Stalingrad

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ML59
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ML59 » 02 Mar 2015 23:25

Cult Icon, I agree with you. The real wonder weapon of the soviets was the ability they showed all along the war of fielding and equipping new armies at a pace that regularly surprised and caught off guard the Germans. Of course they had limits, too, and by late 1944 their field formations were quite weak in manpower but much richer than in 1941-42 in firepower and supporting arms.

AJFFM
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 03 Mar 2015 18:25

ML59 wrote:
The same is valid for the soviets, not all the troops in active fronts were actually deployed on the front line. And about Finland, German and Finnish troops overthere were not facing phantoms but nothing else than soviet troops, so, which is the point?
We can agree that to deploy a full Mountain Corps in the Arctic was probably a waste of resources, but then? It was nevertheless necessary for the soviets to counter such a threat and deploy troops to block the Axis even there, the end result doesn't change.

The reality is that the gigantic numerical superiority of the soviets over the Germans is largely a myth if you put into the calculation the right figures. Everything clearly collapsed out of any hope of recovery only during summer of 1944 with the defection of Romania, Finland and the partial collapse of Hungary. After that only logistic issue could slow down the soviet steamroller before it flattened all of Germany.
No one here said the Soviets had a fantastical 4:1 or 5:1 superiority, those numbers in the East only happened in specific parts of the front and rarely held before re-enforcements came.


A 2:1 superiority did exist during June 42 and here were are comparing relevant numbers, actual available troops on the front or equipment that has a direct affect on battle like tanks and air planes.

In June 42, the Germans had a grand total of 275 divisions including allies, their break-down and distribution is as follows:

Finland-Norway:18 divisions (mostly in Norway and including 20th Mountain Army's 6 divisions) including 1 Pz. division and only 3 divisions in Finland.

Eastern Front (the 3 AGs): 199 divisions including 30 allied divisions (most in reserve) and 10 security divisions.

The Rest: 58 divisions including 7 allied.

The Red Army according to Krivosheev (table 72, pg. 139) had active Army average monthly strength in 42 (excluding Navy and Air Force, air defence, front reserves, see footnote) of the following:

Q1: 4.18 million.
Q2: 5.06 million.
Q3: 5.66 million.
Q4: 6.3 million.

The German average monthly strength of the exact same category, only Army troops+Allies+Security troops (which often saw frontline service) was around 2-2.5 million throughout 42 (various sources especially Glantz). With divisional strengths above there is a clear cut numerical superiority for the Red Army over the German Army and as the German forces shrank due to losses and troop movement the Red Army strength was increasing despite losses.

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 03 Mar 2015 18:31

ljadw wrote:Monthly 1942 losses of the army and WSS in the East

January : 87000

february : 87000

March : 100000

April : 60000

May : 80000

June : 86000

July : 96000

August : 160000


September : 132000

October : 69000


November : 47000


December : 85000

January-june : 500000

July- december : 589000

Source : WWII Stats.Com
I will give you Krivosheev (Irrecoverable/total) in millions:

Q1: 0.62/1.8.
Q2: 0.78/1.5.
Q3: 1.15/2.4.
Q4: 0.46/1.4.

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BDV
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 03 Mar 2015 21:56

Funny thing, when Axis attacks (Q2Q3), 50% of losses are irrecoverable, when Russians attack, 33% are.

That's why Axis cannot simply stay on its hands, and let Soviets come, it has to get its licks in - just has do it wisely.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 03 Mar 2015 22:05

Q1 + Q2: Germany : 0.5 million /SU : 1.4 / 3.3 million

Q3 + Q4 : Germany :0.59 million /SU :1.6 / 3.8 million

The pattern is clear : big Soviet losses correspond with big German losses.

And,not all Soviet and German losses in Q3 happened in the South:Blau was not more harmful to the Soviets than other operations .

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 03 Mar 2015 22:08

BDV wrote:Funny thing, when Axis attacks (Q2Q3), 50% of losses are irrecoverable, when Russians attack, 33% are.
This is not correct : ALL Q :1,2,3, 4 were periods where the Soviets attacked : they attacked from 1 january til 31 december .

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Cult Icon
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by Cult Icon » 03 Mar 2015 22:27

No, with Blau if you focus on numbers only you miss the fact that entire formations lost in Blau or fragmented via a series of modest encirclements like Kalach or during the road to Vozoneth. The Soviets in the Caucasus and in Stalingrad were in fact defending with a mixture of fragmented units and complete units. The fragments had low combat utility and were often missing lots of equipment.

When the Germans committed to offensives in 41 and 42, they were able to capture far more prisoners (irrecoverable). Defensive operations tend to accomplish little in the way of prisoners or encirclement out of special circumstances like Kharkov II or the counterblow against 2.Shock Army. But this is 1942- the Axis still had some punch left and some formations strong enough to perform good counterstrikes.

The Axis prisoner count was very poor in 1943, 44 compared to what they captured in 42 and 41 even though casualties inflicted on the soviets were still grave.
Last edited by Cult Icon on 03 Mar 2015 22:28, edited 1 time in total.

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 03 Mar 2015 22:28

3 Q:German losses

july : AG N +C :39000 /AG S : 57000

august : N + C : 95000 /S: 65000

september : N + C : 65000/S : 65000

Total : Nord + Center : 1999000

: South (A/B) : 187000

As AG N +C did not start big attacks,the conclusion is that their losses are caused by Soviet attacks .

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BDV
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 03 Mar 2015 22:44

ljadw wrote:
BDV wrote:Funny thing, when Axis attacks (Q2Q3), 50% of losses are irrecoverable, when Russians attack, 33% are.
This is not correct : ALL Q :1,2,3, 4 were periods where the Soviets attacked : they attacked from 1 january til 31 december .
Indeed, but Axis biggest offensive operations were in Q2 and Q3. Suggesting that for Axis offensives the ratio of irrecoverables within Soviet losses is even bigger. The Axis (as things stand in June 1942) can attempt to collapse the Soviet line NorthWest of Rzhev (and get the Leningrad apple), or the Soviets withdraw from the positions West of Rzhev.

It looks like on defense the Germans simply cannot inflict the required number of casualties on the Soviets, so they need to inflict it by offensive action (Verdunlogik). They could also use the time bought by this effort to bring Auxiliaries up to speed so that the Soviet manpower advantage is no more.

It is easy to conclude (but true?) that Adolf and henchmen brush aside the hard work of a bloody and drawn out strategic option, and go once more for the cockamammie knockout blow.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 04 Mar 2015 18:34

Ok, since there is some confusion I think it is better to layout some ground rules. Using Quarters is not ideal, many operations and casualties span more than one quarter and with delays in reporting and tabulating this makes calm months have huge casualty numbers. A better way is Operation specific data. Furthermore I am exclusively talking about German casualties, allied casualties are ignored for this purpose.

Krivosheev lists casualties by strategic Offensive/Defensive Operations, here are the casualties incurred by the Red Army in front of AGs A&B during defensive Operation Blau:

Voronezh-Voroshilograd Strategic Defensive Operation (battle of Voronezh, 28/6-14/7) :

1.39/0.371/0.57*.

Stalingrad Strategic Defensive Operation (17/7-18/11):

0.55/0.323/0.64.

Northern Caucasus Strategic Defensive Operation (25/7-31/12):

0.603/0.193/0.374.

Total Soviet Defensive Casualties: 0.887/1.584**.

I had a hard time finding reliable sources for German casualties before the Stalingrad offensive, however the nearest number of total German casualties I found until 24/11 (official end of Blau) was about 400k in total German losses. This gives a rough 4:1 casualty ratio during the main German offensive effort of 42.

When the Red Army took the initiative, things were like this:

Operation Mars (25/11-20/12):

Soviet Losses:

0.7/0.07-0.1/0.145-0.250***.

German Losses, total: 40k.

Taking Isayev's numbers, the ratio is 5.3:1. Taking Glantz's numbers, the ratio is 8.75:1.

Kharkov II (12/5-28/5):

In the Russian original I think Krivosheev dealt with Kharkov II, here are Glantz's numbers:

Soviet Losses*:

0.765/0.171/0.278.

German Losses:

20k.

A whopping 14:1 ratio.

What does that tell us? Pretty much that encirclement are devastating (which is what frustrated the Germans in Blau, no encirclements) and distorting. In open field Germans did better defensively than offensively in terms of casualties. But even these numbers are misleading. Street battles (offensively) caused a lot of mayhem in German armies but so fortresses and pockets (Kholm and Demyansk). But overall I think a defensive strategy shows that it can work.


* Initially committed Troops/Irrecoverable/All Losses, all millions.
** Irrecoverable/Total.
*** Glantz and Isayev differ in calculation and scope of Operation (time span), Isayev is always lower and narrower.

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 04 Mar 2015 18:47

You can't use Soviet loss figures to compare them with German loss figures .That should be obvious .

AJFFM
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by AJFFM » 04 Mar 2015 20:13

ljadw wrote:You can't use Soviet loss figures to compare them with German loss figures .That should be obvious .
Why? Isn't that the whole point of my defensive strategy argument?

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 04 Mar 2015 21:33

Because Soviet loss figures are NOT the same as German loss figures ( this was explained some years ago by Qvist) :German loss figures are combat losses = KIA/WIA/MIA,while Soviet loss figures are a mixture of combat and non combat losses (sickness,accidents,etc) :Soviet irrecoverable losses (which do not exist on German side) are soldiers who were permanently lost for the Red Army by combat,sickness,etc .In the old factbook,someone (Qvist) had compiled Soviet combat losses ,using the " krivosheev" figures,and these combat losses were : ( don't ask me how he did it)

1941: 4.158.407

1942: 6.584.764

1943:6.877.118

1944: 5.685.785

1945:2.638.176

The German losses were (LW and KM not included) (rough figures)

1941: 831000

1942: 1.100.000

1943 : 1.600.000


1944 : 2.000.000

1945 : no reliable figures

As both sides used different methods to calculate their losses, any comparison of both losses will result in being knee-deep in crocodiles (as they are saying in Houston and Dallas).

Besides,the reliability of these loss figures (for both sides) is very questionable :it is more than probable that the Soviet figures for 1941 are much too low,the same for the German figures of 1944 .

The whole thing is comparing apples with lemons .

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 04 Mar 2015 21:50

Operation specific data is also asking for problems,because when the Germans attacked,not all Soviet losses from certain units were caused by that attack,because it ws never so that German army A was fighting against Soviet Army B :A was fighting against a part of B ,because the frontline of A did not correspond to the frontline of B .that's making it practically impossible to compare the losses of both sides for a specific operation,and,to make it more difficult,not only are the geographic limits different (where is starting/stopping the fighting for Stalingrad?) but the time span also is different :the start of the defensive fighting for Stalingrad is not the same for the Soviets as for the Germans .

ljadw
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 04 Mar 2015 22:08

The German losses for 1942 are well known,mostly they were going up by 100000 per month (with some exceptions)

1 january : 830000

1 february : 920000

1 march : 1 million

1 april : 1.1 million

1 may : 1.17 million

1 june : 1.24 million

1 july : 1.32 million

1 august : 1.43 million

1 september : 1.59 million

1 october :1.72 million

1 november : 1.77 million

1 december : 1.86 million

1 january 1943 : 1.95 million

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