Rüdiger Overmans states that 5,3 million soldiers in the Wehrmacht were killed or died because of WWII
Of this 5,3 million: 2,3 million died KIA; 2 million were MIA with 50% of all MIA probably were also KIA (this remains a good guess) and the remaining died as POW in French, US, Yugoslav and Soviet custody. RO calculates that "officiallly" 369.000 German POW's died as Soviet POW (while the Soviets themselves passed 489.000 names to Germany of the POW's which died in Soviet custody!). Rüdiger is giving different views in his writings.
Probably 1,5-1.6 million German soldiers died as POW in and after WWII: in the Soviet Union (between 489.000 and 1.300.000: the truth somewhere in between), Yugoslavia (between 24.000 and 80.000, the latter number has greater probability), France (between "official" 28.000 and the horrible and very plausible 167.000, USA (between 22.000 and 72.000; of which 50.000 died in the sol called "Rhein"-camps"in 1945) and Great-Britain (between 12.000 and 20.000). The "high" German death rates in the SU, France and Yugoslavia were mainly because of very bad circumstances and malnutrition. If a prisoner fell ill he was as good as dead!!! Very harsh and without a question also a war crime on a large scale.
As you all know the Soviet Union uses "strange" comparisons between the killed and the taken prisoner: for Bagration (summer 44): they claim 175.000 POW's and 200.000 KIA (all in 4 weeks time). For the offensive in Rumania in august 44: 75.000 POW's and 120.000 KIA (and that in 1-2 weeks time!!!). So the Germans which were surrounded choose to fight themselves to the death rather than surrender themselves. I admit that surrendered Germans were not keen to surrender simply by the fact that 2/3 would die anyway until that moment as POW. Siberia was hell.
In Normandy about 80.000 Germans died (KIA) and 160.000 surrendered (in 11 weeks of time).
Officially 77.000 German POW's died as POW in Westerm custody. But most writers agree that the real number may some factors "more".
So, actuallly, 3,2 million was KIA; 1,6 million died as POW (50% during the war and 50% after V-day) and 0,5 million of accidents, disseases, suicide, executions. Of the 3,2 million which died on the fronts (inclusive 250.000 in air, on sea) most died on the Eastern front: arround 2,2 million of which indeed 41% (900.000) died before the summer of 44 and the other 59% 1.100.000 soldiers and about 200.000 members of the Volkssturm and Polizei (formerly counted as civilians), died thereafter. In this respect the study of Rüdiger overmans throws a new light on German lossses which were so heavy after the summer of 1944. 800-1.000.000 German soldiers died on all other fronts: from Poland till the surrender in Germany, Austria, Greece, Norway and Denmark; on sea and in the air.
Some numbers to state this:
1941 (6,5 months): about 250.000 KIA
1942: about 200.000 KIA (officially the Germans admitted that 25.000 died for the conquest of Stalingrad (11 weeks of time) and in the defense about 20.000, 11 weeks of time were killed by enemy action and 10.000 others died of the cold). Also note that the average strength of the 22 German divisions in the pocket was about 8.800 men and 200 with the 100 odd batalions.
1943: about 350.000 KIA (especially during the last 6 months!!)
1944 (5,5 months): about 100.000 KIA
Note that a substantial percentage of the heavy wounded died. So where the Wehrmacht officially claims 225.000 KIA this number may be in reality 250.000! Official numbers were lower than the numbers of above which are good guesses.
At this moment the best part of the Wehrmacht was dead or wounded. Many young were drafted in the army. The firepower of the infantry however increased with Sturmgewehr 44, Panzerfäuste, MG42, Nebelwerfer units and many light Flak units. Notorious pocket battles were Stalingrad, Korsun and Sevastopol and Kamenets-Podolsk (Hube pocket).
Stalingrad cost 70.000 KIA and 170.000 MIA; Korsun: 10.000 KIA and 25.000 MIA; Sevastol/Crimea: 12.500 KIA and 45.000 MIA (20.000 at Sea); The Hube Pocket: 5-10.000 KIA few MIA.
For the Eastern Front this number is about: 900.000.
That during the summer, fall and spring of 1945 so many died (over 1 million) is shocking!!! 200.000 died in White-Russia (Bagration); 450.000 were burried in Poland (Silesia, Pommerania, Brandenburg, Southern Part East Prussia, Danzig); unknown totals in northern part of East Prussia, Memel, Kurland, Latvia and Estonia but they are at least 100.000!!; 7.500 died in Karelia/north Norway; 54.000 in Hungary, 38.000 on Rumanian soil (2 times more in Moldovo all around Kishinev!); about 125.000 around Berlin (middle Germany) (notorious was the pocket of the 9th Army and break-out through the woods near Halbe); 178.00 in Tjecho-slovakia and 45.000 in Austria (bitter fight till the end) and at the East-sea at least 25.000 soldiers and sailors drowned.
Notorious pocket battles were Brody, Vitebsk, Bobruisk, Minsk, Vilnius, Kishinev, Budapest, Halbe and Breslau.
For the Eastern Front this number is about: 1.300.000
Western Front/(6 june 1944 and before):
16.000 were the KIA in Poland; 5.500 the KIA in Norway; 60.000 were KIA in Holland, Belgium, France and the airbattle over Britain. 1500 KIA in Greece, 4.000 KIA on Crete; 16.000 were KIA in North Africa (mainly Tunesia); 14.000 fell in Yugoslavia against the Partizans; the air war over Germany cost the Germans 10.000 day and night fighter pilots and crews (till summer 44); the losses on the oceans by the KM about 50.000 men in the U-Boat arm and surface units (loss of Bismarck and Scharnhorst) and 25.000 other army personell. The occupation of Europe & bombardments did cost another 25.000 men. The defense of Sicilia: 7.500 KIA; southern Italy up to Cassino a futher 7.500 KIA. Cassino and Anzio both at least 50.000. Anti Partizan fights in Greece and counterattacks against the Dodecanese Islands: 2500 KIA.
Western Front/(6 june 1944 and thereafter):
More than 60.000 died in Italy after the summer, 42.000 died in Yugoslavia (Serbia and upwards; about 135.000 fell in France (80.000 in Normandy alone); 30.000 in Holland, 25.000 in Belgium; at least 75.000 in West-Germany; in the air about 50% of all pilots were killed: 5000 pilots and at sea at least 35.000 died. Also fell many thousands of flak-gunners, hitleryouth, polizei and Volkssturm. Greece numbers? Notorious pocket battles: Falaise; Belgrado, the Ruhr.
For the West & South the number is 800.000 soldiers.
So I miss 200.000 soldiers (KIA) to be accounted for. Anybody having an idea???
Perhaps the total number of German KIA & MIA is not 5,3 million but 5,1 million.
200.000 folks choose to stay in Russia or disappeared in the Foreign Legion or somewhere else (South America, the USA).
Now folks I challenge you to give me better stats.
On the civlian side about 1,6 million were killed (370.000 by the Allied day and night Air-offensive); about 600.000+ by expulsion from Eastern Germany by Poles and Czechs; about 300-400.000 by hands of the Soviet troops (remember: Königsberg, Breslau and Berlin). At least 100.000 committed suicide. Starvation among civilians because of malnutrition (during and after the war) is not included in the numbers.
Total losses former Greater Germany (incl. Austria) WWII: 5,1 mi soldiers and 1,6 mi civilians: 6,7 million
Last edited by Bergveen on 24 Jun 2008 13:02, edited 5 times in total.