20

Edit|:

This is was a response to a message that has since been deleted. As such it may seem disconnected from what remains but I leave it up anyway.


The cost was indeed high but the reward was total victory.
For the Germans the cost was total annihilation.
Who got the best value from their tanks?
Haut Bosq collapsed Panther (3)C-tile.jpg
Panther%20Normandy%20ebay_zps8mblqbgy-tile.jpg
Panther-ooo-tile.jpg
Polish (14)sm-tile.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 01 Nov 2016 04:40, edited 1 time in total.

rays
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: 25 Aug 2015 13:10
Location: Canada

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by rays » 31 Oct 2016 20:09

Just a silly question,

If the Germans lost between 3,000 and 4,000 tanks (depending upon how you define tanks, but lets include tank destroyers, self propelled guns, etc) but during the war built just shy of 50,000 tanks (including spgs, etc). Where did they lose the remaining 46,000?

Obviously some were surrendered at the end of the war, but assuming use on the eastern front resulted in the destruction of 30-40,000 I would suspect that more then 4,000 tanks were destroyed in the ETO in 1944 and 1945.

Just looking for direction on how to reconcile these numbers.

-AR-

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Oct 2016 20:17

Michael Kenny wrote:The cost was indeed high but the reward was total victory.
For the Germans the cost was total annihilation.
Who got the best value from their tanks?
Or, if we apply the same mathematics, we get roughly:

3,200 divided by 336 = 9.52 versus an establishment averaging something on the order of 2,500 = a loss rate of perhaps 0.3809523809% per day.

Gee! Go figure! :milwink:
"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

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Oct 2016 20:19

rays wrote:Just a silly question,

If the Germans lost between 3,000 and 4,000 tanks (depending upon how you define tanks, but lets include tank destroyers, self propelled guns, etc) but during the war built just shy of 50,000 tanks (including spgs, etc). Where did they lose the remaining 46,000?

Obviously some were surrendered at the end of the war, but assuming use on the eastern front resulted in the destruction of 30-40,000 I would suspect that more then 4,000 tanks were destroyed in the ETO in 1944 and 1945.

Just looking for direction on how to reconcile these numbers.

-AR-
Um, yes, we're talking just about a period of 336 days from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945 on the Western Front, excluding Italy. And the figure does not include all those surrendered operational and non-operational after VE Day. It is for "write offs" only.
"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

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23669
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by David Thompson » 31 Oct 2016 21:02

A repartee post from sandeepmukherjee196, which added nothing of informational value to the discussion, was removed.

User avatar
Cult Icon
Member
Posts: 2978
Joined: 08 Apr 2014 19:00

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Cult Icon » 31 Oct 2016 21:31

Richard Anderson wrote: 10,500 divided by 336 days = 31.25 versus an establishment averaging something on the order of 7,000 to 8,000 on average for the period = a loss rate of perhaps 0.41666666666667% per day. :milwink: Or, to be more exact, for US Army 75 and 76mm armed medium tanks it was a loss rate of 0.36% per day.
Your calculation doesn't really have much to do with my statement of the ratio of losses being higher outside of the 'big three' events.

What the panzer units largely did outside of these big events were small counterattacks and hit and run actions.

User avatar
Cult Icon
Member
Posts: 2978
Joined: 08 Apr 2014 19:00

Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Cult Icon » 31 Oct 2016 22:02

rays wrote: If the Germans lost between 3,000 and 4,000 tanks (depending upon how you define tanks, but lets include tank destroyers, self propelled guns, etc) but during the war built just shy of 50,000 tanks (including spgs, etc). Where did they lose the remaining 46,000?

Obviously some were surrendered at the end of the war, but assuming use on the eastern front resulted in the destruction of 30-40,000 I would suspect that more then 4,000 tanks were destroyed in the ETO in 1944 and 1945.
http://forum.axishistory.com/download/f ... &mode=view


~3 K write offs in 1941
~3 K write offs in 1942
~8K write offs in 1943
~11K write offs in 1944

Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”