German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

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MarkN
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by MarkN » 03 Nov 2016 23:33

Shermaninterest wrote:What's your take on the 51 fewer Shermans despite replacements?
Not sure what you mean with that.

1) Establishment of 2 Tank Btn (CCR, 9AD) was 53 Shermans. It is likely they had less than that when the fighting began late December.
2) Establishment of 3 Tank Btn (CCB, 10AD) was 53 Shermans. It is likely they had less than that when the fighting began late December.
3) Ibiblio says 2 Tank battalion lost 45 Shermans in December.

Like I wrote, very unacademic. But the material easily available to you does NOT indicate 10AD 'lost' masses of tanks at Bastogne and certainly very few, if any, during the "Battle of Longvilly".

Note: CCB 10AD in and around Bastogne had HQ 3 Tank Btn under command. However, only 2 of 3 Tank Btn's medium companies were present (A & B) and instead of their own C Company, they were accompanied by C/21 Tank Btn. A Company was part of Team Cherry, B Company was part of Team Desobry and C/21 was part of Team O'Hara.

Richard Anderson
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 01:25

Shermaninterest wrote:Actually, I meant casualties when I said it. The 40 operational tanks for an entire Armored division ( plus another CC) sounds like major casualties happened. Why are you so hung up on the words? I know the difference and explained multiple times how I think the casualty number contradicts the final write-off numbers. Are you even open to the arguments? I am not trying to forcefully change your perspective...
You haven't explained anything I'm afraid. I asked you where Bergstrom said those seven were "write offs" and you say you simply assumed it. That doesn't explain anything. Of course the "casualty number" will exceed the write offs. Why ever would you expect it not to?
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 01:51

Shermaninterest wrote:He does not specifically write that those are write-offs but he writes it directly after your number set and states those losses are given.
Yes, losses, not write offs. A division typically only "wrote off' vehicles which could not be recovered. Damaged vehicles were assessed as repairable in either less than 24 hours or greater than 24 hours, which included unrecoverables and MIA. Those damaged and unrepairable in less than 24 hours were evacuated to an Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company (Tank), which made the final assessment.
So I assume he refers to this data.
You assume a lot with little evidence.
But what else is this supposed to be?
A loss, just as it says it is.
Some sentences after that he explains that the unit suffered 20 casualties in one Battle how can the 7 then refer to anything else than write-offs? If those 7 would just be casualties the numbers would be even more suspect, wouldn't they?
What "unit"? When? If 10th AD in December, then it had zero contact with most of CCB until after Bastogne was relieved. I suspect the seven actually refer to those lost by CCA in the abortive attack at Echternach, most of which were not recovered until January. The 20? I have no clue; Christer doesn't say or give a source.
I have some vague understanding of what the 10th AD has done during the Battle of the Bulge and to be honest, 7 write-offs sounds outlandish to me. But I didn't plan to make a fuzz, I presented my views and why I think the figures are likely incomplete. If nobody is convinced I can't help it.
If you do, then you know CCB and the 21st TkBn were attached to the 28th ID, while the rest of the division supported the 4th ID around Echternach. Division had virtually zero contact with CCB from 18 December to 26 December and it wasn't until the end of the month that the full extent of the loss was known. Essentially, any loss reported by the 10th AD prior to the 1st of the year is highly suspect since it was based on minimal contact with CCB.

So, yes, in that sense, they are incomplete...until of course records caught up and were corrected. Which is why the AFV&W Section figures are the most complete, since they are based upon the vehicle record cards.
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 01:52

Shermaninterest wrote:Actually, I meant casualties when I said it. The 40 operational tanks for an entire Armored division ( plus another CC) sounds like major casualties happened. Why are you so hung up on the words? I know the difference and explained multiple times how I think the casualty number contradicts the final write-off numbers. Are you even open to the arguments? I am not trying to forcefully change your perspective...
If you meant casualties then say casualties. I am "hung up on the words" that have specific meanings. Using the wrong words twists the meaning.
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 01:59

Shermaninterest wrote:I want to add that according to Bergstrom the 10th AD is only one example. The same inconsistencies are found with the 9th AD.
What "inconsistencies"? This is truly surreal now. The case of the 9th AD is even more unusual than that of the 10th AD. The 9th was split into three widely dispersed elements from the beginning of the battle and ended up fighting under two different armies, thus utilized two different reporting streams. Its condition was not well understood until mid January when it was finally reunited.
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 02:17

Shermaninterest wrote:What's your take on the 51 fewer Shermans despite replacements?
this is the last time I waste on this nonsense. [edited to delete low form of speech (see forum rules) -- DT]

When?

10th AD on 1 December 1944 at 2200 hours had 116 M4 75mm operational and two non-operational not repairable in less than 24 hours, 49 M4 76mm, and 18 M4 105mm.

On 16 December it had 112 M4 75mm and one non-operational repairable in less than 24 hours, it had 45 M4 76mm and 1 repairable in less than 24 hours, and 18 M4 105mm.

On 31 December it had 87 M4 75mm operational 2 repairable 2 not repairable less than 24 hours, 34 M4 76mm and 1 repairable less than 24 hours, and 17 M4 105mm.

On 19 January 1945 it had 84 M4 75mm operational and 3 repairable in less than 24 hours, 49 M4 76mm and 1 repairable in less than 24 hours, and 18 M4 105mm.

The ETO was chronically short of tank replacements because the replacement factor was kept too low by REMF's in CONUS who could not be made to understand reality any better than you. Replacement tanks were such a problem that post-Ardennes, 351 Lend-Lease M4A2 and M4A4 75mm were "reverse Lend-Leased" from British depots to 12th Army Group to supplement those received from the US.
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 02:20

MarkN wrote:Team Cherry subdivided into two teams:
Team Hyduke—(A/3—1 Plt) (1 Plt & 1 Sqd C/20) (D/3—2 Plts) (1 sqd 3/C/55).
Team Ryerson—(AG[assault gun] Plt) (Mortar Plt), (C/20 AIB—1 Plt & 1 Sqd) (1 Plt A/3) (1 Sqd 3/C/55) marched from Strassen, Luxembourg, to
Longvilly, Belgium.
Team Cherry in order of March, Team Hyduke, Team Ryerson, Trains, left Strassen at 1130 hours and head of column reached Longvilly at 1930 Hrs. Distance marched 41-5 miles. Column halted closed up on road from Bastogne to Longvilly with head of column at Longvilly. 2/D/90 became attached to Team Cherry when column reached Bastogne and led column to Longvilly where contact was made with CCR, 9th Armored Division. Team trains went into assembly area at Bastogne. Bn CP was located at Neffe. Battalion Commander Col. Cherry and Battalion S-3 went forward to CP, CCR 9th Armored Division. Road blocks manned by elements of CCR 9th AD were then in the process of being bypassed by the enemy. Information obtained of friendly and enemy troops was vague. Team Ryerson and Hyduke were ordered to remain in their present positions and to make a reconnaissance as soon as possible in their immediate vicinity for defensive positions. At 2339 elements of CCR, 9th AD and 28th Inf Div started withdrawing from Longvilly.
Source: Team Cherry after action report: December 18, 1944
From the above: Team Hyduke = 1 platoon of medium tanks, 2 platoons of light tanks. Team Ryerson = 1 platoon of medium tanks.

Edit: On reflection the words above are not clear. Does A/3-1Plt mean (a) 1 platoon of A Coy/3 Tank Battalion or (b) A Coy/3 Tank Battalion less 1 Platoon? I'm now beginning to suspect it means the latter. Thus: Team Hyduke = 2 platoons of medium tanks, 1 platoon of light tanks.
You are quite correct Mark, A/3-1Plt is A Company, minus a Platoon. I used to have access to the documents detailing the strength and losses of CCB, but don't think I have copies here on the West Coast and have no means to access the TDI copies on the East Coast. Not that I care much, since this is so clearly a tail-chasing exercise.
"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

Shermaninterest
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Shermaninterest » 04 Nov 2016 15:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
On 16 December it had 112 M4 75mm and one non-operational repairable in less than 24 hours, it had 45 M4 76mm and 1 repairable in less than 24 hours, and 18 M4 105mm.

On 31 December it had 87 M4 75mm operational 2 repairable 2 not repairable less than 24 hours, 34 M4 76mm and 1 repairable less than 24 hours, and 17 M4 105mm.
Thanks for making those numbers available to us. I think this settles it then, Bergstrom seems to be correct and we will likely never have a precise answer. From 16th to 31st the number of operational Sherman drops by 36 minus some repairable. The units, at least CCA and CCRm should have gotten several replacement tanks which would increase the missing numbers of Shermans substantially. As you said the reserves of replacement Shermans were close to getting depleted.

The statement of Bergstrom, which sparked this discussion again:
Bergstrom: Ardennes wrote:It's even more difficult to obtain fully reliable figures for U.S tank losses in the Ardennes Battle through by the end of 1944. According to statistics produced by highly esteemed American historian Richard C. Anderson Jr., Patton's Third Army lost 132 Shermans with 75mm or 76mm guns between 17th December and 1st January. For the first army, losses are reported as 398 Shermans in December 1944. In total, therefore , the two U.S Armies should have lost 530 Sherman tanks. But due to an unfortunate culling in American military archives, several conspicuous gaps remain. Thus, for example, the 10th AD losses in December are given as seven Shermans....
Bergstrom seems to be correct. A drop of 36 despite replacement tanks can't possibly be explained by 7 write-offs.
Richard Anderson wrote: The ETO was chronically short of tank replacements because the replacement factor was kept too low by REMF's in CONUS who could not be made to understand reality any better than you. Replacement tanks were such a problem that post-Ardennes, 351 Lend-Lease M4A2 and M4A4 75mm were "reverse Lend-Leased" from British depots to 12th Army Group to supplement those received from the US.
I didn't know the losses were so high they had to ask for Shermans back. Bergstrom also notes how heavy the US armored divisions ( 9th in his examples ) were depleted despite constant replacement tanks. Appreciate your information that cleared some things up for me, thanks.

Shermaninterest
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Shermaninterest » 04 Nov 2016 15:21

Interesting is that the problem with the incomplete data seems to affect the figures for the Third Army the most. Both examples given by Bergstrom are about Third army divisions. The number of 132 write-offs in December seems to be highly suspect. The losses of the other armored divisions also seem to be quite heavy according to the lists in thunderbolt. 5 Armored divisions engaged in combat and several independent tank battalions.

Richard Anderson
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 15:45

Shermaninterest wrote:Thanks for making those numbers available to us. I think this settles it then, Bergstrom seems to be correct and we will likely never have a precise answer. From 16th to 31st the number of operational Sherman drops by 36 minus some repairable. The units, at least CCA and CCRm should have gotten several replacement tanks which would increase the missing numbers of Shermans substantially. As you said the reserves of replacement Shermans were close to getting depleted.
No, it doesn't "settle" this or make Bergstrom seem to be correct. Nor did I say anything of the sort.
Bergstrom seems to be correct. A drop of 36 despite replacement tanks can't possibly be explained by 7 write-offs.
Are you being intentionally dense? Or are you trolling? As has been pointed out a number of times by different posters, the "7 write-offs" is your invention. The word used by Bergstrom was "losses". "Write-off" is your invention based upon your assumption of what you believe Bergstrom may have intended to say. In any case we do not know where Bergstrom plucked that figure from. The only thing I can think of to match it IIRC are the seven lost and unrecovered in the counterattack at Echternach. Wherever he got that number, it is unlikely to include any losses from CCB in Bastogne. Rather compelling evidence for that is that the division status is unreported for 17 and 18 December, before it repeats the operational figures of 16 December on 19 and 20 December, before dropping the operational to 99, 39, and 17 on 21 December, which I suspect is how Bergstrom got his "20". The problem is that is a change in operational strength; it is NOT A REPORT OF LOSSES, it is only an indication of inferred losses. It also cannot reflect any losses by CCB, since the division had no contact with them until later...as you have been repeatedly told, but have repeatedly ignored.
Richard Anderson wrote:I didn't know the losses were so high they had to ask for Shermans back. Bergstrom also notes how heavy the US armored divisions ( 9th in his examples ) were depleted despite constant replacement tanks. Appreciate your information that cleared some things up for me, thanks.
Given Bergstrom, and you, have no idea how many replacement tanks the 9th AD - or anyone else for that matter - received, then I find it remarkable that "cleared some things up" for you. I suspect that what it actually did was allow you to pick and chose the information supporting your assumptions while ignoring the inconvenient bits that don't.

Frankly though, I just don't GAS anymore. You must be right, THOUSANDS of Shermans were written off but unreported; so obviously there was a huge conspiracy to cover it up. :roll:
"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
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Nov 2016 15:48

Shermaninterest wrote:Interesting is that the problem with the incomplete data seems to affect the figures for the Third Army the most. Both examples given by Bergstrom are about Third army divisions. The number of 132 write-offs in December seems to be highly suspect. The losses of the other armored divisions also seem to be quite heavy according to the lists in thunderbolt. 5 Armored divisions engaged in combat and several independent tank battalions.
Um, no, it is more interesting you are unaware that the 9th AD was assigned to First Army, not Third Army.
"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

Shermaninterest
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Shermaninterest » 04 Nov 2016 16:20

Richard Anderson wrote: No, it doesn't "settle" this or make Bergstrom seem to be correct. Nor did I say anything of the sort.
No you didn't but the numbers you presented settle it.

Richard Anderson wrote: The problem is that is a change in operational strength; it is NOT A REPORT OF LOSSES, it is only an indication of inferred losses. It also cannot reflect any losses by CCB, since the division had no contact with them until later...as you have been repeatedly told, but have repeatedly ignored.
It is when people infer the losses of German units. It just goes to show that the data you work with is prone to error, doesn't it? The number of operational Sherman drops by the dozens but only some write-offs make their way into your compiled data.

I assume ( sorry for again assuming ) you compiled the figures of 132 Sherman write-offs in December. According to the lists in thunderbolt, which seem to be the same you used, most 3rd Army ADs suffered major casualties in December:

Richard Anderson wrote: Um, no, it is more interesting you are unaware that the 9th AD was assigned to First Army, not Third Army.
Yes i was under the assumption that the 9th AD was part of the 3rd Armys VIII corps. Was it temporarily assigned? Would those loss numbers then be compiled into the 1st Army data?

Drop: December to January according to thunderbold if no other source given

4th AD: 59
6th AD: 35 ( supplement by new 76s)
9th AD: 80 ( according to Bergstromg 16th-2nd)
10th AD: 36 ( according to Anderson )

The armored divsions of the 3rd Army seems to have sustained far higher casualties as the armored divisions of the 1st Army or the first army got far more replacement tanks.

2nd AD: 47
3rd AD: 35
7th AD: 1 ( obvious replacements of 76s)

Obviously, the approach is unacademic and is only intended to show problems with established number and not get the correct figures.

The accepted figure of losses for the 1st Army is ~400 Shermans. This is about 3 times what Richard Anderson got for the 3rd Army write-offs. Only some possible explanations for this: either the first Army received far more replacements in December or the independent TBs of the 1st Army suffered far higher casualties than the TBs of the 3rd Army. Several TBs of the 1st Army got hit hard but that doesn't seem to be enough to explain how the Army with far lower drops ( ~ 2/3 less ) in operational Shermans had 3 times the write-offs.

Richard Anderson wrote:Given Bergstrom, and you, have no idea how many replacement tanks the 9th AD - or anyone else for that matter - received, then I find it remarkable that "cleared some things up" for you. I suspect that what it actually did was allow you to pick and chose the information supporting your assumptions while ignoring the inconvenient bits that don't.
Enough replacement tanks were set out to deplete the depots as you stated before. Even without replacement tanks it seems clear. But I said that before. The reasoning isn't relying on replacement tanks. The operational numbers for the 10th AD just don't support such low loss numbers for December.
Richard Anderson wrote: Frankly though, I just don't GAS anymore. You must be right, THOUSANDS of Shermans were written off but unreported; so obviously there was a huge conspiracy to cover it up. :roll:
I didn't want to imply that. Somebody dismissed Bergstrom's remarks as baseless and I think that's unfair to him. We also don't have him defending his figures only me as layman giving possible explanations for his view. What does GAS mean?

Shermaninterest
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Shermaninterest » 04 Nov 2016 16:31

I was taking my information about the Armies from the order of battle on wiki. There the VIII was listed under the 3rd Army but it seems the corps was originally under the 9th Army. How would those losses then be assigned since they categorized into 3rd and 1st Army

MarkN
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by MarkN » 04 Nov 2016 17:07

Shermaninterest wrote:I was taking my information about the Armies from the order of battle on wiki. There the VIII was listed under the 3rd Army but it seems the corps was originally under the 9th Army. How would those losses then be assigned since they categorized into 3rd and 1st Army
Off the top of my head...

Initially (ie beginning of December), HQ 9th AD was under command VIII Corps which was under command US 1st Army. CCR 9AD was detached from HQ 9AD and under direct command HQ VIII Corps.

On (or around) 20 December, the whole of VIII Corps was chopped to US 3rd Army command.

***

CCB 10AD was under command HQ 10AD, part of XX Corps, US 3rd Army.

On 17th CCB 10AD headed north and left command of HQ 10AD and, on arrival in Bastogne, came under direct command VIII Corps, US 1st Army (which then became US 3rd Army on the 20th).

I forgot the date, but a few days later, CCB 10AD was placed under command HQ 101st Airborne Division, VIII Corps, US 3rd Army.

MarkNote: When under command VIII Corps and 101st AbnDiv, CCB 10AD would have sent its reports (incl. tank states) to those HQs NOT to HQ 10AD. Thus, not until CCB 10AD rejoined the remainder of the division would HQ 10AD have any idea about the 'losses' incurred in and arround Bastogne.

Those who have studied this sort of material see this as a natural and obvious obstacle put in the way of their research - but they understand what it means and the implications. Wiki 'experts' and those who have read a few books simply cannot grasp the relevance nor the context.

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Nov 2016 17:32

Shermaninterest wrote: I didn't know the losses were so high they had to ask for Shermans back.
The problem has its roots in the far too optimistic calcualtion made for the expected US loss rate in Normandy. Whoever made the decision got it badly wrong and it took several months to start feeding extra replacements into the pipeline that would then start turning up in France in late 1944. British stocks of spare Shermans were huge. They had a more realistic view of tank casualties and were able to cover their losses comfortably. In December 1944 an emergency transfer of 350 odd M4 were made from British depots to US forces. US ADs were running at below TOE but all this is relative. The weakest US AD (or even a Tk Batt.) would dwarf any 1944-45 Pz Divison.

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